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WWE NXT #396 (6.7.17) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, No Way Jose takes on Killian Dain and Hideo Itami faces Oney Lorcan. I noticed that the recent NXT theme song didn’t last long.

Match #1: Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic) v. Lars Sullivan & Victor Andrews

Sullivan and Knight start things out with a few tie-ups. The big men trade shoulder blocks, but no one moves. On the third attempt, Sullivan hits a big clothesline. Sullivan then runs into a back elbow and then a boot in the corner followed by a Knight dropkick. Sullivan is still on his feet, though, and catches Knight in mid-air to deliver a big powerslam. Andrews wants the tag, so Sullivan gives it to him. Andrews runs right into the bear hug by Knight.

Dozovic gets the tag and they do the bear hug toss spot. Andrews breaks the hold, but gets an overhead belly-to-belly and then gets sandwiched between Heavy Machinery. Andrews eats the Compactor (the name of their finisher) and that’s the end.

Sullivan is on the ring apron and he’s livid. There’s a Delete chant from the crowd. Sullivan obliterates Andrews like he has previous tag team partners.

Winners: Heavy Machinery via pinfall

Thoughts: This is my first review in a month and I still hate Heavy Machinery. They’re still having the same basic squash matches and I’m not really impressed. I guess they are next in line for the Authors of Pain (is there anyone else?). I hate to say it, but I’d rather see a main roster tag team make a cameo to challenge the Authors. The Authors of Pain is a serious team with serious credibility and Heavy Machinery is not any of those things. As for Lars Sullivan – meh, we’ll see.

Backstage/Recap: Last week, No Way Jose returned to help Roderick Strong and Kassius Ohno even the odds against SAnitY. Dain cuts a brief post-match promo backstage regarding his upcoming match with Jose.

In-Ring: Roderick Strong is out to the ring not dressed to wrestle. He talks about the last year being a roller coaster. I see someone booing Strong – I don’t get wrestling fans. Strong says he wants the NXT Championship. Cue the Glorious NXT Champion, Bobby Roode.

Roode comes out wiping away some fake tears. He says Strong must be proud to be finally winning matches, to have a marginally hot fiancée, and a somewhat normal son. I LOL’d. Roode says Strong is a good hand, but needs to stay in his lane. Roode says Strong shouldn’t try to play the Bobby Roode lottery because he isn’t man enough to win.

Thoughts: Strong wasn’t really strong on the mic, but he loosened up a bit by the end of his promo. Just maybe, he might be mentioning the fiancée and son a little too many times. I think those promo videos and the announcers can cover that. Roode’s promo was scathing and damn good. Strong’s reaction afterward was sort of a defiant/dejected blend. I thought it was good – it establishes him in that NXT Sami Zayn role that I was predicting a while back.

Backstage Promo: Nikki Cross says she wants to play with Asuka and Ruby Riot again. Next week, a Triple Threat elimination match for the NXT Women’s Championship will happen.

Match #2: Sarah Logan v. Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay)

Logan apparently wrestled a goat at some point in her life, for better or worse – most likely for worse. Royce sort of takes Logan lightly and ends up getting flipped over into a wristlock. Royce levels Logan with a spinning heel kick out of nowhere for a near fall. Royce goes for the 3 Amigos, but after 2 suplexes, she hoists Logan into a fireman’s carry and hits kind of a rolling Attitude Adjustment for another near fall.

Royce starts to slap Logan around, which gets her fired up. Logan hits a series of chops and punches before hitting a running knee. Royce kicks out at two. Royce comes back with some nice looking strikes and the bridging fisherman’s suplex for the win.

Winner: Peyton Royce via pinfall

Thoughts: I have a serious crush on Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, so I’m not one to provide unbiased feedback. They could just walk around the ring and leave and I’d be happy with it. That said, you have to think the split is coming soon. Peyton Royce has improved dramatically in the ring, in my opinion. Will she get an NXT title run? I doubt it. I can see her on the main roster relatively soon.

Recap/Backstage: Cezar Bononi upset Andrade Almas last week. Later on, Almas was carefree and headed out to party while ignoring an NXT interviewer. Another woman shows up and slaps Almas hard across the face.

