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NXT TV REVIEW
APRIL 12, 2017
TAPED AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] NXT has a completely new credits, with different music, a different style, and a more aggressive, underground feel. NXT is from Full Sail University. Cut directly to the crowd after the credits, lots of energy there.
Aleister Black is out first. Unique entance style, with the camera near the ground, making Black look very intimidating. No Twitter handle or other information on the revised presentation for the wrestlers on their entrance. Decent reception for Black. He is facing Cory Hollis.
1. ALEISTER BLACK vs. CORY HOLLIS
Black just stands with his hands behind his back, until Hollis decides to rush him. Black just hits the Black Mass kick for the win.
Winner: Aleister Black in 0:27. Good match to get Black over quickly.
Post-match, Black calmly sits in the ring.
Clip of Smackdown last week when Tye Dillinger made his debut on Smackdown to a thunderous reaction.
Backstage with Dillinger. He is happy to be on Smackdown, but feels like he has unfinished business on NXT. He spoke to William Regal, and has a match next week with Eric Young. And it is a steel cage match, to take Sanity out of the picture.
Tonight’s main event is Drew McIntye facing Oney Lorcan. #DIY is next. Very cool presentation for the “upcoming matches” packages. Shinsuke Nakamura says “goodbye” to NXT tonight as well.
2. #DIY (JOHNNY GARGANO & TOMMASO CIAMPA) vs. DYLAN MYLIE & MICHAEL BLAZE
Mylie and Ciampa start. Mylie is huge. Not quite Bruan Stowman size, but definitely Brock Lesnar size. Ciampa doesn’t have much luck against Mylie. Gargano tags in and immediately walks into a very delayed vertical suplex. Blaze tags in. Gargano ducks in the corner, lands a kick from the mat then a jumping neckbreaker. Blaze stumbles into the corner next to Ciampa, and #DIY hit their stereo corner kicks. Ciampa clears Miley off the corner, then the mid-ring stereo kicks to Blaze. Ciampa runs to the corner to keep Miley out, then holds up his hands like he doesn’t want to tussle with Miley. Miley is just fuming. Post-match, Miley attacks Blaze.
Winners: #DIY in 2:59. Seems like they want to do more with Miley in the future based on the intense camera focus on him, Ciampa’s reaction, and the post-match beatdown. Miley looks like he has potential. #DIY is back to spinning their wheels.
[Q2] Clips of Asuka retaining against Ember Moon at Takeover: Orlando. Then shots of Moon walking around the arena as staff is cleaning it up. Voiceover from Moon ruing that it was supposed to be her moment. Sounds like she is choking back some serious emotion. She says it was her destiny. Asuka proved that she will do anything to not lose. Moon vows to be the wrestler to beat Asuka and take the championship.
[ J.J.’s Reax: That was different, but it made Moon sound like a sad sack loser, not the kind of ruthless beast it will take to defeat Asuka. ]
Nice response to Ruby Riot’s entrance. Inset promo from Riot. She says she isn’t happy with Sanity, but she is there to become the NXT Women’s Champion and she starts on that tonight. She is facing Kimberly Frankele (Kimber Lee).
3. RUBY RIOT vs. KIMBERLY FRANKELE (KIMBER LEE)
Rapid action. Quick jab stuns Riot. Riot gets a boot up in the corner, then hits a leaping head scissors. Nikki Cross starts slamming a barricade to distract Riot. Frankele with a jawbreaker then a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cross eyes Riot as Frankele works her over. Riot blocks a chop then lands a series of chops of her own. Riot uses her weight to drive Frankele’s face into a turnbuckle. Pele Kick from mid-air ends it.
Winner: Ruby Riot in 2:20. This match had poor flow, like they had to keep stopping for a moment to check a cue card for the next sequence or something.
