Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Full Sail TV Tapings 11-30-16

NXT fans once again converged on Full Sail for another round of television tapings. This round of tapings featured some new faces, Takeover fallout, and was a heavily DIY-centric round of tapings. The following recap contains spoilers for three episodes of NXT.

Before the evening began introduced Mike Rome introduced Tom Philips, Corey Graves, and the newest member of our NXT announce team, Percy Watson. From the sounds of the reaction, it appears plenty of fans remember the FCW/Season Two NXT star.

Dark Match: Wesley Blake vs Tian Bing
This was a short and evenly contested match. To his credit, Wesley Blake seemed to be a little more animated than he was the last time I saw him in Tampa, but still seems to be missing something. Tian Bing, on the other hand, is looking better and better with each outing. Bing is not a small guy, and he delivers speedy and believable looking strikes and kicks with a lot of power behind them. Bing definitely has the potential to do interesting things in NXT with the right booking. After a back and forth match, Blake missed a beautiful moonsault and made it to his knees to be met with a superkick from Tian Bing for the win.

Episode 1
Newly crowned tag champs Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa made their way out first to a huge pop from the crowd. DIY celebrated with the crowd making their way up and down the bleachers, before heading back to the ring. Before they could speak, they were already interrupted by Paul Ellering and the Authors Of Pain. They tell them that their celebration is premature, but before Ellering can elaborate much further he is interrupted by the Revival. Dawson says that they are here to claim their rightful spot as number one contenders. The Authors and Revival come face to face outside the ring, but the Revival wisely backs down. Ellering gets the last word, his Authors are going to be champions.

No Way Jose & Rich Swann vs Sanity (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe w/ Nikki Cross)
The contagiously fun team of Jose and new cruiserweight champion, Rich Swann never fail to get the crowd pumped. Out next is the ominous Sanity; conspicuous in his absence was Sawyer Fulton. Eric Young was carrying a jacket with him, and it appeared to be Fulton’s. I’m sure it will be explained later with a backstage vignette. As more and more people are learning, Rich Swann is an amazing athlete, and perhaps the most charismatic performer in NXT. Unfortunately, after a strong start the size disadvantage would come into play. Sanity took control punishing the much smaller Swann. Wolfe has improved considerably in NXT, and the Sanity gimmick fits him well. I like Sanity a great deal, but for me Nikki Cross is what really makes this group. Nikki Cross is one of the most talented women in WWE/NXT. She has also embraced the crazy; her skulking around the ring yelling at fans and being weird is so much fun. I can’t wait to see her becoming more of a presence in the women’s division.

The fight spilled out of the ring and out of nowhere came Big Damo, leveling Jose. Eric Young took advantage rolling Jose back in the ring and nailing him with a modified neckbreaker for the pin.

Afterwards, an angry Damo heads up the ramp leaving Sanity looking confused as to what the big mans intentions were.

Kimber Lee vs Ember Moon
This was a really fun match, that actually saw Kimber Lee getting a fair amount of offense. However, in the end she was no match for the amazing Ember Moon. Ember finished off Kimber Lee with her top rope stunner for the win. Kimber Lee looked comfortable in a WWE ring, and I’m hoping we see her back next year for the women’s tournament. I’m enjoying the build of Ember Moon and can’t wait for the inevitable clash between her and Asuka. I’m not exaggerating when I say that match up has all the potential to be the greatest women’s Takeover match ever.

Otis & Tucker vs Johnny Knockout & Brandon Knight
Most people (including myself) remember Johnny Knockout best as the Braun Strowman jobber that liked big sweaty men. Unfortunately, for him and Brandon Knight, this match didn’t go much better than the Strowman squash. However, speaking of two big dudes, Otis and Tucker are two big powerhouses that are making more and more new fans with every match. This was a very short and one-sided match… but nonetheless Tucker and Otis are a fun team to watch.

Episode 2
This episode would feature four qualifying matches, where the winners of each match would be placed in a fatal four-way match to determine a new number one contender for the NXT title.

