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WWE NXT #437 (2.28.18) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Kairi Sane will face Shayna Baszler, Velveteen Dream takes on Tyler Bate, and NXT Champion Andrade Almas addresses the NXT audience for the first time since ending Johnny Gargano’s NXT career.

Match #1: Velveteen Dream v. Tyler Bate

There are some dueling chants at the bell as Dream and Bate trade holds and counters. Bate gets the better of him and a drop kick sends Dream to the floor. Back from an early commercial, Bate floats over a suplex attempt but ends up running into a back elbow. Dream scores with a back breaker for a near fall. Dream continues working over the lower back of Bate with several elbow drops and a double axe handle.

Dream locks in a modified camel clutch as the crowd rallies behind Bate. They get back to their feet and trade strikes, this time with Bate getting the upper hand. Bate follows up a knee to the back of the head with an exploder suplex for a near fall. Bate gets Dream in an Airplane Spin, but Dream fights out. Bate rebounds off the ropes and nails a lariat on Dream for another 2-count.

Bate looks for the Tyler Driver ’97, but Dream counters. Dream catches Bate off the ropes with a big spinebuster, but Bate kicks out of the pin. Both guys trade more strikes with Bate again getting the better of him. A head-on collision sends both guys to the ground. Dream gets crotched on the top rope, but is then able to knock Bate down onto the ropes. Dream comes off the top rope with the Purple Rainmaker for the win.

Winner: Velveteen Dream via pinfall

Thoughts: There’s another big win for the Dream. This wasn’t a great match by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a decent TV match. Tyler Bate continues to lose televised matches and I’m not sure if there are any plans for him. The Dream continues to get wins and stay in the upper part of the card awaiting his future program with whoever the NXT Champion might be.

Backstage: Paul Ellering cuts a promo about how the Authors of Pain are going to be in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and they’ll get their Tag Team Championships back.

Backstage/Earlier this Week: Johnny Gargano signs his termination papers with William Regal. Referee Drake apologizes to Gargano for having to count the 3 that ended his career.

Match #2: Adam Cole (w/ Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) v. Cezar Bononi

Before the match, Adam Cole gets on the microphone. He sarcastically asks if the crowd realizes who he’s in the ring with: the 2017 NXT Future Star of the Year (Bononi). He says to give Bononi a big round of applause, but the Future Star belongs in one place: in Undisputed Era. They hand Bononi an Undisputed Era shirt, but Cole blindsides him while he’s contemplating whether to join.

Cole plays to the crowd too much and gets leveled by a big boot from Bononi. He knocks Fish and O’Reilly to the floor and gets a 1-count on Cole. Bononi hits a Michinoku Driver, but Cole kicks out. O’Reilly and Fish are back on the ring apron to distract Bononi. Bononi turns back around into a huge super kick by Cole. Cole bounces off the ropes and delivers a running knee strike to the back of the head and that’s all for Bononi. Post-match, Cole adds a few more kicks to the downed Bononi.

Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall

Thoughts: Adam Cole desperately needs to pick up some televised wins and this was a good start. The heels used their numbers to get the better of Bononi and Cole comes off looking fairly dominant, which he needed. I’m interested to see what’s next for Cole.

Promo: Street Profits do a skit outside where they ask people who will win the Dusty Classic (They ask each other with fake names) and they say the Street Profits will win, naturally. In case you missed it online, there are 8 teams and the first round matches (starting next week) are:

  • Street Profits v. Heavy Machinery
  • TM61 v. Authors of Pain
  • Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss v. SAnitY
  • Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch v. Mustache Mountain

Match #3/Main Event: Kairi Sane v. Shayna Baszler

This is a rematch from the Mae Young Classic finals. Baszler toys around with Sane initially as the two exchange holds. Sane goes for a diving forearm, but eats a boot to the face. Baszler begins kicking the hell out of Sane and ends with a knee to the face for a near fall. Sane is in trouble headed to commercial. Baszler is working on the arm of Sane when NXT comes back.

Sane takes a high knee in the corner and then a gut-wrench suplex for a 2-count. Baszler works a nasty-looking wristlock, but Sane surprises her with a pin attempt for a near fall. Sane comes back with strikes on Baszler and a big interceptor spear off the ropes. Sane fires up and hits a sliding forearm to Baszler’s chest in the corner and then a flying elbow strike off the top rope, but Baszler kicks out at 2. Sane hits a stiff spinning back fist and heads to the top for the elbow drop. Baszler cuts her off and hits a suplex into the rear choke and Sane taps out immediately. Post-match, Baszler called out Ember Moon at the announcer’s desk.

Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission

Thoughts: Shayna Baszler had to win this without a doubt. They may have deserved a bit more time considering the effort they showed at the Mae Young Classic, though. Kairi Sane looks really good, by the way. She’s put on some weight and muscle and she looks much less out of place in there with someone Baszler’s size.

In-Ring Promo: NXT Champion Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega make their way to the ring. Vega welcomes the ‘greatest champion in NXT history’. She calls Almas ‘Mr. 4 and 0’. Almas talks himself up and puts Gargano down and says Johnny Wrestling is now Johnny Jobless. As Almas is about to walk off stage, Aleister Black’s music hits.

Aleister Black stares Almas down from the ring, but Killian Dain’s music hits before he can speak. Dain and Black start brawling in the ring. Dain ducks the Black Mass and levels Black with the Divide. It looks like it’ll be Aleister Black and Killian Dain wrestling soon for a shot at Almas at TakeOver New Orleans.


  • Velveteen Dream beat Tyler Bate
  • Adam Cole beat Cezar Bononi
  • Shayna Baszler beat Kairi Sane
  • Aleister Black and Killian Dain indicated that they want a shot at Andrade Almas and brawled with each other

Advertised for Next Week

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Round 1: TM61 v. Authors of Pain