9/25 NXT on USA & WWE Network Report: Keller’s report on Riddle vs. Killian Dane, Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee, Imperium vs. Kushida & mystery partners

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor



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KELLER’S NXT ON USA (AND WWE NETWORK) REPORT
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT FULL SAIL
AIRED ON USA NETWORK (HOUR 1) & WWE NETWORK (HOUR 2)

Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuiness


Tonight after NXT TV at the top of the hour, join me live with guest cohost Mike Chiari from Ring Rust Radio to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER NXT
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER NXT


[HOUR ONE – ON USA NETWORK]

-A video package aired showing clips of last week’s show with Triple H’s narration touting “We Are NXT!” They were heavy on showing enthusiastic fans, reminiscent of ECW back in the day.

-The Undisputed Era walked out and stood on a round platform above the fans and held up each of their championship titles. The camera panned down and there sat Mauro, Phoenix, and McGuinness. Mauro said Tony Romo isn’t the only one who can predict the future because Undisputed Era has, as predicted, undisputed power. Mauro then predicted NXT would be en fuego (on fire).

(1) KEITH LEE vs. DOMINIC DIJAKOVIC

Nigel and Phoenix touted Lee’s athleticism. Dijakovic then came out next and Mauro touted him a three-sport standout athlete. They showed a Tale of the Tape with 6-3 and 340 Lee vs. 6-7 and 270 Dijakovic. They even added “Reach” as a category along with “Style.” Lee was “Power, Speed, Agility” and Dijakovic was “Striking, Precision, Agility.” Good touch with the Tale of the Tape. Fans sang “Bask in his Glory” as the bell rang. They had a staredown. Mauro said what these two are capable of is breathtaking, and that’s not hyperbole. Dijakovic ducked a leaping spin wheel kick by Lee. Nigel said, “That’s not Keith Lee, that’s Bruce Lee.” Lee shoulder blocked Dijakovic over the top rope. It took a while for Dijakovic to stand. Lee tried to suplex him over the top rope back in. Dijakovic blocked him and fought back with forearms. Lee headbutted Dijakovic to knock him down and stop his attack. They battled on the ring apron. Dijakovic chokeslammed Lee on the edge of the ring apron. They cut to a break with Mauro saying, “This battle continues… I think.” [c]

Lee hit a corkscrew pescado drawing a “Mama Mia!” from Mauro. Dijakovic ran the ropes way too softly and then countered Lee into a guillotine attempt. Lee remained on his feet. Dijakovic rolled up Lee, but Lee got his feet into the ropes. The ref forced a break. Lee headbutted Dijakovic. Mauro said Bobo Brazil would be happy with those. Lee rested against the top turnbuckle, then climbed to the second rope for a moonsault for a two count. Mauro set expectations high because he said Lee was climbing to the very top. Lee set up a superplex, but Dijakovic countered into a top rope Avalanche Canadian Destroyer for a near fall. Lee kicked out. (Nobody should kick out of that, much less someone Lee’s size.) Dijakovic then landed a top rope moonsault, which Lee no-sold by sitting up out of the cover and cradling Dijakovic, who made a cartoon face in disbelief. Lee stood up and picked up Dijakovic and hoisted him into a fireman’s carry and then landed a Big Bang Catastrophe powerslam for the win. Mauro said the series was tied 1-1 with one double countout.

WINNER: Lee in 17:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This is such a curious strategy to just go relatively cold into a long match without a clear heel or face, and depend on two still relatively green wrestlers by national TV standards to tell their story with big moves only and no promo time. It’s so stripped down and organic, and I’m not sure it works at all starting next week. The idea might be to be known for having a long centerpiece competitive match at the very start “without the b.s.” Dijakovic has to run ropes harder, by the way. That really took me out of the match how softly he ran the ropes. The announcers were a little pushy in terms of talking about how athletic these two are, too. Let the wrestlers tell the story without it being shoved at us how amazing everything is we’re about to see or are seeing. The enthusiastic crowd helped a lot, but the size of the crowd still makes Lee and Dijakovic seem like less than major stars.)

-The announcers then talked about Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae with a Tale of the Tape on the screen. LeRae at 5-2, Baszler at 5-7. LeRae’s style: “Aerial, Speed, Grit.” Baszler’s style: “MMA, Dominance, Submission Specialist.” They replaced “Weight” with “Accolades” for the women. Mauro said they wrestle next week on the first two-hour USA Network episode with “limited commercial interruptions.” Then they shifted to commenting on clips of the show-closing happenings with the Matt Riddle-Killian Dane brawl.

-They showed Matt Riddle warming up backstage. [c]

-A brief vignette aired on The Street Profits who said next Wednesday they’ll become two-time NXT Tag Team Champions by taking what is theirs from Undisputed Era.

(2) DAKOTA KAI vs. TAYNARA

Mauro noted this is Kai first match in 2019 after suffering a torn ACL. Kai won with her DTK finisher.

WINNER: Kai in 2:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Somewhat competitive, but mostly a showcase for Kai of course.)

