William Regal kicks off this week’s NXT in the center of the ring, informing the Full Sail crowd and the NXT Universe that he feels he’s getting close to solving the “Who attacked Aleister Black?” mystery.
As for his actual progress in the investigation, he’s interrupted by The Undisputed ERA before he can divulge that information. And boy are they upset with the NXT General Manager, as they think he’s too busy playing Sherlock Holmes (a show TUE are fans of, but it’s unclear if they meant Sherlock or Elementary) to actually do his job. In fact, Adam Cole actually blames Regal for Black being put out of commission, as Regal should’ve been focusing on making NXT a safe work environment in the first place. After all, TUE
However, instead of taking TUE’s criticism to heart, Regal makes clear he noticed how they made sure to interrupt him in the middle of him talking about the Aleister Black situation. Although, just as he’s about to point a finger at them on that, Cole interrupts him again. TUE are more offended by the accusation than anything else, just like they’re offended that Regal has allowed:
- Ricochet to duck Cole when it comes to a North American Championship rematch
- Pete Dunne to get a North American Championship match before Cole even has said rematch
- War Raiders to keep attacking them
And speaking of that rematch, Cole wants it “right freaking now.” But the thing is—according to Regal—Cole never even asked him for his rematch, so he couldn’t have known he wanted one. And he knows Cole actually liked the idea of Ricochet vs. Dunne last week because he wanted Dunne to soften up Ricochet—TUE basically said as much the week before the Champion vs. Champion match.
Again, Cole and TUE are offended, but they’re going to have to deal with it. Because Regal won’t allow Cole to have his rematch right now, after the way TUE interfered in that Champion vs. Champion match last week: Instead, he’ll get it in two weeks, in a triple threat match against both Ricochet and Pete Dunne. As for the War Raiders situation, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong will get to defend their NXT Tag Team Championship titles against them three weeks from now. That’s clearly not how TUE saw this interaction with the GM going, but they should have known better than to come at an old villain like Regal.
Earlier today, Johnny Gargano was asked how he’s feeling about his match next week (against 205 Live star Tony Nese), and surprisingly, he’s looking like the old Gargano. Not only does he say he’s “feeling good” about the match, he’s actually excited for the first time in a while. And regarding his “I’m sorry” post-loss to Velveteen Dream (the last time he wrestled at Full Sail), that was apparently him apologizing to the NXT Universe for the man he was becoming as a result of the Tommaso Ciampa of it all. But since then, he’s been at home, getting his “head right,” and now he feels like he’s in a good place. No more “whining, crying, and complaining.”
“I can’t be Johnny Wrestling just sitting on my couch.”
Once the interview was over though, NXT cameras caught Lacey Evans stirring up trouble with Gargano and Mrs. Wrestling herself, Candice LeRae. (Or as Evans calls them, “Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Failure.”) Not only did she suggest LeRae isn’t a “good wife,” she actually had the (unladylike, honestly) audacity to put her hands on Gargano. So, basically, Candice is going to destroy
Queen Cathy—as she must now always be called when it comes to Velveteen Dream interactions—tries to interview the Dream, but right about now, he’s really over all of these attempts at interviewing him about non-Dream-related situations. Because he refuses to talk about Johnny Failure, he refuses to talk about “the man who is not here right now” (Aleister Black), and he refuses to talk about the man who attacked “the man who is not here right now” (who he believes to be Ciampa).
“The Dream is not a snitch. The writing is on the wall. So go do your job.”
You know, the last male Superstar who suggested Ciampa attacked Black is now in the main event against him this week. So while Dream might not consider himself a snitch, he’s sure to be on the champ’s radar now.
Lars Sullivan vs. Victor Orchant went to a No Contest
Victor Orchant, we hardly knew ya. (Or why you had “WALKER” on the back of your tights.)
The best way to describe this match is as a manhandling for barely a minute, until EC3 comes in to get his revenge on Lars Sullivan. So, technically, Orchant wins by DQ… but do you want to be the one to tells Sullivan that he lost by any stretch of the imagination?
EC3 gets the upper hand in their exchange of blows here—because he’s certainly an impressive physical specimen in his own right—which has to please everyone in the building who has an “NX3” sign. (Especially the person who ends up catching EC3’s dress shirt, which I guess he just decided he didn’t need.) Then again, Sullivan leaves the situation with a smile on his face, so who’s to say who the real winner is? It’s just definitely not Victor Orchant.
Outside his office, Regal is questioned about the status of the investigation;
Also interrupting Regal is Nikki Cross, who actually comes out of Regal’s office to let him know she wants to “play again” with Bianca Belair. He promises he’ll take that under consideration, but he’s clearly just placating the woman. The same goes for him not pressing to find out what she means when she says, “I KNOW.” According to Regal, “Nobody knows what Nikki knows.”
The Mighty (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) def. Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
Oh, how The Mighty have glowed up. They come out with the Street Profits’ cup and chains (that they stole weeks ago), and Shane Thorne is mighty proud of himself for all the bling he’s got. The Street Profits, on the other hand, come out to the ring with a purpose, no longer dancing around. Because this is serious, no matter how much Thorne wants to say “bling bling!” And naturally, he gets knocked the eff out because of that:
Angelo Dawkins and Nick Miller start the match, and Dawkins really is not playing around. After clocking Thorne, he just beats the tar out of Miller for as long as he can. He’s on fire. And as for Montez Ford, when he gets into the ring—and he’s probably the more fun-loving one of the duo—he’s (literally) hopping mad. Let this be a lesson to everyone: Don’t take a man’s chains. And just remember, it’s about the principle of the thing; it isn’t actually just about a plastic cup and some chains.
