Welcome one and all to what promises to be a huge installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. We have the first ever Champion vs. Champion match between Ricochet & Pete Dunne. Both titles on the line and this should be an instant classic. Let’s get right to it!
Dakota Kai & Deonna Purrazzo vs. Aliyah & Lacey Evans
Lacey and Deonna start things off. Deonna has advanced to the second round of the Mae Young Classic already. Deonna with some strong technical wrestling to start. Deonna escapes a headscissors and gives Lacey a curtsy. Lacey goes for the Women’s Right, but Deonna ducks it. Lacey takes her down right after with a side headlock though. Lacey is able to get a tag in to Aliyah. She kicks Deonna right in the spine. Deonna catches a second kick though and takes Aliyah down, making it able to tag in Dakota. Quick tags by the babyfaces as they work over Aliyah. Aliyah grabs the hair of Deonna long enough to be able to tag back in Lacey. Lacey with a big boot, but as she sends Deonna to the ropes, Deonna comes back with a headscissors into an attempt at the Fujiwara armbar. Lacey manages to avoid it & as Deonna gets distracted by Aliyah, Lacey comes from behind with a big forearm. Aliyah and Lacey now working over Deonna in their corner, Aliyah even cheating from the outside in front of the ref, as the ref gives his 5 count. Deonna continues to be beat on by both of her opponents. Lacey with a knee drop to the right arm of Deonna. Deonna finally escapes Aliyah long enough to tag in Dakota. Dakota with a couple nice kicks to Aliyah and then hits two face wash kicks in the corner, but Lacey breaks up the pin. Dakota rolls up Aliyah but she doesn’t see a blind tag and Lacey comes into the ring and lands the Women’s Right for the win.
Winners: Lacey Evans & Aliyah
K-Tank’s Take: VERY basic match. Not much excitement to this one. Is this Aliyah’s first win on TV? I feel like it is. Nothing wrong with secondary women’s feuds, but this just wasn’t good.
We go to Velveteen Dream meeting with the media. He’s asked about the momentum he’s carrying right now. He says he’s already carried that momentum when he beat Johnny Gargano, who he calls Johnny Failure. He’s then asked about the Aleister Black investigation. He cuts the question off and says, you have the chance to interview the Dream and ask about someone that’s not the Dream? Get a clue.
Now we get a Street Profit video, who are asked about the chains that The Mighty stole from them. Aren’t they just chains? They said they’re far more than just chains. It shows how far they’ve come and how you can work to be successful. They walk off to their car.
We go to the finish of Nikki Cross and Bianca Belair from last week. Bianca is caught up with after the match and is asked about what happened. She says Nikki is crazy and she wasn’t expecting it to go that far. She’s not scared though and she’s going to prove to Nikki why she is the EST of NXT. She’s undefeated and nothing changes that.
Jaxson Ryker vs Humberto Carrillo
Ryker throws Carrillo across the ring after a collar and elbow tie-up. They try it again and Ryker just face plants Carrillo. Ryker brings Carrillo over to the corner and stomps a mudhole. Ryker grinds the face of Carrillo into the mat. Big knee to the face of Carrillo. Carrillo manages to get a boot in the corner and then tries to springboard off the top rope, but Ryker drops him with a double ax-handle. Ryker gets him off the mat in a Powerbomb, which he then slingshots Carrillo’s back off the top rope and then does a release jacknife. That looked impressive & gets the win.
Winner: Jaxson Ryker
K-Tank’s Take: Good to see Ryker get on TV finally. He was Gunner in TNA and I thought he had a lot of potential back then with some of the things he did with James Storm. He’s undergone a name change here in NXT already, but I think he and the Forgotten Sons have a lot of potential. I hope this isn’t like Kona Reeves, where you establish someone for a couple weeks so that they can be “enhanced jobbers”.
We go to Regal’s office now, who is interviewing Candice LaRae. She says she never saw anything while standing with Kassius Ohno. She makes the implication that Tommaso Ciampa did it. Regal says there is no evidence Ciampa did it. Regal asks if she has any proof that Johnny Gargano didn’t do it. Candice says they’re trying to separate personal and professional life for the time being. All she knows is the triple threat match had just been announced, he told her to hang tight for a second and they would meet up to leave, and that’s what happened. Regal says ok and dismisses her.
A long video package hyping tonight’s main event is shown.
We get a Keith Lee vignette next. Keith says that being Limitless is taking advice from the American Dream Dusty Rhodes to not quit and be himself. Being limitless is after all the failures in his life and overcoming them to show his drive and determination are both limitless. His future in NXT is now limitless. It’s time for everyone to take just one moment and Bask in His Glory.
We go to an interview of EC3 from last month where he apparently implicated Lars Sullivan was the one who took out Black. We then see the video of EC3 being attacked by Lars a few weeks ago. Next week, Lars will be in action and then we’ll have Tommaso Ciampa take on Otis Dozovic.
