WWE NXT Spotlight: 8/1/18 By Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT spotlight here at TJRWrestling. Last week was a historic episode, as for the first time on NXT TV, we had the NXT Title change hands and now Tommaso Ciampa is the leader of the brand after defeating Aleister Black. Now that the calendar has changed to August, we are just a couple weeks away from Takeover: Brooklyn, which is always the biggest show of the year for NXT. With only one match confirmed so far, tonight starts the road to finding out the rest of the card. Let’s get to it!

We start the show with an In Memory of Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher. RIP to both gentlemen.

A big video package recapping the events of last week with the NXT Title changing hands.

Heavy Machinery vs. The Mighty

The Mighty throw their trenchcoats at Heavy Machinery, only to get them thrown back in their own faces. Heavy Machinery chases them out of the ring. It eventually gets to Otis Dozovic and Shane Thorne starting but Otis crossfaces Thorne across the ring and here comes Nick Miller. Miller ends up getting airplane spun in a bodyslam position before being dropped and then Thorne comes back in. Thorne comes from behind and manages to get Otis in his corner and now The Mighty are in control. Otis tries to chop his way out of the corner but The Mighty end up pulling him out to land a double back suplex for a two count. More wear down offense in their corner from The Mighty. The crowd comes alive as Otis drops Miller with a big back suplex. Tucker Knight makes the hot tag and repeatedly sends Miller to the mat. Thorne comes in the ring the hard way. Knight with a double clothesline and then a double sidewalk slam. Nice looking double underhook suplex on Miller. He goes to charge Miller in the corner, Thorne pulls him out to the floor, but Knight is able to change his course over the top rope to the apron and lands a double somersault senton on The Mighty. Thorne ends up clipping Knight’s knee and it looks like they’re going to be back in advantage, but The Street Profits music hits and they’re now partying in the crowd with the fans. The Mighty are completely distracted, which allows Otis to make a tag and that leads to The Compactor on Miller and a win for Heavy Machinery.

Winners: Heavy Machinery

K-Tank’s Take: I had high hopes for The Mighty with the heel turn and character overhaul, but alas it’s not to be. There are far more babyface teams than heel teams so it would make sense to go with The Mighty, but I guess they don’t see it the same.

Moustache Mountain vs. Matt Knox & Bradley Taylor

Tyler Bate and Knox start the match. Knox mock’s Bate’s wave as he overpowers him to start. Bate uses his quickness to his advantage and lands his sucker punch left hand. Trent Seven tags in and they double team with the senton off Seven’s shoulders. Knox kicks out the injured knee and is able to bring him to his corner to tag in Taylor. Taylor goes for a chop block, but Seven blocks it and starts wailing on Taylor with chops. Snap suplex by Seven and now Bate back in. Huge kick in the corner to take out Knox and then an exploder suplex on Taylor. Standing shooting star press as Seven tags back him. Seven gets Taylor up and they drop him with the combo knee drop/burning hammer and that’s the match.

Winners: Moustache Mountain

Post match, Moustache Mountain grab some mics. Seven says the last time they were in Full Sail, it didn’t go the way they way he thought it would. He apologizes to everyone but it is what it is. However, he’s talked to William Regal and they’ve got a plan. Tyler says not only did Undisputed Era take their titles but they tried to take out Trent Seven for good. He knows he threw in the towel, but Trent’s health and career means everything to him. So they’re coming back on a mission and that is envoking their rematch clause to take on Undisputed Era at Takeover: Brooklyn.

K-Tank’s Take: No complaints from me to have a third battle between these two teams. They are absolutely amazing together and I would expect even more in Brooklyn.

EC3 vs. Kona Reeves

Lot of NX3 signs across Full Sail. Reeves laying the trash talk to start. EC3 starts with a side headlock that Reeves can not break by shooting EC3 off. EC3 eventually drops him with a shoulder tackle, hip toss, and then a bodyslam. Big elbow drop off the ropes by EC3. Reeves goes to the apron and manages to nail EC3 in the throat and then comes off the ropes with a big boot. Suplex out of the corner by Reeves, followed by a seated cobra clutch. EC3 escapes but Reeves locks it right back on. EC3 works to get out again and now multiple punches from EC3 and a running forearm strike in the corner, followed by a somersault neckbreaker. EC3 looks in control until Velveteen Dream’s music hits and here he comes on the rampway. Dreams says there is someone in the building that still can’t get over Royal Albert Hall. He says they can talk about it if EC3 wants, but he’s going to have to come to Velveteen’s world. Maybe then, EC3 can bask in the experience. Dream walks off and Reeves comes from behind with the Hawaiian Drop, but EC3 kicks out at the last moment. That was more of a traditional Samoan Drop than what Reeves has been using as a finisher. Reeves trash talks EC3 some more, but EC3 springs up and grabs Reeves for the 1% and that finishes off Reeves.

Winner: EC3

K-Tank’s Take: Dream is so good in everything he does. It’s good to see EC3 get a storyline finally and I think both men play off each other well. I’m interested to see what EC3 stepping into the Experience will be like.

After the commentators reset the show, EC3 is caught up with backstage. He says what kind of man would turn down an invitation like Dream gave him. He will play Dream’s game and drink his kool-aid. Dream knows that conversation is going to turn into a fight. He is the man in NXT because he is EC3.

