Welcome to this weeks NXT review for Rajah.com and the TheLariat.net.
We kick things off this week with everyone's favorite bad guy ,Tommaso Ciampa making his way to the ring and the Florida crowd showering him with boos, much like what we've seen the past few weeks. Ciampa gets the crowd to be quiet for a moment but when he starts to talk they get loud enough to keep him from speaking with chants for Johnny Gargano. Ciampa tells everyone that He’s Gone. Newsflash, he’s not walking down that damn aisle.He is gone. The crowd chants ‘Ciampa Sucks’ and he raises both arms and drops the mic before leaving the ring. Some fans taunt the Sicilian Psychopath with the Gargano signs and he takes one and rips it in half, what a heel. He then takes a larger sign and he rips it in front of the fan. Ciampa continues to take signs from fans as he goes around ringside until a masked Johnny Gargano a appears in the crowd and he attacks Ciampa! Fans popping huge for Johnny Wrestling as they continue to brawl into the ring but security pulls Johnny away and we see on the monitor that Gargano is escorted out of the building.
My take: Finally we get to see Johnny for the first time since his loss(caused by Ciampa) resulted in his dismissal from NXT. Looking like/hoping for a big payoff match between the two at the upcoming Takeover. An Unsanctioned match is very possible with the storyline of Gargano not being an NXT superstar anymore.
-After a quick recap of the other first round matches from the past two weeks we are told that Mustache Mountain cannot compete due to an injury suffered by Tyler Bate who says he has been told to take a couple of weeks off so as a result, Mustache Mountain has to withdraw from the tournament.
So who will face Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan? One of the men will be Roderick Strong, who requested to be a part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. He says he has been a model talent and has done everything that Regal asked him to do and Strong says he will find himself a partner.
-A quick look at some social media interaction between Adam Cole and Kassius Ohno. That led to tonight’s match between the two men.
Adam Cole was with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. He's talking about facing Kassius Ohno and says seeing how it will be a walk in the park he wants Bobby and Kyle to watch from the locker room tonight and handle it alone.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs Roderick Strong and ( ? ) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match
Lorcan and Burch make their entrances first with Roddy following afterwards. He waits and looks to the entrance for his partner, music hit...it's Pete Dunne! Fans are loud for this with a huge pop and a Brusierweight chant for the WWE UK Champion. Oney and Strong start things off and they lock up until Strong takes him down and arm bar. Lorcan with a head scissors but Strong escapes and applies a chin lock with the legs trapped. Lorcan escapes and applies a wrist lock and tags in Burch. Burch with a wrist lock but Strong with a reversal and take down. Dunne tags in and he works on the wrist. Dunne takes Burch to the mat and works on the fingers. Dunne with a near fall to follow but Burch kips up and takes Dunne down iwth a leg sweep but misses a stomp.All four men get in the ring as we go to commercial.
Pete Dunne in control of Burch when we return tossing him into the corner as Strong and Dunne employ quick tags, a tandem suplex and a vicious sounding double chop for a 2 count close fall. The Brusierweight sets him up in the corner, then Burch nails a missle dropkick and both teams get tags. Patented Oney fast-paced brutality ends in a somersault blockbuster that gets two on Strong. Lorcan and Burch’s attempt at teamwork goes awry and Danny sends Oney to the floor, then takes an X-Plex, but Lorcan breaks up the cover.
He and Strong battle on the floor and Oney turns Roddy inside out with a Europeam uppercut while the two Brits slap each other silly in the ring. Danny wins that exchange with a headbutt, and German suplexes the champ. Lorcan half-and-halfs Strong on top of him. Burch puts Dunne in a crossface, and when Roddy tries to break it up, ends up trapped in Oney’s half-Boston Crab until he frees himself and and kicks Lorcan right into Burch. Dunne and Burch with a brutal exchange of trading moves, but after a blind tag, the Bruiserweight tosses Burch into Roddy who delivers a backbreaker followed by the cover 1...2...3!
Winners: Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne
-Dunne and Strong show some respect toward eachanother and Mauro Ranallo reminds us they’ll face SAnitY in the next round.
My take: HUGE Pete Dunne fan so glad to see him in an actual role on NXT. I wouldn't mind seeing this team go far in the tournament and with the fans behind them let's see where this team can go. In addition, good for Roddy, big fan of his from his PWG days and without much impact on NXT lately this could be a good spot for him.
Aliyah vs Ember Moon (Nontitle Match)
They shake hands before locking up. Moon with a take down and they lock up again and Aliyah takes Moon to the mat. Aliyah with a side head lock take down and Moon with a head scissors. Aliyah escapes. Aliyah with a waist lock but Moon with a hip lock take down. Aliyah with a head scissors and Ember escapes. Ember with a side head lock. Aliyah sends Ember into the turnbuckles and then she pulls Ember down to the mat and she gets a near fall.
