I'm back, and just in time for the big contract signing between Almas and Black, which we'll be getting later tonight. Before that, though, we've actually got quite a bit of in-ring action.
Courtesy of the Dusty Classic, SAnitY (Wolfe and Young, as per the usual) take on Sabatelli and Moss, and man, I don't give a fuck about those two guys. I, uh, I'm not sure if you've picked up on that over the last very long time, but, it's true. Anyhoo, Wolfe goes wild on those two losers to start, but he gets throated across the ropes by Moss. Tino hits his legitimately good dropkick, they do some stuff, and then there's the miscue that we all saw coming a mile away. Wolfe makes the Hot Tag to Young, who pretty much immediately hits his legitimately amazing top rope elbow drop. Nikki hits the Cross-body on the outside to Moss, and a combo suplex/second rope neckbreaker gives the win to SAnitY. Match Rating: No Joke, And With Some Serious Competition, Young Is The Best (Guy) At Doing The Elbow.
The one thing I'm sorry about missing last week is when Tomasso Ciampa came out, said nothing, then grabbed a fan's sign and attacked the abstract concept of Johnny Gargano. It's not quite that good, but he's back this week to get booed and say nothing. I assume that next week, the third time will be the charm, and we'll get some forward momentum.
Unless, of course, Johnny Wrestling is just gone forever, and that feud is finished. It's probably that one, yeah?
Next up Lacey Evans takes on Dakota Kai. I would have run Evans as a face, except for the fact that she's like twice the size of every other woman they employ, so, you know, that's that. Kai, we haven't really seen much from, so I'm hoping to really get a gauge on what she can do here. So much for what I want - Evans works the injured shoulder, but Kai almost immediately rolls her up for a surprise three. Match Rating: Anyhoo.
Out comes Baszler, of course, to threaten miss Kai. But Ember Moon is hot behind her. Moon, who I remind you all has absolutely no obligation to give Baszler anything approaching a title match, as she has beaten Baszler twice already, immediately agrees to the title match at Takeover. Great job, Moon. Not content to jaw, they come to blows, and it looks like Baszler is going to get the better of it. Then, Moon manages to get her in position for an Eclipse, only to have Baszler recover and tie her up with a double wristlock on the top rope! Moon's in trouble, until Dakota Kai runs back out and rescues her rescuer with a big running kick. Baszler's stunned, Moon's up top - One-Armed Eclipse! Whoah, badass!
Seriously, I love Baszler, but Moon better win that match with another one-armed Eclipse. It's just too cool not to win.
Now, we've got another Dusty Classic match, as the Street Profits take on Heavy Machinery. They actually start with a bit, where Ford has to back off and recover, taking a drink from his cup. So, Otis wants a drink, and Ford very tentatively gives it to him. Otis drains the cup, tosses it to Ford, and clotheslines him out of his boots! Then, Otis and Knight pick Ford up, and use him like a battering ram on Dawkins in the corner. That gets two off of Ford, who's still legal. Knight locks in a bearhug, but Ford gets loose and makes the tag. Dawkins gets his hot streak cancelled by a big Thesz press from Knight, though. HM set up for the Compactor, but Ford low-bridges Knight to the floor, while Dawkins hits a big DDT on Otis. Dawkins makes the tag, and Ford comes off the top with a beautiful frog splash to pick up the three. Match Rating: Fun And Good.
Non-stop tonight, as we go straight to the main event. Adam Cole challenges Pete Dunne for the UK title. Cole wasn't exactly on my wish list for Pete Dunne opponents, but I'm hardly going to turn my nose up at this. They do a little jockeying to start, with Cole offering a clean break, but Dunne goes right after Fish and Reilly, leading to him taking a severe kicking from Cole when he comes back inside. Dunne doesn't let that bother him, though, and he comes straight back with a forearm shot, followed by some boots of his own. Then he starts working the wrist and joints, followed by a stomp across the arm, then a kick to same. Cole rolls to the apron and Dunne follows him out, where Dunne eats a back elbow. Dunne rebounds to the outside of the turnbuckle, then goes up to the second rope and comes off with a stomp across the floor, then an X-plex that lands Cole across the apron. As Dunne follows Cole back in, though, he allows himself to get distracted by The Era, and gets hung up on the top turnbuckle before taking a hard tumble to the floor. Cole's feeling confident as he takes Dunne back inside, but he shouldn't - here's an X-plex to prove my point. They trade strikes at each other, until Cole lands a knee strike and sends Dunne into the corner. He flips out over Cole's head, though, and lands an enzuigiri. He comes off the top rope with another stomp, then lands a sit-out powerbomb for two. He wants to follow up with the Bitter End, but Cole escapes and lands a backstabber. Cole attempts a suplex, but Dunne counters with a double wristlock, but Cole is able to counter that with the suplex he wanted in the first place. Except, Dunne escapes that suplex, and lands a bicycle kick. Cole counters back with an ushigoroshi for two, and makes a very, very bad mistake. He starts taunting Pete Dunne, a man that I don't think could ever be mistaken for someone who takes taunting well. Cole lands a light forearm, and Dunne answers back with one that knocks Cole halfway across the ring onto his ass in the corner. It's spectacular. Watch it yourself; I do it no justice. The ref gives Cole a minute to recover, and he shoots for a superkick. Dunne catches it, though, and spins Cole around. Cole comes back with an enzuigiri of his own, only to eat a retaliatory forearm to the back of the head. Cole comes off the ropes and trades a superkick for yet another enzuigiri, then shoots Dunne into the corner again. This time, when he tries to flip out, Cole catches him in the face with a kick that puts Dunne down for two! Crowd thinks this is pretty awesome, and they ain't wrong. Cole wants the running knee strike, but Dunne dodges and hits a big release German suplex. Dunne wants the Bitter End, but The Era is up on the apron, so he heads outside and wrecks up the two of them a bit. Of course, he eats a superkick when he gets back in the ring, followed by a suplex/ushigoroshi combo that Mauro calls the "Last Shot," and which is objectively better as a finisher than Cole's running knee. It gets two. Dunne gradually recovers while Cole is aghast at his failure to seal the deal, allowing Dunne to Scurl Cole's fingers. Dunne goes for the Bitter End one more time, only to have The Era run in and start putting the boots to him. That's the bell. Match Rating: Pete Dunne Is The Best Wrestler In The World, Yeah? I've never seen him have a bad match. Anyhoo, Roderick Strong, of all people, runs out to make the save, an although he also takes a beating to start, the two of them eventually run off The Era. Strong offers the hand of respect, but Dunne brushes him off with a light slap across the shoulder, so I guess respect anyways?
