I found out that I have a throat infection, so I wont be doing an audio review for the Royal Rumble or TakeOver. I apologize. If Elimination Chamber and Fastlane is worth reviewing, I will do an audio review of those PPV’s. Obviously, I will be doing an audio preview/review for Wrestlemania weekend. With that said, let’s get into this.
NXT Tag Team Championship
The Undisputed Era(Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)(c) vs. The Authors of Pain(w/ Paul Ellering)
Winners: The Undisputed Era
This was a really good match. I love the way how O’Reilly and Fish took over the match by taking advantage of the injured leg of Akam(?). Fish and O’Reilly did a fantastic job of selling the fact that the Authors of Pain as a threat at the beginning of the match. There was a hard bump during the match with Fish and one of the AOP members. Fish speared one of the AOP out of the ring, and when they landed, the AOP member fell directly onto Fish, and Fish ended up hitting his head on the ground. Luckily nobody got hurt. Like I stated in the predictions, I felt this had the chance to be the best tag team match of the weekend, and it accomplished that. It was a good step in putting over TUE as the top heel tag team. It’s definitely a must watch.
Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream
Winner: Velveteen Dream
This match was a bit clunky. There were a couple spots where Dream and Ohno went a little off balance and botched a couple moves. It seemed like both guys were rushing some of the spots. With that said, I still really enjoyed the story of the match. Earlier in the night, Dream cut a promo where he stated that he would knock Ohno out in 30 seconds. So, at the beginning of the match, the fans started counting to 30, and at the end the 30 seconds Dream had “KOed” Ohno depsite not going for the cover. After that, Ohno got to his feet and hit Dream with a stiff strike. It was a hot start. The Philly crowd absolutely loved Velveteen Dream. You would think with a smarky crowd that they would cheer the indy guy, but not, Ohno got booed heavily. I can’t say enough how much I enjoy watching Velveteen Dream. He is so commited to his character, that you just cant help but cheer for the guy. He is a modern throwback. His attire was also pretty cool. Like the match with Black, he had custom windbrush attire. This time, he was wearing boxing shorts with “Dreamover” on the belt, and he had his and Ohno’s face airbrushed on one leg, then on the other, he had that iconic picture of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston. This guy is committed to his gimmick. While this match wasn’t the best match on the card, it was still pretty entertaining and worth watching.
NXT Women’s Championship
Ember Moon(c) vs. Shayna Baszler
Winner: Ember Moon
This match was exactly what it should have been. It was a showcase for how dominant Shayna Baszler was. I loved the ending sequence where Shayna was working over Ember’s arm all match. Then after Ember hit the Eclipse. She couldn’t go for the cover because she was selling how injured her arm was. When she finally got herself together, she went over to Baszler, and Baszler put her in an arm bar. Then for what seemed to be at least a minute to a minute of a half was Ember Moon fighting the armbar. Finally, she was able to sandwich roll-up Baszler for the win. I fully expect a rematch between these two on Wrestlemania weekend, and I’m looking forward to it.
Extreme Rules Match
Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole
Winner: Aleister Black
I will say one thing about this match, it doesn’t help Cole’s stigma that he can only have entertaining hardcore matches. With that said, this match was fantastic. There was blood in the match. At some point, Adam Cole sliced his hand open, and it bled quite a bit. Luckily, the ringside doctors were able to tape it up quick while they were replaying a spot. This match was brutal. Especially the part where Black did a suplex onto two chairs that were back to back of each other. It was chilling. Luckily, Cole didn’t get hurt. There was a little bit of overbooking, which was completely fine and actually added to the match. Mid-way through the match, Fish and O’Reilly came out to help Cole, then all three members of Sanity made their return and fought off Fish and O’Reilly, including a suicide dive spot with Killian Dain. If the main event didn’t happen, this would have been probably the best match of the weekend.
Andrade “Cein” Almas(c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Winner: Andrade “Cein” Almas
If I could give this match a higher rating than 5/5, I would. There is nothing I can really say about this match to actually do it justice. If you haven’t watched it, go watch it. Now! DO IT! Seriously, I’m not kidding. I’m not going to even talk about it any more. I’ll let the match do the talking for me.
After the match, Gargano was taking in the crowd admiration and standing ovation. Then at the top of the stage, Ciampa came out and hit Gargano in the back with a crutch much to the crowds dismay. While Ciampa was still limping, it still looks like we will be getting Ciampa and Gargano at TakeOver: New Orleans.
Like I said, if you haven’t watched this show, just go watch it now. NXT delivers once again.
Show Grade: A+