NXT – June 14, 2017

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NXT
Date: June 14, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips, Percy Watson

It’s title week on NXT as Asuka is defending the Women’s Title against Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross in an elimination match. This still feels like a way to set up the returning Ember Moon as a title challenger, which should make for one heck of a challenge to the title. Other than that we’re likely to get some more development towards Bobby Roode vs. Roderick Strong. Let’s get to it.

We get a quick recap of the original triple threat in Chicago with Asuka retaining.

Opening sequence.

Drew McIntyre vs. Rob Ryzin

Drew throws him around to start and grabs a quick belly to belly. A superkick gives Ryzin a quick one count but a suplex toss cuts Rob off again. Drew unloads in the corner and shoves Ryzin from the top to the floor. Back in and the running boot to the face is good for the pin on Ryzin at 3:26.

Rating: C. This is the kind of match that makes McIntyre look like something special. He’s already bigger and stronger than most members of the roster and this kind of dominance really showcases his physical advantages. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the title picture by the end of the year, if not the end of the summer for that matter.

We look back at Ember Moon being medically cleared and scaring Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.

Moon vs. Royce next week.

Video on Aleister Black.

Authors of Pain vs. Dominguez/???

Non-title. Akum kicks Dominguez in the face as Paul Ellering has Rezar on the floor while writing something down. Something like a Death Valley Driver ends Dominguez at 55 seconds.

The jobbers take a Super Collider after the match. Ellering calls Heavy Machinery as foolish as they are large. They’ve been here for a year and have defeated every team thrown against them. It’s time to write the first chapter in their book of dominance and Heavy Machinery won’t even be a footnote. Heavy Machinery comes out for the showdown but the champs back off.

We look back at Roode and Strong’s showdown from last week.

Video on Sonya Deville.

Velveteen Dream vs. Raul Mendoza

Mendoza was in the Cruiserweight Classic. Dream shoulders him down to start but Mendoza nips up to offer a bit of a scare. An attempt to speed things up earns Mendoza a kick to the face and it’s time to make fun of Percy for not being able to tell that Dream’s tights are purple. Mendoza flips out of a suplex and kicks away, only to miss a charge in the corner. Something like a cartwheel Death Valley Driver sets up the top rope elbow to put Raul away at 3:40.

Rating: D+. That elbow drop still looks great. Dream might have a goofy gimmick but he has a good look and can fly through the air well enough that he looks impressive. I’m not sure how far this kind of a character can take him but he’s done well with it so far, albeit in a rather low dosage so far. Mendoza looked good too and will be fine with some more experience and exposure.

We look back at Kassius Ohno saving Oney Lorcan from Hideo Itami.

Ohno doesn’t like what he did last week but Itami needs to get over it. Next week, Ohno faces Aleister Black.

Video on Ember Moon.

Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot

Asuka is defending and this is under elimination rules. The champ is sent outside to start so Nikki dropkicks Riot down, only to have Asuka come back in with one of her own. Asuka gets knocked outside again, which doesn’t make the most sense considering she has to be eliminated either way. Ruby sends Asuka face first into the middle buckle for a running knee as we take an early break.

Back with Riot elbowing Asuka in the face but eating a hip attack for her efforts. Nikki comes back in and gets dropped as well, only to have Riot catch Asuka’s running kick (nice callback to Chicago). Cross pulls Asuka outside and pounds away until Ruby takes them both out with a dive. Asuka misses a missile dropkick and takes Nikki’s fisherman’s neckbreaker but wisely rolls outside. Ruby tries a save but gets caught in a hanging neckbreaker for the elimination at 10:05.

Back from another break with Cross firing off the forearms until Asuka hits a spinning backfist. Cross gets smart by going to the eyes but can’t hit a neckbreaker out of the corner. Instead they fight to the floor with Nikki still in control as Asuka is in over her head for a change. They fight to the back….and that means a no contest at 15:04.

Rating: B-. It was going really well until that pretty dumb finish. If anything goes, why in the world is it a be a no contest when they fight outside even more? This felt like a cheap way out to protect both of them, which makes me wonder why they made it an elimination match in the first place. I’m assuming we’ll have Ember vs. Nikki for the next shot so maybe this was just a way to extend the story.

The announcers talk for a bit until we cut to the back where the fight continues. Asuka gets sent into a wall but drives Cross’ head into the wall to get us back to even. They head over to a cooler full of ice and water with Asuka’s head being soaked. Back to the arena with the fight heading to the announcers’ desk and then the tech area. Cross keeps getting the better of it but Asuka forearms her a few times. A crossbody takes Asuka off a barricade and through a table for the big crash. Both women are down to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This was something closer to a placeholder show with a big main event. One of the better things about NXT though is they’re capable of having an interesting show without their bigger stars around. It might not have been a classic or anything but it was more than capable of holding the fort until we get back to the top stories. In other words, it pays to develop more than two or three acts on a huge roster.

Results

Drew McIntyre b. Rob Ryzin – Running boot to the face

Authors of Pain b. Dominguez/??? – Death Valley Driver to Dominguez

Velveteen Dream b. Raul Mendoza – Top rope elbow

Asuka vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross went to a no contest when Cross and Asuka fought backstage

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