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WWE NXT #380 (3.1.17) Play-by-Play and Review

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NXT is back at Full Sail University for what I believe is the final show from this taping and Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness are back on commentary. A quick preview of tonight’s show features 2 title matches: The Authors of Pain defend against #DIY and Asuka defends against Peyton Royce.

You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show.

Match #1: Patrick Clark v. Sean Maluta

Patrick Clark starts things off with some mocking of Maluta and showboating. Maluta is quick to retaliate with some right hands and a spinning heel kick. Maluta pounds on Clark in the corner and catches him with a knee to the gut. Maluta nails Clark with a gourd buster and then catches him with a Shining Wizard for a believable near-fall.

Out of nowhere, Clark fires back with some vicious kicks and a European uppercut. Clark then kicks Maluta right in the face and gets a 2-count. Clark tosses Maluta out of the corner by his head and got another near fall. Clark delivered a snap suplex, but Maluta rebounded with some kicks. Clark then hits a Famouser and that’s good for the win.

Winner: Patrick Clark via pinfall

Thoughts: Not a good match. I’m not sure what Clark is going for with his character yet. I was expecting a flamboyant Tyler Breeze-like character, but we got almost nothing. His offense didn’t sync up, either – he focused on a lot of stiff shots and some power moves. He’s not at all comfortable with the character and it really shows. He’s also a kid and has very little experience. I just don’t think this character suits him. The athleticism is there, though, so I hope he can turn it around or get repackaged into something more natural.

Promo: Sanity is outside burning some trash in a barrel. Eric Young says Dillinger is a disease that needs to be eradicated. Young challenges Dillinger to a one-on-one match. Nikki Cross mentioned something about possibly burning the world.

Match#2:  NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka © v. Peyton Royce

There’s a nice pop for the champion despite these fans having been here for untold hours at this point. Tom Phillips is once again throwing out his bad math skills regarding the 1-in-4 shot Asuka had to win at TakeOver: San Antonio. Is it too soon to joke about Tom Phillips and his sexting? I can’t repeat his statements on this website, but I have so many jokes to make.

“Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants ring through the arena as the bell rings. Asuka scores a few takedowns early. Nigel just referenced something from Survivor Series 1987. Wow. Asuka fights out of a headlock and the 2 women meet with a shoulder block in the middle of the ring. Asuka fires up with several forearms and a hip toss to Royce. Royce manages to roll out of the way of a Shining Wizard attempt, but Asuka ducks a kick followed by Royce ducking a roundhouse kick by Asuka. Good sequence. Asuka goads Royce in and meets her off the ropes with a hip attack. Asuka hits another hip attack on Royce – this time knocking her from the ring apron to the floor.

Asuka goes out after Royce, but gets pulled face-first into the ring post by her arm. Back in the ring, Royce can only get a 1-count as NXT cuts to break. Back from break, Royce has some kind of Cobra Clutch variation locked in. Royce starts to target Asuka’s arm and goes for a pin and cannot even get a 1-count. Royce starts to go for a standing kimura and briefly ends up with a unique looking arm bar.

Inexplicably, Royce starts slapping Asuka in the head and taunting her. Asuka kicks Royce in the gut and hits a suplex. Asuka gets sent into the corner, but she jumps onto the second rope, turns around, and hits a drop kick. Asuka sends Royce into the ropes for a hip toss, but just lifted Royce up and dropped her into a knee. Asuka delivers several spinning back fists and a roundhouse punch to the face. Asuka then drills Royce with a Shining Wizard and gets a 2-count.

Royce ducks a massive kick from Asuka and scores with a jawbreaker. Asuka falls into the ropes and Royce goes back to Asuka’s arm. There’s a sequence with a few roll-ups and near falls followed by a chop to the back by Royce and a running elbow drop to the back of Asuka. That’s still only good for a 2-count. Royce is showing frustration and goes for the Perfect Plex. Asuka blocks, but Royce levels her with a spinning heel kick to the face for a very near fall.

Asuka gets up, kicks Royce in the face, and uses a rolling arm bar to transition into the Asuka Lock and that’s all for Peyton Royce.

Winner: Asuka via submission to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

Post Match: Billie Kay gets in the ring and attacks Asuka. She and Royce try to break Asuka’s arm, but Ember Moon’s music hits. She levels Billie Kay in the aisle and hits a springboard cross-body block onto Royce in the ring. Billie Kay is back in the ring and eats a few kicks from Moon. Moon hits some brutal forearms to clear Kay and Royce from the ring. Asuka and Ember Moon have a stare down and Asuka holds the belt up in her face.

