Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We are under 4 weeks to WrestleMania weekend and the next Takeover event for NXT. the card hasn’t shaped up yet, and with the big injury news to Ciampa, there was some massive rewriting taking place. But within the next two weeks, we should have a good idea of the event. Tonight we set up one of the title matches for that show as we have a #1 Contender’s match for the Women’s title. Let’s get to the action!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic – Semifinals
Moustache Mountain vs. The Forgotten Sons
Tyler Bate and Wesley Blake starting us off. Bate outwrestles Blake at first but then Blake bodyslams him and tags in Cutler. Cutler misses an elbow drop and then Bate with a nice snap suplex for a one count. Cutler shoots Bate into the ropes and catches him with a back elbow. He then gets Bate in his corner and stomps a mudhole until tagging in Blake. Blake with a neckbreaker for a two count.
Blake with a Cobra Clutch to wear down Bate. Bate escapes a back suplex and then is able to roll to his partner to tag in Trent Seven. Seven whipping both his opponents with chips and then drops Cutler with a DDT. He gets Blake up and hits him with a Snow Plow. Cutler makes a blind tag and ends up chop blocking Seven’s left knee and starts the attack on it.
Cutlet tags in Blake, and then drapes Seven’s legs across the apron, where Blake then drops a leg on them over the apron. That gets a two count before Blake locks on a spinning toe hold. Seven manages to hook a small package for a two count before Blake gets back on the legs and hooks on a figure four. Seven reverses it quickly though. Blake crawls to the ropes and tags in Cutler. Cutler tries a kneebreaker but Seven slides over into a sunset flip but Cutler kicks out.
Seven and Cutler end up double clotheslining each other. Both men get the tags after that. Bate runs over Blake and then hits a back body drop. Dropkick to Cutler. He gets Cutler up in an airplane spin and sees Blake trying to go to the second rope. Bate ends up getting Blake up on top of Cutler and showing incredible strength to airplane spin both of them! Then they get up and he hits a double hurricanrana! He goes to the apron, misses a shooting star press but recovers quickly to hit an exploder suplex on Cutler onto Blake.
He throws Blake in the ring and goes to the top rope. Bate with a corkscrew senton splash, but Cutler manages to break up the pin. Bate tags in Seven and they hit their double team lariat/dragon suplex. Blake puts the foot on the rope. Forgotten Sons both on the outside and Bate dives high over the top rope to take them both out. Moustache Mountain gets Blake in the ring and they try to set up their Burning Hammer/Knee Drop finisher. Cutler ends up shoving Bate off the top rope to the floor. Cutler catches Seven with a knee and then they get Bate back in the ring, set up for the double team reverse DDT/curb stomp off the top rope and Forgotten Sons pull off a HUGE upset!
Winners: The Forgotten Sons
K-Tank’s Take: I’m sure a lot of you aren’t happy about this, but NXT has to develop new stars and at a much quicker rate than HHH probably likes. Just in the 2.5 months of 2019 so far, they’ve lost 6 stars. (I’m counting Black and Ricochet as it’s clear they’re main roster bound permanently) I’m sure there will be even more after WrestleMania. That’s a lot of holes to fill, so they’ve got to establish new people. I like Forgotten Sons. I think they have a good look, they have creative tandem offense, and they’re good in their roles. I have no problem with this at all. Would I have rather it been Street Profits getting a push like this? Absolutely. But I can’t complain about new talent getting pushed, ESPECIALLY talent that isn’t indy darlings coming into NXT.
We go backstage with Cathy Kelley and Matt Riddle. He’s asked why he interrupted Velveteen Dream last week? He says he just wanted to get close to the title and see if Dream would give him an opportunity. Adam Cole crashes the interview and says he’s not worthy of a title shot. He can’t just come around here expecting something like that. The title is coming back to Cole and that is Undisputed. Riddle says the only thing undisputed is Cole talks too much and if he thinks he’s so much more worthy of a title shot than Riddle, why doesn’t he just face Riddle in the ring?
