The NXT Report Card (2/7/18): “This All Ends Tonight!”

The Philadelphia chapter of NXT has officially come and gone but as one door closes, another opens and that means that the road to New Orleans now begins. The journey isn’t a particularly long one but the destination couldn't be bigger as NXT looks to once again steal the spotlight on WrestleMania weekend. As you’ve all come to expect from me, I’ve done my research before tonight’s episode and that means I’m superbly equipped to cover it, as per usual.

The last week of my life has been spent preparing for this week’s major tag title match and I’ve compiled a ton of incredible stats and facts that I’ll unveil throughout the bout so hold tight for that guys!!!

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DISCLAIMER: any wild predictions I make that you disagree with will likely be proven completely wrong in the coming weeks, months and years anyway so don’t worry too much. Basically, take everything you read from this point forward with a grain of salt as its credibility is preposterously low.

Speaking of such, it looks like that tag title match will get us started here tonight which is even better! Let’s get to my aforementioned stats and fac….never mind, Sanity have jumped them before the bell and a mass brawl has broken out. This is now a 6-man tornado tag and it’s our main event…yep.

There’s a lesson to be learnt here kids. I’m not angry about this situation as quite frankly, I know I could’ve avoided it. Just always remember that research is a waste of time as you’re better off just turning up and reacting to what happens, especially when three mental bearded blokes are a major part of the equation. Always keep that in mind.

Heavy Machinery

Speaking of large men with facial hair, Heavy Machinery are here and they want revenge against Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli. The beloved duo gained an immediate advantage too, hitting some tandem offence on Moss before Knight was cut off. After withstanding a brief heat segment, Tucker brought in Dozovic who ran wild in obscenely awesome fashion. Moss cut him off though which in a flashback to their last match, almost allowed Tino to get the win with a schoolboy.

However, this time the referee saw the feet on the ropes and stopped his count. Knight then took Moss out with a dive from the apron to the floor and Machinery hit their finish on Sabbatelli for the win. Dozovic really is incredible, just delightful in every way. I could watch these guys every week.

Grade: A

Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli

The standout element for this team’s showing here was really the crowd’s sheer disdain for Sabbatelli. The “Tino sucks” chants were just tremendous and added some nice atmosphere to things. He has a great dropkick too. Other than that there wasn’t really too much wrestling to see but the character stuff was interesting and I enjoyed the aggressive tags back and forth.

Following their loss, Moss walked out on Tino and this is very sad. It actually very much reminded me of Wesley Blake walking out on Buddy Murphy and I can honestly say that now almost two years later, I’ve still yet to accept that moment in wrestling history. I fear this split will scar me just as much but provided Moss is champ within the next 6 months, I can cope with it.

In all seriousness, I actually think both these guys are talented and have potential. It’ll now all be a matter of how they develop as solo performers from this point forward.

Grade: B

Zelina Vega Massacres a Fraud

World class loser Johnny Fraud is now here and he says that the people’s respect is what matters most. Lame. He then sulks about that awful bald backstabber Tommaso Ciampa who in fairness, he may have a point about. The crowd is very fired up when suddenly King Almas’ music began to play.  He and Zelina are here and look obscenely great as ‘Cien’ smugly grins whilst raising his title high over Gargano’s head. Zelina then massacred Johnny with a sublime promo explaining once again why he is in fact, a loser. She’s incredible in this role, that can’t be stated enough. Just tremendous.

The crowd’s chants of “Candice” then brought out the woman herself and she pushed Vega to the floor as both heels bailed. Zelina asks what it’ll take to finally get rid of Johnny and in the heat of the moment, he suddenly agreed to a title vs. career match…..oh no this is very bad. I may mock Johnny’s inability to win but he’s quite good at this wrestling thing and I’d prefer he stick around to be honest. Very scary.

Grade: A*

A brief Shayna Baszler promo followed as she told the media that Ember Moon is a coward. Baszler’s delivery is quite good but she still feels pretty wooden. Don’t get me wrong though, she’s good and will only get better.

Tyler Bate then spoke….yeah I’ll leave it at that.

Bianca Belair

It’s the EST OF NXT….Percy, what does that mean?!!!!



A video highlighting Dana Brooke victim Kairi Sane then followed and it’s now time for tonight’s main event.

Sanity vs. The Undisputed Era

I sense that this is going to be pretty wild so in fear of getting confused, let’s grade this one TakeOver style (yes, again). As you’d expect, a big brawl got us started as each man paired off with one of their counterparts and fought around the ring. To quote Mauro, it’s pandemonium and Sanity has now got some weapons out too. O’Reilly turned things around on Wolfe though, sitting him in a steel chair before diving off the apron on top of him with some kind of kick thingy.

As Dain and Bobby went back and forth in-ring, the other four men brawled to the back which almost allowed Fish to get the win with a beautiful moonsault. He then got himself a kendo stick *shudders* but Dain blocked his shot and chased him up to the ramp. The other four men had now returned but that didn't stop Killian from battering Fish, in fact he even sent him hurling on top of both teams. Dain then focused on Cole whilst the other men recovered but he fired back until Alexander Wolfe returned to floor him with a powerbomb.

Fish & O’Reilly made the save though and hit some tandem moves before Dain destroyed both with some awesome offense. Cole then cut him off with a superkick but his pin attempt was broken up by an EY elbow drop. As you can probably tell, this is kind of nuts. A flurry of moves from all involved followed and it resulted in just Dain standing. He then went to the outside but his rolling senton missed as he went flying through the set up table.

The heels then played the numbers game on Wolfe but the wild man soon made his comeback and flurried big. Cole’s superkick changed things again though and Total Elimination came after. Young broke another pin up and ran wild with the kendo stick but again, Cole halted things with his superkick. The trio couldn't put Young away just yet though and Killian Dain now began to re-emerge. He went after all three members of the Era and closed the show, hitting Ulster Plantation on Fish.

Really fun main event and a nice end to this disjointed but undeniably entertaining feud.

Grade: B+

Final Thoughts

In a different era of NXT, this was a stand out episode. Nowadays, it was good but in comparison to recent months relatively unremarkable. The main event was a really enjoyable watch but elsewhere, there really wasn't a whole to see as far as in-ring action. Thankfully, the Gargano - Vega verbal exchange was money and that helped give this hour much more substance. Not only was that segment great but it also set up something major which is always a positive as far as giving everything importance. That along with the blow-off match main event made this a good show even if not great.

Next week will feature Bate vs. Strong though so I wouldn't expect this trend to continue long.

Grade: B

Please comment your thoughts below or just tweet me abuse @JoeHulbert5 like many others already do. See you all next week!

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