Date: August 30, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo
We’re back to the regular stuff this week as NXT returns home to Full Sail. After last week’s recap/reset episode, this time we’ll be having the first storyline advancements since Brooklyn. The big story will see Drew McIntyre as the new NXT Champion and the former Ring of Honor guys biting at his heels. Let’s get to it.
Sanity, some security guards and possibly other wrestlers are down in the back. Three people, presumably Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are seen walking away. William Regal comes in and wants medical personnel.
Here’s McIntyre for his first comments as champion. After the required YOU DESERVE IT chants, Drew says this is his life. The last seventeen years have led him to this moment and this is his life’s work. He understands that the title comes with a big bullseye on his back. Drew brings up Cole and company and is ready to face anyone so here’s Roderick Strong to interrupt. Roderick wants a shot at the title but first, he has to face Bobby Roode. The champ seems game.
Roode says he’s already on Smackdown but tonight he’s beating Strong and coming after his NXT Title, which he’ll bring up to Smackdown with him.
Peyton Royce vs. Ruby Riot
They head to the mat to start with Riot getting the better of it and scoring with a dropkick for two. An armbar keeps Royce in trouble so Peyton knees her in the face for a breather. Ruby gets thrown outside and we take a break. Back with Ruby fighting out of a chinlock and firing off a string of kicks for two. A Death Valley Driver gives Royce a quick two but Riot knocks her around even more.
Billie Kay pulls Royce outside though, like a true friend should be doing. That’s fine with Riot, who nails a double suicide dive. Royce tries to crawl away until Riot grabs her by the legs. Billie pulls her outside for a big boot though, with the referee seeing no problem with Riot just disappearing while pulling on Royce’s leg. Back in and Peyton’s fisherman’s suplex is good for the pin at 10:45.
Rating: C-. I like the idea of Royce and Kay getting a win here and there, especially when they cheat to keep Riot looking strong. With Asuka’s status in flux at the moment, Riot could become a major player on top of the division in a hurry. Royce is getting better in the ring though and she has a finisher that works well enough, which should help her in the future.
Kassius Ohno comes in to ask Regal for a match with Hideo Itami. The match is already made but Ohno wants and receives no disqualifications as a bonus stipulation.
Video on Heavy Machinery.
Heavy Machinery vs. Edwin Nagrom/Damien Awheel
Otis takes Awheel into the corner with a lockup, sending him climbing the buckles without breaking it up. It’s off to Knight for a front facelock on Awheel and a crossbody to both jobbers at once. The Compactor drives Awheel onto Nagrom and it’s a double pin for Dozovic at 2:11. Total squash, made only slightly more annoying by the odd jobber names.
We look at Lars Sullivan attacking No Way Jose.
Regal isn’t please with Sullivan being so violent and puts him in a 3-1 handicap match next week.
Cezar Bononi vs. Andrade Cien Almas next week.
Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Roode
The fans chant THANK YOU BOBBY until we’re ready to go. Roode promises to prove that Strong is a failure all over again but takes too long doing GLORIOUS, allowing Roderick to punch him down. A headlock slows Strong down as Roode is a full on face here. Strong will have none of that as he hammers away at Roode’s head and grabs two straight backbreakers.
The threat of a third backbreaker on the floor sees Roode shove Strong into the steps, followed by a spinebuster on the floor. Back from a break with Roode hitting a backbreaker of his own and striking the GLORIOUS pose. He poses a bit too long though and it’s Strong grabbing a pop up gutbuster for a breather. An Angle Slam is countered into an armdrag but Strong settles for another backbreaker. A tiger bomb into a Boston crab sends Roode straight for the ropes.
Back up and a TKO into a Stunner gives Roode two of his own. Another spinebuster looks to set up the Glorious DDT but it’s the Angle Slam from Strong instead. The fans are split now as Roode breaks up a super backbreaker, only to get enziguried on the top. Strong settles for a superplex for another near fall and both guys are down.
A slugout goes to Roode, who grabs the Glorious DDT for two with Roderick (it sounded like Percy called him Roger) getting his foot on the ropes. Roode makes the mistake of talking trash about Strong’s family though and it’s a jumping knee to the face. Strong nails End of Heartache, blows Roode a kiss goodbye, and hits a second to put Roode away at 17:48.
Rating: B+. This felt like Strong vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH TV Title where Strong needed to win and finally threw everything he had at Roode until there was nothing left. This is the kind of win that Strong has been missing as he’s never had that signature victory. If nothing else it’s going to put him near the NXT Title picture, either challenging McIntyre or joining the ROH guys as their second in command. Really good match here with a simple yet effective story.
It’s pretty clear that this is it for Roode in NXT and I was really surprised by how much I liked his time there. I’ve never quite gotten all of his hype in TNA but he was excellent in NXT with a very basic style played up to a high level. That made for some good matches to go with that outstanding theme song. I’m glad that they seem to want to do something with him on Smackdown as Roode is already 40 and deserves this kind of a run after spending so much time in TNA.
Post match Drew comes out to stare down Strong but gets jumped by Cole and company. Regal comes out to chase them off as the three of them shout about this being their NXT and how they’re doing Regal a favor to end the show. They’re doing a solid job of making them feel like the original NWO and that’s a good thing.
Overall Rating: B. They hit the ground running on this taping and that’s a very good sign. You have a fresh champion with a hot heel act plus Strong as a wildcard. That leaves you with a bunch of different possibilities, all of which could produce some very good results. Having those options is fun but it’s a lot more fun to see how they get to an ending, which is a long way off from here. Very good show this week and I’m feeling better about NXT than I have in a long time.
Peyton Royce b. Ruby Riot – Fisherman’s suplex
Heavy Machinery b. Edwin Nagrom/Damien Awheel
Roderick Strong b. Bobby Roode – End of Heartache
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