SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REVIEW
MAY 3, 2017
TAPED AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
[Q1] No pre-credits video package. Hideo Itami will be facing Kona Reeves, and there is a #1 Contender Battle Royal to determine who gets the next shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. We are also going to be seeing the second part of the Roderick Strong video tonight.
SAnitY kicks the show off. Unusual to not see Nikki Cross or Alexander Wolfe coming out with Eric Young and Killian Dain.
(1) KILLIAN DAIN (w/Eric Young) vs. DANNY BURCH
Dain immediately backs Burch into the corner. Burch tries some offence but Dain yanks him off the ropes, then delivers harsh offense. The crowd is cheering for Burch. Wasteland, then a senton from Dain. Dain lands a series of elbow drops. Back elbow then a dodge in the corner lets Burch deliver a missle dropkick, but Dain shrugs off a DDT attempt. Burch backs Dain into the corner, but then runs right into a dropkick. Dain hits Ulster Plantation for the win.
Winner: Killian Dain in 2:49. Good match to put Dain over, and Burch looked fine to get in a little bit of offense.
Hideo Itami is shown entering FSU earlier today.
Patrick Clark vignette. This guy got some vignettes than a match, then disappeared a few months ago. Now he is beeing called “Velveteen Dream.” Flushing that from my mind is Heavy Machinery coming out. The crowd seems to love them.
(2) HEAVY MACHINERY (TUCKER KNIGHT & OTIS DOZOVIC) RICARDO WATTS & HECTOR KUNSMAN – Tag Team Match
Kunsman and Watts seem to weigh about 257 pounds combined. Lots of fun, hard hitting offense from Knight and Dozovic. Dozovic slams Watts and Kunsman together, picks them both up, then Knight hits him with a Thesz Press from behind to squash the jobber sandwich between the mat and the two big men.
Winners: Heavy Machinery in 1:43. There is something infectuously fun about Heavy Machinery.
[Q2] Post-match, Knight and Dozovic cut a promo about how they love fighting and eating. They get the crowd to chant “shakes and weights.” Knight says they have a hunger for the “biggest buffet” and demand The Authors of Pain. Crazy faces from Dozovic. The Authors of Pain “have never stepped in the ring with beef like us!” The crowd chants “beef!”
[ J.J.’s Reax: who would have thought, for all of the years we saw Tucker Knight pop up to take a fall from time to time, that he could deliver such a fun promo and have the audience chanting “beef” and “shakes and weights”? ]
Takeover Chicago is in two weeks, May 20th. That is really soon and doesn’t give quite enough time for stories to build. Apparently Fozzy will be doing one of the songs.
#DIY is backstage. Tommaso Ciampa acknowledges that Heavy Machinery are big and tough. Johnny Gargano turns it into an extended rhyming session then points out that they are owed a Tag Team Title match. Ciampa puts Heavy Machinery over, but says that they are at the front of the line.
Kona Reeves is out first. Hideo Itami is next. Before the match starts, Reeves ambushes Itami. The ref checks on Itami and starts the match.
(3) HIDEO ITAMI vs. KONA REEVES
Immediate brawling. Reeves with a cover for two. Reeves spends a lot of time jawing, letting Itami get to his feet and start his offensive routine. Hesitation dropkick in the corner sets up the Go To Sleep.
Winner: Hideo Itami in 2:06. Fine match to re-introduce Itami’s moveset to the audience. Looks like we may be getting Itami facing Roode for the NXT Championship soon.
Video package on Drew McIntyre, summarizing his past as Vince McMahon’s pick as the future of WWE, then his return to NXT. Most of the action clips are his match against Oney Lorcan.
Part 2 of the Roderick Strong package. Clips of him with his pregnant fiance. She’s an MMA fighter. They are setting up a baby crib. He never expected to have a life like this. He is shocked at the idea of becoming a father and a husband.
