WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne defends against Roderick Strong. In a rematch from Takeover, Shayna Baszler challenges NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon!
From: Atlanta, GA
Opening Contest: WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong: Dunne takes Strong down with a cross arm bar but Strong is able to get out of the hold quickly and they have a standoff as we go to commercial very early into the show. Dunne has kept control of Strong focusing on his left arm with a kick sending Strong to the floor. Dunne goes to the floor and stomps on Roderick’s arm on the ring steps. Dunne chops Strong on the floor and attempts another stomp on the steps but Strong counters and drops Dunne back first onto the ring steps! Strong brings Dunne into the ring for a two count and stomps on Dunne several times. Strong connects with another backbreaker for a near fall. Strong drives Dunne down with another backbreaker. Strong beats on Dunne with stomps in the corner. Strong gets decked off the middle rope to the floor and Dunne comes off the top to kick Strong. Dunne runs into a few boots on the apron and Strong drops Dunne gut first onto the apron. We go to a second commercial.
Strong gets met with a kick from Dunne. Strong comes back with a forearm strike to drop Dunne. Dunne nails Strong with a kick in the corner and hits a sit out slam before putting an armbar on Strong. Dunne twists Strong’s injured arm on the mat. Strong can’t hit a backbreaker and instead Dunne hits a sit down powerbomb for a near fall. Dunne avoids a knee in the corner to hit a release German suplex. Strong dropkicks Dunne in midair for a near fall. Strong forearms Dunne in the corner but Dunne counters a backbreaker and they trade rollups. Strong drops Dunne with a backbreaker for a near fall. Dunne sends Strong chest first into the corner before hitting an overhead suplex and kicks Strong in the head for a two count. Dunne goes for a triangle choke and nearly pins himself. Strong is able to catapult Dunne throat first into the top rope with one arm. Strong hits a middle rope Angle Slam but Dunne pops his shoulder up. Strong nails Dunne with a few knee strikes and drops Dunne gut first onto the mat for a near fall. Dunne drops Strong with the X-Plex but Strong counters the Bitter End. They trade a few strikes until Strong hits a powerbomb turned backbreaker. Dunne snaps Strong’s fingers to avoid the Strong Hold. Dunne kicks Strong coming into the ring followed by the Bitter End for the win. (***1/2. A really good TV match as these guys didn’t waste a moment in there. I found myself thinking that Strong may have prevailed, but I don’t think it would have made much sense to do that. This was simply a really good TV match and refreshing to see WWE programming start off with a good near 20-minute match.)
A video package highlighting the feud between Johnny Gargano and NXT Champion Andrade Almas. It’s one of the best stories going on in wrestling right now, I’d say.
Next week, Velveteen Dream will be in action against No Way Jose. He will bring the experience to Jose next week. Dream insults Tyler Bate, as well. Dream thinks that Bate believes he’s man enough to wrestle him. He seems insulted with that comment.
Aleister Black makes his way down to the ring to cut a promo. Black says that the path has always led one way. He is face to face with a sensation. He has been pushed to his limits in the face of an Era. There is now a devil on his back and the devil is driving him. The devil is the NXT Championship. He gets cut off by Killian Dain. Dain says that the devil isn’t on Black’s back, but rather he is and he won’t stop until the NXT Championship is around his waist. Dain is warning Black that his path will be stopped by chaos. Dain goes to leave, but Black says his name as Dain reaches the apron. Black says that Dain must now fade to black. Dain likes the idea of that.
Second Contest: TM61 vs. John Skylar & Andrew Duntworth: This is just a squash match for TM61 who look to be the next team on the rise in the tag team division. They hit Greetings From Thunder Valley to win the match. They are an entertaining tag team, I’d say.
Main Event: NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler: Moon starts off with a dropkick but Baszler goes for a submission. Moon breaks free and kicks Baszler on the mat several times. Moon delivers a knee to keep Baszler on the mat and continues to deliver strikes. Moon connects with a boot to the chest. Moon heads to the top but Baszler bails to the floor. Moon takes Shayna out with a suicide dive. Moon is holding her left elbow in pain selling the arm injury angle. Baszler had ht her back on the announcers table, too. Baszler brings the action back into the ring to focus on the left arm. Baszler gets an armbar on Moon but can’t get a submission. Moon gets a rollup but can’t get a three count. Baszler sends Moon shoulder first into the post and Moon crashes to the floor. Baszler has Ember’s arm trapped in the barricade and adds some punishment. Kairi Sane comes out and attacks Baszler giving Baszler the DQ win. After the match, Sane knocks Baszler to the floor and checks on Moon. Baszler tries to get a sneak attack but is met with a spear. (**. This is just a way to continue the feud. I like the idea of inserting Sane into the match. Personally, Baszler doesn’t do much for me and adding someone like Sane could add some much needed action the matches.)
A solid effort this week for NXT as Dunne/Strong was a really good title match. Black/Dain could be interesting as it was noticeable that Dain was going to breakout the singles star from Sanity. NXT continues to be the easiest hour of television on TV this year for me.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.