WWE NXT! (5/24/17)
-Aleister Black VS Curt Hawkins; Black wins.
-The Velveteen Dream VS Robert Anthony; The Velveteen Dream wins.
-Drew McIntyre VS Wesley Blake; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT continues to take over Chicago! Underdogs and champions alike won and proved they were GLORIOUS, and they all left it out in the ring. Now that NXT moves forward, who will arise in the aftermath?
Aleister Black VS Curt Hawkins!
The Embodiment of the End has come to Chicago to make yet another opponent #FadetoBlack. To think it’d be the “Star Factory” that he already defeated on an episode of WWE Main Event… Hawkins suckers Black into opening himself up, whips Black but Black springboards up and over to then sit down behind Hawkins. Hawkins goes to kick, gets rolled up, TWO, a sharp kitchen sink knee flips Hawkins over! Hawkins throws Black to the apron, tries to suplex him in but Black denies it, Black tangles Hawkins in the ropes to kick him in the ribs. Black goes top rope, jumps over Hawkins but then a serious knee strike drops Hawkins to the mat! Hawkins is dazed, so Black helps him up with a foot. Hawkins knows what’s coming so he gets out of the ring quickly. Black pursues, Hawkins slips back into the ring, and then Black goes in the ring for Hawkins to get out. Hawkins tackles Black into the LED apron then gets him in the ring. Hawkins picks Black up to snapmare and drive a knee into his spine, the fans tell Hawkins he sucks. Black gets out of the chinlock and knocks Hawkins down with kicks. Corner to corner whip and a forearm, springboard moonsault!
Black is all fired up as he watches Hawkins. Black Mass!
Aleister Black wins again! How long until he even makes the NXT Championship #FadetoBlack?
At the end of TakeOver: Chicago, many were asking “D I Why?” Team DIY fell short of winning back the NXT Tag Team Championship, but the truly shocking moment was when Tommaso Ciampa savagely beat down his tag partner and friend, Johnny Gargano. It was a valiant effort, and the fans gave DIY a standing ovation, so why did the Psycho Killer turn on Johnny Wrestling so suddenly and with such viciousness? Ciampa did not stick around to explain why.
The NXT Women’s Championship match was meant to be a Fatal 4 Way, but an injury sidelined Ember Moon. The Prophecy of Flame herself wanted so badly to be wrestling in Chicago, where she got one of her first big breaks in indie wrestling. Now she’s watching from the sidelines, seeing the great ring and stage set-up, and “it sucks.” It sucks that she couldn’t be part of something great. There was a chance someone else would dethrone Asuka, and “it sucks” that Ember couldn’t do a thing about that. However, Ember also hopes Asuka retains, so that Ember can return and be the one. “Time heals all wounds, but battle scars last forever.” Can the Moon rise again to Eclipse the Empress?
SAnitY gave Roderick Strong fair warning, but Strong did not care. The Messiah of Backbreakers won at SAnitY’s own game and defeated the erratic Eric Young. Afterward, Strong was interviewed and said that “not to sound cliche”, Strong has always overcome the odds. But for Eric to have brought up his fiance and baby boy, Strong wasn’t going to sit and take it. Strong has overcome SAnitY, and now he wants at the NXT Championship.
The Velveteen Dream VS Robert Anthony!
The man formerly known as Patrick Clark is back on NXT, and the man currently known as Robert Anthony is dumbfounded. Dream gets a headlock, Anthony powers out but Dream powers him down and then speeds up. Dropkick and pose, the Dream is athletic but the fans aren’t impressed yet. Anthony gets a shot in, Dream unloads clubbing fists. Thesz press and wild hands, then stiff clubbing forearms before he chokes Anthony on the ropes. Dream picks Anthony up, Anthony blocks the buckle bump but gets clubs and chops and a SLAP. Dream whips Anthony corner to corner but is reversed, big flying ax handle drops Anthony down. Dream goes for a right hand, so does Anthony, the two duck and Dream gives Anthony a stiff neckbreaker. Dream goes top rope, jumps half the ring distance, and hits a big elbow drop!
The Dream wins, Anthony just felt the Patrick Clark Experience!
The WWE United Kingdom Championship was defended in Chicago in an epic rematch from the United Kingdom Tournament. The young inaugural champion and the brutal British Bruiserweight gave it their all, and it was the challenger that won! The NEW champion was then interviewed backstage, and he says “I told you so” on how he’d crush Tyler’s dream. Not only is this title Dunne’s now, “everything” belongs to the Bruiserweight.
