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NXT #426 (12.20.17) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. So far, Killian Dain, Johnny Gargano, and Aleister Black have qualified for the Fatal 4-way #1 Contender’s match. Tonight, two championships are on the line as SAnitY defends the tag team titles against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Also, Pete Dunne defends the UK title against Tyler Bate.

Match #1: NXT Tag Team Championship: SAnitY (Eric Young & Killian Dain) © v. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)

Alexander Wolfe is still not cleared to compete, so Killian Dain is filling in for him tonight. There is also no sign of Nikki Cross. Dain starts out for SAnitY. Fish and O’Reilly try strikes, but Dain no-sells. Fish locks in a sleeper, but Dain runs over O’Reilly and flips Fish over. The heels regroup on the outside. Dain hits O’Reilly with a gut buster and then Young drops a forearm on the back of his head for a near fall.

O’Reilly takes Young down with a knee bar, but Young gets out and knocks O’Reilly down with a wild punch. Young outsmarts the heels once again, but O’Reilly sends him into the corner. Young does a Flair flip and then Fish kicks his legs out from under him on the apron. Young is hurt as NXT goes to commercial. Back from break, Undisputed is working over Young in the corner and using rapid tags. O’Reilly locks in a knee bar again and Fish slingshots over the top with a senton onto Young, but it’s only good for a 2-count.

A double suplex gets another near fall. O’Reilly hits a leg sweep to cut off a Young comeback attempt. Young jumps off the second rope right into a knee strike, but he rebounds with a swinging neckbreaker and both men are down. Fish gets a tag and tries to knock Dain off the apron – nope. Dain trying to come into the ring allows the heels to double team Young, though. They try another double team, but Young sends both Fish and O’Reilly to the floor and gets the tag to Dain.

Dain comes in on fire and runs over both Fish and O’Reilly. Dain hits a pair of corner avalanches, then a double avalanche. Dain hits a senton on O’Reilly while simultaneously drop kicking Fish into the corner. Dain hits a Michinoku driver on Fish on top of O’Reilly’s head! Good lord that could have gone south. Fish breaks up the pin attempt. Young tags in and hits a powerbomb on O’Reilly. At the same time, Fish low bridged the ropes and Dain fell outside the ring. Young signals for the top rope elbow, Adam Cole knocks Young off the top rope out of the official’s sight.

O’Reilly hits an ax kick and a huge forearm and Young is out. Young manages to kick out at 2, though. Believable near-fall. Nikki Cross hits ringside and takes Cole out with a cross-body off the apron and unloads with punches. For some reason, officials pull Cross off and drag her away and leave Cole alone. Young hits a jumping neckbreaker on O’Reilly. Dain goes after Cole, but Cole shoves him into the post. Young dives onto Cole and then comes back into the ring only to be crushed with Total Elimination. O’Reilly and Fish are the new tag team champions.

Winners: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions

Thoughts: This was a pretty good match. You knew there would be interference, but I struggle with the logic of referees dragging Nikki Cross away after it was Cole interfering in the match. It just exposed the officials as incompetent a little. I’m not opposed to the title change, though. Undisputed Era needs the titles more and I feel like Dain and Cross are ready to do their own thing.

Promo: Shayna Baszler is coming

Backstage Promo: Otis Dozovic is about to try to lift a Maserati to move it from a parking spot when Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss show up. They talk down to Heavy Machinery. Otis is ready to fight, but Sabbatelli and Moss jump in the car and get away.

Backstage Promo: Sonya Deville says that next week, she’s going to beat Ember Moon.

Match #2: Fatal 4-way #1 Contender Qualifying Match: Roderick Strong v. Lars Sullivan

Show of hands for everyone that wanted to see Strong turn heel and join Undisputed Era at War Games? I feel like it may have been a missed opportunity. I’m still not jumping on the Lars Sullivan bandwagon. Strong goes right after Sullivan at the bell, but he absorbs all of his strikes. Strong goes for an Angle Slam, but that’s not happening. Sullivan turns Strong inside-out with a lariat and then a huge knee to the ribs.

Sullivan delivers a few forearm shots to the back of Strong. Sullivan hits a corner avalanche and then just tosses Strong across the ring. Strong tries to fight back, but gets caught in a bear hug. Strong breaks the hold and hits a drop kick and more kicks to Sullivan. Sullivan gets his leg hung up in the ropes, so Strong hits a series of forearms and a final one that sends Sullivan to the floor. Sullivan takes control again, though. Strong counters and hits a superplex on Sullivan. Sullivan kicks out at one with authority and Strong is shocked.

Strong hits 2 jumping knees to the face, but Sullivan just runs him over again. Strong manages to hit an Angle Slam for a near fall. Sullivan hits a pop-up powerslam and the Freak Accident for the win.

