Welcome one and all to another big installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. It has been a huge week for the Yellow and Black brand, with major injury developments changing the shape of the upcoming Takeover event. We will get there in due time in this episode, along with my most anticipated debut yet. So let’s not waste any time.
Amber Nova vs. Nikki Cross
Don’t know much about Nova, but she is in great shape and highly attractive. Great to hear the crowd still soundly behind Nikki. Nikki with an arm drag after a tie-up. Nova with a forearm, but Nikki comes back with a back suplex. Nova kicks out of a pin. Nova grabs Cross in a hurricanrana position out of the corner, and then pulls back with her legs, sending Nikki face first into the turnbuckle. Nova now able to work over Nikki. Nikki fights out, using the turnbuckles to her advantage. Running forearms from Nikki and then a Thesz Press with punches. Nikki goes to the top rope and comes off with a cross body. Nikki then sets up for The Purge, which is what her fisherman’s neckbreaker is being called now apparently, and that gets the win.
Winner: Nikki Cross
K-Tank’s Take: I obviously would like more for Nikki. I think they gave up on the feud with Baszler too soon. It’s odd to have her stay on NXT with nothing to do instead of moving on to the main roster now. I don’t think you can put her back with Sanity since she’s so popular, but she deserves something more nonetheless. Also, congrats to Nova for being the most attractive enhancement talent I’ve ever seen. She’s welcome back to NXT any time.
We get a vignette hyping the debut of Keith Lee tonight, where he welcomes us all to be ready to Bask in His Glory. Have I mentioned how excited I am?
We go back to ringside where Ricochet’s music hits, as he’s supposed to have a match. Instead though, Undisputed Era comes out and drags out an unconscious Ricochet. Adam Cole tells Ricochet that he’s not a coward and he’s the greatest thing going right now. After he mangles Ricochet in Brooklyn, that will be Undisputed.
We go backstage to catch up with Vanessa Borne. She’s asked about competing tonight for the last spot in the Mae Young Classic. She says the gameplan is simple, win. She doesn’t want to deprive the world of the vision that she is. The Mae Young Classic needs her in it based on the spotlight it provides. She’s taking that final spot.
Kassius Ohno vs. Adrian Jauode
Jauode has been under contract for a while if I’m not mistaken. He’s from Brazil and is doing a Brazilian ju-jitsu gimmick. Jauode trying to throw Ohno off his game with his different style. Jauode with a go behind and actually takes Ohno down and then does it again with a fireman’s carry. Jauode with a side headlock, Ohno shoots him off and then drills him with a big boot. Running senton splash by Ohno and then another big boot in the corner. Ohno with more boots to the face and then starts slapping him around. Jauode tries a high angle back suplex, not successful at first, but the second attempt actually connects. Jauode tries charging Ohno in the corner but gets met with a forearm smash. Ohno stands up Jauode like a Rude Awakening neckbreaker and turns it into a rolling elbow that he’s calling the Dream Crusher. 1-2-3.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
K-Tank’s Take: Seems odd to have a move called The Dream Crusher when you have Velveteen Dream on the roster. I’ve said it before that Ohno’s matches just don’t mean anything and nothing has changed. I sense they want to turn him heel soon, so maybe that’s on the horizon.
EC3 gets The Dream Experience
These two men will face off at Takeover: Brooklyn, but this is footage from when EC3 accepted Dream’s invitation to take in the Dream Experience. Mood lighting/screen effects/music going for this as EC3 meets The Dream poolside. Dream asks if he wants to take a walk and then EC3 thinks Dream is going to push him in the pool. Dream says he wasn’t going to do that and speaks on EC3 being in the top 1%. EC3 says he realizes is bigger than the both of them. It’s the Purple Rainmaker vs the Golden God. It’s The One vs. The 1%. Dream gets upset that he extended this invitation and EC3 is now disrespecting him. Dream drops his sunglasses and EC3 goes to get them for Dream, which Dream of course tries to push EC3 in but EC3 instead grabs him in the 1% and throws him into the pool. Dream acts like he’s drowning but EC3 reminds him it’s only 3 feet deep. It’s probably something you have to see to appreciate, but I give them credit for doing different things for Dream.
Marchel Barthel vs. Keith Lee
And here…we… go!! Limitless reads on the titantron and Bask In My Glory on his ring jacket, here comes Keith Lee! Man, he’s in tremendous shape and the crowd responds fantasically to him. Barthel gets a huge forearm strike to start, followed by another for good measure. Barthel comes back with a throat strike and then a European uppercut. Lee throws him off the ropes, leap frog, drop down, and dropkick coming back! My god! BASK! Lee stalks Barthel in the corner, grabs a leg, but Barthel kicks him off with the free leg. Barthel with an enziguri in the corner and then ties Lee up in the ropes, stomping away. Barthel with a running front dropkick with Lee still in the ropes. Lee kicks out of a pin and Barthel takes him back to the corner to beat him down. Lee comes back with a massive headbutt and then a double open handed chop to the chest. Lee tries a big splash in the corner but Barthel misses. Barthel tries a snap suplex but he of course can’t get Lee up. Lee with a reverse front suplex and then comes off the ropes with a Pounce. Lee gets Barthel up in a fireman’s carry and turns it into a jackhammer powerslam. A nice win in his debut!
