SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
FEBRUARY 22, 2017
TAPED AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video package reiterates the high stakes for tonight in the women’s number one contender triple threat match.
The announcers tell us that Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews from the UK are going to meet tonight, and NXT Champion Bobby Roode is facing No Way Jose in the main event.
Sadly, the booking of having Bobby Roode forces the women’s triple threat to the opening match. A few years ago this would have been the main event. Ember Moon is the heavy favorite here, unless Peyton Royce can leverage the Triple Threat format to steal a win or get an assist from Billie Kay. Of note, Kay comes out with Royce so she may indeed play a role in the match.
1. EMBER MOON vs. LIV MORGAN vs. PEYTON ROYCE – NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat Match
Uneasy pacing to start, Royce jumps Moon then Morgan takes on Royce, but get trapped between Moon and Royce. Quick rollup gets Morgan two. Fun dodging with Royce and Morgan, and Kay teases entering the ring to break up the pin before Royce kicks out at two. Moon kicks Royce to the outside, then launches herself over the ropes, Kay pulls Royce aside but Morgan takes the hit.
[ Break ]
Morgan is on the ground and Moon is outside of the ring after the break. Cover gets Royce two. Moon is apparently still recovering from being slammed into the stairs before the break. Schoolgirl for two from Morgan, and Royce comes back with a two count of her own. Royce takes advantage of the no-DQ stipulation to use the ropes to her advantage. Moon starts to re-enter the ring, Royce sends her outside and returns to attack Morgan. Another hold through the ropes for Royce. Royce dropkicks Moon off the apron again to the crowd’s annoyance. Head scissors lets Morgan rally for a two count. Royce kicks Moon off the apron again, but the distraction gives Morgan the room to get to her feet. Royce beats her down again. Royce has never looked this dominant in a match before.
Drop toe hold lets Morgan escape the corner, then a double stomp followed by a running bulldog, cover, and Moon breaks it up. Moon with kicks to Morgan, but Morgan sends Moon out of the ring. Morgan tries to head to the top but Royce stuns her there, then looks for a superplex. Morgan blocks, Moon recovers, slips under and we get a powerbomb/superplex spot. Moon goes up to Eclipse Morgan, but Kay interferes. Moon hits Kay with the Eclipse, then Morgan shoves Moon out of the ring. Royce clobbers Morgan and hits her bridging fisherman’s suplex finisher on Morgan for the win.
Winner: Peyton Royce in 9:04. And… there’s the tainted win for Royce to send Royce to face Asuka next week. We’ve got to assume that Asuka retains, then faces Moon in Orlando. There’s no other money match for Asuka in Orlando with any current NXT talent.
[Q2] Video package on Mark Andrews (Mandrews in TNA), then Pete Dunne. Andrews “just wants to have fun”. Dunne comes off as cocky and brutal.
Kassius Ohno package. No date on it yet. I would like to see him face Shinsuke Nakamura or Bobby Roode at some time soon.
Update on Nakamura, he is announced as being “back in action” and training again.
Ah yes, Mark Andrews comes out to the ring dancing, as per the “just wants to have fun” tagline.
2. MARK ANDREWS vs. PETE DUNNE
Dunne offers a handshake pre-match, and it is accepted. Dunne muscles Andrews to the mat then tries to pry his finger off. And again. Shades of the Ohno – Regal match. Arm drags get Andrews some room. Runing setset flip but Andrews flips through and lands a dropkick, moonsault from the apron, Dunne almost reverses the momentum but Andrews throws Dunne. More joint work from Dunne. Some back and forth action. Dunne stomps on Andrews’ hand on the steps. Dunne suplexes then releases Andrews so he lands on the apron.
[ Break ]
Dunne is still working Andrews’ fingers and face out of the break, drow the ref’s attention. Andrews manages to kick through the ropes, then stomp on Dunne to earn a chance to rally. Springboard head scissors followed by a running shooting star press into a cover for two. Andrews goes to the top but Dunne recovers. Andrews jumps over, wants a springboard moonsault but takes a punch to the middle, X-plex release suplex from Dunne and a cover for a nearfall. Dunne wants The Bitter End, but Andrews slips out. Enziguri, but Andrews runs into a kick. Reverse huracarana from Andrews looks stunning, but Andrews is too dazed for the follow up.
[Q3] Double count. Andrews charges, Dunne dodges then catches with a snap German suplex. Andrews with a huracarana into a cover for a very close nearfall. Dunne returns to the fingers, then a big shot from the right. Andrews reverses The Bitter End with a cover for two. Dunne catches Andrews, wants a DDT, Andrews blocks shifts to a stunner. Dunne gets feet up to block a Shooting Star Press and hits The Bitter End for the win.
