February 13, 2019 – Winter Park, Florida
Dinominic Dijakovic def. Shane Thorne
Dijakovic won in 4:21 with Feast Your Eyes. The final stretch of this little match was the first time we’ve been able to see the stuff that made Dijakovic popular on the indies. All we need now is for him to string that together with a more engaging opening salvo. Unrelated: Now that two of Thorne’s TMDK teammates have signed to WWE and shown up in the Performance Center, I wonder if it’s inevitable that he’ll get some new backup. **½
The Undisputed Era is shaking things up a bit: Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are reforming their tag team and Roderick Strong is getting back into singles action. Adam Cole isn’t changing much though; he still hates Ricochet and wants to beat him tonight.
Io Shirai is ready to come after Shayna Baszler’s now that she’s pinned the champ. Bianca Belair tells Shirai to get in line, because she’s still undefeated. If this isn’t meant to be a return to her heel gimmick then they’re doing this wrong.
Kassius Ohno comes out before the next match (wearing a Masato Tanaka t-shirt) to run down the Full Sail crowd, who think they know everything. Ohno is going to go somewhere else to show that he’s the best. Well they already announced his NXT UK match in two weeks against WALTER. Keith Lee comes out and lays out Ohno, so it looks like Ohno will have a match ready and waiting upon his return.
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford def. Stacey Ervin & Humberto Carrillo
The Street Profits win in 6:14 when they hit Ervine with a Doomsday Blockbuster. I’m very happy that Ervin is finally debuting, though he looked a little nervous and took a back suplex bump so scary that it silenced the crowd. Does Carrillo’s presence here, Drew Gulak’s last week, and Noam Dar’s on NXT UK’s earlier today mean the lines between 205 Live and NXT are blurring? Because I wouldn’t be mad at that. This was fun, if a little spotty spotty. The Dawkins & Ford’s strength and flight dynamic is always fun though. I’d love to see them against one of NXT’s stronger teams. **¾
Speaking of which, the Street Profits call out the War Raiders after the match. The European Union comes out instead. The political dynamics of the subsequent confrontation are a little uncomfortable, but before anything can go down, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch rush out. The champs finally make their way out and say they want to see more fighting and less talking. Before anyone in the ring can do anything, the Undisputed Era attacks the champs from behind. They walk out as a giant brawl breaks out, ending with the War Raiders as the last men standing. I have to imagine this is leading to this year’s Dusty Classic. Also, why weren’t the Forgotten Sons involved in this?
Aliyah def. Taynara Conti
Aliyah won in 2:53 with the Total Aliyanation (some convoluted submission with kicks). They’ve finally given Aliyah a gimmick (sort of), as an American version of Jinny more or less. Vanessa Borne watched the match from ringside, just to make sure all the women’s division jobbers were involved in the segment. This was very short, but actually more entertaining than I thought it’d be before the crappy finish featuring Borne. None of these women have been on TV in forever and we know basically nothing about any of them, so why would we care about them cheating on behalf of each other? *¾
They’re made to look even less important after the match, as Baszler and her goons beat everyone up after the fact. Then Baszler cuts a nothing promo warning everyone to stay out of their way.
Ricochet def. Adam Cole
Ricochet pinned Cole in 14:24 with the Vertigo piledriver. Mauro Ranallo more than once called this matchup mouthwatering and I just hate him for it. That said, the match is just stellar. While maybe not as epic as their Takeover match, it’s probably more overall memorable. While I think back on the backflip superkick from Brooklyn, Cole’s dismantling of Ricochet’s leg and Ricochet’s creative and gut-wrenching comebacks here will all (I assume) stick with me. They did such a great job of bringing me in, and at this point it’d be insane for anyone but Ricochet to be the next NXT Champion. The Undisputed Era attack Ricochet after the match, but Amsterdam Black runs out to make the save. Roderick Strong catches the former champ with a backbreaker, an the Undisputed Era ends the show standing strong. ****
That was a hell of a main event. Along with the tag team mayhem and a bit of dissension on the babyface side of the women’s division they delivered a heck of a little episode here.
Tags: Adam Cole, NXT, Ricochet, Street Profits, WWE