Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We had to take a week off as I was on vacation and John was fighting the good fight with a loaded week of two PPV’s and 2 TV shows, so he didn’t have time to get around to NXT. There was a lot that went on last week, so let’s do a quick recap. Nikki Cross defeated Mercedes Martinez, The Street Profits defeated The Mighty in the feud that will never end, Matt Riddle had his debut and defeated Luke Menzies BRO, and then William Regal announced our War Games match will be all 4 members of Undisputed Era taking on War Raiders, Pete Dunne, & Ricochet. It’s great to see War Games go back to a 4 on 4 traditional style match. That should be absolutely fantastic. So now with two shows left before Takeover, the card is starting to take shape and it looks to be yet another loaded card. Let’s see what else transpires this week!
Heavy Machinery vs. Forgotten Sons
Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake are going for Forgotton Sons tonight. Cutler still wearing the mask to protect a broken nose he suffered recently. Cutler and Knight start the match. Knight with a strong takedown and then just overpowering Cutler. Cutler manages to escape and get Knight to their corner. Quick tags begin for the Sons as they work over Knight. Knight ducks a double clothesline and takes out both guys with a cross body. Otis tags in and they do a super collider but with bodyslams instead of powerbombs. Otis with a splash in the corner on Cutler. Which leads to Otis doing The Worm with an elbow drop at the end. Blake gets taken out on the apron, but Otis then turns around into a Flatliner from Cutler. Big lariat from Blake on Otis. The Sons now working over the left arm of Otis. Blake with a legdron on the apron on the exposed arm. Blake tries an armbar submission, which Otis rolls over on and it ends up being a triangle choke. Otis looks to fade but then powers Blake up into a one armed powerbomb.
Cutler tags in, but he can’t prevent Knight from getting the tag. Knight is all over Cutler in the corner. Knight ends up going to the top rope and lands a somersault senton on a standing Cutler. Blake makes a blind tag as Cutler hits a backstabber. Cutler holds Knight in that position as Blake comes off the top rope with an elbow drop. That only gets a two count. Cutler gets Knight back up on the top rope and comes off with a superplex, and then Blake jumps off the near top turnbuckle with a crossbody. Otis is able to break up that pin. All four men are briefly in the ring, then Otis and Blake go to the outside as Knight tries a couple quick pins on Cutler. Lot of chaos in the ring as Heavy Machinery tries the Compactor. Blake prevents it and Cutler lands another backstabber on Otis. Cutler goes to the top rope, but Knight pushes him off and he lands on Jaxson Ryker. In the ring, Otis tosses Blake high in the air with a massive pop-up World’s Strongest Slam, and that gets a win for Heavy Machinery.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
K-Tank’s Take: This was a much more fun match than I expected. I don’t like Forgotten Sons losing already, but at least it was competitive and their offense looked really good yet again. Perhaps this feud will continue much like Street Profits and The Mighty.
We go to footage from last week where a darker Candice LaRae confronts Nikki Cross in the ring, asking why she was ever involved with the Johnny Gargano situation. Aleister Black came in and then confronted Candice himself, wanting to know where her husband was. We then go outside the PC “earlier today”, where she’s asked about Johnny’s mindset. She says she didn’t come here to be exploited. She wants to keep everything between herself and Johnny. She has questions for Nikki though. She’s here to ask for a match with Nikki and we’ll see if she’s laughing once Candice is done with her.
Now we go to Shayna Baszler, who is with Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke, her fellow Four Horsewomen buddies. They debuted at Evolution to help Baszler regain her NXT Women’s Title. Shayna is asked about what happens with Kairi asks for her rematch. Shayna wants to know how many times she has to beat down Kairi to have people understand how insignificant she is? William Regal shows up and lets Shayna know that Kairi has in fact invoked her rematch and that will take place at War Games. And due to their history together, Regal has decided that needs to be a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Dakota Kai vs. Taynara Conti
Both women try to get the advantage early, with both reversing the other’s offense. Dakota picks up some steam after Conti tries trash talking her. Exploder suplex, followed by a running dropkick. Dakota avoids Conti in the corner and goes for a rollup pin but Conti kicks out. Dakota once again avoids Conti in the corner, but as Dakota tries jumping over Conti, Conti kicks Dakota right in the wrist, which allows her to take advantage of the match. Two Judo tosses by Conti and then a stiff kick right in the face of Dakota. Dakota is able to kick out at two. Conti tries to get Dakota to submit with a top wrist lock. Conti misses a splash in the corner after Dakota is able to escape. Dakota with a back kick to gain some separation. A trio of kicks from Dakota and then a face wash in the corner. This sets up for Dakota’s running face wash as Conti gets up. Dakota comes off the ropes and connects with her sunset flip backstabber for the win. Nigel says they’re calling it the Kai-ropractor.
Winner: Dakota Kai
K-Tank’s Take: Solid match for what it was. Not sure that Dakota fits in future title plans, but she’s always fun to watch in the ring.
We go to Mia Yim backstage. She’s asked about her time at NXT so far. She says it’s literally a dream come true. She works at the PC and works with the best of the best. Bianca Belair interrupts and Mia asks if there’s a problem. Bianca wants to know why Mia is being the one interviewed when Bianca has been here for two years and is still un-de-fea-ted. She wants her title shot and doesn’t think Mia deserves any opportunities. Mia says that isn’t her problem and all she knows is that “The EST” hasn’t beat the “HBIC”, Head Baddie in Charge. Bianca dismisses that before walking off.
