Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. First thing first, I just want to apologize for the spotty coverage over the last few weeks. My real life has been beyond hectic and I have not been as consistent as I’d like to be. Hopefully, we’re back to normal starting this week! I can confirm I will not be changing the name of this report to The NXT Experience, however. This week we’re back in Full Sail after a mammoth Takeover during WrestleMania weekend. Our next Takeover will be in June as it’s own standalone show in San Jose. So let’s see what we carry over from New York and what we start building towards in California.
We’ve got a new NXT theme and video package, set to Slipknot’s “All Out Life”. As a massive fan of that band and song, I highly approve.
NXT North American Title Match
Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Buddy Murphy
Gotta love starting the show with a Takeover worthy match. Dream tries taunting Murphy early, but Murphy is having none of it. Murphy with a strong side headlock that Dream really has to work to escape. Both men then start a countering fest that leads to a double kip-up and a stalemate. Both men with trash talk and shoves. Murphy comes off the ropes with a running hurricanrana that sends Dream to the floor. Murphy thinks about a dive but Dream slides back into the ring and tells Murphy that’s not happening. Murphy comes at him with a straight knee strike to the face that leads to a two count.
Murphy dumps Dream to the apron and then slams his head face first into the metal bar that connects the turnbuckle to the ringpost. Murphy decides to try and dive again, and this time he connects with a high somersault dive onto Dream. He throws Dream in the ring and comes off the top rope with his Meteora double knees for another two count. Murphy working over Dream with knees and kicks. Dream lands a big boot in the corner but Murphy comes back with a sleeper hold. Dream has to work hard to finally break it, but Murphy comes from behind and throws Dream into the turnbuckles. Dream with a couple back elbows and a big boot. He tries to go to the top rope, but Murphy trips him and Dream falls to the mat hard. Murphy gets a running start and charges Dream, but Dream lands a superkick.
Both men trading punches and then Dream with a dropkick. He clotheslines Murphy over the top rope and then hits two double ax handles off the top rope. Murphy is rolled back in and Dream to the top again. Dream doesn’t connect with anything but comes back with a Codebreaker on the mat, which gets a two count. Dream rolls through for a Dream Valley Driver but Murphy escapes. Murphy with a boot and then a tornado DDT that drapes Dream’s neck over the top rope. Murphy to the top rope but Dream cuts him off. Both men on opposite sides of the middle rope, trading punches until they both collapse to the floor at the same time.
Both men back in at 9. Murphy with a straight DDT that leads to another two count. Murphy back to the top rope but Dream catches him up there and tries a superplex. Murphy throws him off though and then tries a sunset flip, but Dream rolls through and turns it into the Dream Valley Driver for a nice near fall. Dream tries to go to the top, but Murphy bends him in half, trapping the head, and gives a dead to rights superkick while Dream is prone. Then he hits a running powerbomb out of the corner for another near fall.
Both men end up on the apron. Murphy with a running pump knee that turns Dream inside out. Dream is dead weight and Murphy is just able to break the 10 count before a double countout. He finally gets Dream back in, but as Murphy climbs back in, Dream catches him with a Rocker Dropper in the ropes. That leads to another DVD and now Dream to the top and he reaches the sky with this Purple Rainmaker, which gets the three count.
Winner: Velveteen Dream retains
K-Tank’s Take: As you can expect, this was a great battle. I really hope Murphy gets a real opportunity on Smackdown. He can be a great heel against the likes of Finn and Ali. Dream continues to prove that you can put anyone in the ring with him and he’ll knock it out of the park. He is just so damn good.
Really cool video for the WWEPC YouTube channel is shown. Looks like some great stuff is on there to check out.
It’s the latest edition of Street Talk with the Street Profits. They say they’re going to create some opportunities. They’re going to Regal’s office. The War Raiders, NOT THE VIKING EXPERIENCE, walk out of the office and tell them that they’ve heard what the Street Profits have been saying, so they went ahead and did the work for them. Next week the Street Profits get a title shot, but be careful for what you wish for. The Profits are very happy with this development.
Johnny Grand Slam Champion
The new NXT Champion makes his much-anticipated appearance at Full Sail. The arena is littered in Johnny Champion signs. Pretty cool visual. Johnny starts off by saying how long they’ve waited for this moment in Full Sail. He says this was a long journey, but this is what happens when you don’t take no for an answer and he proudly stands as Johnny Champion. He says Takeover: New York was the toughest match of his career… and now Undisputed Era cuts him off.
Adam Cole tells him to stop. He’s not sitting through another love fest with the crowd. This isn’t about taking no for an answer, this is about getting lucky. He beat Gargano. If this was any other type of match, Cole would be the NXT champion. So Gargano can pretend to be happy with his championship, but that makes him an idiot. Adam Cole is the uncrowned NXT champion and Gargano is nothing but a punk.
Gargano says Cole is so upset, is there something wrong with his boy band? Are they not “in sync”? Cole may have beat him in the FIRST fall, but then Gargano beat him two straight. He made Cole tap out in the 2nd fall, and then again in the 3rd fall. Scoreboard says 2 falls to 1. That’s not just definitive, that is undisputed. Gargano says if he had lost, he wouldn’t be out here crying like a spoiled Bay Bay, but if the Bay Bay wants to grow a pair and come in the ring, Gargano will be happy to put a few more points on the scoreboard.