Winner: Pete Dunn in 11:22. I am really loving these UK matches. The wrestlers have so much in-ring personality, the matches do not just feel like a collection of high spots or choreographed, and the action is intense. I did not have the chance to watch the UK Championship Tournament when it aired, but I want to make the time to watch it now.
Backstage, Kay plays with Royce’s hair. Interview with Royce about her title match next week. Royce talks herself up.
Video package on Patrick Clark, who we’ve seen once or twice before. He is advertised for next week.
Reminder that Royce will face Asuka for the Women’s Championship next week. Almost forgetted in #DIY getting their rematch against The Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
“Earlier this week” interview with Tye Dillinger asking about Sanity. He acknowledges that Roderick Strong and No Way Jose really saved his bacon and put Sanity on notice.
This match between Roode and Jose is strange. Roode won’t look good for winning, Jose is clearly nowhere near his league. Jose needs wins, not losses right now, even if the loses are to Roode. Either someone will get devalued in this match without reason, or this will be a vehicle to extend the feud with Sanity in some way. Let’s not forget that Roode walked out on Dillenger when facing Sanity, so there may be some hay to be made there.
3. NXT Champion BOBBY ROODE vs. NO WAY JOSE – Non-Title Match
[Q4] Roode stalls a bit taking off the championship. Quick takedown then he helicopters on Jose to embarass Jose. Watson calls Roode out for his posing. Another lockup with Jose being dominated by Roode. Jose’s dancing (“he’s here to have a good time!”) distracts Roode. Drop toe hold and Jose helicopters on Roode then dances some more. This is awful. Jose catches a kick then lands punches. Spinebuster from Roode hopefully ends the comedy routines for good.
[ Break ]
Roode is still controlling the match out of the break. Roode to the second rope and hits a big right to Jose’s back. Roode poses again. The crowd tries to rally Jose but a punch puts Jose on the mat again. Suplex and a slow cover earn Roode two. Roode is taking his time to show his dominance. Chinlock, but Jose struggles and gets out. Roode runs into a TKO attempt but slips out. Back elbow gives Jose momentum. Jabs, dancing,a nd a right drop Roode. Jose telegraphs a back drop, Roode has kicks, Jose slips out of a DDT attempt, drops Roode for two. jose gets up first and preps the baseball punch. Roode ducks it, they wrangle for control, Roode gets a boot up in the corner. Roode jumps from the second rope right into the baseball punch, but he rolls under the ropes to the outside. Roode is dead weight and Jose works to get him into the ring. Roode surprises Jose with the Glorious DDT for the win.
Winner: Bobby Roode in 7:34. Jose did not look particularly good in defeat, getting beaten fair and square and without too much offense of his own. Roode didn’t look great for beating someone clearly below him on the card. That said, Jose did last a fairly long time, which is not too bad for Jose.
Post-match, Roode returns to the ring and hits a chop block on Jose, then laughs at himself. Single leg crab and Jose is tapping but Roode doesn’t care. Where are Dillinger and Strong? Kassius Ohno heads to the ring, but Roode pounds pavement before Ohno gets there. Good welcome from the crowd for Ohno. Roode is confused. So am I. Dillinger and Strong should have made the save, not Ohno. Roode gets a mix and wants to know who Ohno thinks he is for getting in his business. Ohno somehow has a mic. He says the crowd knows who he is, and he knows that Roode knows who he is too. Roode downplays Ohno. Ohno says that he’s been in NXT before and says he’s taken whatever he needed, but he has some “unfinished business” from the last time he was in NXT. Ohno says he is here for the NXT Championship. Roode fakes crying then mocks Ohno. “Lucky for you, Mr. Ohno, is that is your real name… you are looking at a fighting champion.” Roode says they do not need to wait, then starts to head to the ring and teases a match at this very moment. Roode calls for a referee. Chop block to Ohno from behind then an assault from Roode on Ohno. Roode works over Ohno’s leg. Ohno’s shoe has come off somewhere in this. Ohno manages to break free and get clear of Roode. Big shots from Ohno, then a back drop. Ohno tosses his shoe at Roode then clotheslines him over the ropes.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really bland, mediocre episode of NXT, other than the return of Kassius Ohno at the end and the outstanding UK match. Only three matches, a triple threat that really amounted to a Morgan – Royce one-on-one match, and a lot of inconsequential talking really dragged this episode down.