NXT DECEMBER 20TH 2017
NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Sanity (Eric Young and Killian Dain) (c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly)
Sanity were represented by Young and Dain due to Wolfe being out with the cut to the head he suffered in War Games. Story of the early part of the match was Fish and O’Reilly struggling to get anything going, against Dain or against Young. They eventually used a referee distraction to get the upper hand on Young, thanks to a kick from the floor by Fish. The crowd were a bit in and out of the match, but were definitely behind Sanity of the two. The control portion wasn’t grabbing me either, to be fair, but they ended up building to the tag well by the end of it and when Dain finally got the tag, his comeback was pretty good. I haven’t really been blown away by Dain on NXT, but maybe he’s just better off as the big babyface than he is a monster heel. He used the michinoku driver on Fish onto O’Reilly again, which looked a bit scary. Cole ended up coming out and crotching Young on the top rope as he teased the elbow off the top, which brought Nikki Cross out to attack Cole. Referees dragged Nikki away, leading to Cole posting Dain on the floor. Young hit a dive on Cole, but he ran back into a Total Elimination in the ring allowing Fish and O’Reilly to steal the titles. This lacked a little steam in the middle, but overall, ended up being a pretty strong match.
They showed a hype video for Strong, which was a condensed version of the profile videos they aired earlier in the year.
Another teased for Shayna Baszler, with commentary from the Mae Young Classic over top.
Heavy Machinery were shown trying to move a Maserati that was taking up a parking space outside the Performance Center. The Maserati was, of course, Moss and Sabbatelli’s and as we know, touching that car magically starts a tag team feud.
Sonya and Riott’s match from two weeks ago was recapped and Sonya was interviewed, saying she’d make her presence known again next week by beating Ember Moon, since Ember didn’t pin her in the triple threat qualifying match two months ago.
#1 Contenders Tournament
Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan
Sullivan got a video building him up before the match as well. They’re still fine-tuning Sullivan’s entrance and they’ve got some nice new visuals to it now. This was the kind of match you’d expect and it really worked. Strong took the fight straight to Sullivan, but eventually got cut off. Sullivan showed off his power for a bit, with Strong trying to fight back from underneath. He started to make some ground, before hitting a big superplex, but only getting a one count. An Olympic Slam got two, but a Sullivan pop-up slam and the Freak Accident were enough to send Sullivan to the fourway final next week. Sullivan is doing a good job as the monster. Facing the likes of Ohno and Strong obviously helps, but he’s not looking out of his depth against them either.
Street Profits had another Street Talk bit, interacting with the fans outside the building.
Christie interviewed Bate before going out for the main event. Bate recapped his history with Dunne in WWE and said tonight was his night and he’d regain his title.
WWE UNITED KINGDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Pete Dunne (c) vs. Tyler Bate
This got plenty of time, infact the show was a good 15/20 minutes longer than it normally would be after a shorter show last week. They got off to a technical start with a lot of mat work and the dreaded joint manipulation. Before long things got heated, with the match spilling to the outside where Dunne gave Bate a suplex off the ring steps to gain control of the match. Dunne was vicious here at every opportunity, constantly throwing in a kick or grabbing Bate’s nose, not to mention trying to break or dislocate Bate’s finger twice. Bate would eventually fire up and get back into things, until Dunne countered the Tyler Driver into a long triangle armbar which Bate had to power out of and use the ropes to guillotine Dunne with. Bate would have the better of the next few minutes but couldn’t put Dunne away. Dunne would hit the Bitter End for two, before the match ultimately broke down into a punch-off, where Bate hit a KO punch, but his injured hand prevented him following up with the pin. The match would spill to the apron, back in and then to the floor again, as it started to turn desperate. They teased a countout with Bate hitting a dive to break it and ensure Dunne didn’t keep the title. A Tyler Driver 97 back in the ring only got two though. And the finish saw Dunne land on his feet to avoid a german suplex off the top, before capitalising with the Bitter End to retain. This wasn’t the all-out epic that their first Takeover match was, but this was an epic in it’s own right and felt like a fight. One of the best NXT matches of the year and probably one of the best NXT TV matches ever.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: All three matches delivered this week, with Dunne and Bate the obvious stand-out.
NXT WEEK: Black, Dain, Gargano and Lars in a fourway for the #1 contendership and Ember Moon versus Sonya Deville for the Women’s Championship.