PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.
•Top Stories of the Week
The WWE announced three new signees to the Performance Center this week. Former TNA X Division Champion Robbie E. joins Stokely Hathaway and Cal Bloom in the latest crop of talent to invade Orlando.
NXT women’s superstar Chelsie Green broke her wrist while making her NXT debut during Wednesday’s TV tapings. She’s due for surgery March 14 and we will know more about the severity of the break after.
The finals of the Dusty Rhodes classic will take place next week. In semifinal action this week, The Forgotten Sons beat Mustache Mountain in the first contest and Ricochet and Alesiter Black beat DIY. Next week Ricochet and Aleister Black will take on The Forgotten Sons for the right to face the War Raiders at NXT New York for the NXT Tag Team titles.
Triple H announced that there will be a fatal five way to determine who will fight Johnny Gargano for the vacant NXT Championship in a two out of three falls match at NXT TakeOver:New York. It’ll be Velveteen Dream vs. Alesiter Black vs. Ricochet vs. Matt Riddle vs. Adam Cole for the right to face Johnny Wrestling.
Keith Lee vs. Donovan Dijakovic is advertised for next week.
•NXT Live Event Results
March 7 Largo, Fla.
Raul Mendoza beat Albert Hardie (ACH)
Deonna Purrazzo beat Jessie Elaban
The Forgotten Sons beat Stacey Ervin Jr. and Brennan Williams
Eric Bugenhagen beat Mansoor Al-Shehail
Matt Riddle beat Babatunde
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley in ring promo
Io Shirai and Kairi Sane vs. Rhea Ripley and Reina Gonzalez vs. Aliyah and Vanessa Borne ended in DQ
Keith Lee beat Luke Menzies
The Velveteen Dream beat Adam Cole to retain his NXT North American Championship
(Results courtesy of wrestlinginc.com)
March 9 Crystal River, Fla.
Humberto Carrillo beat Albert Hardie (ACH)
Mia Yim and Bianca Belair beat Aliyah and Vanessa Borne
Riddick Moss beat Jermaine Haley (Jonah Rock)
Brennan Williams and Mansoor Al-Shehail beat Boa and Mars
Kassius Ohno beat Eric Bugenhagen
Punishment Martinez beat Kona Reves
Deonna Purrazzo beat Lacey Lane
The Forgotten Sons beat Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
(Results courtesy of f4wonline.com)
March 14 St. Petersburg, Fla.
Karen Q beat Lacey Lane
Adrian Jaoude beat Denzel DeJournette
Sean Waltman (XPac) cut a promo
Tayanara Conti and Mia Yim beat Rachel Ellering and Deonna Purrazzo
Eric Bugenhagen beat Mansoor Al-Shehail
Punishment Martinez beat Kassius Ohno
The Undisputed Era and Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo
Shayna Baszler beat Bianca Belair to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
The Velveteen Dream beat Roderick Strong to retain the NXT North American Championship
(Results courtesy of fightful.com)
•Upcoming Major Show Line-up: NXT TakeOver New York
NXT TakeOver New York
April 5, 2019
Brooklyn, NY (Barclays Center)
War Raiders (NXT Tag Team Champion) vs. Winner of Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournament
Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Champion) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai vs. Kairi Sane
Velveteen Dream (NXT North American Champion) vs. Matt Riddle
Johnny Gargano vs. Winner of Fatal Five-way (Matt Riddle vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black vs. Ricochet vs. Adam Cole) in a 2 out of 3 falls match for vacant NXT Championship
Friday Mar. 15 – Venice Community Center (Venice, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 16 – Rerserve Pavillion at Hilton Ocala (Ocala, Fla.)
Thursday Mar. 21 – Sanford Civic Center (Sanford, Fla.)
Friday Mar. 22 – University Area CDC Gymnasium (Tampa, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 23 – Havert L. Fenn Center (Fort Pierce, Fla.)
Thursday Mar. 28 – Midtown Cultural and Educational Center (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Friday Mar. 29 – Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center (Gainesville, Fla.)
Saturday Mar. 30 – Mark Lance Armory (St. Augustine, Fla.)
FRIDAY APR. 5 – BARCLAYS CENTER (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK) NXT TAKEOVER BROOKLYN
Friday Apr. 12 – Minnreg Hall (Largo, Fla.)
Thursday Apr. 18 – Lakeland Armory (Lakeland, Fla.)
