NXT TV 1/24/2018
Tonight on NXT, No Way Jose makes his in-ring return. NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon has a sit down discussion with her opponent at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, Shayna Baszler. Plus, Johnny Gargano puts his NXT Championship title match on the line against the Velveteen Dream!
From: Atlanta, GA
Velveteen Dream opens the show cutting a promo from the Performance Center. He has his back to the camera and calls for various production cues, which fits his character very well. Dream says that Johnny Gargano dreams of being NXT Champion at some point, and says that Gargano can be the champion, but not yet. That won’t happen as long as Velveteen Dream is an option. Dream says that no matter what happens, a dream will be over.
Opening Contest: No Way Jose vs. Cezar Bononi: This is No Way Jose’s return to NXT. Bononi is a rather awkward wrestler as his offense isn’t very fluid and comes across really clunky. For a return match, Jose had to deal with a lot of his opponents offense. Jose stopped Cezar with a swinging neckbreaker and wins the match following a forearm strike after lifting Bononi into the air. (NR. I didn’t care for the match and No Way Jose doesn’t come across like an entertaining character.)
A video promoting the feud between Aleistar Black and Adam Cole is aired. They will do battle in an extreme rules match at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia.
Second Contest: Latoya vs. Bianca Belair: Belair countered a head scissors attempt a few moments into the match connecting with a backbreaker. Belair lifts Latoya up with a double hook before dropping Latoya down to the mat face first. Latoya leaps off the middle rope and is met with a strike to the midsection. Belair wins the match following a reverse powerbomb. (1/2*. It didn’t go more than three minutes, but it felt like it took forever. Bianca has some nice moves, but it just didn’t hold my interest. I’m not even sure what her character is. She’s just a girl that has a long braid of hair.)
Percy Watson sat down with Shayna Baszler and NXT Women’s Champion for a sit down interview. Ember Moon is staring daggers at Shayna, but is just laughing. Ember called out Shayna because she’s a bully who thought she could run into their division and run the show. Baszler says she had to stir up waters to get the fish, and that’s what she did to get Ember Moon’s attention. Moon isn’t going to let Shayna to enter her division and use shortcuts. Moon promises that Shayna will not win the championship at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia. Shayna says there is a difference between them. Shayna doesn’t care about people knowing her struggles. Sh knows she worked just as hard as Ember has. Shayna is going to walk away with the NXT Women’s Championship and walk away with Ember’s dreams. Shayna doesn’t care about the NXT Universe and what they think of her. They are just going to have to get use to it. That was kind of corny, but it sets the battle up some more.
The second part of TM61 video promoting their in-ring returns is aired. Shane suffered a knee injury to his left knee and was out of action for several months. They return to action next week.
Third Contest: Authors of Pain vs. Jack & John Doe: AOP simply destroy their opponents hitting stereo Death Valley Drivers into the corner. They cut a promo saying that the Undisputed Era is going to end up with the same fate. There isn’t a referee so this is just a segment. They hit the Super Collider to end the segment.
Main Event: Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano for a shot at the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: The crowd is split between the two men. Dream gets control with a wrist lock and takes Gargano down to the mat. Gargano gets control on the mat with a front face lock. Dream taunts Johnny after getting out of a hold. Dream says that Gargano isn’t ready for Takeover. Gargano tries to lock in the Gargano Escape causing Dream to reach the ropes and bails to the floor as NXT goes to commercial.
Gargano dropkicks Dream off the apron and Dream hits the announcers table face first. Gargano comes off the apron with a somersault dive. Dream counters a spear attempt back into the ring and connects with a swinging neckbreaker. Dream delivers an uppercut to the back of Johnny for a two count. Dream tells Gargano that he doesn’t deserve his spot. Gargano gets a backslide for a two count on Dream. Dream tosses Gargano through the middle rope to the floor. Dream goes to the top rope and falls back into the ring to take out the crowd. Dream instead comes off the apron with a double axe handle and drops Gargano chest first over the guard railing. Johnny fights back with chops on the floor. Dream drives Johnny onto the apron with a back suplex as NXT goes to another commercial.
Johnny drops Dream with a few clotheslines to regain control of the match. Gargano continues with a step up kick to the head of Dream and a leaping forearm in the corner. Johnny delivers a kick to Dream while on the mat. Gargano comes off the middle rope to hit a swinging Flatliner for a two count. Dream hits Gargno on the back but is yanked down to the mat. Dream counters a sunset flip by sitting down. Johnny nearly wins with a rollup. Dream superkicks Gargano, but Gargano comes back with a clothesline for a two count. Johnny pummels Dream with forearms but Dream goes for the rolling Death Valley Driver. Gargano counters with a kick in the corner. Dream is able to plant Gargano with a DDT but Johnny kicks out at two. Dream heads to the top rope but Gargano knocks him off and Dream crashes to the floor. Gargano hits a suicide dive to the floor. Gargano goes to the top as Dream is back in the ring. Dream is able to crotch Gargano on the top turnbuckle. Dream grabs Gargano on the middle rope but Johnny delivers a few elbows. Dream is able to hit a Death Valley Driver but Gargano kicks out at two! Dream goes to the top but can’t hit the elbow drop as Gargano got his knees up. Dream wanted to use his left arm, but couldn’t. Johnny hits a superkick and locks in the Gargano Escape causing Dream to tap out quickly. (***1/2. That was a great main event to close the show. It’s a huge win and gives Gargano great momentum heading into his title match. Velveteen Dream is so damn good. I really hope Dream has a huge 2018 in NXT. He deserves a run on top.)
NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas comes out and appears with his valet. The champ slowly enters the ring while smiling and being overall happy. Almas holds the championship in the air and turns his back to Gargano. Almas tried to attack Gargano but Johnny blocks it at first. Almas is able to drop Gargano with a chop to the chest. Gargano gets tossed to the floor. Almas holds the championship in the air but Gargano pulls himself back into the ring. Gargano delivers a kick on the apron and hits a slingshot DDT back into the ring! Gargano goes over to the NXT Championship and holds it in the air much to the delight of the fans.
This is mostly a two segment show as the segment promoting the NXT Women’s Championship match was effective, even if it was a little corny. The show ended on a strong note as my interest for Gargano/Ciens is higher than I ever really expected it to be at. It’s not an especially strong episode, but I thought the closing segment was nicely done.
Thanks for reading.