Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight: 5/30/18 By Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We are two weeks away from our next Takeover event and we’ve got one title match already announced. Let’s find out what other matches potentially get announced tonight, along with a huge NXT Women’s Title Match!

We start with a video package detailing last week’s events between the Gargano’s and Tomasso Ciampa, voiced over by Mauro. It’s announced that this rivalry has become too dangerous so neither man will be at NXT tonight. However, a street fight has been made for them and both men will have contracts sent to them to be signed. I’m not sure what the difference is between an unsanctioned match and a street fight, but it’s semantics when it comes to those two since they will tear the house down no matter what.

A Black Mass Freak Accident

We have no opening as we go straight to the arena to see Aleister Black come out in his ring gear with the NXT Title over his shoulder. Aleister says it’s been life changing since he became NXT champion and while there may be some discussion on who his next challenger should be at Takeover: Chicago, they all need to remember that he only needs one shot to make them fade to black. With that said, Lars Sullivan’s music hits and the big man makes his way to the ring. Lars says the dispute is over as per William Regal, he will be the challenger in Chicago. Lars hands it to Aleister, he has traveled the world for 16 years and made everyone fade to black, so he’s become NXT champion. But he’s never faced anyone like Lars Sullivan because there is no one like Lars Sullivan. Aleister can ignore his emotions all he wants, but he can’t ignore what’s going to happen in Chicago. Lars is going to take everything from Aleister that he’s worked for and you’ll be looking at the new NXT Champion. Aleister may think he can do something about it, but he can’t do anything. Lars then clutches Aleister by the throat. Aleister fights it off and then goes for Black Mass but Lars catches the kick in mid-stride. Aleister is in disbelief and it leads to Lars dropping him with the Freak Accident. Lars grabs the NXT title and holds it high over a laid out champion.

K-Tank’s Take: No complaints from me on this choice. Although I was disappointed with the live event I attented a couple weeks ago, Lars was the highlight of the night. He destroyed Oney Lorcan and Kona Reeves, and the crowd was WAY into him. He’s different, there’s no denying that. This may not be a sexy matchup, but I think it could be a lot of fun.

We see a tweet from Candice LaRae who says she does not approve of this street fight being signed.

War Raiders vs. George Hickson and Cody Vincent

Rowe and Hickson start the match. Hickson tries to get the first shot but that doesn’t work and Rowe drills him with a headbutt. Hanson tags in and Rowe whips Hickson into Hanson, who squashes him. Vincent tags in reluctantly and gets more of the same. Rowe comes back in and nails a nasty exploder suplex followed by an avalance splash by Hanson, followed by shotgun double knees by Rowe, and then followed by a Hanson bronco buster. Hickson comes back in for some dumb reason and gets planted with a double team german suplex/springboard clothesline. Rowe goes back to Hickson, gets him up for The Fallout and that was all she wrote.

Winners: War Raiders

K-Tank’s Take: Nigel made a comment that it won’t be long before they get a tag title shot, so I would expect something big for them after we get done with Chicago. Their offense looked really good tonight, so I can’t wait to see them do more.

We get a video package hyping tonight’s main event between Dakota Kai and Shayna Baszler.

We go to Lacey Evans backstage and we find out she has a rubber match against Kairi Sane next week as they’ve each got one win against each other. She says the results will be the same as last week. It doesn’t matter that Kairi was the Mae Young Classic winner, Lacey has a right, a woman’s right, with Kairi’s name on it.

EC3 vs. Fabian Aichner

EC3 looks like Ross from Friends when he doesn’t know how to correct spray tan himself so he ends up way too dark. If you never watched Friends, then I’m sorry for you and you’re just going to have to accept that was a funny analogy. EC3 with a knee lift to start and then clubs Aichner with a forearm in the corner. Aichner fires back with a big chop and then as EC3 comes off the rope, he’s stopped dead with a back elbow. Aichner connects with a tilt-a-whirl bodyslam but EC3 kicks out at one. Aichner tries to go to the top rope but EC3 sends him to the floor. As EC3 goes to bring him back in, Johnny Gargano comes through the crowd and grabs a mic and with the contract in his hand, says he’s signed it to make the street fight official. EC3 doesn’t look thrilled with Gargano’s intrusion and it allows Aichner to come off the top rope to the floor with a frog splash cross body. They get back in the ring but EC3 kicks out again. EC3 counters a hold and lands a reverse DDT of sorts and then goes for the One Percenter to pick up the win.

Winner: EC3

K-Tank’s Take: I thought EC3 would be presented as a heel but it looks more like he’s a babyface. Although even though he was presented as a babyface in this match, he did some heel things that maybe is a sign of things to come. He definitely wasn’t happy about Gargano’s interruption, so maybe that will be something down the road.

We get the video package on Bianca Belair to get to know her better. If you didn’t know, she graduated from the University of Tennessee, which is why I’m a fan of hers. Go Vols. It’s a good story of where she came from and although it’s clear she’s being a heel, it’s a story that’s easy to get behind if she ever goes babyface.

