NXT: A night of golden opportunities

Posted on Dec 22 2017 - 10:35am by Jeff Bridges
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Photo courtesy of wwe.com

As the yellow brand took over Full Sail University once again this Wednesday evening, a night of golden opportunities was laid out in front of fans.

Not only was the final member of next week’s NXT Championship number one contender’s match determine, but there were two blockbuster championship matches that tore the house down.

With three of the spots for next week’s number one contender’s match filled, it was up to either Roderick Strong or the behemoth Lars Sullivan to occupy the last one. Strong came out swinging and brought the fight to Sullivan big time.

The Messiah of the Backbreaker laid into The One Man Wrecking Ball with a flurry of hard strikes that served to do nothing but anger the monster. Sullivan proceeded to manhandle Strong for a majority of the match, shaking off every big move in his opponents arsenal.

After kicking out quickly from a massive Superplex and an Olympic Slam, Sullivan caught Strong in a Pop-up PowerSlam that completely incapacitated him. This was followed shortly by a massive Freak Accident from The Monster to allow him to qualify in dominant fashion.

In a backstage interview segment, we find out that new Raw superstar, Sonya Deville, will be returning to NXT next week to challenge NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon to a match for her title since she feels Moon stole her opportunity at the title in the first place.

The first title match of the night featured Sanity members Eric Young and Killian Dain defending their Tag Team Titles against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly of The Undisputed Era. We learn here that Alexander Wolfe, Sanity’s third member, was not there due to injuries suffered at TakeOver War Games.

Dain led out and neither member of Undisputed Era were able to damage him at all. Once Young tagged in, however, they were able to corner him and truly show off their powerful strikes and wicked submission skills.

Young was dominated for a long time until finally getting to his corner where himself and The Beast of Belfast were able to really take it to O’Reilly and Fish. Things turned back around when Undisputed Era’s leader, Adam Cole, attacked Young from behind while on the top rope.

Things became more chaotic as Nikki Cross came out and attacked Cole viciously until a group of referees dragged her away. Dain then tried to take Cole out on the outside but was run into the ring post, getting knocked out in the process.

Young finally took out Cole with a Suicide Dive, but this distraction would prove costly. As Sanity’s leader rolled back into the ring he was met Total Annihilation from O’Reilly and Fish, a tandem maneuver that led the Undisputed Era members to win their first NXT Tag Team Championship.

The second title match featured The Bruiserweight Pete Dunne defending his United Kingdom Championship against the inaugural champion, Tyler Bate. After their near five star classic at TakeOver Chicago earlier in the year, there was a lot to be expected from these two.

The match began as an absolute technical masterpiece, each man trading holds while expertly countering their opponent’s. This continued for quite some time until Bate caught Dunne with his fake out sucker punch maneuver known simply as Bop and Bang.

From there both men began trading wicked strikes, leaving both men dazed. The fight then spilled to the outside leading to a wicked suplex from the top of the steel steps from Dunne onto Bate. The Bruiserweight then held clear control, even going as far as to dislocate Bate’s fingers not once but twice with wicked stomps.

Fingers back in place, Bate tried desperately to fight back, hitting multiple suplexes and a standing Shooting Star Press on Dunne. Every move each man went for was expertly countered into a nasty strike or hold from the opponent.

After many solid attempts at picking up the victory by both men, Dunne and Bate both were able to kick out of each other’s finishing maneuvers. After about 25 grueling minutes of eye-catching action, Dunne rolled through from a top rope German Suplex and landed another Bitter End to once again retain his title in a must watch match.