WWE NXT! (3/22/17)
-Oney Lorcan VS Andrade “Cien” Almas; Almas wins.
-Asuka VS Priscilla Zuniga; Asuka wins.
-6 Man Tag Match: SAnitY w/ Nikki Cross VS Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose & Roderick Strong; no contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Oney Lorcan VS Andrade “Cien” Almas!
The Boston Brawler doesn’t care for bullies, so he stands up to El Idolo, who has been going around treating other NXT superstars like pushovers. Cien doesn’t take Oney very seriously, either, despite their past encounters. He ducks a grapple and just lounges on the mat a moment, then gets up and does it all again. Cien slips out of the ring, Oney pursues, back into the ring they go, Oney ducks Cien and gives some sharp chops. Corner to corner, Cien goes up and over, Oney matches agility and narrowly avoids a low dropkick before slapping and chopping Cien again. Cien gives a hard forearm, Oney responds with a forearm and a clubbing lariat to the back! Cien rolls out of the ring and composes himself as the ring count begins. Oney won’t wait for Cien to return, he chases him back into the ring and narrowly avoids Cien’s elbow now. Cien denies the Half ‘n’ Half suplex to hit a backbreaker and elbow drop. Oney ends up in a corner, Cien stands on his shoulders and stomps away, then a running SLAP before posing to embrace the heat. Cien keeps Oney on the ropes, whips him across but gets dumped to the floor. Oney goes to the steel steps and jumps, Cien counters with a powerslam to the floor! The referee checks on Oney as we go to break.
We return to find Cien taunting and toying with Oney, standing on his hand to crush the fingers and keep Oney from getting away. Fireman’s carry into Snake Eyes off the buckle, Cien swaggers about before choking Oney with the ropes. Cien stomps away on Oney, whips him across again, big leg lariat, TWO. Cien puts Oney in a chinlock, legs giving leverage for wrenching that neck and squeezing out air. The fans rally, Oney fires up enough to fight out, Oney slips out of the suplex to start rallying! Oney’s whip is countered but he still hits a running blockbuster, TWO! Oney drags Cien up, Half ‘n’ Half denied again, so Oney gives European Uppercuts, one on the run that blasts Cien out of the ring! Cien is dazed as Oney climbs up high. Oney hits a senton bomb onto Cien, toppling El Idolo to the floor and firing the crowd up again! Oney himself fires up, getting Cien back in the ring and giving Cien a couple back elbows in the corner. Oney gets up to three, then takes a moment to catch his breath before firing up again. Oney goes running, and hits numbers four, five, and then the HALF ‘N’ HALF! TWO!
Oney grabs Cien, but Cien fights back right away, using the corner to flip over Oney then sitting and chopping Oney on the top rope. Oney fights back, too, headbutting Cien away. Oney goes for another senton, rolls through when Cien dodges, Cien hits a handspring backflip kick! Oney is down in a corner, but fires up to boot the running Cien, Cien just fires back with a lariat! TWO! Cien immediately puts Oney in a corner to rain forearms on him, then CIEN KNEES before the Hammerlock DDT! Cien wins in a heated contest! Standing ovation from the fans and commentary on this one.
Team DIY thinks back on the 12 years they’ve traveled the world together as opponents, rivals and friends, wrestling for crowds of all sizes, large and small, because they love wrestling. And then it finally happened, they teamed up for the first time to enter the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, as brand new recruits to NXT. Right away the Revival and DIY had problems with each other, and it culminated in an NXT Tag Team Championship match in Toronto when they became champions. However, they then ran into the Authors of Pain, Paul Ellering’s newest “machines” who “have no heart” for wrestling! DIY isn’t just the two of them, it’s all their fans and supporters, and with that support, Team DIY vows that the NXT Tag Team Titles are coming back to them.
Another message from the man in the shadows. “The norm. The accepted. Those terms are satirical to me. I simply am. I can achieve my desires. The end has come. Let these ashes blind you! Allow yourself to fade to black.” He is coming, but when?
Asuka VS Priscilla Zuniga!
