Live from Full Sail University comes this weeks episode of NXT, kicking right off with Kassius Ohno going up against Kona Reeves!
Commentary keeps us up to date with a new attitude on display by Ohno in recent weeks as well as this being Reeves first match since his loss to EC3. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Reeves but this is my first exposure to him, I'm excited to see what he’s got!
The match starts with Kassius getting the better of Reeves as they lock up. The two lock up again, Reeves goes behind and slaps Ohno in the back of the head. Ohno turns to Reeves, very clearly unhappy as Reeves screams at Ohio before striking as pose while crying out “I am the finest!” To which Ohno gives him a damn solid right hand right to the face for his trouble.
Reeves is reeling as Ohno backs him into the corner, Reeves strikes Ohno with a kick to the mouth before following it up with a double axe handle and a quick 2 count. Reeves gets Ohno up in a fireman’s carry but Ohno slides off, dropping behind Reeves. As the young upstart turns he’s met with a hard Rolling Elbow from Ohio and he picks up the early win. (00:55)
Ohno doesn’t look to celebrate his dominate victory, he instead calls for a mic and begins to talk about how when he came back there was a buzz but now, now there isn’t. He talks about Kassius Ohno becoming and after though and that there’s always someone new and always someone fresh, someone with buzz and claims he’ll be there waiting to greet them and knock them to the back of the line.
Match was nothing more than really a win to bring Kassius out and get him some momentum for his promo I feel. The promo itself felt like it may be the beginning of a turn but ended up being nothing more than Ohno kind of just putting himself out there for someone to step forth and feud with him. A lot of people see Kassius as the guy the fresh new NXT guy comes in to beat and this feels almost like him owning that place in a sense. Maybe lining up a match between him and Matt Riddle down the line?
Commentary hyper our main event as we will see Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream. Keen.
Up next we’ll see the in ring debut of The Forgotten Sons as they face The Street Prophets! I really dig this whole gimmick, well everything I’ve seen which is just photos from NXT’s Instagram so take that for what you will, but the point is that I’m excited to see what they’ve got.
The name is sadly ironic I suppose, with both his former partners up on the main roster while Wesley Blake has been forgotten it seems down in NXT. As far as I’m aware he took time off when he had his child and I was excited when I heard he’d put together a new tag team and was back out doing shows again. He and Murphy both did great things with their original run so I’m hopeful he’s still capable of what he was then. I’m not familiar with Steve Cutler but Jaxson Ryker I know and love from his days in impact as Gunner. I could not tell why but there was just something that made me like the guy. Fun fact, also teamed with a guy named Murphy while in TNA, funny how things work out.
Just looking at them, if the endgame here is to have Blake and Cutler do the tag team thing while Ryker is a singles worker I can definitely see it working. The Street Prophets make their way to the ring and are met with a good reaction from the crowd. It’s the first time in awhile I’ve seen them but they’re still as fun as I remember. Montez Ford and Blake start start things off before the Prophets make a quick tag and in a nice sequence take down The Forgotten Sons with a double dropkick, knocking them to the outside which sets them up for a beautiful tope dive on to them both from Ford. After taking a sip from his magic cup of course.
As the action returns to the ring The Street Prophets are firmly in control of the match, taking turns working on Cutler. It not until a blind tag to Blake let’s the Sons turns the table as Blake damn near takes off Ford’s head with a crazy strong Lariat. Now it’s the Son’s who take their turns in inflicting pain on their opponent. The crowd are hot and firmly behind Ford but The Son’s keep their tags frequent and use an array of nice double teams to maintain control.
Cutler looks for a a neckbreaker but Ford counters into a backslide, only getting a short 2. He goes to tag in Dawkins but Cutler grabs the leg and drags him back, tagging in Blake in the process. Ford pulls in and pushes Cutler off, Blake looks to drop an elbow on him but Ford moves and creates the opening he needs. Blake gets between Dawkins and Ford, throws an awkwardly high clothesline as Ford crawls under and gets the tag to his partner.
Dawkins charges in, dropping Blake twice before Cutler runs in only to be met with a crazy high dropkick from the big man. Blake looks to get on top but with one big push Dawkins shows he’s got the strength as well as athleticism as he sends Blake flying back into the corner. Dawkins begins to unload on Blake in the corner, Cutler runs in but Dawkins moves. The Son’s stop from one another from colliding and as Cutler turns Dawkin smacks him right in the mouth as he falls to the outside. Dawkins continues his dominance, giving Blake a snake eyes on the midd of the top rope and following it up with a bulldog. He sets Blake up in the corner as he hypes up the crowd and charges in with a jumping 360 splash. Dawkins tags in Ford and goes to sett up Blake as Ford climbs to the top rope but Cutler grabs Dawkins by the foot, dragging him outside the ring and throws him right into the ring steps. Cutler is met with a stiff kick from Ford as he runs across the apron. Slingshotting into the ring and over Blake, Ford hits the ropes and comes at Blake with a float over DDT.
