NXT Philadelphia on January 27 was a great show. Now do I think that this NXT live special is the best one out of all of the NXT live specials? In my personal opinion, I think that answer is no as I still find NXT War Games the best NXT live special for me, but it had their own great to excellent matches, great moments, and great surprises throughout the whole show. Let’s break this down:
The pre-show was pretty good as always as we have Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts, and Samoa Joe doing the pre-show panel. Samoa Joe made a return to NXT for one night! Mark out moment! It’s a shame that Samoa Joe is injured at the moment and won’t be competing in the Royal Rumble, but I’m happy to see him as he did well for himself on the pre-show panel. Charly Caruso did great for these pre-show panels so she did her job. Sam Roberts and Samoa Joe did their jobs in the pre-show panel as they give their thoughts and predictions on the matches.
I thought all three of them did very well for analyzing and predicting on the matches later on giving the matches history and purpose on why it’s happening which is great to see. Seeing Undisputed Era, Andrade “Cien” Almas, Zelina Vega, and Johnny Gargano heading to the arena and seeing them backstage was cool to see as it shows how ready they are and they’re going to appear on the show. Seeing Kayla Braxton interacting with the fans was cool to see. The video packages of the matches were great to see as well as they made me hyped up for the show later on the show.
They then send us to Renee Young and Corey Graves as they are the hosts for the 2017 Year-End Awards. Renee Young and Corey Graves have made their return to NXT for one night! Mark out moment for both! Nice to see these two again, but enough about them. Let’s get to the actual rewards.
They start off with Rivalry of The Year and the winner of that goes to Aleister Black Vs. Velveteen Dream. Velveteen Dream then came in to accept the reward. He then said that he gave thanks to God because he’s the closest thing to the light that NXT has as he guarantees that he will knock out Kassius Ohno in thirty seconds when he has his match against him as he left.
Man, I have to say that Velveteen Dream is looking confident heading into his match against Kassius Ohno. Let’s see if he can pull off the thirty seconds win. Not only that, congratulations to Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream for winning Rivalry of the Year.
They then handed out the Male Competitor of The Year and winner of that goes to Aleister Black. Aleister Black then came to accept the reward. He then said that he came here to do something unique, different, and something that isn’t conventional, but this validates his success. Renee Young then informed Aleister Black that he also won Breakout Star of the Year as he thanks the fans for it.
Congratulations to Aleister Black for winning three awards for 2017 as 2017 was the year for Aleister Black in my opinion. Looking forward to his match against Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match later on this show.
They then handed out the Female Competitor of The Year and winner of that goes to Asuka. Asuka then came in to accept the reward. She then said that in the Royal Rumble match, no one is ready for her as she left.
Wow, Asuka has made a return to NXT for one night! Mark out moment! To tell you the truth, I really thought Ember Moon would win this category, but I can’t deny that Asuka had a great year in 2017 so in a way, congrats to her and I wish her luck in the Royal Rumble.
They then handed out the Match of The Year and winner of that goes to Tyler Bate Vs. Pete Dunne for the WWE United Kingdom Championship at NXT Chicago. Tyler Bate then came in and accept the award. He then said he plans to have another match of the year in 2018 as he left.
Well, congratulations to Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne as their match at NXT Chicago was amazing and if you haven’t already, please check that match out. You won’t be disappointed.
We then go back to the pre-show panel as Pete Dunne joined in the panel. Pete Dunne talked about how he hit his goals in 2017 and 2018 will be no different. He then said that the WWE United Kingdom Championship means a lot to him and it won’t be going anywhere as long as he’s champion. He then said that he will continue to put the UK on the map as he expects to win more awards. He then said that he also wants to become NXT Champion and possibly face Brock Lesnar.
Wow, Pete Dunne is acting extremely confident here and I don’t blame him because he has been on a roll as of late wherever he goes and that will continue as long as he’s here. I can’t wait to see what Pete Dunne does in 2018.
We then go to ringside as Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson went down the card for NXT Philadelphia. As to what happened to Nigel McGuinness, I will get to that later.
We then go the ramp as Renee Young and Corey Graves announced the Overall Competitor of the Year and the winner goes to Asuka as she came out to accept the reward. Congratulations to Asuka!
