Welcome one and all to a festive edition of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. NXT had dropped us off a gift of an episode with two huge title matches. Both the UK and Tag Titles are on the line tonight. Bate vs. Dunne III, need I say more? Let’s get right to it!
NXT Tag Title Match
Sanity (c) vs. The Undisputed Era
Sanity is using the Freebird Rule apparently as Killian Dain is replacing Alexander Wolfe. I would guess Wolfe might not be cleared yet from War Games. Both duos come by themselves, no one at ringside. Bobby Fish and Dain start the match. Both Fish and O’Reilly try to kick out the legs from Dain but to no avail. Fish mounds Dain with a sleeper but gets disposed of and then Dain follows with a clothesline that sends Fish to the outside. O’Reilly tags in after some stalling but gets an avalanche splash from Dain and then EY tags in. They double team O’Reilly and EY goes for a pin but O’Reilly kicks out. EY escapes a leg lock and forces O’Reilly to the outside. EY ducks a Fish kick and gets O’Reilly back in the ring. EY attacks O’Reilly on the apron but Fish comes by and sweeps the legs out from under EY. We go to commercial.
We come back to Fish in control and then tags in O’Reilly. They hit a double snap suplex but EY kicks out of a pin. EY and O’Reilly trade blows until O’Reilly catches him with a leg sweep and then goes for another pin but EY kicks out. EY fights out of a wear down hold but then gets caught with a knee and is placed on the top rope. EY fights off an attack and comes off the second rope but O’Reilly is waiting with a knee lift to the face. EY bounces right back with a neckbreaker. Fish tags in and goes after Dain. That allows Undisputed Era to double team EY. O’Reilly back in and gets dumped to the outside. EY kicks Fish and then low bridges him to the outside. EY finally gets the hot tag as O’Reilly comes back in. Dain manhandles them both. Multiple avalanche splashes in the corner. He dropkicks Fish while landing a senton splash on O’Reilly. Michinoku Driver on O’Reilly, who lands on Fish. EY tags in and he powerbombs O’Reilly as Fish low bridges Dain to the floor. EY goes to the top rope but Adam Cole shows up and crotches him on the turnbuckle as the ref wasn’t looking. EY manages to kick out of a pin still though. Nikki Cross now shows up and she jumps on Adam Cole and lays into him. Refs show up and drag her away while Cole is allowed to stay apparently. O’Reilly and EY are legal. EY with a leaping neckbreaker on O’Reilly but he kicks out. Dain is on the outside and goes after Cole but Cole sends him into the ringpost. EY dives through the ropes and takes out Cole but as he comes back in, he’s taken out with Fish & O’Reilly’s version of Total Elimination and 1-2-3, New champs!!!
Winners: New NXT Tag Team Champions, The Undisputed Era
K-Tank’s Take: A solid but not all that great tag match, especially when a title change took place. Not a surprising result after what took place at War Games. Sanity didn’t have that memorable of a title reign specifically, but as an entity, they have gotten far more important to the brand since winning the titles so the reign wasn’t a failure. Rumors are that War Machine are on their way to NXT so look for them to be a challenger right away.
We go to a video package for Roderick Strong as he is in the last #1 contender’s qualifying match tonight.
The Shayna Baszler vignette plays.
We go outside Full Sail to Heavy Machinery taking a look at the Maserati of Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss. It’s a great car but why is every tag team enamored with it? Sabbatelli and Moss come out and mock them about never having a car like that. A lot of trash talking ensues and Dozovic challenges them to a fight right there but of course, Sabbatelli and Moss just leave in the car.
We get a recap of two weeks ago where Sonya Deville defeated Ruby Riott in the No Holds Barred match. We go to Sonya in the Performance Center who says she’s going to defeat Ember Moon next week for the Women’s title. Ember has never beaten her and in fact, Ember took Sonya’s win in the triple threat match after Sonya had Riott in the ankle lock. So she’s going to show Ember why she’s rightfully the champ.
We get a vignette for Lars Sullivan, who will be Roderick Strong’s opponent.
We get a recap of Aleister Black’s victory over Adam Cole last week to claim the 3rd spot in the #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way.
#1 Contender’s Qualifying Match
Lars Sullivan vs. Roderick Strong
Roddy comes out firing as soon as the bell rings. Massive shots from Roddy but he can’t get Lars down. He goes for an Angle Slam but that fails. Roddy still firing off until he comes off the ropes and is turned inside out with a lariat. Big knee to the ribs by Lars. Lars lays in a forearm to the spine of Roddy. Avalanche splash in the corner and then gets Roddy up in a back suplex and then just throws him across the ring. He goes for a pin but Roddy kicks out. Roddy tries to kick his way back into the match but Lars catches him in a bearhug. Roddy fights his way out and lands a leg lariat but Lars still won’t go down. Lars ends up getting caught in the ropes after missing a boot and Roddy goes back and forth with multiple forearm smashes. Lars is on the apron and lands a clubbing blow to Roddy. Lars goes to the top rope but Roddy meets him up there and superplexes him down! Roddy goes for a pin but Lars kicks out easily. Roddy can’t believe it. Roddy with a couple jumping knee strikes but Lars right back with a clothesline. Roddy manages to land an Angle Slam but Lars again kicks out. Another knee strike but as Roddy comes off the ropes, Lars catches him with the pop-up powerslam. Lars follows that up with the Freak Accident, his new name for the urinagi/spinebuster finisher and he puts away Roddy with it.
