Date: July 26, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
With less than a month to go before Takeover: Brooklyn III, it’s time to start getting things ready for the biggest show of the year. We already have the NXT Title match set as Drew McIntyre will challenge Bobby Roode for the title but we need a bit more than that to fill out a card. Let’s get to it.
Ember Moon vs. Lei’D Tapa
Oh come on didn’t I have to watch enough of Tapa in TNA? Tapa runs her over with a clothesline to start but Moon shrugs it off. Moon loads herself up for a superplex but spins around into a regular suplex of her own (Bad News Barrett used to use that move). The Eclipse puts Tapa away at 1:22.
Ember wants Asuka and promises to give her some real competition.
Aleister Black video.
David Ramos/Timothy Bumpers vs. Authors of Pain
Non-title but hang on a second as Nikki Cross blocks the Authors’ path. Cue Sanity in the ring to beat up the jobbers as the Authors and Paul Ellering look on. The Authors hit the ring and the fight is on (Mauro: “LIKE DONKEY KONG!”) with the champs cleaning house without too much effort. No match of course.
The Street Profits are coming.
We look at Cezar Bononi shocking Andrade Cien Almas. Last week, Almas attacked Bononi again at the behest of the now named Zolita Vega.
Earlier today, Vega threatened No Way Jose with Almas’ wrath.
Velveteen Dream vs. Cezar Bononi
Dream pounds him down without much effort but gets kicked in the jaw and punched in the face. A Falcon Arrow gives Bononi two, only to have Dream come back with a Death Valley Bomb (a Death Valley Driver landing on the back instead of the head). The top rope elbow (Purple Rainmaker) for the pin at 1:39.
Post match Dream calls the NXT audience ugly and says their experience will have to wait.
General Manager William Regal officially makes Moon vs. Asuka for the title in Brooklyn.
Here’s McIntyre to talk about his upcoming title match. There are four weeks until Brooklyn and that’s not a lot of time. Drew doesn’t have a backwards button because he only goes forward. When he was in WWE before, he was the Chosen One and expected to have everything handed to him. That’s why he failed though. Once he was gone from WWE, it became clear to him that he had to be the hardest worker in the world. Now McIntyre looks at Roode and sees nothing but entitlement. This isn’t Roode’s NXT because it belongs to all of the people here. He wants everyone to stand up with him because WE ARE NXT.
Raul Mendoza is ready to face Johnny Gargano next week. Maybe we’ll be talking about his rise instead of Gargano’s return.
Kassius Ohno vs. Hideo Itami
Ohno takes him down by the arm to start and they hit the mat for some grappling. Itami shrugs off a chop so Ohno hammers away even more, including a basement dropkick to the head. Ohno flips onto the apron but gets kicked in the chest, followed by a middle rope Fameasser. Back from a break with Itami dropping a knee for two and kicking him in the back with a sneer.
A chinlock set up a few more kicks to the chest and it’s right back to the chinlockery. Itami dives into a chop though and Ohno runs through a kick, setting up a Shining Wizard. The cyclone boot and a backsplash give Ohno two but Itami is right back with a suplex. The GTS doesn’t work so Ohno kicks him in the jaw, only to have Itami kick him low for the DQ at 11:44.
Rating: C+. They beat the heck out of each other here and I dig the ending with Itami taking the cheater’s way out and attacking Ohno when he thought he couldn’t beat him. That’s a great way to push his heel turn and makes him look like a changed man instead of someone willing to fight with honor. Ohno continues to be a fine upper midcard face who isn’t going anywhere in the long term and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Itami unloads on him with kicks post match and adds a trio of GTS’s with the third landing on the steps.
Overall Rating: C+. This was kind of an odd show as they had some big stuff announced but a lot of the show was spent on stuff that didn’t seem to make the biggest difference. It wasn’t bad by any means though and I’m kind of glad they didn’t push things when they didn’t need to be pushed. NXT has found the right balance of focus and not overdoing things and that’s very helpful as we head towards Brooklyn. Two matches are official and I think you can figure out most of what else is coming without too much effort. Not bad with about a month to go.
Ember Moon b. Lei’D Tapa – Eclipse
Velveteen Dream b. Cezar Bononi – Purple Rainmaker
Kassius Ohno b. Hideo Itami via DQ when Itami kicked him low
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