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NXT Episode #402 (7.19.17) play-by-play & review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Ruby Riot takes on Ember Moon and Drew McIntyre takes on Killian Dain with the winner becoming the #1 Contender for the NXT championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn.

Match #1: Ember Moon v. Ruby Riot

This seems like an unspoken #1 Contender’s match for the NXT Women’s Championship. There are dueling chants for the 2 babyfaces at the start before the women trade several pin attempts and reversals. Moon counters a monkey flip attempt by landing on her feet and there’s still no advantage. Riot finally gets the upper hand with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors take down. Riot cuts off a brief Ember Moon comeback by driving her face into the middle buckle and hitting a big Saito suplex for a 2-count.

Moon finally scores with some kicks and then a back breaker transition into a Flatliner. Moon is in control as NXT cuts to commercial. Back from break, Riot is back in control. Riot comes off the top rope with a senton for a near fall as the dueling chants pick up again. Moon catches Riot with a spinning side slam and goes to the top rope, but Riot is there to cut her off. Riot nails a top rope FrankenSteiner for another 2-count. Moon counters some strikes with a huge discus punch to the face. Moon follows up with a brutal jump kick to the face and a sort of side suplex slam. Moon hits the handspring avalanche in the corner and sets up for the Eclipse. Moon hits it and that’s all for Ruby Riot.

Winner: Ember Moon via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a really good match. I would say it’s my favorite singles match involving either woman in NXT. While Moon is credible enough in the ring to beat Asuka when it finally happens, let’s just hope she can finally learn to not be awkward as hell when she talks. I’m not sure where Ruby Riot goes from here, as she desperately needs a feud where she can come out on top.

Recap: Mauro says that Hideo Itami will face Kassius Ohno next week. Earlier today, Ohno is being interviewed when Itami walks in and asks if Ohno is the one who asked for the match. Ohno confirms and Itami says something in Japanese before kicking a trash can as he leaves.

Vignette: Street Profits are coming soon.

Match #2: Oney Lorcan v. Danny Burch

How about the recently released Simon Gotch name-dropping Oney Lorcan in a recent interview when he was whining about his time in NXT/WWE? Some friend, right? There’s an aggressive tie-up to start, which leads me to think this will be physical. There’s no advantage until Burch stuns Lorcan with a right hand and unloads on him in the corner. Burch comes off the second rope with a flat back drop kick that knocks Lorcan into the corner. Burch nips up, but charges right into an uppercut. Burch counters Lorcan on the top rope and pulls him off for sort of a hanging cutter for a near fall.

Lorcan counters a body slam attempt and catches Burch with a running Blockbuster and then dives into Burch with a European uppercut and nearly flew out of the ring. That looks to have busted Burch’s nose. Burch fires up and nails Lorcan with several uppercuts and a stiff kick. Lorcan grabs Burch by the face and unloads with slaps to the face. Burch retaliates with a clothesline that spins Lorcan 360 degrees. Damn, what a sequence. Burch hits a vicious powerbomb, but Lorcan kicks out. I thought that was the end. Lorcan counters a top rope exploder attempt and rolls Burch right into a single leg Boston crab and Burch taps immediately.

Post-match, Lorcan and Burch shake hands. Burch doesn’t let go, though, and says he wants Lorcan one more time. The crowd chants for it and Lorcan accepts.

Winner: Oney Lorcan via submission

Thoughts: That was a simple formula: A couple of tough guys just beating the hell out of each other. I really enjoyed this match and look forward to Part 2. On a side note, Lorcan needs to maybe be a little more careful as this is the second guy in a row that leaves with a bloody face.

 Match #3: No Way Jose v. Cezar Bononi

Wow, I can’t remember the last time I saw Jose. Two months ago, Bononi got an upset win over Andrade Almas. Bononi quickly takes over with some stomps and a standing drop kick and he sort of landed on Jose. Bononi hits some knee strikes, but Jose comes back with a suplex. Jose nails a huge lariat, nails Bononi with his pop-up KO punch, and that’s it for Bononi.

Andrade Almas and Thea Trinidad are ringside after the match. Almas gets in the ring to beat on Bononi. He challenges Jose, who hits the ring to fight. Almas backs off and exits through the crowd, though.

Winner: No Way Jose via pinfall

Thoughts: The purpose of the match was to apparently set up Jose and Almas for a match. As for Bononi, the guy is still really green and it shows with some of his really clumsy offense and selling. Last time I saw Bononi, he was playing a sort of arrogant foreign heel, so I’m not sure what happened to that gimmick. Am I excited for Jose and Almas? Not really, but Trinidad adds something to Almas and should also add a new woman to the division with some credibility.

 Main Event/Match #4: #1 Contender Match: Drew McIntyre v. Killian Dain

Dain’s music might have changed again. He’s also out without any SAnitY members. It is noted that both men are undefeated in NXT so far. McIntyre takes control initially with some strikes and a top rope clothesline that levels Dain. Dain surprises McIntyre with a running cross-body as NXT cuts to break. Back from break, Dain is stomping McIntyre in the corner. Dain continues to overpower McIntyre and hits a series of big elbow drops.

Dain tries for several pin attempts, delivers several cross-face shots, and finally hits a big knee to the face. McIntyre’s comeback gets cut off short by a clothesline, but he slides off the second rope and delivers a huge powerbomb out of the corner to Dain for a near fall. McIntyre hits a boot to the face and a leaping clothesline before nipping up. McIntyre hits a Celtic Cross for a near fall. Dain counters the Claymore with a Belfast Blitz and Vader Bomb. That’s only good for a 2-count. Dain goes for the One-Winged Angel, but McIntyre gets out. Dain counters Future Shock and hits a powerbomb, but McIntyre gets a shoulder up.

Dain puts McIntyre on the top tope and hits an avalanche fisherman’s suplex. McIntyre again kicks out and nails Dain with the Future Shock, but Dain kicks out at 1! McIntyre nails the Claymore, but can’t even make the cover because Dain is getting up! McIntyre hits a second Claymore with Dain on his knees and that’s finally enough to get the win.

Winner: Drew McIntyre via pinfall

Thoughts: There weren’t any surprises here. Dain challenging Roode didn’t make sense. That said, these guys worked their asses off here. Dain doesn’t look bad in the least by taking the loss and I was pretty impressed with him. More concerning is the lack of crowd reaction and involvement for McIntyre, which I don’t quite understand. I like McIntyre, so I’m not sure why he’s getting a lukewarm reception at Full Sail. NXT still has about a month to try to get him over before TakeOver, though.


  • Ember Moon beat Ruby Riot
  • Oney Lorcan beat Danny Burch
  • No Way Jose beat Cezar Bononi
  • Andrade Almas and No Way Jose had a showdown
  • Drew McIntyre beat Killian Dain to become the #1 Contender for the NXT Championship

Advertised for Next Week

  • Hideo Itami v. Kassius Ohno
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