NXT comes to us from the University of Central Florida once again this week and Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness are back on commentary. Tonight: Bobby Roode defends the NXT Championship against Kassius Ohno.
You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show.
Match #1: The Ealy Brothers v. The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering (Non-title)
The Ealy twins called out the Authors of Pain after last week’s pre-match assault, God bless them, and AoP apparently accepted. The Ealys are some big boys, though. Gabriel surprised Rezar at the outset and overpowered him back into the Ealy corner. Uriel tags in and counters a Rezar back body drop attempt with a kick, but Rezar isn’t fazed. Rezar beheads Uriel with a clothesline. Rezar gives Gabriel a head butt while he’s on the ring apron. Akam tags in and the Authors impressively pick the Ealy Brothers up for the Super Collider, but then sloppily execute it. The Authors hit the Last Chapter on one of them and that’s it.
Winners: Authors of Pain via pinfall.
Post Match: Ellering grabs a microphone and says the Revival is next on the list of destruction. He says Revival claims to be the best tag team in the world, but Ellering says he created the algorithm for greatness in tag team wrestling. The #DIY entrance theme hits and Gargano and Ciampa head to the ring. Ciampa mocks Ellering’s voice and claims he doesn’t know what algorithm means. Neither does Johnny Wrestling. Well, shoot. #DIY wants a fair rematch. Now the Revival music hits and they make their way out to the aisle.
Wilder says there are 3 things you don’t do in sports: You don’t bench Tom Brady, you don’t pull Michael Jordan in the 4th quarter, and the Revival does not watch the division they created from the sidelines. GM William Regal makes his entrance at this point and announces a Triple Threat tag team elimination championship match for NXT TakeOver: Orlando.
Thoughts: Let me go back to the Ealy Brothers. They are big, so you know Vince is drooling all over the place somewhere. They are also literally twins. They also have no identifying features or gear – that needs to change so we can tell them apart. The Triple Threat match was a long time coming, but what is interesting is that it is also an elimination match and not a sudden death situation. All 3 teams are super-established and credible and I may be looking forward to this the most at TakeOver.
Promos: Heavy Machinery is coming soon. A special look at Asuka’s undefeated streak (This was really good). Quote: How do you defeat the undefeated?
Match#2: Macey Estrella v. Nikki Cross (w/ SAnitY)
Estrella is advertised as being former military police in the USMC. Her character is like whatever was in the costume closet, so she’s like some retro schoolgirl or something. Out next is the woman that should be facing Asuka in Orlando if it were up to me. A child in the crowd is yelling Let’s go Nikki! Someone should call DFCS to check on her home situation.
Cross charges in at the bell and hits Estrella in the mouth. She drives her back into a corner and unloads with forearms. Cross performs a wristlock on Macey’s hair and throws her across the ring by it. Estrella surprises Cross with a straight punch to the throat, which looked brutal. Cross looks legitimately surprised and tackles Estrella to maul her. Cross hits the swinging fisherman’s neck breaker, but doesn’t go for the pin. Cross hits a second and Eric Young says you know what to do. Cross hits a third. A fourth. A fifth. A sixth. Finally, she goes for the pin and gets the win. We may not see Macey Estrella for a bit.
Winner: Nikki Cross via pinfall.
Post Match: Tye Dillinger and No Way Jose jump SAnitY from behind right after the bell. Cross hops on Tye’s back and rakes his eyes. This allows Killian Dain to flatten him with the running cross-body block. Jose is quickly outnumbered and gets a German suplex from Wolfe. Young orders Wolfe and Dain to hold up Dillinger while he hits the Youngblood on Jose. Dain hits a running senton on Dillinger. Young screams that the blood is on Tye’s hands. Nigel asks rhetorically who can stop SAnitY as the heels stand tall.
Thoughts: Cross is just an insanely vicious heel. Maybe the referee should have stopped the match after the 4th or 5th finisher, but maybe that’s been a little overdone. It’s still a curious decision to not have her against Asuka in Orlando. Triple H must know that the crowd is going to be pro-Asuka regardless of how arrogant and flippant she acts. Then again, if Moon wins the belt, she’ll have a pretty established true heel to work against immediately.
Promo: Another Aleister Black promo, but no debut date was revealed.
Backstage: We see a recap of the Billie Kay ‘injury’ last week. At the Performance Center, we are about to get an update on Billie Kay’s condition when we see Andrade Almas shove Ho Ho Lun into a locker. Oney Lorcan stands up for him and gets in Almas’s face to back him off (Lorcan was sporting the Storm Wrestling Academy shirt, by the way). Lorcan is standing by for a promo and says Almas is a bully and he can’t stand bullies. He says Almas can try to bully him. On that note, Lorcan versus Almas is announced for next week. Oney is finally developing a personality!
Also, a 6-man tag match with SAnitY against Dillinger, Strong, and Jose is going to happen next week. Interesting that it’s not happening at TakeOver after all this TV investment.
Backstage: Kassius is making his way out and cuts a quick promo and is wearing a jersey that I can envision selling fairly well. Roode is now backstage and says Ohno doesn’t even deserve this chance and he’s a failure.
