At the second straight night of television tapings in Atlanta, NXT built towards the WrestleMania weekend TakeOver special and the 2018 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic began.
Dark match —
– Kassius Ohno defeated John Skyler
Ohno won in a minute with an elbow strike.
NXT TV tapings —
Airdate: February 28
– Nikki Cross defeated Vanessa Borne
This appeared to be them re-taping a match that took place the night before. Borne came out with a whip and licked Cross’ ear during their first match, but she didn’t do either of those things here.
– Adam Cole defeated Cezar Bononi
Cole told the crowd that the 2017 NXT Future Star Award winner should join Undisputed Era. Kyle O’Reilly then tossed Bononi an Undisputed Era shirt. He sold putting it on, but Cole punched him before he could.
After some interference, Bononi made his comeback before getting superkicked and taking a Shining Wizard for the finish.
– Velveteen Dream defeated Tyler Bate
Both were really over, with Dream getting a superstar reaction. He won with the Purple Rainmaker in 8-10 minutes. This was a really fun match.
– Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane
In a rematch of the Mae Young Classic finals, Baszler got the win this time as she submitted Sane with a choke to end a good match.
Baszler ran to the announce table after and called Ember Moon a coward. She said she’s leaving with Moon’s title or a limb the next time they face each other.
– Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega did an in-ring promo where they insulted Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae. They were interrupted by Aleister Black and then Killian Dain, with Dain laying out Black to end the segment.
Dain and Black later faced off in what was essentially a number one contender’s match.
Airdate: March 7
– Ricochet defeated Fabian Aichner
Ricochet, who wrestled using that name, made his NXT in-ring debut and defeated Aichner with a 630. The crowd popped louder for Ricochet than anything else on the Atlanta tapings and he came off as a main event superstar.
– William Regal came out and announced that the “first three rounds” of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic would take place tonight, but it seems like he may have meant the first three matches.
– The Authors of Pain defeated TM61 in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
This was a rematch of the 2016 Dusty Classic finals. The result was the same as that match, with AOP advancing. The crowd supported TM61 and were willing them on.
The match was good and may be what solidifies TM61 in the eyes of NXT fans who aren’t familiar with them.
– Bianca Belair defeated an enhancement wrestler
Belair won with a reverse powerbomb. She received a louder reaction than the night before and the crowd seems to get more invested each time she appears.
– Tommaso Ciampa entered, didn’t say a word, and got massive heat for several minutes. He took a Johnny Gargano sign from a fan in the crowd and destroyed it with his crutch.
During the segment, the crowd told Ciampa that he sucks and chanted for Gargano. They booed every time the microphone would go close to Ciampa’s lips.
– Aleister Black defeated Killian Dain
They had a good match that ended with the Black Mass.
Airdate: March 14
– The Street Profits defeated Heavy Machinery in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
Montez Ford got the pin following a frog splash.
– Ciampa was back out and again couldn’t get a word out. The crowd had Gargano signs that had been given to them.
– Dakota Kai defeated Lacey Evans
Kai pinned Evans with a schoolboy. After the match, Baszler came out to attack Kai again but Moon made the save. Moon and Baszler got into it, and Kai saved Moon from Baszler trying to break her arm. Moon then hit Baszler with The Eclipse.
Moon defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Baszler is official for TakeOver: New Orleans.
– SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe) defeated Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match
SAnitY advanced with their double-team finisher where Young hits a neckbreaker. Sabbatelli and Moss continued to tease dissension.
– WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne defeated Adam Cole by DQ
This was a great match despite the crowd not loving the finish. The disqualification came when Bobby Fish and O’Reilly interfered as Dunne was trying to hit Cole with the Bitter End.
Roderick Strong saved Dunne from a three-on-one beatdown, then Dunne shrugged off Strong’s handshake.
– A contract signing for Almas defending the NXT Championship against Black at TakeOver: New Orleans closed the tapings. Vega came out alone, but Black didn’t believe Almas wasn’t with her. She and Black went back and forth, with Vega eventually slapping him.
Black signed the contract and said he’s glad Vega came alone — because he didn’t. LeRae then came into the ring and fought off Vega.
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