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WWE NXT #448 (5.9.18) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Heavy Machinery will battle the War Raiders. Also featured is Tommaso Ciampa taking on Kassius Ohno and EC3 makes his NXT Weekly TV debut against Raul Mendoza. 

In-Ring Promo: Ricochet makes his way to the ring in street clothes. He says all over the world, he’s always wanted everyone to remember him. He says his goal is to take over NXT and he wants the NXT Championship. He’s interrupted by the Velveteen Dream who wants to know who allowed Ricochet to even come to the ring, let alone ask for a title shot.

Dream says there’s only one ‘one and only’ and you’re looking at him. He says no matter how Ricochet flips or flops, he better land at the back of the line. The two continue to trade insults and threats until Ricochet lays out a challenge to the Dream. The Dream acts like he’s going to fight, but he fakes Ricochet out and backs away. Ricochet talks with the same cadence as Sasha Banks and I can’t unhear it. 

Match #1: Raul Mendoza v. EC3

Mendoza gets a quick hurricanrana and a springboard missile drop kick, but EC3 kicks out at one. EC3 catches Mendoza with a STO variation and beats him down in the corner. Mendoza gets turned inside out with a clothesline and then is on the receiving end of a rolling neck snap. Mendoza tries to make a comeback but gets launched into the top buckle and eats a knee lift. EC3 hits the TKO and that’s all for Mendoza.

Cathy Kelley interviews EC3 in the aisle. He brags about his physique and technique. He says he’s going to rack up victory after victory until he rebrands this as NX3. 

Winner: EC3 via pinfall

Thoughts: I’m cautiously worried about EC3. The crowd was absolutely dead for him while the match was going on. He has a potentially great gimmick (picking up where Bobby Roode left off) and is a pretty decent promo. He’s just not connecting very well in the ring – so far. I should stress he’s only had two televised matches. 

Backstage Last Week: Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan catch up with Pete Dunne. They say they may not like each other, but they have an Undisputed Era problem. They ask Dunne if he’s in to face them 3-on-3 and Dunne walks off, which is apparently a ‘yes’.

Match #2: Dakota Kai v. Vanessa Borne

Borne apparently decided to wear her lingerie to the ring. Kai hits a quick drop kick, but misses a running big boot. Borne slams Kai on her face and connects with a swinging neckbreaker for another near fall. Kai comes back with a series of high kicks and a brutal running boot to the face in the corner. Kai crushes her with a knee and then hits a move that I’ve never really seen before for the win. Kind of like a sunset flip onto her knees? It looked good regardless.

After the match, Shayna Baszler’s music interrupts and Kai looks horrified. The Women’s Champion makes her way to the ring and backs Kai into a corner. Baszler decides to choke out Borne in front of Kai and Kai cowardly runs away.

Winner: Dakota Kai via pinfall

Thoughts: I’m a little unsure what’s going on with Kai’s storyline. Babyfaces aren’t supposed to be cowards even in the face of seemingly unwinnable odds. I think you could accomplish the same thing is Kai just futilely tried to take on Baszler and just got annihilated. Maybe this has a pay off eventually. 

Backstage: Dakota Kai ran into Cathy Kelley in the midst of running away. Baszler shows up again and gets in Kai’s face. She challenges Kai to do something but she doesn’t. Baszler walks off and you hear laughter in the background. It’s Nikki Cross. I’m assuming she isn’t going to run away.

Match #3: Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic) v. War Raiders (Rowe & Hanson)

Dozovic and Rowe start things off and Rowe tells Dozovic to bring it. The two absorb some strikes before all four guys are in the ring. Rowe ends up leveling Knight and then taking Dozovic down with a running knee strike. Hanson gets a tag and crushes Dozovic with an avalanche in the corner. Rowe picks up Hanson and drives him into a slumped Dozovic in the corner. Rowe tags back in to deliver a head kick. 

Dozovic reverses an Irish whip and throws Hanson with an overhead release suplex. Both men get tags and Knight comes in on fire, but Rowe isn’t fazed by the punches. He is fazed by a Knight drop kick, though. Hanson dives to ringside to take out Dozovic in the aisle. Rowe flips Knight over and knees him in the face. Hanson comes off the top rope for Fallout and Knight is finished.

Winners: War Raiders via pinfall

Thoughts: That was total dominance for War Raiders. I have almost no doubt that they’re the future tag team champions by the end of the year. 

Promo Video: Street Profits do one of their videos and say they will do whatever it takes to win the tag team championships. 

Match #4/Main Event: Kassius Ohno v. Tommaso Ciampa

Ciampa walks out to no music, but a loud chorus of boos and an Asshole chant. My god, this man is a heel. Ciampa is in rough shape with a taped up wound on his leg and a black eye. Kassius Ohno heads right to the ring to get in Ciampa’s face. He follows Ciampa to the floor and kicks him in the face. Ohno delivers more strikes and a wrecking ball drop kick. Back in the ring, Ciampa briefly takes over until Ohno hits a vertical suplex.

Ohno smashes him with a leaping senton. Ciampa sweeps Ohno’s feet out from under him and knees him in the face. Ciampa stomps the back of Ohno’s head about 10 times. Ciampa delivers a shotgun drop kick and talks trash to Ohno. Ciampa locks in a snug rear chinlock as the crowd gets behind Ohno. Ciampa chops Ohno, but that’s a mistake. Ohno connects with a stiff jab to the jaw and an insane bicycle kick. Ohno tees off on Ciampa in the corner with another forearm and a boot to the throat. Ciampa eats another huge kick and Ohno stands on his face. Ohno grinds his elbow across Ciampa’s face.

Ohno pulls down his kneepad and drops the knee across Ciampa’s eye. Ciampa tries to kick Ohno away, but Ohno slaps the spit out of his mouth. Ohno pulls Ciampa off the second rope and drops him on his butt hard for a near fall. Ohno is just vicious here. He tees off with more kicks until Ciampa hides behind the referee. Ciampa uses the chance to land a cheap shot and take over again. Ciampa distracts the referee and then digs into Ohno’s eyes.

Ohno chases Ciampa down and levels him with a knee strike. Ohno misses the follow-up and Ciampa knocks him out with a knee to the back of the head, but Ohno kicks out! Ohno fires up again and the two trade kicks and strikes. Ohno goes for a discus elbow, but Ciampa takes him down with a clothesline. Ciampa hits a vicious neckbreaker variation and gets the 3 count. 

After the match, Ciampa removes his knee brace and cracks Ohno in the head with it. Ciampa then uses the brace to choke out Ohno. Ciampa screams that he broke Johnny’s body and broke Candice’s heart. 

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall

Thoughts: That was intense. No one thought Ohno was going to win here, but he played his part well. There was no slapping hands with people on the way to the ring and was about as vicious as a babyface can be in the ring. Ciampa was a total heel throughout takes shortcuts and cheating. This was just a phenomenal TV match that accomplished everything it needed to accomplish.  


  • Ricochet & Velveteen Dream had a promo segment; Ricochet challenged the Dream
  • EC3 beat Raul Mendoza
  • Dakota Kai beat Vanessa Borne; Kai ran from Baszler; Nikki Cross was laughing as it all unfolded
  • War Raiders beat Heavy Machinery
  • Tommaso Ciampa beat Kassius Ohno

Advertised for Next Week

  • Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, & Danny Burch v. Undisputed Era