NXT

NXT Episode #403 (7.26.17) play-by-play & review

You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Hideo Itami faces off with Kassius Ohno and the new #1 Contender for the NXT Championship, Drew McIntyre, will address the audience.

Match #1: Ember Moon v. Lei’d Tapa

Tapa is probably best known for her time in TNA/Impact/GFW. She starts out by bulldozing Moon into the corner. Tapa continues to overpower Moon as the crowd breaks into a Let’s Go Ember chant. Tapa eats a boot in the corner and Moon nails a tornado vertical suplex and a running drop kick. A series of strikes later and Moon comes off the top rope with the Eclipse for the win.

Post-match, Moon says she wants Asuka at TakeOver: Brooklyn. Moon goes on and asks if Asuka is ready for Ember Moon.

Winner: Ember Moon via pinfall

Thoughts: Basic match to enhance the contender to Asuka’s title. Moon comes off even stronger as Tapa towered over her and was much stronger than a typical enhancement opponent. Moon went on too long on the microphone, though. She is terrible and could have just stopped after the challenge was issued. However you feel, Asuka’s reign most certainly is coming to an end on August 19.

Recap: Roderick Strong said via Twitter that Bobby Roode hasn’t seen the last of him, title or no title.

Vignette: Aleister Black does a voiceover and we hear him speak a little.

Match #2: David Ramos & Timothy Bumpers v. The Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering)

Well, these guys are in trouble. As the Authors of Pain make their way to the ring, Nikki Cross appears in front of them to block them. In the ring, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe attack Ramos and Bumpers. That was probably the best-case outcome for them. The Authors bypass Cross and get into the ring to brawl with SAnitY.  Akam hurls Wolfe across the ring and Dain levels Rezar.

Rezar quickly recovers and takes Dain down. Akam gives Wolfe a snake eyes and Rezar follows it up with a huge clothesline. Dain eats a big boot and gets sent out of the ring. Dain wants back in the ring, but Nikki Cross stops him. Where has Eric Young been?

Winners: No Contest

Thoughts: Well, that is the logical (and only) option for a tag team championship match at TakeOver. It’ll be a tough sell with this basically being heel versus heel. That being said, Dain makes the team credible after his display of resilience last week against Drew McIntyre. I’m still curious about Eric Young. Is he off filming something?

Vignette: Once again, Street Profits are coming soon.

Recap: Last week, Andrade Almas and Zolita Vega (Thea Trinidad) delivered a beat down to Cezar Bononi after his loss to No Way Jose. Earlier today, Vega accosted Jose in the parking lot and basically told him that he has pissed off Andrade Almas.

Match #3: Velveteen Dream v. Cezar Bononi

It’s a strike-fest to start out and the Dream gets the early advantage. Bononi comes back with some big shots of his own, an atomic drop, and a drop kick on the rebound. The Dream kicks out of a Falcon Arrow. The Dream comes back with a rolling Death Valley Driver and then the big elbow off the top rope and that is all for Cezar.

Post-match, the Dream is asked about his goals in NXT. He insults the crowd and doesn’t really answer.

Winner: Velveteen Dream via pinfall

Thoughts: There was nothing new here from Velveteen Dream in this enhancement match. Bononi is still a little clunky in the ring, but it wasn’t too noticeable. More importantly, when will the Dream get his first real program and with who?

Backstage: William Regal confirms that Asuka will defend the NXT Women’s Championship against Ember Moon at TakeOver.

In-Ring Promo: Drew McIntyre is out in street clothes. McIntyre thanks the fans for their support thus far. He looks back at his WWE history and says he was once known as the Chosen One (pause for a chant). He says he took it for granted and never realized the opportunity he had until he left WWE. He says during that time, he was the hardest worker in the world.

Drew says everyone in NXT walks side-by-side as equals except one man: Bobby Roode. He says Roode is entitled, but he’s not really entitled to anything. It’s not Bobby Roode’s NXT, it’s every single NXT fan’s NXT. He says We Are NXT and drops the mic. This was a great promo and he got the crowd fired up. Mission accomplished, in my opinion.

Vignette: A second Aleister Black vignette is shown. It’s a lot like the first one – no advertisement for an upcoming match or anything.

Backstage: Raul Mendoza is backstage to talk about his match next week with Johnny Gargano. He says maybe next week isn’t about Gargano’s return, but instead about Raul Mendoza.

Main Event/Match #4: Kassius Ohno v. Hideo Itami

There are dueling chants before the lock-up. After a stalemate, Itami fires off a few strikes that seem to just annoy Kassius. Itami no-sells a big chop and unloads on Ohno against the ropes. Ohno returns the favor before finally dropping Itami and hitting a basement drop kick to the face. Man, Itami has been in a series of really physical matches during this taping. Poor guy. Tough guy.

Ohno tees off with a big boot to the face, but Itami catches another attempt. He paintbrushes Ohno and gives him a series of kicks in the ropes. Itami comes off the second rope with a leg drop to the back of Ohno’s head and he’s in trouble at ringside as NXT goes to commercial. Back from break, Itami takes control again after a brief Ohno rally. Itami arrogantly kicks at Ohno’s head and then tees off with body kicks.

Itami hits a neckbreaker, but Ohno kicks out at two. Itami continues kicking Ohno in the back and chest over and over. Ohno lights up Itami with a chop, but Itami catches him with a tornado neck snap on the top rope. Itami jumps off the top rope right into a chop, though. Ohno runs right through an Itami kick and drops him with multiple clotheslines and a Shining Wizard. Ohno hits a huge Cyclone Boot, but Itami kicks out. Itami kicks out again after a big senton.

Ohno misses a charge into the corner and Itami hits a fisherman’s suplex and a running basement drop kick while Ohno was slouched in the corner. Ohno counters the GTS and hits a big boot. Ohno goes for the knockout, but Itami blatantly kicks him low right in front of the referee. The referee signals for the disqualification. Itami isn’t done and he goes to work on a fallen Ohno. Nigel seriously asked if Itami did that on accident and I choked on my drink.

Itami just obliterates Ohno with some strong style kicks in the corner. Itami hits two consecutive GTS’s. There are mostly boos for the now clearly heel Itami, but a handful of sociopaths are chanting for another GTS. Itami comes back to the ring and pulls Ohno to ringside to drop him face-first on the stairs.

Winner: Kassius Ohno via disqualification

Thoughts: This was a very rare DQ finish in NXT. They do it so infrequently that it works out just fine when they do. Hideo Itami has finally officially turned heel and I love it. I assume and hope this leads to a match at TakeOver as these two have pretty good chemistry in the ring. The match was a notch under what they’re capable of, but remember the abuse Itami had taken during this taping.

TLDR

  • Ember Moon beat Lei’d Tapa
  • Ember Moon challenged Asuka and William Regal confirmed that championship match for TakeOver
  • Authors of Pain and SAnitY brawled
  • Thea Trinidad is now known as Zolita Vega and she warned No Way Jose about Andrade Almas
  • Velveteen Dream beat Cezar Bononi
  • Drew McIntyre cut a promo on Bobby Roode
  • Kassius Ohno beat Hideo Itami by DQ after Itami completed his heel turn

Advertised for Next Week

  • Bobby Roode responds to Drew McIntyre
  • Johnny Gargano v. Raul Mendoza
  • Asuka returns to address Ember Moon
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