-Cathy Kelley stood with her back to the arena who announced that G.M. William Regal has breaking news that Kushida and two partners of his choosing would battle Imperium. She said it will be on hour two of “NXT on NXT Net… WWE Network.” [c]

(Keller’s Analysis: Kelley handled her slip-up so well, not panicking but just laughing a little. That’s how people react in a relaxing work environment where little things aren’t made out to be big deals. It is a classy touch that NXT actually puts her name on the screen, unlike WWE which chooses to not only not put names of interviewers on the screen, but not even acknowledge their names verbally.)

-A vignette aired on Johnny Gargano.

-Nigel hyped the NXT Tag Title match next week. Phoenix hyped LeRae challenging Baszler for the NXT Title.

(3) MATT RIDDLE vs. KILLIAN DANE – Street Fight for No. 1 Contendership

Riddle came out first and kicked off his flip-flops when he entered the ring. Then Dane made his way out to the ring. Nigel noted he was raised during the unrest in 1980s Belfast. The bell rang about 38 minutes into the hour. They wrestled mid-ring with moves and countermoves early. Riddle scored a two count after a side suplex. When Dane rolled to the floor, Riddle leaped at him with a forearm and they cut to a break. [c]

Dane was in control after the break. They showed on split screen that Riddle nailed Dane with a kendo stick during the break. Riddle then landed a kneelift, forearm, elbow, and released exploder suplex. He went for a standing moonsault, but Dane moved. He did land two Bro-tons, though, and then connected with a penalty kick for a two count. Riddle landed a victory roll a minute later for a two count. Dane took over and landed his own senton followed by a released powerbomb and elbow for a two count. Riddle countered Dane with an Alabama Slam and then a Floating Bro for a two count at 7:00. He overshot a little. Dane avoided a charging Riddle, who landed at ringside. Dane then dove through the ropes and crashed into Riddle. They brawled at ringside. Riddle threw some roundkicks to Dane’s chest as he sat on a chair. Then he threw the chair onto him and rammed him into some equipment. Dane leaped into Riddle and they crashed through a wall. They cut to another break. [c]

Back live Riddle leaped off a bleacher onto Dane, driving him through a table. Mauro asked who would survive the street fight. They brawled back to ringside. Riddle sat Dane in the front row and kicked him a few more times. Back to the ring, he continued to kick Dane. Back in the ring, Riddle landed a slingshot legdrop for a two count. Riddle held up a chair, but Dane leaped into him and landed on him. He followed up with three Vader Bombs for a near fall. He slammed a chair onto Riddle’s chest and then hit it with a kendo stick. He put a chair on him again and then set up a Vader Bomb. Riddle popped up and hit Dane with a chair to the back, then powerbombed him of the ropes. Riddle threw Dane a chair and then, when he caught it, he kneed the chair into him. He scored a believable near fall that fans loudly counted along to. Riddle sat up and hyperventilated. He put a chair on Dane’s chest and broke a kendo stick against it. Then he hit him with the stick again after it bounced back into his hands. He mounted Dane and pummeled him. Riddle set up a submission, but Dane stood and picked up a chair. Riddle knocked the chair back into Dane and then threw a barrage of strikes at him. Dane punched back. Riddle then applied the Fujiwara armbar. Dane tapped.

WINNER: Riddle in 18:00 to earn an NXT Title match next week on USA Network.

-Adam Cole walked out with his NXT Title belt. He stood over Riddle and told him he isn’t in his league and never will be. “Do you hear me, Riddle?” he asked. Riddle yanked his arm and put him into the Fujiwara armbar. Cole tapped. The rest of Undisputed Era ran out. Riddle fled. Cole held his hand and arm in pain as Riddle’s music played. Phoenix hyped next week’s title match. Nigel plugged the Fish & O’Reilly vs. Street Profits match. Mauro hyped the Baszler vs. LeRae title match.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good first hour. At this point, it’s clear it’s a deliberate strategy to stick with the high ratio of in-ring action and very little talking. It’s a gamble, because promos are such a big part of wrestling – both for entertainment value and to get fans invested in wrestlers’ personalities. The main event match was good, but short of great. Some of the moves, especially early, felt a little orchestrated and pre-planned. Cole vs. Riddle is a big match to “give away” on USA, but it’s among the biggest they could deliver given their roster and everyone’s current positioning. They also strategically focused more on promoting next week’s two hour show than the second hour of this show on WWE Network.)

[HOUR TWO – ON WWE NETWORK]

-Undipsuted Era were in the ring regrouping. They threw to a video replay of what happened.

-The announcers were standing with the crowd as a backdrop. They shifted to talking about The Imperium as a clip aired of what happened last week with them and Kushida.

(1) RHEA RIPLEY vs. KAYDEN CARTER

Ripley went after Carter aggressively early and scored an early soft two count. She then hit a delayed vertical suplex. Mauro, of course, cited Davey Boy Smith. It was good for a two count. Ripley stayed on Carter with some strikes from a mount position. Carter rolled up Ripley for a surprise one count. Ripley came right back, but Carter countered with a rana and then two springboard moves and a back kick for a two count. Nice athletic sequence. Smooth, but believable. Mauro noted that “this is literally Carter’s backyard” because she grew up a few miles from NXT Arena (Full Sail). That’s a big backyard, literally. Ripley then suddenly landed her Riptide finisher (a pump-handle powerbomb) for the win.