Ty Dillinger vs Eric Young
The first qualifying match would be a very short contest when Dillinger gained a DQ victory after Nikki Cross attacked. Afterwards, Dillinger thwarted an after match beatdown from Sanity… only to be attacked by Big Damo out of nowhere. Damo laid out Ty with a huge front slam followed by a senton. Another confusing stare down between Damo and Sanity followed.

No Way Jose vs Andrade Cien Almas
Jose is not the most impressive wrestler on the roster, but his energy is contagious, and he is showing a lot of improvement. Almas, on the other hand, has been absolutely great in his heel run. This was a good match defined not so much by moves, as much as the cocky and “tranquilo” attitude of Almas. What a good heel! Andrade Cien Almas won the match via pinfall after a hammerlock DDT.

Elias Sampson vs Roderick Strong
Sampson is out first with his usual banter and song, but I honestly couldn’t hear any of it, due to the nuclear heat from the crowd. This is probably one of the fastest paced Sampson matches I’ve seen, as opposed to his usual chinlock filled bouts. Unfortunately, he still doesn’t show the crowd much other than punches and kicks. Roderick Strong looks at home in an NXT ring, and here he carried Sampson through a good match. Roderick Strong finished Sampson with his gutbuster/single legged dropkick combo for the pin.

Oney Lorcan vs Bobby Roode
This was another very entertaining qualifying match, and even though I knew better, I found myself hoping for an upset victory. Lorcan gave Roode one hell of a fight, a fight that included some of the meanest uppercuts in all of the WWE. In the end, Roode managed to put Oney Lorcan away with a DDT. Bobby Roode has had a long and successful career, but one has to wonder if he would be this over in NXT without that damn catchy song… I really don’t think so, but he does make a damn good heel.

Sarah Bridges vs Peyton Royce
The former “Crazy Mary” started off the match with a fierce intensity… and yes, she is still crazy, letting out crazed yelps and dropping Peyton with a vicious running knee. Peyton managed to turn it around, slowing the pace and pinning Sarah with a fisherman’s suplex for a clean victory… despite Billie Kay at ringside. Peyton and Billie are both overdue for some sort of push, but I’m more excited to see what they do with Sarah Bridges.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Patrick Clark
“The Velveteen Dream” Patrick Clark is out first looking more and more like Prince with the music to match. Then the place exploded for the charismatic King Of Strong Style Shinsuke Nakamura. Early in the match, Nakamura backed Clark into the ropes, doing his signature spot where he rests his head on his opponent and dangles limply. Clark answered by gyrating his hips in Shinsuke’s face, which fired up the former NXT champion. Not long after Nakamura would defeat Patrick Clark with a Kinshasa.

Episode 3
Daria vs Billie Kay
Daria started off really strong here and was possibly one of her best outings. She actually dominated Billie, until Peyton interfered. This was the only opening Billie needed, and she finished off Daria with a big boot for the win. Afterward, the mean girls took to the mic, again I couldn’t really hear much of what they had to say due to a raucous crowd. From what I gather they were sending a warning to the entire locker room… including women’s champ, Asuka.

The Authors Of Pain vs Johnny Vandal & Anthony Bowens
Our second squash match of the night was more of a massacre than anything else, with AOP absolutely decimating the competition. They finished with their double powerbomb spot, afterwards Rezar attempted to pick up Bowens for their finisher, but he crumpled and the referee called the match. Ellering cut a promo while medics attended to Bowens, who eventually made it out on his own two feet with help from the medics.

Number One Contenders Fatal Four Way
Dillinger vs Almas vs Strong vs Roode
Andrade started off really strong punishing Strong and keeping the other men out of the ring. It wouldn’t be long before all men were involved, and all the craziness you would expect in a near fall came along. All four men looked great in this match, that featured many great spots including the now mandatory four man suplex spot in the corner. Surprisingly, Almas was first eliminated after a one legged dropkick from Roddy. However, a few moments later Ty would eliminate Strong with a firemans carry neckbreaker. Ty and Roode immediately start trading punches, reinvigorated and fired up. Dillinger gets a real close count after a mean superkick, and then an even closer count after a firemans carry neckbreaker on Roode. It seemed Dillinger would finally get his shot, but after distracting the referee and dropping Ty onto an exposed turnbuckle, he finished with his DDT. Bobby Roode is the number one contender for the NXT title.

