Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We are back in Atlanta at the famous Center Stage as the card for Takeover: Philadelphia starts to take shape. Tonight we will be able to add one more title match to that card as Undisputed Era will find out their opponents. Let’s get to the action.
Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
Dozovic and Sabbatelli start it off. Dozovic throws Sabbatelli to the mat, but Sabbatelli comes right back with a dropkick. Dozovic fires up and drops him with a shoulder tackle. He then catches Sabbatelli in mid air and bodyslams him. Avalanche splash in the corner and then Knight tags in. He slingshots over the top rope with a senton. He then gives Sabbatelli a giant swing by his neck. That couldn’t feel good. Moss tags in and Knight gets him in a front face lock. It becomes Moss’ turn for the giant swing by the neck. Dozovic tags in and they belly bump Moss on both sides of his head. Dozovic now busts out The Worm that leads to an elbow drop, no I’m not kidding, and Sabbatelli has to break up a pin. Dozovic picks up Moss but Sabbatelli grabs a leg so Moss can escape and then Moss chop blocks Dozovic. Sabbatelli tags in officially and then they both wear down Dozovic. Moss becomes legal again and Dozovic ends up hitting a belly to back suplex to be able to tag in Knight. He shoulder tackles Moss and then a big hiptoss. Sabbatelli comes in and Knight dropkicks him. Avalanche splash to Moss and then a hiptoss to Sabbatelli. Knight knocks Sabbatelli over the top rope to the floor but Moss hooks the ROLLUP OF DEATH!! with his feet on the ropes and they pick up the win.
Winners: Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
K-Tank’s Take: Not a very good match. I always say that I wish they’d do more with Moss and Sabbatelli. It’s a crowded tag division though, which I understand. I just think they have star potential.
We go to The Undisputed Era who say that ever since they’ve come to NXT, Takeover has been their event. Adam Cole says there are 101 ways to beat Aleister Black and 101 ways to hurt him. He will embarrass Black in Philadelphia. Kyle O’Reilly says everyone wants a shot at the tag titles but this is The Undisputed Era and they’re just all living in it. Bobby Fish says what everyone is competing for is to be dropped by O’Reilly and Fish.
We then go to a Aleister Black video package to hype his match against Adam Cole. He says Cole chose this path. There are clips of old ECW hardcore moments to play up the Extreme Rules in Philly. He says Cole will Fade to Black.
Roderick Strong vs. Fabian Aichner
Solid chain wrestling to start. Aichner drops Strong with a shoulder tackle but Strong comes right back with a leg lariat. Strong catches him with a back elbow and then both men counter each other until Aichner catches Strong in mid air and powerslams him. We go to commercial.
We come back with Aichner locking on an abdominal stretch. Strong gets out but Aicher once again catches him in a huge slam. Aichner looks for a powerbomb but Strong gets out and comes off the ropes with a lariat. Forearm strikes in the corner but Aichner escapes the Angle Slam. Aichner can’t escape a backbreaker though and Strong gets a two count. Aichner comes back with an European uppercut and then a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Aichner tries a springboard move but Strong catches him and lands another backbreaker. Strong locks on his version of the Lion Tamer, The Strong Hold, and Aichner has to tap out.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Post match, Roddy grabs a mic and says that last week someone came out here looking for a fight. Roddy says he feels the same way. Roddy has gone through all of his opponents just like he has. He then quotes Lars Sullivan from last week about being a force, but a force he wants to destroy. Roddy wants Lars.
K-Tank’s Take: Seems odd that Lars called out Killian Dain but Roddy calls out Lars. Roddy doesn’t seem destined for the NXT Title anymore so I guess it’s going to be storylines & feuds like this. Hopefully he’s not just fed to Sullivan like everyone else.
The return of TM61 is immenent. After a year away due to Shane Thorne’s injury, they are looking to come back and we get a video package to learn more about the team on where they met and where they come from in Australia. It takes us through their time in Japan and next week there will be a part two. I love when they do these profile pieces.
Aliyah vs. Lacey Evans
Both women show creative ways to escape a wrist lock. Aliyah with a double leg takedown and then comes back with a forearm and a crucifix pin. Evans kicks out. Evans ends up on the apron and rakes Aliyah’s face over the top rope. Evans comes in with a slingshot elbow drop and Aliyah kicks out of a pin. Evans with a nice submission in the corner that the ref makes her release and then she comes back with a propelling Bronco Buster. Aliyah tries to fight back and lands a uppercut and then comes off the second rope with a clothesline. She lands a northern lights suplex but Evans kicks out. Evans reverses the momentum with a jawjacker and then decks Aliyah with a right hand out of nowhere as Aliyah came charging. She goes for a pin and that right hand was enough to get the three.
