I got to check out the NXT Live show this weekend. Here’s what I saw:
Before the show we get a 10 bell salute for Brino Sammartino. Nice touch. Then we get the National Anthem and on to the matches.
Street Profits and Orney Lorcan vs Forgotten Sons
A little six man tag action to start things off. Lorcan and the Profits are NXT TV regulars while Wesley Blake, formerly of Blake & Murphy is a member of the Sons. Lorcan was getting his name chanted a lot during the match and the Street Profits always entertain.
Lorcan took the mid match beatdown and got in his some good stuff of his own but the real star here is Montez Ford of the Street Profits. That guy is a great athlete and is going to be a big star in the future. Good opener, standard six man tag stuff. Lorcan and the Profits get the W and celebrate afterwards with Lorcan.
Bianca Belair and Lacey Evans vs Kari Sane and Candice LeRae
Women’s tag team match up next. Everyone got some work in and got good reactions from the crowd. Belair and Evans showed some impressive power stuff; their TV matches haven’t done them justice to be honest as they’re a lot better than those shorter matches would suggest. Relatively short, decent match with a surprising result. I figured Sane and LeRae would get the win here given that they were the fan favorites and all and seeing as how Evans mostly loses on TV.
EC3 vs No Way Jose
This was one of those matches where you know from jump who’s going over so you just want to watch the guys work. In particular I wanted to see just what EC3 is all about. I missed his first WWE stint and I don’t watch TNA or Impact or whatever it’s called now so I’m getting an education here. My take is that he has the right tools to be a good one in NXT and on the main roster. This was likely the swan song for Jose in NXT since he’s been called up to be on RAW. As a result he got a nice ‘Thank You Jose!’ chant after the match. OK match, it did what it needed.
Tomasso Ciampa vs Kassisus Ohno
Ciampa cuts a great heel promo on his way to the ring before Ohno comes out to face him. Seriously people, this is how heels should act and talk. Stop trying to be cool all the time. You’re supposed to piss people off. And those of you who want to be all ‘I cheer the people I think are good even if they’re the heels’……
This match was a hard hitting strikefest and was just awesome to see. Not the kind of thing you’d give five stars to if you’re inclined to rate matches but the kind of thing that you’ll remember afterwards. Great work by both guys.
Ricochet vs Velveteen Dream
Match of the night by far. I don’t know if they gave Dream more time here and in DC because he’s local to the area but either way it was time well allotted. These two guys put on a pay per view quality match at a freaking house show.
I got a bunch of video clips that I’m posting over on my Facebook page with the full photo album from the show.
Dream does outstanding character work from start to finish and he absolutely owns his persona. Ricochet is always fun to watch but having only seen him in spot fest kind of matches I was pleasantly surprised at his full scale of wrestling abilities. It might be crazy to say this but he’s one of those guys who’s going to be a better wrestler for not being able to bust out all the highspots every night. Great match all around, one of the best house show matches I’ve ever seen.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs Nikki Cross
Shame that it got stuck in the cool down spot. Good match, and Baszler showed she can do more than MMA style stuff here. Nikki plays her crazy woman character all the way even when she’s not on TV. Not sure what happens with Nikki now that men from Sanity are all on Smackdown.
And now it’s supposed to be main event time but first we get Johnny Gargano out to challenge Ciampa, who answers resulting in a good old pull apart brawl.
Clearly this is far from over.
Main Event – NXT Title Match: Aleister Black (c) vs Andradae Cien Almas
Another swan song as Almas is going to Smackdown. I felt kind of sorry for the guys here because following up Ricochet and Dream was an impossible task. Still they put on a good match, and Zelina Vega plays her role well interfering on behalf of Almas to keep the match going or set up spots. I’ve been kind of ‘meh’ on Black myself but he’s good and comes off better live than on TV in my opinion. Almas of course has all the tools to be a big star on the main roster, what they hoped Alberto Del Rio would have been without all the baggage.
All in all, very good show. I would have liked to see the Undisputed Era guys and Lars Sullivan but I’m guessing they were in another town. Next time, hopefully. In most of the matches the guys and gals got to show more stuff than they do on TV and I was impressed with a lot of people. If NXT comes near you definitely check it out.