The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, headed on a collision course with the undefeated contender, Ember Moon. Asuka takes a moment to tell Ember “This is your head.” She knocks Priscilla down with a spinning heel kick! Asuka dares Priscilla to fight back, which she does, but Asuka just makes her pay for every hit. Priscilla SLAPS Asuka, Asuka just grins. Priscilla tries to run, she runs right into Asuka’s hip attack. Asuka then kicks away on Priscilla, the ref backs her down because of proximity to ropes. Asuka then stalks Priscilla, deadlift German Suplex! But she’s not done there, Asuka gives her a Buzzsaw! Asuka then cancels the pin at two! Asuka’s making a point using this poor newbie as Ember’s stand-in. Asuka Lock on, Priscilla taps out, Asuka wins! Asuka won’t let go until SHE is satisfied, then pretends to not know what’s wrong. Ember better be careful, because as dangerous as her Eclipse flying stunner is, every part of Asuka’s body is a dangerous weapon. Asuka, in both Japanese and English, even tells Ember there will be “No Eclipse.” Will Asuka become the only undefeated woman in NXT after TakeOver: Orlando?
The Revival explains that their tag team name isn’t just because it’s catchy, it isn’t just because they can put it on a shirt, it’s because Dash & Dawson do exactly what they say they will. They are the revival of tag team wrestling, and better than all of those legendary teams you can think of. They are #NoFlipsJustFists, and were able to lift the Authors of Pain and hit them with the Shatter Machine, no one else could possibly do. They’re also sick and tired of the “grind out” story DIY keeps telling, The Revival has had the bigger “grind out” story and will again be #TopGuys after TakeOver: Orlando.
Bobby Roode quotes a “wise man” who once said, “what separates the winners and losers is how a person reacts to each twist of fate.” By that he means, his reaction to the “twist of fate” of Shinsuke’s knee injury during their San Antonio match versus Shinsuke’s own reaction is why Roode won and Nakamura lost. We take a quick look back at both men’s careers before and in NXT that then led to the “fateful encounter” of the King of Strong Style and the GLORIOUS One for the championship. As stated, Roode won while Shinsuke was injured. Now, Shinsuke is back to 100% and they have an “epic rematch” in Orlando. What does “fate” have in store for these two men? And who will react in a way to come out the winner?
Backstage interview with Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose & Roderick Strong. SAnitY has been targeting them for weeks now, but Jose is the first to say that “those three pieces of crap” haven’t been brave enough to do it when these three are all together. Strong is back to 100%, the numbers game will be even, they are confident the numbers are on their side, because they have “a perfect ten.”
Kassius Ohno may have lost his first match back, for the NXT Championship on top of it, but he appreciates The Drifter, Elias Samson, putting his loss to bad guitar music even less. Elias says Ohno doesn’t belong, Ohno says Elias doesn’t either. Ohno wants a Loser Leaves NXT Match! The Drifter accepts!
Andrade “Cien” Almas learns he will be facing the mysterious Alistair Black at TakeOver: Orlando! El Idolo doesn’t care, he will make Black come to respect and believe in him! Will that be true? Or will El Idolo be the first to #FadetoBlack?
6 Man Tag Match
SAnitY w/ Nikki Cross VS Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose & Roderick Strong!
Eric Young and his unhinged underlings have victimized The Perfect Ten and friends, all while putting the blame on them for not alligning with their anarchy. With no love lost between them, it becomes a brawl on the outside before the bell! Strong puts Alexander Wolfe into the apron, then they get Big Damo/Killian Dain into the ring. Bell rings, Strong and Damo are the legal men, so Strong throws forearms on the Beast of Belfast. Damo pushes him away then drives him into a corner, Wolfe tags in to continue the assault. EuroUpper staggers Strong, but Strong recovers and fights back. More EuroUppers but Strong gets Wolfe to his corner, tag to Tye. Tye drops a knee and stares daggers at EY. Tag to Jose now, scoop slam for Wolfe, kick out at one. Jose tags Strong to keep Wolfe isolated, backbreaker leads to right hands. Strong tags Tye again, Team Perfect Ten keeps Wolfe isolated. EY tells Tye he’ll get his soon enough, Tye gives Wolfe a LOUD chop. Tag to Strong, Wolfe breaks free, Strong speeds things up to give a dropkick to Wolfe, one to Damo, and then a lariat for EY! Strong has cleared the ring of SAnitY, FLYING STRONG bowls them all over!