NXT Tag Title Match
DIY vs The Revival
You don’t need me to tell you that these two teams have amazing chemistry, and kill it every time they are in the ring together. In my opinion, The Revival are the best team on the planet right now, and DIY are easily in the top five. So it goes without saying that this was a match to send the crowd home happy. This was another great back and forth match that, of course, saw the good guys retain after nailing Scott Dawson with their finisher. Great match, and an altogether fun NXT tapings.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wrestling And Vlogging!

In addition to recaps of shows along with tons of pictures, me and my daughter will be doing vlogs about NXT shows and wrestling in general. If you want to watch two people that aren't critics or journalists, but simply two huge wrestling fans talking graps, check it out. We filmed the first one today, if you dig it feel free to subscribe to the channel for future videos.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

NXT Tampa 11-18-16

While NXT's top players prepare for Saturday’s Takeover: Toronto, the rest of the crew returned to the UACDC Gymnasium in Tampa, Fl. With a sizable chunk of the roster north of the border, many fans wondered exactly what NXT had in store… apparent by the ticket sales in a usually sold out venue. This show was hardly a consolation prize though. With names like Andrade Cien Almas, Gran Metalik, Tommy End, Big Damo, and Sarah Bridges on the card, I’d hardly call it a “B” show. Much to the contrary, the show felt fresh and different. While performers like Nakamura and Asuka are always missed, freshness is exactly what many people need from a brand that has lost quite a bit of its magic in the last year.

Jack Gallagher vs Akira Tozawa
Regardless of how well the cruiserweight division is fairing on the main roster, it is benefiting NXT fans in spades. That fact was evident in our opening bout of Akira Tozawa vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher. This back and forth match was a great way to start the night illustrating the technical prowess of Jackie Boy and the hard-hitting style of Tozawa. The match was a condensed version of their CWC match with some of the same spots, including Gallagher tying a helpless Tozawa into a pretzel. This match was a lot of fun, and it’s clear both men are going to be a huge asset to the cruiserweight division. Jack Gallagher defeated Akira Tozawa with a huge running corner dropkick.

Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi vs The Bollywood Boyz
It was team Brazil against team India in our first tag team match of the evening. Jaoude and Bononi controlled much of the match with the much larger Bononi taking charge over the smaller duo of Gurv and Harv Sihra. I like Jaoude and Bononi but they are both very much works in progress, showing a lot of potential. This match was your standard formula tag match with the Jaoude and Bononi working dominant heel over their underdog opponents. The Bollywood Boyz defeated Jaoude and Bononi with a double superkick to Adrian Jaoude.

Sarah Bridges vs Macey Estrella
The night continued with women’s action as Sarah Bridges, formerly known as “Crazy” Mary Dobson made her Tampa debut against rookie Macey Estrella. I was excited to see Bridges finally compete in NXT beyond enhancement talent, and she doesn’t disappoint. However, it seemed at times it seemed she had to force herself into a slower pace for the inexperienced Estrella to keep up. Surprisingly Macey dominated the match over an underdog Bridges. Estrella has much work to go, but seems to progressing more so than some of the other new women. Macey Estrella defeated Sarah Bridges via submission with an arm bar.

Big Damo vs Ho Ho Lun
In perhaps the most lopsided match of the night, the Hong Kong cruiserweight found himself across the ring from the beast from Belfast. Undeterred, Ho Ho used his speed to attack his opponent with a flurry of offense, which unfortunately had no effect on the massive Damo. Finally, Damo grounded Lun with one big strike and began systematically picking apart the much smaller wrestler. Lun mounted a small comeback to little avail. While it’s always fun to watch a monster wreak havoc, it also reminds us that for the main roster cruiserweight division to be taken seriously, they must be kept away from the heavyweights. Still yet, it was an enjoyable match as both men are fun to watch. Big Damo defeated Ho Ho Lun with a massive running crossbody.

