Time for some NXT. This week’s episode starts with a video package detailing Hideo Itami’s quest for respect and how it led to him butting heads with Kassius Ohno. These two will collide in a No DQ match tonight!
We get the opening video and then it’s off to Full Sail for wrestling action. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson are calling the action.
Match 1: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Cezar Bononi
Zelina Vega comes out with Almas but joins the commentary team rather than going down to the ring with him. Bononi got a big upset over Almas a few months back when Almas was in party guy mode so this is a rematch.
They lock up and Almas forces Bononi into the corner. The ref calls for a clean break but Almas chops him in the chest. He follows up with a back elbow and a kick as Vega explains her history with Almas. Apparently they met seven (or maybe several) years. Percy asks her if their relationship is strictly business or not and she yells at him and tells him that it’s none of his damn business.
Back in the ring, Bononi avoids and forearm and nails Almas with a clothesline. He hits a chop of his own and then wrecks Almas’ shit with an ATOMIC DROP! Bononi follows with a dropkick and then taunts Alams. He goes for a slam but Almas slips free only to get caught in a small package for a near fall.
Bononi manages to block a kick from Almas but ends up eating a nasty back elbow.
Almas nails him with a kick in the corner and then does his backbreaking/chest clubbering combination. Over at the announce table Vega stands up and yells at Almas in Spanish and the screams, “FINISH HIM!” in English.
Almas does as commanded and murders Bononi with a hammerlock DDT to pick up the win.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
This was a fine match made even better by the fact that it demonstrated that at least in NXT wins and losses matter. Bononi had bested Almas a couple months back and it weighed so heavily on the new and improved Almas that he wanted a rematch to prove the earlier loss was a fluke. [**]
Meanwhile in William Regal’s Office…
After getting a replay of Cole, O’Reilly and Fish attacking Drew McIntyre and laying him out with a DDT we head to Regal’s office where he says he won’t tolerate the ROH Boys jumping people in carparks or backstage. If they want to be part of NXT they have to do things in the ring.
The blonde interview lady is outside Asuka’s locker room. She’s going to attempt to interview Asuka about what her announcement to the NXT Universe is going to be, but Velveteen Dream appears and says that he said he wasn’t going to talk until the ambiance was right. He says that it still isn’t but he was compelled by someone he saw at TakeOver Brooklyn and promises to speak soon.
The blonde interview lady abandons any plans to interview Asuka apparently since the segment just ends.
Match 2: Lars Sullivan vs. Jake James, Alfred Watkins, & Ricky Martinez
This is a three on one handicap match that Regal booked to punish Sullivan for being a dick to his tag team partners and for clubbering No Way Jose in Brooklyn. Sullivan comes out and his nameless opponents are already waiting in the ring.
Two of them start getting out of the ring once Sullivan arrives so the match can get underway but Sullivan tells the ref he wants this to be a Texas Tornado handicap match or something, so all three men get in the ring and the match gets underway.
Sullivan clotheslines two of them right off the bat and then chucks the third about. He biel throws all three men about and then slams them all and when he gets bored of chucking dudes and slamming dudes pins one of them to pick up the win.
After the match ends, No Way Jose comes out and gets on the mic up on the stage and talks shit about how Sullivan ruined the biggest conga line Brooklyn’d ever seen when he jumped Jose from behind. He gets in the ring and asks Sullivan how he thinks he’ll do when he faces Jose head on. Jose then punches Sullivan in the face, but Sullivan’s a goddamn monster and wrecks Jose’s shit with clubbering and leaves him laid out in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Lars Sullivan
Lars Sullivan is a big boy who loves to roughhouse. Watching him chuck dudes around for a couple minutes, while not a thing I’d need to see weekly, is a fine thing to see on occasion.
