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WWE NXT #383 (3.22.17) Play-by-Play and Review



***Before I finish this review, I wanted to pass my condolences to Jim Ross and his family as they mourn the loss of his wife Jan.***

NXT comes to us from the University of Central Florida in Orlando once again this week and Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness are back on commentary. Advertised tonight is the big 6-man tag and Oney Lorcan versus Andrade Almas.

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

Match #1: Oney Lorcan v. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas

Almas is out wearing that damned hat again. I wish it would go up in flames from his pyrotechnics. Almas showboats a little at the start before taking a breather outside the ring. Back in the ring, Lorcan lights Almas up with some chops. Off the ropes, there’s a miscommunication and Almas kind of lands on the back of Lorcan’s legs. Almas delivers a crushing forearm, but Lorcan fires back with a knock down blow from behind. Almas rolls back out of the ring and uses almost the whole 10 count.

Almas dupes Lorcan by getting him to chase him outside the ring. Almas takes control in the ring with a backbreaker/elbow drop combo. Almas then connects with an open-handed slap to Lorcan’s face. Lorcan back drops Almas out of the ring, but Almas catches a dive attempt and hurls Lorcan onto the floor as NXT cuts to break.

Back from break, Almas is in control and there’s a light Let’s Go Lorcan chant. Almas uses the middle rope to choke Lorcan and hits a leg lariat off the ropes for a 2-count. Almas locks a snug chin lock. Lorcan fights out, but eats a knee. Lorcan counters a suplex attempt and levels Almas with a standing body block followed by a clothesline. Lorcan comes off the ropes for a running Blockbuster, but only gets a 2-count. Almas counters the half and half suplex, but Lorcan scores with European uppercuts. A running European uppercut then sends Almas to ringside.

Lorcan goes to the top and hits a somersault senton onto a standing Almas. Wow, where the hell did that come from?! Lorcan crushes Almas in the corner 3 times and both guys sell exhaustion. Lorcan fires up and runs across the ring twice more to sandwich Almas in the corner. Almas staggers out right into the half and half suplex, but Almas kicks out of a believable near fall. Almas counters a Lorcan attempt to get him on the top rope and Lorcan is the one who ends up sitting on the top. Almas chops his chest with all of his being, by God.

Almas gets head butted off the top rope, but ducks a Lorcan cross body attempt. Almas comes across the ring with a cartwheel into a backflip to kick Lorcan in the back of the head. Almas charges again, but Lorcan meets him halfway with a kick right in the face. Lorcan runs the ropes, but gets turned inside out with a clothesline. Lorcan kicks out at 2 and 7/8ths. Almas puts Lorcan in the corner and elbows his head 3 or 4 times. Almas delivers the double knees in the corner and then the hammerlock DDT and finally that’s good for the win. Wow, what a match.

Winner: Andrade Almas via pinfall

Thoughts: Wow, that was a physical match. Almas is such a better heel than he was a baby face. He is just so good in the ring, too. Lorcan has potential as well. He just needs some time to fill in the character part and give people a reason to care. It’s a shame Almas doesn’t have a TakeOver match – at least as I type this.

Backstage: #DIY cuts a promo about TakeOver. They recap their rise and fall and conclude by saying they’ll have another memorable moment at TakeOver.

Promo: Another new Aleister Black promo that focuses on him training a more MMA-style in the shadows was shown.

Match#2: Asuka v. Priscilla Zuniga

NXT is really playing up Ember Moon’s Eclipse as a total knockout move. There are Asuka’s Gonna Kill You chants early on here. Asuka wants the microphone after the bell rings, though. She says, “Ember Moon, this is your fate”. She then beheads Zuniga with a kick to the face. Asuka continues the head kicks, but Zuniga slaps her in the face. Asuka smiles and Zuniga tries to run, but Asuka hits her on the rope rebound with a hip attack. That was brutal. Asuka tees off with some Yes! kicks, then deadlifts Zuniga for a brutal German suplex that folds her in half. Good lord.

Asuka then delivers the knockout roundhouse kick to the head and goes for the pin with one knee, but lifts Zuniga up at 2. Asuka connects with several knee strikes and another kick in the face. Asuka locks in the Asuka Lock and gets a quick tap out. Asuka holds on after the bell for a little longer than usual.

Winner: Asuka via submission

Post Match: Asuka is back on the microphone talking in Japanese. She ends with, “No Eclipse”.

Thoughts: This was proof of how cool the occasional squash match can be. Asuka has been champion for 354 days and we know she’s dominant, but something like this just reinforces it 100-fold. It used to be so effective in the old days. Instances of the Undertaker putting jobbers in body bags and Sid Justice opponents being stretchered out after a powerbomb come to mind.

I think we all should start to brace ourselves for Asuka to lose to Ember Moon, though. Asuka went out of her way to try to get some boos tonight: Trash talking on the microphone, extending the beating on Zuniga, the arrogant pin attempt, not breaking the submission, then shouting in Japanese. I still think the TakeOver crowd will be behind her mostly, but they’re putting in some work to try to elevate Moon as the crowd favorite.

That’s the thing that is tough to accept about NXT, though. People like Asuka, Nakamura, Roode, and others aren’t working for peanuts. WWE is throwing a lot of cash at them. Working shows with 500-1500 fans 95% of the time isn’t going to pay for that. They are meant to move on to the big shows. So I feel your pain in wanting Asuka to reign for years, but I also have to see the big picture: She’s gonna be losing to Naomi via roll-up by June. I’m kidding (I hope).

