Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. With just two episodes left before our next Takeover event in Chicago, a lot of the card has taken shape and only the Women’s title match needs to be confirmed. It’s another stacked card, one that Adam Cole or EC3 couldn’t even get on. With everything going on, let’s see what this week brings.
The Champ Has Her Belt & Her Challenger
Shayna Baszler kicks off things with a promo. She says she told the entire roster last week through Dakota Kai that when you get in the ring with her, you face a hard dose of reality and that reality is Baszler. The strong will always defeat the weak. Shayna says there’s always one though, that thinks the rules don’t apply to them and that one right now is Nikki Cross. If Nikki ever gets in Shayna’s face again, it’ll be the last thing she ever does. Of course with that, Nikki’s music hits and here she comes. Nikki gets in the ring with Shayna and Shayna tells Nikki the stunt she pulled last week was a joke. Nikki shouldn’t get it twisted in that head of hers because Shayna is the NXT women’s champion. The only place that Nikki is better than Shayna is in the blacked out corner of her mind. Shayna asks Nikki if she’s crazy and Nikki responds approvingly. Shayna says Nikki better realize that she can put her to sleep in a heartbeat. Nikki grabs the mic and dares Shayna to do it. Nikki jumps at Shayna, which startles her and makes her drop the belt. Shayna acts like she’s going to react but instead, Nikki mounts Shayna and starts taking the fight to her. Nikki is stomping one hell of a mudhole in the corner. Nikki goes after the title and Shayna gets up and drops her with a right hand and then throws Nikki out of the ring. Nikki comes back on the apron and lands a forearm. She goes to the top rope and lands a cross body on Shayna, which sends Shayna to the floor. Shayna is bleeding from the mouth now. After the commercial break, it’s made official for Takeover: Chicago between these two.
K-Tank’s Take: That was a fantastic segment between these two and now we have our 5th and final match for Takeover. Both have very strong characters and Nikki is by far the most popular woman on NXT now, so these should be a lot of fun to see. I’m really glad to see Nikki get a one on one match for the title finally as she has deserved this opportunity for quite awhile since she had her breakout moment against Asuka in the Last Woman Standing match.
TM61 vs. Mike Hughley and Rob Graham
Nick Miller and Hughley start the match. A few chops from Miller and then he tags in Shane Thorne. Thorn sporting a new hairstyle. He toys with Hughley for a minute until Hughley catches him with a jaw jacker so he can tag in Graham. Graham comes in and gets dropped with one of the highest dropkicks you’ll ever see. I think it even caught Thorne by surprise. Miller tags back in and doing some heel tactics while the ref counts to 5. Graham starts to fight back but goes to the rope and Thorne drives a knee into his back from the apron. Miller tosses Hughley to the floor and then Thorne comes from behind Graham with a massive forearm shot for the win.
After the match, TM61 get on the mic. Miller says they’ve proven they’re the best tag team in NXT. This is about winning and TM61 are winners. If anyone is man enough to get in the ring with them, they’ll be winners. Thorne says that all the other teams should kneel down and call them The Mighty.
K-Tank’s Take: New look for Thorne, new finishing move, and perhaps a new name for the team. The announcers made it seem like they would just be called The Mighty now. I would’ve stuck with Thunder Valley as the finisher but that’s just me. With Undisputed Era as tag champs, I can’t see them getting a title shot any time soon, but perhaps a feud with War Raiders next as that was the first team they called out in their promo.
We get a recap of the Lars Sullivan/Aleister Black match for Takeover being made official last week when Lars caught Black Mass and hit the Freak Accident. We then go to the PC from earlier this week where he was training for his NXT title match. This was unintentionally funny as he was training with newbies and one of them doesn’t know how to sell yet so Lars was clubbing him with cross face shots and the guy was just staring at the camera and trying to look like he was tensing up. Then TM61 came in the door behind the ring they were in and just shook their head no and walked back out the door.
Roderick Strong vs. Danny Burch
Strong (no pun intended) grappling by both men to start. Neither man can stay on the other for long. We get a stalemate and then go to a test of strength. Burch gets the upper hand and then goes back to his grappling. Roddy finally turns the table by getting Burch on the apron and then delivering a knee lift. Massive chops in the corner and then a traditional backbreaker that leads to a two count. Burch goes to the ropes but gets caught with another great looking dropkick on this show. Roddy now with the abdominal stretch. Burch ends up getting Roddy dumped to the outside. Roddy rushes back in and charges Burch in the corner with a knee lift but Roddy catches only turnbuckle. Burch with some European uppercuts and a clothesline, followed by a front dropkick off the second rope. Release German suplex after that, where Roddy lands on his shoulder. Undisputed Era has seen enough and here comes Cole & O’Reilly. Dunne and Lorcan aren’t far behind though to even the sides and we have a crazy brawl on the outside. Meanwhile, Burch locks a crossface on in the ring. Cole gets on the apron to distract Burch and then Burch turns into a modified backbreaker and that’s’ enough for the 3 counts.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Roddy starts to celebrate in the ring, but Dunne gets in the ring and starts attacking his former partner. O’Reilly comes from behind though and clips the knee of Dunne and then Roddy lands a backstabber which allows the Era to get out of dodge.
