Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. As we get deeper on the Road to WrestleMania, we are also that much closer to Takeover: New Orleans, which is shaping up to be one of NXT’s best. We’ve got one more week in the ATL before we go back home to Full Sail. This episode is absolutely loaded with a title match, two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic matches, and a contract signing for Takeover. Let’s get to the action.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Sanity vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
EY and Wolfe for Sanity. Sabbatelli and Moss have had their issues lately, so we’ll see if they’ve patched things up. Wolfe gets sent to the corner, hits Moss with a back elbow and then bicycle kicks Sabbatelli off the apron, but then Moss stun guns Wolfe over the top rope. Sabbatelli tags in now and his a fantastic dropkick on Wolfe. Moss tags back in and they double team Wolfe in the corner. Moss with a cover and Wolfe kicks out. Moss with a modified neckbreaker and another cover but Wolfe still in the match. Sabbatelli holds Wolfe and Moss comes charging but Wolfe moves and Moss clubs Sabbatelli as Wolfe is able to tag in EY. EY comes in and takes out both his opponents. Sabbatelli is the legal man. Bodyslam by EY and then goes to the top rope and lands his elbow drop. He goes for the cover and Moss is there to pull EY off. Moss sends EY back in the ring but doesn’t see Nikki Cross on the apron and she dives and takes Moss out. Sanity gets Sabbatelli in the ring for their double team neckbreaker off the second rope and that gets the W.
K-Tank’s Take: I’ve said it before, but I don’t like the breakup of Moss and Sabbatelli. I don’t think they’ve reached near their full potential. I don’t have much hope that anything will come of them going singles either so that has a lot to do with my opinion.
After the ring clears, Tommaso Ciampa comes outs to a chorus of boos and an arena full of fans holding up signs with Johnny Wrestling’s logo. It’s a cool visual. Ciampa yells for the fans to stop but the chants just get louder. I feel like their piping in chants or boos because they just had him walking in front of the crowd and you hear everyone chanting “Ciampa sucks” but no one is actually moving their mouths. Ciampa once again is denied saying what he wants to before finally just walking to the back.
Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai
Dakota gets out of a go behind and goes for a running knee but Evans ducks and then goes right after the shoulder that was hurt by Shayna Baszler. Dakota fights out of an armbar and turns it into a rollup, which gets the win. That was seriously it.
Winner: Dakota Kai
Post match, Baszler’s music hits and she’s got Dakota in her sights again. Shayna stalks Dakota until Ember Moon’s music hits and she makes her way to the ring with a mic. Dakota gets out of dodge. Ember asks if Shayna really wants to do this again? It doesn’t matter if she has one arm or two, Shayna may have started this but Ember is going to finish it at Takeover: New Orleans. Ember takes a shot at Shayna and both women start to brawl as referees try to separate them. Shayna lands a massive forearm shot that lays out Ember. She goes for another one but Ember manages to duck and lands a big boot. Ember goes to the top rope, but Shayna is up and lands a hard kick to the side of the head. With Ember laid out on the turnbuckle, Shayna goes for her Kimura lock, but Dakota comes back and kicks Shayna right in the face with a running boot on the apron. Ember recovers and makes sure to land The Eclipse with one arm to prove a point to Shayna as she stands over her.
K-Tank’s Take: I’m really surprised they managed to get these two all the way to New Orleans. I thought for sure Kairi Sane would be in the title match. This has been a fantastic storyline and although I’m not the biggest Baszler fan, she has done great in her role and really helped Ember come across as a fighter.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Heavy Machinery vs. The Street Profits
Montez Ford gets Nigel McGuinness to dance badly at the commentary table, as if you needed another reason to like The Street Profits. Otis Dozovic and Ford start the match. Ford gets dropped hard with a shoulder tackle. He goes to the corner and takes a drink from his solo cup. He asks Otis if he wants a drink and Otis wants some. Ford slowly brings the cup to him and Otis finishes the drink. Otis likes it but he tosses the cup in Ford’s direction and then drops him with an avalanche splash. That was funny. Ford gets slammed and ends up out of the ring. Angelo Dawkins comes in the ring as Tucker Knight tags in and after a dropkick, they set up Dawkins in a Shattered Dreams position. They grab Ford, who knows exactly where he’s headed, and they battering ram Ford into Dawkins’ midsection. Knight pins Ford but he kicks out. Knight now applies a bearhug on Ford. Ford breaks out and then escapes a back suplex to be able to tag Dawkins in. Dawkins with a dropkick and back elbow on Knight. Knight in the corner and Dawkins lands his 360 avalanche splash. Knight comes right back with a Thesz press. Knight with an avalanche splash of his own in the corner and then they set up Dawkins for the Compactor, but Ford low bridges Knight as Dawkins hits a DDT on Otis. Ford tags in and comes off the top rope with his frog splash and the Street Profits advance.
