It’s an Undisputed ERA versus SAnitY kind of night on NXT according to the preview this week. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defend the tag titles against Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe. Adam Cole goes one on one with Killian Dain. Both of those matches should be excellent. And Johnny Gargano will be appearing to talk about what comes next after the events of TakeOver Philadelphia.
Heavy Machinery def Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli
Bianca Belair def Jessix Hill
SAnitY def Undisputed ERA
After the compulsory housekeeping, and a few storyline reminders, the show opened with the tag title match. Well, it was supposed to.
Undisputed ERA were posing on the apron as part of their entrance, when SAnitY attacked them from behind. Killian Dain and Adam Cole were with their respective teams and it descended into chaos while security tried to break it up.
Undisputed ERA escaped to the stage. And William Regal came out. He shouted at them like naughty children (love Regal as GM) and said it ends tonight. The new main event is a six-man tornado tag match. We’ll just throw the preview out of the window then. Not to worry, this could very well end up being better.
Heavy Machinery vs Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
Always fun to watch Heavy Machinery. They’re a great team and they always look like they’re having so much fun, it’s contagious.
There was something odd going on with Moss and Sabbatelli during the match. The crowd were chanting Tino sucks on and off throughout. Sabbatelli was busy posing when his partner asked for a tag, when the tag came it was a bit hard. The return tag a minute or two later was so hard it was practically a chop.
It was a far more even match when Riddick Moss was in the ring. Whenever Sabbatelli tagged in it was all Heavy Machinery. Otis Dozovic hit a caterpillar on Sabbatelli, and Moss had to break things up. Moss was thrown out of the ring Tucker Knight somersaulted onto him from the apron to keep him out.
Heavy Machinery hit The Compactor on Tino Sabbatelli and got the win.
Post-match, Riddick Moss refused to help Tino Sabbatelli up and walked out on him.
Johnny Gargano spent some time appreciating the ‘Johnny Wrestling’ chants before talking about TakeOver Philadelphia. He said he was so sure he was going to win, he could see himself as the champion, his family was there, it was going to be his moment. That didn’t happen, and it sucks. But with the reaction he got tonight, he knows he’s earned the crowd’s respect. He had the match of a lifetime. At his lowest of lows, the NXT universe picked him up and reminded him that, title or no title, he is Johnny Wrestling. Then he moved onto Tommaso Ciampa.
He was issuing a challenge to Ciampa when Almas’ music hit, and the NXT Champion made his way to the ring with Zelina Vega.
Vega said Gargano didn’t earn anyone’s respect and didn’t prove anything except he’s a loser. Almas has beaten him time and time again,
The crowd chanted ‘We want Candice’, I approve of this sentiment. Happily, when Vega started to get in Gargano’s face, Candice LeRae came out and shoved her. Gargano went for Almas, Almas and Vega retreated to the stage.
From their safe distance Vega screamed that she was sick of them and asked what she could do to get rind of them. Gargano said if she wants him gone, give him another shot. If he can’t win the NXT Championship, he’ll leave NXT. Even LeRae looked shocked. He paced looking worried but resolute, with LeRae trying to reason with him. He was reassuring her as they left the ring.
Press conference with Shayna Baszler. She said it only took one month for her to become the most feared woman NXT has ever seen. She invited them to ask Dakota Kai, Aliyah, anyone in the performance centre. There are three choices when you get in the ring with her, tap, nap, or snap. There won’t be a rematch because Ember Moon is scared. She knows that if she gets back in the ring with her she’ll lose her title. She won’t get in the ring with her, she’s not a real champion, and she got lucky last time. Baszler told the reporter to tell Ember Moon she said that. What a transparent attempt at reverse psychology.
Pete Dunne versus Roderick Strong for the UK title next week.
Tyler Bate was interviewed. He talked about being disappointed to lose to Roderick Strong but not to count him out of the title picture just yet. It was nice to win the NXT End of Year award for Match of the Year, and he looks forward to having more match of the year award level matches. He named Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, and Andrade Almas as some of the people he wants to face.
Bianca Belair vs Jessix Hill
The pre-match handshake turned into Belair using her opponent for some squats. She slammed her into the mat, then lifted her above her head and dropped backwards to dump her on her face and pinned her. That was it, lasted less than a minute. Belair is going to be a big star.
Kairi Sane hype video for no apparent reason. Nice to see it anyway.
Aleister Black will appear next week.
Ember Moon tweeted that she would name the time and place for the rematch. Next week, and the title is on the line.
Undisputed ERA vs SAnitY
The six-man tornado started without waiting for the bell, but there are pretty much no rules here, so the bell rang on the first blow.
Impossible to keep up with the early part of the match, just many people hitting each other. They paired off and beat on each other, until they spilled out of the ring to find toys.
Kyle O’Reilly kneed Alexander Wolfe in the face enough times to keep him still in a chair while he jumped off the ring apron onto him.
Killian Dain and Bobby Fish kept the action in the ring while Eric Young, Adam Cole Alexander Wolfe and Kyle O’Reilly went for a brawling tour of the backstage area. They came back fairly quickly, so Dain chased Fish up to the stage and threw him off onto everyone else.
Alexander Wolfe got a two count of Adam Cole from a sitout powerbomb, but O’Reilly broke it up. Killian Dain kicked Adam Cole in the face and off the apron to pay him back for the kicks Cole had landed on him through the match. Sadly, Cole got out of the way of the rolling senton, and Dain crashed through a propped-up table.
Undisputed ERA isolated Alexander Wolfe in the ring. Eric Young and a kendo stick just about made it back in in time to stop him being pinned. They triple teamed Young as well but he managed to kick out.
Killian Dain climbed back into the ring, threw off the attack from all three opponents then wiped them all out. Dain delivered the Ulster Plantation to Bobby Fish for the win. The match was about 80% Killian Dain, and all the better for it.
SAnitY sort of stood tall at the end of the night. Killian Dain had one of his teammates under each arm in a cross between a hug and a headlock, an amusing image to end the show on.
I believe it would be a bad move to split up Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. The NXT roster is stacked in both tag teams and singles competitors. They have a decent shot of being staples as a tag team, but neither are likely to be top of the NXT ladder as singles guys. Not that they haven’t got the talent, but look how many people are already climbing that ladder.
The Bianca Belair squash match was one of the fastest I’ve ever seen. We got a Candice LeRae appearance so I’m a little more forgiving but only a little. Hearing the crowds chant for Le Rae was my favourite moment of the night. NXT have a great opportunity to rebuild their women’s division into the best in WWE and a huge talent pool to do it with. I’m trying my best to be patient, but I want to see more.
Undisputed ERA vs Sanity should now be over according to William Regal. That’s fine, except SAnitY still haven’t had their rematch, and they were victorious tonight. Killian Dain is superb, and I’d love to see him challenge Almas. I want to see Zelina Vega talk her way out of that. And if she thinks Candice LeRae is scary just wait until she meets Nikki Cross.
Two title matches next week, that’s a great thing to see on a standard NXT episode.