Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. After a packed week last week, we’ve got another one in store for tonight as both the North American Title and NXT Title are set to be defended in big matches. The talent pool is stacked in NXT so this should be the norm moving forward. Our next Takeover event is set for June, so we have plenty of time between now & then to set things up. Let’s get to this week’s action.
It’s The Undisputed Era
It’s no secret anymore as Roderick Strong comes out with the group, wearing their shirt. Once in the ring, Adam Cole leads things off by saying look at all the gold they have. This is what happens when you back the Era into a corner. They tried everything to make this not happen, and yet here they stand. Bobby Fish says at War Games, they were thrown to the wolves. New Orleans, same thing. But at every turn, the Undisputed Era stays one step ahead. The proof is in the ring as they are dripping in NXT gold. Roddy grabs the mic next and says he’s not the one to pat himself on the back, but that’s why he’s got the rest of them to do it. He says at Takeover, he finally did something for himself. He could’ve won the tag titles with Pete Dunne, but how long before Dunne would’ve turned on him? Dunne only really cares about the UK Title. But not the Undisputed Era. They constantly take bullets for one another. It’s always been Roddy vs. The World, but why fight that battle alone? He now has a group that can take over NXT. Kyle O’Reilly then says that they can’t be stopped and they’re done being back into a corner. Times are changing and they’re leaving everyone in the dust. Cole gets back the mic and says he’s going to take Oney Lorcan on right now and he’s going to do it by himself. He won it by himself, and he’s going to retain it by himself. Plus, it’s not like he needs any help beating Oney Lorcan. Their time is now and they’re here to forever shock the system.
K-Tank’s Take: It’s hard to do a 4 man promo and have everyone make a solid point and something to add to it, but they accomplished it here. Roddy joining the group really puts them over the top and there are unlimited possibilities for the group now.
North American Title Match
Adam Cole (c) vs. Oney Lorcan
An early story in the match is that Cole’s ribs are heavily taped to see the matches he was in at Takeover. Cole goes to the ropes early after Oney tries to go after the ribs. Both men leapfrog each other and then Oney locks on an abdominal stretch. Cole to the ropes again and then goes to the floor to regroup. Oney chases him and ends up on the apron, trying to suplex Cole to the floor. Cole blocks it and hits a standing enziguri. He stomps away at Oney in the corner and then lands a bicycle kick. Cole wears down Oney and then lands his DVD into a neckbreaker over the knee. Oney fights back though and goes right to the midsection. He hits a running European uppercut and then a running blockbuster. He goes for a pin and Cole kicks out. Oney runs into a big boot but manages to block a move and suplexes Cole stomach first over the top rope. Cole goes to the floor and Oney is going to the top rope but here comes O’Reilly and Strong with a trainer. O’Reilly throws up the X and says Cole is really hurt. Roddy manages to nail a back suplex on the apron to Oney and takes him out. Roddy then goes over to the trainer and says Cole is ok and Cole gets back in the ring, lands his shining wizard, that Mauro called The Last Shot, and gets the win.
Winner: Adam Cole retains
Post match, the Era take out Oney some more until Danny Burch comes out. Burch tries to save the day but the numbers were too much and both he and Oney are left laying as the Era celebrate.
K-Tank’s Take: The trainer and O’Reilly throwing up the X really popped me. This was all well done and a great showing for the Era both in promo and in-ring. The crowd was SOLIDLY behind Cole so it’s going to be hard to keep this group heel, but I know they’re going to try.
We get a vignette hyping up the new NXT women’s champion, Shayna Baszler.
We get a recap of last week’s main event between Zelina Vega and Candice LaRae. Next week, LaRae will be in action again against Bianca Belair. That leads to a vignette hyping up Belair.
Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss
As much talent is on this roster, I have already seen this match too much. It’s like the DDP vs. Johnny B Badd of NXT. (Shoutout to the What Happened When podcast!) I thought Sabbatelli and Moss had broken up like twice before, but I guess not. Tucker Knight and Moss start the match. All four men get in the ring pretty much immediately and Heavy Machinery disposes of them quickly. Knight back body drops Moss and then Heavy Machinery does a compactor bodyslam combo. Then they stand on both opponents and pose. Dozovic becomes legal and Moss manages to cut him off and get the advantage. Sabbatelli tags in and hits a running forearm smash in the corner. Both men work over Dozovic until there’s a miscommunication and Moss knocks Sabbatelli off the apron. Knight tags in the match and takes out Moss with a dropkick. Moss fights back and looks like he can tag back in Sabbatelli, but Sabbatelli drops off the apron and walks off on Moss. Moss can’t believe it but Knight comes from behind and splashes Moss in the corner. It’s time for the Compactor finisher and that finishes off Moss.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
Post match, Heavy Machinery grabs the mics and call out War Raiders for attacking them two weeks ago in New Orleans. They want to know if the War Raiders are man enough to step up to their challenge because Heavy Machinery is coming for war.
