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NXT #425 (12.13.17) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Basically, NXT is currently working through the fall-out from War Games and working to crown a new contender for the NXT Championship due to Drew McIntyre’s injury.

So far, Killian Dain and Johnny Gargano have qualified for the Fatal 4-way #1 Contender’s match. Tonight, Aleister Black will take on Adam Cole in the third qualifier match.

Match #1: NXT Champion Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) v. Fabian Aichner (Non-title)

Let me start out by saying I love Almas as champion along with Vega. They’re just a great heel duo and he’s just ridiculous in the ring. Almas explodes with a running drop kick right at the bell, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Aichner. Almas rolls out for a breather, but Aichner comes off the top with a wild springboard dive and Almas may have saved his life catching him on the ramp like he did. Good lord. Aichner tosses Almas back in the ring and springboards back into the ring off the top rope and nails Almas with a tornado DDT for a near fall.

Almas uses a brief separation to level Aichner with a chop to the chest. Aichner counters an Irish whip and ends up hitting a huge powerbomb, but Almas kicks out. Aichner tries to go to the top rope, but Vega gets on the apron to slow him down. Almas knocks Aichner to the floor and sends him into the steel stairs. Almas quickly throws Aichner back in and nails the Hammerlock DDT for the win.

Winner: Andrade Almas via pinfall

Thoughts: As Jim Ross would say, Aichner maximized his minutes out there. He needs to establish a character, some charisma, and connect with the crowd, but the talent is there. Almas and Vega were great as usual. My only gripe is that the Hammerlock DDT isn’t very high impact sometimes. It almost looks like a forward roll.

Backstage Promo: Eric Young is rubbing the stitches in Wolfe’s head. Young says the outcome of War Games was not ideal, but they’re still here. Next week, SAnitY will finish what they started in Houston as they defend the tag team championship against the Undisputed Era.

Match #2: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch v. Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering)

Burch and Akam start out and Burch hits some uppercuts. Lorcan tags in and unloads with some chops. Rezar gets in and absorbs some slaps to the face. Akam gets one as well. Lorcan and Burch go to work with chops and European uppercuts in opposite corners on the Authors. They try one too many and eventually both get leveled by clotheslines out of the corner. Akam gives Lorcan a devastating Death Valley Driver into the corner. The Authors deliver the Super Collider and then flatten Lorcan with the Last Chapter for the win. 

Winners: Authors of Pain via pinfall

Thoughts: Basic semi-squash match to re-establish the Authors as dominant after dropping the belts to SAnitY and losing in War Games. I was a little optimistic for the Lorcan/Burch pairing but this wasn’t a great start for them. Either way, it looks like the Authors will be contending for the tag titles at TakeOver next month.

Recap:  Highlights are shown of the insane TakeOver Chicago match where Pete Dunne defeated Tyler Bate. Dunne will defend the UK Championship against Tyler Bate next week. I don’t think you want to miss that one.

Match #3: NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon v. Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) (Non-title)

Judging by the crowd pop Peyton got, a lot of them must follow her on Instagram. Royce gets an early advantage with knees and kicks, but Moon ducks a spinning heel kick. Royce catches a Moon kick, but Moon jumps up and takes Royce down with a head scissors. Royce goes outside, but Moon dives off the top rope onto both Royce and Kay. After tossing Royce back in, Kay uses the referee distraction to grab Moon’s foot. That gives Royce time to hit a 6-1-9 into Moon’s lower back. Royce wraps up Moon in her rope submission as NXT cuts to break.

Back from break, Moon is still in trouble. Moon counters and hits a few kicks and a step-up enzuigiri for a near fall. Moon can’t connect with a double under hook suplex and Royce counters with a nasty forearm to the face. Royce hits a knee to the face, but can only get a 2 count. Royce goes for the Perfect Plex, but Moon avoids it. Another series of counters ends with Royce eating a stomp while hanging from the second rope. Moon comes off the top rope with the Eclipse and that’s all for Royce.

As Moon celebrates, Billie Kay takes her head off with a big boot. A wobbly Royce then gives Moon a face buster onto Kay’s knee. As the beating continues, Nikki Cross comes from the crowd to make the save. Cross stares at the title belt and then bounces around the ropes and runs into the crowd… well, because she’s Nikki Cross.

Winner: Ember Moon via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a pretty decent match. The women’s division in NXT has largely been cleaned out again so you have to use what you have. At least until Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane get a little more established. Anyway, I suspect NXT will get a tag team match out of this feud and eventually a Moon/Cross TakeOver match.

Last Week:  Street Profits host Street Talk in a exclusive.

Promo:  Shayna Baszler is coming.

Match #4/Main Event: Fatal 4-Way #1 Contender’s Qualifying Match: Aleister Black v. Adam Cole

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are barred from ringside for this match per William Regal. Cole escapes an early head scissors attempt and plays to the crowd a little. Cole once again slaps at Black’s head and showboats. Black catches Cole and throws him on his face and now Cole isn’t laughing. Black catches a strike attempt and unloads with kicks, a back fist, and a knee to the face that sends Cole to ringside. Black sits down in the ring as NXT goes to commercial.

Back from commercial, Cole has taken over and has Black locked in a cross-face. Black gets to the ropes and Cole uses the entire 5-count before breaking it. Cole stomps at Black and tells him to stay down. Cole continues to talk trash and does the Adam Cole ‘Baybay’, which just pisses off Black. Black catches a kick and unloads with his own, followed by a basement drop kick to the head. Black hits a springboard moonsault onto Cole, but Cole avoids Black Mass.

Cole snaps Black’s neck across the top rope. Cole jumps off the top rope, but Black catches him with a kick to the face for a near fall. Cole counters another Black Mass attempt with an enzuigiri and a back stabber, but Black kicks out at 2. The two trade strikes with Cole actually getting the upper hand with a super kick, but Black tries a victory roll for a near fall. Cole catches Black with a Tye Breaker for another near fall.

They reset as Cole sells being a little frustrated. Cole tries another super kick, but Black catches it and crushes Cole with a bicycle knee strike. Black stands Cole up and Cole tells him to bring it. Black does – with a sick Black Mass. Cole is out cold and Black gets the 3-count!

Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Thoughts: What a surprising result. I was thinking that Black would somehow get screwed out of the win since I thought Cole was a shoe-in for the NXT title 4-way. This was a really good match. Aleister Black is nearly established as an almost unbeatable killer, so do you put him with Almas now? Or wait until TakeOver over WrestleMania weekend?


·      Andrade Almas beat Fabian Aichner

·      Authors of Pain beat Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

·      Ember Moon beat Peyton Royce

·      Aleister Black beat Adam Cole to qualify for the #1 Contender’s Fatal 4-way

 Advertised for Next Week

·      NXT Tag Team Championship: SAnitY © v. Undisputed Era

·      UK Championship: Pete Dunne © v. Tyler Bate