Quick programming note before we dive into WWE NXT 02/13/19. I’m putting the “NXT Catch Up” recaps on hiatus for the time being. Life has been insane since last summer and something had to give. I finally reached a point a few weeks back where I’d written about all of the “from Full Sail” episodes that weren’t on the WWE Network when I first signed up in 2015, so it seemed like a good place to press the “pause” button. Sorry if anyone is actually reading those and wanted them to continue weekly.
Okay, WWE NXT 02/13/19. Last week? Eric Bugenhagen showed up and became the best thing since Kyle O’Reilly first played the tag title like a guitar. This week? Adam Cole takes on Ricochet in a “I guess they’re the new number one contender to Gargano’s North American title if they win” match. Arguably, though, it seems like either guy could make a case to challenge Ciampa at this point too. That’s the only match WWE gave us advance warning about last week and we’re still a ways out from the next TakeOver so possibly some filler with a headliner like Ricochet vs. Cole? Let’s find out.
WWE NXT 02/13/19 Recap
In memory of Pedro Morales.
Then. Now. WWE Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 01/30/19) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show, Dominik Dijakovic’s music hits, and the former Dijak is out for the opening match. TM61’s music hits and Shane Thorne is out to embark on his solo career.
Match #1: Dominik Dijakovic vs. Shane Thorne
Dicey beginnings for Thorne after his former partner, Nick Miller, up and left WWE. I mean, Thorne fares better than most have against Dijakovic but the inevitable happens here. Thorne’s lone advantage comes from injuring a body part early on via dubious means and then exploiting that. Despite a few setbacks, Dijakovic steadily handles Thorne and puts him away with his finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – It’s good to see Dijakovic gradually facing opponents that are more of a threat, but I already have a bad feeling about Thorne as a solo act.
Meanwhile, Undisputed Era are hanging out in their U-Haul truck and discuss the “ups and downs” and “speed bumps” in their career. The main points are that Fish and O’Reilly vow to take back the tag titles, and that frees up Roderick Strong to go after some singles gold. Cole cuts a promo on Ricochet and vows that 2019 will see all four members of the Undisputed Era holding gold.
Later tonight? Ricochet vs. Adam Cole.
Back from break? We see the finish to last week’s six women tag main event. Specifically, we see Bianca hit her finisher, but then “things break down”, and Io Shirai tags herself in to get the pin on Baszler. We see an “after the match” interview from last week where Io declares her intentions to go after the Women’s Championship. Bianca enters and says she has no problem with Kairi or Io, but she’s still “un-de-fea-ted” and has had Baszler beat twice now.
Meanwhile, 205 Live’s Humberto Carrillo (or Carillo if you’re the NXT chyron person) and Stacey Ervin Jr. are already in the ring. Ohno interrupts and cuts a promo burying the Full Sail crowd and saying he’s “outta here”. He alleges he’ll be “going somewhere else” where he can show that he’s the best to ever do this. Wow, we’re acknowledging AEW on NXT now too? Keith Lee is out to drop Ohno from behind with a rolling elbow and cut a promo mocking him. Lee says that Ohno shouldn’t let the door hit him on the ass when he leaves. Lee then apologizes to the random tag team in the ring and to the fans for the interruption.
Street Profits music hits and they’re out. They fist bump Lee on the ramp and Ford lays down and mocks Ohno who is still knocked out on the ramp.
Match #2: Humberto Carrillo & Stacey Ervin Jr. vs. Street Profits
A decent enough tag match. It’s played up as babyface vs. babyface but I got some “tweener” vibes from Ford throughout the match. It’s played up on commentary that Ford is just fired up from after the beat down from Forgotten Sons. Regardless, Carrillo is clearly a good wrestler and Ervin hits some nice spots too including something Mauro calls a “Tsunamisault”. Of course, it’s close… but… the Street Profits go on a run when “things break down” and hit a Super Blockbuster off the top rope to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The tag division at NXT is so deep they can throw two random guys together against an established team and it’s still a great watch.
Post-match, Street Profits cut a promo that calls out War Raiders. This brings out Barthel & Aichner who tell them to “step aside”. This brings out Lorcan & Burch and all six guys start arguing… which brings out the War Raiders. Rowe says that there is a bunch of talking about their titles, but no fighting. Hanson says they’re right here and head towards the ring. Which… brings out Undisputed Era (sans Cole) to attack them from behind. UE work the Raiders over and toss them into the ring… where the War Raiders handle everyone. They celebrate in the ring with the titles while UE looks on slightly shook on the ramp.
Later tonight? Adam Cole vs. Ricochet.
Back from break, a Gargano hype video airs.
Next week? Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream for the North American Championship.
Meanwhile, Taynara Conti’s music hits and she’s out. Aliyah’s music hits next and she’s out… with a new gimmick where she’s… got an attitude?
Match #3: Taynara Conti vs. Aliyah
Not the best. My favorite parts were when Conti went for submissions and did some judo throws. However, shortly into the match Vanessa Borne wanders down to the ring. She ends up distracting Conti so Aliyah can pick up the win. Aliyah now has an arm submission while she kicks the opponent at the same time until they tap. I’ve got some mixed feelings on all of this.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Conti looks good yet again when she actually gets to do something in the match. I’m all for another refresh of the Aliyah character but up until the finish she still felt like the same Aliyah in the ring. I liked the finish, but I’m not sold on the pairing with Borne just yet.
Post-match, Borne and Aliyah briefly celebrate until Baszler’s music hits. Shayna storms out to the ring and Aliyah and Borne flee. But, Duke and Shafir are out and attack Borne and Aliyah. Duke & Shafir handle the new pairing (AliRne? BorYah? AliEssa?) in the ring and Baszler takes out Conti for good measure. Shayna cuts a promo saying this is the reality now. Don’t get in their way, do not question them, do not piss them off. They leave. Wow, this is the way I’ve wanted to see this faction promoted from the jump!
Meanwhile, Ricochet is outside… walking… and he’s up next!
Back from break, a Velveteen Dream hype video airs.
Next week? Dream gets a shot at Gargano’s North American strap.
Meanwhile, Ricochet is out for the main event. Cole is out (alone) last.
Match #4: Ricochet vs. Adam Cole
It’s an NXT main event, so as has been the standard lately, this is pretty good. Cole grounds Ricochet for most of the match by attacking his leg. So, of course, this leads to Ricochet doing a bunch of insane one-legged spots off the ropes – because of course he does. Cole makes systematically working on a body part in a 15 minute match interesting enough and Ricochet’s burst to lead to the finish (Vertigo) was a little unbelievable, but definitely made him look like he’s ready to move up the card.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The consistently good main event match we’ve been seeing at NXT lately. Cole looked like a competent heel despite losing and Ricochet showed that even taking out his leg doesn’t mean he can’t win.
Post-match, Undisputed Era immediately flood the ring and start attacking Ricochet. Aleister Black is out to make the save, but eats a superkick from Cole. Strong adds a backbreaker for good measure. I suspect we’ll see Cole & Strong vs. Black & Ricochet in the not too distant future.
We go off the air on Undisputed Era posing over Black and Ricochet.