Welcome one and all to a celebratory version of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. What are we celebrating you might ask? Well, my birthday of course! I take all cash donations and well wishes in the comments for my birthday. And because it’s my birthday, NXT is delivering the match I’ve been waiting to see on NXT TV since the day both men were signed… Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic. This should be amazing. Let’s get to the action!
Johnny Gargano starts our show wanting to talk to everyone. He says it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Not only has he shown the WWE Universe what NXT are all about, but last week he had one of the toughest matches of his career against Velveteen Dream. After winning the North American Title at Takeover: Phoenix, he told everyone that Johnny Wrestling was back. He was on top of the world. He introducted everyone to Johnny Champion. But when he had his first challenge as champion, he failed. He failed himself and he failed all the fans. The fans want to chant Johnny Failure, but he likes Johnny Champion better. He feels like a champion. He just doesn’t have a championship. So he’s come to realize the only reason he’s had any success around here…
Tommaso Ciampa’s music interrupts Gargano and the champ makes his way to the ring. Ciampa says over the last couple weeks they’ve learned that Johnny Gargano is at his best when Tommaso Ciampa is in his life. When they team up on Raw and Smackdown, they win. When they step into the ring together, the outcome is already decided. Last week, Ciampa offered to help Gargano against Dream, but Gargano wanted to go it alone. And so Gargano lost. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. It may have taken a year and a half, but Gargano realizes they need each other now. This is destiny. So while Ciampa is holding the NXT title and Gargano isn’t holding anything, they both know it doesn’t have to be that way. Last week, Regal announced the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. That’s where this all began. It’s been a long road, but that’s where the magic and this dream started. This year, the winner gets an NXT Tag Title shot at Takeover: New York. The big lights, the big stage, where they do their best work. That could be their moment. Just like in Phoenix, New York can be the same way. If they are on the same page, then Takeover: New York ends with them side by side as champions.
Ciampa extends his hand to shake Gargano’s. Gargano drops his mic, contemplates it, and then shakes Ciampa’s hand, much to the excitement of the crowd. Ciampa smiles happily as he leaves the ring.
K-Tank’s Take: So is the story complete now? Have we come full circle? Or will there be more to it during the tournament? It’s amazing how long this has gone on and it’s still captivating. I think a lot of people were nervous, I know I was, about possibly this storyline getting flushed without a true finish due to the random main roster call-up. I feel like this promo shows that the story will continue and we’ve got a couple more layers left to it.
Cathy Kelley is with Ricochet backstage. He’s asked about having unfinished business with Undisputed Era. Ricochet says he hasn’t forgotten what they’ve done to him and Black. He gets it, when you fight one member, you have to be ready to fight all of them. It’s ok though with Aleister having his back, because it doesn’t matter the numbers game, he’s comfortable in any situation. He says since Undisputed Era are in the Tag Team Classic, he’s letting Regal know that he and Black want in as well.
We go outside Full Sail as DIY are leaving the building. Candice LaRae is waiting on them and Ciampa decides to leave her and Gargano. Candice asks again? Gargano tells her to trust him, he’s got it. Candice says she hopes he knows what he’s doing as she walks away in disgust.
Aliyah & Vanessa Borne vs. Xia Li and Taynara Conti
Borne and Aliyah recently joined up as a pairing. They came out to Borne’s entrance. Nothing new or special for them. Conti and Borne start things off. Conti with a Judo throw. Borne with a back elbow. Conti with a bicycle kick. She follows that up with a knee strike and then a monkey flip into a pinning predicament for a two count. Conti ends up on the apron and grapevines Borne’s leg around the ropes, using the 5 count to her advantage.
Aliyah ends up distracting Conti after she breaks the hold, which allows Borne to recover and get the advantage. Borne with a reverse bronco buster in the middle turnbuckle and then with a headscissors around the turnbuckle, using the 5 count herself. Aliyah tags in and they hit a double team Northern Lights Suplex that gets a two count. Straightjacket submission by Aliyah. Conti snapmares her way out of it and is able to tag in Xia. Xia with some nice kicks to Aliyah and gets a two count. Borne makes a blind tag as Xia tries a roll up pin. She hits both of her opponents with knees and then draps Xia over her knee and Aliyah comes off the ropes with a flip neckbreaker that leads to Xia bending in a backbreaker over Borne. That gets the win.
Winners: Aliyah & Vanessa Borne
K-Tank’s Take: Not much to write about. Always good to showcase new women, and there’s obviously a hole to fill on the heel side, now that Lacey Evans was called up. Borne has a good look, but doesn’t wow anything in the ring. We’ll see if her and Aliyah can develop some chemistry and personality together.
We go to “earlier today” where The Velveteen Dream is asked about becoming champion last week. He starts to talk, but The Undisputed Era interrupt him. Cole says the only Experience he’s going to get is seeing Adam Cole taking the North American Title from him. Cole tells the cameraman the only people worth interviewing are Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly as they’re going to win the Dusty Cup and future NXT Tag Champs. Dream says he’s got such a big mouth for such a little man. The Dream is wondering how big that mouth is when his entourage isn’t around. Regardless of who’s friends with who, he’s still The Velveteen Dream and he doesn’t have time for them. He walks away as The Era are upset and says everyone has time for them.
We go to Cathy Kelley outside William Regal’s office. She starts to talk about the Dusty Classic, but is interrupted by Bianca Belair and Io Sharai having a shouting match. They are separated finally by refs and Serena Deeb.