Winner: Lars Sullivan
K-Tank’s Take: Not a big fan of this result. The announcers tried playing it up that no one has taken Lars that far, which is probably true, but never once did I feel Roddy was close to winning and I think that’s a disservice to Roddy. I know what they’re trying to do for Lars, but they could’ve given Roddy more considering how much they’ve put into him in recent months. Now that the Fatal 4 Way is set, I think Black is the favorite.
We see the footage of The Street Profits outside Full Sail from last week.
Next week will be the Fatal 4 Way match to name a new #1 contender.
We go to Tyler Bate backstage who is asked about his UK Title shot tonight. He says this has gone back almost a year now. First in January when he won the title and then at Takeover: Chicago when Pete Dunne took the title from him. Tonight is his night.
WWE UK Title Match
Pete Dunne (c) vs. Tyler Bate
For those that come here for the scoops, Bate has grown a full beard and gone away from just the mustache. We’ll see if that works in his favor tonight. In all seriousness though, I cannot wait to see what these guys do and after a commercial, as the big match introductions take place, we still have 25 minutes left! 25! Armbar from Dunne and right away goes to the fingers to bend them the wrong way. Now he goes to the wrist but that allows Bate to escape and reverse it. Dunne then turns it into a headscissors. Bate has a clever way to escape and just waves at Dunne as both men regroup. Dunne gets the advantage on a test of strength and turns it into a standing surfboard. Bate again cleverly escapes and dropkicks Dunne. Very methodical pace to start. Dunne goes back to his joint manipulation as Bate fights from underneath. Bate bridges out of Dunne’s hold but catches a kick to the ribs. Bate fakes a right hand and nails Dunne with a left. He goes for a pin but it’s not enough this early. Bate tries to get Dunne off the ropes and Dunne lands a massive forearm smash and then a hell of a chop. Bate with a knee lift and then comes off the second rope with a European uppercut. Both men go to the floor and Dunne lands another forearm smash. Dunne tries to stomp on Bate’s fingers on the steel steps but Bate reverses it and stomps on Dunne’s fingers. Dunne manages to come right back though and suplexes Bate off the steps onto the floor. Both men back in the ring and Dunne paintbrushes Bate before hooking on a headlock. Bate gets to the ropes and both men trade shots until Dunne hits another forearm smash. Dunne gets Bate’s arm in an awkward position and stomps on the triceps area. Bate sells it like Dunne just dislocated a finger. Dunne does it again and as the ref goes to check on Bate, Dunne can just shrug and say “oh well”. Funny moment while not trying to be funny.
Dunne stomps away at the face of Bate and Bate is bleeding from the ear. Bate tells Dunne to bring it and then catches him in an exploder suplex. Bate with a running European uppercut, lands a second one, and then tries to suplex Dunne. Dunne tries to turn into his suplex toss but Bate lands on his feet and turns it into a standing shooting star press. He then deadlifts Dunne with a back suplex. He goes for a pin but Dunne kicks out. Dunne with a punch and Bate with a rolling kick. Bate tries the Tyler Driver 97 but Dunne turns it into a triangle choke. Bate with a deadlift powerbomb but Dunne does not let go. Bate deadlifts him once more and carries Dunne into the ropes, where he slingshots Dunne’s face into the top rope. Great way to break that hold. It’s airplane spin time! 3 long cycles before Bate finally drops him and goes for a pin but Dunne still kicks out. Dunne with tremendous facials making it look like he may vomit. He’s on the apron and Bate gets up on the second rope and somehow brings Dunne over the top rope with an exploder suplex! Dunne kicks out! Dunne gets up and lays in numerous boots to the face. Bate recovers quickly and turns the tables. Dunne somehow grabs Bate in The Bitter End though but Bate kicks out! Dunne with a step up enziguri but Bate comes back with a massive lariat which in turn makes Dunne come back with a massive lariat of his own! Both men are slow to get to their feet and now are just throwing straight punches. Bate finally throws a knockout right hand but he can’t go for a pin as that’s his hurt hand from earlier. Dunne is able to get to the apron, where Bate ends up joining him. Left hand from Bate, forearm from Dunne, and then a rolling kick from Bate. Both men back in the ring and Bate goes to the top rope for a splash but Dunne catches him in midair with a forearm smash. Dunne with a suplex into a sitout powerbomb and Bate still kicks out! Both men on the floor and Dunne tries to get Bate back in but Bate comes back with another lariat on the floor. The ref is counting out Dunne and it doesn’t look like he’ll get in by 10, so Bate goes for broke and breaks the count with a dive over the top rope. He throws Dunne in quickly, nails the Tyler Driver 97, and Dunne still kicks out! Wow! Bate goes back to the top rope and barely lands a corkscrew senton splash. Dunne tried rolling out of the way but Bate landed a little of it. He goes for a pin but Dunne kicks out. Both men to the top rope now and Bate wants hit a German suplex off the top rope but Dunne lands on his feet! Bate lands hard, Dunne picks him up and immediately lands another Bitter End and finally we have a winner!
Winner: Still UK Champion, Pete Dunne
K-Tank’s Take: Holy hell, what a battle! That was incredible. Go see this match! No commercial breaks which was AMAZING. It’s not that hard to do that for every match on the Network. It was so refreshing to see this all the way through. I think the Chicago match was just a little bit better just because it was on a bigger stage and the crowd was reacting better to that match, but this match was incredible. We really need more of these guys on television. Another great thing about this show, it went 72 minutes, which is about 15-20 minutes longer than normal. It really came across in the presentation that this was a special episode. I loved it, probably the best of 2017.
So next week we’ll end 2017 with two more big matches as the NXT Women’s Title will be on the line and Andrade Almas will find out who his opponent for Takeover: Philly will be. I’ll be here for all the action, so until then, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!