Date: March 8, 2017
Location: University Area CDC Gymnasium, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips
We’re on the road again and that means we’re getting closer to heading back to Orlando for the next Takeover. None of the card is announced yet but with four shows left, you can imagine how fast that’s going to change. We’re also a week away from Bobby Roode defending the NXT Title against Kassius Ohno. Let’s get to it.
Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
That’s quite the opener. Young sends Sanity to the back before going to the ring. There’s no bell just yet though as the team brings Roderick Strong’s unconscious body out to the stage. Tye goes to check on him and No Way Jose comes out as well. Dillinger and Jose charge the ring for the brawl but the numbers get the better of them and Sanity dominates.
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are trying to find a place to hang their award for Breakout Star of the Year. For some reason they’re hanging it at the Performance Center and talk about the various posters they see around the place. Billie thinks their award should be bigger, like the Dusty Classic trophy. They see Ember Moon working out and jokes ensue until a trainer has to hold Moon back.
We see a shadowy man in a church. He says he’s neither a saint or a sinner and says “fade to black.” That would seem to be Alistair Black.
HoHo Lun vs. Andrade Cien Almas
The fans seem to enjoy chanting “LET’S GO HOHO” but Almas stomps him down and sends him hard into the corner. Some forearms to the head knock HoHo even sillier and a clothesline cuts off his comeback. The hammerlock DDT ends Lun at 2:34.
Billie Kay vs. Ember Moon
Kay and Royce don’t seem too worried here so Ember kicks Billie in the head to take over. Peyton gets pulled inside for a second, allowing Billie to catapult Ember throat first into the ropes. Billie gets in a rolling forearm for two but Ember comes right back with a series of kicks. Another Peyton distraction fails and the Eclipse is enough for the pin on Kay at 3:33.
Rating: C-. Billie and Peyton are a weird case as they have the character stuff down but they really don’t have the in-ring abilities to back it up. They can cheat to win but I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep them that high on the card. They’ll be fine as a new LayCool style act though and that’s good enough.
Billie is hurt and trainers have to come check on her. She’s conscious and her limbs are moving. The fans cheer for her to get up and she’s able to sit up on her own. Kay is crying and the fans give her a round of applause as she gets to her feet. She gets out of the ring on her own and walks to the back slowly. The fact that she’s able to stand is a great sign. Also of note: while she was down, the announcers put the Eclipse over as a devastating move that can put anyone down. You don’t hear something like that often enough.
TJ Perkins is ready to face Shinsuke Nakamura tonight.
Ealy Brothers vs. Revival
No match again as the Authors of Pain come out and destroy the Twins.
The Authors go after the Revival but have to settle for beating up the Brothers again.
William Regal makes Ember Moon #1 contender.
We get a sitdown interview with Kassius Ohno who says it’s a little weird to be back here where he was four years ago. He’s won titles everywhere he’s gone and he wants to win the NXT Title.
Bobby Roode is at his home for a satellite and doesn’t care what Ohno said. Would you rather have a champion in a suit or a long haired hippie from the 70s? Roode throws the camera crew out.
TJ Perkins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Perkins tries to go after the leg but Nakamura sits out on him and they go to the ropes. Nakamura takes him down but it’s another standoff, followed by Nakamura’s COME ON to a nice reaction. TJ takes him down with a headscissors and dabs, only to have Nakamura escape and do the same thing.
Nakamura is sent to the floor and avoids the slingshot dropkick before kicking TJ in the chest. Back from a break with Nakamura missing a basement dropkick and possibly tweaking the knee. It’s fine enough for Good Vibrations but Perkins comes back with a jumping neckbreaker. The second slingshot dropkick connects and a middle rope DDT gets two on Nakamura. A big shot to TJ puts both guys down but Perkins gets smart and kicks the knee out.
Nakamura grabs a Fujiwara armbar but Perkins quickly reverses into something like a Scorpion Deathlock. That goes nowhere so TJ grabs the kneebar until Nakamura makes the ropes. Back up and Nakamura’s knee is WAY too fine as he knees TJ in the head. Another one to the ribs sets up the reverse exploder. Kinshasa is enough for the pin on Perkins at 14:59.
Rating: B. I liked this more than I was expecting as it was much more than just having Nakamura squash him in short order. Perkins was smart out there and had Nakamura in trouble before the ending was exactly what you would expect. This is a good example of a match that was better than expecting and didn’t need to be any kind of show stealing classic. Good stuff here.
Regal says the winner of Roode vs. Ohno has to defend against Nakamura at Takeover.
Overall Rating: B-. This show was about setting up stuff for the future and that’s all it needed to be. We’ve got one (technically two) match set for Takeover and that means we should be getting the rest of the card filled in pretty soon. I’m sure you can guess most of it but part of the fun in NXT is watching them set this stuff up.
Andrade Cien Almas b. HoHo Lun – Hammerlock DDT
Ember Moon b. Billie Kay – Eclipse
Shinsuke Nakamura b. TJ Perkins – Kinshasa
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