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WWE NXT #404 (8.2.17) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Asuka addresses Ember Moon and Johnny Gargano returns to the ring. Also, Bobby Roode has something to say and Aleister Black is going to beat someone up.

Match #1: Johnny Gargano v. Raul Mendoza

The #DIY music plays for Gargano and he does a double take before his new music plays instead. Gargano and Mendoza start out with some wrestling and reversals. Gargano seems to have the upper hand. Mendoza nips up from a shoulder block and the two trade pinning attempts before Gargano does his roll-up into a head kick spot. That was just flawless execution of that whole opening sequence by both guys. Mendoza recovers and nails Gargano with a leaping kick in the face.

Mendoza lights up Gargano with some chops and the two trade forearms. Gargano gets out of the way of a springboard attempt by Mendoza and then flattens him with the slingshot spear through the ropes. Gargano hits a huge clothesline and a running forearm in the corner, but Mendoza follows him out and delivers a brutal enzuigiri. Mendoza goes for a 450 Splash, but Gargano rolls him into the Gargano Escape and Mendoza has to tap.

Winner: Johnny Gargano via submission

Thoughts: Good match for both guys. Mendoza showed flashes of some character and is really talented in the ring. Gargano was Gargano and smooth as always. I think everyone is just waiting for Ciampa to come back for this feud to continue. I know I am.

Recap: We see a recap of the Authors of Pain/SAnitY brawl from last week. Not surprisingly, the Authors will be defending the Tag Team Championship against SAnitY at TakeOver. Paul Ellering tells SAnitY to be prepared because monsters are real.

In-Ring Promo: NXT Women’s Champion Asuka is out to the ring not dressed to wrestle. Asuka has been champion for 487 days and counting. Asuka says she’s beaten Ember Moon before and will do it again. She says Ember is not ready for Asuka. Ember Moon’s music hits and she heads to the ring.

Ember has a microphone. She says she knows she is ready and the people know she’s ready. There’s a dueling chant and it’s about 60/40 Ember Moon. Moon says Asuka isn’t ready for her. Asuka wants to shake hands, but pulls it away as Moon reaches. Asuka then slaps Moon across the face! Moon unloads with forearms on Asuka, but Asuka fights back up and nails Moon with a head kick. Asuka tries to throw Moon out of the ring, but she hangs on and surprises Asuka with the Eclipse. Asuka sells being knocked out cold as the segment ends.

Backstage Promo: NXT Champion Bobby Roode has demanded time to address both Roderick Strong and Drew McIntyre. Roode is asked how he feels about his allegedly disgusting behavior toward the Strong family. Roode uses a lottery analogy about people from the trailer park playing the lottery and trying to get rich. He says Strong lost the Bobby Roode lottery.

Roode says he heard Drew McIntyre’s comments last week. He says maybe Drew really is a changed man. Roode says he has an idea: He and McIntyre get in the ring next week and have a sit-down conversation.

Roode says he’s done, but Roderick Strong tries to get to him from off-camera. Several people are holding Strong back while Roode runs away. William Regal storms in and yells at Strong and says this isn’t the right way to handle the situation. Strong asks what he’s supposed to do when someone insults his family. Strong says he wants Bobby Roode. Regal says his hands are tied because Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre are wrestling at TakeOver. Strong storms off and Regal looks disgusted that he had to turn down Strong’s challenge to Roode.

Vignette: Street Profits are finally debuting on TV next week.

Match #2: Sonya Deville v. Jenna Van Bemel

I don’t have any insight on Van Bemel aside from that fact that she’s a body builder. Deville shows off her speed against the much larger Van Bemel. She puts her hands behind her back and challenges Van Bemel to hit her and she cannot. Deville levels Van Bemel with a clothesline and then several knees and strikes.

Van Bemel reverses an Irish whip and crushes Deville with an avalanche in the corner. Deville leaps out of the corner and takes Van Bemel down with a flying triangle submission. Van Bemel has to tap.