Wesley Blake vs Kishan Raftaar
Wesley Blake is a good wrestler that has lost his way. In this match, the former tag champion that has taken part in some of the most memorable tag matches in NXT history, didn’t look that much more experienced in the ring than the rookie Kishan Raftaar. Both men looked competent enough, but compared to the evening’s previous matches, it slowed the night tremendously. After a back and forth match Kishan Raftaar defeated Wesley Blake with a sunset flip off the turnbuckle.

Tommy End vs Buddy Murphy
This hard-hitting match started before Murphy was done with his entrance as End attacked him from behind and threw him to the outside. They brawled briefly outside the ring before heading back in where Murphy mounted a comeback. What followed was a tremendous back and forth between the two. Tommy End comes to NXT with a lot of hype, and he delivered with a myriad of strong strikes and kicks. Buddy Murphy held his own and is probably the most underrated performer in NXT at the moment. Excellent match that culminated with Tommy End defeating Buddy Murphy with a brutal high knee. Easily match of the night.

Tough Enough alumni Mada came out to the ring next for a promo. He dissed us Americans and boasted his superior Egyptian bloodline. He seemed confident on the mic; I have yet to see him perform in the ring though.

Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss vs Angelo Dawkins & Kenneth Crawford
This was your standard tag match with several false finishes and a bit of shenanigans. All four men seem to be benefiting from their new tag team affiliations. Moss and Sabbatelli seem to really be getting over with the fans, and I swear, they will probably be Vince McMahons favorite wrestlers one day based on physiques and hair alone. Nothing spectacular here, but entertaining nonetheless. Sabbatelli and Moss have an interesting tag finisher now; Moss hoists his opponent up into a Gory Special setting him up for a running bulldog from Tino. This move won them the match when Tino Sabbatelli pinned Kenneth Crawford.

Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs Gran Metallik
This was a great main event, maybe the best I’ve seen an already impressive Almas, simply because of how much he and Metallik work so well together. As imagined, this match featured lots of back and forth, fast paced, and “flippy” action. Both men looked great in this outing. Gran Metallik is going to be a major asset to the cruiserweight division, while heel Cien looks to have finally found his footing in NXT looking better every outing. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas defeated Gran Metallik, after nearly pulling off Metallik’s mask and following with a roll-up. After the match, Almas continued to beat down Metallik, until the good guy turned it around and sent Cien packing.

 This was no ‘B’ show, with several new faces stepping up and the arrival of the cruiserweights, this show was as good as any other.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016, The Year In Review (And Pictures!)

It’s been a year since I wrote my last blog post for Mason’s Ringside View, and out of the few reasons I chose to take a hiatus, lack of things to write about certainly wasn’t among them. 2016 hasn’t just been a huge year for NXT, it has been a huge (and strange) year for the entire wrestling industry. However, you can read about all of that elsewhere… besides, I am not a wrestling journalist, but rather a dude who is lucky enough to go to a lot of shows and these are my views from ringside.

A year has made a huge impact on NXT. We said goodbye to the face of the brand, Finn Balor who moved on the  main roster, as well as Bayley, Enzo and Cass, Baron Corbin and several others who have laid down the groundwork for what NXT is today. Some of the hottest names on the independent scene have taken their place, performers such as Roderick Strong, Tommy End, and Cedric Alexander now call NXT home.

One of my favorite wrestlers on the planet and a man I doubted I would ever get to see live, Shinsuke Nakamura, has not only arrived in NXT but risen straight to the top. It’s been a stellar year for the King Of Strong Style, capturing the NXT title and continuing a brutal feud with Samoa Joe.
Asuka has continued to prove why she is the most dominant female wrestler in the world. She is still undefeated, still champion, and still one of the most exciting performers in the brand.

However, there is a challenger on the rise. 2016 saw the debut of Ember Moon, another ridiculously talented competitor who seems the most obvious threat to Asuka’s reign.

There are also several other challengers in the locker room who would love to knock the Queen off her throne. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay seemed poised for a push in the near future, while Nikki Cross is about as "Takeover" ready as any female on the roster. Mandy Rose is acclimating well post Tough Enough and has a star quality that can't be denied. Also, one can't forget that the debut of Sarah Bridges aka Crazy Mary Dobson is imminent.