#1 Contender’s Match for NXT Women’s Title
Io Sharai vs. Bianca Belair
The NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, joins the commentators at their table before this match starts. Bianca pie faces Io a couple times to start. Io gets out of a Bianca full nelson attempt but then gets dropped with a shoulder tackle. Io avoids a dropkick and then does a double back handstand into a dropkick that sends Bianca to the floor. Bianca avoids a dive and then as Io tries to jump off the apron instead, Bianca catches her in a powerbomb position and then alley oops Io over her head into the steel steps.
Bianca brings her back in the ring and gets a two count. Io gets out of a bodyslam and rolls Bianca up for a two count. Bianca gets back up, hits another shoulder tackle and then a standing moonsault for a two count. Bianca locks on a double chicken wing submission. She tries to go for a Glam Slam but Io slides out. She drop toe holds Bianca into the ropes and comes back with a 619. Io springboards off the top rope with a front dropkick. Bianca in the corner and Io comes at her with running double knees. Io tries to go to the top rope but Bianca cuts her off and Io ends up in the tree of woe. Bianca slaps her with her hair extension.
Bianca now tries to go to the top rope but Io cuts her off. Io slaps Bianca in the face and then connects with a nice looking top rope hurricanrana. Io right back to the top rope and goes for her moonsault but Bianca with the knees up. They both get up and Bianca hits a spear as Shayna leaves her perch and storms the ring. She pulls Io out of the ring and locks on the rear naked choke on Bianca as the ref calls for the bell. Kairi Sane comes out from the back but Shayna just hooks the choke on her as well. Kairi is out as Io comes back in and tries to attack Shayna. She ends up throwing Shayna to the floor but turns her back to check on Kairi and Shayna is right back in and locks on the choke on Io. Shayna has put her top 3 contenders all to sleep.
Winner: No Contest
K-Tank’s Take: So there’s our first title match announced for Takeover. NXT loves their Fatal 4 Way matches, especially in the women’s division. They had 2 on Takeover events in 2017. Perhaps this is a way to have Shayna lose the title without being defeated, but I’m not sure who I’ll pick to win.
We recap the last two weeks between Keith Lee and Dominic Dijakovic, which will lead to their rematch next week.
Cathy Kelley catches up with Shayna outside the arena as she’s leaving and Shayna is asked why she attacked her contenders. Shayna says none of them have shown anything to prove they deserve a title shot. Cathy says that William Regal has determined because of Shayna’s actions, he has no choice but to make a Fatal 4 Way Match for the NXT Women’s Title at Takeover. Shayna walks away upset.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic – Semifinals
Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. DIY
DIY make their entrance together, even sporting their original NXT shirt and wearing the matching DIY gear. Black and Ciampa start things off. Ciampa pie faces Black and Black goes for Black Mass but Ciampa moves out of the way. Black with a knee to the gut and then a shining wizard. He goes for a pin but not even a one count. Black tags in Ricochet, who gets an arm bar on Ciampa. Ciampa rolls out of it and hits a big boot, which allows him to tag in Gargano. Gargano with a dropkick to the back of Ricochet’s head.
Gargano tries a sunset flip but Ricochet rolls through. Gargano with a hurricanrana but Ricochet lands on his feet. Ricochet tries his handstand headscissors, but Gargano just throws him to the mat. Both men go back and forth until Ricochet dropkicks him to the floor. Ricochet teases a dive to the floor. He ends up dropkicking Ciampa off the apron and then Black comes in and teases a dive of his own before both men sit cross legged in the middle of the ring to a nice pop.
Gargano ends up coming back in the ring and hitting his spear through the ropes, although it looked a little awkward. Snap suplex by Gargano and then tags in Ciampa, who stomps away at Ricochet in his corner. Ciampa catapults Ricochet into the bottom rope. Gargano back in the ring and they make a wish on Ricochet. Gargano with a neckbreaker for a two count. Ciampa back in and a neckbreaker of his own. Ciampa mocks Black with his pose.