Winner: Sonya Deville via submission

Thoughts: Well, it was what it was. The goal is to try to get Deville over as an MMA grappler. Is it working? I don’t know. I’m not really feeling it right now. Van Bemel, in what might have been her first match ever, didn’t do a whole lot. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Backstage: Hideo Itami is standing by and is asked about his actions last week. Itami says no one is giving him the respect he deserves, so he will not do the same. The interviewer tries to cut him off and go back to the ring, but Itami grabs the microphone and walks out the side door and into the arena. The referee tells Itami to get out of the ring, but Itami says he deserves respect.

He tells the crowd not to disrespect him. He still has a cheering section. To be fair, he’s being a heel, but it’s hard to dislike him since he’s also a bad ass. Itami says he doesn’t care who is next and then Aleister Black’s music hits – holy s**t. Oh, please make this match for TakeOver. Itami is still in the ring, by the way. Black and Itami face off briefly before Itami appears to back down and go to leave the ring. He tries to attack Black from behind but Black just devastates him with a Black Mass and Itami is out cold. Black sits in the ring and the referee tries to figure out what to do with Itami’s corpse as NXT goes to break.

Main Event/Match #3: Aleister Black v. Kyle O’Reilly

There’s a big O’Reilly chant early on for the former ROH World Champion. O’Reilly goes for some strikes before Black stuffs his takedown attempt. I’m not even going to attempt to break this down because it’s basically an MMA fight. Black counters a triangle attempt and works a hammerlock. O’Reilly nails a big forearm and a body kick, but Black absorbed it. O’Reilly goes for another high kick, but Black sweeps his legs and takes a seat next to him. Black stays seated and goads O’Reilly into missing another kick. Black nips up and catches him with a knee off the ropes. O’Reilly is in trouble as NXT cuts away.

Back from break and Black cuts O’Reilly in half with a high kick, but can only get a 2-count. O’Reilly comes back with a leg kick and several strikes before hitting a leg sweep of his own. O’Reilly transitions a back suplex into an Achilles lock, but Black counters with slaps and kicks to the face to break the hold. Black gets taken down again and tries to play defense from his back. O’Reilly jumps over into side control and briefly transitions into ARMageddon. Black doesn’t let him extend the arm, though. O’Reilly and Black exchange more kicks, but O’Reilly gets him down again with a hammerlock and delivers some vicious looking knees. Both guys are resetting as NXT goes to commercial again.

Back from break and O’Reilly is just laying it in. Black comes back with more kicks in the corner and a snap suplex. O’Reilly isn’t done working on Black’s arm, though. He continues to torque Black’s arm while delivering the occasional strike. Black finally fires up with multiple high kicks and a springboard moonsault for a 2-count. Black uses his foot to stand up O’Reilly for the Black Mass, but O’Reilly locks in an ankle lock. Black breaks it with a big knee, but then takes a leg kick as he tries for another springboard. O’Reilly hits an axe kick and a stiff forearm, but still can’t pin Black.

For the finishing sequence, they take turns pummeling each other with kicks, knees, and slaps. With both guys selling exhaustion, O’Reilly finally slips up and runs right into a Black Mass and that is the end.

Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Thoughts: Wow, another really good match. What else can you say? They both brought it and didn’t disappoint. This was one of the only times I can remember seeing Black really extensively dominated as well. Is Kyle O’Reilly sticking around? Was the Hideo Itami thing a one-off or will he and Black feud after the Kassius Ohno storyline plays out? A lot of questions coming out of the last 1/3 of the show.


  • Johnny Gargano beat Raul Mendoza
  • Ember Moon KO’d Asuka with an Eclipse
  • Roddy Strong continued to try to get to Bobby Roode
  • Sonya Deville beat Jenna Van Bemel
  • Aleister Black KO’d Hideo Itami
  • Aleister Black beat Kyle O’Reilly

Advertised for Next Week

  • Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre ‘sit-down conversation’
  • Street Profits are in action
  • Andrade Almas versus No Way Jose
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