I don’t have a problem with him feuding with Jose going forward since we could probably get a decent colossal jostle out of it, and Jose is so over with the live crowds that he’ll be one of the few guys that Sullivan would get booed for feuding with since people love big boys who love to roughhouse. [**]
Meanwhile Earlier This Week at the Performance Center…
People interview Johnny Gargano about Brooklyn and the DIY shirt. He says Brooklyn was amazing but he lost the match because he lost focus and vows not to let it happen again.
Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli show up and brag about causing DIY to break up. They then say that the watched TakeOver and think that it would be best for Gargano to look for another tag team partner since he doesn’t have what it takes to make it as a singles wrestler.
Gargano thanks them for watching from their couch at home and then challenges either of them in a one on one match next week. They seemingly agree and head off. The interview people ask Gargano if he has a preference in which man he’ll face. Gargano does not and does not seem to be taking them all that seriously.
We get a video about Sonya DeVille. It’s the same one we got a couple times over the summer where she talks about “Put your hair up and square up!” She’ll be in action coming up next!
We get footage of Sanity and security geeks laid out in the parking lot by Cole and Company last week which leads to a video sent in by Sanity in response. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe are laying on the ground somewhere while someone (probably Nikki Cross since you can hear her laughing but never see her on camera) films them poorly (a finger blocks half the lens throughout the video.
Young says the he understands O’Reilly and Fish are different, but at TakeOver they made a huge mistake. He says that they don’t care who they are or where they’ve been, they only care about one thing. Wolfe finishes by saying “CHAOS!” and laughing.
Match 3: Zeda vs. Sonya Deville
Zeda competed in the Mae Young Classic where she got roughed up by Shayna Baszler in the first round. The announcers play up her MMA background as she makes her way out to the ring. Sonya Deville heads out and the match gets underway with Deville taking Zeda to the mat and ragdolling her.
Zeda manages to escape with a rollup that gets a one count. She then goes for a kick but misses and leaps over a charging Deville. She then rolls away for Deville, but gets grabbed and sent to the outside.
Back in the, Zeda fights back with kicks, but catches one from Deville who follows up with a sliding knee strike and then gets Zeda in a triangle choke armbar deal causing her to tap.
Winner: Sonya Deville
I feel kind of bad for Sonya Deville since after the Mae Young Classic her gimmick is far less badass. Shayna Baszler does the MMA chick gimmick a lot better and if she ends up in NXT, Deville’s gimmick will seem even more cutrate. [*]
Meanwhile at the Performance Center…
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are working over a pair of dudes in the ring and William Regal is absolutely giddy about it. “Get me a tape of this,” he tells some PC staff. As Lorcan and Burch help the dudes they’d been practicing with back to their feet Ruby Riot shows up and asks Regal to sign a handicap match against the Iconic Duo so she can shut them up once and for all. She says that if she faces either of them one on one the other one will get involved anyway so she needs that handicap match.
Regal tells her no since handicap matches are only to ironically punish big boys who love to roughhouse after they beat up their tag team partners. He tells her to find a tag team partner and he’ll sign a tag team match against them.
Match 4: Hideo Itami vs. Kassius Ohno
No disqualifications! Anything goes! The bell rings and Itami bails to the floor. Ohno goes out after him and Itami slides back in. Ohno catches him though and sends him to the mat with a slam and follows up with a big leg drop. He follows up with chops and strikes but Itami whips him into the ropes and Ohno flips over them onto the apron.
Itami smashes his head into the ringpost causing Ohno to fall onto the steps. Itami follows him out and slams Ohno’s head into the steel steps a few times and steps on his head and stuff and is more or less a dick to him.
They head back in and Itami lays into Ohno with some kicks that drop him in the corner. Itami nails him with the hesitation dropkick and scores a near fall before heading outside and looking under the ring for some plunder. Itami gets a chair and heads back in but Ohno grabs the chair from him.
