1/24/18 WWE NXT Recap: Jose Returns; Belair in Action; Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream Main Event
NXT opens with Velveteen Dream in a darkened Performance Center. He says, “ambiance” and “atmosphere” and then says we all dream of being the NXT Champion and he doesn’t doubt that Johnny Gargano is the Superstar to do that, but not yet, especially when the other choice is the Velveteen Dream. Dream says while Gargano’s life has been tainted with doubt, his experiences have been great. Dream says, one way or another, a dream will end.
We see the NXT opening video and then go into Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia where Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson welcome us to the show.
Match #1 – Singles Match: No Way Jose vs. Cezar Bononi
They lock up and Jose applies a side headlock. Bononi switches to one of his own and then drops Jose with a shoulder tackle. Jose comes back with a shoulder tackle of his own and then delivers an atomic drop. Jose applies an arm-bar down on the mat, but Bononi fights back to his feet. Bononi keeps control of the match for a while, but Jose counters back with a swinging neck-breaker. Jose delivers a power slam to Bononi and then sets up for the pop-up right hand. Jose connects with it and gets the pin fall.
Winner: No Way Jose.
We see that Percy Watson’s sit-down interview with Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler later tonight. We then take a look at the feud between Aleister Black and Adam Cole.
Match #2 – Singles Match: Bianca Belair vs. Latoya Alsad
Belair slams Latoya down to the mat and then backs her into the corner. Latoya tries to roll Belair up, but Belair holds on to the ropes and then delivers a shoulder tackle. Belair stomps away on Latoya and then beats her down in the corner as well. Belair drops Latoya with a back-breaker and then clubs her across the back. Belair decks Latoya with a forearm and then applies a modified surfboard submission. Belair picks Latoya up and slams her back down to the mat. Belair charges in the corner, but Latoya moves and shoves Belair to the mat. Latoya goes up top and dives, but Belair whips her with her hair. Belair delivers the reverse power bomb and gets the pin fall.
Winner: Bianca Belair.
We see Percy Watson’s interview with the NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, and the number one contender, Shayna Baszler. Watson asks Moon why she called out Baszler. Moon says because Baszler is nothing more than a bully. Moon says Baszler came into the division like she owned the place and tried to injure many people. Baszler smirks and says it’s not about those women. She says you have to stir up water to catch fish, and Moon is the biggest fish in the pond. Moon says the NXT Women’s Division is hers and she has a responsibility to uphold the prestige of the division. Moon says if Baszler sets aside her selfishness, she might get a glimpse at what that means. Baszler says Moon achieved her dreams, but Baszler says she doesn’t care if anyone knows the struggles she went through to get to NXT. Baszler says when she leaves with the title, Moon will know Baszler is leaving with her dreams. Baszler says she doesn’t care what the NXT Universe thinks about her, but they are just going to have to get used to it.
We are reminded of tonight’s main event: Johnny Gargano vs. The Velveteen Dream, where Gargano puts his number one contendership on the line.
We see that Part 2 of “Who Are TM-61” happens after the break.
Back from the break, we see Part 2 of “Who Are TM-61?” which focuses on Shane Thorne’s injury that has sidelined the team for over a year now. We see that TM-61 will return to the ring on next week’s NXT.
Match #3 – Tag Team Match: The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Two Local Competitors
AOP attack the guys before the bell and then deliver Death Valley Drivers into the corners. Akam grabs a mic and tells Undisputed Era that this is them at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. Rezar tells Undisputed Era that it is their turn. AOP lay the guys out with the Super Collider to finish things off.
We see that tonight’s main event, Gargano vs. Dream, is up next.
Back from the break, we see that “When the Lights Come On” by Asking Alexandria will be one of the official theme songs for NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. We also see that Lacey Evans will go one-on-one with Nikki Cross on next week’s show.
Match #4 – #1 Contender’s (NXT Championship) Match: Johnny Gargano vs. The Velveteen Dream
They lock up and Dream applies a wrist-lock and takes Gargano down to the mat. Gargano gets free and applies a front face-lock down on the mat. Dream flips over and counters into a front face-lock of his own. Dream shoves Gargano away and then gets into his face. Gargano quickly goes for the Gargano Escape, but Dream gets to the ropes as we head to a break.
Back from the break, Gargano sends Dream to the apron, but Dream lands on his feet and gloats. Gargano dropkicks Dream to the floor and then takes him out with a rolling senton. Gargano takes Dream back into the ring, but Dream comes back with a neck-breaker. Dream stomps down on Gargano and drops a quick elbow. Dream goes for the cover, but Gargano kicks out at two. Dream stands on Gargano’s neck and chokes him against the ropes. Dream tosses Gargano to the floor and goes up top, but then decides against it and drops back down into the ring. Dream goes to the floor and slams Gargano into the barricade. Dream connects with a clubbing shot from the steps, but Gargano comes back with a chop and they continue to battle on the floor as we head to a break.
Back from the break, Gargano connects with an enzuiguri in the ring. Gargano takes Dream down with a flatliner and goes for the cover, but Dream kicks out at two. Dream comes back with a shot to the neck, but Gargano jerks Dream down to the mat. Dream and Gargano exchange roll ups and Gargano drops Dream with a rebound lariat after a superkick and both men are down. Gagrano rolls into a cover, but Dream kicks out at two.
Dream and Gargano exchange forearm shots and Dream goes for the Death Valley Driver, but Gargano counters with a kick. Dream comes back with a spinning DDT and goes for the cover, but Gargano kicks out at two. Dream goes up top and goes for the Purple Rainmaker, but Gargano gets to his feet and pulls Dream down to the mat. Dream rolls to the floor and Gargano takes him out with a tope suicida. Gargano tosses Dream back into the ring and goes up top, but Dream hits the ropes and Gargano crotches himself on the turnbuckle. Dream goes for a Death Valley Driver from the top and connects with it. Dream goes for the cover, but Gargano kicks out at two.
Dream goes for the Purple Rainmaker again, but Gargano gets the knees up for the block. Gargano connects with a superkick and then locks in the Gargano Escape and Dream taps out.
Winner and still #1 Contender for the NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano.
After the match, Andrade “Cien” Almas’ music hits and the NXT Champion, and Zelina Vega, come to the stage. Almas gets into the ring with Vega and begins to beat down Gargano. Vega and Almas celebrate, but Gargano comes back and begins to beat down Almas. Gargano picks up the NXT Championship and holds it high in the air while standing over Almas.