WWE nXt Results
February 28, 2018
Center Stage Theatre, Atlanta, GA
Commentary by Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson
Singles Match: Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate
This is their first televised match against one another. Plenty of countering in the first few minutes. Bate pins Dream for a 2 count and sends him outside the ring, plenty frustrated about his lack of progress thus far.
On the return, Dream’s continuing to play mind games with Bate. Bate slips out of the ring and back in again. Shortly thereafter, backbreaker by Dream. Powerslam. Elbow drop. 1-2- kickout by Bate.
Dream’s in charge here. He puts a chinlock on Bate for a bit, follows that up with a top rope elbow drop. 1-2- kickout by Bate. Both men exchange punches in the middle of the ring. Big kick from Bate! He develops some momentum. He picks up Dream on his shoulders and spins…airplane! Dream hits him in the side and breaks free of the spin.
Bate goes for the Tyler Driver ’97, but Dream counters it into a back body drop. Both men are slow to their feet, collecting their breath. Huge spinebuster by Dream. 1-2- kickout by Bate. Both men are staring up at the lights, feeling the effects of the match thus far.
Dream and Bate exchange striking blows. Bate with the European uppercuts. The two collide, head on head, at one point, which slows things down again. As Dream ascends the turnbuckle, Bate catches him with a high dropkick. He meets Dream on the turnbuckle, but gets crotched on the top rope. Dream stands tall and…PURPLE RAINMAKER! 1-2-3!
Winner: Velveteen Dream via pinfall in 12 minutes
One cool point for Dream’s second consecutive win and a cool point for effectively countering out of all of Bate’s major moves. That’s how you reserve enough energy to win the match. This was a fun opener and seeing Dream open two shows in a row suggests nXt execs are very happy with his singles progress.
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic will start next week with an 8-team field, less than the usual 16-teams we saw in 2015 and 2016. Backstage, Paul Ellering says a lot of teams have stars in their eyes, but this is just a step on the road of retribution for Authors of Pain. Akam and Rezar speak a mix of languages but end with “war is our peace”.
Up Next: Adam Cole vs. Cezar Bononi
In a WWE.COM video, earlier this week, nXt General Manager William Regal explains to Johnny Gargano the terms of his departure from the show. Gargano is visibly unhappy. The referee of the match, Charlie, is also there and he apologizes for what happened. Gargano signs the release and walks away.
Singles Match: Adam Cole (Undisputed Era, with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish (TTc) vs. Cezar Bononi
Cole grabs a mic and says there’s one place for the future star of the year…in the Undisputed Era. Fish tosses a t-shirt to Bononi. Crowd chants “do it!” Bononi is holding the shirt when Cole nails him with a right hand. Guess this match has started.
Cole gets the crowd chanting again when Bononi clocks him. He seizes the advantage, which leads to a Michinoku Driver for a close 2-count. O’Reilly and Fish gets on the ring apon to distract Bononi and when he turns around, Bononi receives a superkick to the front of the face. Cole waits in the corner and watches Bononi struggle to his feet. Running knee to the back of Bononi’s neck and this match is over. 1-2-3.
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall in 4 minutes
Post-match, the Undisputed Era gloat over Bononi in the ring.
One cool point for Cole’s playing of the numbers game, allowing his buddies to help him catch Bononi off guard. The match is more a vehicle to maintain some attention on the Undisputed Era. For that reason, it was successful. I don’t think Bononi’s joining the UE anytime soon.
A promo package highlights the very short span of appearances for Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler in nXt so far. They’re going to fight later tonight!
In the parking lot outside the WWE Performance Center, Angelo Dawkins interviews his tag partner, Montez Ford. Then, Ford interviews Dawkins and the question is who will win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic. Both men answer the Street Profits.
After that, the brackets are shown. Next week, Round 1 begins with a rematch of the 2016 final between TM61 and Authors of Pain.
Singles Match: Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler
Sane and Baszler begin quickly with some strikes. A little rope running by Sane culminates in a submission attempt by Baszler. That’s countered by Sane. Baszler counters that into a side headlock. A few moments later, Sane rolls Baszler up for a 2 count. Baszler responds with knees to the head of Sane, followed by a running knee strike! 1-2- kickout by Sane but she’s in pain as…
We go to commercial break.
On the return, Baszler wears down Sane’s left arm, kicking it and followed up with a running knee to the chest in the corner. Back suplex! 1-2- kickout. Sane escapes.
Sane catches Baszler with a roll-up attempt amidst an arm hyper-extension submission. After a minute more of exchanges and running the ropes, Sane spears Baszler! She shrieks to the crowd and begins to stomp…charges up in the corner anddddd sliding D! High-flying Kabuki elbow from the turnbuckle! 1-2- Baszler kicks out.
Baszler tries to powerbomb Sane, kidney shots, and then tries for a suplex. Sane counters and hits Baszler clean in the head with a spinning chop. Up to the top rope goes Sane. Baszler meets her there with a roundhouse kick. She lifts her from the turnbuckle in a tall vertical suplex form, then transitions that into the Kirifuda Clutch. Sane’s done almost right away.
McGuiness mentions that the initial lift of Baszler in that last sequence is called a Kirifuda Driver and that transitions into the submission move.
Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission in 8 minutes
Post-match, Baszler tells the announce team that the next time she faces Ember Moon, she’s either leaving with the title or leaving with a limb
One cool point for Sane who brought her best fight tonight. She hit all her most noteworthy, powerful moves, and stood up against Baszler longer than I expected.
One cool point for Baszler who caught Sane with an innovative manoeuvre to trap her in the Kirifuda Clutch. Baszler looked strong but not overly dominant, which was appropriate given her opponent was the Mae Young Classic champion. Their shared history now has another chapter in it, and they’ve got a good story developing between the two of them. I’ll be interested to see if it continues.
nXt Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega come to the ring and they’ve got mics. Vega talks up her champ, calling him Mr. 4-0, in recognition of his “clean sweep” over Johnny Gargano. Vega doesn’t feed off of her man’s success though; she creates it. Slight dig on LeRae there.
Almas laughs about Gargano’s loss. Everyone in nXt is a loser compared to him. He made Johnny Wrestling Johnny Jawless.
Vega asks what they call Almas and Almas shouts, “N X T CHAMPION!”
As Almas and Vega return to the stage, Aleister Black’s music hits, along with the smoke and here he comes! Black enters from an alternate location and stands in the ring, staring down the couple. Crowd’s chanting his name.
Suddenly, before he can speak, it’s Killian Dain’s music. Dain enters the ring and Black’s ready to fight him. Dain yells and the two men collide. They’re throwing punches as Almas and Vega look on. Black goes for Black Mass. He misses, and Dain connects with a flying crossbody. He stands tall over Black as the show ends.
One cool point for what’s being set up in this championship feud. I completely appreciate how consistent nXt has been in ensuring there’s a proper #1 contender for the men’s title. I suspect we’ll see Black vs. Dain very soon. Likely no triple threat either. Either of those guys would put up a good fight against Almas, but Black is the more reasonable choice. He’s been building towards a title opportunity for months now.
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