Ohno does the old RVD spot where he tosses the chair at Itami, Itami catches it, and then Ohno does a big move into the chair for bonus damage. RVD used to use a kick, but Ohno decides to use his Roaring Elbow. He quickly learns that smashing an elbow into a steel folding chair is neither fun nor effective and collapses to the mat in pain as we head to commercials. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
Itami is in control when we return from the break. He keeps up the pressure on Ohno, but Ohno fires up and hits and enziguri the gives him an opening. He follows up with a Senton. Itami makes a comeback, hitting an armbreaker before going for the GTS. Ohno manages to block it though and nails Itami with a TKO into a rolling elbow that sends Itami out to the floor.
Itami backs up the ramp and Ohon follows after him with stomps. Ohno goes for something up on the stage, but Itami manages to connect with a fisherman’s suplex on the ramp. Back in the ring Itami puts the chair on Ohno’s head in the corner before nailing him with another hesitation dropkick that earns him a near fall.
“SHOW ME RESPECT!” Itami screams at no one in particular.
Ohno fights back and catches a kick from Itami, but Itami pokes Ohno in the eyes and hurks him up for the GTS. Ohno manages to escape and then connects with a massive DICK PUNCH before finishing Itami off with a roaring elbow to pick up the win.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
This was a pretty good match, but I doubt it’s the feud ender that Ohno expected it to be when he asked for it last week, not that I’m complaining or anything. These guys are both solid workers and a lot of fun to watch in the ring.
I think the best part about this match is the fact that at the end it became abundantly clear that Ohno had asked for a No DQ match just so he could punch Itami in the dick. Sure there was a chair that was used a bit, but it was brought into the match by Itami and the only time Ohno interacted with it was after he wrestled it away from Itami. HE ASKED FOR A NO DQ MATCH JUST SO HE COULD PUNCH A MAN IN THE DICK! That rules! [***]
Next Week on NXT…
The Iconic Duo will face Ruby Riot and a partner of her choosing. Who will it be? Will she even try to find someone to team with? Also Pete Dunne will defend the UK Championship against Wolfgang. Can the last king of Scotland best the Bruiserweight and walk out of Full Sail with the title? Tune in next week to find out!
Meanwhile in the Ring…
William Regal’s here to introduce NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka. She comes out in business attire with the belt over her shoulder. She gets on the mic and says that she’s been in NXT for nearly two years which gets a massive “Thank you Asuka!” chant from the crowd. She continues talking about all the great competitors she’s faced here and how much she’s grown while in NXT. She talks about how much she loves NXT and how grateful she is for it.
Regal then gets on the mic and puts her over as one of the greatest champions in WWE history and says that other people have taken notice of her awesomeness. He says that he and Asuka have begun negotiations with the General Managers of Raw and SmackDown which means that unfortunately Asuka will have to step down as NXT Women’s Champion.
Asuka declares that “No one is ready for Asuka!” which gets a pretty big pop and then the roster comes out on stage to give her a round of applause. Some of the women from the Mae Young Classic are there including Kairi Sane and Abbey Laith. There are some dudes there too including Johnny Gargano and referee Drake Wuertz and others that are kind of hard to see since they just do a wide angle shot of the people on the stage for most of it.
Eventually the crowd parts and Ember Moon steps out and heads down to the ring. She climbs in, holding up her jeans so her ass doesn’t fall out as she gets into the ring and then offers Asuka a handshake only to pull it back like Asuka would do. They laugh and hug.
Triple H then comes out with a minion carrying a bouquet of flowers. Triple H trades her the flowers for her championship belt and he holds up her hand as he announces her the still undefeated NXT Women’s Champion after 523 days as the show ends.
A pretty solid episode all things considered. The main event was pretty good and the farewell ceremony for Asuka was well deserved since she really help to carry the women’s division through a rough patch after the Four Horsewomen got called up. A few months ago I would have worried about the women’s division without her, but now the division’s in pretty good shape again with Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot, the Iconic Duo and whatever women from the Mae Young Classic end up getting signed.
I am kind of curious what happens with the Women’s Championship now though. Will whoever wins the Mae Young Classic be declared the new Champion? Will there be some other tournament for the title? A battle royal? Who knows!