The Revival, a team who I tirelessly promoted on this blog as criminally underrated are now enjoying their second tag title reign. The duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder has not only kept the titles on lockdown, but has elevated tag wrestling and given the fans several match of the year contenders.

However, the top guys might have more than a few obstacles in their way in the coming year. If this years Dusty Classic has reminded us of anything, it's that tag team wrestling thrives in NXT. From DIY to The Authors Of Pain, Sanity to Tucker and Otis, there is always another team to step up to the champs.

We finally saw the return of Hideo Itami… only to be injured a few months later.

It's beyond frustrating and one has to wonder if Itami will ever get that main event run he deserves, especially in an increasingly crowded field that includes names like Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, and Oney Lorcan. One also can't forget the very over Bobby Roode, and Andrade Cien Almas, who has been fantastic since his heel turn. I would imagine that Tommy End and Big Damo will be making immediate impacts.


The Cruiserweight Classic was possibly my favorite thing going this entire year, and the cruiserweights continue to kill it both on the main roster and in NXT. Regardless of how well the cruiserweight division is being received on Raw, the cruisers are making a lot of new fans here at house shows.

While NXT tours the world, the Florida loop has several PC talents grinding hard and looking to make a big name for themselves in the coming year.

Outside of the WWE/NXT bubble, I don’t think any promotion has had a bigger year than EVOLVE. Sure, they have prospered from a relationship with the WWE and a recent huge deal with FloSlam, but it’s the top-notch talent and killer live shows that make EVOLVE a promotion everyone should be keeping their eye on.

In 2016 Timothy Thatcher continued with a dominant title reign, Ethan Page has stepped up in a big way, and even EC3 made his presence known. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese pull double duty killing it in EVOLVE and performing in WWE’s cruiserweight division.
Perhaps no one’s stock is rising faster than the bro himself, Matt Riddle. From EVOLVE to PWG, everyone who has seen him live agrees the bro is a star.
Carrying the torch for women’s wrestling down here in the sunshine state is Shine. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more fun night of wrestling anywhere in the state, I just wished they would stop booking shows when I’m working (a guy can dream).
Every month or so some of the best female talents of the independent wrestling scene converge on The Orpheum in Ybor City for hard-hitting action. One of these competitors would be Su Yung, probably my favorite female talent not currently signed by the WWE.
I’m hoping we’ll see several of these wrestlers in the upcoming WWE women’s tournament.

ROH has had a year of ups and downs (some more than other, depending on whom you ask) but I am still a big ROH fan and they brought it on their recent Lakeland, Fl stop. Biggest take away from the show? Dalton Castle is perhaps the most charismatic man in wrestling, Kyle O’Reilly is even cooler in person, Jay White has superstar written all over him, Silas Young is underrated, and Adam Cole is worthy of every bit of the hype. I can’t wait until ROH returns to Lakeland for Supercard Of Honor next year.
It's been a fun and crazy year of pro graps, and 2017 looks like it's going to be just as nuts.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

NXT Lakeland 11-5-15

Written by Wayne Mason
Photos by Maryann Mason

Thursday night NXT returned to the National Guard Armory in Lakeland for a night of hard hitting action. With much of the roster away with other commitments, the remaining talent stepped up and put on a fun and exciting night of wrestling and no one went home disappointed.

The always over Enzo Amore is always a good choice to start a show, as he received the usual big pop. He made his way to the ring by himself to take on his opponent, Angelo Dawkins. The match begins with several minutes of back and forth action before Dawkins takes over. He pummels Enzo before grounding him with a chancery. Enzo makes sporadic comeback attempts only to be shut down and grounded by Dawkins. Finally, Amore launches a comeback flying into Dawkins with his spastic trademark crossbody and follows with a flurry of punches. He sends Dawkins into the turnbuckle with an STO before climbing the turnbuckle. Amore launches off the top and catches Dawkins with a hellacious DDT for the win. Amore has improved considerably, even though his major strength still lies in being underdog. Dawkins has always been impressive athletically, but now his charisma is starting to really come through with his “curse of greatness gimmick. He was great tonight interacting with the crowd.

