Date: April 12, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips, Percy Watson
We’re finally back to normal as NXT returns home. We’re also just over a month away from Takeover: Chicago, meaning things need to get set up in a hurry. The big story tonight is the return of Drew McIntyre, who hasn’t been in WWE for several years and has done a lot of growing up in that time. Let’s get to it.
There’s a new theme song and of course it’s rap based because Heaven forbid we have a rock theme on any of these shows.
Aleister Black vs. Corey Hollis
Hollis is ready to go while Black stands with his arms behind his back….until Black Mass is good for the pin at 30 seconds.
We look at Tye Dillinger debuting on Smackdown.
Tye is thrilled at being on Smackdown but there’s unfinished business around here. Earlier today he talked to William Regal and gets to face Eric Young in a steel cage next week.
DIY vs. Dylan Miley/Michael Blaze
Miley is a big guy with a great look for the late 80s. Ciampa can’t take him down with a headlock as Miley just lifts him into the air. Gargano tries the slingshot but gets caught in a very delayed vertical suplex. It’s off to Blaze who gets kicked in the head, followed by a running chop in the corner. A running knee knocks Miley off the apron and Meet in the Middle finishes Blaze at 2:59. Miley is going to get somewhere based off this performance as he’s built like a tank and looks like a monster.
Miley destroys Blaze post match. Oh yeah he’ll be pushed soon.
We look back at Asuka defeating Ember Moon at Takeover.
After the loss, Ember Moon walked through the empty arena, talking about how this was supposed to be her moment and destiny. Revenge is sworn.
Ruby Riot vs. Kimberley Frankele
That would be Kimber Lee of course. Kimberly takes her into the corner to start but gets armdragged down. Cue Nikki Cross for a distraction, allowing Kimberly to get in a backbreaker. Riot fights back with a series of knees and a Pele kick to the face for the pin at 2:21.
Video on the Authors of Pain.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are at the Performance Center and yell at Aliyah and Liv Morgan. A fight ensues with Kay being knocked into a water tub.
Oney Lorcan vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre’s music has a bagpipe entrance. I’d assume that’s going to be changed one day as it’s really not working for him. Drew, who looks huge compared to Oney, drives him into the corner and throws him down with a belly to belly. Back in and Oney scores with some running uppercuts to send Drew outside for a running flip dive. A top rope dive is pulled out of the air and Drew slams him into the apron.
We take a break and come back with McIntyre throwing him off another suplex and scoring with a hard headbutt. Lorcan breaks up a superplex but gets caught in a choke throw. Back up and Lorcan just unloads with strikes to the head, only to get caught in a very hard reverse Alabama Slam. The Claymore (running jumping boot to the face, not named here) ends Oney at 8:50.
Rating: B. I’m scared to rate it any lower in case they hit me that hard. This was one of the hardest hitting matches I can remember in a very long time that didn’t involve Shinsuke Nakamura. McIntyre looked like a brawler but that size difference was bordering on comical as he towered over Lorcan, though Oney was slugging right back. Really fun match here and a good way to show that Drew can slug it out with anyone.
Post match Drew says he has all the raw talent in the world and can put the Smackdown on anyone but he only wants to be right here.
Here’s Shinsuke Nakamura for his big farewell. He came here a year ago and wanted to become the best in the world. One year later he calls NXT his home. Over that year, he’s learned a lot of things from a lot of people, including the fans. He’s learned that the people around here are crazy for things like singing his song. That strikes up the band as Nakamura calls NXT the fans’ style. He will always be NXT because we are NXT. Nakamura does his dancing poses as the locker room comes out to the stage to send him off. Even Finn Balor appears to close out the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This is another odd show as it was all about showcasing new talent instead of really moving things forward. That was a goal accomplished tonight as McIntyre got to look good, along with Ruby Riot, Black and Miley (especially him) doing the same. This show helped to start restocking the shelves, though there’s a long way to go to really have that all set up.
Aleister Black b. Corey Hollis – Black Mass
DIY b. Dylan Miley/Michael Blaze – Meet in the Middle to Blaze
Ruby Riot b. Kimberly Frankele – Pele kick to the face
Drew McIntyre b. Oney Lorcan – Claymore
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