Winner: Lars Sullivan via pinfall

Thoughts: Lars Sullivan had the only kind of match Lars Sullivan can have. They’re really trying to get him over, but it’s not working. Strong is an infinitely more talented and interesting character, in my opinion. I suppose they needed a heel in the Fatal 4-way match.

Recap/Promo: Street Profits did another Street Talk.

Match #3/Main Event: United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne © v. Tyler Bate

This match is getting about 25 minutes, so buckle up. Dunne goes right into an arm bar and twists Bate’s fingers and wrist. Bate counters into a wristlock, but Dunne counters with a head scissors. Bate escapes and they reset. Bate breaks a surfboard-type arm stretch with a standing drop kick. Dunne takes Bate down again and he’s just sadistic. Bate bridges up a few times, so Dunne jumps up and punts him in the back. Dunne gets another take down and twists Bate’s ankle. Bate gets out, but Dunne isn’t fazed.

Bate fakes out Dunne and nails a jab for a near fall. Dunne absolutely crushes Bate with a forearm and a ridiculous chop. Bate scores with a knee lift and a European uppercut from the second rope. Dunne rolls outside and just crushes Bate with another forearm. Dunne tries to crush Bate’s fingers on the stairs, but Bate gives it to him instead. Dunne then nails a suplex off the stairs to the floor.

Back in the ring, Dunne nails a slap to the face and applies a brutal rear chinlock. Bate tries to fight back with chops, but eats another insane forearm. This hurts to watch. Dunne stomps Bate’s hand and Bate sells having dislocated a finger. After Bate apparently pops it back in place, Dunne goes right back to work and stomps the fingers again! Dunne then delivers a vicious kick to the face. Bate tries to fight back, but gets punched in the throat. Bate is bleeding from his ear.

Bate fires up and hits a hanging exploder suplex. Bate hits 2 running European uppercuts. Dunne tries for a vertical release suplex, but Bate lands on his feet and hits a standing shooting star press across Dunne’s back. Bate deadlifts Dunne for a hanging belly-to-back suplex for a near fall. Dunne hits another forearm shot, but Bate rebounds off the ropes with a rolling wheelbarrow kick. Bate goes for the Tyler Driver ’97, but Dunne counters it into a triangle. While locked in the triangle, Dunne just punches Bate over and over.

Bate deadlifts Dunne and hits a powerbomb, but Dunne won’t release the triangle. Bate deadlifts Dunne again and snaps Dunne’s neck against the ropes. Bate goes for the Airplane Spin and does 3 different spins. Both guys reset after a near fall. Bate brings Dunne back into the ring with an exploder suplex while standing on the second rope. I can’t even anymore. Dunne comes back and kicks Bate in the head about 10 times. Now Bates kicks and stomps Dunne’s head about 10 times.

Dunne catches Bate in the Bitter End out of nowhere, but Bate kicks out! Dunne back flips over Bate and nails a step-up enzuigiri. Bate rebounds off the ropes with a lariat that turns Dunne inside-out. Dunne rebounds with a lariat of his own that turns Bate inside-out and everyone is down. Both guys get up throwing punches until their arms get tired. Bate hits a huge right hand and Dunne falls on his face. Bate can’t cover because he hurt his hand punching Dunne.

On the ring apron, Bate nails a left jab, but Dunne delivers a forearm shot. Bate connects with a rolling wheelbarrow kick on the apron. Back in the ring, Bate jumps off the top rope right into a forearm. Dunne hits the release vertical suplex into a pin attempt, but Bate kicks out. Bate rolls to the floor and catches Dunne with a lariat on the floor. Dunne appears to be happy to take a count-out, but Bate dives over the top at a count of 9. Back in the middle of the ring, Bate hits the Tyler Driver ’97, but now Dunne kicks out. The match continues.

Bate comes off the top rope with a corkscrew senton and barely grazed Dunne. Dunne kicks out at 2. Bate goes for a top rope German suplex, but Dunne lands on his feet. He flattens Bate with a second Bitter End and gets the win. Good lord.

Winner: Pete Dunne via pinfall to retain the UK Championship

Thoughts: Well, if you are a fan of this style of wrestling, it doesn’t really get any better. They may have topped their TakeOver Chicago match albeit without the white-hot crowd. Just an incredible match, though.


·      Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly beat SAnitY to win the NXT Tag Team Championship

·      Lars Sullivan beat Roderick Strong to quality for the #1 Contender Fatal 4-way

·      Pete Dunne beat Tyler Bate to retain the UK Championship

Advertised for Next Week

·      Fatal 4-way #1 Contender’s Match: Johnny Gargano v. Aleister Black v. Killian Dain v. Lars Sullivan

·      NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon © v. Sonya Deville