Before he can capitalise two masked men run out to ringside and take the magical cup! Ford gets his hands on one of them and unmasks him as The Mighty’s Shane Thorn as the other makes a get away. Again, before he can do anything Ryker runs through Ford like a truck and sends him back into the ring where Blake and Cutler are able to take their time and hit Ford with an Inverted DDT / Knee Drop on the second rope for the win. (06:40)
A really strong debut for The Son’s, the match was good and pretty action packed for one just shy of 7 minutes long. The new team looks strong and they get a solid victory over The Prophets without making them look weak as they further their feud with The Mighty. Solid match and solid booking.
Backstage we have our General Manager William Regal continuing his investigation into who attacked Aleister Black. His suspects this time? Heavy Machinery. It doesn’t take long before Otis admits it was him… who broke the toilet in the performance centre. The hunt for who attacked Black continues!
Last week we saw Pete Dunne and Ricochet vs The Undisputed Era where it was a bit of miscommunication that cost Ricochet and Dunne the match and had the arguing with one another backstage. How will they settle this? Well in two weeks we’re going to get Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne with BOTH The NXT UK and North American Championships on the line! I am beyond hyped for this.
Back to full sail as our new NXT Womens Champion Kairi Sane make her way to the ring. There’s a treasure chest set up on the stage which hold Kairi’s title in side. I love this gimmick. I love this girl. I’m so happy.
Kairi will be facing Trish Adora, a new face to NXT. The match is what you’d expect for Kairi with her first appearance since winning the championship, she takes control early, gets her spots in and finishes it quickly with The Insane Elbow. (02:26)
Kairi celebrates her victory in the ring as Shayna Bazler music hits. The former champion makes her way out and knocks over the treasure chest. What a dick. Shayna tells Kairi to enjoy her pirate treasure fantasy while she can because reality is going to ‘hit it like a cannon ball’ when Shayne uses her rematch clause. Get it? Cause she’s a pirate. Shayna makes her way down to the ring and wants to see if tonight ‘this pirate can swim’. Get it? Pirate.
Shayna takes Kairi down but as the two trade blows it’s Kairi who comes out on top as Shayna gets out of dodge and makes her way back up the ramp.
We cut backstage to Tomasso Ciampa sitting down and discussing why he hasn’t been since since Brooklyn. He claims it’s because he doesn’t have a number one contender with Black and Gargano gone. He goes on to say he’s addressing us like this because he doesn’t want to waste his time hearing the crowds opinions. Its a sharp and sweet promo and all it needed to be, not much more to say here.
Detective Regal is back, interrogating Lars Sullivan. Lars apologies for not letting Regal know about his return but assures him he is back and cleared to compete. Lars says he was there that night for Black but heard Aleister scream out and saw him played out before he got to him, letting Regal know that if it was him, he still would’ve been standing over Black when Regal got there. “Just ask EC3” Lars says, to which Regal promises he’ll be speaking to EC3. Regal announces that Lars will face the man he attacked last week, Raul Mendoza and to keep his path of destruction in the ring.
It’s time for our main event as Velveteen Dream makes his way to the ring, wearing a customised version of Johnny Gargano’s shirt that reads ‘Johnny Failure’. Rebel Heart blasts and a very focused and determined Gargano powers to the ring. I love small nuances in wrestling and Gargano is so good at them, just the way he composes himself pacing around the ring and looking like he’s ready to throw hands at any second showing his progression as a character afterBrooklyn.
Things get started as the two grapple about the ring to dulling chants from the crowd. Johnny pushes Dream to the buckles, dream attempts to shoot over Gargano but he steps back and out of the way. Dream lands and turns around into a wicked shot to the mouth from Gargano as a much more physical Gargano takes control. The match spills to the outside as Johnny begins to viciously chop Dream against the railing before rolling him back inside. He gets hold of Dream but the bigger of the two powers up, posting Johnny up and hanging him on the tops, flipping the switch on him. Gargano receives the receipts for his chops earlier as Dream begins to mount an offensive on Johnny. With a quick flurry of chops, Gargano tries to fight back but a powerful whip into the corner that sends Johnny head over heels puts a stop to that. The crowd chant for Johnny, looking to get him back in this but Dream is firmly in control of the former NXT Tag Team Champion.
Dream locks in a sleeper hold, working Johnny down but he powers up and backs Dream into the corner. The two engage in an exchange of strikes and Dream comes out top. Dream is quick to the second rope as he attempts an axe handle but Johnny catches him, poised for an exploder suplex but Dream fights out. He attempts his twisting DDT but Johnny counters into and inverted DDT of sorts. Gargano stays hot, now making his way to the middle rope this time and lands a Rana followed up by an enziguri that sends Dream outside.
