NXT (May 24, 2017)

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Welcome to NXT, coming to you via tape from Chicago! These matches were all recorded during the TakeOver: Chicago event, so get ready for some filler!

Highlights for Children!

We start things off with highlights from TakeOver: Chicago to start things off. The entire damn show was a highlight, so this goes on for a couple minutes. Great show that TakeOver: Chicago was. Probably the most solid wrestling show of 2017.

After the opening credits, the greatest entrance music of perhaps all times begins and the heroic Satanist, Aleister Black shows up for the first match of the evening.

Match 1: Aleister Black vs. Curt Hawkins

Curt Hawkins shows up to challenge Aleister Black and they actually mention that these two faced each other on Main Event. This blew my goddamn mind because Main Event is, to my knowledge, separate from the main WWE and NXT continuities.

Hawkins tries to get the jump on Black, but Black just wrecks his shit with a knee strike and some kicks. Black goes up top and tries to do some high flying but Hawkins evades so Black just ends up leaping over him and then hitting him with another knee. Black goes for Black Mass, but Hawkins bails.

There’s a spot where anytime that Black slides out to go after Hawkins of the floor, Hawkins slides back in. This happens a couple times before Hawkins finally catches Black and slams him into the ring apron and gets in control.

Back in the ring, Hawkins briefly works Black over before Black hits some more kicks and an insane moosault press. He does the thing where he brings up Hawkins head with his foot, but Hawkins again manages to escape. It doesn’t matter though because a second later he gets his shit completely ruined via the Black Mass.

Winner: Aleister Black

Just a squash, but I don’t care. If you put Aleister Black on a show and have him kick a dude’s head off I’m happy. I finally kind of understand why 911 was a big deal in ECW circa 1994. [NR]

Highlights for Children!

DI WHY?! We get to see the highlights from the ladder match between DIY and Authors of Pain and the post-match turn of Ciampa. It’s an awesome match, that on any other night would have been the match of the night, but here it’s like the second best thing that happened.

We get some previously WWE.com exclusive footage of Gargano being taken away in an ambulance and the commentary team stating that Gargano’s doctors won’t yet release any information on his condition.

Meanwhile at TakeOver: Chicago…

Ember Moon is sitting in the arena before the show begins. She talks about how she got her first big indie break in Chicago and how it sucks that she can’t compete tonight. She says that she doesn’t want Ruby Riot or Nikki Cross to win. She wants Asuka to retain the title so she can be the one to take it from her after she recovers.

Highlights for Children!

We see highlights from the triple threat match for the NXT Women’s Championship. Ember Moon gets her wish! Asuka retains by pinning both Cross and Riot.

Interview!

Asuka gets interviewed backstage after her victory. She says that no one can go toe to toe with her. “This (belt) is mine!”

Highlights for Children!

We get to see footage of Roderick Strong taking on Eric Young from TakeOver: Chicago. Roddy is able to overcome the numbers game and pick up the win. Yay Roddy!

Interview!

Roderick Strong gets interviewed backstage following his match against Eric Young. He says that overcoming the odds is something he’s done his whole life, but when Eric Young and Sanity brought his family into it, Roddy would stop at nothing to end Eric Young. Now he’s focused on the NXT title.

Video Package!

We get the same Velveteen Dream video we’ve gotten the past few weeks only this time it ends with the threat, “Coming Next!”

Match 2: Velveteen Dream vs. Robert Anthony

Velveteen Dream is Patrick Clark doing Prince Iaukea doing Prince in late 90s WCW. It is not particularly good. His actually wrestling is okay I suppose. He hits a dropkick and then muscles Anthony into the corner and unloads on him with rights.

Dream hits a Thesz press and chokes Anthony in the ropes. I’m glad they at least had the common sense to make a dude with this gimmick a heel. He hits some chops as the crowd begins to chant, “Let’s go Jobber!” at Robert Anthony.

Dream hits a top rope clothesline and follows up with a neckbreaker before going back up top to hit a Macho Man style top rope elbow drop that actually looked pretty good.

Winner: Velveteen Dream

I don’t think this gimmick is going to get over, but maybe with The Drifter having drifted along to bigger and better things like getting wins over the Intercontinental Champion on Raw, this is going to be the low level heel with a shitty gimmick that the fans at Full Sail can heap abuse upon week after week. Maybe that’s a necessary role that needs to be filled. [NR]

Highlights for Children!

Goddamn was the match for the UK Championship fucking fantastic! Here’s a two minute reminder of just how awesome it was!

Interview!

