Sunday, 21 January 2018

WWE NXT 283 Review // 18th January 2018 // Street Profits vs. Authors of Pain

On 18th January 2018, NXT aired its 283rd episode of NXT, taped at Center Stage, Atlanta, GA on 4th January. Our main event saw former NXT Tag-Team champions Authors of Pain take on rising stars, Street Profits for a title match at TakeOver Philidelphia. We also had in-ring action from Lacey Evans & Aliyah, Roderick Strong & Fabian Aichner and Heavy Machinery against Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss, but was it any good?

Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli def. Otis Dosevic & Tucker Knight // Pinfall

We get some recap footage that once again, this match has been booked because Heavy Machinery were messing with Sab and Moss' jointly owned car, Dosevic and Sab to start, lockup but Dosevic pushes Sab away like a child, dropick by Sab and he throws Otis to the corner but this annoys the thicc lad, Dosevic hits a shoulder barge, run the ropes, leapfrog by Sab is caught for a bodyslam, staggered to the corner and Dosevic hits a big splash and hits a tag to knight who hits a slingshot senton for a 2 before grabbing Sab into a headlock guillotine giant swing, he throws Sab to his corner allowing him to tag in Moss, Knight grabs Moss immediately into another guillotine, throws him to the ropes, Moss fights out with forearms but gets caught in another headlock giant swing, tag to Dosevic, they do a tribute to the Bushwhackers walk and hit a double splash before Dosevic does the worm elbow drop for a cover but Sab breaks the pin, Dosevic picks up Moss in an Argentine carry but Sab grabs his partner by the ankles, pulling him back and off, allowing Moss to hit a chop block and a tag to Sab who works some ground and pound before working some quick tags as they keep Dosevic grounded, Moss gets a rear chinlock on Dosevic, keeping it held for longer than most Lars Sullivan matches, DOsevic eventually powers out with a belly-to-back suplex and crawls back to Knight for a tag, he works a decent hot tag hitting shoulder tackles, hip tosses, corner splashes and a big dropkick sending Sabatelli to the apron, Knight clotheslines Sab off the ring but Moss uses the distraction to roll up Knight, putting his feet on the ropes for leverage he gets a surprise 3 count.

So Dosevic hit the big lad worm which was, as always, delightful and if SabMoss are going to hang around, they needed at least one win. Just one. That's what they got here, beyond the aforementioned worm, the match wasn't much to shout home about with SabMoss' heat section lacking any particular response. I hear they've been doing fun work at house shows but without any evidence of that in their television encounters, I remain uninspired.

Undisputed Era are hanging about backstage again, Cole says TakeOver is their event, it's been about them for a reason, at Philly he goes on-on-one with Black, there are a million ways he can defeat and mangle Black and he is going to break and embaress him, O'Reilly says it doesn't matter which team wins as everyone wants a shot at their titles as this is their era and we're all just invited, Fish says that all other teams are competing for the right to step up and get dropped by the undisputed tag champs.

We get a video package of clips of Cole and Black combined with just straight up clips of insane shit from hardcore matches. No Zandig though.

Roderick Strong def. Fabian Aichner // Submission

Strong is straight in with a headlock but Aichner reverse to a hammerlock with Strong going to a hammerlock of his own, Aichner tries to punch his way out but can't escape, a whip to ropes and Aichner shoulders his way out instead but runs into a leg lariat from Strong for a 2, a knee by Aichner as he takes control and whips Strong to the corner but Strong hits a  back elbow by Strong, he takes the moment to jump off the second rope straight into Aichner's arms who slams him straight into the ad-break, back from the break and Strong escapes an abdominal stretch but is right into a back-press slam for a 2, Aichner works corner chops and stomps, dragging him to the centre of the ring, Aichner goes for a bomb but Roddy escapes, lighting up the Italian with chops, a leaping lariat, more chops, a running forearm and goes for an olympic slam but Aichner turns it into an armdrag but Roddy doesn't give him an inch and hits a backbreaker for a 2, he tries to slam Aichner off the ropes but Aichner holds onto the ropes, sliding out of hold hitting a forearm and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a 2, he goes for a springboard but pauses, giving Roddy the time to regain composure hitting a backbreaker and transitioning to a Liontamer hold forcing Aichner to tap.

Let's put things simply, Aichner is too good to be stuck in just 5 minute matches, taking losses on TV, I'm not saying he's ready for a championship but certainly with a good dose of character work, he's going to be someone we'll all be talking about by the time the year's out. We all obviously know Roddy's great and even in short matches like these, knows how to showcase his opponent as well as if not more than himself. This wasn't the best work of either man but for what it was, it was fun.

After the match, Strong gets a mic. He says that last week someone came out looking for a fight, and his words have been echoing his head as he feels the same, since joining NXT he's run through the competition like this man, when he stepped in the ring with this force it was like nothing else which makes him happy as he wants to destroy it, he's talking about Lars Sullivan. K.


TM61 are coming back and their bringing with them the closest thing we're going to get to a Best Friends promo in NXT. This turns out to actually be a really lovely segment, covering their meeting in Explosive Pro Wrestling back in their native Australia through to winning the GHC Tag Team Titles over in Pro Wrestling Noah. While the interplay between Shane and Nick is a lot of fun, this lacks so far the same emotional interplay as previous 'Who Is/Are' segments like the Roderick Strong edition but it's still a very fun way of reintroducing the Aussie lads back. Hopefully, they'll get some good stuff to sink their teeth into when they're back properly.