We go to a recap of Matt Riddle’s debut last week. Looks like he had everything he’s known for on the indies, including winning with the Bro-Mission. Afterwards, we go to Riddle with Keith Lee after the win, where they run into Kassius Ohno. Ohno talks about liking shiny new toys because they’re easy to break.
Next, there’s a long but very well done video package hyping up War Games. It shows how the first one went last year and how we got to our matchup this year between Undisputed Era and Ricochet/Dunne/War Raiders.
Then, it’s time for Johnny Gargano’s first comments after being revealed as Aleister’s attacker. He’s outside Full Sail, recording this himself. Everyone is asking him why. He’s always been open, so since they asked, he will tell. Aleister talks about a path he’s on, but Gargano is on a path too. He’s standing currently on the path where he took out Black. Taking out Black leads to a one on one opportunity, and it was supposed to be Gargano defeating Ciampa for the NXT title. Black got in the way, collateral damage. It’s nothing personal. He thinks Black should appreciate that considering how Black acts like he runs the place. Black Mass everywhere and no one bats an eye. Black says no man is truly good or truly evil. Gargano feels bad for Black. Gargano knows exactly who he is, he’s the good guy and the hero at the end of this story. He does one little thing that MAY be considered evil, and everyone freaks out. He’s here to calm everyone down though, he’s still the same Johnny Gargano as he’s always been. He still fights for what’s right. What he’s learned around here though, is that you have to fight a litle dirty sometimes. So that’s why Aleister. Aleister probably wants to kick Gargano’s head off now. Gargano accepts that. But Gargano is no scared. He lives in a dark, dark place now and he’s starting to kinda like it. He ends at the exact spot he left Black laying and tells Black that he will leave him laying again at War Games.
K-Tank’s Take: This was a REALLY well done promo by Gargano that really helped get into his mindset. Is he a heel? That’s for you to decide. Very interested to see the crowd reaction at War Games for him. Everything he said makes sense.
Next week will be Bianca Belair vs Mia Yim. Also, William Regal announces that one member from each War Games team will go one on one next week, with the winner gettin the important numbers advantage in War Games.
Lars Sullivan vs. The Velveteen Dream
13 minutes left in the show as the bell rings. Dream comes out firing as soon as the bell rings, but Lars picks him up and drills him into the turnbuckles. Lars picks up Dream in a back suplex but instead just tosses him across the ring. Lars tries for a powerbomb but Dream fights out. Dream with a big boot and then a running forearm that sends Lars to the floor. Dream with a slingshot splash over the top rope to the floor. Dream sends Lars face first into the steel steps. Dream breaks the count out attempt but Lars drags him back to the floor. Lars with a back suplex onto the corner of the apron. Dream’s back hits hard. Back in the ring and Dream with a running avalanche splash in the corner. Lars once again just tosses Dream across the ring. Big crossface strike by Lars. Dream tries a sunset flip but Lars just grabs him back to his feet and another big crossface that sends Dream inside out. Lars gets a two count. Lars whips Dream into the corner and Dream flips hard over the top rope to the floor. Dream gets back in and after a long nerve hold, lands a jaw jacker on Lars. Dream with a few punches and a couple big boots. Lars pops up Dream but Dream comes down with a dropkick. Dream goes to the top rope and another dropkick for a two count. Dream wants his Cartwheel DVD but can’t get him up. Lars gets on his feet and grabs Dream for a pop-up powerslam. Dream kicks out at two.Lars now going to the top rope but Dream superkicks him. Dream tries for a superplex but Lars fights it off. Dream sent to the mat and Lars wants his diving headbutt, but Dream moves at the last second. Dream sends Lars shoulder first into the ringpost and then hits the Cartwheel DVD. Dream going to the top rope for the Purple Rainmaker, but here comes Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa distracts Dream, who ends up jumping down on the champ and taking him out. Dream rolls into the ring, but Lars picks him up and drops him with the Freak Accident for the 3 count.
Winner: Lars Sullivan
Post match, Lars is happy with his work as the champ comes into the ring. Ciampa is also happy with his work, but he’s not done as he attacks Dream. He yells at Dream that he does not share his spotlight or his main event. Ciampa is all over Dream. He lays out his NXT title and then looks for a Fairy Tale Ending on it. Dream slides out, lands a superkick, and then hits his twisting DDT on the title instead. Dream goes to the top rope and wants to hit a Purple Rainmaker, but all the NXT refs show up and stop him from doing it. Dream looks like he’s leaving, but then decides to sprint back to the top rope and this time he comes off with the elbow drop and drills Ciampa. Dream grabs the title and poses with it as the crowd goes nuts for him.
K-Tank’s Take: The crowd has bought in hook, line, sinker on Dream being a babyface. I’m not sure if the plans Afterward long term for him to stay this way, but the crowd definitely don’t want to boo him and are happy to be allowed to cheer him. He works either way, but I’m sure he’s more natural as a heel. I think he and Ciampa are going to have one hell of a match. Lars continues to look strong.
That’s it for this week! Next week is the final episode before Takeover, so we’ll be here to recap that and have our Takeover Preview as well! Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.