SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REVIEW
MAY 10, 2017
TAPED AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video reminds of the Roderick Strong – Hideo Itami #1 Contender match tonight. Aleister Black starts the show.
1. ALEISTER BLACK vs. CEZAR BONONI
Bononi is quite tall, his build reminds me of Baron Corbin. A quick quick sends Bononi out of the ring. Black wants a dive through the ropes, Bononi didges so Black moonsaults back into the ring and lands in a sit. Black springs to his feet when Bononi enters. Some back-and-forth, Black Mass wins the match.
WINNER: Aleister Black in 1:29. Good to give Black a win over a larger opponent to build him up.
Recap of last week’s messy Women’s #1 Contender Battle Royal.
Backstage last week, William Regal angrily tells Asuka she will be facing Ruby Riot, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross in a Fatal Four Way at Takeover: Chicago.
Health update on Ember Moon, she needs 4 – 5 weeks of rehab after landing in the barricade last week. Backstage, she is asked about it. She says she won’t be able to wrestle at Takeover: Chicago.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Either they are going for a surprise early return of Ember Moon at Chicago, or Asuka will likely hold the title a bit longer. ]
Pete Dunne is booked to face Tyler Bate for the UK Championship at Takeover: Chicago. Video package on Pete Dunne telling us who he is.
[ J.J.’s Reax: I really liked what I saw of Dunne a few months ago on NXT, Tyler Bate is fun, this is a match that I am already sold on. ]
Video package on Ruby Riot. She grew up in a small town and had no future. People judge her by her tattoos, but that is right because they all tell a story about her. She has given up a lot to work her way to NXT. She says she is one-of-a-kind. Wrestling reminds her that she is alive and needs to fight to be alive.
[Q2] The producers tried to interview Cross in a sit-down format. Oops. She won’t let them attach the microphone, then she jumps on him and takes it for herself. She messes with the boom mic as the interviewer tries to ask her questions. Then she yells a bunch. And knocks her chair over and asks where Asuka is and her championship. She is going to take out Riot, and take everything from Asuka.
Backstage with Drew McIntyre. He thinks the #1 contender match will be great. He is dissapointed that he isn’t in the match, but he’s learned that if something isn’t happening for you, you need to make it happen. Wesley Blake interrupts and runs his mouth, then backs off when McIntyre steps up to him.
“Puple Velveteen” vignette.
#DIY is already through their entrance when we come back from the vignette. They are hear to address the NXT Universe. Gargano acknowledges the toughness of The Authors of Pain. Ciampa says they have never had a fair match against The Authors of Pain, and they want to face AOP in Chicago. Gargano says that the line starts behind #DIY. Tino Sabbatelli and Rick Moss strut out with microphones. Moss says it isn’t about “you guys” of “big fat giants who lumber around the ring”. Sabbatelli claims that the line starts behind them. Ciampa says that if there was a line, they just crossed it. #DIY clear Moss and Sabbatelli from the ring. A ref appears to start a match.
2. #DIY (JOHNNY GARGANO & TOMMASO CIAMPA) vs. RICK MOSS & TINO SABBATELLI
Moss with a quick attack. Ciampa gets caught on a crossbody and Moss lands a fallaway slam. Rapid tags keep Ciampa isolated. Kicks put Ciampa down for a two count. Back elbow from Moss gets two. Gargano gets the crowd to cheer Ciampa out of a chinlock. Ciampa knees out of a suplex and hits one of his own for a double tag. Gargano with his hot tag offense. Interference from Sabbatelli but a spear through the ropes lets Gargano plant Moss, Sabbatelli breaks up the cover. Ciampa keeps Sabbatelli out of the ring, Gargano with a dive through the ropes onto Moss. #DIY with the stereo kicks to Moss.
WINNERS: #DIY in 5:03. Moss and Sabbatelli got in too much offense to make #DIY look strong heading into their championship match.