Winner: Keith Lee
K-Tank’s Take: Not exactly the true showcase I would’ve hoped for, as Barthel got a lot of offense in. But they spotlighted the athletic things he can do and the crowd was fully behind him, so it was more positive than negative. I was fortunate to interview Keith for the site a little over a year ago and called him the Best Kept Secret at that point. He’s not a secret anymore and I couldn’t be happier for his success. I will be rooting for the very best for him.
We go to The Street Profits for another snippit of Street Talk, outside an ATM. They of course spend their time ripping on The Mighty. They will take on The Mighty next week.
Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match
Vanessa Borne vs. Taynara Conti
This is for the last spot according to the announcers. Conti with a Judo throw and both women are trying to get a quick win. Conti finally slows it down with an armbar, but gets dropped with a shoulder tackle as she sends Borne to the ropes. Borne with two big forearms and then grinds Conti’s face into the turnbuckle. Borne locks on a laid out Dragon sleeper to wear down Conti. Borne with some incredible weak shots to the chest of Conti as she switches up to a body scissors. Conti is able to turn it into a pin to break it. Borne misses a charge in the corner and Conti now stomps away at her. Conti tries to pull Borne out of the ropes but Borne holds on for dear life. Conti finally gets her off and hits another Judo throw and suplex. Borne tries a crucifix pin but Conti turns it around and gets Borne in a flatliner type move, which is enough to get the win.
Winner: Taynara Conti qualifies for the Mae Young Classic
K-Tank’s Take: That was not good. Congrats to Conti for qualifying. That’s really all I can say.
We go to last week when Kairi Sane made the save for Candice LaRae after Candice’s loss to Shayna Baszler. We find out that Kairi will take on Aliyah next week. Also on tap is Tyler Bate vs. Roderick Strong.
Cain Velasquez is shown in the crowd, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano
It’s announced as Black is coming to the ring that he will get his rematch against Ciampa for the NXT Title at Takeover: Brooklyn. The bell rings and both men charge each other with their best shots. Black takes Gargano down twice with his kicks. Both men are just going off on one another with stiff shots. Gargano gets Black to the floor and then comes through the ropes with a suicide dive. Both men back in the ring as Gargano stomps away. Gargano tries his spear through the ropes but Black catches him with a high knee. Black going after Gargano in the corner, avoids Gargano seated enziguri and lands another knee. Both men up and both trying clotheslines multiple times and end up sending each other to the mat. Ciampa now comes out and attacks both men in the ring, causing a no contest.
Winner: No Contest
Ciampa sends Gargano out of the ring and goes after Black. Gargano comes back in, but gets laid out by Black again. Black stomps away at Ciampa until Gargano pulls Ciampa out of the ring and goes after him himself. Black pulls Gargano off, but Gargano punches Black and then does a somersault senton onto Ciampa off the apron. Black goes after Gargano again as all the refs finally come in the ring and break it up. William Regal’s music hits and he comes out looking disgusted. He says they’re all hellbent on destroying each other so he’s not going to try and prevent it. At Takeover: Brooklyn, it will be a triple threat match for the NXT Title. Mauro says this will be the first time in NXT history that the NXT title will be defended in a triple threat match. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Take: Of course this was all taped in advance, and since this taping, Aleister Black, unfortunately, suffered an injury at a Live Event. It was rumored for about a week that Black would miss takeover due to the surgery he had to have, and it was announced on Thursday afternoon (a couple hours before I write this) that Black is officially out of Takeover, and in his place it will be Ciampa vs. Gargano III… this time in Last Man Standing. I feel awful for Black, as there’s never a good time for an injury, but with him being put in the middle of the hottest feud going in WWE/NXT, I think that triple threat match would’ve been a beauty. Also, just on initial reaction, I think it hurts Gargano as well. I think the clear set up here was Ciampa would pin Black at Takeover, probably after Gargano had the match won himself, leading to a trilogy finale at Takeover: War Games in November, and Gargano would’ve finally won the NXT title there. Now, with them having to push that match up by 2-3 months, I don’t know that I would already take the title off of Ciampa. Perhaps HHH goes to the well and pulls out the Rock/Mankind finish from St Valentine’s Day Massacre, where neither man is left standing, and then you can still get to the next Takeover and maybe dust off the 3 Stages of Hell to finally finish this off. As for Black, I think I would have Lars Sullivan be the one who “took him out” with the footage they filmed outside Full Sail. Lars has been out of action due to a broken jaw suffered against Black at Takeover: Chicago, so it would only make sense for him to come back for revenge. Be sure to sound off in the comments and let me know what you would like to see happen for both Black and the Gargano/Ciampa rivalry.
That’s it for this week and we’ve only got one episode left before we go to Brooklyn. So until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do…but if you do, name it after me.