Johnny looks for that outside dive as he slingshots himself over the ropes, Dream dives back in however. Johnny has it scouted, landing safely on the apron as Dream hits the rope and charges toward him but Gargano meets him with that signature slingshot spear and gets a close 2. Whipping him off the ropes Dream perfectly flips himself over to the apron, using the ropes as leverage as he makes a break for the top rope. Johnny follows and plants himself on the apron across the ring. Dream abandons the top rope and goes for Johnny and is met with a super kick, knocking him to the floor and before he can even get his wits about him Johnny dives onto of him with that cannonball senton dive. (Pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen him hit it?)
Gargano gets Dream back in the ring. He attempts his roll through kick to the head but Dream ducks it, countering perfectly into a Fame Asser for a near fall. Gargano sells back into the corner, baiting Dream over and striking him with a back elbow. Johnny again leaps from the second, this time dream catches him and drops him to his back and attempt to lock in a sharpshooter as Johnny tries to fight it off. Dream switches gear and opts to rollover Johnny and pick him up into a fireman’s carry but Gargano contours into a sunset pin for a 2 before Dream flips it over into a 2 count of his own. They break and meet each other in the centre of the ring as Johnny hits Dream with a roundhouse kick. Johnny hits the ropes but is met on his way back with a big boot that sends him stumbling back to the ropes but he comes firing back with a discus clothesline that knocks Dream inside out. Johnny throws over the arm for a 2 counts. Dream lays his arm over Johnny for a 2 of his own before both men take a moment while the crowd chant ‘this is awesome.” Making his way under the bottom rope, out to the apron again, Johnny looks to climb to the top but Dream follows and grabs hold of his leg. Johnny pulls Dream to his feet and the two trade shots on the apron. A big boot gets Dream the edge as he picks up Gargano into that firemen carry again but Gargano escapes, wriggling down Dreams back and looking to attempt a sunset bomb on the outside it seems but as Johnny’s feet hit the floor his bad knee buckles. Dream see’s his opening and sends Gargano knee first into the steel steps, quickly gets him back inside and hits that Twisting DDT! It looks to be over but Gargano kicks out just before the 3.
Dream begins to attack the bad knee and locks in a leg wrench but Johnny reaches the ropes. Johnny uses the ropes to pull himself up as he stands out on the apron. Dream runs in and is met with a kick to the face. Johnny goes for what looks like a springboard but Dream returns the favour as he lands a super kick that knocks Johnny down and leaves him laid out on the apron. Dream now heads to the top rope and attempts The Purple Rainmaker but Gargano moves and Dream meets the apron. Gargana gets to his feet and quickly races to the ropes and dives out onto Dream. With Dream reeling Johnny doesn’t look to get him back in the ring but chooses to lock in The Gargano Escape on the outside as the referee tries to tell him he can’t win it out there but Johnny keeps the hold locked in, screaming “Is this what you want?!” The referee begins his count, Johnny realising finally breaks the hold and races inside, with Dream narrowly getting in at 9. A wild eyed Gargano attempts to set Dream up for the rope hung DDT but Dream is fighting, Gargano quickly ties Dream up in ropes, delivers a gnarly super kick.
Gargano paces the ring, pulling at his hair again screaming “Is this what you want?!” Before exiting the ring and setting up Dream for the DDT again, this time his feet draped on the apron and his head looming over the unforgiving floor with a wide smile on his face. Johnny seems to be conflicted on what he’s about to do and opts not to as he rolls Dream back inside. He holds his head, perhaps confused by the place he just went to. He moves over to and does the little head bump with a young fan in a Gargano T Shirt before returning to the ring. With Dream in the middle of the ring and Johnny standing in the corner Dream begins screaming and telling Johnny he’s a failure and a disappointment. Johnny, clearly not taking too Kindly to Dreams comments drops his knee pad and charges in but Dream scoops him up and drives him into the mat with a Dream Valley Driver and gets the victory. (15:54)
Dream celebrates up the ramp and makes his exit. As the music fades out Johnny leaves, leaving through the side of the side, avoiding the ramp and waling off into the shadows as he shakes his head.
What a damn match. The sheer amount of story telling down here is enough to warrant watching it, let alone how good the actual match was. I touched on how good Johnny is at nuances and he proved it here in leaps and bounds. Dream continues to show he’s the future with another stellar performance and a big win here. If you check out any of the episode make sure it’s this, god damn was it beautiful.
With Johnny seemingly at his lowest point, Blacks attacker still to be found and his return imminent, Tommaso ruling tyrannically over NXT, Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne with both titles on the line fast approaching and those dastardly boys of The Mighty stealing Fords magic cup NXT is absolutely on fire right now!
What did you think of this weeks episode of NXT? Let us know.
My god, I can’t wait for Dunne vs. Ricochet.