NXT Tag Team Championship Match contract signing
NXT General Manager William Regal opened the show this week in the ring. He would then introduce the champions the Street Profits, who came out to a typically big reaction. After they danced and jived their way to the ring as only they can Regal went to introduce their opponents, before Angelo Dawkins stopped him. He said he thought they could give this team a proper introduction, Montez Ford then did the Road Dogg New Age Outlaws intro… but instead called the Undisputed Era “the next tag team, to get their ass whopped, by the Street Profits”. Ford also called them “O’Reilly Auto Parts and Laurence Fishburne Jr” … the crowd loved this and so did I. I want to believe that Road Dogg, who now works for NXT backstage, had a personal involvement with this segment but regardless this was great. Fish and O’Reilly did then come out, Fish looking very serious and O’Reilly rocking out as always. Ford was dancing the whole time to the Era theme song. As Bobby Fish went to speak Full Sail played their part and chanted “Auto Parts”… Fish and O’Reilly said the Street Profits weren’t on their level, but for the first time in their careers the autographs of theirs were in demand, and they stand no chance of leaving TakeOver with their titles around their waists. Fish went on to say not only are they better than them, but bell-to-bell they are funnier than them (which in the case of Kyle O’Reilly may actually be true). O’Reilly was then prodded into telling a joke he told Fish previously, O’Reilly said the joke was the Street Profits are the NXT Tag Team Champions. Ford and Dawkins went full OTT in hysterics at this… then they got serious with the best change of facial expression I’ve ever seen. Ford, in a much more slow and meaningful tone that normal, put over Fish and O’Reilly’s accomplishments in NXT thus far and their position in the brand, they said they had possibly beaten every tag team in NXT history (Dawkins mentioned AOP, Sanity, Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan, and even Moustache Mountain by name). Dawkins said you guys are possibly the best tag team in NXT ever (Potentially given match quality… but I think The Revival may argue that point)… Ford then questioned what makes them think losing is an option? That now they are featured and now they see us as far as they have come in their lives that losing is an option (Ford was proper fired up at this stage and was practically shouting), there’s only one option and that is to win, WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN WIN…! Dawkins said at TakeOver: Toronto the Street Profits ‘gone beat this ass… and that is Undisputed!’. Street Profits then signed the contract before Fish and O’Reilly did too. Street Profits music played as they had a tense stare-down with their opponents as they left the ring, their was no physicality between the two teams. This was really good.
They played a video package looking ahead to the triple threat match for the North American title at TakeOver between the champion Velveteen Dream, the Undisputed era’s Roderick Strong and the former UK Champion Pete Dunne. SPOILER ALERT: that match might just be really good…
They later played a video previewing Shayna Baszler defending her NXT Women’s Championship against Mia Yim at TakeOver. Sure it’s a stacked card and you might be able to argue this the weakest match, but I still think it’ll be good and their irl friendship should mean they know eachother in the ring really well and they put on a great match. Baszler is usually one who really raises her game at the big TakeOver shows and Yim has been around long enough to be able to put on a good match with anyone.
Shane Thorne defeated Joaquin Wilde
So Shane Thorne was the guy who came out and slatted the Breakout Tournament before, and questioned why there wasn’t such a tournament when he came to NXT? There’s also been a few social media clips saying the same sort of thing. So you would think he’d come out here and get upset by the “rookie” right? That’s what you’d think, and he’d come across as a GEEK… but no, Thorne got the win here. I was pleasantly surprised, not that I think much of Thorne anyway but losing after all he’s said would’ve just made him look silly. Wilde taunted Thorne early on in the match and seemed to have the advantage, until Thorne his a big brainbuster. Wilde got back into it after a springboard back elbow and then a powerbomb for a 2 count. The two then got into a real brawl, with Wilde hitting a kick and the a tope con giro (essentially he dived onto him over the ropes). Thorne teased that he was willing to take the count out, before he tripped Wilde on the ring apron and then launched him into the steel ring steps. Thorne then continued the beatdown back in the ring before eventually taking mercy with a running knee strike for the win. This was fine, but the crowd was about as dead and bored watching it as I was…
They played… yep you guessed it… a PREVIEW VIDEO… this time looking at Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae, which really could steel the show and the entire weekend in Toronto. Heel Io Shirai is everything I didn’t know I needed in my life until I found it.
They played a tribute video to Harley Race, who passed away recently. No jokes or gimmicks from me about this one, it was straight up great.
Matt Riddle vs Killian Dain
The match never got started. Riddle came out and Dain jumped him from behind. He hit a huge crossbody and then laid in with strikes. Riddle tried to fightback but Dain cameback with a headbutt before a Cannonball as Riddle was slumped against the ring steps. As much as we’d all love to see this match happen for real, this did the job it needed to.
They played a video recapping the Breakout Tournament… urgh… the final (which will be tapped before TakeOver and shown on next week’s NXT) is between Jordan Myles and Cameron Grimes.
They recapped last week’s beatdown by The Forgotten Sons on Tyler Breeze, and then the returning Fandango (who is now officially listed as being an NXT roster member once again by the way) making the save. Cathy Kellety interviewed them after. I have missed these two together so so much, and could watch them all day. Fandango told Breeze he thinks their fashion sense is now “whack”, he suggested to Breeze they need a makeover, Breeze said ‘like a refresher’ and Dango said it would be ‘Breezango… re-imagined’. I don’t care what they come up with but I’m already excited. Breezango vs Forgotten Sons is next week. That Toronto crowd is gonna go nuts for Breezango.
The final 15 minutes or so of the show was a video called ‘Prime Target TakeOver’ that looked and recounted the rivalry heading in to Cole vs Gargano 3. As much as we’ve had a gazillion video packages on this show it is the usual format for go-home NXT’s. And the videos have all been good and done a great job of making the whole card feel like a big deal. The one thing I have noted form this is that over and over it’s been said that this will be the absolute definitive end of this rivalry. Regal has been rather secretive about what the third fall of the match will be and says only he knows what it is… Hmmmm…. There was a great bit of the video by the way that showed Gargano in the PC offering advice to some of the talent their on moves etc. It was really cool to see. Equally as cool was seeing Gargano in a conversation with some guy called Seth Rollins… He later spoke with someone called Finn Balor… nice to see he has time for his fans…
So yes not much in the way of a show on this week’s NXT. More a long preview of TakeOver. But nonetheless if the idea of a go-home show is to sell the PPV this absolutely did its job.