Date: May 2, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
It’s back to Full Sail and that means a nice relief from the breakneck pace of the last few weeks of Raw and Smackdown. At least they’ve set some stuff up in advance and this show will likely deliver some entertaining stuff. There are three matches announced for tonight, including Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne. Let’s get to it.
The Undisputed Era brags about being awesome with Adam Cole talking about how he gave Oney Lorcan the honor of being the first unsuccessful challenger to the North American Title. They’re ready to deal with Danny Burch and Pete Dunne too.
Kairi Sane vs. Shazza McKenzie
McKenzie is from Australia and has wrestled in Shimmer. They shake hands and Sane wastes no time in getting two off a rollup. Some chops rock Shazza and the sliding seated clothesline have her in even more trouble. The top rope elbow sets up an Alabama Slam and the Insane Elbow to give Sane the very fast pin at 1:49.
Post match here’s Lacey Evans to admit that she was wrong: Sane does belong here. The hand is extended and Evans decks her in the face.
We look back at Tommaso Ciampa destroying Johnny Gargano last week. Ciampa looking down from the production truck as the ambulance drove away was a great visual.
Candice LeRae says this was supposed to be the greatest year but it’s been one disaster after another. She stars crying while talking about watching Johnny being taken away and has to leave.
Video on Lars Sullivan.
Street Profits vs. TM61
Ford spinwheel kicks Miller in the face to start so it’s off to Dawkins to shoulder Miller down in a heap. In a cool spot, Dawkins launches Ford into the air for a double dropkick to both Australians. Dawkins misses a charge in the corner though and a slingshot hilo crushes him. We’re already in the chinlock and the fans are split on this one. A double clothesline doesn’t make their decision any easier and the hot tag brings in Ford to speed things up. Ford kicks Miller in the face but his sunset flip is reversed into a rollup with Thorn holding the foot on the ropes to give Miller the pin at 3:10.
Rating: D+. Well it’s not like TM61 was doing anything as faces so turning them might be the best thing that they can do. They’re not the most interesting guys in the world so maybe they can do something out of this. It’s still not a good match and I like the Profits a lot more, but at least they’re doing something with one of the teams.
Video on War Raiders vs. Heavy Machinery before their match next week.
Video on Kona Reeves.
Kassius Ohno calls Ciampa a coward for hurting his friend like that.
Kona Reeves vs. Patrick Scott
A knee to the ribs has Scott knocked down early and Kona informs him that he’s the finest. Reeves stomps away in the corner and this time tells the fans that he’s the finest. A falling middle rope elbow sets up the Hawaiian Drop (Samoan drop but with a faceplant instead of landing on the back) is good for the pin on Scott at 2:02. Reeves was really not that impressive.
EC3 says his first match was great, so imagine how great the sequel will be. His TV debut is next week.
Dakota Kai wants to make her mark but doesn’t want to talk about Shayna Baszler. Vanessa Bourne comes in to say she would have slapped Baszler in the face because she’s not a coward. A fight is teased and Kai is willing to fight her at some point.
Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair
Candice is rather subdued and shaken up over what happened to Johnny last week. Feeling out process to start with Belair shouldering her down but getting rolled up for two. With Candice still on the mat, Belair deadlifts her straight up into a gorilla press, holds her there for a good while, and then launches Candice face first into the top turnbuckle. We hit a torture rack with Candice having to elbow her way to freedom. The comeback is on with a missile dropkick but Belair shrugs off a tornado DDT. The Alley Oop ends LeRae at 3:39.
Rating: C. Belair gets more and more impressive every time with the incredible athleticism and the look to back it up. That gorilla press was something else and a crazy power display. I know LeRae is tiny but she’s still an adult who is being held above someone else’s head with that kind of ease. There’s no way that’s not impressive on some level.
Next week: EC3’s singles debut and Ohno vs. Ciampa.
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong
Non-title and a grudge match after Strong turned on Dunne at Takeover. Cole and O’Reilly are in Strong’s corner. Dunne wastes no time in forearming Strong down but a trip to the floor goes to Strong. A powerbomb onto the apron keeps Dunne in trouble and Pete is in some serious pain. Back in and Strong cranks on the neck so Pete pulls on his nose to escape. That’s rather rude of him. We hit a seated abdominal stretch for a bit until the X Plex gets Dunne out of trouble.
Dunne comes off the middle rope with a stomp to the arm but Strong sends him outside. Back in and a double underhook backbreaker gets two, followed by some kicks to Dunne’s head. A choke takes Strong down and Dunne tries to switch it into a cross armbreaker. That’s broken up as well so Dunne takes him up top, only to get brought back down in a super Angle Slam. Dunne isn’t happy though and snaps the fingers before dropping Strong with a release German suplex. The Bitter End looks to finish but draws in the Undisputed Era for the DQ at 9:02.
Rating: C+. The ending hurt this one a good deal as there was no secret to the run-in finish. That being said, it makes a lot of sense this time around as it’s clearly going to be a long form story instead of something where they do the matches in a hurry. You can probably hold off on British Strong Style vs. Undisputed Era until Summerslam weekend at this rate and that’s a very interesting idea. The match was good, but it was another step on a very long road.
Post match the beatdown continues but Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan run in for the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This is one of the other areas where NXT shines. This wasn’t about the big main event story but rather a lot of other stuff, which was treated like the most important stuff in the world. That’s very rarely pulled off in WWE but NXT manages to make it work every week. The show wasn’t great or anything but they managed to make the show feel important and that’s what matters most with something like this.
Kairi Sane b. Shazza McKenzie – Insane Elbow
TM61 b. Street Profits – Rollup to Ford with feet on the ropes
Bianca Belair b. Candice LeRae – Alley Oop
Pete Dunne b. Roderick Strong via DQ when Undisputed Era interfered
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