[Q3] His mom says that this is what he was born to do. Clips of him wrestling in front of twenty people in highschool gyms. He learned a lot on the independent circuit. Scott Hall congratulates him backstage on his progress. He did his WWE tryouts in an ROH shirt. He talks about his past in ROH,and how it was where “pure wrestlers shine.” Shots of him with Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. He become “Mr. Ring of Honor” but it was time to move on to bigger opportunities. He was thrilled to sign with NXT. No one thought he could get this far. His new baby is home with him. He is not doing these things just for himself anymore, he now has a family to worry about.
In Wiliam Regal’s office, Regal is impresed with Strong’s package. Roode is being rude. Regal wants to talk about Roode’s next opponent. Roode congratulates Regal’s booking and decisions, and says Roode and Regal are the reason why NXT are so sucessful. Regal plays to Roode’s ego. Regal books Itami and Strong next week in a #1 Contender match, with the Championship match is at Takeover: Chicago. Strong enters and Roode leaves.
They cut to a break in the middle of the entrances for the battle royal, letting the ring fill with unnamed wrestlers. And Aliyah.
(4) LACEY EVANS vs. BILLIE KAY vs. PEYTON ROYCE vs. NIKKI CROSS vs. LIV MORGAN vs. RUBY RIOT vs. ALIYAH vs. EMBER MOON vs. VICTORIA GONZALEZ vs. CANDICE LA RAE vs. DARIA BERENATO vs. BIANCA BLAIR vs. KIMBERLY FRANKELE – #1 Contender Battle Royal
Victoria Gonzales, who is quite tall, takes on Kay and Royce. No eliminations before a break.
[ Break ]
[Q4] Gonzalez was eliminated by Royce and Kay during te break. Bianca Blaire gets dumped by Royce and Kay. Aliyah elimiantes Racher Evers. A ton of people get dumped all at once. Riot elimiantes Frankele. It is down to Moon, Morgan, Aliyah, Royce, Kay, La Rae, Cross, and Riot. La Rae is sent out by Royce and Kay, drawing boos. Cross bumps Aliyah out, getting her cheered. Cross takes care of Morgan, more cheers. Moon kicks Kay off the apron. Moon yanks Royce over the top from the apron and eliminates her too. It is Moon, Riot, and Cross, a predictable outcome.
Cross and Riot suddenly start to brawl as Moon waits for her shot. Dropkick to Cross but Cross comes out of the corner with offense and tries to put Moon over the ropes. Riot tries to interfere, double knees to the back of Cross’s back. Moon knocks them both down, Eclipse to Cross. Moon struggles to get Cross over the ropes, then Riot tries to get Moon out and fails. Moon lands kicks to Riot. Handspring forearm to Riot, she preps another Eclipse, but Asuka knocks her off. There’s a bell for some reason. Asuka sends Moon out, then knocks Riot and Cross down. Asuka poses and shouts “no one is ready for Asuka!” The ref says the match is over.
No contest at 11:49. That may be the worst, most confusing match ending in NXT history. Since when does outside interference in a battle royal result in a DQ or no contest? The rules of these matches has always been a bit loosey goosey but this is just a total mess.
The anouncers say there is a “lot of activity backstage” between Regal and Asuka.
Regal comes out in a snit, and books Asuka against Moon, Cross, and Riot in a Fatal Four Way in Chicago.
Final Reax: The good news is, we got less talking and more wrestling this week. Even better is the development of Heavy Machinery. I am really becoming a believer in these two and look forwards to their matches now. The video package on Strong was solid to present him as a Sami Zayn-like babyface, a guy you just cannot boo. But the main event? There was a giant mass of unknown bodies in the mix (at least one or two I never got a name for), and the no contest ending, while it lead to the desired outcome, made no sense. And we just saw Asuka easily win a Fatal Four Way (including Nikki Cross) a few months ago, she has already beaten Ember Moon, and Ruby Riot has not been presented at that level yet. Why do we think that she could lose in Chicago? They need to build a serious, legit #1 contender to Asuka or any win will look like a fluke.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 4/26 NXT TV REVIEW: Drew McIntyre vs. Almas, Gallagher vs. Bate for UK Title, Aleister Black vs. Kona Reeves