Dominic Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee
Keith Lee is now singing his own theme song, which of course is awesome, and you can download that starting this Friday! Shameless plug. Dijakovic starts with a side headlock. Keith shoots him off and Dijakovic tries a shoulder tackle, but Keith doesn’t budge. Keith goes off the other ropes, rolls over a drop down by Dijakovic. Leapfrog by Keith, then tries to hip toss Dijakovic, but he lands on his feet. Keith wants to shake hands in a sign of respect, but Dijakovic just shoves him.
Keith just pops up Dijakovic with super ease and goes to powerbomb Dijakovic but he turns it into a monkey flip, but Keith lands on his feet! Dijakovic’s reaction was tremendous as the crowd goes nuts for that. Dijakovic with a huge chop to no effect and Keith returns the favor. Dijakovic with big boots to finally get the advantage. Big forearm clubs to Keith. Keith with punches of his own as he struggles to stay on his feet. Running forearm smash in the corner and then Keith gets a running start for his POUNCE. Dijakovic escapes a back suplex and then ends up hitting a superkick. He manages to get Keith up in a sit out chokeslam for a two count.
Dijakovic to the middle rope and Keith hits him with a double chop on the way down. Keith with a popup spinebuster for another two count. Keith gets dumped to the apron and Dijakovic with a flurry of shots. He hits a running cyclone kick that sends Keith to the floor. Dijakovic with an Asai moonsault off the middle rope to the rampway, taking out Keith! What a move. The crowd is going nuts for this. The ref gets to ten as both men are crawling to the ring.
Winner: Double Countout
The crowd chants “let them fight” after the ruling is made. They show replays of all the big spots and then we come back to refs having to hold them back as they want to keep fighting, and so does the Full Sail crowd. Keith gets a good ovation on his way out.
K-Tank’s Take: That was a lot of fun! More please! The rare double countout finish. I have no problem with it because I know just how much more these guys can do. I actually thought this was laid out perfectly. Give the fans some true wow moments, which they did, but don’t go all the way with it so there’s something left to do in the rematch. This match helped build both guys immediately and if they give the rivalry some time, both men will come out much better than they were coming in.
The final 4 teams in the Dusty Classic are DIY, Black and Ricochet, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, and Moustache Mountain. They join Forgotten Sons, Street Profits, Barthel/Aichner, & Undisputed Era. The 1st round matches are Moustache Mountain vs. Street Profits, Lorcan/Burch vs. Forgotten Sons, DIY vs. Undisputed Era, & Black/Ricochet vs. Aichner/Barthel
William Regal has determined that in two weeks, Io Sharai will take on Bianca Belair to see who will take on Shayna Baszler at Takeover: New York
Women’s Tag Titles Include NXT
Full Sail goes nuts as the NXT Alumni of Bayley and Sasha Banks make their surprise return to NXT. They have their women’s tag titles in town. Sasha says you don’t forget where you came from. Their journey to the first ever women’s tag champions started right here in NXT. Bayley says the last time they were in an NXT ring together, it was the first ever women’s Iron Woman match. Izzy remembers. Bayley says it was very important to come back and share with the NXT fans. Their journey as champions has just begun and they want their titles to be the most sought after in all of WWE. So take a real good look at the titles. They’re taking them all over the world, on Raw, on Smackdown, and right here in NXT. So step up and next time they step foot in NXT, maybe they’ll defend the tag titles.
K-Tank’s Take: Cool moment to have some of the original NXT class come back with something special like the women’s tag championships. There are not many teams, if any, in NXT. I wouldn’t expect them to actually come back any time soon, but I like that they left the door open for it. Perhaps if anything, maybe this sets up a match between them vs. Duke and Shafir that continues the Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen dynamic.
Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler
About 9 minutes left in the show as the bell rings. Shayna trips Mia right away. Shayna with a double leg takedown after that, followed by another one . Shayna misses a punch and hits the canvas, which allows Mia to roll her up for a pin. Shayna escapes and then gets mounted by Mia, who lands punches of her own. Shayna to the floor and Mia dives through the ropes to take her out. Shayna tries to get away but Mia hits a big boot on the floor and then sends Shayna into the steps. Mia sets up Shayna’s hand on the steps and stomps on it. Mia then tries a punt on Shayna but Shayna moves and Mia kicks the steps full force.
Shayna gets her back in the ring and stomps away at the injured leg. Shayna submissions the leg, twisting and bending it in all the wrong ways. Shayna exposes the achilles and stomps right on it. Shayna ends up getting the rear naked choke, but Mia grabs the hand she stomped on and pulls at it to escape. Shayna ends up grabbing a kneebar to get back in the advantage. Mia is able to get to the ropes. Mia on the apron and drops Shayna over the top rope. Then comes back into the ring with a tornado DDT.
Mia tries her cannonball, but the legs give out on her. She dares Shayna to knee her while she’s down. Shayna charges and Mia moves and tries to pin her but Shayna kicks out. Mia is working to fight back and somehow hits a Pele kick for a two count. Shayna with a flurry of shots and then a gutwrench powerbomb for a two count. Shayna with YES kicks to Mia. Mia catches one and somehow lifts Shayna up for a sitout powerbomb, again for a two count. Shayna trips Mia again and strikes her right in the face with a knee. She then locks on the rear naked choke with a bodyscissors and Mia has to tap out.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
That ends our show as Shayna stands tall in the ring with her title.
K-Tank’s Take: Good showing for Mia Yim. I liked her selling and I liked her fight in her comeback. Wish they would’ve had a couple more minutes, but I think it did a lot of good for Mia becoming a credible contender.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for joining me, and until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!