WWE NXT Spotlight: 3/21/18 By Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We are very close to Takeover: New Orleans and the card is taking shape nicely. We’ve got all the title matches accounted for and now just need to get the undercard set. Tonight we wrap up the quarterfinals of the DRTTC. WWE announced in the last week that Moustache Mountain was out of their match tonight due to a Tyler Bate injury. Roderick Strong was able to convince William Regal to allow him to take the open spot with a partner of his choice. Who did he choose? Let’s find out.

Third Time’s A Charm?

We’re back in Full Sail this week, so Tommaso Ciampa has decided to come out and try his luck in front of a new crowd. Unfortunately for him though, he’s flooded with signs everywhere of Gargano’s logo. Ciampa finally just screams, “HE’S GONE!” and “Newsflash! He’s not coming down that aisle!” Frustrations finally boil over and Ciampa gives up again. Ciampa slowly walks around ringside, staring at all the Gargano signs and ripping up various ones, even getting in the face of an older lady. He comes to one of the corners and grabs a sign of a guy wearing a mask. Ciampa turns his back on the guy and he pulls his mask off to reveal Johnny Gargano! The crowd absolutely erupts as Gargano takes a swing at Ciampa and charges him into the ring. Gargano gets a couple shots in before security shows up and drags him out of the building. Ciampa is left in the ring wondering what just happened.

K-Tank’s Take: That was phenomenal. Ultra nitpicky, I wish Gargano hadn’t rushed to take the mask off, BUT I also understand why he didn’t. It was fantastic regardless. That was the loudest I’ve heard Full Sail in a long time. As Heath Ledger’s Joker so infamously said, “Here…we…go!”

We go to Charly Caruso for a recap of where we are in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

We then go to The Undisputed Era, who immediately mock Roderick Strong getting added to the DRTTC. Adam Cole says that tonight will be a night off for him taking on Kassius Ohno. He’s so confident about that, he’s telling Fish and O’Reilly to stay backstage and enjoy what he does to Ohno.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic – Quarterfinals
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Roderick Strong & ??

After the first three men make their way to the ring, the music of The Bruiserweight hits and Roddy’s partner will be Pete Dunne! This SHOULD be incredible if they get any decent amount of time. Lorcan and Strong start us off. Great grappling by both men. Lorcan eventually gets Strong to his corner and Burch tags in. Strong gets Burch on the mat and tags in Dunne. Dunne immediately to the joint manipulation as Nigel puts it. Burch escapes with no harm and then moves out of the way of a leapfrog, which sends Dunne hard to the mat. Lorcan and Strong enter the ring and we have a standoff as we go to commercial.

We return with Dunne in control of Burch and this time his joint manipulation is successful. Dunne with a hard slap and shoves Burch into his corner and tags in Strong. Strong with a traditional backbreaker and a pin but Burch kicks out. Dunne tags back in and they hit a double team front suplex, followed by a double team chop, one to the back and one to the chest, that sounded awfully painful. Burch ends up in the corner and kicks Dunne. He climbs to the second rope and comes off with a front dropkick. Lorcan and Strong both tag in. Both men trading stiff shots and then Lorcan comes with a flurry of moves running off the ropes. A dropkick, a European uppercut, a lariat, and then a blockbuster. Strong somehow kicks out. Burch tagged back in and they go for a double team but Strong shoves Burch into Lorcan. Lorcan to the floor and Dunne tags in now. Dunne off the second rope with a stomp to the elbow and then connects with the X-Plex. Lorcan breaks it up. Strong and Lorcan both to the floor. Dunne and Burch trading nasty slaps and then Burch headbutts him right in the jaw. Burch with a release German and then Lorcan with a half/half suplex that lands Strong right on Dunne. Burch with a crossface on Dunne while Lorcan with a half Boston Crab on Strong. Strong ends up kicking Lorcan off into Burch, which breaks up both holds. Burch with an exploder suplex on Dunne but then Strong makes a blind tag and nails Burch with a backbreaker, which goes right into the End of Heartache. Dunne is holding Lorcan back and Strong picks up the hard fought win!

Winners: Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne

K-Tank’s Take: Yep, that was incredible. I love Lorcan and Burch so much. They don’t have bad matches. Dunne and Strong are obviously a formidable team and immediately become my favorite to win the DRTTC. We all know that’s a kiss of death though. Strong/Dunne will take on Sanity and Authors of Pain will take on The Street Profits for our semifinals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Ricochet vignette!! A great little highlight package with matches they obviously filmed as dark matches just for this, and he is COMING SOON.

