WWE NXT 05/09/18 marks the end of another taping from Full Sail. Tonight we’re getting EC3’s Full Sail debut, Dakota Kai vs. Vanessa Borne, War Raiders versus Heavy Machinery in the ultimate NXT tag team hoss battle, and Kassius Ohno will attempt to exact some revenge for Johnny Wrestling when he takes on ultimate bad guy, Tommaso Ciampa. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 05/09/18 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 04/11/18) from Full Sail.
Cold open on Ricochet’s entrance. Mauro welcomes us to the show while Ricochet makes his way to the ring in street clothes (minus socks). He cuts a promo saying that NXT is about “taking over” and that’s what he intends to do. You can call it confidence, you can call it cocky, but each and every time he steps in the ring he proves that there is one and only Ricochet. The crowd has been heckling him for wearing dress shoes with no socks, and Ricochet adds that into his punch line – that the only thing on his mind isn’t socks, it’s the NXT Championship. I read some people were concerned about Ricochet’s mic skills heading into the WWE system, but that was a nice show that he can think on his feet when the situation requires it.
The mention of the NXT Championship brings out Velveteen Dream – who proceeds to say “no” about a dozen times to start his counter-promo. Dream wants to know who gave Ricochet the authority to come out and start demanding NXT title shots. Dream tells him, “Babe, you need to take a step back”. Dream heads down to the ring and tells Ricochet that there is only one “experience” and you’re looking at him. No matter how Ricochet flips, or flops, he’d better make sure he lands at the back of the line – behind the Dream.
Ricochet laughs and says he gets that he’s the new guy. Dream made the fans say his name and even made the current NXT champ say his name – though Dream may not remember that since it was after he got his head kicked off. Dream responds by saying that if Ricochet keeps running his mouth, “Dream Over” won’t just be phrase – it’ll be reality. The showdown continues with Ricochet saying he’s going to steal Dream’s “show” and “spotlight” and Dream telling him that anything Ricochet can do, he can do better. Ricochet asks him to prove it. Mics are dropped and Dream lunges at Ricochet, but slides down to the mat, and slowly slides out of the ring backwards.
This whole segment ran close to ten minutes, but it didn’t really feel like it dragged too much and definitely got me hyped to see Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream down the road – possibly in Chicago next month?
Later tonight? Kassius Ohno vs. Tommaso Ciampa.
Up next? Raul Mendoza vs. EC3.
Back from break, Mendoza’s music hits and he’s out. EC3 is out next.
Match #1: Raul Mendoza vs. EC3
It’s EC3’s weekly NXT debut so of course he goes over here. Mendoza continues to strike me as a guy who’d probably fit in better on 205 Live as he’s typically used in this capacity at NXT. What we get is a nice showcase for EC3 since we only got to see a bit of what he can do within the confines of a ladder match. EC3 goes over with The One Percent – a Fireman’s Carry Cutter.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – As I didn’t watch much TNA, it was nice to see what EC3 is all about since my previous exposure to him as Derrick Bateman was like watching a different wrestler.
Post-match, Cathy Kelley interviews EC3 on the ramp. EC3 doesn’t want to hear about not winning the North American belt at TakeOver. Adversity makes the man and EC3 is the man. EC3 puts over his strengths and says he’ll keep winning until he rebrands NXT into NX3. This gets an “NX3” chant from the crowd.
Up next? Dakota Kai vs. Vanessa Borne.
Last week? Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch are backstage… walking. They find Pete Dunne and want him to know that just because they helped him last week, they don’t like him. Burch really doesn’t like him. Lorcan asks Dunne if he knows that he’s a piece of garbage and Dunne no sells it. They tell Dunne that there is three of them and three of them (Undisputed Era) – so what do you say? Dunne nods in approval and leaves.
Meanwhile, Dakota Kai’s music hits and she’s out. Vanessa Borne is out next.
Match #2: Dakota Kai vs. Vanessa Borne
I think I was most surprised by how good Borne looked in this match. She’s struck me as still pretty new to this in her previous matches, but she looked solid here against Kai. Of course, Kai is currently vaguely in a program with the champ, so she goes over here. After a series of kicks, I mean she is the Captain of Team Kick after all, Kai wins with a modified backstabber to Borne.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Like I said, Borne looked good here and Kai has been booked so meekly against Baszler it was nice to see her get a strong victory over someone.
Post-match, Baszler’s music immediately hits and she’s out. Shayna backs Dakota into a corner, but instead of attacking her, grabs Borne and slaps her in the Kirafuda Clutch. Kai bails and walks to the back looking horrified. Shayna eventually breaks the hold on Borne to end the segment.
Later tonight? Ohno vs. Ciampa.
Up next? War Raiders vs. Heavy Machinery.
Moments ago? Cathy is backstage about to interview someone when Dakota Kai bursts through the curtain. Cathy decides to interview her and Kai looks freaked out. Kai’s fears are justified when Baszler appears, taunts her to “do something”, and leaves when Kai remains frozen in fear. Baszler leaves and Kai hears laughing behind her. The camera pans to show Nikki Cross hanging from the backstage set laughing.
Meanwhile, Heavy Machinery are out for a tag match. War Raiders music hits next and they’re out.
Match #3: Heavy Machinery vs. War Raiders
Wow, I did not expect this. Though, I suppose I should have since this wasn’t on a TakeOver. War Raiders essentially run through Heavy Machinery here and put them away with the Fallout. I think what I wanted to see here was a more even match that either devolved into a double DQ / count-out or at the very least a competitive victory for War Raiders. Instead, this was a glorified squash match. Oh well, you can’t have it all.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – War Raiders looked great, but this match did very little for Heavy Machinery – beyond make them look outgunned and easily neutralized for the first time.
Hey, it’s Kassius Ohno… he’s backstage… and he’s walking!
Last week? Street Profits got screwed by TM61. Here’s some video of them working out at a basketball court.
Next week? Dunne, Lorcan, & Burch take on the Undisputed Era.
Back in the arena, Ciampa is out to his music (aka – the crowd booing and telling him he sucks). Seriously, one guy in the front row is red-faced and screaming “You suck, I hate you” at Ciampa. Tommaso milks this for all it is worth and is absolutely killing this heel character. Eventually, Ohno’s music hits and he runs to the ring.
Match #4: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kassius Ohno
Mauro called this one right about two-thirds of the way through when he said this isn’t a match – it is a fight. That’s accurate. What we get is two guys pounding the crap out of each other. Ohno to avenge his friend and Ciampa because he’s a dirty, dirty heel. The match is quite brutal and Ohno targets Ciampa’s injured eye and in turn, Ciampa goes after Ohno’s eye towards the end of the match. I had hoped 2013 Ohno would show up for this match and that ruthless side of the old Ohno did shine through here a bit. Of course, Ciampa goes over in the end.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Ciampa’s work is off the charts good right now. Ohno was also the perfect person to use in this situation. Well executed all the way around.
Post-match, Ciampa takes off his knee brace and starts attacking Ohno with it. He even uses it on Ohno’s face in a call back to Gargano doing that to him at TakeOver. Ciampa claims that the “Gargano fairytale is over” after leaving Ohno on the ground.
We go off the air on Ciampa heading to the back while soaking up the nuclear heat from Full Sail.