William Regal comes out and says that only one team deserves the Tag Team Championship match. Paul Ellering comes out and says that if Regal thinks he can book #DIY against AOP, #DIY’s careers will be ended. Regal says it is a chance he is willing to take. Ellering says that #DIY’s blood will be on Regal’s head. Regal adds a ladder match stipulation. Akam and Rexar are furious.
[ J.J.’s Reax: NXT used to be really good at being sparing with stipulations, but lately they have been going to this well very often. ]
[Q3] Backstage with Kassius Ohno. He says he came back for the championship but acknowledges that he fell down. He fell down when he was released, but he got back up. He is going to take NXT apart brick by brick. He points out all of the great wrestlers in NXT. Andrade Almas interupts to mouth off, but Ohno points out that Almas has squandered opportunieis. Ohno challenges Almas to a match next week. Almas accepts.
Video package on Tyler Bate.
Backstage with Roderick Strong. He says he is ready and his music hits. He starts to make his entrance. Backstage with Hideo Itami. He respects Strong, but he was born to become the champion, and Strong will go to sleep. Itami’s music plays and he goes out.
3. RODERICK STRONG vs. HIDEO ITAMI – NXT Championship #1 Contender Match
Lockup and they go to mat wrestling. They let go of each other and pace. Test of strength, turns to more mat work. They reset again. Itami grinds on a headlock. They suddenly transition to a face pace. Itami wants a GTS but Strong slips out and to the outside.
[ Break ]
Strong is on the attack in the corner out of the break. Itami dodges a shoulder strike through the ropes and delivers kicks to Strong. Back elbow catches Strong in the chin for one. Itami drops knees on Strong’s face. He teases another knee strike, then disrespectfully kicks Strong in the face. Strong blocks a suplex and lands a front suplex onto the ropes. Backbreaker from Strong only gets one. Another backbreaker from Strong gets two. Strong kicks Itami down and covers for two.
[Q4] Running dropkick earns another two count for Strong. A little touch of blood in Itami’s mouth. Strong tries to lock on a hold but Itami rolls it into a cover to break the hold. Stiff kicks from Itami. Strong yanks Itami off the apron then throws him into the ring.
[ Break ]
Strong has Itami grounded after the break. Strong tries a standing sleeper but Itami nails a jawbreaker to escape. Strong delibers offense in the corner, but Itami dodges a running knee. Double clothesline to reset the match. Itami recovers first and has lariats, then strikes and a suplex. Tornado DDT drops Strong’s neck over the ropes, then a top rope attack for two. Itami starts to pepper Strong with strikes, but Strong comes back and hits a suplex for two. Strong hits strikes but runs into a kick, then Itami with strikes. Strong snatches Itami out of the air and hits a big backbreaker for a nearfall. Strong puts Itami on the turnbuckle, then looks for a some sort of move off the top. Itami escapes and they brawl on the turnbuckle. Top rope Falcon Arrow from Itami for a very close nearfall. They trade blows. Jumping knee from Strong ends the exchange with a two count. Itami lands a jumping knee on the run. They are slow to recover. Itami wants the GTS, Strong escapes, wants a suplex but Itami knees out. Itami lands kicks into the corner, then drops the kneepad for the GTS. Strong tries to get to his feet, shoves Itami. Itami ducks a punch, Go To Sleep.
WINNER: Hideo Itami in 17:58. Really good match here, one of the best non-Takeover matches in a very long time. Hard to cheer for either man in a face-vs-face matchup, but the action was exciting and well paced. Roode vs. Itami should be a good match as well.
Post-match, Itami helps Strong to his feet. Strong has blood on his face.
FINAL REAX: They put the right amount of focus on the matches going into Takeover: Chicago. Interesting to see Ember Moon on the shelf for the time being. It was nice to see a really long, high quality main event on Wednesday night.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 5/3 NXT TV REVIEW: Women’s Battle Royal with confusing finish, Hideo Itami in action, Heavy Machinery continue to impress