Welcome all to your weekly Yellow Brand fix! And what a jam packed episode it is as we will HEAR from Aleister Black, and we’ll have a massive main event as Moustache Mountain takes on ReDragon, which is a direct result of the ending of last week’s show. We’ll start off though with another match that came out of last week’s episode as the music of Johnny Wrestling kicks off the show.
Johnny Gargano vs Tino Sabbatelli (w/ Riddick Moss)
After Tino’s entrance, we get some WWE.com footage of him issuing a follow up challenge to Johnny after Moss’ loss last week. Sabbatelli is pushing on Gargano early on and Johnny is just taking it. He finally fights back and things start to take off. All Sabbatelli early on in this one, that is until he takes a little too much time following up after a near fall. Johnny takes advantage and hits a superkick and immediately locks in the Gargano Escape to tap out Tino.
My Take: Quick match here. I personally thought the match with Moss and Johnny last week was better.
Backstage in William Regal’s office, Roderick Strong shows up and requests an NXT title match vs. Drew McIntyre. Regal has no issue with it and makes the match for 2 weeks from tonight. Huge match there. Before break, we are told that we’ll see Lars Sullivan vs. No Way Jose, as well as Lacey Evans taking on Bianca BelAire.
We come back and recap Asuka vacating the title 2 weeks ago. Afterwards, we get some words from Sonya Deville as such talks about how Asuka ran to the main roster to avoid her. She then states her intention to win the NXT Women’s title.
Lacey Evans vs. Bianca BelAire
Decent pops for both women here, which is impressive. BelAire is using her unique combination of strength and athleticism to stay ahead of Evans here. A near fall though after an elbowdrop starts a small rally for Evans, but it doesn’t last long as BelAire again asserts herself. Evans has another small rally minutes later but Bianca gets free and whips Lacey across her back with her extremely long braid. This sets up a falling reverse powerbomb that puts an end matters and may actually have given BelAire an outside claim to a spot in the chase for the NXT Women’s title.
My Take: This was essentially a big match, as all NXT women’s matches are until title plans are announced, and it looks like Lacey may not be as much of a push option as I originally thought. I’m happy BelAire won, but I hope these women’s matches winners are actually being set up for something, not just lost in the shuffle.
A short break follows and we return to hear from Aleister Black.
Aleister Black Promo
The fans are singing his theme as he enters in a suit, and it really enhances the moment. He starts off by talking about his start in the business and how his experiences all relate to his various tattoos, which he calls jis . He begins to say what his next step is but is interrupted by The Velveteen Dream. “Everything that fades to black must come into the light” he says, as he approaches the ring. He says he doesn’t see Black’s scars and Aleister just silently looks at him. The Dream goes on about searching for Black’s heart and light, and Aleister reacts by kicking the Dream’s microphone out of his hand, then sits down. The Purple One then shimmys down in front of Black to match his gaze, then slides backwards out of the ring. Chilling stuff.
My Take: This was really good for what it was supposed to be. This story has reeled me in just off this mic work alone. I admit it now, I passed judgement too quickly on The Velveteen Dream. Definitely sign me up for this angle.
We then recap the Lars Sullivan and No Way Jose issues, and find out that their match is next. After the break, we get words from Dakota Kai, who informs us that she wants to kick her way through NXT.
Lars Sullivan vs. No Way Jose
As Sullivan enters, Jose seems to be second guessing himself after asking for this match. But perhaps not, as he goes right at Sullivan. That doesn’t last long before Lars starts tossing NWJ around like an old school wrestling buddy. Jose fights back briefly but Lars reasserts his size advantage and gets Jose down on the mat before hitting a diving headbutt from the top rop. An Uranage from the big guy afterwards marks the end of this one.
My Take: I think this was a slight waste of time, but Sullivan showed some depth here that I would not have imagined he had with that diving headbutt from the top.
Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) vs. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish w/ Adam Cole)
A nice pop for Moustache Mountain and the debut of the UE theme highlight our pre-match activities. Bate and O’Reilly start, and the Brits have early control. That though eventually gives way to the excellent and efficient tag team tactics of the more experienced Fish and O’Reilly. A distraction from Cole then leads to Fish taking out Seven on the outside, and we go to break with the UE team in the driver’s seat.
It’s Fish and Seven legal when we return, with Fish producing a near fall almost immediately. A counter 7 Star Lariat allows Seven to tag out, as does Fish. Bate on fire and even does enough to get a 2 count off of a standing shooting star press. An assisted powerbomb by the 2 British Strong Style members gives them another 2 count. Seven and O’Reilly go to the outside to do battle, and Fish locks Bate in a guillotine inside the ring. After fighting out of it, Bate gets Fish up for a vertical suplex but O’Reilly comes back in to break the attempt and he and his partner hit the former WWE UK champ with Chasing The Dragon, but Bate manages to get a foot on the ropes. They go for it again but Bate fights back and tags out. Kyle eventually locks Seven in a cross armbreaker but Seven rolls into a half crab that is broken up by Fish. On the outside, Cole pulls Bate off the apron and takes him out with a superkick. With no help, Seven falls victim to a sweep/Fish Hook combo and the Undisputed Era wins their debut NXT match. After replays, Drew McIntyre storms out and the UE wait for him to enter the ring before retreating. As they retreat to a side curtain, they continue to chatter with Drew and then Sanity’s male members show up behind them. A brief scuffle ensues and the male NXT champions stand tall as the show ends.
My Take: Excellent main event between 2 of the best teams in the world, and an actual NXT episode. That’s solid booking. Both teams did a really good job with each other and I’d like to see this all too brief feud revisited once the dust settles with Sanity.
Really fun episode this week, with a hell of a main event to boot. I wondered how well the Undisputed Era trio would adapt to the WWE style and I must say they adapted very well. We were also treated to a really nice feud set up, and got an NXT title match announced. That’s a really good show if you ask me.
Before I take off, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the immense loss of Bobby Heenan. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a mid to late 80s, Rock N’ Wrestling Era kid when it comes to WWE and I don’t think that will ever change. As a result, I literally grew up listening to Bobby Heenan ALOT. Hell, Bobby would use words I didn’t know and I’d run to look them all up and start using them like he did. As you can imagine, the parents or teachers of an 8 year old kid didn’t like all of those words but, eh. He’s essentially as big of a part of my childhood as Hogan and Savage are, and I mourn his passing very deeply. Find me a better manager and find me a better color commentator in this great business of ours. Go ahead.
I’ll miss you Brain. Thank you for being you. God bless you and your family.