Gargano sticks his feet between the ropes and Ciampa sends Ricochet face first into the boots. DIY continue the quick tags as they wear down Ricochet. Ciampa with another big boot. He tags in Gargano who tries his slingshot DDT, but Ricochet powers out of it. Ricochet nails Ciampa off the apron, but turns around into a Gargano lariat for a two count. Ciampa tags back in and hits his running knee into the corner, right in Ricochet’s face. Ricochet avoids a double team from DIY and is doing all he can to fight them off. He ends up setting Gargano up to get DDT’ed by Ciampa as Ricochet hits a running neckbreaker on Ciampa.
That allows Black to finally make the tag. Black taking out Gargano with multiple kicks and then hits a double standing lionsault, getting a two count on Gargano. He tries a brainbuster on Gargano but Gargano gets out. Gargano with a kick to the back of the neck and then he tries to set up Black for his spear through the ropes, but Black catchs him with a kick in mid air. Black with a brainbuster but Ciampa breaks up the pin. Ciampa and Ricochet get dumped to the floor and then Black tries a deadlift German Suplex. Gargano escapes and tags in Ciampa, who catches Black with a knee.
They go to Meet in the Middle on Black, but Ricochet pulls Gargano out of the ring. Black catches Ciampa with a knee. Ricochet tries a moonsault off the second rope to the floor but Gargano moves and hits a superkick. Black tries the Golden Triangle moonsault but Ciampa catches him with an elbow and ends up dropping Black with a Tower of London on the apron! Wow. They get Black in the ring, Gargano hits the slingshot DDT, Ciampa with the draping DDT on Ricochet to prevent him from breaking it up, but Black still kicks out!
DIY now locks on a double submission on their opponents. Ricochet powers out of his first and hits a DVD on Ciampa, dropping him on Gargano, which breaks up the Gargano Escape on Black. Gargano now selling his knee is hurt, even though Ciampa landed clearly on Gargano’s ribs. Gargano acting like he can’t walk so crawls over to tag in Ciampa legally and then Gargano falls to the floor to sell the knee. Ciampa checks on him before going back in the ring. Ricochet tags in legally and both men start trading blows in the middle of the ring. Ciampa with a pump knee strike and Ricochet right back with a backflip overhead kick!
Ciampa can’t make the tag to Gargano as Black is able to tag in for his team. Black hits the Black Mass after escaping the Fairy Tale Ending. Ricochet tags in and hits the 630, which helps he and Black advance!
Winners: Aleister Black & Ricochet
After the match, Candice LaRae shows up and rushes down to check on her husband. Ciampa comes down to them and helps Gargano to his feet and puts Gargano’s arm around him to help him walk to the back. Ciampa is telling Gargano it’s all right as they make it to the top of the ramp. Gargano ends up crumbling and Ciampa helps him up again. Ciampa comes from behind Gargano and he’s gonna turn on Gargano again! But Gargano was faking it! Gargano stops dead in his tracks and laughs at Ciampa as Ciampa realizes he’s been outsmarted. Gargano throws Ciampa into the video boards and then superkicks Ciampa dead to rights as he’s on his knees. Johnny has a big smile on his face, as does Candice, as the crowd chants Johnny Wrestling to close our show.
K-Tank’s Take: I’m sure in hindsight, the NXT powers to be would have booked Gargano to do more to Ciampa at the end, because unfortunately, that will be the last time we’ll see Ciampa on TV for a long time due to the major neck surgery he had last week. That attack doesn’t really sell an injury like Ciampa has, but oh well. Some will be sad that Gargano can’t finish it off by defeating Ciampa for the title, I’m one of them, but at least he was able to get the revenge like he did. The story isn’t as incomplete as it could’ve been, considering what Ciampa has been dealing with. I’m at least content with that, because this was the best storytelling under a WWE banner that I’ve seen in over two decades. It was that good, that compelling. I don’t feel like I was cheated out of a finish, because Gargano did ultimately get the upper hand. Now he can focus on the NXT title and put the bow on everything.
The finals will take place in two weeks and next week is advertised for the Keith Lee vs. Dominic Dijakovic rematch. We should also get the NXT Title fallout next week as well. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!