Billie Kay is next out to the ring, accompanied by her manager Sylvester Lefort. Her opponent is Gionna Daddio. The two start off with a lot of fast paced back and forth action before Billie takes a cheap shot and attempts to slow Gionna with a chinlock. She continues her onslaught with a backbreaker before settling into a single-legged camel clutch. Eventually, Gionna comes back dropping Billie with a couple of dropkicks and nailing her with an enziguri. She goes for the pin but Sylvester places Billie’s foot on the ropes. Lefort gets climbs onto the ring apron to cause a further distraction but Gionna dropkicks him to the floor. Gionna turns around to be caught by a surprise roll-up pin giving Billie Kay the victory. This match was a highlight of the night with great performances by both women. I like the pairing of Billie and Sylvester, it really seemed to work. For the amount of times she has been wrestling, Gionna Daddio is very impressive. People critical of another model turned wrestler are going to be proven wrong, as it seems safe to say she is a natural. At some point during the match (not sure exactly when) her nose got busted, but she worked through it and finished the match. Luckily, it was just a bloodied nose and nothing was broken.

Next up is Riddick Moss taking on Josh Woods. Almost immediately after the initial lock-up Woods traps Moss in an armbar before transitioning into an ankle lock, but Moss makes the ropes. The match continues with the quicker Woods staying one step ahead of Moss always coming back to a series of painful armlocks. The powerful Moss reverses an Irish Whip slamming Woods into the turnbuckles with enough velocity to make the entire front row cringe.  He follows with a fallaway slam, then pummels Woods. Moss attempts to keep his opponent grounded, but Woods locks on another ankle lock out of nowhere before Moss makes the ropes. Woods continues with a series of suplexes before Moss manages to nail him with a kick to the face. Moss then finishes Woods with a neckbreaker for the victory. This was another impressive match. At these house shows Riddick Moss goes back and forth between heel and face depending upon what is needed, but he seems to be gaining a lot more traction as the cocky heel. This was the first time I personally saw Josh Woods wrestle (other than a few scuffles as Preston Cunningham Jr) and I wasn’t disappointed. From the way he was dressed to the moves he used, Woods MMA experience and amateur wrestling background was obvious. He is a lot of fun to watch and with more performances like tonight he won’t have a problem getting over.

Levis Valenzuela is out next for yet another promo. He talks about the phenomenon known as NXT and the opportunity it has given him. He expresses his desire to be the first Dominican NXT champion. He is interrupted by Emma, who tells him that dancing and pandering to the crowd got her nowhere. She says dancing is not the answer, and neither are the people in this crowd. She insists the dancing needs to stop but he tells her “No way, Jose!” He tells her that she can’t bring people down with her whining and that we’re all going to dance and the fiesta will continue. She tries to slap him but he catches her hand, spins her around and dips her. His music hit and a conga line emerges from the back and makes their way around the ring. The dancers consist of new recruits including Rich Swann, and all of the recent Tough Enough signees (minus ZZ).

The evening continues with Solomon Crowe taking on Tino Sabbatelli. After an initial lock-up the two trade several punches and chops until Tino takes over with a hard whip into the corner. Sabbatelli continues with a running powerslam before settling into a chinlock. The match continues with Crowe enduring punishment from Tino until he mounts a comeback culminating with a high knee in the corner guaranteed to loosen a few fillings. He finishes Sabbatelli with a twisting suplex neckbreaker for the pin. This was a short textbook wrestling match that saw Crowe mostly selling the offense of Sabbatelli. The newcomer Tino Sabbatelli is certainly competent in the ring, but nothing about him jumps out at me yet. As a big fan of Solomon Crowe, I have to wonder what in the hell they are doing with the guy. Crowe should be challenging for the NXT title, instead he is in limbo.