So it looks like The Mighty’s strategy to toy with the Street Profits has backfired… But while the Profits are fighting emotionally, The Mighty are fighting dirty and—more importantly—smart. The Mighty cut the ring in half when Dawkins is in the ring, but the true turning point for them is when Ford gets back into the ring. Ford is really on fire tonight, but once Miller pushes him into the post, he slips in between the steel steps, and Thorne is able to dropkick those steps into Ford’s left leg. From that point on, The Mighty smell chum in the water, and they are on that left leg. Miller puts Ford in a modified figure-four leglock, and while Ford is able to chop his way out, The Mighty still keep control of his leg (and keep him in their corner). The one moment Ford could have saved himself ends up being an even bigger risk, as a flip out of some offense leads to that left leg just buckling. After that, Thorne gets the three-count with figure-four jackknife cover.
As disappointing as it is, The Mighty simply ended up out-wrestling the Street Profits.
Kairi Sane def. Vanessa Borne
You know what they say: Third time’s the charm. Sometimes. This is “The Vision” Vanessa Borne’s third attempt at taking down Kairi Sane in singles competition, and unfortunately for her, the result is the same as the first two attempts.
Sane doesn’t come to the ring with a treasure chest this week, unfortunately, but the Full Sail crowd is still fully behind her. And if they weren’t at first, they definitely are once Borne has the bad idea to put on Sane’s pirate hat, mock the NXT Women’s Champion, then drop and kick the hat out of the ring. No more smiles from Sane then, as she decides to just destroy Borne. Borne is able to get one big bit of offense in early on (a twisting suplex), but that can’t put the champion away, and she’s out of her depth from that point on. After Sane’s killer spear and then an even more killer sliding elbow, Sane finishes Borne off with the In-Sane Elbow.
Post-match, Sane does her pirate dance… and is again interrupted by former NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. You can read more about this evolutionary challenge here.
Earlier today, Keith Lee spoke about his current undefeated streak in NXT and how he knows that’s the ticket to him getting an opportunity at championship gold. He also ran into Kona Reeves (as Reeves intentionally has someone make his hair look the way it does), who claims he doesn’t see anything “limitless” about Keith Lee. (Yet he sees the “finest” in himself…) But as Lee points out, he’s actually turning heads right now, while Reeves has “the finest set of losses in NXT.”
So next week, Keith Lee is going to give Kona Reeves the privilege of basking in his glory.
Also official for next week? The Forgotten Sons in action, as well as EC3 vs. Lars Sullivan.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Otis Dozovic
This is the biggest match of Otis Dozovic’s NXT career, and he comes out on his own for this non-title match (instead of with his Heavy Machinery partner Tucker Knight). Then out comes Ciampa, whose new theme causes one of my dogs to cock her head to the side in distrust. As we all know, Ciampa has that same effect on humans too.
By the way, Ciampa literally kisses and converses with the NXT Championship, which is… Well, it’s something.
While Ciampa has always been able to adapt as a wrestler—which is part of the reason he’s the most dangerous man in NXT—he also has to contend with the very power and strength (as well as unpredictability) of Dozovic in this match. Dozovic just bulldozes Ciampa early on in this match—as the crowd chants “STEAKS AND WEIGHTS”—and while Ciampa tries to get some separation to lure Dozovic into a trap, the luring doesn’t work to his advantage at first.
Things go so well for Dozovic for a time, that he even fakes us out with a possible dive to the outside and does the caterpillar. At another point, he ends up just standing on the champion. But the thing about Ciampa’s plan to lure Dozovic into a trap is that it’s clear Dozovic ends up going to the outside too many times. So it’s only a matter of when that won’t work to his advantage. It’s a tactic that finally does fail Dozovic when Ciampa pulls him back first onto the steel ramp.
Ciampa is perfectly fine with a count-out victory, but once he realizes Dozovic isn’t done for, he busts out the knee strikes to the head. They don’t do the trick, so he goes for the sleeper—twice—but both times end with him making himself prone to Dozovic. And that allows Dozovic to get his second wind, where he just starts treating Ciampa like a Wrestling Buddy.
After that, Ciampa is even more willing to bail on the match completely, but that’s when Tucker Knight finally comes out and Ciampa gets hit by a clothesline from Dozovic. This is it. This is Otis Dozovic’s moment! But again, Ciampa is able to lure him outside… Only, this ends with Ciampa being suplexed hard on the outside. That’s right, Ciampa is drowning. To the point that he literally puts referee Jessika Carr in front of him, then pushes her so he can rake Dozovic’s eyes. Dozovic’s still able to hit Ciampa with more big moves (like that huge sitout powerbomb), but once he tries to Vader Bomb Ciampa, Ciampa’s again able to lure him. And this time, Ciampa hits him with the draping DDT onto the apron. Somehow Dozovic gets up, but he ends up eats another draping DDT, into the ring. That does the trick, and Ciampa immediately runs out of the ring and to his championship once the bell rings.
Dozovic impressed, but the champ somehow survived. And that’s why you’re probably better off keeping Ciampa’s name out of your mouth.
You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network.