Non-Title Match
Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LaRae

Baszler laughs at LaRae and gives her an opportunity to walk out of the match. She holds the ropes open for LaRae but LaRae decides to dropkick Baszler out of the ring instead. LaRae follows that with a baseball slide dropkick that sends Baszler into the guardrail. LaRae all over Baszler now. LaRae with a knuckle lock and tries to go to the top rope with it, but Bazsler knocks the top rope out from under her and LaRae talks a huge fall over the top rope. She falls to the floor outside, where Baszler follows, and sends LaRae into the steel steps. LaRae is almost counted out at 9 but manages to roll in. LaRae’s left arm is hurt now and Baszler wastes no time manipulating the joints in that arm. She hammerlocks LaRae and sends that shoulder into the middle turnbuckle. She sets up LaRae’s arm in the prone position that injured Dakota Kai and stomps on that exposed elbow. LaRae tries to slap Baszler, but Baszler just comes back with a stiff kick to that arm. Kimura lock on LaRae, but she manages to pull Baszler into the turnbuckles. Baszler shakes it off but LaRae comes back with an enziguri. LaRae with chops using her only good arm. She snapmares Baszler out of the corner and then comes off the second rope with a facebuster. LaRae only manages a one count though. Baszler to the floor to regroup and LaRae comes through the ropes with a suicide dive. Both women back in the ring and LaRae goes back to the second rope and lands a tornado DDT for a two count. LaRae trying to shake off the injury and once more back to the second rope but Baszler cuts her off this time. Baszler trying a gutwrench suplex but LaRae fights it off. She’s trying a swinging neckbreaker but as they come off the ropes, Baszler turns it into her rear choke. Luckily for LaRae, they’re near the ropes and Baszler has to let go. Both women up and LaRae tries to surprise Baszler with a small package but Baszler kicks out. Baszler almost gets the choke again but LaRae rolls out of it and hits a double foot stomp. LaRae comes back with the Unprettier and then tries for the Lionsault but Baszler moves out of the way. Big knee to LaRae and Baszler is able to lock on the choke in the middle of the ring and LaRae has to tap out.

Winner: Shayna Baszler

Post match, Baszler decides she hasn’t had enough and locks on the choke again. Refs get her to break it and here comes Kairi Sane. The refs hold her back as Baszler leaves the ring. Kairi goes to check on LaRae and Baszler comes back in and kicks Kairi. Kairi fires up and wants a piece of Baszler, but again she’s held back as Baszler leaves. The crowd chants “let them fight!” but it won’t happen here.

K-Tank’s Take: Tremendous effort by LaRae. She was made to look really good here and it’s something they can go back to if they want to. The story is obviously about Kairi standing up to Baszler though and that should be a really good match in Brooklyn.

We go outside the arena to Moustache Mountain, who’s asked about their announcement earlier. They say they don’t need any tricks. The same thing that happened at Royal Albert Hall will happen in Brooklyn. They end up walking into War Raiders. The Raiders say they’ve made their stance perfectly clear and it doesn’t matter who leaves Brooklyn as champion, they’re taking the titles after that.

We go to William Regal in his office, who makes it official for Takeover: Brooklyn, EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream and Adam Cole defending his North American Title against Ricochet.

Ricochet will be in action next week. Also, we will all get to Bask in His Glory, as the Limitless Keith Lee makes his NXT in ring debut! I have never been so excited for a debut in my entire time of covering NXT.

Ciampa’s Moment

Ciampa makes his jaunt down the the rampway, soaking in all the boos and jeers with a big smile on his face as he holds up the NXT title. Pretty sure a woman in the front row told him he’s going to hell. That’s intense. Ciampa gets in the ring and starts talking to his title. He says they deserve each other and make a beautiful couple. This is his NXT now. All he needed was one moment, one opportunity, and he is a man of his word. The crowd chants at him to Shut the Hell up. Ciampa just laughs it off and says he looks good with the title and no one has deserved it more than he does. This is what it feels like when the most dangerous man in NXT takes his rightful place at the head of the table. Ciampa slides out of the ring and walks up to an old lady in the front row that he’s had altercations with before and wants her to know he is her NXT champion. He gets back in the ring and says the icing on the cake is… then the crowd interrupts to tell him he’s an asshole. Ciampa says the icing on the cake was that Gargano proves once again that he’s a loser and once again Ciampa wins. Ciampa says Gargano and Black are two top talents but he ended the Gargano fantasy and put the final nail in Black’s mystique. He’s the only person in NXT to pin Black in a one on one match. Gargano and Black can now argue about who is 2A and 2B, but there has never been a bigger gap between who is #1 and #2. He is untouchable. Not only is this proof that he’s everyone’s NXT champion, but it’s proof that NXT is the A Show because Ciampa is the greatest sports entertainer of all time.

Black’s music hits and he comes charging the ring. Gargano sprints right back Black though and storms the ring and attacks Ciampa. He clotheslines Ciampa over the top rope and Ciampa immediately goes through the crowd to avoid more. Gargano says this will never be Ciampa’s NXT as long as he is alive. The only reason Ciampa is champion is because of him. Gargano repats this and then turns around and walks right into Black Mass. The crowd chants “you deserve it” as Black grabs the mic. Black sits down and tells Gargano he’s right. Black leaves the mic there and leaves the ring and Gargano laying. That ends our show.

K-Tank’s Take: Incredible promo by Ciampa. Just great stuff. The heat he got was off the charts, but once again I’m left annoyed at the fans that want to cheer for Ciampa. I get it, he’s great at what he does. But he legitimately isn’t doing anything that warrants getting cheered. He’s a heel in every sense of the word. So if you want to acknowledge his greatness, boo him. Sometimes wrestling just needs to go back to the basics, and there’s nothing more basic than booing a true heel. This set up has been fantastic with all three men and will clearly lead to a triple threat match for the title.

I cannot wait for next week and the debut of Keith Lee, so I hope you’ll join me for that. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.