Top 3 Performers of NXT (February 13, 2019)
This week's episode of NXT kicked off with Domonik Dijakovic in in-ring action. He opened the evening with one half of TM-61, Shane Thorne. After being left behind by his tag team partner, Nick Miller, who left NXT for personal reasons, Thorne has been repackaged as a singles competitor.
Thorne kept the bigger Dijakovic down with a series of stiff kicks as the bigger wrestler was on the ground. Dijakovic eventually gained control of the match with a series of strikes and kicks. He would display lots of impressive agility, hitting a springboard corkscrew plancha, before rolling Thorne back into the ring with his finisher "Feast Your Eyes".
The first backstage segment of the night featured the Undisputed Era talking up their exploits for 2019. While Fish and O'Reilly spoke about reclaiming their tag team titles, Strong announced that he would be looking to challenge for a singles title as well.
The next segment featured a follow-up interview after last week's main event. While the Sky Pirates talked up how they pinned Shayna Baszler to win their match, they were interrupted by the third member of their team in Bianca Belair who advised the Japanese duo to fall back.
Next up was Humberto Carrillo from the famous Garza family, who was in appearing in tag team action with Stacey Ervine Jr. Carrillo has been performing predominantly on 205 Live, while Ervine is incredibly fresh in the WWE, having signed with the company on a developmental deal after appearing at the Performance Center for tryouts a year ago.
The duo was interrupted by Kassius Ohno, who came out to berate the local Full Sail crowd in a textbook heel promo. Ohno was taken out by Keith Lee via an Elbow strike. The Street Profits would come out after for their scheduled match against the duo in the ring.
Carrillo started in the ring with Montez Ford, with the two sharing a handshake only for Ford to kick Carrillo after. Dawkins got a blind tag on Ford and attacked Carrillo from behind. Carrillo would tag in Ervine, allowing for the crowd to chant his name.
Ervine looked great but took a devastating bump onto his head and neck from a suplex from Montez Ford. The match became chaotic as it looked like the referee wanted to stop the match. It continued and the Street Profits would hit an Electric Chair and Blockbuster combo on Stacey Ervine for the win.
The Street Profits called out War Raiders after their victory, but instead, they were interrupted by Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. After Aichner and Barthel arrived in the ring, Burch and Lorcan raced down the ramp to join the fray.
Finally, the War Raiders appeared at the top of the ramp but they were attacked by Undisputed Era. As chaos broke out in the ring, the Undisputed Era backed away with the War Raiders standing tall in the ring.
Brazilian Judoka Taynara Conti was back into the ring for in-ring action and she faced Aliyah. Conti looked to end it quickly by trying to trap Aliyah in an armbar. Vanessa Borne came down to watch the match from ringside. She stayed out of the action for the most part, but would hold Conti's leg as she tried to climb the turnbuckle allowing for Aliyah to recover.
Aliyah used the distraction to throw Conti off the turnbuckle and lock in a version of the Kimura Lock, to which Conti would give up. As Aliyah and Borne celebrated, they were interrupted by Shayna Baszler and her Horsewomen cohort in Shafir and Duke. The champion and her stablemates ran through not only Aliyah and Borne, but also Conti.
Finally, we saw the main event of the evening to seemingly crown the next challenger for the NXT North American title. The match saw the title's only two former holders in Ricochet and Adam Cole squaring off one on one.
The fight started at a frenetic pace, befitting the two superstar's history. Ricochet would get caught on the turnbuckle, and Cole would proceed to target the left leg. Ricochet continued to sell the leg injury as he worked his way into the match.
Every time it looked like Ricochet was building momentum, Cole would return to the injured left leg. Ricochet would eventually win after hitting a combination of Northern Lights Suplex, which he transitioned into a vertical suplex, and transitioned that into Vertigo.
After the fight Undisputed Era ran down to the ring to deliver a post-match beatdown on Ricochet. Aleister Black would run down for the save, but the numbers game of the Undisputed Era would win out, with all four members standing tall at the end of the episode.
Who had the best showings this week?
# 3Shane Thorne
Ever since his TM61 partner, Nick Miller, left NXT for personal reasons, a question mark remained over Shane Thorne. The Australian wrestler was left to fly solo as the WWE decided against releasing the tag team together.
Thorne returned to NXT TV for the first time since November 28th 2018 in a loss to the team of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, though he did appear at the World's Collide Tournament, losing in the first round to Adam Cole.
Thorne worked well against the bigger Dijakovic and the two put on a decent match during the episode. While it looked as though Thorne would pull off an upset against the bigger Dijakovic, as Thorne seemed to be in control for large parts of the bout, Dijakovic would gain and establish control with a series of stiff strikes, before putting Thorne away with his finisher "Feast Your Eyes".