WINNER: Ripley in 3:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Ripley has a distinct look and carries herself like a confident star. Strong showing.)

(2) EVER RISE (Chase Parker & Matt Martel) vs. ONEY LORCAN & DANNY BURCH

Viewers heard several times that Parker and Martel have been friends since the third grade. These two teams worked hard from the start with a crisp and consistent action. A few minutes in, Burch rallied and then tagged in Oney. They scored the win after a double-team DDT finisher.

WINNERS: Burch & Lorcan in about 6:00.

-They showed Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green in the front row. The lighting was terrible at first. Phoenix said they’re two rising stars in NXT.

-Mauro said NXT shifts to two hours long on USA Network with limited commercial interruptions next week. They showed Kushida warming up backstage in his red vest jacket. He put on his sunglasses and headed toward the entrance stage. [c]

(3) RAUL MENDOZA vs. CAMERON GRIMES

Grimes strutted out to the ring to his music first. He had a few words for the fans before entering the ring. Mendoza then headed to the ring. Mendoza avoided an early attack by Grimes. Grimes took over with sustained offense as Mauro complimented his high octane offense. Mendoza came back with a crucifix, but Grimes took control again immediately. Mendoza chopped away at Grimes and landed a running round kick to Grimes’s chest. He then landed a springboard dropkick and let out a yell to the crowd. Mendoza then took Grimes down with an avalanche Frankensteiner for a near fall. Grimes took Mendoza down with a roll-up, then hit the leaping double stomp for the win.

WINNER: Grimes in 7:00. [c]

(4) THE IMPERIUM (Fabian Aichner & Alexander Wolfe & Marcel Barthel) vs. KUSHIDA & BREEZANGO (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)

Nigel was disgusted when Breezango revealed themselves. Phoenix said it was genius. If you see Tyler Breeze as undersized relative to other WWE wrestlers, he towers over Kushida here. Kushida took a beating early, but then tagged in Fandango. Imperium took over again. Mauro said they are showing why they’ve become a dominating faction. Wolfe settled into a mid-ring chinlock on Breeze. Breeze built to a hot-tag, but when he crawled over, Barthel intervened. He leaped past Barthel for a tag, but Aichner and Wolfe yanked his partners off the ring apron. They triple-teamed Breeze in the corner as the ref stopped Kushida and Fandango from running into the ring in protest. Breeze finally made the hot-tag to Fandango who took on the heels with rapid-fire chops. He landed a falcon arrow and then ducked a charging Barthel. He followed with a flip dive onto all three of Imperium at ringside. Kushida tagged himself in and landed a springboard missile dropkick on Barthel. He shifted into a cross armbreaker. Wolfe and Aichner broke it up. All six battled. Kushida landed a handspring double heel kick on Wolfe and Aichner, then went after Barthel in the ring. Barthel countered with an uppercut. Kushuda rolled up Barthel for the leverage three count.

WINNERS: Kushida & Breezango to 11:00.

-As Kushida celebrated on the stage, Walter attacked him from behind. Fans chanted “Walter! Walter!” The rest of Imperium joined him on the stage and they struck their pose. Mauro signed off as their music played.


Tonight after NXT TV at the top of the hour, join me live with guest cohost Mike Chiari from Ring Rust Radio to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER NXT
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER NXT

3 Comments on 9/25 NXT on USA & WWE Network Report: Keller’s report on Riddle vs. Killian Dane, Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee, Imperium vs. Kushida & mystery partners

  1. A little harsh on Lee/Dijak, IMO. No one else is mentioning it, but I thought Dijak may have been legit injured or at least rattled when he took the heavy shoulder bump from Lee that sent him over the top rope. He was favoring his shoulder, neck, and jaw, and clearly talking to the ref right after the spot. Then he was kind of stuck there for the next few minutes before they went to commercial. Obviously he recovered and they put on a heck of a match. Agree about Dijak hitting the ropes soft. I’ll take that smaller NXT crowd energy over a larger crowd that is half as invested.

  2. Now if only you would berate most if not all of the women for virtually not running the ropes. Because their gingerly touching the ropes whilst running has been obvious for years.

  3. Watching Dijak and Lee, I couldn’t help but be reminded how WWE has drawn money and eyeballs with Ring of Honor talent that didn’t draw flies in ROH. I don’t think it’s at all unfair to wonder if Sinclair needs to question the people they have in charge of running that business, as they are about to be overrun by NXT, AEW and the revived NWA.
    I’d rather see a smaller enthusiastic crowd than a buliding full of people who are only there because they think they might be seen on TV. The tiny crowd that used to be at the 80s WTBS tapings did far more to get that product over than a building full of people, most of whom neither know about nor care about that which they are watching.

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