Date: December 11, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix
It’s the next to last show of the year with one more show to go after this in 2019. That show is going to need a main event and we’ll be setting that up tonight with a triple threat match for the #1 contendership to the NXT Title. In other words, it’s Keith Lee vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Balor, which should tell you everything you need to know. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap looks at the triple threat but Adam Cole cuts things off to say this is a waste of time. Whoever wins tonight is just cashing a ticket to a beating from the best NXT Champion of all time. That is undisputed.
Cruiserweight Title: Angel Garza vs. Lio Rush
Rush is defending and we get the Big Match Intros, as we certainly should for something like this. Rush jumps him before the bell though and it’s a brawl to start until Garza spears the champ through the ropes. A tackle into the steps has Garza down but he drops Rush face first onto the apron to take over. Garza can’t TAKE OFF HIS PANTS though as Rush tackles him down and starts the rapid movements. He gets caught in the corner though and a superkick gives Garza two more.
Garza sends him outside though and we take a break. Back with Rush getting in a shot to the face to put Garza on the floor as well. That means a moonsault to the floor as the pace slows a bit. A slingshot reverse suplex is reversed into a crossbody for two on Garza but he catches Rush with an enziguri on top. That means the super Spanish Fly for a very close two, followed by an exchange of superkicks for the double knockdown.
It’s Rush up first with a Wing Clipper of his own for a near fall of his own but Garza puts him in an electric chair. For some reason Garza drops him onto the ropes so Rush bounces right back with the Stunner. The Final Hour connects but Garza crawls to the floor…..AND RUSH TAKES OFF GARZA’S PANTS! Another Final Hour to the floor only hits knees though and the Wing Clipper gives Garza….two. In a smart move, Garza grabs the underhook again and pulls back for the tap and the title at 15:17.
Rating: B. This was an intense, back and forth match with Rush trying as hard as he could but ultimately being beaten by the better man. That being said though, it isn’t exactly an interesting feud and while Garza has been impressive, he just feels like the next guy to hold the title. It’s way better than whatever they would do on 205 Live, but the title still doesn’t serve much of a purpose other than filling in time on these now double length shows.
Clip from a special on Shayna Baszler vs. Rhea Ripley to set up their title match next week. That is feeling special.
Finn Balor doesn’t like Tommaso Ciampa because he calls the NXT Title Goldie. He’s coming for the title.
During the break, Garza brought his girlfriend into the ring and proposed to her. She said yes, as you might have expected.
Last night, Cameron Grimes attacked Kushida at the Performance Center.
Cameron Grimes vs. Raul Mendoza
Grimes jumps him in the corner to start and sends him outside for a big flip dive. Cue Kushida for a distraction though and Mendoza snaps off a hurricanrana for the pin at 1:14.
Kushida steals the hat, just to be evil.
Mia Yim is furious at Dakota Kai and promises to put her in an ambulance tonight.
Video on Travis Banks, who is in action tonight.
Travis Banks vs. Jaxson Ryker
When Worlds Collide preview. Banks starts fast by kicking him to the floor and hitting a suicide dive. Back in and Ryker chops away in the corner before throwing Banks down with ease. Banks dropkicks the knee out to send Ryker into the corner though and there’s a Cannonball to the back. The top rope double stomp misses so Ryker ax handles him in the chest. A missile dropkick sets up the Slice of Heaven to pin Ryker at 2:46. Remember when Ryker was an unstoppable monster who survived a bunch of ladder shots earlier this year at Takeover? NXT doesn’t either. Or Banks is just that awesome.
Dakota Kai vs. Mia Yim
Yim dropkicks her into the corner to start but Kai forearms away. That just earns her a toss into the corner and a basement dropkick to the head gives Yim two. Kai is back with some kicks to the back but a missed charge puts Kai on the floor. That means a Cannonball against the steps as we take a break.
Back with Yim working on the leg but getting sent face first into the buckle. The circling kick to the face gets two on Yim but she scores with some kicks to the ribs. A belly to belly sends Kai down for two more, followed by Code Blue for the same. Kai grabs a sitout powerbomb out of the corner for two but a one kneed Codebreaker puts her on the floor. Back in and Yim charges into a boot to the face, allowing Kai to pull off a turnbuckle pad. A bounce off the exposed buckle gives Kai the pin at 10:00.
Rating: B-. Yim is a lot better when she’s motivated like this and we got a good match out of it. I’m also rather surprised by how well Kai has done with the heel run. She seems like the most natural face ever and yet here she is cheating and making me want to see someone stop her. Well done indeed and a good match too.
Post match Yim goes after Kai again and takes her onto the tech platform. The belly to back superplex onto some tables destroys Kai as Yim is up pretty quickly. Kai may be hurt as the referees are checking on her for a good bit.
Keith Lee says all he needed was an opportunity and now it’s going to take a lot to stop him. He’s the only one who can make the other two bask in his glory.
