KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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NXT LIVE EVENT REPORT
AUGUST 11, 2017
SAN JOSE, CALIF. AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY BRANDON TANGUMA, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
The venue was almost sold out with a few scattered empty seats. The arena holds 5,000 but 30 percent of the arena was curtained off, William Regal came out after intermission and said that there was over 2,000 here which sounds about right. Not too much merch was for sale only a couple generic NXT logo merchandise and shirts for Bobby Roode, Asuka and Finn Balor for some reason. They were also selling Bobby Roode autographed photos.
(1) Johnny Gargano defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas via submission. Gargano got a really nice reaction possibly the loudest pop behind Booby Roode. This was my favorite match of the nigh but most of the crowd would probably say that the main event was better. Almas stalled a bit in the beginning and actually did the Naito laying down pose twice during the match. The crowd popped for it but it wasn’t clear if it was because they knew who Naito was or because they thought Almas was being cool. There was a lot of back in forth action in this match. Gargano hit a suicide dive and then threw Almas back in the ring and hit a slingshot DDT for a great near fall. Gargano won with the Gargano Escape submission. A great match to start the show. Random thought: I saw a guy in the crowd who had a #DIY shirt but duct taped over Ciampa’s name, that is real heat.
(2) Ruby Riot & Sarah Logan defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville via pinfall. Ruby Riot got the only reaction out of the four women. Sarah Logan is one of the competitors in the Mae Young Classic. Mandy Rose was getting a reaction during the match but it was definitely more for her looks than it was for her in ring work. The crowd got behind Riot and Logan and Ruby Riot pinned Mandy Rose with an insiguri. The match was not bad but it was lasted longer than it should have.
(3) Lars Sullivan pinned Oney Lorcan. Lars Sullivan was the surprise of the night, no one knew who he was when he came out but by the end of the match he was getting a standing ovation. A lot of credit goes to Lorcan for this match who was over with the crowd when he made his entrance. This was a glorified squash match with Sullivan dominating most of the match and Lorcan bumping all around for Sullivan’s power moves. Lorcan got a hope spot with him putting a sleeper on Sullivan but he threw him off and hit Lorcan with a nasty looking lariat where Lorcan did a backflip and then he hit his finisher for the win. Sullivan got a big reaction when he hit the lariat and the crowd was cheering him after the match.
(4) Aleister Black pinned Hideo Itami. The match started off really hot with both guys getting great reactions and Itami jumped Black before the bell and they exchanged a lot of strikes. Itami took the role of the heel during this match and dominated Black for most of the match. The match was a bit of a disappointment because Itami was in control for most of the match and Black did not get a lot of offense in until the end. The parts of the match where they went back and forth were really good but they did not last too long. There was a nice sequence where Black hit Itami with a v-trigger knee and then Itami hit a falcon arrow on Black for a great near fall. Black hit his Black Mass spin kick for the victory.
(5) Kassius Ohno & Drew McIntyre defeated Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss via pinfall. A video aired earlier in the night where Sabbatelli and Moss mocked Ohno for not having a partner, but Ohno vowed that he has a partner. McIntyre surprising did not get much of a reaction for some one who is going to be in the Takeover main event next week. Sabbatelli and Moss put the heat on Ohno for most of the match. Moss yelled at Dave Meltzer who was sitting at ringside that, “I’m a Vince Russo guy.” McIntyre got the hot tag and there was a couple of kicks that Drew threw that showed a lot of light. McIntyre showed good fire and got the crowd behind him towards the end of match. Ohno and Drew shook hands and signed autographs with fans at ringside to lead into intermission.
William Regal came out after intermission. He joked with Dave Meltzer and told him to write next week about how handsome and over he is. Regal talked about how NXT was made for and made by the fans. He said that he has been in wrestling for 35 years, but the last five years has been the most satisfying part of his career. A nice surprise appearance by Regal and it makes more sense for him to do these promos instead of Triple H.
(6) Asuka pinned Ember Moon to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Ember Moon got a nice reaction but Asuka got a great reaction. This was a nice match but it did not reach that next gear that they will probably reach in their Takeover match. Asuka worked over Moon’s arm throughout the match. Moon got some nice offense in doing some nice springboard moves off the ropes. Asuka did not play much of a heel until the end of the match where Moon went to the top rope and Asuka pulled the referee in front of her, Moon jumped over the ref and hit a cross body but Asuka rolled Moon up and pulled the tights to retain the title.
(7) Sanity (Alexander Wolfe & Eric Young w/ Nikki Cross) defeated The Authors of Pain via DQ in a NXT Tag Team Championship Match. Eric Young was over with the crowd but they did not care much for Wolfe. Paul Ellering was not with AOP; they did not get much of a reaction when they came out. AOP put the heat on Wolfe who finally got the hot tag to Young who cleaned house and the crowd loved it. Young was pinning Akam when Rezar pulled the referee out of the ring who disqualified them giving Sanity the win but AOP retaining the titles. The match was pretty flat when AOP was dominating the match but got good once Young came in. After the match Wolfe and Young hit dives on AOP to get some retribution and the two teams brawled their way to the back.
(8) Booby Roode pinned Roderick Strong to retain the NXT Championship. Bobby Roode was the most over talent by far, the entrance is over huge with the crowd singing along and a lot of phones out to record it. The match was getting a little boring towards the middle with a lot of submission and rests holds, some of the people in the crowd were yelling at Roode who was noticeably calling spots. The match got good late with both guys kicking out of each others finishers and this was the loudest the crowd was all night for a match. It got the obligatory “This is Awesome” chant after Roode kicked out Strong’s finisher which was the only time the crowd chanted that all night. Roode hit Strong with back to back Glorious DDT’s to win the match. Not as good as their T.V match a month ago but the match really picked up in the last eight minutes. I feel like the match would be better if it was non title because It was hard to get into the near falls for Strong since it is a week from Takeover and you know he is not going to win the title.
Overall Thoughts: It was a good show. Nothing was bad, but nothing was spectacular either. This was my first NXT show in almost two years and the difference was noticeable. The card was much stronger back then with the crowd knowing everyone who was on the card, but tonight some matches like the women’s tag team match it felt like some of the crowd did not know who any of the people where. Drew McIntyre was a bit of a disappointment who got a surprisingly small pop when his music hit as Ohno’s mystery partner. If this was Takeover, the crowd would mostly be behind Roode who got the biggest reaction out of anybody; even when he tried to get heat, the crowd was still cheering him. Some of the matches for Takeover were on the card tonight and, if they turn it up a bit, it will be a really good show with Gargano and Almas possibly being a show stealer if they get the time.
Authors of Pain
Tino Sabatelli & Riddick Moss
Andrade “Cien” Almas
NOW CHECK OUT ANOTHER REPORT ON THIS EVENT: 8/11 NXT in San Jose, Calif.: Roode vs. Strong, Asuka vs. Moon, Aleister vs. Itami, Sanity vs. AOP, Gargano vs. Almas
If you attend a live event, please send us a report like the one above to email@example.com.