K-Tank’s Take: I continue to love seeing Burch and Lorcan in this spot. I’m a little surprised it’s not some sort of 6 man tag, as it seems odd to not have Cole and Dunne on the card, but that’s a minor complaint. Perhaps they’ll do a 1 on 1 match on the NXT TV taped before Takeover.
We go to Kassius Ohno doing a photo shoot backstage until EC3 interrupts. He asks why we’re doing a photo shoot with him unless they’re trying to break the camera. EC3 says he’s just kidding and Ohno is a great wrestler. He’s not the top 1% though. He continues to trash talk Ohno until Ohno challenges him to a fight if he’s so tough. EC3 agrees to a match next week.
We then go to a video package of Aleister Black talking about his title match coming up with Lars Sullivan.
After that is a video package highlighting Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream. Funny comment which Ricochet brought up when Dream was in Tough Enough as Patrick Clark and they went to Dream’s comments and he brushed it off saying “I don’t have any recollection of that.” Very well done package.
Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans
Lacey comes to the ring first and shows the camera that she has the Women’s Right with Kairi’s name on it, literally. Kairi ducks Lacey’s first two shots and then nails her with a double chop. Headscissors takedown and then stomps on Lacey’s hand that bares her name. They go to the corner and Lacey side steps Kairi, lands a knee to the midsection and then lands her elbow drop over the top rope. Lacey digs that right hand into the face of Kairi. Lacey with a loose Cobra Clutch to wear down Kairi and then ends up spinning Kairi around before throwing her across the ring. Lacey with her pendulum bronco buster in the corner but Kairi kicks out at two. Lacey tries a back slap but Kairi catches it. She tries to come off the ropes but Lacey catches her with a knee. Lacey with a strong bodyslam and then an arrogant cover, doing pushups on Kairi, but Kairi kicks out. Lacey goes to the the second rope and then spins and jumps to the top rope for a moonsault but Kairi moves. Kairi with a threesome of spears. Kairi starts to walk the plank and nails her sliding elbow. Now to the top rope and lands a forearm. Lacey kicks out at two but Kairi immediately locks on an armbar. Lacey manages to stack Kairi up and gets a two count out of it. Kairi follows up with an Alabama Slam though and now back to the top rope for the InSane elbow drop. It connects and we’ve got a winner in the rubber match.
Winner: Kairi Sane
K-Tank’s Take: Good showing from both ladies in this match. Kairi has completely remade her look so maybe she’s finally on the path for a big title match in Brooklyn. I think it’s time for her to take that step. Lacey continues to tinker with things and I wish she’d stick with one look/act, but she continues to improve every time out.
The Next Chapter
Tommaso Ciampa comes out to finish out show, no music as always with cascades of boos and “you suck” chants. Those chants leads to “Johny Wrestling” and “You tapped out” chants. Ciampa plants himself on the top turnbuckle and tells the fans that they gave up on him far sooner than he gave up on them. The fans disgust him. “Asshole” chants start and he tells the fans that they can keep talking but he’s still going to say what he has to say. Johnny Wrestling chants start again and some fans chant “Psycho Killer”. Ciampa tells those people to spare him with that bullcrap. I agree. Those are the worst. He wants to talk about Johnny Wrestling though and how everything has to be about him. He had to come out during a match last week to announce he’s signed his contract for the street fight at Takeover. Apparently Johnny Wrestling has become Johnny Badass. Ciampa says it’s adorable. But of course anything for Johnny to take away from the fact that he almost crippled his own wife two weeks ago. This is all on Johnny. He brought his wife into this. He wanted the fight. Ciampa didn’t want to fight. He was minding his own business. Even with his wife and refs begging him not to do anything, Johnny just had to make something out of it. Johnny should’ve listed to his wife and he sure should listen to Ciampa now. June 16th, don’t show up. The fairy tale is coming to an end and it won’t be a happy ending. His wife is broken and Johnny is going to join her.
Gargano now appears and is trying to be held back by security but he breaks free and charges the ring. Refs try to stop him and he instead dives through the ropes and takes out Ciampa. Now they go into the crowd and Johnny leaps from the bleachers, over the wall onto Ciampa on the floor. No one can keep Gargano from Ciampa and now they’re back in the ring. Security stops Gargano just enough for Ciampa to lay him out from behind with a lariat. Ciampa stomps away at the head of Gargano and then locks on Johnny’s own submission, the Gargano Escape. Ciampa lets it go and seems pleased with his work for now and leaves the ring. Ciampa waves bye to Gargano and Gargano comes back fired up and charges Ciampa up the ramp. Gargano slams Ciampa head first into the LED board and Ciampa is bleeding heavily! Gargano continues the assault and of course, some nice editing doesn’t fully show how bad it is for Ciampa, but it was bad for sure. Gargano now locks on the Gargano Escape on the stage as the blood rushes down Ciampa’s head and everyone tries to pull him off as our show comes to an end.
K-Tank’s Take: Man that was AWESOME! What a brawl. These guys are pure magic together. I questioned why a street fight for this match and then the announced had to lay it out for me during the show that it’s a Chicago Street Fight, which is an awesome homage to the old Road Warriors matches where they would have blow off matches under Chicago Street Fight terms. So I’m ok with that now. There’s going to be a third match as after tonight I’m more convinced than ever that Ciampa wins here. The blood was unintentional but it sure added a ton to this segment. I’m glad they didn’t edit it out completely.
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!