There is a metric ton of wrestling readily available to fans across the world nowadays. With WWE, ROH, New Japan, MLW, and countless indies having high quality shows ready at the click of a button, some shows get the shaft. One show, in particular, that does is NXT television. While the show does have its weekly followers, there are a lot of people who either A) wait until the week before TakeOver to run through all the episodes that they’ve missed or B) skip the TV altogether, and just watch the Takeovers.
This is where the Black and Gold Binge comes in handy. I, Suit Williams, will do my best to save you all some time and give you the highpoints of the NXT television building to the upcoming NXT TakeOver: New York event. Most of these will be big matches, but I’ll be sure to add any standout squash matches or entertaining interviews that should be seen as well. Now you may be asking, who the hell is Suit Williams to recommend me anything? Good question. Let’s get started!
NXT 491 – February 6, 2019
Drew Gulak vs. Eric Bugenhagen/Drew Gulak vs. Matt Riddle (WWE Network Start Time: 21:43) – Drew Gulak makes a rare appearance outside of 205 Live to get some shine on NXT. However, that shine is completely stolen by the debuting Eric Bugenhagen. He comes out and makes a noise that sounds like the dying wails of a dog’s squeak toy, and air guitars his way down to the ring. His charismatic entrance is only amplified by the look of disgust planted on Gulak’s face throughout it. Gulak dispatches of Bugenhagen with relative ease then makes a challenge for competition that doesn’t look like “Ben Stiller from Dodgeball.” Matt Riddle comes out to accept, and we get a match that I would’ve been happy with on a Takeover. This whole segment takes up over 20 minutes, but it’s all quite entertaining.
Kairi Sane, Io Shirai and Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir (48:57) – The match is fine, but the interplay between Shirai, Sane, and Belair does make the NXT Women’s Title match make a little more sense. All three had the match won at some point, with Belair almost having pinned Baszler. Worth checking out to see how that all came together.
NXT 492 – February 13, 2019
Kassius Ohno Farewell Promo/Street Profits vs. Carrillo & Ervin (12:36) – This segment was stuffed. Ohno cut a farewell promo, as he was moved over to NXT UK after this. Keith Lee knocks him out and sends him on his way with a fun promo. That led to a nice squash match where the Profits go up against 205 Live’s Humberto Carrillo and the sadly departed Stacey Ervin Jr. You see some of Ervin’s potential here which makes it all the more disappointing that he asked to leave. Post-match, there was a big brawl which led to this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Ricochet vs. Adam Cole (44:27) – If you need me to tell you to watch Ricochet vs. Adam Cole, you must be new here. In which case, welcome to the club! Anyway, there’s no interference and no shenanigans, just a stellar rematch from Takeover: New York last year. One of Ricochet’s best individual performances in NXT so far, and Cole was no slouch here either. Stick around for the post-match.
NXT 493 – February 20, 2019
Aleister Black vs. Roderick Strong (4:36) – A great opener, and a great return to singles action for Roddy. Again, stick around for the post-match.
NXT North American Championship: Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano © (37:09) – This is the title shot Dream earned by winning the Worlds Collide tournament over the Royal Rumble weekend. This match would have easily fit on a Takeover, and probably would have been elevated even higher with a red-hot Takeover crowd.
NXT 494 – February 27, 2019
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee (26:35) – Dumb names and crappy music aside, it’s still two athletic big dudes throwing each other around. This was hopefully a look into both men’s future in NXT.
Sasha Banks and Bayley return to NXT (38:36) – I was going to keep this a surprise until I saw the thumbnail for this episode was Sasha and Bayley in the ring. Nothing groundbreaking here, just a promo, but it is nice to see these two back in Full Sail.
NXT 495 – March 6, 2019
THE ENTIRE SHOW (Matches start at 8:14, 22:52, 43:14, and 57:00) – This show had the entire first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and all four matches were stellar. There was also a segment that set up the North American Championship match at Takeover, so just watch the whole damn show. You’ll thank me later.
NXT 496 – March 13, 2019
Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair (22:36) – The official set-up for the NXT Women’s Title match at Takeover. Someone got put over huge in the end, and it was awesome.
Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. DIY (38:57) – The better of the two semi-finals matches. Trust me when I tell you that I don’t think I’ll be talking about the Forgotten Sons very much on these. The post-match angle was well done, but unfortunately no longer necessary.
NXT 497 – March 20, 2019
Tomasso Ciampa Surgery Video (16:01) – A sad look at what the injury was, the operation, and the timeline of his recovery. At one point, a doctor said that a hard hit to the head would have paralyzed Ciampa. For Triple H and other officials to know how bad Ciampa’s condition was, and still decide for him to do meaningless tag matches on Raw to get “main roster experience” shows a shocking lack of care from their part. Best wishes to Ciampa in his recovery.
Cole vs. Black vs. Ricochet vs. Riddle vs. Dream (32:44) – This was a five-way match, where the winner would take Ciampa’s place in the NXT Title match at Takeover. A nonstop spot fest, in the same vein as the Halftime Heat six-man tag.
NXT 498 – March 27, 2019
Forgotten Sons vs. Black/Ricochet (47:31) – The finals of the Dusty Classic, and the set-up for the NXT Tag Team Title match. While the Forgotten Sons are right below Vanessa Borne and Aliyah on my skip list, they had a good match here with Black and Ricochet.
And that’s that! Check all that out, and listen to that Billie Eilish song in the meantime. Happy hunting, and enjoy TakeOver: New York!