Shayna Baszler shows up on the stage and moves to the announce table. Aliyah with a flying forearm for a near fall. Shayna on commentary is telling everyone that she runs the division even though Ember is the champ. Aliyah with a rear chin lock but Ember counters with a wrist lock take down and a rollup for a near fall. Moon now with a sliding flatline but Aliyah gets a boot up. Aliyah comes off the top turnbuckle but Ember catches her and hits a Samoan drop. Ember with a handspring clothesline into the corner and then she goes up top and lands her finisher the Eclipse for the three count.
Winner: Ember Moon
After the match, Ember gets on the turnbuckles and shows Shayna her title belt. Shayna gets on the announce table and her and Moon stare eachother down
My take: Most confident with predicting a title change for the Women's title match in New Orleans. Moon is ready for the main roster and Baszler is a worthy contender and a huge threat the Moon's reign. I'd expect new Champion come April 7th at the Smoothie King Center.
It's announced that next week will see both semifinal matchups of the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
Raul Mendoza makes his way to the ring for his match, but he is attacked on the ramp by Andrade Almas. Almas and Zelina Vega make their way to the ring. Almas asks Aleister if he thinks he is smart. Almas speaks in Spanish and he says that he is El Idolo and says if You didn’t respect Zelina, you don't respect him. Almas calls Black out and is trashing him on the mic calling him a piece of ****. Harsh words from the NXT Champion who tells Black to face him.
-After the promo by Cien we go to break and when we come back it was announced that Aleister Black will be on NXT next week and that Lars Sullivan would be making his return soon.
My take: Should be a good main event with Black vs Almas for the NXT title in a little over 2 weeks. In regards to a title change I'm split down the middle because time and time again Cien has been pulling off huge wins to keep the title reign going and this could be another example at NXT Takeover New Orleans.
-William Regal is in his office and he says he is finalizing the details for an announcement for next week that will change the landscape of NXT forever.
My take: Not going to spoil that one as I mistakenly spoiled it for myself already and make it a point to avoid spoilers for the taped episodes. It is exciting though for sure and something I've been saying they NEEDED to do for the last year or so. Kudos to them on this decision as it will only help grow the brand. If you don't know what this is and can't wait, google it? Lol
Main Event: Adam Cole versus Kassius Ohno
Ohno and Cole lock up and AC applies a wrist lock until Kassius reverses it into a hip lock take down. Ohno picks Cole up and then lifts him in the air by the wrist and takes Cole back to the mat. Cole with a knee to the midsection and a kick to the head. Cole with a forearm and knee to the midsection. Cole with a shoulder tackle and goes for a leap frog but Ohno responds with a boot to the chest. Ohno with a back senton and a chop but Cole hits a jaw breaker. The brawling continues and Cole is sent to the apron where he lands knee first on it and appears to have hurt that knee. The referee checks on him and returns to the ring where Ohno grabs him by the hair to pull him back into the ring but Adam Cole seems to be ok as he hits an enzuigiri. Cole returns to the ring and he punches Ohno as we go to break. We are back and Cole with kicks to Ohno followed by an uppercut and boot to the head for a near fall. Cole with a neck breaker for a near fall. Cole with a kick to the back of the leg. Cole with more kicks to Ohno and he applies a rear chin lock. Cole takes Ohno to the mat and puts his knee in Ohno’s back. Cole with a lungblower for a near fall. Cole taunts Ohno and he calls Ohno a loser. Cole fakes out the crowd on the Bay Bay Chant. Cole lands on his feet on a suplex attempt. Ohno holds on to the ropes when Cole goes for an O’Connor Roll. Ohno with a punch.
Ohno with a knee and boot to Cole followed by a clothesline and boot. Ohno with a slam and leg drop for a near fall. Ohno with a forearm and then Ohno goes to the apron and connects with a boot through the ropes. Ohno with a spinning front kick for a near fall. Ohno with a forearm but Cole with forearms to Ohno. Ohno with a bicycle kick but Cole with a brainbuster neck breaker for a near fall.
Adam Cole goes for a Shining Wizard but Ohno blocks it and he hot shots Cole onto the top rope from a power bomb position followed by forearms that send Cole to the floor. Ohno brings him back into the ring but Cole with a crucifix for a near fall. Adam Cole connects with a combination of super kicks and another brainbuster neck breaker, Ohno is hit with the Last Shot for the three count pin fall victory.
Winner Adam Cole
My take: Competetive match between two guys that have done battle all over the country in different organizations but first time meeting one on one in an NXT ring. Kassius needs a big win sooner or later to get him some momentum as he is often on the loosing side especially against other big names. Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era continue to shine this week this their leader scoring the victory in this one and the future is very bright for all 3 men in that group.
That's all for now! Don't forget to check back next week and every week for your NXT Recap & Reaction!