28th Dec2018

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Dec 26th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

nxt-logo

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have some big departures with this event, so grab your Kleenex, dry your tears and kiss their asses good-bye.

Match #1: Bianca Belair def. Mia Yim, Io Shirai and Lacey Evans (NXT Women’s Title No. 1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The ever-unstoppable Bianca Belair ended 2018 by prevailing in a thrilling No. 1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match against Lacey Evans, Io Shirai and Mia Yim to earn the right to challenge NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix. The rip-roaring showdown fired up the year-end edition of NXT with a nonstop tour de force, and with such high stakes, each Superstar pulled out all the stops from bell to bell.

Shirai took flight early on, manipulating an Irish whip from Evans into a missile-like dive through the ropes to land on Belair. The Genius of the Sky’s launch arrived seconds after The Head Baddie in Charge shot out of the ring like a cannon to flatten The EST of NXT. But the dynamic force of Evans made the battle even more challenging, thanks to a solid ground-and-pound strategy that had competitors like Shirai and Yim peeling themselves off the canvas. Belair, meanwhile, for all the strikes she received, remained unyieldingly resilient, as she withstood the punishing rain of attacks and returned them in kind.

As the pressure mounted, so did everyone’s limits. Evans clocked Yim with a Women’s Right out of nowhere, which prompted Shirai to spoil the pinfall and reach for the sky with a gorgeous moonsault onto The Lady of NXT. When Shirai went for the pin, Belair swooped in and struck her with a vicious hair whip before tossing the 2018 Mae Young Classic finalist to the outside with a reverse powerbomb. At that point, The EST of NXT scooped up a dazed Evans and planted her with the K.O.D. to punch her ticket to an NXT Women’s Title Match and, yes, remain un-de-fea-ted.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a fun match that made Belair the focal point. The action was the standard of these sorts of matches, but at least there was a goal here, with Belair getting a full vote of confidence with the way she was booked. You didn’t really get to see too much of Belair wrestling, but she was protected and made to look formidable any-way, so it all works out well for her.

Match #2: Jaxson Ryker def. Mitch Taverna

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Jaxson Ryker needs no words to describe what The Forgotten Sons have in store for the approaching new year. Everything that could’ve possibly been said took on a life of its own in the middle of the squared circle, as Ryker expelled the remainder of his 2018 angst on a startled Mitch Taverna. The incredibly fierce Ryker minced Taverna from the opening bell. He overwhelmed Taverna with a mat-rattling spinebuster that was followed by a jaw-rocking knee strike. To close things out for the 2018 Do Unto Others tour, Ryker pulverized Taverna with a slingshot powerbomb to capture the victory, and put an end to any speculation surrounding The Forgotten Sons’ New Year’s Resolution.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – This was a squash, so there isn’t much to say other than that Ryker might have killed Taverna.

Match #3: (Main Event) Undisputed ERA def. Heavy Machinery – NXT Tag Team Title Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Confident, calculating and callous, Undisputed ERA withstood Heavy Machinery’s jarring hurricane to maintain their perch atop the NXT Tag Team division. The tension between the two teams spilled out into an all-out brawl with both duos matching each other’s level of physicality. Where Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight employed their brute strength, Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong met them in the middle with a mixture of damaging strikes. The combination between these respective forces made this contest one of the hardest-hitting NXT Tag Team Title battles this year.

Late in the bout, after landing a Caterpillar on Strong, Dozovic was quickly darted with a running kick by O’Reilly, who was clobbered by Knight. This give-and-go pace of action emphasized the high-stakes nature of this match. In a pivotal moment, Dozovic threw caution to the wind by climbing to the top rope, only to have Strong and O’Reilly strike him back to his senses by combining to fold him with a superplex. Miraculously, the Heavy Machinery powerhouse kicked out of the pin attempt, which only fired up the wily O’Reilly & Strong to rain on Dozovic with a high/low combination that undisputedly kept him down for three.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was an excellent, hard-hitting match that sends Heavy Machinery out with a bang. These guys must’ve thought they were trying out for Major League Baseball, because they kept trying to hit a home-run off of each other’s shoulders. This was, as JBL or Taz would put it, smash-mouth wrestling. There was a bit too much of that bizarre version of strong-style that Ring of Honor popularized in this match, but it was such a vibrant change of pace from the recent NXT matches that you could live with it. HM did well here and while they may struggle a bit on the main roster, they also have a lot of ability that they were able to demonstrate here to fine effect. Over-all, this was a mean ol’ match that might just give you a big ol’ bruise if you get too close.

News Of The Night:

  1. The Forgotten Sons seem to be involved in an angle with Jaxson Ryker.
  2. Bianca Belair will challenge for the NXT Women’s Title at the next Take-Over.
  3. Tommaso Ciampa wants Johnny Gargano to challenge for the NXT North American Title.
  4. The nominees for the NXT Awards will be announced, next week.
  5. Matt Riddle will fight Kassius Ohno, next week.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

The main event was the big draw here, but everything else did what it needed to do and there’s nothing wrong with that. I had a good time and got a bit excited for what happens in the near future at NXT, so that’s a good week to me.

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