Winner: Lacey Evans
Post match, Lacey gets a mic and asks how Regal can let the bottom of the barrel walk around the women’s division in NXT. It’s time for a sophisticated and powerful woman like herself to take over the division. Maybe she’ll start with the psychopath Nikki Cross, or Ember Moon, or the lousy pirate… as she’s speaking, Shayna Baszler comes out. Lacey thinks better of it and leaves without issue. Shayna goes to the ring and goes right to choke out Aliyah. Ember Moon’s music hits and she charges the ring. Shaya lets go and walks away. Ember grabs the mic and says that if Shayna wants to bully someone, she dares Shaya and try that with her. She wants to do this right here and now. Shayna says she doesn’t have her gear and she’ll do it when the title on is on the line. Ember says she’ll do it anytime, anywhere. The title will be on the line and Shayna better not forget her gear because Ember is coming to beat her ass. Shayna says the time and place will be Philadelphia and walks off.
K-Tank’s Take: I like a lot about Lacey. I think she’s got the look and the character down. She just needs more opportunities. The women’s division is getting crowded but there’s still opportunity there. I’m just surprised that Bianca Belair hasn’t been featured more lately. As for Baszler and Ember Moon, that’s no surprise they would go immediately to that match.
We then go to William Regal for his reaction to what just happened. He says it’s not what he wants but if Ember is asking for it, he will agree to her request. So at Takeover, it will be Ember Moon defending against Shayna Baszler. Zelina Vega now shows up and says that Velveteen Dream had a good idea last week as he deserves a title shot way more than Johnny Gargano does. So Gargano should have to put his #1 contender’s spot on the line against Velveteen Dream. Regal says he would advise Gargano against that. Vega says of course he would because he knows Gargano is a loser and can’t win. If Regal wants to subject Gargano to the most embarrassing match in NXT history, she and Almas will do it.
We then go to a quick vignette for No Way Jose, who says 2017 was full of ups and down but 2018 will be his year and will be the world’s longest conga line. It starts next week.
Now back at ringside and Johnny Gargano comes to the ring without music. He grabs a mic and he says he just saw what Regal and Vega were saying. He says he hears everyone talking about him behind his back. They all doubt his ability to beat Almas. He is done being doubted around. He is not a broken man or a loser. He is not a fluke. It’s his time and opportunity and no one will stop him. Velveteen Dream wants the #1 contender spot on the line? Next week, he’s got it. For the first time in a long time, he knows who he is. He’s Johnny Gargano and he’s Johnny freaking Wrestling. He’s the next NXT Champion.
K-Tank’s Take: Quickly on No Way Jose, I do hope there’s a renewed push for him. He’s an easy character to get behind and should always have something to do. As for Gargano, that promo was outstanding. Great fire and passion. He needed a promo like that, heading into the title match.
#1 Contender’s Match
The Street Profits vs. The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering)
New gear for The Profits, which is a small thing but also makes this match feel important, which it should. Only 8 minutes left in the show, which does not make this match feel important and that’s a shame. Akam and Montez Ford start out and Akam immediately shows his power advantage. Ford gets caught in mid air and Akam drops him over the top turnbuckle in his corner as Rezar tags in and they double team Ford. Quick tags by AOP as they rain down forearms and punches. Akam with a full nelson submission, which Akam eventually just turns into a full nelson slam. Ford is able to kick out of a pin. More quick tags as the beat down continues. We go to commercial.
We return with more of the same as Akam is destroying Ford. Rezar tags in and hooks a front face lock. Ford works his ass off to make a tag finally and Dawkins comes in and takes out both members of AOP. He hits a big back elbow on Rezar and then his 360 avalanche splash. Dawkins gets Rezar up in a spinebuster as Ford comes off the top rope with a HIGH missile dropkick. Akam breaks up the pin. Akam lariats Dawkins to lay him out and now it’s time for the Super Collider. They pick up Ford for The Last Chapter and that’ll do it.
Winners: Authors of Pain
That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Take: I do not like that match at all. There was no reason to decimate the Street Profits like that. They had a lot of momentum and had built up some popularity and now you’ve told the fans they’re nowhere near on the level of a team like AOP. I think that match needed more time and more for the Profits. I get that you want to continue to make AOP look strong, but with a crowded division, you need more teams to look strong. It’s two, maybe three, top heavy teams and then the rest are just kinda there.
Next week will be our go home show before Takeover, so until next time… don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me.