Cole tells him to be careful what he wishes for, and then Roderick Strong comes from the crowd and attacks Gargano from behind. Now it turns into a 4 on 1 beatdown of Gargano. They hold Gargano up for Cole to superkick him straight in the face. The Era stands tall over the fallen champ.
K-Tank’s Take: It makes all the sense in the world for Gargano and Cole to keep going. Their match went in a little cold at Takeover, but they clearly made the most of the match and gave the new rivalry a lot of juice. There were a few people booing Gargano, but it was mostly a pro-Gargano crowd again.
We go back to the signing of Kushida before Takeover, and we find out he will make his official debut in two weeks. We go over the official movements to Raw and Smackdown for NXT personnel, which basically spoils the main event tonight since Kairi went to Smackdown.
Aaron Frye vs. Dominik Dijakovic
The bell rings, Dijakovic hits a cyclone kick and we get a three count.
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic
After the match, Dijakovic gets a mic. He says he’s only in NXT because his family gave him that opportunity. They took the opportunity to come to the United States. His blood drives him to opportunity. He sees the North American Championship, so Feast Your Eyes Velveteen Dream.
K-Tank’s Take: The crowd started a Keith Lee chant at first, so obviously the challenge to Dream surprised them. It’s unfortunate whatever is preventing Keith from competing. If you haven’t seen Dijakovic vs. Luke Harper on Worlds Collide on the WWE Network, check it out. That shows you how good Dijakovic can be. He and Dream will be one hell of an encounter. There were some controversies coming out of this promo and subsequent tweets from Dijakovic a couple weeks ago, so not sure if they edited some of that out, because this was a simple promo that explains why Dijakovic would want this title specifically.
We go backstage to Cathy Kelley, who asks about the tension they had after Takeover and has it been resolved. Cole says what you saw was the difference between he and Gargano. He fell into the Era’s trap. William Regal shows up and says he had a wonderful conversation with Gargano and says he wants to take on the Undisputed Era. Cole assumes that means he gets a rematch, but Regal says Gargano didn’t want Cole, he wanted Roderick Strong. So next week will be that match. Adam Cole is clearly not happy with that decision.
We get a recap of the long feud between Baszler and Kairi, in what appears their last match in NXT again each other.
We then catch up with Aliyah and Vanessa Borne. They say Candice LaRae got lucky last week. They were in no condition to compete. They were in the Big Apple and living the life. They weren’t ready then, but they’ll be ready next week. So they challenge Candice to find a partner next week and meet them in the ring.
NXT Women’s Title Match – (If Kairi Loses, she can never challenge for NXT Women’s Title Again)
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane
Duke and Shafir come to the ring with Baszler. Right at 10 minutes left in the show as the bell rings. Kairi with a hell of a spinning back fist in the corner and then hits a running elbow strike that sends Baszler to the floor. Kairi with a dive off the apron onto Baszler and then throws her back in and goes to the top rope. Forearm strike off the top rope but Baszler gets a shoulder up. Both women catch each other with forearms to the throat, but Baszler comes back with a strong knee strike for a two count.
Another big knee in the corner that leads to another two count. Baszler tries the choke, but Kairi escapes. Baszler misses a third knee in the corner and Kairi catches her with a spear. Kairi with open hand strikes and then a dragon screw leg whip. She hits a running blockbuster. Kairi catches Baszler by surprise with the Anchor submission, but Baszler gets to the ropes. Kairi to the second rope and hits an In-Sane elbow to the back of Baszler. Kairi goes all the way to the top now, but Baszler is able to cut her off. Baszler trying a gutwrench off the turnbuckles, but her back is shot. Kairi drops Baszler in a prone position and hits a double foot stomp.
Baszler rolls to the floor and Kairi tries another dive off the apron, but Baszler moves and Kairi lands hard. Baszler rolls her back in and starts attacking the right arm that landest the hardest. Baszler with a spinning gutwrench slam. Baszler with a unique submission on that arm but Kairi reaches the ropes with her boot. The ref checks on Kairi on the outside, making sure she can continue, and then calls for a doctor. Io Sharai shows up as Kairi is trying to show she can continue. Baszler ends up pulling Kairi into the ring and goes right back to the arm. She tries her stomp on the exposed elbow, but Io comes in the ring and shoves her off, which prompts a DQ. Kairi loses the match, so she cannot challenge for the title again.
Winner: Shayna Baszler retains
Duke and Shafir pull Io out of the ring and slam her into the barricade. Then they hold her hostage as Baszler goes ahead and does the stomp on the hurt arm anyways. Io screams at the champ as our show comes to an end.
K-Tank’s Take: I’m not the biggest fan of that finish. Typically, Kairi would either be upset with Io for costing her the match, and start a feud that way, or would come back for one more battle with the champ. However, that was just her swan song and Io is now set up as the new challenger. The women’s division once again goes through an overhaul, so we’ll see who steps up behind Io as credible challengers.
That’s it for this week, so until next time… don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, name it after me!