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NXT Episode #400 (7.5.17) play-by-play & review

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You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, NXT Champion Bobby Roode defends the title against Roderick Strong. Also, Hideo Itami and Kassius Ohno will team up to take on Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe of SAnitY.

Match #1: Kassius Ohno & Hideo Itami v. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain)

Poor Hideo is in rough shape having to come back out for another match after Lorcan welted up his chest and busted his nose. There is no Nikki Cross or Eric Young with SAnitY tonight. Ohno and Wolfe start things off and Ohno quickly hits a big kick to level Wolfe. Itami tags in and he and Ohno take turns delivering kicks to Wolfe. Wolfe uses a Dain distraction to take over on Itami. Dain tags in and kicks Itami in the corner as NXT goes to break.

Back from break, Wolfe is working on Itami. Dain gets back in and crushes Itami in the corner with an avalanche. Dain gets a near fall and works a neck crank until Itami fights out. Itami knocks Dain around with some kicks, but Ohno has been lured off the apron by Wolfe and isn’t there for a tag. Dain crushes Itami with another avalanche, but can only get a 2-count. Itami comes back again on Dain, but doesn’t tag Ohno when he has the chance. Wolfe gets a tag, but he gets crushed with a fisherman’s suplex. Only a hand on the ropes saves Wolfe from the pin. Ohno is shouting at Itami to tag him in, but Itami turns around and ignores him.

Itami hits a Falcon Arrow on Wolfe, but Dain breaks up the pin attempt with a big running senton. Ohno comes into the ring to attack Dain and sends him out of the ring with a big boot. Ohno asks Itami what he’s doing as he goes back to the corner. Wolfe nails Ohno with a pump kick and knocks him to the floor, though. Itami hoists Wolfe up for the GTS, but Dain makes a blind tag. Itami hits the GTS, but turns right into a running cross-body by Dain and that’s good for the 3-count.

Winners: SAnitY via pinfall

Thoughts: SAnitY gets a much-needed win over a legit team. On the other end, a lot was done to tease the dissention between Ohno and Itami. Itami doesn’t look too bad here as he worked a 2 on 1 match basically. I wonder if this will develop slowly so the match is ready for TakeOver Brooklyn since the Gargano/Ciampa match is not happening due to injury.

Earlier: Ember Moon is talking to media and she is asked if she is ready for Asuka. Ruby Riot interrupts and says it’s her chance now, not Ember Moon’s. Moon basically challenges Riot after she walks away.

Highlights: We get highlights from last week’s insane Last Woman Standing match. Asuka said via Twitter that she’d be back when there’s a worthy opponent.

Vignette/Promo: Drew McIntyre is backstage after a highlight video. He says that the next thing he will be talking about is his title opportunity. He says he has to join the lineage and become NXT Champion. It was kind of teased that Killian Dain will be the next opponent for McIntyre.

Update: Next week, Johnny Gargano returns!

Promo: The Iconic Duo is being interviewed and they are looking annoyed and complain about no one wishing Billie Kay a Happy Birthday. Behind them, Andrade Almas is arguing with a woman, but he doesn’t want to talk about it.

More Updates: Last week, Bianca Belair beat Aliyah to qualify for the Mae Young Classic. I don’t recall seeing that match on the show.

Main Event/Match #2: NXT Championship: Bobby Roode © v. Roderick Strong

Pre-match, Strong is asked backstage what’s on his mind. His answer is, “Victory.” Strong’s family is ringside. Roode is also interviewed in Gorilla and says Strong’s fairy tale is about to hit reality and it is Glorious. We get the big match introductions and the match gets underway with dueling chants.

Roode surprises and out wrestles Strong early on, but Strong nails a leg lariat while Roode was taunting him. Strong nails a big drop kick on Roode, but only gets a 1-count. Strong goes outside after Roode with a chop. Back in the ring, Strong hits a backbreaker and Roode gets out of the ring for a breather as NXT goes to commercial.

Back from break and Strong gets another near fall after another backbreaker. Strong gets too aggressive and eats a boot in the corner followed up by Roode hitting a Blockbuster from the second rope. Now it’s Roode turn to deliver some brutal chops to Strong. Strong floats over a suplex attempt and nails another backbreaker variation. A wrecking ball drop kick on Roode on the floor sends him rolling up the ramp. As Strong is working over Roode at ringside, he slips and gets his leg caught between the steps and the post. Roode kicks the steps into the leg and goes to work on the leg back in the ring. Roode is relentless and Strong’s mom and fiancée are a little worried.

Roode cuts off a Strong comeback with a massive lariat that turns Strong inside out. The champion is in control as NXT goes to break. Back from break, Roode is working a toe hold, but Strong breaks it with a big kick to the face. A drop toehold sends Roode face-first into the buckle. Strong starts to fire up with a leaping lariat and a kick to the back of the head. Strong nails an Angle Slam, but runs into an elbow in the corner. Strong snatches Roode off the second rope to deliver another big backbreaker for a near fall.

Roode responds with a chop block and Strong is down again. Strong gets a roll-up for a near fall, but runs right into a Roode spine buster for another near fall. Roode goes for the Glorious DDT, but Strong counters into a gut buster for a 2-count. Roode manages to recover and ends up wrapping Strong’s leg around the ring post. Roode tries to go to the top, but gets an enziugiri and then Strong drops him back first on the top buckle.

Strong nearly takes out the referee and Roode uses the opportunity to nail the Glorious DDT. Roode takes a few extra seconds to go for the pin and that’s enough for Strong to kick out. There’s a big Let’s Go Roddy chant as Roode sells shock. Roode taunts Strong’s family goes for another Glorious DDT. Strong nails a jumping knee and jumping knee in the corner. Strong hits the back suplex into a gourd buster. Strong then nails Roode with a vertical suplex right onto his knees and gets the 3-count! It looked like Roode put his foot outside the ring before the 3, though.

The referee waves it off while Strong’s music is playing and says Roode had his foot under the rope. Roode knocks Strong off the apron and into the ringside barrier. Roode nails a Glorious DDT on the floor right in front of Strong’s family. Roode then hits another DDT and that’s all for Strong. Strong hugs his family after the match and is obviously disappointed.

Winner: Bobby Roode via pinfall to retain the NXT Championship

Thoughts: I’m still processing this, but my initial thought is that this didn’t come off as well as it was supposed to. I feel like no one ever thought Strong really won the championship due to Roode not being in position at first and the leg under the rope being so obvious. The referee was waving it off immediately. That said, it was a good match. People give Roode a lot of grief for being a ‘boring’ wrestler in the ring, but I think he’s just fine. He has his style and he’s a good heel. So, yeah, that wasn’t as well-received as I think they were expecting, so let’s see what the follow-up will be.

 TLDR

  • SAnitY (Wolfe & Dain) beat Hideo Itami & Kassius Ohno
  • Bobby Roode beat Roderick Strong

Advertised for Next Week

  • Johnny Gargano returns to NXT
  • NXT Tag Team Championship: Authors of Pain © v. Heavy Machinery (I think? It wasn’t promoted)
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