We get Pete Dunne backstage after his match looking like a goddamn asshole. He said he watched Bate with the title for five months, living a dream with a title that didn’t belong to him, but now the dream was over and everything was his! God is this guy a perfect heel.

Highlights for Children!

We get some highlights from the NXT Championship match between Roode and Itami. Itami hits the GTS but Roode rolls out of the ring. Itami gets him up for it again, but Roode spams DDTs and wins.

Interview!

Roode chews out the interview lady for sounding surprised that he won and then was like, “I know what you’re going to ask next, ‘What’s next for Bobby Roode?’ I dunno!” He says that he had no idea that Hideo Itami was even in NXT still when he showed up to challenge him for his belt. Roode says he’s going to go home and take some time off and relax poolside and decide who’s worthy of facing him when he comes back.

We then get an ad for Bobby Roode’s Glorious Celebration coming next week, so I guess Bobby’s time off to relax poolside was short lived indeed.

Match 3: Drew McIntyre vs. Wesley Blake

Blake totally looks like a guy who would have been fighting for the the NWA Television Championship on Georgia Championship Wrestling back in 1982. Just a generic cowboy guy with boots and a Texas flag on his tights. Logic dictates that since Blake is 100% a cowboy now, Buddy Murphy, wherever he is, is a 100% dubstep based wrestler.

The match gets underway and McIntyre overpowers Blake and takes him down with a shoulder block. They head into the corner and Blake goes for some strikes, but McIntyre’s just like, “NOPE!” and kicks Blake in the face.

Blake comes back with some elbows and strikes and clotheslines in the corner. McIntyre’s like, “That’s cute. Check this shit out!” and chucks Blake over his head. Blake pulls McIntyre’s arm down over the top rope and nails a clothesline for a two count. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We return from commercial break to find Blake still working over McIntyre’s arm. He’s got the big man grounded, but McIntyre powers out. He gets Blake up on the top rope, but Blake counters with a goddamn rolling arm bar from up top. Great ring awareness from McIntyre who gets to the ropes for a break.

Blake stays on the arm but McIntyre chops the fuck out of him and hits him with a big boot. McIntyre lays in some heavy rights and hits a corner splash. Blake throws some rights of his own but gets cut off when McIntyre hits a sitout spinebuster, nearly scoring a pinfall.

Blake slams McIntyre’s arm into the post and makes a cover but McIntyre kicks out at two so Blake slaps on the Crippler Crossface. McIntyre gets back to his feet and ruins Blake’s shit with a reverse Alabama Slam and makes a cover. Blake kicks out at two and goes back to the arm and then hit McIntyre with a knee drop, pulls up his droopy drawers and goes up to the top rope.

McIntyre cuts him off and follows him up top. They fight up top and Blake ends up getting McIntyre into a tree of woe, but Drew McIntyre is a lanky motherfucker with killer abs so he just does a situp, grabs Wesley Blake and suplexes him while he’s hanging upside down.

McIntyre goes for a Claymore Kick but Blake avoids it so McIntyre headbutts this shit out of him and then finishes Blake off with the Claymore Kick. Drew McIntyre is headed to the pay window!

 

Winner: Drew McIntyre

This was a decent back and forth match. Blake got in a bit more offense that I thought he would. Blake’s a decent hand in the ring and was a former champion so I could see NXT using him like they used Tye Dillinger before he got himself over. Once in awhile he beats some jabronis but otherwise is more a less a jobber to the stars.

McIntyre continues to look good and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up challenging for the NXT title soon. The upper card has suddenly gotten really crowded so I wouldn’t be surprised if there ends up being a tournament to determine #1 contender or a multi-man clusterfuck for the title the next time TakeOver rolls around. [**]

Final Thoughts

This episode is mostly skippable since it’s basically a recap show. It reminded me a lot of the post Supershow episode of ECW from 1994. If you saw the show then the following episode was kind of a waste of your time, since mostly they’d show highlights from that and maybe one or two short squash matches.

This is a bit better than that since the McIntrye vs. Blake match is a decent enough TV match, but other than that the new content consists of a couple of squash matches and some post-match interviews that originally appeared on WWE.com where champions are like, “No one is on my level…there’s no one here worthy of challenging me for my belt!” since every champion is a heel right now (I guess Asuka’s technically kind of a tweener, but she’s been more heelish as of late).

That being said, if you really want to see Aleister Black kick Curt Hawkins’ head off again and have some need to see the Velveteen Dream make his in ring debut and have already watched TakeOver: Chicago be prepared to fast forward about half the episode since it’s mostly recaps. If you haven’t seen TakeOver: Chicago yet, go watch that first.

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