Backstage: The Revival cut a TakeOver promo from what appears to be the boiler room. They say they fight for money and they’re better than the Hart Foundation, etc. Wilder is achieving epic beard status.

Next Week: A Triple Threat match between Akam, Dash Wilder, and Johnny Gargano.

Promo: A special look at the Bobby Roode versus Shinsuke Nakamura feud. Roode’s ‘residence’ is shown and I LOL’d. It may have been a university academic building. It sounds like William Shatner is narrating this, but I won’t stand behind that claim. Bobby Roode is drinking champagne by himself with another framed 5 x 7 of himself on the table next to him. I can’t even. Very cool video package. Check it out if it’s on YouTube.

Backstage: The white meat baby faces (Dillinger, Strong, and Jose) cut a quick promo about how they’re going to win tonight.

Backstage: Kassius Ohno is backstage after his loss when the Drifter starts strumming his guitar and singing. Ohno says he needs an ass kicking, but the Drifter says Ohno doesn’t even belong here. Ohno challenges him to a Loser Leaves NXT match and the Drifter accepts.

Backstage: It is announced that Aleister Black will debut at TakeOver and his opponent will be Andrade Almas. Almas does his thing in Spanish and I got none of it.

Promo: Heavy Machinery is getting hungry and they’re ready to eat.

Match #3: SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, & Eric Young) w/ Nikki Cross v. Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, and No Way Jose

Anyone else think WWE missed their window to put Dillinger on the main roster in a program? It seems as though his crowd pops have died down a bit since they peaked over the Rumble weekend.

They don’t even wait for a bell and the teams are brawling outside the ring. For the love of all things sacred, Dain is without a shirt or pants again. Dain ends up in the ring with Strong and there’s the bell to officially get the match underway. Strong tries forearming Dain, but Dain shoves him down and drives him into the heel corner. Wolfe tags in and trades strikes with Strong. Strong ends up pushing him back into the baby face corner and Dillinger gets the tag. Tye hits a knee drop and stares Eric Young down. Jose tags in and slams Wolfe and gets the first ever 0-count in NXT history. Strong tags back in and delivers a back breaker. Dillinger tags in and works over Wolfe’s ankle.

Strong is back in, but Wolfe turns the tide with an uppercut. Strong floats over a slam attempt and hits a dropkick that sends Young to the outside. Strong dropkicks Dain off the apron and gives Young a clothesline. Strong hits a corkscrew dive over the top to take out the heels on the floor as NXT cuts to break.

Back from break, Jose is back in the ring and hits a sidewalk slam on Wolfe. Eric Young finally gets a tag and takes over on Jose. Young runs right into an elbow and a clothesline, though. Dillinger calls for the tag and Eric Young runs away and tags Wolfe back in. Dillinger takes Wolfe down and again stares down Eric Young. There’s a big focus on Young trying to avoid a fair fight with Dillinger. Jose tags back in and takes over on Wolfe. Finally, a Nikki Cross distraction causes Jose to eat a big boot to the face and the heels take over.

Killian Dain gets a tag and mauls Jose. Dain delivers 3 elbow drops and tags Wolfe, who takes over on Jose. Wolfe knocks Strong off the apron, but then there’s a double clothesline. Wolfe tags in Young who then ran over to knock Dillinger off the apron. Jose back body drops Young and tags in Strong. Strong nails Young with multiple strikes and catches Dain with a knee as he tries getting in the ring. Strong hits Young with a half nelson backbreaker and another backbreaker to Wolfe.

Strong hits a running hit knee on Young against the ropes followed by a back suplex into a gourd buster. Dain hits a senton to the back of Strong as he tries for the pin, though. Dillinger comes in to go after Dain and Jose comes in to go at Wolfe. At this point, the referee throws the match out.

Jose spears Wolfe through the ropes to the outside, taking them both out. Strong ducks a Dain charge and he eats the ring post. Strong is also down on the outside now holding his knee. This leaves Young alone in the ring with Dillinger. Nikki Cross jumps on Dillinger’s back, but a mystery woman (Heidi Lovelace / Ruby Riot) runs out and pulls her off. She hits a spear and a flapjack on Cross. She then hits an enziugiri on Cross and knocks her out of the ring.

Dillinger Irish whips Young into the corner and he does a Triple H flip over the buckle to the floor. Jose hits Wolfe with his pop-up elbow and sends him to the outside as well. Dain gets caught in a 3-on-1 and the baby faces take turns teeing off on him. Finally, the baby faces stand tall to close the show.

Winner: No Contest

Thoughts: The crowd didn’t initially like the finish, but this makes sense. An unbelievable amount of TV time has been devoted to SAnitY versus Jose, Tye, and Strong. They’ve earned their way to a TakeOver match. The added wrinkle now is that the baby faces finally have someone to neutralize Nikki Cross (in theory).


  • Andrade Almas beat Oney Lorcan
  • Asuka beat Priscilla Zuniga
  • Aleister Black v. Andrade Almas is announced for TakeOver
  • SAnitY versus Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, and No Way Jose was a no contest
  • Heidi Lovelace (Now Ruby Riot) made her debut attacking Nikki Cross

Announced for Next Week:

  • Johnny Gargano v. Akam v. Dash Wilder
  • Loser Leaves NXT: Elias Samson v. Kassius Ohno
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