We have a debut tonight, Kushida has arrived and Kassius Ohno is the lucky man to welcome him to the NXT fold. Also on the card for tonight, Humberto Carrillo teams up with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to take on Forgotten Sons, and Mansoor faces Dominik Dijakovic. We’re also likely to hear from Undisputed ERA.
Forgotten Sons def. Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, & Humberto Carrillo
Dominik Dijakovic def. Mansoor
Kushida def. Kassius Ohno
After an introduction that was all about Kushida, the six-man tag opened the show.
Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, & Humberto Carrillo vs Forgotten Sons
Humberto Carrillo is not a natural fit for this match. Obviously, he’s there because Burch and Lorcan came to his aid last week, but the style differences are interesting. That said, it was Oney Lorcan who took to the skies first, diving over the top rope to take out all three Forgotten Sons.
By the time Carrillo came in, Forgotten Sons had decided to take a break on the outside. When they deigned to come back, Ryker quickly grounded Carrillo and Forgotten Sons kept him down for a long time with fast tags and double or triple teaming in the overlaps.
Danny Burch got to be the man to clean house. Cutler had already knocked Lorcan off the apron to prevent Carrillo tagging him, but Burch had dodged him. He would have submitted Cutler if Ryker hadn’t interfered and started pounding on him.
Carrillo and Lorcan stepped in and it broke down a bit. In the chaos, Carrillo took out Lorcan with a dive when the Forgotten Sons he was aiming for moved. That left Danny Burch to take a beating from all three of them. Jaxson Ryker knocked Carrillo out of the air as he returned to help and a Forgotten Sons triple team on Burch and Carrillo allowed Blake to get the pin on Burch.
Cathy Kelley asked Shayna Baszler if she felt any remorse for attacking Kairi Sane. Baszler, Duke, and Shafir thought that was funny. They were less amused by Kelley asking if attacking Io Shirai was strategic because Shirai has pinned Baszler but Baszler has never pinned Shirai. In response, Baszler removed her sunglasses to give Cathy Kelley a death stare and knocked the mic out of her hand.
We were shown Performance Center footage of Bianca Belair and Mia Yim getting in each other’s faces. That match is happening next week and it’s going to be awesome.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Mansoor
Mansoor did great until Dijakovic caught him mid-crossbody and lobbed him over the top rope. He landed in an unpleasantly crumpled heap half against the barricade. Dijakovic followed him out and smacked him across the back before throwing him back in.
Somehow, even after being chucked across the ring again, Mansoor kicked out. More heavy blows a backbreaker and a splash, and Mansoor still kicked out. It just made Dijakovic angry.
Against all odds, Mansoor rallied, attempting sleeper holds and landing a couple of kicks. He got a close two count after jumping onto Dijakovic’s knee and kicking him in the head.
As Mansoor came off the turnbuckle he got caught with a kick. Half a dozen big blows later we were instructed to feast our eyes, and Mansoor was pinned.
After the match, Velveteen Dream appeared on his couch. He did a little Dream focused song to the tune of Star Spangled Banner. It was about him beating his opponents but it was a bit difficult to make out in places and they didn’t show the lyrics enough to read them.
Matt Riddle versus Adam Cole will be next week’s main event. Undisputed ERA called Johnny Gargano the luckiest man in history and said he’s on borrowed time. Adam Cole said how strong Undisputed ERA are because they focus on the future not on the past and the fact Roderick Strong ‘dropped the ball’ last week. Strong took exception to that and walked off. When Cole said Strong couldn’t take a joke, Bobby Fish called Cole out on his timing and went off to find him. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Undisputed ERA implode.
Kushida vs Kassius Ohno
Kushida wanted to start the match with a handshake. Ohno kicked his hand away. After a prolonged feeling out process and an exchange that left Ohno distinctly on the back foot, Kassius Ohno dropped to his knee and told Kushida, ‘You’re good.’ He offered his hand, Kushida shook it and Ohno kicked him in the face.
Ohno’s advantage was short-lived. Kushida, who was bleeding from the nose just a little, caught Ohno with a kick in the head and a tomahawk chop and followed it up by dropkicking his arm.
Ohno got him up on his shoulders and planted him into the canvas with a facebuster. Kushida’s nose was bleeding considerably more from then. Ohno took a moment for trash-talking, was sent first into the turnbuckle and had to kick out after a hurricanrana.
An elbow put Kushida down for two and a big boot left him hanging onto the ropes to stay up. But as Ohno rebounded off the ropes, Kushida caught him with a Wind-up punch, and a penalty kick to Ohno’s arm before submitting him with the Hoverboard lock.
Next week is when everything should really start to fall into place because it’s the first show of the new tapings. That’s when we’ll see the Shake-up moves start to take effect and the build for the next TakeOver – which is still apparently time and place to be decided.
Nice debut for Kushida, I’m interested to see where and how he slots into the division, or how quickly he heads towards the title. Slightly disappointed at the lack of a women’s division match this week, especially considering the episode was only 47 minutes. But Mia Yim versus Bianca Belair next week should make up for it.