Just two advertised matches on tonight’s show. Keith Lee and Kona Reeves try to settle their differences. And Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and Adam Cole meet in a triple-threat for the North American Championship. Also advertised is the possibility of Velveteen Dream responding to Tommaso Ciampa’s promo last week, and a small chance we might find out what Nikki Cross knows about the Aleister Black attack.
Keith Lee Def. Kona Reeves
Ricochet def. Pete Dunne and Adam Cole
Tommaso Ciampa opened the show. He started by telling us that the greatest sports entertainer of all time now has the greatest entrance music of all time. The icing on the cake is that it has brought silence to the sheep. But, in every flock, there is always one that tries to break away from the pack. One that craves attention. One who needs to be different. In this flock, it is the Velveteen Dream. Addressing himself to Velveteen Dream he said, ‘Dream you have the champ’s attention but, man, you’ve gone about it the wrong way. When you start pointing fingers and making accusations, when you stick your nose into things that are none of your business…’
He got interrupted at that point by Velveteen Dream. He said, ‘all of this is extremely amusing to The Velveteen Dream, especially the part about you being the greatest sports entertainer of all time. The greatest sports entertainer of all time, really?’ And, since they’re on the subject the Dream doesn’t appreciate his little threats either. He assumes Ciampa talks like that because he believes he is a bad, bad, man. The Dream believes the NXT championship deserves a true experience and not a guilt trip from an angry little bald man hiding behind his insecurities
Ciampa said, he may be an angry little bald man, but he’s an angry little bald man with a shiny, shiny, oh so shiny title belt. He gets it, The Dream wants what the champ has. He wants the main event, he wants the spotlight, he wants Ciampa’s NXT title. Ciampa doesn’t think Velveteen Dream believes it when he accuses him of attacking Aleister Black, he thinks Velveteen Dream just wants attention. Everyone is listening, so why doesn’t he just be a man and just admit… it. Ciampa listened to the title belt and made it very clear that the title said, maybe Velveteen Dream isn’t tough enough.
Velveteen Dream said trust him, not only is he tough enough, he’s man enough. In fact, he’s more man than Ciampa can handle. And if he really wants to find all that out all he has to do is give The Dream a moment with him and the NXT Championship.
Nikki Cross made her way to the ring then and the crowd chanted triple-threat while she bounced up and down smiling. She smiled at Ciampa, from slightly too close, then get distracted by the tassels on Velveteen Dream’s jacket.
As the crowd chanted ‘Nikki knows a secret’ she got in the face of first Velveteen and said, ‘I know what you did’, and tapped him on the nose.
She knocked the mic out of Ciampa’s hand then got down on the mat, laughing as said, ‘I know what you did too. I know, I know, I know’.
She chased Velveteen Dream out of the ring then kicked the mic away from Ciampa. She laughed and sang I know as he advanced towards her and she rolled slowly through the ropes.
Keith Lee vs Kona Reeves
It started much as you’d expect, with Lee throwing Reeves around at will and showing off his agility. Kona Reeves turned it around by punching Lee in the face from the outside after unsighting him with the ring skirt, then staying on him and dragging out his aggressive streak.
It kept Keith Lee down for a while, until Lee had had enough. He pounced Reeves halfway across the ring then a Super Nova finished the match in Lee’s favour.
We were given an update on Shayna Baszler’s progress in her bid to regain the NXT Women’s Championship. She believes it was her year. She became NXT champion faster than anyone else. Brooklyn was a misstep. What makes her angry is that people think Sane beat her, rather than it being her own mistake that cost her. She had Sane beaten, but she got complacent and got caught. Sane didn’t beat her, she beat herself. It won’t happen again.
Kairi Sane had an answering promo in the pack of reporters format. They asked how she felt about Evolution. Sane said she was very excited about appearing on an all-woman PPV and it was a great opportunity. Then she was asked about Baszler’s unusual approach to training for the match. she said, ‘Shayna can train all she wants but I will beat her again’.
William Regal was asked about his progress on the Aleister Black investigation and said he wasn’t going to reveal his list of remaining suspects. He knows he needs answers, and he knows Nikki Cross keeps saying she knows who did it.
Kassius Ohno was waiting outside Regal’s office. He was asking about their previous conversation. He’s still after a match with Matt Riddle and said William Regal doesn’t know what he’s about, or who attacked Black, and maybe Regal’s ‘bromance’ isn’t the competitor he thinks he is, or maybe he’s the one that did it. After Regal had gone into his office Nikki Cross approached Ohno and said, ‘I know what you did’.
There was a big hype package for Undisputed ERA’s tag title defence against War Raider. That match is happening next week as part of a double main event with Nikki Cross versus Bianca Belair.
Ricochet (C) vs Pete Dunne vs Adam Cole – NXT North American Championship match
Almost half the show was dedicated to this main event. It deserved it to be honest. I’m not even going to attempt a narrative thread of what went on, no-one’s got that sort of time. I’ll just highlight some fun stuff.
It started off with Ricochet and Dunne beating on Cole in a corner, separately and together, but they couldn’t even agree on that and Cole took the opportunity to shove Ricochet into Dunne to make it one on one for a bit.
It often appears that gravity is Ricochet’s bitch, less so when he got thrown out of the ring by Cole so he and Dunne could face off. Standard arrangement for a triple threat, two in one out for the bulk of the action, with three-man chaos in bursts. But very well done. Ricochet waiting patiently for Dunne to get Cole in a submission then kicking Cole in the face was a fun touch, but Dunne didn’t take kindly to his hold being broken and punched Ricochet in the face
In the middle of an intricate exchange between Dunne and Ricochet, Adam Cole felt the need to come in, kick everyone, then check the crowd hadn’t forgotten his name since he arrived in the ring.
At one point, Dunne got them both in a single leg crab, but it didn’t really work.
On one of Ricochet’s many flights, Dunne and Cole simultaneously kicked him out of the air and they all had a lay down to catch their breath.
Adam Cole superkicked the steps when Dunne moved out of the way, then Dunne stamped on his hand on the steps. Ricochet swung into Dunne, missed a moonsault on Cole, got superkicked by Cole who then got moonsaulted on by Dunne. After all that Dunne dragged Ricochet into the ring but only managed two after an X-plex.
We got a tower of doom, of sorts, everyone was up on the top turnbuckle, and everyone came down courtesy of Ricochet’s legs around their necks.
Adam Cole almost pinned Pete Dunne with his feet on the ropes, after crotching Ricochet on the turnbuckle but Dunne kicked out and Ricochet hit a shooting star press on him which he turned into a triangle. A superkick broke that up.
Adam Cole almost pinned Pete Dunne with a spike neckbreaker after a Last Shot to Ricochet.
Pete Dunne hit the Bitter End on Cole. Ricochet hit them with a 450 from half way across the ring on two and four-fifths. Cole rolled away, and Ricochet pinned Dunne for the win. Hell of a finish to one hell of a match.
This was a really good episode of NXT. No women’s division action, which isn’t great. But we got a Nikki Cross appearance, and an update on Baszler and Sane, which is better than nothing. It’s very interesting that the NXT Tag Team Championship match and Nikki Cross versus Bianca Belair are being given double main event status. You can only imagine there will be some shenanigans in the Cross versus Belair match that will warrant it.
Tonight’s main event was epic. It completely deserved the time it was given and could have been given an entire show without any complaint. The ‘fight forever’ and ‘this is awesome chants’ from the crowd back that up.