Date: March 1, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Tom Phillips
It’s the final night of the taping cycle and we’ve got a big title match to send us out. This time around it’s the Authors of Pain defending the Tag Team Titles against the former champions DIY. These teams had a surprisingly good match back at Takeover: San Antonio so maybe they can pull it off again here. Let’s get to it.
Preview for tonight’s show, including Asuka defending the Women’s Title against Peyton Royce.
Sean Maluta vs. Patrick Clark
Clark is your latest “flamboyant” wrestler so Maluta punches him in the face during his opening…..shall we say prancing. Maluta gets two off a Shining Wizard but Clark gets all ticked off and hammers away in the corner. A suplex sets up a chinlock and of course Maluta makes a quick comeback. Clark will have none of that though and hits a bad looking Fameasser for the pin at 2:40. The fans didn’t seem impressed though Clark has a really athletic and lanky body which could be used in a better gimmick.
Sanity wants Tye Dillinger to accept his fate and stop drowning in his own choices. Instead of dragging his friends down with him, Tye needs to face Eric Young on his own. Nikki Cross says if he doesn’t, the whole world will burn.
Women’s Title: Peyton Royce vs. Asuka
Royce won a triple threat last week to earn her shot. Feeling out process to start with Nigel talking about other great female Japanese wrestlers (and managing to plug the Network at the same time). A shoulder just fires Asuka up and she forearms Peyton down. Both of them miss big kicks and it’s a standoff.
Back to back hip attacks put Peyton on the floor but she sends Asuka into the steps as we take a break. We come back with Asuka fighting out of a chinlock (as is customary) so Royce starts working on the arm that went into the post. A standing armbar only seems to tick the champ off and a suplex drops Peyton.
Asuka starts striking away but hurts the arm again. Instead it’s a Shining Wizard for two on Royce but a spinning kick to the face gets the same on Asuka. That goes nowhere though as Asuka kicks the heck out of Peyton and spins her down into the Asuka Lock to retain the title at 11:20.
Rating: C+. They did a very good job here of making Asuka look vulnerable. One of the biggest problems is finding a realistic opponent for her and this was as good as it was going to get with either Royce or Billie Kay. Asuka wasn’t in the greatest danger here but she also didn’t squash Peyton, which made for a much better match.
Post match Billie Kay comes in for the double team but Ember Moon makes the save. Asuka holds up the title and Ember stares her down. There’s Takeover.
We look back at Takeover: San Antonio where Shinsuke Nakamura’s knee was injured. Kassius Ohno checked on him in the back.
Here the end of last week’s episode with Kassius Ohno saving No Way Jose from Bobby Roode and getting in a fight with Ohno clearing house.
William Regal makes Roode vs. Ohno for the title in two weeks.
Paul Ellering gives the Authors of Pain a pep talk.
Wolfgang is coming.
Shinsuke Nakamura is back next week.
Tag Team Titles: Authors of Pain vs. DIY
DIY is challenging. Akum stares Ciampa down to start but Tommaso isn’t the slightest bit intimidated. The double spear through the ropes drops Akum and some double clotheslines put the champs on the floor. Ciampa tries a dive through the ropes but gets sent hard into the post to put him right back down.
Back in and Ciampa gets caught in the wrong corner and runs into a backbreaker for two. Ciampa chops and slaps the heck out of Akum but gets caught in an assisted backbreaker to put him down again. The one sided beating takes us to a break with Ciampa in trouble. Back with Tommaso avoiding a charge and making the hot tag off to Gargano so things can speed up. A suicide dive drops Akum and a springboard moonsault does the same to Razar.
The double strike to the corner drops Akum for two and Ciampa grabs his flip over armbar. Razar makes the save and sends Gargano to the floor. Ciampa gets in a kick though and Gargano comes back in for a double powerbomb out of the corner. Razar saves his partner from the running double strike (which really needs a name) but it’s time for the stereo armbars. Cue the Revival for the DQ at 13:25.
Rating: B. These matches are giving me a Sting vs. Vader vibe where the smaller guys do whatever they can to take down the monsters but then they get hit really, really hard. The ending was the right call as all three of them deserve to be in the title hunt and there’s a chance that the title match will be outstanding. The Authors are a good choice here for the sake of mixing things up and that makes for a good dynamic.
Back to back Shatter Machines let the Revival stand tall to end the show. I can’t stand them (triple threat matches, not the Revival) but this better set up a triple threat tag match for the titles at Takeover.
Overall Rating: B. Fifty minutes go by and we seem to have two title matches set up for Takeover. In two or three weeks we’ll likely have the NXT Title match and you can probably pencil in either Young vs. Dillinger or a big tag match as well. This show flew by and gave us some good wrestling as a bonus while setting up the big card. Good stuff all around, as usual.
Patrick Clark b. Sean Maluta – Fameasser
Asuka b. Peyton Royce – Asuka Lock
DIY b. Authors of Pain via DQ when Revival interfered
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