Champion vs. Champion – Both Titles On The Line
Pete Dunne (WWE UK Champion) vs. Ricochet (NXT North American Champion)
The crowd is fired up for this one as we have about 23 minutes left in the show when the bell rings. Hopefully this means this is going to be as advertised. Quick back and forth action to start that leads to an early stalemate. Now it’s time for some tremendous chain wrestling until Dunne is able to start his joint manipulation on Ricochet’s hand. Dunne is able to stay with the advantage, working over the left hand. Ricochet works his way out of it and now puts on some submissions to work over Dunne’s left leg. The story early is Ricochet trying to outwrestle Dunne instead of going to his high risk offense. Both men showing creative escapes to anything the other does. Dunne is so technically sound, all the little things he does to grind on an opponent is so impressive. Dunne gets a surfboard locked on, but Ricochet escapes for a pin, which makes Dunne let go of all limbs. Dunne regroups quickly though and tries a Ring of Saturn submission. Ricochet is too quick for it though and goes to the left arm of Dunne. Dunne gets the ropes and as Ricochet goes for a clean break, Dunne comes from left field with a massive forearm smash that knocks down Ricochet. Ricochet is able to get up though and unleashes some chops. Ricochet with a handstand headscissors and then a dropkick that sends Dunne to the floor. Ricochet wastes no time in diving through the ropes, taking out Dunne. They get back in the ring and Ricochet tries that handstand again, but this time Dunne catches Ricochet, manipulates the ankle, and then kicks Ricochet right in the face as he’s in a prone position.
Dunne twists Ricochet’s entire right side of the body as he does an impressive single leg crab. Now he goes back to the fingers, trying to dislocate them. Dunne has no wasted motions. The crowd has not stopped being vocal the entire match. Ricochet tries to come back with a couple clotheslines as Dunne has him locked, but to no avail. Dunne goes for a stomp on Ricochet’s elbow, ala Shayna Baszler, but Ricochet moves and then comes back with a big lariat. Ricochet charges Dunne in the corner and lands a 619 there. Ricochet springboards off the top rope and hits a European uppercut for a two count. Ricochet goes for a Painkiller, but Dunne escapes. Dunne with a step up enziguri. He goes for the X Plex, but Ricochet escapes and comes right back with a standing shooting star press on Dunne’s back for a two count. Ricochet to the top rope, nothing comes of it though as he ends up on the other side of the ring since Dunne got out of the way. Ricochet tries something out of the corner, but Dunne catches him in midair in an armbar. Ricochet is able to double up Dunne in a pin to get him to break it. Richchet tries a standing moonsault, but Dunne moves. Dunne stomps relentlessly on the fingers of Ricochet’s left hand. Ricochet comes back with a knee lift and springboards off the top again, but Dunne catches him with a forearm in midair. X Plex works this time but Ricochet manages to kick out at the last moment. He tries the Bitter End but Ricochet gets out and tries a German Suplex but Dunne lands on his feet and kicks Ricochet in the spine. Ricochet comes back and sends Dunne to the floor. Ricochet wants another dive but he lands on the apron this time as Dunne moves. Ricochet improvises and goes for a moonsault off the apron but Dunne moves again and catches Ricochet with a forearm. Now it’s an X Plex on the apron! Both men back in the ring and Dunne tries the Bitter End again… Ricochet gets out and lands a reverse hurricanrana! Wow. Dunne kicks out at two. Dunne goes back to the hand of Ricochet as he stomps on both of them. Both men back and forth with kicks and then Dunne turns him inside out with a lariat. Dunne comes off the ropes, Ricochet ducks, goes for a Lethal Injection but Dunne catches him… to which Ricochet turns his body into a DDT! Holy crap. Another two count. Mauro is losing his mind and rightfully so. This is incredible.
Dunne is down and looks in position for the 630. Ricochet goes up top but Dunne scoots to the apron. Ricochet pulls Dunne up to the top rope as Dunne goes back to the injured hand. Both men on the top rope and Ricochet with a springboard top rope hurricanrana! Ricochet then follows with a pump kick curb stomp, followed by a jumping flatliner… Dunne still kicks out! Incredible. Ricochet once more with a springboard off the top rope, but Dunne catches him in a triangle choke. Ricochet somehow powers Dunne up into a powerbomb! Dunne grabs the hand though and pulls the fingers apart. He’s trying for a Kimura lock but Ricochet fights it off and turns Dunne into a deadlift brainbuster! Mauro asks if we thought Ricochet had this type of power, and my answer is absolutely not. He is beyond words. Both men are completely spent and crawling towards each other as they start to throw punches. But here comes the Undisputed Era and this match is over.
Winner: No Contest
The War Raiders are right behind Undisputed Era though and chase them off backstage before they can do more damage. Back in the ring, both men are handed their titles as the refs check on them. They manage to get to their feet and the crowd is giving them a massive standing ovation as they nod in respect to one another. That ends our show.
K-Tank’s Take: Wow, just wow. Is that the best NXT TV match of all time? Let me know what you think in the comments, but I think it just might be. I know it didn’t have a decisive finish, but as good as they were, I don’t think it takes away from the match at all. It makes sense. I hate run-in for the sake of run-in, but you have to set up War Games eventually. I saw that John Canton gave it 4.5 stars on Facebook and I think I’d give it 4.75. The only reason it’s not 5 stars is because there wasn’t a winner. But this was as good as you’re going to get. Amazing storytelling, hard hitting action, no wasted moves or motions, amazing counters, great near falls, it had everything. This gets the K-Tank, “Go watch this match!” stamp of approval. Just incredible.
That’ll do it for this week. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.