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NXT Tampa, FL, live results: 'Million Dollar Arm' pitcher debuts


Submitted by Chris Hendricks

- Kassius Ohno defeated Rinku Singh

This was the in-ring debut of Singh, who was one of the winners of India's "Million Dollar Arm" reality series that a Disney movie of the same name was based on. He was one of the first Indians to sign an MLB contract and pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He reported to the WWE Performance Center earlier this year.

Ohno worked his tail off trying to make this match functional, but there were too many miscues for me to describe. I think they set up Singh to fail by putting him out there too soon or throwing this match on the card without much planning for it. Singh had the crowd chanting “Let’s go gym shorts” due to him wearing gray shorts with a pair of sneakers instead of any sort of wrestling gear.

I don't know who this falls on, but no wrestler, not even one as good as Ohno, could salvage this situation. Singh did try hard and showed some good charisma, but all the miscues made Ohno throw a side headlock on many different times to discuss how to get out of a particular situation. It was one of the worst Florida loop matches I've seen in the Tampa area, though it was actually interesting in that it made me respect just how hard this form of entertainment is to be good at.

At one point, Singh went for one small package or cradle after another in such an obvious, repetitive fashion that many found funny. Ohno won after hitting the knockout elbow for the quick pinfall.

- Lacey Evans & Vanessa Borne defeated Kairi Sane & Jessie Elaban

Another bad match with a lot of miscues and possibly a botched finished, though it was hard to tell because it seemed that even the referee might have messed up.

Evans and Sane kept this match going despite the miscues until the strange finish, which was hard for me to describe. Evans pinned Jessie after she was knocked down. It seemed as if Sane was supposed to break up the pin because she dove to do it, but the referee counted to three. It appeared like that was the plan but that it was just badly implemented or a mistake was made somewhere.

- EC3 defeated Chad Lail

Even these two seemed off early in the match. There were miscues at the beginning and their timing was off, but it seemed at about a quarter through, they both decided to just start hitting and throwing each other around the ring really hard. This got things back on the right track for a decent match that became very hard hitting and entertaining.

EC3 played the obvious babyface when he yelled “Tampa” loudly several times during his comeback after a beatdown from Lail, who played a great heel. EC3 won after his comeback by hitting the One Percenter.

- Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defeated Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi (w/ Taynara Conti)

Lorcan and Burch won after hitting their finisher, which was Lorcan holding Bononi in the wheelbarrow position and Burch hitting a spike DDT for the pin. Conti was great at playing an annoying heel throughout the match.

- Johnny Gargano defeated Marcel Barthel

Barthel came out to impressive heat from the crowd. He stood with one hand out waiting for the microphone to be handed to him. When that didn't happen, he yelled at the announcer -- which generated even more heat because the crowd seemed to like her. He then tried to cut a promo on how this Tampa crowd did not respect his abilities. He shouted “Nein” at the fans several times when they booed, which the audience responded to with "10" chants.

Gargano's music hit to a huge reaction. He said that if Barthel said one more word, he would regret it. Barthel then acted like he was going to say something several times, which again generated a lot of heat because he was not giving them what they wanted. Gargano stated that he wasn’t going to wait and started pummeling Barthel. This led to a brawl that went around the ring and into the back with several chops on Barthel by Gargano. Eventually, the two made it into the ring where a referee showed up and the bell rang.

Barthel cut Gargano off at one point by hitting a cheap throat thrust, again generating big heat. Gargano made a quick comeback and won after hitting a superkick to a kneeling Barthel.

After the match, Gargano cut a promo about ripping out Ciampa’s black heart during the street fight at TakeOver: Chicago. Great way to turn this show around before intermission.

- Velveteen Dream defeated Lio Rush (w/ Babatunde Aiyegbusi)

This was a fantastic match, possibly the best of the night. Rush and Babatunde played a great heel duo and Dream was over to a big degree. Before the match started, Rush ripped up a fan’s Velveteen Dream sign to a huge amount of heat. That led to Dream going down to the upset fan and high fiving her. He then made motions with his hands that he was going to rip Rush up.

Rush was impressive with his agility, and they both worked well together to put on a great match. Babatunde kept interfering to cut Dream off. Eventually, Dream sidestepped a handspring elbow from Rush that knocked Babatunde off the ring apron. That allowed Dream to hit his cartwheel DVD for the win.

- Dakota Kai defeated Bianca Belair

Decent match that Kai won after hitting her sunset flip backstabber. Belair controlled most of the match as the heel, but the crowd cheered both some and reacted for their big moves.

- Ricochet & The Street Profits defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish)

\Great match to end a show that started off strangely weak and ended strong. Both sides were tremendously over. This match was a continuation of what happened in Largo last week when Ricochet had Cole beat for the North American Championship, only for the other members of Undisputed Era to come out and interfere.

Ricochet started things off by cutting a promo on the Undisputed Era about what happened in Largo and how he was going to get revenge tonight with the Street Profits. There were several tremendous spots successfully put together by both sides.

Ricochet and the Street Profits won after they all hit a top rope maneuver on a member of Undisputed Era. Ricochet hit a Shooting Star Press, and both of the Street Profits hit a frog splash for a simultaneous pin. The crowd loved this match.