NXT DECEMBER 27TH 2017
Street Profits vs. Kris Starr and Riley Apex
One of the jobbers was a big dude and got referred to as both ‘JBL’ and ‘NWO Bradshaw’. Simple squash win for Street Profits with the sky high and the frog splash. Ford got some good height on the frog splash. Post match, they cut a promo in the crowd, saying they came and they saw in 2017, but 2018 they’d conquer. They referenced the AOP, Sanity and Undisputed Era and said they were coming for the titles in 2018.
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Ember Moon (c) vs. Sonya Deville
This was solid, but suffered from a, presumably, tired crowd. Ember did her best to liven things up, including a cannonball to the floor and a hard forearm shot in the corner, but it was a bit of an uphill battle. Deville’s improved a lot over the course of the year, in terms of seeming less stilted between moves. Still needs time to progress, obviously, but she was fine here. All the loose ends on NXT are now tied up, so we’ll see if she’s exclusively on the main roster now or not. Ember won clean with the Eclipse in her first title defence.
Kairi Sane came out onto the stage post match and looked at Ember through her telescope, signalling that she wanted the title. I’m still not entirely sure about this pirate motif. Shayna Baszler appeared behind Sane however and choked her out, with referees having to pull Shayna off.
Ellering cut a promo for the AOP. He said the AOP had defined the NXT tag division, telling Undisputed Era that they wouldn’t write the next chapter, they would and that they were on borrowed time.
Christy spoke with Ember backstage about what happened earlier. Ember said she knew she’d have a target on her back as champion and she wasn’t hard to find, but if Shayna or Sane wanted to make a statement they needed to do it in the ring next time.
Recap of how Black, Dain, Gargano and Lars qualified for the main event.
#1 Contendership Tournament Final
Killian Dain vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Aleister Black
On paper this seemed like a rather odd collection of people, but it worked. This started with a cool sequence where Sullivan caught both Black and Gargano on dives, only for Dain to wipe him out with a dive on the ramp afterwards. The match spilled outside again soon after, with Sullivan throwing Black off the ramp and gorilla pressing Gargano onto him. Sullivan then teased putting Gargano through the announce table, but the two of them turned it around on Lars and left him lying on the table, before Dain flew off the stage at Gargano and instead splashed Lars through the table, in an awesome spot. Looked brutal and I’m pretty sure both got bruised or cut up. Gargano and Black would face off back in the ring and fair to say, the crowd didn’t seem fatigued at this point. The match turned into a triple threat between Dain, Gargano and Black from there, until Lars re-emerged and ran through all three. This built to Lars and Dain going at it, as you’d expect going in. Black took out both guys and hit Black Mass on Lars, seemingly for the finish but Fish and O’Reilly ran in and pulled him off of the cover. After they were taken out, Cole then ran out and gave Black a brainbuster on the knee. Gargano wiped out Cole with a dive before rolling Black in, taking out the two monsters, before getting the win over Black with a slingshot DDT. I fully expected Black to win here and certainly wasn’t thinking Gargano would. I guess this way works better, giving you two Takeover matches instead of one and meaning Almas doesn’t necessarily have to lose on his first defence. The part with Johnny facing Black was probably the most invested Full Sail have felt in something for a while and it’s clear Gargano is their boy. Dain and Lars were both used well in the match. The only possible downer on the match was the interference, but that’s obviously going somewhere, so it’s okay, even if that somewhere is Black versus Cole when Black already beat Cole far too decisively to really warrant a rematch.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Just check out the fourway this week, another strong main event in a year that’s quietly produced a lot of strong TV main events on NXT.
NXT WEEK: Next week is a 2017 Year In Review show, so presumably, no new content. Sanity face Fish and O’Reilly the week after in a Tag Team Title rematch.