Another excellent looking line up for tonight’s show. The UK Championship will be defended in the main event. Champion Pete Dunne is taking on Wolfgang. Ruby Riot and a mystery tag partner are facing Payton Royce and Billie Kay. And WWE.com have a section in the preview talking about the message William Regal had for Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly last week. I sense shenanigans ahead.
Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross def Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
Johnny Gargano def Riddick Moss
Street Profits def Ealy Brothers
Pete Dunne def Wolfgang
After the usual housekeeping bits from the commentary team, the women’s tag team match started the show.
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay vs Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross
Initially it looked like Ruby Riot had come to the party alone, despite William Regal’s insistence that she found a partner – surely she should be in trouble for disobeying a direct order from the general manager. Kay and Royce took the opportunity to double team Riot, and get her on the back foot immediately.
A few moments into the match Nikki Cross was spotted at ringside, but all she did was watch Riot getting beaten down by ‘the iconic duo’. Riot did try to fight back, and even managed to use Billie Kay as a weapon against Peyton Royce, but it was obviousl the two on one was taking it out of her. When it looked like Ruby Riot was in real trouble, propping herself up in the corner trying to gather herself, Nikki Cross tagged herself in.
She decimated Royce and Kay, in a whirlwind of fury and craziness. She hit Billie Kay with a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker, then tagged Riot back in and wandered off smiling. Ruby Riot climbed to the top rope and landed a back senton on Kay for the win.
Riot looked confused and not entirely happy after the win. She obviously has some questions for Nikki Cross, but Cross didn’t hang around long enough for her to even say thanks for the help.
Next up, a look back to Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli interrupting Johnny Gargano’s interview last week. Leading to the announcement the Gargano will face Moss (with Sabbatelli at ringside) in the next match.
No Way Jose was interviewed backstage about his growing rivalry with Lars Sullivan. He said Lars Sullivan is an animal, a monster and freak. He was just having fun with the crowd when Sullivan attacked him three weeks ago. And he proved he has a screw loose when he attacked the three opponents he’d just beaten last week. Someone has to teach Sullivan a lesson, and Jose wants it to be him. Then he challenged Sullivan to a match on next week’s NXT
Johnny Gargano vs Riddick Moss
Anyone know why Tino Sabbatelli felt the need to wear his gear to the ring? He could have accompanied Moss while wearing street clothes. Gargano gave up a lot of height and weight to his opponent in this match, but that’s fairly normal for Gargano and it’s never stopped him before.
Riddick Moss had the best of the opening offence. His greater strength and stature was used to full effect, as he threw Johnny Gargano all over the ring. There’s no doubt that Gargano is the superior technician, but he was struggling to find an opening against the power moves being utilised by Moss.
The turnaround started when Moss started trash talking about Gargano being nothing without #DIY. He was in the ascendency, when Sabbatelli distracted him by grabbing his leg. He fought that off and managed to lock the Gargano escape onto Riddick Moss. Unfortunately for Johnny Gargano, Moss managed to get to the bottom rope, and it looked like Gargano started to lose confidence in himself.
Moss took advantage and got the upper hand again, briefly. While Gargano was stood on the apron, Sabbatelli moved to interfere, and Gargano kicked him in the face, then speared Riddick Moss and pinned him.
Even after the win Gargano didn’t quite look himself. It looks like a crisis of confidence storyline. I wonder if this will run until Ciampa is fit, and Gargano can get closure on their feud. If that’s the case, it could be an uncomfortable few months for us Johnny Gargano fans.
Street Profits vs Ealy Brothers
Street Profits have become very popular, very quickly. I’m not surprised, they’re fun and they’re good.
Ealy Brothers, Gabriel and Uriel, haven’t had too much luck in NXT. Sadly for them, tonight was no different.
They managed a few moments of dominance in this short match, but only enough to assert their credibility, you never got the impression they were in any danger of winning.
A big splash from Montez Ford finished the match after only a couple of minutes.
Post-match, Street Profits made their way into the crowd to celebrate. They’ve risen in popularity as a team so quickly, I’d expect them in the title picture sooner rather than later.
Next we got an exceptionally well put together package for Asuka. It showcased her NXT career and her farewell, with comments from various people, including Corey Graves and Bayley. It was revealed earlier in the week that she will be going to RAW. I hope they make a good job of her transition. There has, quite rightly, been a lot of criticism of the way Bayley’s step up to the main roster has been handled. It would be awful to see the same issues with Asuka. Fingers crossed she’ll be fine.
After the package William Regal was asked if the plans were already in place for choosing a successor. He said no, he has a lot to think about, but he will confirm in the next few weeks exactly what will happen.
After an announcement that Aleister Black is going to address the NXT universe next week, the first time they’ve given him a mic. We were into prep for the main event.
Wolfgang said, in his pre-match interview, that he’s never been more ready for any match. He pinned Tyler Bate in the tag match, and now he’s planning to walk away with the UK title.
Pete Dunne said nothing, just put the belt in his mouth and walked out to the ring.
Pete Dunne vs Wolfgang – UK Championship match
It’s very cool to see how over the UK lads are. The crowd love Pete Dunne and chanted Bruiserweight through his entrance and the introductions at the start of the match. Wolfgang got his fair share of howls when he was introduced, but the US fans seem to have really taken to Dunne.
I’m not surprised. The UK lads being used by WWE are superb, and they have had nothing but awesome matches anytime they’ve stepped in an NXT ring. Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate at NXT TakeOver Chicago has been mentioned in many a match of the year contender conversation.
This was another excellent match. Slower paced, and technical to start, with Pete Dunne trying some joint manipulation tactics. Wolfgang soon brought his power moves into play though, to even things up for a while.
That was the story of the match really. Pete Dunne has the superior technique, Wolfgang is bigger and stronger. Wolfgang isn’t afraid to take to the air though. He did it a couple of times, including a huge dive over the top rope to the outside.
Wolfgang hit The Howling, but Pete Dunne was waiting and caught him in an armbar. Wolfgang powered out of it, and they went back and forth again. Eventually, Pete Dunne won the match, and retained the title, with The Bitter End.
After the match Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish ran down to the ring and surrounded Dunne (the first interaction with the normal roster if I’m not mistaken). He put the championship down and launched himself at O’Reilly. Three on one was never good odds though, and they overpowered him quickly.
Wolfgang stepped in to help, and as soon as the trio turned their attention to him Pete Dunne left him to take the beating, returning briefly to grab his title belt.
Somewhat belatedly (as Cole, Fish and O’Reilly had already left the ring) Trent Seven and Tyler Bate ran down to the ring to protect Wolfgang. The show ended with the six men staring each other down and trash talking.
So, we got the expected shenanigans from Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole. Interesting that they came at the expense of the UK superstars. I don’t recall them interacting with the normal NXT roster before. Some level of integration would be an excellent move, especially as it’s all gone quiet on the weekly UK show. And if it means the UK lads get used more, I’m all for it.
William Regal said he has not decided how the next NXT women’s champion will be decided. However, we do know part of the process. Yesterday, following the Mae Young Classic final, Triple H announced that Kairi Sane would be involved in a match, for the vacant NXT women’s title, at the next TakeOver event. It will be interesting to see how her opponent is determined.
I’m already intrigued by next week’s episode. Aleister Black hasn’t said anything, outside of his promo videos, since his arrival in NXT. He clearly has something important to say now. I’m assuming he will declare his intention to go for the NXT Championship, I can’t think what else he’d need to get off his chest, but I’ve been wrong before.