Lacey Evans def. Aliyah // Pinfall

Aliyah is a heel again, I think, but then Evans also seems to be a heel now, I don't know, lockup to begin as Evans gets a wristlock, Alliyah cartwheels into a wristlock of her own but Evans is back on top throwing down her opponent, Aliyah gets back up but Evans grabs her by the ear and forces her down but Aaliyah turns it to a pin for a 2, Evans picks up Aliyah who escapes with a clumsy backslide a bit of a clothesline and something definable as a roll-up for a 2, Evans jumps the ropes and pulls Aliyah along them before hitting a slingshot elbow for a 2, she slams Aliyah to the corner and works over with forearms and kicks before hitting a handstand bronco buster for a 2, Aliyah tries to fire back with forearms and an uppercut, he hits a second rope diving clothesline and a northern lights suplex for a 2 but Evans is back in with a jawbreaker, Aliyah runs into a forearm and is down, Evans takes advantage, covering for the pin.

I don't know what to think, if this was their way of trying to introduce Evans as a threat, well, she did work on top so there's that but Aliyah seems to be constantly one step behind performers of a similar age and level of experience. There's still time and she seems to genuinely want to get better but there comes a point where you wonder, will it ever happen? Then again I said the same thing about Angelo Dawkins and look at him now...

Evans asks how Regal can let low-class trash walk around the locker rooms, it's time a proper sophisticated, powerful women ran the division and she might start by taking out Nikki Cross or Ember Moon or, then Shayna Bazsler turns up and Evans fucks off because she can't be dealing with that, Shayna walks to the ring and locks in the Kirufuna Clutch on Aliyah, refusing to break despite a ref pulling on her, Moon in he ring gear, hits the ring and Bazsler slides out cocky as anything, in a week she's gone from Dunne to Suzuki levels of dickhead, Moon dares Baszler to try bullying her, Moon tells her to get in the ring and they can fight now Baszler tells her she's not got her gear, she'll see her for her title, Moon tells her name her time and place and to bring her gear and she'll kick her ass, Baszler suggests Philidelphia, funnily there's a TakeOver there.

Christy St. Cloud is asking William Regal about what just happened, Regal says it's against his better judgement but if it's what Moon wants, she gets a match with Baszler at Philly, up turns Vega, she tells Christy to stay aswell, everybody knows Gargs has 0 chance of winning, the facts are he was carried by Ciamps and Almas has already beat with twice, he has no chance, Dream had a point, he deserves this shot more than Johnny and if Johnny is confident he should put the title opportunity on the line against him, Regal says he wouldn't advise him to do this, Vega calls him a loser, Vega says before leaving that she and Almas are happy to oblige if Regal wants to watch the most embarrassing NXT title match in history. Clearly she hasn't watched Bo Dallas vs Leo Kruger.

No Way Jose says 2017 had ups and downs like a rollercoaster but it's just good fun and 2018 is going to be the year of NWJ so get on board, the party guy is back soon.

The commentary lads are chatting when Johnny hits the ring and gets a mic. He says that he just watched the conversation backstage, he hears the buzz, he knows what everyone's saying behind his back, Vega and Dream, maybe even Regal, they doubt he can beat Almas, he is done being doubted, he is not broken, he is not a loser, this is not a fluke, this is his time, his opportunity and no one will stop him, the crowd love him, he asks if they can hear the chants, Dream if he wants the opportunity, Gargano puts it on the line next week, he gets his shot because for the first time in forever he knows who he is, Johnny Gargano, Johnny FREAKING WRESTLING, the next NXT champion. 

This was impassioned, motivated, focussed and showed a lot of character development. Babyfaces everywhere, take note, this is how it's done. Almas might need the title more than Gargano but I can't see anyone not wanting Johnny to win it after this.

NXT Tag Team Title Number One Contender's // Akam & Rezar def. Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford // Pinfall

AOP ARE IN THEIR TURTLES GEAR, YAY, Ford and Akam start, they lockup as Ford tries to get a headlock but Akam quickly overpowers with a shoulder, a kip-up by Ford but he's hit with another shoulder, thrown to the ropes, Ford runs under a clothesline, jumps but is caught and dropped in the corner, a tag to Akam and they wear down their opponent with strikes for a 2, more strikes and a tag to Rezar who hits yet more strikes and another tag to Akam who applies a full nelson, Ford fades and Akam hits a uranage-esque slam for a 2.5, tag to Rezar and even yet more strikes lead to a grounded full nelson that sends us into the break, back from the break and a cover for a 2, tag to Rezar and a guillotine facelock, this keeps him grounded for quite a while, Ford works back to his feet but Rezar does't break, Ford, unable to break the hold, forces Rezar backwards towards his corner, Rezar releases to knock off Dawkins but Dawkins dodges, Ford rolls under and tags, Dawkins hits both authors getting a dropkick on Akam and double arm strikes on Rezar and a 360 stinger splash, he picks up Rezar and tags Ford hitting a dropkick-spinebuster combo for a pin but Akam breaks it up and levels Dawkins with a clotheslines, he picks up his tag partner and they hit the Supercollider double powerbomb on both and the Last Chapter legsweep-clothesline combo for the pin.

Yeah, this was, it was good enough. It was interesting seeing Street Profits built up so much only to have them work almost completely from below. Authors of Pain are an entertaining act but this lacked a certain amount of excitement. I don't think this is going to hurt Street Profits too badly as basically everyone loses to Authors of Pain but I can't really get too excited about what merely good. Ford continues to be better than what he's given.

On The YouTubes

For reference, here is the Best Friends promo that TM61 may have lovingly 'been inspired' by.


If you ever looked up 5/10 in the dictionary...well it wouldn't list this episode because that's normally how dictionaries work but hey, it's an accurate way of describing the episode. Johnny's promo work, the Baszler-Moon encounter and the first part of 'Who are TM61?' were all very well put together, it's just a shame the in-ring action was nothing to shout home about.

Article By Jozef Raczka (@NotJozefRaczka)

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