Quick package on The Authors of Pain. Backstage “earlier today” Billie Kay rails about all of the stuff backstage that needs to change, with Peyton Royce filming. They see Liv Morgan and Aliyah and make fun of them. Morgan pushes Kay into a tub of water until a trainer helps her out. Kay just screams a bunch.
[ J.J.’s Reax: The NXT Women’s Division has been set so far back, it is in that 2009 Raw era of “she took my hairbrush so we need to have a match!” level of garbage booking. NXT Women’s Division used to be the textbook of “how to book a women’s division.” This show continues to get worse and worse from the booking and writing angle. ]
Oney Lorcan is out first. Drew McIntyre comes out, with the same Tron graphics, but new music. Very nice “welcome back” chant for McIntyre who really thrived after being released by WWE. Sadly, Lorcan is the default heel here, after building a nice following as a face.
4. ONEY LORCAN vs. DREW MCINTYRE
[Q3] McIntyre quickly backs Lorcan into the corner, but Lorcan looks game. Lorcan runs into a huge powerslam and rolls out of the ring. McIntyre invites Lorcan back into the ring, but Lorcan looks a bit put off. Lorcan comes in, then lands an uppercut, then another to send McIntyre through the ropes, then dives onto McIntyre ringside. Lorcan goes to the top to jump on McIntyre, but McIntyre catches him and dumps Lorcan back-first onto the apron, looking cocky, almost arrogant.
[ Break ]
McIntyre lands a chop, then an overhead throw on Lorcan. Cover for two. Lorcan gets a boot up on the corner, wants a blockbuster off the top but McIntyre dodges, then lands a running blockbuster for two. McIntyre thinks superplex, but Lorcan crotches him, pushes him into a Tree of Woe, then McIntyre reaches up and throws Lorcan down and slips out of the Tree of Woe. Huge slaps from Lorcan, firing McIntrye up. Alabama Slam of sorts from McIntyre then a huge running single leg dropkick for the win.
Winner: Drew McIntyre in 5:06.
[ J.J.’s Reax: There was a lot to like about this match, but it is a shame that Lorcan had to be the opponent here. He is just building some credibility and he got fed to McIntyre, looking like the underdog for most of the match. McIntyre looks great.]
Post-match interview with McIntyre on the ramp. He says this is where he needs to be. He built up a reputation over the last few years and could have signed anyhwere in the world, but he wants to be on NXT.
Shinsuke Nakamura gets a hero’s welcome in FSU. A year ago, he came to NXT. He was already experienced, he had been champion in Japan. He came to NXT to challenge himself against the best in the world. NXT has been his home for a year. He has learned a lot from the NXT Superstars, the coaches, and from the crowd. “Thank you Shinsuke” from the crowd. NXT is its own brand, with its own energy and life. NXT is new and different. He found the crowd to be very different, and crazy. The chants, the singing, the innovation, the passion is different from elsewhere. NXT is “your style.” He will always be NXT. Because “we are NXT.” YEEEOW!
[Q4] The NXT roster comes out to the ramp to applaud Nakamura. A bunch of people who haven’t made debuts yet are in that group. Finn Balor surprises Nakamura in the group.
[ J.J.’s Reax: NXT has consistently done a nice job giving former champions a sendoff when they get called up if they were “the face of NXT”. Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and now Shinsuke Nakamura have been sent off with a really nice segment. ]
FINAL THOUGHTS: It looks like the only pre-Takeover program that is continuing is Moon – Asuka which clearly still has legs to it. NXT is doing a reset, with Heavy Machinery getting time and #DIY rebuilding in the Tag Team Division, Kay – Royce moving on to new victims in the Women’s Division, and McIntyre being a big, obvious threat to Bobby Roode in the Men’s Division. But the depth is still lacking, and worse, the writing and booking gets worse and worse by the week.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 4/5 NXT TV REVIEW: Matches taped before NXT Takeover Orlando include Peyton Royce, Heavy Machinery, Oney Lorcan, Takeover videos