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NXT #427 (12.27.17) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Ember Moon will defend the Women’s Championship and a new #1 contender to Andrade Almas and the NXT Championship will be crowned.

Match #1: Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) v. Kris Starr & Riley Apex

Just a little background on the enhancement guys: Riley Apex is better known as Shane Mercer on the independent scene. Starr must be new to the business because I can’t find any other information on him. Ford starts out by showing some athleticism against Apex. Dawkins gets a tag and lifts Ford for a belly-to-back splash move.

Apex gets a tag to ‘JBL’ as Nigel keeps calling Starr. Dawkins hits a spinning Stinger Splash onto Starr and then a pop-up spinebuster. Ford tags in and hits a huge frog splash onto ‘nWo JBL’, per Nigel. That’s all for Kris Starr. The Profits head into the crowd to celebrate. Ford ends up with a microphone to cut a promo. The Profits throw out a challenge to all the top teams (Authors of Pain, SAnitY, Undisputed Era). They say they’re coming for them in 2018.

Winners: Street Profits via pinfall

Thoughts: Basic squash match for Street Profits. I was kind of surprised that Tino and Moss didn’t get involved in some way. Anyway, the Profits are pretty over with the Full Sail crowd and it sounds like they’re in line for a good push into the tag title picture next year.

Match #2: NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon © v. Sonya Deville

Deville quickly goes for the knee bar, but Moon escapes. Moon gets the better of Deville after another tie-up. Now they trade kick attempts and misses and end in a stalemate. Deville wants a test of strength, but she’s a heel, so she kicks Moon in the gut. Moon responds with a jump kick and Deville rolls out for a breather. Moon hits a cannonball off the apron to Deville as the show goes to a commercial.

Back from break, Deville is in control. Deville hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a 2-count. Moon counters a waist lock into a wheelbarrow position, then uses that momentum to slingshot Deville’s face into the corner buckle. Moon fires up with a double under hook suplex and a series of strikes. A forearm smash puts Deville down for a near fall.

Moon dodges a sliding knee strike from Deville and hits a springboard dropkick. Moon crushes Deville with a forearm in the corner and then hits the Eclipse for the pin.

Post-match, Kairi Sane’s music plays and she comes out on the stage. She motions to Moon that she wants the championship. From behind, Shayna Baszler locks in a rear naked choke and chokes Sane unconscious. Baszler stares down Moon and walks out.

Winner: Ember Moon via pinfall to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

Thoughts: This was a basic TV match. It’s nothing you can’t miss, but there was also nothing wrong with it. Moon didn’t really give Deville much. Obviously, the main story was Baszler’s NXT TV debut. She has the potential to be a monster heel with Lesnar-like credibility given enough time and effective booking.

Backstage Promo: Paul Ellering lists off the accomplishments of the Authors of Pain. Ellering says Undisputed Era is on borrowed time.

Backstage Promo: Ember Moon gives some comments regarding Sane and Baszler. She says if they want to make a statement, they can step into the ring next time.

Recap: A full review of how NXT got to the upcoming #1 Contender’s match.

Match #3/Main Event: Fatal 4-Way #1 Contender’s Match: Killian Dain v. Johnny Gargano v. Lars Sullivan v. Aleister Black

Sullivan hurls Gargano across the ring immediately. Black kicks Sullivan and sends him out of the ring. Dain takes a head kick from Black as well. Black does his springboard fake spot to Sullivan. Black goes for a moonsault off the second buckle, but Sullivan catches him on the floor and gives him a Snake Eyes onto the ring apron. Gargano tries a slingshot over the top, but Sullivan catches him as well and drops him on the ring apron.

Now Dain goes for a dive to the floor and Sullivan doesn’t catch him. Dain pancakes Sullivan on the ramp. Everyone is down as NXT goes to break. Back from commercial, Dain hits Gargano with a corner avalanche and gets a near fall. Sullivan pulls Dain out of the ring and rams his back into the edge of the ring. Sullivan smashes Gargano in the corner for another near fall. Sullivan hurls Dain into the ring steps. Black hits Sullivan with several high kicks, but Sullivan throws him off the stage and into the guardrail.

Gargano tries to attack Sullivan, but he gets press slammed off the stage and onto Black. Sullivan clears off the announcer’s table and wants to try to end Gargano’s life with a powerbomb. Gargano grabs onto the set pieces to stop him. Black comes out of nowhere with a jumping knee to Sullivan’s face and then a Gargano super kick puts Sullivan onto the table. Killian Dain runs off the stage and splashes Sullivan through the table. That was great.

With the two big men down, Gargano and Black face off in the ring much to the delight of the crowd, which is split 50/50. They simultaneously strike each other. Gargano goes for the slingshot spear, but dives right into a knee strike for a near fall. Gargano jumps over a leg sweep attempt and nails a super kick. Off the ropes, Gargano goes into the tilt-a-whirl into the Gargano Escape. Black teases a tap out, but Dain hits the ring and lands a senton on both guys.

Dain hits a fireman’s carry slam and a senton on Black, but Gargano breaks up the pin. Dain hits a powerbomb on Gargano, but Black makes the save. Dain tries for a superplex on Black, but Black slips out. He and Gargano hit the double team powerbomb on Dain off the second rope. Back at the announcer’s table crash site, Sullivan is stirring. Sullivan makes his way back to the ring and runs over Gargano and Black. Sullivan runs through a double clothesline attempt and runs over both guys again.

Sullivan hurls Black to ringside and hits a powerslam on Gargano, but Dain breaks up the pin attempt. Sullivan tosses Gargano out of the ring to face off with Dain. They trade shots before Sullivan levels Dain with a clothesline. Dain takes an Irish whip, but rebounds with a clothesline of his own that levels Sullivan. Black hits the ring and destroys Dain with strikes and kicks. Sullivan gets a leg sweep and Black hits a springboard moonsault. Black hits Dain with a roundhouse kick that knocks him to the floor again.

Black hits a jumping knee to Sullivan that floors him. Black squares up and hits Sullivan with the Black Mass. As he goes for the cover, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish pull him out of the ring (There are no disqualifications). Black kicks them both down, but Adam Cole pulls Black out of the ring again. Black misses a kick and Cole crushes him with the Last Shot. While Cole admires his work, Gargano dives onto him. Gargano puts a limp Black back into the ring.

Sullivan runs at Gargano, but Gargano sends him into the steps. Dain tries a powerbomb, but Gargano turns it into a hurricanrana that sends Dain into Sullivan, who was sitting against the steps. Gargano hits the slingshot DDT onto a still stunned Black in the ring and gets the win!

Winner: Johnny Gargano via pinfall to become #1 Contender to the NXT Championship

Thoughts: This was a really good match. I’m critical of Sullivan, but everything he did in this match was well executed. Everyone in the match had his moment to shine. Black takes his first NXT loss, but it helps to set-up a program with Adam Cole and Undisputed Era. We all know where Gargano is headed, right? Ciampa isn’t going to sit by and let him win the title.


·      Street Profits beat Kris Starr & Riley Apex

·      Ember Moon beat Sonya Deville to retain the Women’s Championship

·      Shayna Baszler made her debut on NXT by attacking Kairi Sane from behind

·      Johnny Gargano won a Fatal 4-Way to become the #1 Contender to the NXT Championship

Advertised for Next Week

·      A special 2-hour 2017 NXT Recap Episode

Advertised for 2 Weeks Out

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