Winners: The Street Profits
K-Tank’s Take: Since I was way off on TM61 winning this, I would love to see The Street Profits win it all. Every time they come out, they do something different to entertain me.
WWE UK Title Match
Pete Dunne (c) vs. Adam Cole
All I can say about this match is YES PLEASE. There’s 23 minutes left in the show, but we still have a contract signing so hopefully this gets close to 15 minutes TV time. Dunne is leary of Undisputed Era at ringside and goes outside to confront them. He gets back in the ring and Cole is waiting on him. Cole tries to continute the attack but Dunne lands a massive forearm shot and then goes to his finger and joint manipulations. Big stomp to the elbow as Cole’s arm was in a vulnerable position. Dunne lines up Cole for another one right in front of the Era and drills Cole. Cole goes to the apron and Dunne follows him and lands another kick on that arm. He then hits his release suplex on the apron to Cole. Era distracts Dunne to give Cole some time and Cole is able to push Dunne off the top turnbuckle, which ends up getting Dunne’s knee tied up. We go to commercial as Cole sends Dunne to the floor.
We come back to Cole in advantage but Dunne counters and comes off the second rope with another kick to that arm. Sitout powerbomb by Dunne. He goes for the Bitter End but Cole escapes and lands a Backstabber. Cole goes for a suplex but Dunne blocks it and turns it into a Kimura lock. Cole fights outs and then a big boot to the face, followed by a DVD across the knee of Cole. Cole with a pin and Dunne kicks out. Cole starts pie facing Dunne and talking trash. Dunne fights back and hits a forearm shot that literally sends Cole halfway across the ring. Undisputed Era goes to make sure their man is ok. Cole goes for a superkick but Dunne blocks it. Cole ends up hitting an enziguri and then the superkick. Dunne comes back with an enziguri of his own and then goes for a lionsault, but Cole kicks him in the face, mid flip. Cole with a pin and Dunne stays in the match. Cole goes for a shining wizard, Dunne ducks and hooks a German suplex. Dunne goes for Bitter End but Undisputed Era come on the apron. Dunne takes them both out but walks into another superkick. Cole with his brainbuster into the knee but Dunne kicks out at the last second. Great near fall. That looked vicious. Dunne snaps the fingers of Cole and then goes for Bitter End once more, but this time Undisputed Era finally just come in the ring and cause the DQ.
Triple team on Dunne until Roderick Strong comes in and tries to take out all three members. They get the numbers game on Strong until Dunne recovers and takes out Cole. Strong escapes the other two, and he and Dunne clear house. Strong eventually goes to shake Dunne’s hand and Dunne instead gives him an “attaboy” pat on the shoulder before leaving. A sign of respect as only Pete Dunne can give.
Winner: Pete Dunne by Disqualification
K-Tank’s Take: That was as advertised. I’m not even mad about the finish because it was long enough to be a damn good match but still left me wanting more. When was the last time Dunne had a bad match? Has it happened since WWE UK was created?
NXT Takeover New Orleans Main Event is Set
William Regal is in the ring, ready to sign the contract for the main event to Takeover: New Orleans. Black makes his way out and then Zelina Vega comes out solo after him. Vega says that Almas is not here tonight. If he was here tonight, he would destroy Black. Black is looking under the table for something and clearly isn’t paying attention to Vega. He motions Vega to be quiet and then hands her the contract. He moves the table finally and then gets in his seated positon. He tells Vega, “at least I’m on your level now.” That was funny. Vega gets angry and tells Black that he’s going to reap what he sows and wish that he never came to NXT. Vega signs the contract as the crowd chants “two short” in the verse of “too sweet”. Black says Almas isn’t here because he’d humiliate Black? Is it that or is it because they’re both worried that in New Orleans, they’re worried he’ll end up like Vega and come up a little…short? Or is it because in comparison to Black, Almas doesn’t measure up? Black tries to continue but Vega slaps him and tells him to sign the contract. Black smiles and signs the contract. Vega tells him that he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life. Black continues smirking as he leaves the ring but then has one last message. He says he’s happy Vega came out alone… because he didn’t. Candice LaRae’s music hits and she sprints to the ring to attack Vega. Vega can’t get away and LaRae is all over her. LaRae hits the Stratusfaction bulldog out of the corner to leave Vega laying. Black and LaRae leave together, both happy at how it all played out.
K-Tank’s Take: Great finish to let Candice get some revenge on Vega. I love how that played out. Black just comes across so cool in everything he does. It’s a rare trait. Balor has that same feature I think. So the main event is set and I just can’t see any way they don’t continue to push Black as the best thing going on the brand and give him the title.
That’s it for this week. Nothing announced for next week, but we will be back in Full Sail for our last shows before Takeover. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do… name it after me.