Thoughts: This was a good TV match. Asuka is on a different level, obviously. I am assuming this may lead to Royce and Billie taking on Asuka and Ember Moon at the next set of tapings. Unless it’s a big tease, it looks like Moon may be the one getting a shot at Asuka in Orlando. I think that’s a big mistake, but I’m just speculating. I think a really strong heel (Nikki Cross, for example) needs to be the one to beat Asuka when it’s time. Of course, that is assuming Asuka doesn’t go full-on heel soon. Anyway, I’m interested to see where it’s all going.

Video Recap: Footage of Nakamura being helped out of TakeOver: San Antonio is shown and emphasis is placed on Kassius Ohno checking on him backstage. There’s also a recap of last week’s Roode/Ohno confrontation.

Backstage: GM William Regal says Bobby Roode is going to defend the NXT Championship on March 15 at UCF against Kassius Ohno.

Backstage: Paul Ellering is getting his boys fired up for the tag team title match and it is up next. Also, Shinsuke Nakamura is returning to NXT next week!

Match #3: NXT Tag Team Championship: Authors of Pain © (w/ Paul Ellering) v. #DIY

NXT cuts to commercial after the big match introductions. Rezar and Ciampa start things out and Rezar just manhandles him. Ciampa goes for a German suplex, but eats an elbow. Gargano tags in and he and Ciampa hit a double spear through the ropes to Rezar. Akam comes in and gets a double kick and a double clothesline over the top rope. Ciampa hits a running knee to knock Rezar off the ring apron. Ciampa jumps off the apron, but Rezar catches him and power bombs him into the ring post.

Rezar can only get a 2-count back in the ring. Akam tags in and he and Rezar take turns hitting rapid elbow drops on Ciampa. Ciampa fights out of the heel corner, but runs right into a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Rezar is back in and just beats Ciampa down. Ciampa fires up with 4 stiff chops, but the big man isn’t fazed. Ciampa then slaps him in the face 4 or 5 times, but still no effect. Rezar picks him up for a sidewalk slam, but tags in Akam for the double team reverse curb stomp move (Is there a name for that?). That’s only good for a 2-count as NXT heads to break.

Back from break, the crowd is getting behind Ciampa. Ciampa dodges an avalanche in the corner and an elbow drop and manages to get the hot tag to Gargano. Gargano tries 2 flying forearms, but Akam isn’t going down. Gargano sends Akam to the ring apron, kicks him square in the face, and hits a dive to ringside to take Akam out temporarily. Rezar misses a clothesline and Gargano hits a somersault senton onto him on the floor.

Gargano comes back into the ring over the top rope with a slingshot DDT to Akam and only gets a 2-count. Ciampa gets the tag and he and Gargano crush Akam in the corner with a double kick. Ciampa then levels Akam with a huge discus clothesline, but Akam kicks out at 2. Ciampa locks in the bridging Fujiwara arm bar, but Rezar breaks it up. Gargano gets tossed to ringside and a fresh Rezar gets the tag. Rezar goes for a superplex, but Ciampa blocks and slides out. Ciampa attempts to powerbomb the big man out of the corner, but Rezar holds on. Gargano intercepts Akam with a super kick at the same time.

Gargano helps Ciampa deliver the powerbomb off the second rope to Rezar, but it’s only good for a very near fall. Gargano tags in and #DIY sets up for the Meeting in the Middle. Akam manages to pull Ciampa out of the ring and send him into the stairs. Gargano eats a spine buster in the ring from Rezar. Ciampa and Gargano counter the Super Collider and lock in dueling submissions. Just as the Authors are about to tap, the Revival hit the ring and cause the disqualification or no contest. Ciampa eats a Shatter Machine and Gargano gets sent into the post. Rezar hits Dawson and Wilder with a double clothesline. The Authors set up Dawson for the Last Chapter, but Wilder low bridges Akam out of the ring. Rezar then eats a Shatter Machine. The Revival stands tall to end the show.

Winner: No official announcement. Either a No Contest or #DIY wins by DQ. Either way, Authors of Pain retain the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Thoughts: This was another good TV match. I never bought into #DIY having a chance to win the titles back at this point, so that likely took some of the shine off the match for me. Authors of Pain have become a very good tag team in a very short amount of time. I believe this feud is headed toward a Triple Threat Tag Title match at TakeOver. I also have a minor complaint. I feel like wrestlers are overdoing the whole ‘slap the leg when I kick to make a loud noise’ thing. It’s driving me crazy. If I kick someone in the face or chest with my boot or shin pad, it is not going to make a skin-on-skin slap noise.

TLDR

  • Patrick Clark beat Sean Maluta
  • Asuka beat Peyton Royce to retain the Women’s Championship
  • Ember Moon saved Asuka from a beat down and they had a stare down
  • In 2 weeks, Bobby Roode will defend the championship against Kassius Ohno
  • Next week, Shinsuke Nakamura is back
  • Authors of Pain and #DIY went to a No Contest after Revival interfered

Announced for Next Week:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura returns

image credit – WWE

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