We then go back to the pre-show panel as Zelina Vega came in to join. Zelina Vega talked about how she’s not happy that Andrade “Cien” Almas didn’t win any award as she began to praise Andrade “Cien” Almas and call the fans losers. Zelina Vega then began to argue with Sam Roberts and Samoa Joe as she said that everyone will have the pleasure to watch Andrade “Cien” Almas retain his title as she told everyone in the pre-show panel to have fun as she’s done and left.
Dang, Zelina Vega was on fire here and she seems very confident that her man, Andrade “Cien” Almas will retain against Johnny Gargano. We’ll see how that goes later on the show.
Pretty good pre-show to hype the matches for NXT Philadelphia. Now, let’s get onto the main card!
Now before I get into the show itself, the crowd in NXT Philadelphia was incredible. The crowd throughout the whole show were into it from beginning to end and I appreciated that a lot. A great crowd from Philadelphia for this show. Also, the commentary team for this show contains Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson. Nigel McGuinness was out on the weather so he couldn’t attend the show, but Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson did well with each other for this show and they did great for the absent Nigel McGuinness. Great work from the commentary team here.
I also wish that Triple H would come on the stage that introduced the NXT crowd like he did in several NXT live specials, but it didn’t happen and I’m okay with it. The video package was well produced as it was cool to see Paul Heyman narrating the video package. Anyway, let’s talk about the show!
We start off the show with Undisputed Era Vs. Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championships and it was a great tag team match. These two went out there and delivered a great tag team match where both teams looked great while neither of them looked weak in the process. You can check out the entrance that Undisputed Era did on their way to the ring for this match.
Authors of Pain did great in this match as they tried to regain back their NXT Tag Team Championships. The way Akam lifted up Bobby Fish and slammed him down on the barricade looked like it broke Bobby Fish’s face. The way Rezar hit a fallaway slam on Kyle O’Reilly while falling down on Bobby Fish when he had the sleeper hold on him was impressive. The single leg hooked overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Akam on Kyle O’Reilly was impressive. Undisputed Era did great in this match too in order to show the world that they are undisputed. The way they work the leg of Akam throughout the match was great in-ring psychology especially with Bobby Fish with legsweep kick and dragon screw leg whip on Akam’s leg. In addition, the power of Bobby Fish was impressive as he hit an exploder suplex on Rezar with the assist of Kyle O’Reilly by kicking Rezar to give Bobby Fish more leverage. Great work by both teams here.
The ending of the match came when Authors of Pain were about to hit Undisputed Era with the Super Collider (Stereo powerbombs after colliding their opponents), but Kyle O’Reilly reverses the powerbomb into a hurricanrana on Akam who he crashed into Rezar as Kyle O’Reilly rolled up Akam with a schoolboy for the pin and win. A great win for Undisputed Era as they defeated one of the most dominant tag teams in NXT history. Shock the system!
Great tag team match and I question which tag team will face Undisputed Era face next for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
We then see War Machine in the crowd! Mark out moment! These two men have been recently signed to NXT and it seems like they’re going to keep their names too which is nice. I can’t wait for them to make their NXT debut.
We then see Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega backstage as they are getting ready for the NXT Championship match later on the show. I have a feeling that Zelina Vega has some big plan for the match later on, but we’ll see.
Kassius Ohno Vs. Velveteen Dream was a great match. Once again, Velveteen Dream has an awesome entrance to show how charismatic he is! Mark out moment! Love his attire too with the boxer shorts as he’s getting into a boxing match or something. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Kassius Ohno did great in this match as he tried to climb back up the ranks in NXT. The elbow smash from Kassius Ohno as Velveteen Dream tried to knock out him out thirty seconds looked like it knocked out Velveteen Dream. His wrist-lock transitioned into a discus elbow smash on Velveteen Dream looked devastating. Velveteen Dream did great in this match too as he tried to beat Kassius Ohno in thirty seconds, but failed to do so. However, he still put a great fight against Kassius Ohno as he played his character tremendously well and his Death Valley Driver while also performing a cartwheel on Kassius Ohno was impressive. Great work by both men here.
The ending of the match came when Velveteen Dream hit the Purple Rainmaker (Diving elbow drop) from the ring post on Kassius Ohno for the pin and win. A great win for Velveteen Dream as he looks to make a name for himself in NXT. Say his name!
Great match and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Kassius Ohno and Velveteen Dream in NXT.