Ricochet vs. Chris Dijak

Dijak is the former Donovan Dijak from Ring of Honor. He’s a hell of a talent and if you haven’t heard of him, find any of his matches against Keith Lee. Kind of an odd spot for him to debut on TV, but oh well. It just shows how deep the talent is at NXT. Dijak goes for a big boot immediately but Ricochet moves out of the way and gets Dijak in the corner. Ricochet gets a big ax big kick in the corner and then a flipping dropkick. Dijak goes to the floor and Ricochet comes through the rope with a dive. Dijak catches him though and chokeslams him on the apron. He rolls Ricochet back in and springboards off the top rope with an elbow drop. He sets up Ricochet for a moonsault but Ricochet moves. Ricochet with another ax kick and then nails a supex, rolls through, and deadlifts Dijak into another suplex. That was impressive, sorry Seth Rollins. Ricochet sets up Dijak for the 630 and he nails it flawlessly for the win. They showed the deadlift suplex in slow motion and it’s even more impressive.

Winner: Ricochet

Post match, Ricochet grabs a mic in the ring and talks about Velveteen Dream liking the spotlight. As much as he hates to admit it, Dream deserves the spotlight. Dream has been one of the most entertaining superstars in NXT history. He can do it all. Here’s the thing though, once the spotlight is on you, it shows how good you are but also shows your flaws. So when the spotlight was on Dream last week after Dream attacked Ricochet, it showed what a punk the Dream is. Ricochet was about to lay down a challenge for Takeover, but then Dream’s music cuts him off and here comes the Dream. Dream says tonight is Ricochet’s spotlight but last week was both of theirs. Dream showed last week that anything Ricochet can do, Dream can do better. Ricochet questions that and says the only thing he sees Dream doing is showing everyone what a coward he is. If Dream wants the spotlight, come take it. Dream starts to make the walk to the ring but then decides better of it. Dream says as epic as they would be, Dream can only think of one spotlight big enough to contain them and so Dream will see Ricochet in Chicago. And when that spotlight hits Ricochet’s beautiful face, he’ll truly realize that anything he can do, Dream can do better. Ricochet then proceeds to flip over the top rope and land on his feet, basically right in Dream’s face. Dream is in complete awe and Ricochet simply tells Dream to show him then.

K-Tank’s Take: I’m posting that last spot below because if you haven’t seen it, you need to. That was simply tremendous and shows what kind of special talent Ricochet is. These guys are going to have a match that will blow our minds. I hope this is just the beginning though.

Next week will be Danny Burch vs. Roderick Strong.

NXT Women’s Title Match
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Dakota Kai

About 12 minutes left in the show after big match introductions. Shayna uses the intimidation factor to her advantage to start, just toying with Dakota as she backs her into a corner. Dakota tries to show some fire but Shayna punches her straight in the stomach and then stomps repeatedly on Dakota’s left knee. Dakota is cowering in the corner but Shayna just delivers kicks and then works over the injured knee. Baszler then sets up the leg in a prone position and stomps directly on the achilles, bending Dakota’s ankle in a nasty way. Shayna starts trash talking and Dakota gets one shot in but Shayna comes back with a stiff knee to the face. Shayna goes to a mount position and unloads on Dakota before turning to an ankle lock. Dakota eventually gets to the ropes but Shayna just pulls her back after letting go of the lock and then puts it right back on. Dakota gets to her feet this time and lands an enziguri with her free leg. Dakota now finally getting some clean shots in and lands a couple nice kicks that drops Shayna. Dakota with her running Helluva kick and then a face wash kick in the corner when Shayna goes down. Dakota now tries for her sunset flip backstabber but Shayna flips her in mid air to where she can lock on her rear naked choke and Dakota has to tap out.

Winner: Shayna Baszler retains

Post match, Shayna decides she isn’t done and she locks the choke on again. Here comes Nikki Cross for the save though! She yanks Shayna off and Shayna is in disbelief. The crowd is going nuts for Nikki. Nikki is daring Shayna to do something but Shayna just grabs her title and walks away. Shayna turns her back on Nikki, who then sprints out of the ring and steals Shayna’s title before she can turn back around. Nikki brings it back in the ring and dares Shayna to come back and get it. She lays it on the mat and Shayna slowly gets back in the ring, gets close to the belt but Nikki is too fast for her again and takes it back. Nikki challenges Shayna for a title match tonight. Nikki tells Dakota to be the ref for the match. Nikki gives the belt to Dakota, who acts like she’s actually going to do it. Shayna goes after Dakota, which leads to Nikki grabbing Shayna for her fisherman’s neckbreaker. She nails it and goes for a cover, Dakota makes the pin and Nikki Cross has technically pinned the champion. Nikki now celebrates everywhere with the title and she’s taking it like it’s hers. Shayna is getting up and can’t believe what just happened as our show comes to an end.

K-Tank’s Take: Nikki Cross is so great. That was a really fun way to close out the show and should clearly lead to a match at Takeover between Nikki & Shayna. That would lend me to feel better about why Nikki was left behind while the rest of Sanity moved up. Although Sanity has yet to debut on Smackdown, so maybe they decided to let Nikki get through this and then she can come up after all. I would like that. I thought Dakota would put up more of a fight, as I’ve really enjoyed this storyline and the build of Dakota. You could probably go back to this after Takeover, but that was a pretty definitive win for Shayna.

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!