08th Feb2019

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Feb 6th 2019)

by Nathan Favel

nxt-logo

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a great night of wrestling to get to, so let’s do so before Lyle Trachtenberg shuts down production on the picture.

Match #1: Jaxson Ryker (with The Forgotten Sons) beat Mansoor

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Jaxson Ryker continued the 2019 leg of The Forgotten Sons’ Do Unto Others tour by showing no mercy to NXT’s newest blue-chip prospect, Monsoor. The power of Ryker went unhinged almost immediately after the bell, folding Monsoor in half with an explosive spear after he attempted a diving double axe- handle. From there came a canvas-pounding powerbomb to close out the bout. Afterward, Ryker dragged Monsoor back into the ring for another crushing powerbomb, altogether leaving a message no one would forget.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – Ryker beat the life out of Mansoor and there you $#@!&?$ go.

Match #2: Drew Gulak beat Eric Bugenhagen

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Whoever said rock ‘n’ roll was dead, think again. Without an electric guitar or amplifier, NXT newcomer Eric Bugenhagen awoke the genre’s spirit. A noted fan of Aerosmith and Freddie Mercury, to name a few, the walking livewire turned NXT into the rock ‘n’ swoll show immediately upon his arrival, all as 205 Live’s Drew Gulak watched with disdain. The Philadelphia Stretcher brought his campaign to the black-and-gold brand, hoping to enliven the NXT Universe with pure, scientific wrestling. Taking on Bugenhagen, the submission specialist’s plans were held up by pure, glittering rock energy. At one point, Bugenhagen locked Gulak in an abdominal stretch and used his exposed ribs for a quick air guitar rendition. However, Bugenhagen’s showmanship would prove to be his weakness, as Gulak bounced back and trapped him in the Gulock for the finish. Despite scoring the win, the self-proclaimed “Best Submission Specialist in WWE” felt disrespected by his opponent, reminding the NXT Universe of his résumé before jeering: “And you feed me Ben Stiller from ‘Dodgeball’ in this ring?” Moments later, Matt Riddle hit to stage to grant Gulak what he yearned for: tougher competition.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – This wasn’t much of a wrestling match, but Drew looked excellent and Eric has a lot of personality.

Match #3: Matt Riddle beat Drew Gulak

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Judging by the educated holds and hooks, Matt Riddle presented Drew Gulak the competition he sought. As for the match itself, it was a pure limb-twisting affair. For every move applied by 205 Live’s grappling guru, The Original Bro returned fire with a punishing strike or submission maneuver. Most of the match was carried by an intense ground-and-pound game that saw both Superstars experimenting the science of limb manipulation, from armbars to cross-face chicken wings. The intensity was raised during the final seconds, when Gulak kicked out of a pinfall following a powerbomb-turned-jaw-crushing knee strike from Riddle. Fired up, Riddle bashed his opponent with elbow strikes before fastening in the Bromission for the win. While Gulak got his wish, Riddle, too, received his toughest challenge yet as both Superstars effectively pushed each other to their absolute limit. Earning each other’s respect in the hard-hitting battle, both Superstars exchanged a post-match handshake.

My Take: 4 out of 5 – Now this gets more than a sentence. These two guys had a great match that should lead to a whole series of fights if Vince is smart. Riddle had his best match yet in the WWE and Gulak may have as well. What made this match such a success was that it focused on technical wrestling and submission wrestling. The match did get more grueling once the fighters started trading shots like it was 1990s Ultimate Fighting Championship. To be blunt, I’ll just say that these guys beat the piss out of each other and it was one of the most satisfying bouts from the WWE in quite some time. Riddle gets better and better and he will be a big star whereever he goes. Gulak has gotten the mainstream credibility he deserved by being in the WWE and still wrestling his style, if only in NXT/205 Live. I’m just happy that this happened and if the score seems a bit high, then $#@! it.

Match #4: (Main Event) Bianca Belair and the Sky Pirates beat The Horsewomen – Six-Women Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

“Upset” is one of many ways to describe the conclusion to the high-octane battle between Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane & Io Shirai and the treacherous trio of NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke. With so many layers of grudges baked into this all-star matchup – such as Sane & Shirai’s quarrel with Shafir & Duke and the boiling temps between Belair and Baszler following TakeOver: Phoenix – it’s no wonder that fists flew with total abandon.

Exercising their dynamic combination of strength and agility, Belair deadlifted Sane into the air for an impromptu InSane Elbow on Duke. Yet, the united power of Baszler, Shafir & Duke proved to be a difficult front for the opposing trio to climb. Baszler’s joint-breaking holds and Shafir & Duke’s relentless strikes dented the armor of Belair, Sane & Shirai. At one point, the entire trio took turns tagging in and pounding Sane with a variety of attacks – but once Shirai stepped in and took flight, nothing was the same. Shirai lit up Baszler with a 619 and brought in Sane for an InSane Elbow. When that couldn’t score the pinfall, The EST of NXT swung into action and laced The Queen of Spades with the K.O.D, only for Duke & Shafir to halt the ensuing pin attempt. Shirai tagged herself in, and with Baszler still feeling the effects of the KOD, The Queen of Spades was an easy target for The Genius of the Sky to land an awe-inspiring moonsault for the three count.

In the end, the look on Belair’s face as she watched Shirai snag the pinfall over the NXT Women’s Champion said it all. Though the battle was won, unfinished business still stands.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was fast, frenetic action that never had to run on the fumes it made as it screeched down the track to the finish line. These racing references are pissing me off. Every-body looked good and they were all able to keep up their end of the deal in this match. The Sky Pirates are quickly becoming a very interesting team and I could see them being a big draw later in the year. The Horsewomen are practically destined to be given a big push some-time in the next few years and if they can continue to wrestle like this, then they will thrive when they get their shot at glory. Oh, Bianca ain’t half-bad either. Overall, this was some good stuff every step of the way.

News of the Night:

  1. Velveteen Dream challenged Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Title.
  2. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will not be reuniting as DIY…yet.

Final Verdict: 4/5

This show was booked very well, even if the card only had any juice in the final half. The right two matches were given the bulk of the time to flourish and they did, which made this whole thing work well. Making Drew a focus for the show worked out great and I hope he gets to come on back more often.

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