We then see Maria Menounos at ringside! Mark out moment! Nice to see her as she will be the ring announcer for the Women’s Rumble match for the Royal Rumble match which should be interesting to see.
We then see Johnny Gargano with his family along with Candice LeRae backstage as he’s getting ready for his match against Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship. It seems like Johnny Gargano thinks that he will win the NXT Championship, but we’ll see.
Ember Moon Vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship was an excellent women’s match. Mark out moment! These women went out there and delivered an excellent match where either woman could have won and it would have been believable.
Shayna Baszler did excellent in this match as she tried to become NXT Women’s Champion even if it means injuring someone. The way she worked on Ember Moon’s arm throughout the entire match was excellent in-ring psychology. The way she stomped on Ember Moon’s arm looked it broke Ember Moon’s arm. Not only that, she had Ember Moon in a cross armbar for so long that I really thought she was going to break Ember Moon’s arm. Excellent work by Shayna Baszler here.
Ember Moon did excellent in this match as well as she tried to retain her NXT Women’s Championship as well as showing Shayna Baszler respect. Her suicide dive on Shayna Baszler was beautifully executed. The Eclipse (Diving corkscrew stunner) on Shayna Baszler was well executed as it knocked out Shayna Baszler for a while. Not only that, her selling of the arm throughout the match was well done. Excellent work by Ember Moon here.
The ending of the match came when Ember Moon rolled up Shayna Baszler as she was applying the cross armbar to her for the pin and to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Wow, Ember Moon put up the upset over Shayna Baszler as she has survived against the Queen of Spades.
After the match, the medical staff checked on Ember Moon as they tried to take her to the back, but Shayna Baszler then came from behind and locked in a rear-naked choke on Ember Moon as the referees tried to pull her apart. Shayna Baszler then let go of Ember Moon before applying the rear-naked choke on her once again before leaving. The medical staff then helped Ember Moon up as they go the back.
Man, Shayna Baszler must not be happy about this loss as she took out her frustration on Ember Moon and tried to choke her out. I assume that this will lead to a rematch between the two down the line possibly at NXT New Orleans, but we’ll see.
Excellent women’s match and I’m intrigued if this feud between Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler will continue after this.
We then see Trevor “Ricochet” Mann in the crowd! Mark out moment! Great to see him here and it seems like they might use his independent wrestling name, but only time will tell. I’m looking forward to his NXT debut.
Aleister Black Vs. Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match was excellent. Mark out moment! These two went out there and killed each other in that ring as they’re bringing extreme to the city of extreme, Philadelphia.
Adam Cole did excellent in this match as he tried to avenge his loss to Aleister Black last month. His kendo stick shot to Aleister Black when he was trying to do a springboard moonsault looked like it destroyed Aleister Black’s ribs. He also got backup in this match as Undisputed Era tried to take out Aleister Black by interfering and hitting him with the leg lariat/legsweep combination that got them excellent heat.
Aleister Black did excellent in this match as well as he tried to avenge Adam Cole for what he did to him last month. I like how Aleister Black in some cases didn’t use any weapons because he is a weapon himself so he doesn’t need them which makes him cool. Even though Adam Cole got Undisputed Era, Aleister Black has backup in a way of SAnitY as they had issues with Undisputed Era as Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe brawled with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly before Killian Dain hit a suicide dive on SAnitY and Undisputed Era which was cool to see.
There were some insane spots in this match where I feel pain for both men. The electric chair drop on the front from Aleister Black on Adam Cole on the ladder looked like it killed Adam Cole. The superkick from Adam Cole on Aleister Black with a chair to the face and him going through two tables looked like it broke Aleister Black in half. The spot where Aleister Black hit a fireman’s carry slam on Adam Cole on the tip of the chairs looked like it broke Adam Cole’s back. Finally, the jumping double knee drop on Adam Cole by Aleister Black through the announce table was cool to see and it looked painful. Excellent work by both men here.
The ending of the match came when Adam Cole was about to hit Aleister Black with a chair, but Aleister Black hit Adam Cole with Black Mass (Spin kick) for the pin and win. A great win for Aleister Black as he got his revenge on Adam Cole and after this, I think he’ll be the next #1 Contender for the NXT Championship. Fade to black!
Excellent match and I’m interested to see what’s next for Aleister Black and Adam Cole in NXT.
