Original Air Date: January 9, 2018
Event Date: January 2, 2019
(available on the WWE Network)
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
Ring Announcer: Kayla Braxton
“Resistance” by Powerflo
Johnny Gargano heads to the ring. He says 2018 was a bit of a roller coaster, but he’s had some time to reflect over the holidays. Success in NXT is measured by wins and championships. It doesn’t matter how hard you try or if you’re a good person, it only matters if you win. In 2019, Johnny Gargano will become a champion.
Gargano goes on to say that the moment he shared with Ciampa in the steel cage meant nothing. He still thinks Ciampa is a piece of trash with a title Johnny wants. But there is another championship out there. When Ciampa mentioned that Gargano could go after Ricochet’s title, Ricochet reacted first. Gargano says that if he wants the North American Title, he’ll take it. Ricochet heads to the ring.
Ricochet tells Gargano that all he had to do was ask for a title shot. But Gargano is going to take it? How is he going to take it? Face to face, or with an attack from behind in a parking lot? Ricochet also comments on Gargano calling himself Johnny Takeover. Ricochet plans to retain his title at Takeover. Tommaso Ciampa comes out to the stage.
Ciampa begins to talk, but Gargano tells him to shut up and leave. Aleister Black’s music plays, and Black appears on the video screen. Aleister tells Ciampa that he better be more worried about him than grooming his “dog of war.”
The lights go out, and Black appears behind Ciampa. Black attacks, and he and Ciampa brawl over the announce table and to the backstage area. Back in the ring, Gargano superkicks Ricochet. Gargano leaves the ring area as Ricochet struggles to get back up.
Bianca Belair vs Nikki Cross
(referee: Jessika Carr)
Result: Bianca Belair wins via pinfall after the KOD
Good match. Belair once again showed her impressive strength in a dominating performance. Nikki took a lot of punishment, and she frustrated Belair many times, but Belair was smart in this match. Belair tried to stay a few steps ahead of Nikki, and for the most part she did. With all that said, this was still a close match, and it came down to the last few moves. With Nikki headed to the main roster, I wasn’t surprised with the finish, but I enjoyed the match. Plus, Belair needed something like this going into a match with Shayna Baszler. Undefeated or not, Belair is still the underdog in her title match.
The Street Profits rap about taking over in 2019. They then encounter a lot of locked doors, until they find an open one. This year, Street Profits are going to open a lot of doors.
Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel vs Hector Kunsman & Stanley Watts
(referee: Darryl Sharma)
Result: Marcel Barthel pins Stanley Watts with an assisted bridging high angle German suplex
I expected this to be a squash, but it was a good match! Aichner and Barthel are an exciting team. The strength and precision they’ve already formed as a team is impressive. Kunsman and Watts actually had some decent offense in the match, though that really just led to Aichner and Barthel hitting them that much harder to compensate. I really enjoyed the moments with Watts and Aicher against each other. Also, the finish was very good.
Outside the Venue
Cathy Kelley tries to get a word from Ricochet. Ricochet is piseed. He wants Gargano in a match no matter what. Ricochet lost all respect for Gargano when Gargano superkicked him.
Sarah Schreiber asks Keith Lee about Kassius Ohno’s attack on Matt Riddle. Lee says the attack was unsettling. He also challenges Ohno to a match where Lee intends to teach Ohno a lesson in respect.
EC3 vs Adam Cole w/ Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish
(referee: Tom Castor)
Result: Adam Cole wins via pinfall after the Last Shot
Good match. It took a while for Undisputed Era to really get involved, but they were very smart about how they did it. The match itself was good. EC3 had Cole on the defensive a lot of the time, but Cole was able to pick his spots and capitalize on any advantage he could take. I liked it.
After the match, Undisputed Era attacks EC3. As they stomp EC3, the War Raiders run down to the ring. A brawl ensues, and the War Raiders manage to dispatch all four members of Undisputed Era.
Good show. All the matches were fun for their own reasons, and the talking bits were interesting. This show is really getting me excited for Takeover.
Match of the Night
Bianca Belair vs Nikki Cross
The main event was good too, but I think the opening match had me a little more interested overall.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/2019-01-09