After a break, we see Team Perfect Ten continues to isolated Wolfe, Jose whips Wolfe to a neutral corner before hitting a sidewalk slam. TWO, so Jose drags Wolfe up. Wolfe punches Jose, tags EY, EY mocks Tye’s “TEN” before putting Jose into a corner. Jose elbows out then runs EY over with a lariat. Tag to Tye, EY scrambles and tags Wolfe. Wolfe takes the slam and stomp for EY, Tye tags Jose to once again isolate Wolfe. Neutral corner to corner whip, but Wolfe puts Jose on the apron. Jose has to fight off EY but it’s Nikki Cross that anchors Jose so Wolfe can boot him down! Wolfe tags Damo, Damo grabs Jose to get him in the ring, EuroUpper and stomps to put Jose down. Damo picks Jose up to club him down and give heavy elbow drops, Damo runs for one last jumping elbow drop. Damo tags Wolfe, Damo rams in a shoulder and Wolfe hits a running EuroUpper, TWO. Wolfe puts on the chinlock but Jose fires up fast, so Wolfe throws him down by his hair before knocking Strong off the apron. Jose jawbreakers, double clotheslines take both men down. Wolfe tags EY, EY knocks Tye off the apron, Jose body drops EY then tags Strong. Strong rallies fast on EY, knee lift to Damo, then he throws EY into Damo before giving EY a half-nelson backbreaker and Wolfe a separate backbreaker! Strong gives a bicycle knee and facebuster to EY, Damo breaks up the pin! Tye goes after Damo, Wolfe goes after Tye, Jose goes after Wolfe! The ref rings the bell to call this match off, so now it’s just another brawl. Jose tackles Wolfe and they both tumble out, Strong lets Damo ram into the steel post, so that leaves Tye and EY! Tye gives Perfect Ten Stomps to make a mudhole in EY, but then Nikki Cross jumps on! But who is this going after her?! She drags Nikki off Tye and gives her a facebuster before a dropping enziguri sends Nikki out.
Jose hits the Fastball Special on Wolfe, the whole team goes after Damo. Damo pushes them away, he takes double punches three times before Strong’s shining wizard, Jose’s lariat and Tye’s SUPERKICK!! Now with numbers truly even, Team Perfect Ten controls the ring! Are SAnitY’s days in NXT already numbered!?
In this week of penultimate episodes, NXT gave SmackDown a run for its money as the best WWE show of the week, and with only three matches.
While the motivation for a rematch of Lorcan and Almas was a bit too “BAStar Plug” with the “I don’t like bullies” thing, no one can badmouth tonight’s opener. Lorcan and Almas went the distance with each other to really raise the other’s power levels in NXT. Almas goes over to give us a great “True Heel” to go up against the dark and enigmatic Alistair Black, aka Tommy End, who will surely be Face. Tommy End is another great acquisition for NXT, he had a good match with Neville as part of the UK tournament event, End/Black and Almas can definitely be the sleeper hit of TakeOver: Orlando.
Poor Priscilla Zuniga never stood a chance. Not only was she up against Asuka, she was up against a motivated Asuka, as the undefeated champion isn’t about to lose her title or win streak just yet when Ember Moon has been half hype. NXT has built Ember up with her record, but they kinda let the ball drop on how they handled her character. Ember looks like a mash-up of Mortal Kombat and a handful of different anime, and in a good way, but they’ve let her be seen like she’s just another person. Ember would’ve been better served if they treated her like a Bray Wyatt, existing slightly in another realm, or at least like a Stardust where she believes she’s of another realm and others try to bring her down by pointing out she’s not. Asuka not seeing Ember as a threat definitely works with the latter, where she does not feed into the persona Ember’s created for herself, and uses Priscilla as an example of what will happen to Ember Moon when she goes up against a real threat. Story elements aside, this match to determine the one true undefeated Women’s Champion of NXT is still greatly anticipated, can’t wait to see it.
Did I call it or did I call it? The war waged between SAnitY and the alliance of Tye, Jose and Strong is joined by a new female superstar who wants after Nikki Cross! The men had a really good 6 Man Tag rematch from their previous encounter, and it really felt like Tye and friends were finally becoming a team. Then it was good of Tye to make a point of saying the number game wasn’t going to help SAnitY because that then came into play when Cross gets involved, which then cues the surprise appearance of Heidi Lovelace, or as she will be known on NXT, Ruby Riot! We’re getting the 8 Person Mixed Tag that I anticipated, and it sounds like it’ll be a riot (easy pun was easy).
My Score: 8.5/10