Date: June 13, 2019 (AUS)
Location: APGFCU Arena At Hartford Community College, Bel Air, Maryland
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo
Review by: KB
We’re on the road again for the first regular show as we head towards Toronto in August. I’m not sure what to expect going forward, but we have about two months before the next Takeover, which should be enough time to set up something great. Hopefully things get back to normal around here, though even their off weeks are still good. Let’s get to it.
The announcers run down tonight’s double main event of Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. the Undisputed Era and Kushida vs. Drew Gulak in a submission match.
Io Shirai/Candice LeRae vs. Marina Shafir/Jessamyn Duke
Shayna Baszler is watching from the ramp. Shirai has a banged up shoulder so Candice starts by running Shafir into the corner for a jackknife rollup for two. Back in and Shafir hits a kick to the face so Duke can come in for a kick to the back. It’s back to Shafir for a judo throw and something like a torture rack but with Candice bent around the back instead of the shoulders.
That’s broken up but Shafir kicks Shirai off the apron to keep Candice in trouble. Candice manages to send Duke into Shafir and an enziguri allows the hot tag to Shirai. The 619 hits Duke and a springboard missile dropkick makes it worse. Shirai hits the Baszler arm stomp on Duke but Baszler pulls her away from the moonsault. That’s fine with Shirai, who moonsaults onto Baszler instead. Candice dives onto Shafir and Duke and the match is thrown out at 5:45.
Rating: C+. There was some energy to this one and the match worked well as we’re supposed to ignore Shirai losing her mind at Takeover. Candice continues to be rather spunky and the kind of person you want to see win. This felt fun and I had a rather good time with it, so you can call this a very nice surprise.
The huge brawl continues post match with Baszler getting involved as well. Referees have trouble breaking it up and can’t quite get them apart.
We look back at Tyler Breeze vs. Velveteen Dream at Takeover.
Dream talks about how it’s solid and dependable, but he doesn’t mean the title. Get ready for the next experience.
We look back at Drew Gulak vs. Kushida from two weeks ago.
Drew Gulak vs. Kushida
Submission match. Kushida goes with a bodyscissors to start as the announcers get in their MMA terms. Gulak has to cover up and Kushida spins around his back to show off a bit. Back up and Kushida starts in on the arm before sending Gulak outside without much trouble. The armbar goes on but Gulak reverse slams his way out of trouble. The Gory Stretch goes on with both of Kushida’s arms being bent backwards until they almost touch each other.
That’s broken up so Gulak goes with something like a Boston crab to switch over to the back instead. An armtrap headlock (Mauro: “As annoying as a robocall.”) keeps Kushida down before Gulak switches over to a regular armbar. Kushida gets out of that as well and it’s a hiptoss into a basement dropkick. A springboard tornado DDT sets up the cross armbreaker but Gulak gets a foot on the rope.
They roll around into what would have been a pinfall reversal sequence in a regular match but this time Gulak gets into an ankle lock. Kushida escapes again and takes it to the apron for some kicks to the chest. They slug it out back inside with Kushida hitting a handspring elbow. Kushida headscissors him down and slaps on the Hoverboard Lock for the quick tap at 10:07.
Rating: B. This never hit the higher level I was expecting but they can only do so much with ten minutes. Some of the grappling was awesome here though and the counters were starting to get really good. What matters most here though is Kushida getting this kind of a push as he continues to look awesome every time he’s out there.
Post match Kushida applauds him and Gulak shakes his hand.
Aaliyah and Vanessa Borne don’t like the idea of Mia Yim thinking she should get a title shot. They don’t think she looks like a champion so they’ve got her some books, including books on fashion, English and grammar. If she can’t read, how can she use the books? We really need smarter heels around here.
In two weeks: Shirai vs. Baszler for the Women’s Title in a cage.
We look at Mansoor winning the battle royal at Super ShowDown and his post match speech. The latter was good, the former not so much.
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Kyle O’Reilly/Roderick Strong
Lorcan and O’Reilly grapple to start with Kyle taking him to the mat for a broken up leglock. With that not working, they hammer on each other in the corner until O’Reilly kicks him in the face. Everything breaks down and it’s a big slugout with the Era being sent outside for the running dive from Lorcan.
Burch sends O’Reilly into the half and half suplex from Lorcan with Strong having to make a save. It’s back to Strong for the loud chops in the corner and the first backbreaker keeps Lorcan in trouble. A running knee to the back makes it even worse and Lorcan’s throat is catapulted into the bottom rope. The chinlock goes on but Strong lets go so he can knock Burch off the apron in a smart move. Another slugout goes to O’Reilly but Lorcan is right back with a running Blockbuster.
That’s enough for the tag off to Burch so house can be cleaned. A powerbomb into the Crossface has O’Reilly in trouble but Strong makes a quick save. O’Reilly hits a Dean Ambrose rebound lariat for two with Lorcan diving in for a save. Everything breaks down and it’s a four way knockdown. Cue Jaxson Ryker, who beats up security on the way to the ring. The distraction lets Burch roll O’Reilly up for the pin at 9:45.
Rating: B. Anytime they want to completely stop with this Ryker stuff, I’d be completely ok with it. He doesn’t exactly fit with what they’re going for at the moment and having him be the big Frankenstein monster in the ladder match felt completely out of nowhere. It’s not that he’s a bad character or addition, but keep him out of this division at the moment.
Overall Rating: B+. Three good matches, storyline advancement and a big main event set up for two weeks. It’s too early to know where things are heading for Toronto but unlike the main roster, I have every confidence that NXT can make something like that work. Just keep giving us shows like this and my head might stop hurting a bit after Monday and Tuesday nights.
Candice LeRae/Io Shirai vs. Marina Shafir/Jessamyn Duke went to a double disqualification when all four brawled on the floor
Kushida b. Drew Gulak – Hoverboard Lock
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch b. Kyle O’Reilly/Roderick Strong – Rollup to O’Reilly
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