Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. As the calendar turns another month, the yellow and black brand is in the middle of a red hot period with a lot of great talent and storylines taking place. One of those is center stage tonight as Pete Dunne will get a chance to get revenge on Roderick Strong as they go one on one. Looks to be another good show, so let’s get to it!
We start with a group promo of The Undisputed Era backstage. Adam Cole mocks Oney Lorcan for being the person that can say he was the first person to lose to Adam Cole when defending the North American Title. O’Reilly says that he defies Danny Burch to try and make a decision again like he did last week trying to help Lorcan. Roddy then says that what he did at Takeover to Dunne will pale in comparison to what he’s going to do tonight. Cole lets everyone know that they are unstoppable and Undisputed.
Kairi Sane vs. Shazza McKenzie
Can’t say I know anything about Shazza except that they said she’s another woman from Australia. Sign of resepct from both women as they shake hands. Kairi with a headscissors and then after a weak forearm from Shazza, Kairi counters with a hard chop. Shazza gets set up in the corner and Kairi comes with her sliding elbow smash. Kairi to the top rope and lands a flying forearm. She drills Shazza with the Alabama Slam (which Mauro humorously called the Tokyo Slam) and then goes up top for the InSane elbow drop, which looks as good as ever.
Winner: Kairi Sane
Post match, Lacey Evans comes out with a mic. Lacey says a lady with class can always admit when she’s wrong. She wants to say she’s sorry to Kairi. From the Mae Young Classic to the match she just had, it’s clear Kairi belongs in NXT. So from one legitimate woman to another in NXT, she hopes Kairi will accept her apology. Lacey goes to shake hands but Kairi is hesitant to do so. Kairi looks to the crowd and Lacey proceeds to knock her out with a powerful right hand. Lacey leaves with a smile.
K-Tank’s Take: Hopefully this leads to a renewed push for Kairi. I know she had an untimely injury, but she hasn’t done much since winning the Mae Young Classic, which is really surprising. Lacey is really blossoming into her character now that she has something she can stick with and I think can be a solid heel on the women’s roster for NXT.
We get a recap of the attack on Johnny Gargano by Tommaso Ciampa last week. We then go to Candice LaRae backstage, who is asked for an update on her husband. LaRae says it’s been a rough year. They thought Ciampa was their family and now he won’t stop at anything to do what he’s doing. She thought they were done with this but she had to watch her husband be stretchered out. She’s starting to cry and excuses herself as she has a match to get ready for. Really good job by LaRae here, even showed up to the promo looking dissheveled and lack of makeup.
A Lars Sullivan vignette is shown. He’s putting anyone holding a title on notice.
The Street Profits vs. TM61
Talk about two teams that should be getting more than they are. Montez Ford and Nick Miller start the match. Ford does a great job getting out of a wristlock and then flips over Miller, who turns around into a spinning heel kick. Dawkins tags in and drops Miller with a shoulder tackle. Thorne comes in the ring and Dawkins propels Ford up in the air and he dropkicks both of TM61 on the way down. Dawkins then hits a facebuster on Miller, but misses his 360 splash in the corner. Thorne tags in and hits a senton over the top rope. Thorne’s knee is still incredible taped/braced up for being recovered. Miller is back in quickly and works over Dawkins. Both men end up clotheslining each other and looking for tags. Ford and Thorne in and Ford cleans house. Flying back elbow off the ropes onto Thorne. Ford with a high sunset flip on Thorne with a pin, but Thorne slides out of it, ends up doubling over Ford for a quick pin, Thorne then puts his feet on the ropes and Miller holds the feet down for leverage and TM61 just stole the win.
K-Tank’s Take: Well that’s an interesting finish. I don’t know that I could’ve called for a heel turn for TM61, especially after building up their story when Thorne was cleared from injury. I guess with Sabbatelli/Moss breaking up and War Raiders to be determined what side of the coin they’ll be on, the heel side of the tag division is lacking a bit. I was glad to see Ford get a lot more in the ring this time and show off his athleticism and charisma. I really love those guys.
We get a vignette for the brewing feud between Heavy Machinery and the War Raiders. They will face off next week.
We now to go Kassius Ohno backstage, who is asked on his take with what’s taken place between Gargano and Ciampa. He was walking to the ambulance with Gargano after the attack. He says Gargano is like family to him and Ciampa is just a coward. He knows that he needs to make Ciampa feel as helpless as Ciampa made Gargano feel.
“The Finest” Kona Reeves vs. Patrick Scott
The crowd saw a jobber in the ring and assumed someone big was coming out for a squash match and then Kona’s name popped up and there was a collective “huh?” Kona looks like he’s inspired by Brother Love because he’s wearing a white sportscoat and his face looks burnt red for whatever reason. Nothing special on presentation or ring gear. Kona aggressive early but just hitting basic moves. He lands a gutwrench suplex and then goes to the second rope and hits a trust fall elbow drop. He sets up Scott in a fireman’s carry and lands a Samoan Drop, which Mauro says he’s calling the Hawaiian Drop. Scott landed on his stomach instead of his back, which I don’t know if that’s what makes the move special, or if Scott just took a normal Samoan drop wrong.