Non-Title Match
Ember Moon vs. Aliyah

Show of respect from both women as they start. Ember escapes a headscissors and brings them to a stalemate. Ember gets caught in the corner and ends up getting dropped from the second rope. Meanwhile, Shayna Baszler makes her way to the commentary table. Ember escapes a submission from Aliyah and ends up coming back with a flatliner with both women on their knees. Ember catches a boot in the corner and then Aliyah comes off the second rope but Ember catches her. Ember tells Shayna this is for her and she shifts Aliyah into a Samoan Drop. Aliyah back in the corner and Ember nails her front handspring elbow. It’s time for The Eclipse and that’s the match.

Winner: Ember Moon

K-Tank’s Take: Shayna didn’t say much on commentary besides that she runs this division and she’s not scared of The Eclipse because she knows what she can do to Ember. Shayna has only continued to get better. I don’t know if I’m going to predict a title change here, but I’m leaning that way.

We find out that both semifinal matches of the DRTTC will be next week.

Raul Mendoza’s music hits and he comes out for a match, but Andrade Almas comes from behind and throws him off the stage into the guardrail. Almas and Vega are not happy as they make their way to the ring. Almas screams a lot of Spanish. He then says that Black didn’t respect him or Vega. He then said something they bleeped out. He then calls out Black for next week. I don’t know a lot of what he was saying but Vega looked incredible, so there’s that.

We get a vignette for Lars Sullivan. He’s been injured recently but he’ll be returning next week.

We then go to William Regal’s office, where he announces that next week he will be making an announcement that will change the landscape of NXT forever. Apparently next week is going to be a loaded show!

Adam Cole vs. Kassius Ohno

Only 11 minutes left as the bell rings. Ohno with the advantage early, working over the left arm of Cole. Cole fights off and lands a knee to the midsection. Cole off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Ohno leapfrogs Cole and then avoids one of Cole’s, instead giving him a big boot in midair. That looked cool. Ohno follows up with a senton splash. Cole charges Ohno in the corner and Ohno dumps him to the apron and it appears Cole tweaked an ankle. (It actually did look like it) But of course, Ohno goes to grab Cole and Cole comes back with a jumping enziguri and he’s just fine. Cole now all over Ohno as we go to commercial.

We’re back with Cole still in control and lands a swinging neckbreaker. Multiple stomps to Ohno on the mat. Ohno gets up but then gets caught with a backstabber. Ohno is able to kick out of a pin though. Cole starts talking trash to Ohno and then goes for a suplex but Ohno reverses it. Cole ends up running into a straight right hand. Ohno with a high knee and then comes off the ropes with a clothesline and then a big boot. Bodyslam by Ohno and then a running legdrop, but he only gets a two count after. Ohno ends up on the apron but catches Cole with another big boot. He gets in the ring and connects with his cyclone kick, but Cole once again kicks out. Cole blocks a suplex but ends up eating a forearm smash. Cole fires up out of nowhere and screams “is that all you got?!” before coming with a flurry of forearm smashes. He goes to the ropes but Ohno follows up with a bicycle kick. He goes for a suplex but Cole reverses in into his suplex into the neckbreaker over the knee. Ohno kicks out. Cole pulls down his kneepad and goes for a Shining Wizard but Onno moves. Onno with a powerbomb that he ends up tossing Cole over his head and stun gun onto the top rope. Ohno then with two huge elbow strikes, including his big one to the back of the head. Cole goes to the floor with that shot and Ohno has to bring him back in. Onho tries a pin but Cole turns it into a crucifix pin. Ohno kicks out. Cole gets up, a trio of Superkicks and again he lands the suplex into the neckbreaker. Cole for the Shining Wizard again and this time he connects and he gets the win with it.

Winner: Adam Cole

K-Tank’s Take: That was a fun match for the time given. I’m sure Ohno isn’t exactly where he thought he’d be when he returned to NXT, he’s the odd man out when it comes to indy guys that have come over, but he’s still solid every time he goes out there. Cole is a star and if it wasn’t for Aleister Black, he’d be the best thing going in NXT.

Next week promises to be a massive show, so I will be here for all the action. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me!