We continue with tag action as Marcus Louis and Sawyer Fulton take on perhaps the most over tag team in NXT, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Marcus Louis may not be full on crazy anymore, but he’s still definitely weird as he circles the ring maniacally and smelling his hands after attempting a handshake with Gable. The bell rings and the two lock up, several minutes of awesome chain wrestling follow with Gable getting the upper hand. Gable and Jordan control much of the bout with great wrestling from both Jordan and Gable, including some impressive tandem wrestling too. After a cheap shot the bad guys take over with Sawyer clotheslining Gable out of his boots. Sawyer and Marcus beat down Gable before slowing down the pace. Marcus circles him maniacally beating him down with big clubbing blows. Sawyer tags back in and levels Gable with a palm strike that would make CJ Parker proud. However, moments later Gable snatches Fulton’s arm out of nowhere for an armbar over the ring ropes. This creates enough separation for Gable to make a hot tag to Jordan who comes in with a series of dropkicks. He hits Louis with a suplex following with another to Fulton. He tags in Gable and they hit Sawyer Fulton with Grand Amplitude for the win. This was a fun match, as is usually the case with Jordan and Gable who are so much fun to watch. A fine performance by Fulton and Louis as well, both men have all the tools athletically, but still seem to be looking for that angle to connect them with the crowd.

Next is Bull Dempsey taking on the German Alexander Wolfe. This was another textbook wrestling match that saw some back and forth offense until Wolfe took over against Dempsey mostly working the arm and hand. Wolfe controlled much of the match while yelling at the crowd in German. Ultimately, Dempsey would “Hulk up” at the offense of Wolfe and come back with a series of punches. He squashes Wolfe with a big splash in the corner laying him out. Bull climbs the turnbuckles and launches off squashing his opponent with a seated senton for the win. I like Bull Dempsey, but this match seemed to struggle to keep the attention of the crowd.

More women’s action is next with Aaliyah (formely Jasmin/Nooph) taking on Nia Jax, who came out to a nice pop. The two lock up but Nia easily pushes her off. The speedy Aaliyah runs the ropes comes back at Nia with a series of kicks to the legs before Nia once again swats her off. Then Nia drops her with a shoulder breaker, then continues by tossing around her opponent by her hair like a rag doll. Nia locks her opponent with a vicious bear hug until Aaliyah gets free and attempts a comeback with another set of kicks, but Nia sends her to the mat with a clothesline. She stalks her opponent around the ring like a wounded animal before locking on another bear hug. Eventually, Aaliyah mounts another comeback with a series of dropkicks. She climbs the top rope and leaps off at a standing Nia (perhaps going for a hurricanrana?) but Nia falls back and they both land awkwardly, with Aaliyah looking like she took the brunt of it. Nia pins her for an abrupt finish. Nia continues to do well with her monster booking, while the little I have seen of Aaliyah mostly consists of her selling so it is hard to say. I saw Aaliyah after the show and luckily she was okay after the rough looking abrupt ending to her match.

Our main event is a tag match for the NXT tag team titles with The Vaudevillians challenging the champs, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. The match starts off with some great chain wrestling between English and Dawson. Eventually, English gets the upper hand. Dawson tags out but Dash doesn’t fare much better soon finding himself having to escape an armbar from Gotch. Later, Dawson finds himself with his arm in a hammerlock for some signature squats from the gentleman grapplers. English does 10 squats, but Gotch outdoes him with a manly 31 squats. Eventauly, after a blind tag Dash clotheslines English out of his boots and the two begin an intense beatdown. Dash and Dawson employ frequent tags working the leg of English, at one point wrapping it around the ring post. Ultimately, English makes a hot tag to Gotch who comes in and clears the ring with an onslaught of innovative kicks and strikes. Gotch sends Dash out of the ring and nails Dawson with a rolling senton. English follows with a low angle senton off the second rope for the pin but Dash pulls the referee out of the ring to narrowly avoid a three count. The referee calls for the bell giving the Vaudevillians a DQ victory.  Dawson and Dash continue to beatdown their opponents after the bell until Enzo Amore runs in to make the save. Amore rocks Dash with a series of punches before The Vaudevillians finish him with a Whirling Dervish. This was a great main event with both teams looking really good. The Vaudevillians are over as always, and it’s so gratifying to finally see Dawson and Wilder getting a well-deserved and long awaited push.