A Stipulation is a Stipulation!

In-ring segment – Tommaso Ciampa

He’s just so good!  I can’t stand how good he is!  He is the troll of the decade.  He just paced in the ring and said very little until the crowd got so loud, he screamed “HE’S GONE!  NEWSFLASH:  HE’S NOT COMING BACK DOWN THAT AISLE”.  Better yet, he let the crowd affect him so they felt more involved.  He went out into the crowd, took one of the emoticon papers, wiped it on his backside, and dropped it on the floor.  Better yet, he took a poster with it, and slowly ripped it up in front of its owner.  Then, he took another poster and…JOHNNY GARGANO!!  This was just amazing!  They showed Gargano being hauled out Full Sail too.  Phenomenal stuff.  Even commentary nailed it….okay, Nigel did.  He said “A stipulation is a stipulation…get Gargano out!”.  He really told the story quite well.  Nigel is really beginning to get good now and he’s becoming a favorite of mine at the commentary table.

Of course, this feud will resolve at “NXT TakeOver” and I’m totally sold on this match.  They haven’t said anything…but they will.

 

Backstage segment – Tyler Bate & Roderick Strong

He revealed his knee injury here and to announce the withdrawal of Trent Seven and he (Mustache Mountain) from the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.  This also showed Roderick Strong pleading his case to get involved with the tournament.  He spread to be begging but you couldn’t see it on his face at all or really even hear it in his voice.  He was totally unconvincing.

 

Backstage segment – The Undisputed Era

This is like “mean girls” for the male set.  It also shows just how much more charisma Adam Cole has than either Fish or O’Reilly.  Fish and O’Reilly aren’t terrible in that department by any means but Cole is just so much better.  I do like them all together so I hope they aren’t separated for a while though.

 

Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne

When Lorcan, Burch, they didn’t get much of a reaction but it wasn’t terrible.  They’ve done little with either one so it makes sense.   Roderick Strong got a little more reaction but when Pete Dunne came out?  Totally different story.  The crowd went wild for him.

The match itself was a lot of fun as could be expected.  Dunne’s chops are just sickening and Burch felt a couple of them which is probably two more than he would have liked.  Dunne has a thing for fingers, wrists, and elbows and we saw that here.  We also got some great flying from all of them and a slap fest between Burch and Dunne.  Slaps have to land and these did…like, they really landed.  The double-submission on Dunne and Strong was a nice touch and I love the Strong got them out of it.  Strong delivered End of Heartache and Dunne/Strong advance.

 

Aliyah vs. Ember Moon (w/ Shayna Baszler on commentary)

The match was decent but the point of this was to move the Shayna/Ember feud along.  Shayna has this really cool “I don’t care” vibe that works well for her.  She came out, went over to commentary, and put her feet up on the table like it was nothing.  She handled all of the questions thrown at her extremely well and did well overall.  When the match ended, they jawed at each other with Ember on the second rope and Shayna from the top of the commentary table.

 

Raul Mendoza…nevermind

 

In-ring segment – Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

I did like Andrade mowing over Raul as he made his way out to the ring.  The rest of this was a train wreck.  Zelina needs to do all the talking.  Andrade’s accent is impossibly thick and he can’t be easily understood.  When he yells, it’s even worse.  The only thing I understood was “FACE ME NEXT WEEK”.  I got literally nothing else.  Truly terrible stuff here that Zelina could have taken care of much more convincingly.  She’d have made platinum out of this and Andrade made clay out of it.

 

They are running vignettes for Lars Sullivan’s return and I have no idea why.  There must be a slight repackage in the offing but I can’t see any evidence of it in the vignettes themselves.  He’ll be back next week so I guess we’ll see for ourselves.

 

William Regal is promising an announcement next week that will “change the landscape of NXT forever”.  Okay, I’m intrigued…

 

Adam Cole (Bay Bay) vs. Kassius Ohno

Adam Cole’s NXT career has been largely paved with losses.  As a result, he needed a win here.  Kassius’ has been too but he’s basically been used to build up other stars since his return and, boy, did he do it here..  There’s really no question as to who’s most over.  When the chants broke out, the Adam Cole chants were far louder than their Kassius Ohno counterparts.  The match was, of course, excellent.  I loved Adam Cole going for a leapfrog and being kicked out of the air by Kassius.  You just have to see it to believe how good it looked.  This was a match full of highlights and enjoyable from beginning to end.  Lots of near-finishes here too.  Cole finally got a win here and that was just as it should have been.

 

Another stellar episode of “NXT” is now in the books and “NXT TakeOver” is shaping up nicely.  I do wonder what Regal’s got up his sleeve for next week’s announcement.  If you know, don’t spoil it below  🙂  See you next week as we delve into “NXT”‘s “Illustrious Future” once more.