We then see EC3 in the crowd! Holy ship, EC3 is here and it seems like he’s part of NXT going forward! Mark out moment! EC3 has left Impact Wrestling recently so it seems like EC3 is back where he first started and that is NXT. I can’t wait for his return and it’s going to be awesome.
Andrade “Cien” Almas Vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship was an excellent match. Mark out moment! Wow, just wow. These two went out there and delivered a classic where they told an excellent story in the ring and the crowd was into this match from beginning to end. Johnny Gargano’s family along with Candice LeRae was at ringside. Also, the entrance from Andrade “Cien” Almas was awesome too as it was a callback to his CMLL days with the mask and he got a mariachi too! Mark out moment! Check it out if you haven’t already.
Johnny Gargano did excellent in this match as he tried to prove the world that he’s not a loser and can win the big one on his own. His slingshot spear on Andrade “Cien” Almas was well executed. His superkick on Andrade “Cien” Almas looked like he kicked the teeth out of Andrade “Cien” Almas’ mouth. His suicide dive on Andrade “Cien” Almas was beautifully executed. His slingshot DDT on Andrade “Cien” Almas looked like it knocked Andrade “Cien” Almas out cold.
Andrade “Cien” Almas did excellent in this match as well to show why he is the NXT Champion. His moonsault followed by a standing moonsault on Johnny Gargano was beautifully executed. His running double knees to the corner followed by a Tornado Inverted DDT on Johnny Gargano was an amazing combination. His Hammerlock DDT on Johnny Gargano on the ring apron looked it knocked Johnny Gargano out.
There were several spots in this match where I thought the match would have been over, but it didn’t as they had me at the edge of my seat. There was a spot where Zelina Vega interfered in the match as the referee had his back turned as Zelina Vega hit a hurricanrana on Johnny Gargano to the steel steps and Andrade “Cien” Almas hit a Hammerlock DDT on Johnny Gargano afterward, but Johnny Gargano managed to kick out. Wow, I didn’t expect Johnny Gargano to kick out of that at all. What heart from Johnny Gargano.
The other spot in this match was when Zelina Vega was about to hit Johnny Gargano again behind the referee’s back, but Candice LeRae came out and attacked Zelina Vega as they brawled to the back which led to Johnny Gargano hitting a slingshot DDT on Andrade “Cien” Almas, but Andrade “Cien” Almas managed to kick out. In addition, Johnny Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape (Chickenwing over the shoulder crossface) on Andrade “Cien” Almas and it seemed like Andrade “Cien” Almas was about to tap out, but he got his foot on the bottom rope to make Johnny Gargano break the hold. Wow, just incredible. Hands off to both men as they brought it in this match.
The ending of the match came when Andrade “Cien” Almas hit Johnny Gargano with running double knees to corner ring post followed by a Rope Hung Hammerlock DDT for the pin and to retain the NXT Championship. Wow, what an amazing win for Andrade “Cien” Almas as he’s still NXT Champion and despite Johnny Gargano losing here, he looked excellent in defeat, but I know that he doesn’t want that. However, his performance here was incredible. Hands off to both men.
After the match, Candice LeRae helped Johnny Gargano up the ramp as the crowd gave him a big standing ovation. Tommaso Ciampa then showed up from behind and attacked Johnny Gargano with his crutch as he looked down on Johnny Gargano before leaving.
Oh my god, Tommaso Ciampa is back! Mark out moment! Even though what Tommaso Ciampa did here to Johnny Gargano was not cool, I’m glad to see him back and it seems like he might be back in action soon as the feud between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will soon commence and that feud will be amazing. I can’t wait for it and it’s going to be awesome.
Excellent match and I can’t wait to see what happens with Andrade “Cien” Almas in NXT and what’s next for this feud between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.
Overall, a great show by NXT. Like I said before, I don’t think this is the best NXT live special that NXT has done since doing these NXT live specials as I still think NXT War Games was their best show. However, the show had great to excellent matches with some memorable moments that won’t be forgotten.
Another successful NXT live special and I can’t wait for the next one which is NXT New Orleans which should be great. We are the Natural eXhilarating Talents! We are the next generation! We are the future and the future is now! We are NXT! NXT! NXT! NXT!
Mark Out Moments: 15
That is my review of NXT Philadelphia on January 27, 2018.
Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on this show?
What do you like and dislike about the show?
Put them in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading.
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