Match #3: Hideo Itami v. Oney Lorcan

Hideo was interviewed earlier and was asked if he was going back to Japan. That was kind of harsh. He says no, he’s not done yet.

Itami forces a rope break and slaps Lorcan hard in the face followed up with a brutal clothesline. Lorcan tries to fight back, but eats a knee to the gut off the ropes. Itami hits another and gets a near fall. Itami tees off with a brutal kick to Lorcan’s back. Itami runs into a boot in the corner and Lorcan scores with the running Blockbuster. Lorcan goes for a dive through the ropes, but Itami hits a kick to stop him. Itami comes off the top rope with a clothesline and gets another near fall.

Lorcan hits a chop and Itami tells him to bring it. A second, third, and fourth chop and Itami still no-sells and tells him to bring it. Itami goes for a quick GTS, but Lorcan gets free and slaps Itami in the face 6 or 7 times and hits a running European uppercut that levels Itami. Damn, what a sequence. Lorcan hits another uppercut and Itami is out of the ring. Lorcan comes off the top with a somersault plancha to the floor. Back in the ring, Itami fakes a knee injury to score a cheap shot to Lorcan. Itami tees off with slaps and kicks of his own to Lorcan. Good lord. Lorcan eats a GTS and he is out. Itami isn’t done, though. He hits a second GTS on Lorcan. Itami picks up Lorcan’s dead weight and nails a third GTS.

Itami tries to pick up Lorcan for a fourth GTS, but Kassius Ohno hits the ring and asks Itami what he’s doing. Itami shoves him, so Ohno shoves him to the mat. There’s an intense stare down before Itami retreats and the referee throws the match out or stops it, I’m unclear which one.

Winner: No Contest

Thoughts: That was a very physical match and I enjoyed it. Itami’s heel turn continues and it looks like he’ll be facing Kassius Ohno down the road. Itami will be a great heel because he can work that vicious style and not compromise his babyface character. Those GTS deliveries were just great, too. If I had to change one thing, I’d have had a referee stoppage and Itami win before Ohno did his run-in to protect Lorcan.

Backstage: Ember Moon is cleared to compete again. She’s standing by and says she’s going be win the NXT Women’s Championship when she gets another opportunity.

Match #4: No Way Jose v. Killian Dain (w/ Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe)

Killian Dain has some kind of Irish/SAnitY hybrid music. Young & Wolfe left ringside, so Dain is out here by himself. There is some back and forth early on until Jose gets a slight advantage. A top rope axe handle isn’t enough to knock Dain down, though. A big boot sends Dain to the floor, but he’s still on his feet as NXT goes to break.

Back from break, Jose fails to lift Dain and gets flattened with a running cross body block. Dain takes over with boots in the corner and rapid-fire elbow drops. There is the Fuzzy Wuzzy chant, which makes no sense since that bear had no hair. Dain continues to dominate with a neck crank as the crowd gets behind Jose. Dain dumps Jose and hits a running senton for a near fall. Dain continues clubbing Jose and signals for the end.

Dain goes for the One-Winged Angel, but Jose gets free and delivers forearm shots to the face. Jose tries to lift Dain up in a fireman’s carry again and still cannot do it. Jose finally lifts Dain up and hits a TKO, but Dain kicks out at two. Dain counters Jose’s knockout punch attempt and hits a Finn Balor running dropkick into the corner. Dain hits the One-Winged Angel and that’s all for Jose.

Winner: Killian Dain via pinfall

Thoughts: Look, it wasn’t great. Dain seemed a little lost at times and some of the sequences were a little clunky. The one issue I have is with Dain’s gear. I don’t know how high his ceiling can be with his look. It’s may be sort of vain, but can you picture him with his current look carrying the NXT Championship? That said, he’s clearly getting a featured spot and more independent of SAnitY, so let’s see how he handles it.


  • Heavy Machinery beat Lars Sullivan & Victor Andrews
  • Roderick Strong’s challenge to Bobby Roode was brushed off.
  • Peyton Royce beat Sarah Logan
  • Hideo Itami and Oney Lorcan ended in a No Contest / Referee Stoppage
  • Killian Dain beat No Way Jose

Advertised for Next Week

  • NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka © v. Nikki Cross v. Ruby Riot
  • Drew McIntyre in action
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