The GLORIOUS One and the Innovator of the GTS battled for the NXT Championship. Itami had to wait two years through injuries and missed opportunities but he finally got his chance. Though he dominated, Itami made one little mistake and Roode capitalized on it to retain his title. His response after the match backstage was that this was no surprise. Itami has been in NXT for some time but he had become forgotten. Itami was foolish for thinking he could win, Roode proved that in Chicago. Who is next for the champion? Roode decides that. For now, Roode will relax, and take his time with it. Either way, Roode’s NXT is still GLORIOUS.
Drew McIntyre VS Wesley Blake!
The Chosen Scotsman has gotten the attention of fans and many NXT superstars, but one superstar to step up and get McIntyre’s attention was “Wild Wild Wesley”. The former NXT tag team champion feels he is more deserving of his first NXT Championship shot than McIntyre, but McIntyre looks to make Blake regret speaking up. The two tie up, McIntyer shoves off the arm wringer with ease, but they tie up again and now McIntyre knocks Blake down with a shoulder. McIntyre dares Blake to bring it, they tie up a third time and McIntyre has the headlock. Blake gets him to a corner and gives body shots and a chop, but McIntyre gives a swift boot right back! McIntyre gives chops back now, Blake boots and forearms back, then gives McIntyre a European Upper and spinning clothesline. Blake gets running but McIntyre splashes him in a corner and throws him over head! Blake gets to an apron but McIntyre drags him up. Hotshot to the arm, Blake runs and knocks McIntyre down with a lariat. Blake “welcomes” McIntyre to NXT, McIntyre kicks out as we go to break.
When we return, Blake continues to work on McIntyre’s left arm with hammerlocks, but McIntyre powers him to a corner. Blake sits on the top rope and gives a sucker punch, flying armbar takedown! McIntyre keeps hands clasped, ropebreak thanks to a leg. Blake lets go, but then wraps the arm around ropes to wrench it. McIntyre throws Blake out, Blake comes back in, McIntyre protects his left arm. McIntyre throws punches and chops with his good arm, Blake kicks the bad one, and he whips McIntyre into a corner, only for McIntyre to give another swift boot. McIntyre throws more hands, then a running forearm. Top rope ax handle drops Blake, McIntyre has the crowd fired up. McIntyre lifts Blake, Blake gets out and the two start brawling. Spinebuster bomb from McIntyre, TWO! Blake gets to a corner, McIntyre runs but gets double knees. Blake throws McIntyre shoulder first into the post, then a roll up, TWO. Crossface!
McIntyre endures, unable to see how close he is to any rope, he powers out and puts Blake on a shoulder. Blake slips out, shoves McIntyre to a corner, but McIntyre turns that around to give Blake a back elbow. McIntyre gets Blake hanging upside down, Inverted Alabama Slam!
TWO, and McIntyre is a bit surprised by Blake’s fortitude. McIntyre picks him up, double underhook but Blake slips out to give an armbreaker! TWO! Blake gives a knee drop before going top rope. McIntyre kip up and he stuns Blake on the top. McIntyre climbs up to join him, but Blake trips him up. McIntyre ends up in a Tree of Woe, but McIntyre sits up to throw Blake off the corner! McIntyre lines up his shot as he glares at Blake. Blake sees it coming and deflects the Claymore Kick, gives a punch, gets a headbutt! McIntyre has the crowd fired up now as he tunes up, CLAYMORE KICK!
McIntyre wins again, but Blake sure gave him a fight. Will the Scotsman be among those lined up to face the GLORIOUS Roode?
Another TakeOver, another post-TakeOver show that’s technically filler but still entertaining. Great interviews with winners like Roddy Strong, Pete Dunne and Bobby Roode, all of them stay to their characters, and Ember Moon herself got another “outside looking in” kind of promo that makes her sympathetic to the audience but also a hopeful and determined underdog. The missing piece to Ember may be the direction of her character, but otherwise she feels to be just on the verge of everything needed to defeat the unstoppable Asuka.
As for tonight’s matches, they were were in actuality dark matches to TakeOver but were still good enough to be put on here. Another fast and entertaining squash match as Aleister Black again establishes himself as even stronger than main roster jobber Hawkins. A great return/”debut” for Patrick Clark’s Velveteen Dream persona, and though the fans didn’t take to the gimmick or look, perhaps Clark will work well as a heel. That elbow drop was really impressive either way. And then the main event was not a squash, as I had guessed. McIntyre may have had one of his tougher matches against Blake here tonight, which is really good for Blake as he has been left in the shadows now that new names are filling the roster. No idea where the cowboy look for Blake will take him but not looking like a jobber, especially against the towering McIntyre, can only do good for him.
My Score: 7.5/10