NXT Review 12/6/17: Gargano vs. Ohno


The show opened with Regal going over the number one contender’s tournament to face Almas for the NXT Title. Daine versus Seven was the first match and Ohno versus Velveteen Dream was supposed to be the second, but Dream was hurt, so it would be Ohno against a suitable replacement instead.

Almas came out with Zelina to start, for his championship celebration. Not much to this, Zelina bragged for a bit and Almas shouted “I told you so” to the crowd among other things, before mock apologising for injuring Drew.

Lars was interviewed outside the building by the arms holding microphones about facing Roderick in the number one contenders tournament. Lars said Strong was a hell of a competitor and a handsome guy, but that wasn’t him. All he cared about was the NXT Championship being his in Philadelphia and nothing was going to stop him.

#1 Contenders Tournament
Trent Seven vs. Killian Dain
I was wondering what Seven had really done to get in the tournament when Bate or Dunne weren’t, but helpfully they explained that Seven won a battle royal at a house show to qualify. Good enough for me. Seven tried a quick start but was quickly overwhelmed by Dain. He put up a fight and managed to hit the Seven Stars lariat for a two count, but it was basically a matter of time before Dain won, which he did after a senton and a Vader bomb. I haven’t been sure about Dain in his singles matches, but this was a solid showcase for him.

Sonya was shown warming up backstage.

Undisputed Era cut a promo backstage, with Cole bragging about them winning War Games. He addressed facing Aleister Black in the tournament, while O’Reilly and Fish talked about challenging for the Tag Team Titles in two weeks. There were a bunch of camera cuts in this and their music was playing in the background the whole time, so I guess somebody’s been watching some NWO tapes for production ideas.

No Holds Barred Match
Sonya Deville vs. Ruby Riott
They didn’t use the stip to work in weapons, sticking to a regular straight-up match, but the stip was there for a reason. After a fairly even start Sonya caught the pele kick and got an ankle lock. They’d already told the story on commentary that Ruby couldn’t get a rope break in this match, which was how the feud started, so Ruby had to use the ropes to manufacture a counter to get out instead. Sonya then used an eye gouge to get out of a Ruby submission after commercial. Ruby suffered for a while before getting back into things. Ruby connected with a tope, but Sonya put her in a triangle choke in the ropes as she tried to get back in the ring and Ruby tapped out. Good stuff, definitely Sonya’s best match and a promising sign that she can hang on Raw if she ends up in a singles match soon.

Ember was with the arms holding microphones and said it was a dream come true to become champion. She said her goal was to become the best NXT Womens Champion in NXT history. Billie and Peyton interrupted, pointing out that she didn’t pin Peyton and thus Peyton deserved a chance to beat her up. Ember asked who she’d be facing next week and both of Iconic answered, with Ember telling them to figure it out between themselves. They ended up deciding amicably once Ember had left that Peyton would get first go, although Billie said she wanted to be the one to finish Ember off.

Recap of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament Final between Bate and Dunne, as they’re building to Bate challenging Dunne again for the title in two weeks.

Regal was shown speaking with Ohno before the main event. If he was telling him who he’d be facing, you’d have thought he’d have given him more time than that, it didn’t need to be a secret for Ohno. Bit mean.

They had a teaser video for somebody coming soon, which didn’t give much of anything away.

#1 Contenders Tournament
Kassius Ohno vs. Johnny Gargano
Crowd were split between the two and both guys milked it at the start to get the crowd hot, before shaking hands. You won’t be shocked to hear they then proceeded to have a really good match. Plenty of strikes from Ohno, with Gargano being forced to fight from underneath. We got some shades of Ohno playing a heel, not outright but enough to make things interesting for the night, as they played the roles you’d want them to in the match. Gargano hit a tope into a tornado DDT on the ramp in the big spot of the match, before Ohno got a near fall with a cyclone kick back in the ring. Gargano got a close two with a victory roll, before Ohno got his own close two after a really cool flying elbow to the back of the head which the crowd bought into. A series of kicks then set Ohno up for the Gargano Escape and Ohno tapped to send Gargano through to the fourway final. Great match, crowd were invested and the commentators really sold it too. Can’t ask for much more. Johnny called Ohno back after the match to show respect.


RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Ohno versus Gargano was a top main event and a must-see for NXT this year. Deville and Riott was a strong effort as well and Dain versus Seven was solid for what it was.

NXT WEEK: Adam Cole versus Aleister Black in the number one contenders tournament and Peyton Royce against Ember Moon.

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