Date: May 3, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Percy Watson, Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness
We’re rapidly approaching Takeover: Chicago and that means we need to fill in a lot of the card. As luck would have it, a major development is going to take place tonight as we have a battle royal for the #1 contendership to the Women’s Title. That leaves a lot of doors open for challengers, including a potential Ember Moon rematch. Let’s get to it.
Killian Dain vs. Danny Burch
The monster Dain drives him into the corner and pulls him off the middle rope for a big crash. The backsplash connects and is greeted by a SHAVE YOUR BACK chant, followed by a series of elbow drops. Burch slugs away with a series of strikes but Dain flattens him with a running dropkick. The Ulster Plantation finishes Burch at 2:51.
The Velveteen Dream, whom I believe is Patrick Clark, is coming. The silhouette certainly looks like him.
Heavy Machinery vs. Ricardo Watts/Hector Kunsman
The jobbers make Rey Mysterio look huge. Dozovich runs Hector over to start and a double falling headbutt makes things even worse. Ricardo is dragged in and Machinery exchange chest bumps. Knight splashes both of them in the corner before Dozovich lifts them both at the same time for a double World’s Strongest Slam and the double pin at 2:41.
Post match Heavy Machinery says they love to have a good time, meaning some carb shakes and trips to the buffet. When they step in the ring, they have a hunger for smashing bodies. The appetizers are over now and they want the main course: the Authors of Pain. Heavy Machinery is very much a case of “what you see is what you get” but they play their roles very well and that’s what matters the most.
Bobby Roode talks to Kona Reeves before Reeves faces Hideo Itami.
DIY might not have Heavy Machinery’s size but they’re the former NXT Tag Team Champions. They love more competition but the line starts behind them.
Kona Reeves vs. Hideo Itami
Itami has ditched the entrance gear and just comes out in his regular trunks and boots. Reeves jumps him before the bell though and has the advantage once the match actually starts. Kona turns up the cockiness but Hideo pops to his feet and fires off the clotheslines and kicks. More kicks knock Kona down in the corner and the GTS puts him away at 2:08. That’s an effective squash but I’m not sure a two minute match is the best way to get him back on his feet after an injury and so close to what’s going to be a twenty plus minute title match.
Video on Drew McIntyre, including a look back at his initial WWE run.
It’s part two of the mini documentary on Roderick Strong. This time we’re at home with his pregnant fiance and they’re getting things ready for the baby’s arrival. He loves the idea of being called a father and a husband and now those things are about to be true. We get some clips of Strong’s very early career from his days in IPW Hardcore Wrestling and then his time in the Performance Center.
Now we go back to the Ring of Honor days, which still messes with me just a little bit. He was there for thirteen years and then he got the call. With tears in his eyes, Strong says don’t give up and everything will be ok. We wrap it up with Strong holding his newborn baby. This was another excellent package and made me think more of Strong (who I’m a fan of) than I have before, which is exactly the point. He hasn’t made an impact yet (a match in Chicago would help) but that could change very quickly.
Roode is in William Regal’s office and doesn’t think much of the video. He also doesn’t think Hideo should get the title shot yet because it could mess with the champ’s face. Regal actually agrees and puts Itami in a #1 contenders match against Strong for next week. Strong comes in and has a staredown with Roode. I thought Roode vs. Itami was already set but I do like Itami having to earn the shot.
Lacey Evans, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riot, Ember Moon, Aliyah, Bianca Blair, Candice LeRae, Kimberly Frankele, Rachel Evers, Sonya Deville, Victoria Gonzalez, Sara Bridges
The winner gets Asuka in Chicago. Evans is better known as Macey Estrella, Deville is the former Daria Berenato and a lot of these women are unknowns without entrances. LeRae is a heavy fan favorite and gets a LET’S GO CANDICE chant. Gonzalez, who has some size to her, goes after Royce and Kay to start but can’t get rid of them. It’s your usual battle royal brawling with teased eliminations that don’t go anywhere.
We take a break and come back with Gonzalez having been eliminated at the hands of Royce and Kaye. Blair is out next, followed by Aliyah elbowing Evers out to a chorus of booing. Bridges, Evans and Deville go out in the span of five seconds and Riot eliminates Kimberly. We’re down to LeRae, Royce, Kay, Cross, Riot, Morgan, Moon and Aliyah. Kay kicks Candice out, earning possibly the most heat of her career.
Cross dumps Aliyah and the fans are rather pleased. Come on, Aliyah isn’t…..ok maybe she is that bad. Nikki does the same to Morgan and the fans are pleased all over again. Moon superkicks Kay out and gets rid of Peyton a few seconds later, leaving us with Moon, Riot and Cross. Cross goes straight for Riot but Ember kicks her in the face. All three wind up in the corner with Moon kicking the other two away and hitting the Eclipse on Cross. That’s not enough for an elimination so Ember heads up again, only to have Asuka come in…..for a no contest at 14:46.
Rating: D+. I liked the way they set this up with the unknowns not lasting very long, which should be the case when they didn’t have any realistic chance to win the title. Just let us get to the big names and go from there. The ending though…..yeah I’m not sold on that, though if they’re going to a four way, this is certainly a better option than a triple elimination at the end.
Asuka sends Moon HARD to the floor and head first into the barricade. Riot gets kicked in the head and Cross is dropped as well, leaving Asuka to shout that no one is ready for her. Asuka runs off as Moon is holding her shoulder on the floor. Regal comes out to announce the four way title match for Chicago to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This is another good example of a show that wasn’t about the wrestling. Tonight we set up a Takeover match, set up a #1 contenders match for the NXT Title, looked at Roderick Strong some more and established Heavy Machinery as potential Tag Team Title contenders. They don’t have a lot of time between Orlando and Chicago so this is about as logical of a path as they have.
Killian Dain b. Danny Burch – Ulster Plantation
Heavy Machinery b. Ricardo Watts/Hector Kunsman – Double World’s Strongest Slam
Hideo Itami b. Kona Reeves – GTS
A Battle Royal went to a no contest when Asuka interfered
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