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WWE NXT #433 (1.31.18) Play-by-Play and Review

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You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight will just be some fall-out from TakeOver: Philadelphia as well as some matches taped prior to the event. Spoiler alert: You missed the best match in NXT history if you missed the show. Tyler Bate will face Roderick Strong to determine the #1 Contender to the U.K. Championship in the main event tonight.

Match #1: Nikki Cross v. Lacey Evans

Cross levels Evans and punches her out at the bell. Evans tries to fight back, but Nikki gets her caught between the ring skirt and beats on her some more. Evans yanks Cross off the second rope and onto the back of her head, but only gets a 2 count. Nikki Cross is laughing after the kick out. Evans misses a moonsault and Percy calls Mauro by the name Nigel. Cross comes back with more ground and pound and then nails the swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker for the win.

Winner: Nikki Cross via pinfall

Thoughts: Basic match for Cross to get an easy win and cement herself in the upper echelon of the current NXT women’s division. Not much else to this: Heel calls Cross trash, heel eats crow.

Backstage Promo: Shayna Baszler is backstage post-TakeOver. She says Moon didn’t beat her – she only survived. She says to head down to medical and see who looks like a winner.

Backstage Promo: Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish are helping Adam Cole backstage and Cole says SAnitY will pay for costing him the win against Aleister Black. Sure enough, Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe will be challenging for the tag team titles next week.

Backstage Promo: Velveteen Dream is asked why it took him so long to beat Kassius Ohno. Dream says to just read his trunks (Dream Over). He’s so close to getting his promo right, but he just barely misses on these seemingly one-take shots.

Match #2: TM-61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) v. Ealy Brothers (Gabriel & Uriel)

Nick Miller starts out against… Uriel? Miller lands some chops and that brings in Shane Thorne. They hit a standing moonsault / fist drop combo. Thorne then connects with a twisting dive over the top rope to the floor. The Ealys use some twin magic to swap out and take advantage of Nick Miller. The Ealys hit double avalanches in the corner, but Miller kicks out of a pin attempt. A lariat lets Miller get a hot tag to Thorne.

Thorne gets both Ealys in the corner and connects with an unassisted Air Sabu, and then a somersault senton into the one Ealy Brother left slumping. Thorne hits a side suplex followed by a moonsault from Miller. An Ealy breaks up the pin, but then he gets drop kicked over the top rope by Thorne. TM-61 delivers Thunder Valley and that’s good for the win.

Winners: TM-61 via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a pretty decent return for TM-61. They’re a great tag team and I think they could have some really, really good matches with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. The Ealys seemed a little better than in previous matches – more coordinated and not as lost.

Backstage Promo: TM-61 is backstage and they say they’re more than just TM-61 now because they are the mighty and the mighty don’t kneel. It looks like a return to the TMDK name?

Backstage Promo: They showed a highlight reel of Almas versus Gargano before this and I caught myself not breathing. Just ridiculous. Backstage at TakeOver, Tommaso Ciampa is stoically walking out of the arena dragging his bent crutch. He refuses to answer any questions.

Almas and Vega are also backstage after the Royal Rumble. Almas says this is only beginning and they laugh about Gargano probably watching the Rumble on TV.

Match #3/Main Event: #1 Contender Match for U.K. Championship: Tyler Bate v. Roderick Strong

Tyler Bate gets the early advantage by out-wrestling Strong and hitting a drop kick. Bate goes for the airplane spin early, but Strong gets out after a few spins. Bate ends up on the apron and tries to dive through the middle rope, but gets caught in a double under-hook and twisted into a backbreaker for a 2-count. That was a cool spot. Strong stays on Bate with chops and a pendulum backbreaker. Strong is vicious tonight. Maybe it’s just the difference now that he’s finally working against someone his size.

Strong catches Bate and delivers another backbreaker followed by a sort of press slam / launch into the corner. Bate is in trouble headed into commercial. Back from break, Strong has a standing bow-and-arrow stretch locked in. Bate starts to fight back and levels Strong with the sucker punch to the jaw. Strong gets run over with a boot to the face and several uppercuts. Bate connects with a hanging German suplex into a bridge, but Strong kicks out. Bate scores with an exploder suplex and a quick running shooting star press.

Strong tries for a superplex, but can’t get it. Strong ends up pulling Bate off the second rope for another pendulum backbreaker. Strong goes for a powerbomb, but Bate turns it into a hurricanrana. Bate connects with a rolling kick, but Strong responds with a step-up enzuigiri. Bate reverses another backbreaker attempt into a crucifix for a 1-count, and then turns Strong inside out with a lariat. Strong kicks out and both guys reset after that wild sequence.

Bate can’t lift Strong for the Tyler Driver ’97 due to all the backbreakers and eats a high knee. Another high knee in the corner and a face buster leads to Strong nailing an emphatic End of Heartache and he gets the win!

Winner: Roderick Strong via pinfall and new #1 Contender to the U.K. Championship

Thoughts: That was an action packed TV match. Strong was brilliant and just almost ruthless in some spots. Not in a heel way, but an intense way that I haven’t seen in NXT. I expected this to go another 5 minutes or so as well. I imagine the Pete Dunne versus Strong match will be in a few weeks.

TLDR

  • Nikki Cross beat Lacey Evans
  • TM-61 beat the Ealy Brothers
  • Roderick Strong beat Tyler Bate to become #1 contender to the U.K. Championship

Advertised for Next Week

  • NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisputed Era © (Kyle O’Reilly& Bobby Fish) v. SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe)
  • Adam Cole v. Killian Dain

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