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WWE NXT #447 (5.2.18) Play-by-Play and Review

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You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Bianca Blair will face Candice LeRae, Pete Dunne will take on Roderick Strong, and TM61 battles Street Profits. Also, the new Kona Reeves is here and Kairi Sane is in action. 

Backstage: Undisputed Era is standing by backstage. Adam Cole says he gave Oney Lorcan’s pathetic career a gift in being the first person to lose to Cole as North American Champion. Cole and O’Reilly talk some trash about Danny Burch. Lastly, Strong says he’s taking care of ‘Peter’ (Dunne) tonight

Match #1: Kairi Sane v. Shazza McKenzie

Sane eats a forearm, but comes back with a head scissors takedown. Shazza comes at her with another forearm, but Sane hits some double chops and an interceptor spear off the ropes. Sane crushes Shazza with a Sliding D in the corner and then the Flying Kabuki Elbow off the top rope. Sane throws Shazza down with an Alabama Slam and lands the Insane Elbow to pick up the easy win.

Post match, Lacey Evans interrupts. Evans says to Sane that she is sorry and wants to shake hands. Sane doesn’t trust her and refuses the handshake, so Evans cold cocks her with a right hand. 

Winner: Kairi Sane via pinfall

Thoughts: It looks like Sane and Evans aren’t done with their feud. Evans has a decent character that could use some tweaking, but she is not comfortable at all in there. I’m not sure why Sane isn’t moving on to Baszler unless we’re really going with Dakota Kai as her first title challenger. Eh, I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it. 

Backstage Promo: Candice LeRae is standing by with an update on Johnny Gargano. This was a solid and emotional promo here because LeRae seems real. Take notes, kids. 

Promo Video: Lars Sullivan is still here and was close to getting some gold at TakeOver. He’s coming for someone. 

Match #2: Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) v. TM61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller)

Ford and Miller start things off and Ford pulls out some athletic counters and a heel kick. Dawkins gets the tag and launches Ford up for a double dropkick. Dawkins hits Miller with a bulldog, but eats the corner after missing the corkscrew Stinger Splash. Thorne gets a tag and lands a senton over the top rope into the ring. Miller tags back in and TM61 hits a moonsault/fist drop combo move. Dawkins and Miller flatten one another with a double clothesline. Both guys get tags, but Ford comes in on fire. Ford goes for a sunset flip, but Thorne turns it around into a pinning position and Miller holds his feet on the ropes to get the (dirty) win!

Winners: TM61 via pinfall

Thoughts: That was interesting. TM61 blatantly breaks the rules and cheats to win. I think they need this because although the promo videos before their return were good, they just seem too bland. It could be what they needed to show some character in the ring finally.

Backstage: Kassius Ohno calls Tommaso Ciampa a coward and wants to fight. 

Match #3: Kona Reeves v. Patrick Scott

Mauro tells us that Reeves is inspired by The Rock. He kind of looks like him, I guess. Reeves manhandles Scott with some clubbing strikes. Scott wants an arm bar, but Reeves gets mad and beats him down in the corner some more. Reeves hits a gut wrench suplex and a reverse elbow drop from the second rope. Reeves connects with the ‘Hawaiian Drop’ (a Samoan Drop where the opponent lands face first) and gets the win.

Winner: Kona Reeves via pinfall

Thoughts: It was meh. I won’t call it terrible, but it was pretty rough. Maybe the character can eventually get there, but I wasn’t feeling it here.

Promo Video: EC3 makes his NXT TV debut next week and NXT becomes ‘NX3’.

Backstage/Outside: Dakota Kai is talking about the new opportunities in NXT since some talent left. She’s asked about Baszler and Kai tries to avoid the question. Vanessa Borne walks up and says Kai is pathetic and that she would have slapped Shayna Baszler. Kai says she can take on Vanessa Borne.

Match #4: Candice LeRae v. Bianca Belair

LeRae is still selling being upset over Gargano’s beating last week. Belair flattens her with a shoulder block. LeRae comes back with a head scissors take down and a smooth pinning combination for a 2-count. Belair catches LeRae in mid-air off the second rope and slams her. Belair deadlifts LeRae from her back into a press slam and gives her Snake Eyes in the corner. That was impressive.

Belair locks in the Torture Rack, but LeRae flips out of it and unloads with forearms. LeRae levels her with a missile drop kick from the top rope, but Belair counters a tornado DDT attempt. Belair hits the Alley-oop and gets the clean win.

Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall

Thoughts: The storyline here is that LeRae isn’t ‘all there’ following the Gargano beating and that leads to her losing. That said, Belair was pretty impressive. The deadlift press slam was a little choreographed, but just a ridiculous feat of strength that you don’t often see in the women’s division. 

Match #5/Main Event: Pete Dunne v. Roderick Strong (w/ Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole)

Dunne absolutely levels Strong at the bell and the brawl is on. Strong tries to escape to the floor, but Dunne is right on top of him. Back in the ring, Strong catches him with a backbreaker. Dunne sends Strong chest first into the corner and crushes him with a forearm to the back of the head. Back to the floor, Strong cuts off Dunne with a drop kick as he jumps off the apron. Strong launches Dunne off his shoulders and back first into the ring apron.

Strong unloads with a completely insane chop that actually startled me as I was typing. Strong viciously beats Dunne down in the ring with strikes and kicks. Strong mocks one of Dunne’s mannerisms and hits another back breaker over his shoulder for a near fall. Dunne blocks a suplex attempt and hits a release suplex of his own. Dunne moonsaults over Strong and hits a step-up enzuigiri before targeting Strong’s arm. Strong dumps Dunne to ringside and meets him with a knee to the face when he tried to get back in.

Strong pulls Dunne back through the ropes with another backbreaker for a 2-count. They trade step-up enzuigiris before Dunne locks in a sleeper and transitions to an arm bar. Strong is able to get to the ropes and cuts off Dunne on the top rope with another kick. Strong nails the Angle Slam off the top rope, but Dunne kicks out. Dunne starts to Hulk up and no-sells Strong’s strikes. He catches a chop attempt and snaps Strong’s fingers. 

Dunne drops Strong on his head with a release German suplex and delivers a stiff kick to the head. Dunne crushes Strong with the Bitter End, but O’Reilly and Cole cause the DQ before the referee can count 3. Cole and O’Reilly put the boots to Dunne, but Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch hit the ring to even the odds. Undisputed Era is beaten back and Dunne drills Cole with his shoe in the aisle. 

Winner: Pete Dunne via Disqualification

Thoughts: This was as good as a TV match gets. These guys beat the hell out of each other and the non-finish makes sense. Neither one of these guys needs to be losing right now, so I’m fine with it. This is ultimately setting up Lorcan and Burch to challenge for the tag team titles (Burch recently signed a full-time NXT deal). Those should be some equally physical and very good matches. Is Pete Dunne challenging Adam Cole? I’m not sure and it seems like Dunne should be defending his own title. Maybe a title-for-title match is on the horizon? 

TLDR

  • Kairi Sane beat Shazza McKenzie and was then attacked by Lacey Evans
  • TM61 beat Street Profits; TM61 showed early hints of a heel turn
  • Kona Reeves beat Patrick Scott
  • Bianca Belair beat Candice LeRae
  • Pete Dunne beat Roderick Strong by DQ; Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch made the save post-match

 Advertised for Next Week

  • Heavy Machinery v. War Raiders
  • EC3 v. Raul Mendoza
  • Kassius Ohno v. Tommaso Ciampa
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