Nikki Cross has become obsessed with “playing games” with Bianca Belair. This is extremely creepy.
CANDICE LeRAE VS. LACEY EVANS
I remember these two having an awesome match a few months back, and I expect another tonight. The size advantage for Evans is obvious, but I doubt it’s going to affect LeRae, she is so quick and elusive, she can easily get inside Evans’ reach. I love how Nigel characterizes Evans’ elegance: “Lacey Evans doesn’t sweat, she perspires.”
Evans pulls LeRae’s hair behind the ref’s back. Really good heel move as she has her in a Cobra Clutch-type hold. The match is slower and not as crisp as their last one, I’m a little disappointed so far. I was highly impressed by LeRae’s jumping facebuster-type move from the middle rope, I really don’t know how else to characterize it other than LeRae jumped from the turnbuckle and Evans went face first in the mat.
All LeRae needed was a little motivation, and she got it when Evans insulted Johnny Gargano. Unfortunately the emotion made her way too aggressive and she walked directly into a Women’s Right and a loss. Nowhere near the quality of their last match, unfortunately.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
VIDEO PACKAGE: RICOCHET, ADAM COLE, & PETE DUNNE
All three men talk about their upcoming triple threat match for the North American Championship. Really well-done segment and promos
Ricochet Promo Rating: Two Stone Colds
Pete Dunne Promo Rating: Five Stone Colds
Adam Cole Promo Rating: Four Stone Colds
BACKSTAGE PROMO: TOMMASO CIAMPA
Ciampa calls out Velveteen Dream for insinuating that Ciampa attacked Aleister Black. More terrific stuff from the best.
Promo Rating: Nine Jake Roberts
SIX-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH: CESAR RISE, TORRY KIRSCH, & VINNY MIXON VS. THE FORGOTTEN SONS
I can’t remember the last time there was a six-man tag team match on NXT. Has there ever been one? I really can’t think of one. I know nothing about Rise, Kirsch, or Mixon other than they’re probably cannon fodder tonight. The Forgotten Sons show off a ton of power, including a huge clothesline, then a slingshot throwing powerbomb by Ryker for the win.
Destruction Rating: Four Braun Strowmans
SHAYNA BASZLER VIGNETTE
In what I think is the best and most natural promo she’s ever done, Shayna talks about getting too comfortable after winning the title, and her evolution. The great promo may be because she’s talking about how she trained for an MMA fight and doing things the same way, and that’s a more comfortable and natural scenario for her to talk about. I came out of this impressed and said out loud “that’s a great promo.”
Promo Rating: Eight Sensational Sherris
Tony Nese is in NXT? Hell, I’m down for that. I think it’s a great move for him, he was a victim of the numbers game on 205 Live, there wasn’t a place on the card for him as a singles competitor because there were other guys being showcased, and he was always the other guy in a faction.
BACKSTAGE PROMO: BIANCA BELAIR
Love this girl. Cocky as hell with the skills to back it up.
Promo Rating: Six Sensational Sherris
JOHNNY GARGANO VS. TONY NESE
Nese is already putting on a hell of a show in his NXT debut. It’s a hell of a spot to be thrown into in his first match at Full Sail, and I think he’s really impressing everybody. Gargano looks like he’s no-selling the body scissors. He looks like he’s just chilling while he tries to separate Nese’s legs. I’ve been put in body scissors before, by Keith Gavin in high school. Keith Gavin was a Division I NCAA Champion wrestler for the University of Pittsburgh, and almost made the U.S. Olympic team. I have to believe Nese’s leg scissors are even stronger. And let me tell you, there was no chance in hell I could do anything but get pinned and pray that the match ended and he let go when he had me in the body scissors, because I couldn’t even take one breath. All that to say, Johnny’s actions while in the body scissors were unrealistic.
The pace really picks up from both guys, including a corkscrew suicide dive and a 450 splash from Nese, who doesn’t often showcase his high-flying ability, because he usually doesn’t need to. He has such a strength advantage that he doesn’t need to go high risk often, but Gargano is a different animal. You’re not going to put him away easily. Maybe with a brutal German suplex into a turnbuckle, but no, Gargano recovers immediately and wins with the Gargano Escape. Terrific, terrific match. Save the body scissors spot.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
DANNY BURCH & ONEY LORCAN VIGNETTE
We’ve barely heard any promos from these guys in their careers, so I think this is a very good idea to let people see their backgrounds, personalities, and motivations from their own mouths. I’ve learned more about these two in this minutes-long interview than I have in the past three years.
Promo Rating: Five Dusty Rhodes
LARS SULLIVAN VS. EC3
Lars Sullivan has to win. He’s the future money maker for the company in my eyes. I don’t see EC3’s appeal. He does show off his power against the much bigger Sullivan, including with an impressive scoop slam. Lars Sullivan is just too big and too powerful to be kept down and beaten that early in a match. EC3 shows terrific resiliency to withstand Sullivan’s comeback and go back to laying into the leviathan. But Sullivan is angry now, and takes it out on EC3 with a gigantic clothesline and some brutal crossface forearm strikes.
EC3 fights back again and hits an INCREDIBLE German suplex on the giant before hitting a terrible cross body from the top rope. He landed like ankle to chest on that, it looks extremely shitty. EC3 is bleeding above his right eye. Sullivan hits his Freak Accident finisher on the apron, then goes to the top for a diving headbutt for the win. Both guys looked strong, both guys were very resilient, and a loss doesn’t hurt EC3 while it would have hurt Sullivan. I feel like a hard-fought win against someone who had the strength to throw him around a bit does a lot for Sullivan. Very entertaining and hard-hitting match.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Nine Gold Medals