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WWE NXT Episode #398 (6.21.17) Play-by-Play and Review

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You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, Ember Moon returns from injury to face Peyton Royce and Kassius Ohno will take on Aleister Black.

Match #1: Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) v. Ember Moon

There’s a dueling Let’s Go Peyton / Let’s Go Ember chant at the beginning before Moon hits a drop kick and a handspring forearm in the corner. Moon goes for an early Eclipse, but she gets caught on the top rope. Moon blocks a fisherman’s suplex attempt off the top, but then knocks Royce into the referee’s leg. Billie Kay uses the brief distraction to yank Moon off the top rope and into the ropes. Royce sends Moon shoulder-first into the post twice as NXT cuts to break.

Back from break and Royce has a standing kimura locked in on Moon. Moon tries a roll-up attempt, but Peyton kicks out. The two trade some strikes before Moon gets another near fall with a springboard cross-body. Moon tries another handspring into the corner, but Royce catches her with a spinning heel kick. A series of counters leads to Royce on the receiving end of a sort of head/body scissors takedown. Moon climbs up for the Eclipse, but Billie pulls Royce out of the ring. Moon ends up hitting a dive off the tope rope to Billie Kay at ringside and she is out.

Royce tries to take advantage and both women trade crucifix pin attempts. Royce hits Moon with a Widow’s Peak, but Moon again kicks out. Moon sends Royce face-first into the buckle and then hits the Eclipse for the win.

Winner: Ember Moon via pinfall

Thoughts: It was a good match. I was hoping for some kind of no finish to try to protect Royce and Kay a little. I know Ember Moon is the heir apparent still, but I love the Iconic Duo. Hopefully they get something big soon – maybe a split and feud?

Backstage: Kassius Ohno is preparing for tonight when Hideo Itami approaches him. He says he hasn’t had the success in NXT like he did in Japan, which frustrates him. Itami apologizes for pushing him and Ohno is in a better mood.

Match #2: Ealy Brothers v. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Eric Young)

There is no Killian Dain or Nikki Cross with SAnitY tonight. Uriel and Wolfe start things off by trading strikes. Wolfe gets the upper hand before tagging in Young, who hits an elbow drop to the back of the neck of Uriel.  Wolfe tags back in and runs into a boot in the corner. Gabriel tags in, but runs right into a pump kick. The heels use rapid tags to isolate and beat down Gabriel in the heel corner. Wolfe misses another charge into the corner and Uriel gets the lukewarm tag.

Uriel runs in and picks up Wolfe to set up for their finisher, I guess? Young was standing right behind them and quickly takes out Gabriel. Wolfe rakes the eyes of Uriel with the referee distracted by Young. Wolfe holds Uriel up while Young jumps off the second rope with a neckbreaker and that’s good for the win.

Winners: SAnitY via pinfall

Thoughts: A strong showing for SAnitY after their first real losses in NXT. I’m unsure about the status of Killian Dain as he wasn’t at ringside. I assume Nikki Cross is selling last week’s brawl. Anyway, we’ll see if SAnitY gets a small reboot now and maybe challenges for the tag titles eventually?

 Recap: As a result of last week’s brawl, Asuka will defend the women’s championship against Nikki Cross next week in a Last Woman Standing Match.

Vignette: Another Sonya Deville vignette is shown. She is up next.

Match #3: Rachel Evers v. Sonya Deville

Deville goes right for some kicks and levels Evers with a leaping clothesline. Deville hits a sliding knee into the back of Evers, which looked pretty good. Deville gets thrown down, but quickly comes back with a kick and knee. After some rapid kicks in the corner, Deville locks a body scissors in while grinding her forearms on Evers’ face.

Evers tries to fight back, but Deville starts to no-sell and removes a glove. She punches Evers in the stomach several times before rolling into a double wristlock for the submission.

Winner: Sonya Deville via submission

Thoughts: Not bad from Deville. I think she is clearly a heel and will need to establish that over time. It wasn’t a good crowd reaction, but I’ll give it some time. I expect to see some more squash matches over the next month or two. 

Recap/Backstage: In case you don’t have Instagram or Twitter (And I salute and envy you), Bobby Roode and Roderick Strong had an altercation (storyline) at a photo shoot today. Roode was being a douche to the photographer when Strong and family walked in. Roode says what a beautiful kid they have and if they keep making those, they’ll need that double wide trailer sooner than they think. Roode then whistles at Strong’s fiancée and says whenever she feels like being with a real man to let him know.

That set off Strong, who starts throwing punches. Strong gets the better of him before they get pulled apart. Roode screams that Strong can have a shot at the title any place and any time. It’s announced that in 2 weeks on NXT #400, Roode will defend the title against Strong. Interesting that this wasn’t saved for Brooklyn…

Main Event/Match #4: Kassius Ohno v. Aleister Black

Nigel notes that Kassius Ohno had a hand in training Aleister Black. Both guys are cautious to start. There’s a show of respect between the two and a clean break. The crowd is so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. I think they are as surprised by this match-up as I am. There are a lot more mat wrestling and submission attempts before another clean break. Ohno finally nails a deafening chop in the corner. He backs off and allows Black to kick him in the chest. Ohno bails out to avoid a Black Mass and Aleister does his springboard fake-out spot.

Ohno re-enters the ring and Black hits several strikes. Ohno eats a knee in the face, but rebounds off the ropes with a vicious elbow to the face of Black and he is out of the ring. Good lord. Commercial break. Back to the match, Ohno is destroying Black in the corner and finishes with a huge boot to the face for a near fall. Ohno hits an insane running senton for a 2-count. Ohno then sits in the ring to mock Black. Black gets up and kicks him in the back, but Ohno counters with a drop kick to the face. Ohno starts talking some trash and hits a weak chop. Black catches the next punch attempt and hits a double stomp to Ohno as he rebounded off the ropes. That was neat.

Black fires up with some body kicks and a springboard moonsault. Ohno ducks the Black Mass, but takes a kick to the face from the other direction instead. Ohno catches another kick attempt and nails Black with a pump kick to the chest/face. Black hits a huge boot to the face of Ohno, but Ohno responds with another pump kick to the face for a 2-count. Ohno stands Black up for a big forearm shot. Ohno tries for his finisher, but Black counters and strikes at Ohno. Black hits a knee to the face and gets a near fall.

I know you’re shocked, but these guys are kicking each other some more. Black eats an enzuigiri and Ohno nips up to deliver a discus big boot, but Black kicks out at the last moment. They trade insane shots again before Ohno catches Black with a release suplex. Ohno goes for the rolling elbow, but he runs right into the Black Mass and that’s it!

Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a really fun match. This was a pure striking match for the most part and both of these guys are damn good at it. The finish makes sense since Black is likely the future. I’m interested to see who his next feud is with and if Kassius/Hideo will go anywhere since you know Itami wasn’t being sincere in his promo earlier.

 TLDR

  • Ember Moon beat Peyton Royce
  • SAnitY (Young & Wolfe) beat The Ealy Brothers
  • Sonya Deville beat Rachel Evers
  • Bobby Roode will defend the NXT Championship against Roderick Strong in 2 weeks on NXT #400.
  • Aleister Black beat Kassius Ohno

Advertised for Next Week

  • NXT Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing Match: Asuka © v. Nikki Cross

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