K-Tank’s Take: The announcers make a big deal of Sabbatelli walking off like we haven’t seen issues between these two for weeks. I guess they couldn’t figure out how they wanted to officially break up the team so they’re acting like this is the first sign of problems. This will be a good first program for War Raiders. I don’t know that they’re heels, but I don’t know that it matters either.
We get a vignette hyping up some of Shayna Baszler’s future contenders, Nikki Cross, Aliyah, & Kairi Sane. That leads us to an interview with Cathy Kelley and Dakota Kai. She’s asked about her interaction with Baszler last week and she says she doesn’t want to talk about it. She looks nervous and scared. Baszler ends up showing up and mocks Kai for leaving her home for here and the fact that now the women’s division run by Baszler is her worst nightmare.
We get another Kona Reeves vignette. The Finest will be here next week.
We get another vignette hyping other future contenders for Baszler, Lacey Evans, Vanessa Borne, & Candice LaRae. Very smart to do these quick videos to reset the women’s division.
Next week will be TM61 vs. The Street Profits along with Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong.
Ciampa Stops The Main Event
It’s time for our NXT Title main event but as Johnny Gargano makes his way to the ring, Tommaso Ciampa comes from behind and viciously attacks Gargano. Ciampa is sporting some kinetic tape around his eye, which did look really bad after their Takeover match. They end up on top of the announce table and Gargano fights back finally. Ciampa falls off the table and Gargano does a huge leap off of it onto Ciampa. They go to the top of the stage and Ciampa gets the advantage again. Ciampa is sporting a Johnny Wrestling shirt during all this. Ciampa drives a knee into the temple of Gargano, who was pinned up against one of the video boards. Ciampa grabs Gargano in the Irish Curse backbreaker and jumps off the stage and drives Gargano through a table, just like when he turned on Gargano last year at Takeover: Chicago. The refs and Candice LaRae come out to check on Gargano as a stretcher is immediately called for Gargano. Gargano has a hell of a welt on his forehead from that knee shot. It’s full stretcher sell job as we follow Gargano being taken out of the building. Kassius Ohno is out there checking on Gargano as they go to the anbulance. The rest of the locker room checks on him as well and then Aleister Black, who was coming for the match, walks past Gargano and isn’t happy with what he sees. The ambulance drives away and then the camera pans up to the trailer truck that was next to the ambulance, and Ciampa was standing on top of it waving goodbye
K-Tank’s Take: Now you didn’t think this would be over after New Orleans did you? I hope it stretches through all of 2018. I think it’s quite possible. This was a really well done attack and then the final shot of Ciampa on top of the production truck was fantastic.
After all that, Black makes his way to the ring not in a good mood and looks like he’s going to call out Ciampa for a match instead, but here comes Sanity, minus Nikki Cross. They surround Black and EY says Gargano provided hope and chaos took away that hope. Out of that chaos, we will find Sanity. Black cuts him off and asks if he’s looking for this and raises the title. EY nods approvingly and Black says let’s do this. We have a new title match!
NXT Title Match
Aleister Black vs. Eric Young (w/Sanity)
There are 10 minutes left in the show as the bell rings. No introductions. Black gets EY in the ropes and looks for a clean break but EY hits a back elbow to get the advantage. EY all over Black early. A trio of elbow smashes and then a pin but Black kicks out. Black eventually lands a knee to the gut and sends EY to the floor, which he follows with his fakeout dive. EY gets back in the ring but Black stays on the attack. Flurry of strikes from Black and then tries to put EY on the top rope, but Alexander Wolfe comes in the ring to distract Black. Black sends him out but EY from behind, locks on his hanging dragon sleeper. He uses his 5 count to his full advantage. A gnarly looking neckbreaker from EY and then a pin but Black kicks out. Black tries to fight back but comes off the ropes and EY back body drops him. EY continues to wear down Black, but Black eventually comes off the ropes with a bicycle high knee strike, which leaves both men down. Both men get up and start trading blows until Black just comes firing off with kicks and knees. Black with his standing lionsault for a two count. Black avoids an attack in the corner and then jumps on EY with a modified octopus hold. EY manages to get out and turn it into a spiked Death Valley Driver. Black manages to kick out of a pin. EY tries to go to the top rope but Black cuts him off. EY ends up on the apron and slides under Black, but as he gets up, he turns around right to the Black Mass.
Winner: Aleister Black retains
After the bell, Wolfe and Killian Dain try to attack Black, but they too get the Black Mass and Sanity is left laying at the feet of Aleister Black. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Take: What an odd send off for Sanity. They’ve been babyfaces for months now, randomly come out as heels for one night and then get left laying by Black. Which isn’t exactly anything to sneeze at, since Black is the champion, but it was just odd to me. Nikki Cross not going with them really upsets me as I think she’s the glue of the group. She’s PERFECT in that role for that stable. Her just by herself, I don’t know if that works. But apparently, we’re going to find out.
That’s it for this week. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!