HomeWrestlingPete Dunne, War Raiders Steal the Show at NXT Asbury Park

Pete Dunne, War Raiders Steal the Show at NXT Asbury Park

WWE’s developmental brand brought it’s A game to Asbury Park Convention Hall Friday night, just a day before NXT Takeover Brooklyn 4. Although the venue was far from sold out, the crowd made it’s presence felt throughout the night.

War Raiders vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

WOW! What a way to kick off the show. This may have been my match of the night candidate as the War Raiders completely won me over. Hanson and Rowe dominated early often against the technically proficient British and Boston wrestler. Hanson completely stole the show with a mid-rope spring board, a bronco buster, and even a back handspring elbow off the ropes. I was completely floored. Rowe also delivered an impressive double suplex. I’ve seen these guys on WWE Network a few times, but the live match really sold me on this team.

Winners: War Raiders

This match may have had the spots of the night, but honorable mentions go to the not one, but TWO plastic chairs that collapsed on audience members during the event.  It may be time to upgrade those chairs Convention Hall….

Zack Gibson vs.  Donovan Dijakovic  

Gibson cut a typical anti- America heel promo. Dijakovic interrupted him and showed that he can really move for someone of his stature. Nothing fancy here save a springboard corkscrew clothesline to the outside by Dijakovic. Gibson however would get the win.

Winner: Zack Gibson

Bianca Belair/ Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo

Super stoked to see a women’s fatal four way match at the show. I’m a fan of all four of these women.  The match was super fun because Evans and Bianca kept accidentally destroying each other with missed strikes and a devastating moonsault. This lack of chemistry led to the hometown heroine, Deonna Purrazzo to pick up the win via submission with a modified arm bar.

Winner via Submission: Deonna Purrazo and Dakota Kai 

Johnny Gargano vs. Lars Sullivan

Sullivan cuts a promo about how he’s in a bad mood tonight after having his jaw broken at Takeover. Not long after Johnny Wrestling makes his way to the ring to a chorus of chants. The place erupted and Gargano said that he was also in a bad mood and quickly got the jump on Sullivan. This was a great match. Johnny wrestling hit an impressive slingshot spear and reversed a “Freak Accident” attempt by Lars into a devastating DDT. I was surprised when this match ended in a DQ as Sullivan continued to stomp and choke out Gargano in the corner. Still a great showing by both competitors.

Winner: Johnny Gargano via DQ

The best heel in the business right now can be heard counting “1….2…..3…” as Gargano is laid out in the middle of the ring.  Tomasso Ciampa makes his way out standing over Johnny Wrestling counting all the way up to 9 before Gargano super kicks him the face. Ciampa retreats as Gargano cuts a promo about how  tomorrow night at Takeover he will be your NEW NXT champion. He also said this last time I saw him in NJ (before facing Almas) but I believe him!

Adam Cole (BAY BAY) vs. EC3  for The North American Championship Match

I’m a fan of both guys and I’m a fan of this match up. Lots of pre-match shenanigans going on here with respective competitor chants and throwing out a T-shirt.  Both of these guys ooze charisma. The match was pretty basic with competitors trading strikes and slams.  (And Taunts) Of course EC3, busted out the “EC3 Bay Bay” which was pretty epic.  Cole would ultimately get the win with an eye rake and knee to the back of the head.

Winner:  Adam Cole   (BAY BAY)

Kairi Saine vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship

The Asbury crowd was lucky to get the dress rehearsal match for Takeover Brooklyn 4.  This match was good, but man were there some ugly spots.  Not ugly as in missed, but Kairi took a beating.  The NXT Women’s Champ threw Saine off the top rope with a modified gut-wrench suplex and Saine’s landing was all knees.  Baszler continued to target Saine’s legs and I noticed a few other bad landings for the number one contender.  I’ll admit I was concerned.  Saine was able to hit an In-Saine Elbow and lock on two anchor submissions but it wasn’t enough. Baszler was able to choke out  Saine who faded but did not tap.

Winner:  Shayna Bazsler 

Either Saine is somewhat banged up after this match, or she sold it really well. Hoping for the latter.

Pete Dunne vs. The Velveteen Dream for the UK Championship

WOW!  Talk about a “Dream” match! Dunne intended. I mean pun. Sorry….The crowd was pleasantly surprised as we heard chants of “Vel-ve-teen” and “Bruiser-weight” throughout the match. I cannot say enough good things about this match.  I’ve never seen a cruiserweight literally carry as much swagger and toughness as Pete Dunn. Also, I’m pretty sure that belt has bite marks in it by now. Dream has so much charisma and moves around the ring seamlessly. Lots of grappling early followed by several backflips and reversals by Dunn. On the final back flip Dream hits a vicious mid-air kick on Dunn followed by a cartwheel death valley driver. No Purple Rainmaker Elbow but we did get a famous-er from the dream as well. Dunne was able to hit his AMAZING finisher the Bitter End twice.  Once when the ref was knocked out and another later. Unfortunately, the match was interrupted an interfering Zack Gibson (boo this man) and Mustache Mountain came to the rescue. Dunne was able to retain with the Bitter End on Dream.

Winner: Pete Dunne

I was bummed by the lack of Ricochet, but great showing all around by an NXT roster that literally drove 6+ hours from Massachusetts today and has one of their biggest tasks ahead of them  night at Brooklyn Takeover 4.

-Rob Crowther IV

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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