Breezango vs. Singh Brothers
One: Breezango are doctors this week. Two: I ALREADY WATCH 205 LIVE SO WHY DO I HAVE TO WATCH THESE STUPID SCHMUCKS HERE TOO????? A jumping knee to the face rocks Sunil to start and a Backstabber puts him down again. It’s off to Fandango, who avoids a charge in the corner to get two on Samir.
A dropkick lets Sunil get a breather and he sends Breeze outside for a few seconds. Back in and the Bollywood Blast gets two on Breeze and we hit the chinlock. Breeze enziguris his way out of trouble and it’s back to Fandango for a top rope kick to the face. Everything breaks down and Samir gets powerbomb onto the apron. Back in and the Last Dance gives Fandango the pin at 4:17.
Rating: D. Well that certainly existed. I’m not sure what the appeal or even point here was supposed to be but it did fill in some time. Having Fandango in a costume of the week (or month at this rate) is missing the point, but it’s not like it’s going to matter all that much either way. At least they got on TV, but
We get another part of the Baszler vs. Ripley video, this time focusing on Ripley’s rise to the top of NXT UK.
Kayden Carter vs. Bianca Belair
Belair charges at her in the corner to start but Carter is right back with a springboard kick to the face. A backbreaker into a gutbuster puts Carter right back down and it’s off to an Argentine backbreaker. That’s broken up so Belair drops down onto Carter’s back a few times. Carter comes back with a forearm to the ribs but the tornado DDT is blocked. Carter gets knees up to block a moonsault and Belair misses a charge to the floor. Back in and Belair spears her down, setting up the KOD for the pin at 4:55.
Rating: C. Carter is someone who has impressed me multiple times so far and she got in some offense against a much bigger star here. Belair is fine in moments like this but she keeps falling short at the finish line. It wasn’t a squash though and that’s a good sign for Carter’s future.
Adam Cole comes out to watch the main event.
Video on Tommaso Ciampa, who is back to claim what is his.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor
During his entrance, Ciampa dedicates this to Goldie. Ciampa starts on Balor to start with Finn being sent outside. That means a stalking from Lee, who drops Balor onto the apron. Lee sends him back inside for a slingshot dive onto both of them for the big knockdown. Back from a break with Lee crushing both of them with corner splashes until Ciampa kicks him in the face. A Cactus Clothesline leaves Balor alone in the ring but it’s Ciampa back inside in a hurry.
Ciampa’s running knees to the face has Balor in trouble and there’s a double hanging DDT to both Lee and Balor. Ciampa pats himself on the back (as he does) and starts slugging away at Lee for a change. Lee runs him over but the splash hits knees in a hurry. The Fairy Tale Ending is broken up though and it’s Balor coming back in for a double stomp to Lee’s chest. With everyone back in, Lee starts crushing the other two in the corner.
That gets the fans going all over again and a double backdrop makes it even worse. Lee goes up but gets double super Russian legsweeped back down. We take another break and come back again Ciampa trying the super Air Raid Crash….so Lee puts them both on his shoulders for a double electric chair. Lee misses a middle rope moonsault but he’s fine enough to hit the Limit Breaker on Ciampa. Balor reverses another attempt into a small package for two but Lee is fine enough to block the Sling Blade.
The Spirit Bomb is countered into a double stomp. Ciampa is sent outside and Balor hits a big flip dive onto Lee. Balor sends Ciampa into the barricade to knock down some fan but it’s time for Lee to start running people over back inside. Ciampa goes after Lee’s knee and somehow hits the Air Raid Crash for two. Back up and Lee plants him with a spinebuster, setting up the middle rope moonsault for two of his own. The Spirit Bomb hits Ciampa but Balor comes in off the top with the Coup de Grace to Lee (that was some great timing) for the pin and the title shot at 18:10.
Rating: B+. The ending alone made this one that much better as Balor came in out of nowhere and got the pin, including after hitting his finisher instead of stealing someone else’s win. This is a match where no one looks bad and the action was awesome throughout so what more can you ask for? Other than Lee winning, but he seems safe for now.
Cole stares Balor down and the Undisputed Era comes out to join him to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I’m not sued to saying this but for the first time in a long time, it felt like this show dragged in parts. There were matches (Belair and Breezango in particular) which felt like they were there for nothing other than filler to get us to the two hour run time. That being said, you had the Cruiserweight Title match, the main event and Grimes vs. Kushida continuing so we should be fine going forward. It just makes me miss the hour long format because this could have been a classic show had they not had to stretch to fill in the time.
Angel Garza b. Lio Rush – Double underhook pull
Raul Mendoza b. Cameron Grimes – Hurricanrana
Travis Banks b. Jaxson Ryker – Slice of Heaven
Dakota Kai b. Mia Yim – Ram into an exposed turnbuckle
Breezango b. Singh Brothers – Last Dance to Sunil
Bianca Belair b. Kayden Carter – KOD
Finn Balor b. Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa – Coup de Grace to Lee
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