K-Tank’s Take: As Conrad Thompson would say, “who booked this shit?” There was nothing special coming out to the ring and then as Bruce Prichard would say, “And then the bell rang.” Using Something to Wrestle With quotes is about the only way I can make this entertaining. It was what it was.
We get an EC3 vignette, who will have his NXT TV debut next week.
We go to “Earlier today” where Dakota Kai meets up with the media. She says the Women’s Revolution is stronger than ever with the recent callups to Raw and Smackdown, and that leaves some great opportunities in NXT, that she wants. She says she doesn’t want to talk about Shayna Baszler. Vanessa Borne shows up and says the way Dakota is dealing with Baszler is pathetic. If it was her, she would’ve hit Shayna in the face. She’s scared of no one. Dakota says her and Baszler may have issues but she’s not scared of Borne. A challenge is laid down and looks to be accepted by both women.
Candice LaRae vs. Bianca Belair
LaRae comes out showing the emotion of having a lot on her mind. Her head isn’t all into the match. Belair overpowering LaRae early on. LaRae comes back with a headscissors and then a rolling pin attempt but Belair kicks out. Candice to the second rope and jumps off but Belair catches her in midair and bodyslams her down. Belair deadlifts and then clean and jerks LaRae up into a Gorilla press slam, which she then turns into snake eyes into the turnbuckle. Good lord that was impressive. She now gets LaRae up in a torture rack submission. LaRae elbows her way out of it and then fights back in the corner. She hits a running back elbow and then goes to the top rope with a missile dropkick. She tries to follow with a tornado DDT, but Belair just throws her off. Belair gets LaRae up for the Alley Oop and drops LaRae with it to get the win.
Winner: Bianca Belair
K-Tank’s Take: Man, Belair shined in this match. That deadlift was seriously impressive, I don’t care how little LaRae may weigh. I’ve been high on Belair for awhile now for those that are repeat readers of mine. I would love to see a strong push for her. LaRae did a great job selling the effects of her husband’s situation throughout this match.
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong
Roddy comes out to his music at first, but then the Undisputed Era music comes on and here comes Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly in tow. Dunne comes right at Roddy and we’ve got a brawl early. Dunne with a massive kick to the arm of Roddy. Roddy goes to the floor and Dunne comes off the apron with an elbow smash. Both men get back in the ring and Roddy catches Dunne with a backbreaker. Dunne whips Roddy into the corner sternum first and then follows up with an elbow smash to the back of the head. Roddy goes to the outside again and Dunne once again tries to come off the apron, but Roddy catches him with a dropkick in midair. Roddy gets Dunne up in a torture rack position and then just tosses him spine first into the apron. Roddy gets him back in the ring and starts working him over. Lot of wear down holds and submissions by Roddy. Dunne blocks a suplex attempt and then turns it into an X-Plex. Both men trade blows and then Dunne lands a step up enziguri. He goes to the second rope and lands a big stomp onto Roddy’s arm. Roddy desperately tosses Dunne to the floor and then hits a high knee as Dunne gets back in. Roddy drapes Dunne on the second rope and with a double underhook, flips Dunne over into a backbreaker. Didn’t get it cleanly, but it still looked good. Dunne still fighting though and then ends up catching Roddy by surprise with a sleeper hold. He tries to transition it to an arm bar, but Roddy is able to escape. Dunne tries to go to the top rope but Roddy cuts him off, and then gets Dunne up and they both come crashing down in an Olympic Slam. Roddy with a pin but Dunne kicks out. Roddy tries to keep Dunne down but Dunne is firing up. Dunne catches one of Roddy’s chops and then snaps the fingers. Dunne with a release German suplex, where Roddy does a full rotation. Dunne drills The Bitter End on Roddy and he’s got the pin, 1..2…and of course there’s O’Reilly to break up the pin.
Winner: Pete Dunne by DQ
The Undisputed Era try to put the beatdown on Dunne but here comes Lorcan and Burch to even the sides. They end up hitting O’Reilly out of his shoes and Dunne clears the ring of Roddy. Dunne then torpedoes the shoe right in Cole’s face. That was pretty funny. The babyfaces stand tall as our show comes to an end.
K-Tank’s Take: Good, hard hitting match for the time it was given. Obviously, this isn’t it for Dunne and Strong. I’ve been preaching for Lorcan and Burch to get more for a while now, so hopefully this is a solid high profile spot for a few weeks for them. They deserve it.
One is a bench player for his intramural men’s basketball league.
One is the greatest sports entertainer of all time.
Tough choice. pic.twitter.com/jvhPpM7IRs
— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) May 3, 2018
That’s it for this week and once again next week looks to be loaded. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kassius Ohno was also announced for next week. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!