WWE NXT Spotlight: 12/12/18 By Kurt Zamora (Ricochet vs. Tyler Breeze)

Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. 2018 is coming to a close with only 3 episodes left in the year. It’s been a gold standard year for the brand, with some of the best Takeover events ever. There are plenty of rivalries that seem they’ll carry over into 2019 as we look forward to the next Takeover event in January. We have a North American Title Match tonight, but we don’t know the opponent yet. Let’s see what we have in store tonight!

Our show kicks off with the Undisputed Era making their way to the ring. All I want for Christmas is some Kyle O’Reilly air guitar with the tag title. Adam Cole leads off with the mic and says that tonight they start the holidays early. Bobby Fish will embarrass the Top 1% of morons, EC3. EC3 was stupid enough to think going to NXT would elevate his career to new heights. He found out though that NXT is their world. The Undisputed Era is at the center of the NXT universe. Everything revolves around them. 2018 was not a career year for them, it was the start of a decade of dominance. That’s a fact. He’s going to make a promise right now. In 2019, the 4 of them will be draped in NXT gold. That’s not a threat, that’s just undisputed.

Bobby Fish vs. EC3

EC3 makes his way to the ring after Cole’s promo and it’s time for our opening match. Fish starts out by ducking EC3 and rolling to the floor. EC3’s knee is taped up to sell the attack from a couple weeks back. EC3 eventually hiptosses Fish back into the ring and then attacks him in the corner. Fish tries a single leg takedown but EC3 blocks him off and then unloads with a strong powerbomb on Fish. Cactus clothesline by EC3 sends them both over the top rope to the floor. EC3 with some loud chops in the corner and then a hiptoss. The Era jump on the apron for the distraction and that allows Fish to chop block EC3’s bad knee. Kicks to the spine by Fish.

Fish working EC3 over in the corner and then does a dragonscrew to the good knee of EC3. Fish works over the taped knee, EC3 kicks him off but when he gets up, Fish catches him in an exploder suplex for two. EC3 gets up and counters a Fish hold into a vertical suplex. EC3 with a fury of punches. EC3 whips him into the opposite ropes, not sure what happened but Fish’s neck caught the top rope really awkwardly and completely stopped his momentum. Awkward transition there but EC3 bodyslams Fish and then goes for his running elbow drop that he’s now calling The Name Drop apparently. The Era back on the apron and EC3 knocks them off. Fish again chop blocks the knee and tries for a single leg crab, but EC3 turns it into an inside cradle and he steals a win with it!

Winner: EC3

The Era come into the ring immediately and it’s a 4 on 1 attack. Heavy Machinery’s music hits and here they come ready for a fight. They clear the ring of everyone except O’Reilly, which they help EC3 set him up for the One Percenter. EC3 tells Otis to go for The Worm, which he obliges, and drops a big elbow on O’Reilly for good measure.

K-Tank’s Take: As I said last week, it looks like War Raiders injuries seem legit and insert Heavy Machinery now. I like Heavy Machinery and think the fans in Full Sail like them too. I wouldn’t expect any type of title changes though. I liked Cole’s prediction before the match of everyone in the Era holding NXT gold. I hope that happens and I hope they stay together in NXT for awhile.

We go to Dakota Kai and Io Sharai outside the arena. They’re asked about their interaction with the Horsewomen of NXT. Dakota says they won’t stand for being pushed around anymore. Io says she’s standing up for her friend and there’s only one thing they can do. They’re challenging Shafir and Duke to a tag match next week.

We get a recap of two weeks ago when The Mighty attacked Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch after their match. Which sets up the rematch next.

Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. The Mighty

The Mighty get literally no reaction. I don’t think this heel turn has gone how they hoped. The match starts with all four men immediately brawling. Everyone but Lorcan goes to the floor, and he joins them shortly by doing a kamakaze dive over the top rope onto his opponents. Lorcan throws Thorne back in the ring and hits a back elbow in the corner. Thorne tries a hurricanrana but Lorcan catches him and powerbombs instead. Lorcan goes for a single leg but Miller breaks it up. Lorcan chops him out of the ring but Thorne comes from behind with a Saito suplex.

Miller tags in legally now and hits a clothesline in the corner, followed by a good looking spinebuster. The Mighty try to double team Lorcan in the corner but he escapes and tags in Burch. Burch with a Thesz press on Thorne. Step up enziguris to both opponents and then goes to the second rope with a front dropkick on Thorne. Lorcan tags in and they set up for the Doomsday Device, but Thorne slides out. Thorne hits both opponents and then Miller shows up with a tag team tower of doom on Lorcan. Burch breaks up the pin. The Mighty tries Thunder Valley but Burch breaks it up. Miller with a powerslam on Lorcan and then Thorne steps up on Miller for more momentum on his cannonball in the corner on Burch. They try Thunder Valley once more but Lorcan escapes and turns it into a double DDT this time. Lorcan and The Mighty are exchanging hard slaps, but Lorcan ducks one and Miller hits Thorne by accident. Burch tags in as Lorcan sends Miller into the ringpost. They set Thorne up for the double team elevated DDT and that gets the win.

Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

K-Tank’s Take: That was a really good match for the time they were given. Lorcan and Burch don’t know how to have a bad match in my opinion. The Mighty, as I said, don’t have much going for them. It’s a shame, but they can still have good matches.

We get a recap of the end of last week’s episode between Ciampa, Black, & Gargano. Next week will be the steel cage match between Black and Gargano. We then go to comments from Gargano. Gargano says that Black thought he had ended things at Takeover by absolving Gargano of his sins. The problem is, Gargano didn’t sin. He did nothing wrong. The ends justified the means. If a guy had to be jumped in the parking lot for Gargano to fulfill his promise of being NXT champion, then Black was just wrong place, wrong time. He’s not afraid of Aleister. You can lock him in a cage with the devil himself and he’ll do what he has to, to ensure this story ends the right way. Next week, he doesn’t just turn the page, he closes the book on Aleister Black.