Friday Apr. 19 – Maxwell Snyder Armory (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Thursday Apr. 25 – Orlando Live Events (Casselberry, Fla.)
Saturday Apr. 27 – Dade City Armory (Dade City, Fla.)
•Latest TV Highlights: 3/13 NXT TV Report
(1) The Forgotten Sons beat Moustache Mountain by pinfall (6:34 – 16:13)
Matt Riddle backstage interview with Cathy Kelly (17:12 – 18:26)
Interrupted by Adam Cole (17:45)
(2) Bianca Belair and Io Shirai fight to no contest due to interference by Shayna Baszler (22:38 – 28:05)
Shayna Baszler backstage interview with Cathy Kelly (33:39 – 34:40)
(3) Aleister Black and Ricochet beat DIY by pinfall (38:59 – 52:26)
Post-match Johnny Gargano beat down of Ciampa (56:17 – 57:08)
(Check out PWTorch’s NXT TV Report HERE.)
•NXT in the media
Not recent but last year new WWE signee Stokely Hathaway sat down with Fightful Pro Wrestling to discuss a number of topics including why Mr. Matt Riddle himself is afraid of him. A little sample of the personality this man will bring to the Performance Center. Check it out HERE.
Very entertaining back and forth between two ex-NXT wrestlers. Simon Gotch and Enzo Amore traded insults and stories about their shared time on the NXT brand. Crazy how far they’ve both fallen in a three year time span. Check out the videos HERE.
The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly sat down with Edge and Christian for the E&C Podcast of Awesomeness. He discussed his wrestling beginnings, his friendship with Bobby Fish, and what the Undisputed Era has in store for 2019. Check it out HERE.
•Latest NXT Podcast – “PWT Talks NXT” PWTorch Livecast
In this episode, Kelly Wells and Justin James talk about the great DIY segment and where it’s forced to go now, another multi-woman match at TakeOver, next top heels, and more.
-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “PWTorch” or “Pro Wrestling Torch” on your podcast app of choice
•Top NXT Tweets of the Week
Ciampa Tweet of the Week
Seems like a cheap way to take the title off Baszler. I don’t like it.
NXT #WomensChampion @QoSBaszler will defend her title against @shirai_io, @BiancaBelairWWE, and @KairiSaneWWE at #NXTTakeOver: New York! https://t.co/Joq3Gk5IJQ
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 14, 2019
I’ll be in attendance in Melrose, MA wearing my bright purple Velveteen Dream shirt proudly.
TIX ALERT: We might be looking at sellouts for EVOLVE this Friday in Melrose, MA and this Saturday in Queens, NY.
There still some reserved seats left for both shows. Get tickets now at https://t.co/aSaRaiGegq pic.twitter.com/TKVUsA4ckA
— Gabe Sapolsky (@BookItGabe) March 11, 2019
I could get behind a guy who eats loaded fries.
•Thoughts and Comments
I’m predicting an Aleister Black and Ricochet victory next week in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic, and it’s 100% the wrong call. The Dusty Rhodes Classic needs to be a tournament that creates a viable new threat in the NXT tag team division. This outcome does not accomplish that. I know Black/Ricochet vs. War Raiders will be an absolute slobber knocker in the ring, but is the result in doubt at all? Black and Ricochet are off to the main roster, and the War Raiders will still be in NXT with no credible challengers.
The fatal five way for the right to challenge Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver New York for Ciampa’s vacant NXT Championship is, unfortunately, a foregone conclusion. Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle are destined for a North American Title Showdown and Black/Ricochet are already busy that night. That would leave Mr. Adam Cole as the only logical winner to this match.
Not a fan of the multi women match booked for NXT TakeOver: New York. It just seems like a lazy way to take the title off Baszler by allowing her to lose the title but also not get pinned.
Where is Kushida? He would have been an excellent choice to show up and take the title on his first night, but that’s apparently not happening.
Quick thoughts on the Evolve 123 show I attended in Melrose, MA:
Austin Theory is an absolute stud. At only 22 years old, there is absolutely no doubt he’ll be a champion in WWE some day.
Josh Briggs is a very talented big man. There definitely will be room for him on the NXT roster in the near future, I’m sure. Eddie Kingston is Kevin Owens light and was easily the best mic worker on night.
This was my first Orange Cassidy experience, and man was it AWESOME. He literally out dreamed the Velveteen Dream. Love his entire character.
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