Match #3: NXT Championship: Bobby Roode © v. Kassius Ohno
Shinsuke Nakamura is watching on a monitor backstage. After the big match introductions, there are dueling chants from the crowd. I’m sure Roode loves you cheering for him, folks.
Ohno out-wrestles Roode early on with a two pin attempts and a back slide for near falls. Roode begs off for a breather and gets out of the ring. Back in the ring, Ohno grabs a headlock, but gets shot into the ropes. Off the ropes, Ohno levels Roode with a shoulder block. Off the ropes again, Roode tries a leap frog, but Ohno stops and hits a Brogue Kick that drops Roode. Ohno delivers some heavy strikes and chops to Roode in the corners. Ohno whips Roode into the corner and hits a back body drop on the rebound. Ohno clotheslines Roode over the top to the floor and the champion is reeling as NXT goes to commercial.
Back from break, Roode is whipped into the corner again, but this time catches Ohno with a kick to the face. Roode clotheslines Ohno in the back of the head, knocking him on his face. Roode pounds on Ohno and chokes him in the corner with his boot. Roode whips Ohno into the corner and delivers an avalanche clothesline followed by a short arm clothesline out of the corner. Roode comes off the second rope with a clubbing forearm to the back of the head, but only gets a 2-count. Roode mounts Ohno and unloads with punches.
Ohno surprises Roode with a strikes and a chop, but Roode catches him with a back elbow off the ropes. Roode delivers a quick elbow drop and a knee drop for a near fall. Roode settles into a chin lock as the dueling crowd chants start again. I have some thoughts about that to get off my chest later. Ohno breaks the hold with a jawbreaker. Ohno strikes Roode in the face, but Roode sends him into the ropes. Ohno flips over and lands on his feet on the apron. Roode charges, but eats a boot to the face. A double Irish whip reversal sends Ohno into the corner and he flips over the buckle to the floor as NXT cuts to break.
Back from break, Roode has a knee in Ohno’s back. Roode goes for a suplex, but Ohno delivers his own release vertical suplex, which jack knifed Roode to the mat. Ohno fires off several more heavy strikes and a drop kick. Ohno nips up and hits an avalanche clothesline. Ohno hits Roode with a Cyclone Kill, but Roode kicks out. Ohno goes for a running senton, but Roode gets his knees up. Roode delivers a backstabber, but it’s only good for a near fall.
Roode hits another avalanche clothesline in the corner, but Ohno counters the short arm attempt and hits a kick to the face. Ohno hits a Diamond Dust from the second rope, but Roode is able to kick out once again. Roode ducks a discus elbow attempt and slams Ohno with a spine buster for a 2-count. Roode sells frustration as the dueling chants pick up again. Ohno counters the Glorious DDT and destroys Roode with the discus elbow, but Roode flies out of the ring to the floor. Ohno rolls Roode back in and crushes him with a running senton, but can only get a 2-count. I feel like Masato Tanaka and Shawn Michaels heavily influenced Ohno. Not a negative, just an observation.
Ohno goes for the discus elbow from the neck breaker position, but Roode counters. Ohno’s neck ends up hitting the top rope, stunning him, and Roode delivers the Glorious DDT and gets the win. It will now officially be Roode versus Nakamura at TakeOver.
Winner: Bobby Roode via pinfall to retain the NXT Championship
Thoughts: Let me start with Kassius Ohno. It was a good match, but he just kind of got thrown out there. I didn’t watch NXT when he was originally there and I’m not too familiar with his work as Chris Hero elsewhere. I’d have liked to see a little more build up for something like this as I was initially afraid it would be a rushed program that ended with him losing. Admittedly, I also don’t know WWE’s long-term plans for Kassius. He’s 37 years old, so is he there to mainly work with younger guys and assist with development? Is he going to transition to a trainer role? Your guess is as good as mine.
Bottom line, he was at least presented as a very credible opponent and Roode gets a big win before the Nakamura rematch. I have no additional thoughts about Roode right now. I mean, he’s great. He is going to be a top heel on the main roster someday soon.
Let’s get to the fan chants, though, because it really bothers me. I’ll even use Bobby Roode as an example. I love Roode. His entrance, his theme, his character, his style – the dude is a superstar. That said, if I go to a show and Bobby Roode is playing a heel, I’m not going to f’ing cheer for him. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him. We get it: You’re ‘smart’ to the business. So is everyone else nowadays. Bobby Roode is trying to make you boo him and you should because he does absolutely nothing redeeming. He cheats, he’s arrogant, he’s insulting. Bobby Roode does not want you to chant for him as he is playing a heel. So don’t.
- Authors of Pain beat the Ealy Brothers
- Authors v. Revival v. #DIY in a Truple Threat Elimination title match was announced for TakeOver.
- Nikki Cross beat Macey Estrella
- Bobby Roode beat Kassius Ohno to retain the NXT Championship
Announced for Next Week:
- Oney Lorcan v. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
- Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, and No Way Jose v. SAnitY
image credit – WWE