Strong, Dunne, and Bate (maybe?) against The Era at Takeover? Sign me up.
Oh, hey, the show's not over! That match had utterly pushed the contract signing out of my mind. GM Regal brings out Black, then Almas, except we dont' actually get Almas. We get Vega. You know, technically there's no reason for Almas to be there, and this is literally Vega's job. So, okay. Vega does her thing and runs down Black, but he ignores her. First, he checks under the contract table, because NXT does the smartest contract signings in wrestling, and because Almas isn't there, he moves the table out of the way and sits down. Ah, we're doing a riff on Vega's height. She's not actually all that short, really. Vega won't stand to be disrespected, so she signs the contract and dares Black to do the same. Black tells her that Almas will come up "short" at Takeover, which earns him a well-deserved slap, and then signs the contract. Vega gets ready to head out, but Black reveals a surprise. See, Vega came alone, but he didn't - he brought Candice LaRae. Candice, understandably pissed at having her household income cut in half, beats the shit out of Vega and then delivers a tornado bulldog. She joins Black on the ramp, as the two of them stand triumphant.
Actually, that was the best promo Black's been able to manage so far (for all that he didn't say a whole lot), and I like the idea of Candace joining up with Almas' next challenger. I'm absolutely thrilled at the idea that they might do Vega/Candace in addition to the women's title match at Takeover as well. Altogether, a great show that gets us the necessary momentum to take us toward New Orleans.
1) A person on Twitter described Adam Cole as "looking like someone sketched Shawn Michaels from memory" and I can now not think of anything else when I look at Cole (other than maybe to appreciate his ability to project smarmyness, which is even better than Michaels').
2) Speaking of Michaels/Cole comparisons, holy cow is Cole a great bumper. That sell of the forearm where he catapaulted himself into the corner especially was something else
3) I was wondering how they'd work what on paper is a heel/heel match, and Pete Dunne working as a face was pretty cool (Pete Dunne is actually an awesome babyface, as those that have watched Progress can testify to, but if you haven't you certainly can't be blamed for being surprised at this). Also his shoulder brush/walk-away shrug of Roddy was awesome. Also his new fur coat is da BOMB. Also yes, Pete Dunne is definitely the best wrestler in the world, yup.
Nous ne nous pouvons pas sortir. Kai's sort of return to the meatballs signaled her return to her sort of winning ways. I like her, unleashed she's a bit like KENTA with her lack of size offset by her murderous kicks.
Not sure who's going to step up by Proxy to avenge Johnny, but since NXT has a lot of midwest wrestling DNA in its composition I'd kill for it to be a mysterious masked man who wrestles exactly like Gargano and is the exact same size, but the face announcers and Regal unconvincingly play dumb when it comes to ascertaining his true identity.
I actually think Strong would be a good person to dog fight Ciampa but he's busy now.
Preemptive thanks to Bate or Jose or whomever will join the faces and eat the pin in that 6 man.
Speaking of Undisputed Era, when is Dijak going to bail them out? Takeover New Orleans?
Black's character, if he speaks at all, shouldn't be making cheapshot wisecracks.
George Michael weighed his options. Maeby had chastised him for not taking risks, and what would be a bigger risk than perpetuating a lie about software just to ignite the passions of a woman? Of course it would be a lie, and since Maeby wouldn't know it was a lie, he wouldn't appear to be taking a risk. Perhaps the bigger risk was to tell his father he was lying, that he came up with it because he wanted his father to leave so he could enjoy what remained of his senior year. After all, he wondered, wouldn't that be the course of action taken by an overtly sexual man, a man who owns a pair of matador pants? He had not responded now for 41 seconds according to his unfailing internal clock, and it was time to come clean.
:: What I would argue a case for is dishing out tickets to :: school kids for house shows that grant them free entry :: if they come with a paying adult. It would up attendances, :: sew the seeds for garnering new fans, and the money they ::