We get another Dijakovic vignette. It’s time to feast our eyes next week.

Now we go to The Horsewomen backstage. Shayna is asked about the Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match. Shayna says if they all have 2 arms and 2 legs, the title match will end the same way no matter who is the #1 contender. Shafir and Duke are asked about the challenge Sharai and Kai issued and they just laughed. Shayna says she can assure anyone they’re up to the challenge.

We find out that Lacey Evans is the 2nd participant in the Fatal Four Way as she won a qualifying match at a live event last weekend.

#1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Qualifying Match
Mia Yim vs. Reina Gonzalez

Gonzalez was in the Mae Young Classic for those unfamiliar. Very tall woman. Mia tries to end it quick with a mounted choke. Gonzalez tries to turn it into a suplex but Mia counters back into the choke. Gonzalez doing all she can to avoid it, but Mia keeps going back to it. Gonzalez finally does suplex Mia over the top rope to cut her off. Gonzalez with a clothesline to the back of the head and then a running boot to the face. Mia kicks out at 1. Gonzalez with a standing backbreaker. Mia somehow escapes and pulls Gonzalez throat first into the ropes. Mia with a lot of chops. Multiple kicks and strikes by Mia. She goes for a Pele kick and Gonzalez doesn’t quite go down yet, so Mia gets up and hooks up Sole Food and that brings her down and gets the win.

Winner: Mia Yim Qualifies for the #1 Contenders’ Fatal 4-Way

K-Tank’s Take: Basic match, not much to it. I’m all for Mia Yim victories though.

We go to a pre-produced promo for Aleister Black. He says what he finds interesting about the human race, is everything they do revolves around how they’re feeling. Everyone asks him how he feels about his match with Johnny Gargano. How does he feel about being in a steel cage? He doesn’t feel anything. He simply has to do this. It’s come to his attention that Gargano is far beyond redemption. The only thing to do to him is total annihilation. When that moment is here, there will be no escape. It will be just Gargano and everything he’s ever done, fading to black.

North American Title Match
Ricochet vs. Tyler Breeze

After the champ makes his way to the wing, it’s time for everyone to find out who William Regal found to accept the open challenge. “Oh my God, it’s Tyler!” Full Sail goes nuts as the one and only Tyler Breeze makes his return to NXT. This is full on NXT Tyler as well, old theme song, old phone case, and old attire. It’s great to see. There’s a little under 13 minutes left in the show as the bell rings.

Huge “Welcome back!” chants from the crowd. They stall for a minute and then eventually tie up. Tyler gets the advantage with an arm drag and then poses on the top turnbuckle as he’s happy with that result. They come back together and Ricochet with a side headlock. Breeze escapes and Ricochet leapfrogs over him. Ricochet with his handstand headscissor takedown and then a picture perfect dropkick that sends Breeze to the floor. Breeze quickly gets back in the ring before Ricochet can follow up. Breeze with a body scissors that turns into a single leg crab. Ricochet quickly to the ropes. Breeze with a kick but Ricochet comes at him with a rolling clothesline. Breeze back to the floor. Ricochet goes for a dive but catches himself on the apron. Kick to the face of Breeze and then he jumps off the apron but Breeze catches him with a dropkick in mid air.

Breeze gets him back in the ring and stomps away at Ricochet in the corner. The ref pulls him off after a count of 4 and Breeze yells at him not to touch Breeze. That popped the crowd. Breeze puts Ricochet on the top turnbuckle but Ricochet fights him off. Ricochet blocks a back body drop with a big kick, followed by a front dropkick. Ricochet with strikes in the corner and then tries a 619 but Breeze moves. Breeze tries a German suplex but Ricochet lands on his feet. They go to the opposite corner and Ricochet is able to land his 619 there. Ricochet springboards off the top rope and lands an European uppercut. Standing shooting star press and Breeze kicks out at two.

Ricochet back to the top rope and goes for a Phoenix splash but Breeze moves. Ricochet lands on his feet. Both men start trading punches. Both men going for the same moves. Ricochet blocks the Supermodel Kick and then both men come off the ropes and hit each other with a cross body. Both men trading blows one more time. Both men counter each other suplex attempts multiple times. Ricochet with a back elbow and then tries a Lionsault but Breeze moves. Ricochet lands on his feet but turns right around into a Supermodel Kick. Breeze immediately lands a reverse hurricanrana after that, goes for a pin, but Ricochet kicks out at the last moment.

Both men slowly to their feet and meet in the middle. Breeze with a kick to the gut and now punches. He sets up for the Supermodel kick but Ricochet lands a pump kick instead. Breeze comes right back with step up knee strike and then an enziguri. Breeze goes for the Beauty Shot but Ricochet catches him and turns it into a high angle Michinoku Driver, crossing the legs as he brings Breeze down into a pinning predicament and that gets the win.

Winner: Ricochet

Post match, Ricochet doesn’t waste time wanting to shake Breeze’s hand after he gets up, to which Breeze accepts. Ricochet leaves the ring to Breeze as our show comes to an end.

K-Tank’s Take: I love the fact that someone like Tyler can come back to NXT and no matter what they’ve done to him on Raw, it’s like he never left NXT and he’s immediately a big deal and taken seriously. I would love to see him stay in NXT, but I think this was just a one time match for fun. His Breezango partner, Fandango, has been at the PC recently finishing his rehab for the shoulder injury. This was a fun match that I would’ve love seeing a few more minutes of.

That’s it for this week. Next week promises to be huge with the steel cage main event. So until next time…don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me.