By John Moore
NXT TV on the WWE Network
Taped April 5, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
NXT opened up with Bobby Roode making his entrance to the Full Sail University ring. He was wearing a suit and rotating on a small circular platform. Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were the commentary team. Phillips said we were now in the Glorious Era.
Booby Roode took the mic for a promo. He said that he made WrestleMania Glorious for the 2nd year in a row. Roode took credit onto himself for selling out the Amway Center. Roode called himself the biggest box office superstar in the business today. Roode said he also snuffed out the last star in the old NXT (Nakamura). Roode said the fate and future of the NXT brand is in Roode’s control. Roode said the transformation of Roode’s NXT is finally complete up until last week. Roode talked about sitting at home and watching Nakamura enter his ring last week.
Roode mentioned how the entire NXT roster paid homage to Shinsuke Nakamura last week along with the crowd singing Nakamura’s theme. The crowd then sung Nakamura’s theme. Roode said you saw everyone on the stage, but you didn’t see one person, Roode. Roode called everyone morons and called Nakamura’s words crap. Roode said Nakamura didn’t leave NXT, Roode pushed him out by beating him for the 2nd time in the row. Roode said he was physically sick to hear the people chant and cheer. Roode then said none of the people in this arena deserve to be in Roode’s NXT and neither does anyone who stood on the stage.
The crowd chanted “we deserve it”. Roode said the fans can jump onboard to Roode’s NXT or hit the bricks like Shinsuke Nakamura did. Suddenly, Hideo Itami’s theme played as the artist formerly known as KENTA walked to the ring wearing a suit. Phillips teased the idea of Itami having troubles with his future due to constant injuries. Roode stood in the ring mockingly not looking impressed in front of Itami. Itami simply gave Roode a slap to the face. Roode laughed the slap off as the crowd chanted for one more. Roode put down the title and his suit to tease confronting Itami. Roode mouthed off at Roode. Hideo Itami lifted up Roode and planted him with the Go To Sleep to put Roode to sleep. Hideo lifted the title for a quick second and put it right next to Roode. Tom Phillips called this an emphatic return for Hideo Itami. Nigel McGuinness hyped the Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young main event…
Kayla the backstage interviewer interviewed Tyler Bate and Jack Gallagher. Gallagher gave Bate congratulations as Bate returned the favor by saying he likes 205 live. Bate talked about being honored to successfully defend his championship on NXT. Gallagher said it wasn’t guaranteed that it would be successful. They shook hands out of respect for their match next week…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Good segment once Itami got out there and didn’t talk. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with Roode’s promo. The problem lies in the confusion between his babyface entrance character and the top heel that NXT needs at the moment. They cancel each other out. Itami was solid here and it reminded me on when he made his NXT debut looking like a silent badass. That’s how you get around the language barrier when the language is ass kicking.
Back from the break, they held the camera at showing Bobby Roode recovering from the GTS. They then cut to the YouTube video where Heavy Machinery were working out in the Performance Center as they caught footage of Andrade Almas confronting Drew Galloway…
Andrade Almas made his way to the ring for his upcoming match as Tom Phillips pointed out how we will see Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade Cien Almas next week. Tom Phillips also brought up how Andrade’s character is a party boy who hits up the bar before matches.
1. Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Danny Burch. Percy Watson talked about coming up in developmental with Danny Burch. Almas was thrown into the ropes where he caught his tranquillo pose. Almas then locked in the hammerlock. Burch fought out and hit a backdrop. Burch locked in wristlocks of his own. Almas went for a splash but Burch caught the leg into a flapjack. Almas turned the tide with a clothesline.
Almas gave Burch a chop in the corner and followed up with double boots on the sternum. Almas kept calling Burch a perro. Burch made a little rally with a strong uppercut. Almas came back with a boot to ground Burch. Almas hit his signature double knees and his finisher the Hammerlock DDT to pick up the win…
Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Danny Burch via pinfall in 2:57.
Andrade lounged in the middle of the ring after his match. Nigel pointed out the technical details on how Almas’ finisher works. Tom Phillips transitioned to a recap video on the Ember Moon vs. Asuka controversial finish. The video focused on Asuka’s cockiness and dominance as the women’s roster talked about how dominant Asuka has been. Ember Moon said Asuka is just as deadly as she is arrogant. Ruby Riot talked about possibly catching a weakness in Asuka’s arrogance. The women in the video talked about being the one to beat Asuka. Aliyah and Liv Morgan would be facing Billie Kay and Peyton Royce later on in this episode…
John’s Thoughts: Danny Burch has really impressed me since the UK Tournament. If I remember correctly, he wore a dorky singlet in his first NXT run and was not as cut as he is now. Now he has a Jason Statham look to him that works. On the other side, Andrade Almas is showing signs that he might be NXT’s best in ring worker. It was a squash match but everyone looked solid. The problem with what they do with Almas is they never give him a string of wins and I have a sense he is about to job to the latest “new” NXT signing, Drew Galloway.
A recap video of the Eric Young and Tye Dillinger played that included their various encounters, trios matches, and promos.
2. Liv Morgan and Aliyah vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Aliyah wore a cat ear headpiece for some reason on the way to the ring. Liv Morgan started the match off against Billie Kay. Kay locked in the headlock to start the match and she slammed Liv to the ground. Morgan was also slammed with a hip toss. Kay went to do her BFF thing with Royce in the corner. Liv Morgan took advantage of the lack of focus as she locked in the body scissors to roll Kay around in the ring. Aliyah tagged in and hit a leg drop to pick up a two count on Kay.
Kay took down Aliyah with a strong right hand. Peyton Royce tagged in and gave a knee to Aliyah. Aliyah went for a headscissors but slipped out. Peyton Royce hit a back kick. There was a very sloppy nearfall because I think Liv Morgan missed the run in. Billie Kay tried to stop the rollup but Liv Morgan dropkicked Billie Kay to allow Aliyah to pick up the rollup win.
Aliyah and Liv Morgan defeated Peyton Royce and Billie Kay via pinfall in 3:14.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce had a tantrum in the ring. Tye Dillinger was shown getting ready for his steel cage match with Eric Young which Phillips pointed out was Tye’s farewell match…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Not a huge fan at all with the Aliyah and Liv Morgan pairing. Either let them grow as singles competitors or team them with more experienced wrestlers. They are just too green and continue to be very sloppy at points. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay need a bit of tweaking because their BFF mean girl act just comes off as an act. I do like their potential though and Peyton Royce in particular has impressed me in the past few months with her developing a solid dynamic identity in the ring…
The commentators hyped some matches for next week which included Alistair Black in action as well as Andrade Cien Almas vs. Drew McIntyre. Tye Dillinger and Eric Young then entered the steel cage for their cage match…
3. Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young in a steel cage match. Drake Younger was the referee for the match. Eric Young made his entrance flanked by his fellow Sanity members at first but he sent them to the back. Dillinger pulled Young inside of the ring to quickly start the match off. The two brawled with Dillinger dominating. Dillinger took off the knee pad for the early Tye Breaker. Eric Young escaped with the eye rake. Dillinger was slammed face first into the steel cage.[C]
EY had the upper hand back from the break as he tossed Dillinger into the cage. Eric Young put the boot to Dillinger against the cage as he did his EY yell. Dillinger tried to walk out of the cage but Dillinger wasn’t knocked out yet so he pulled EY in. Young took Dillinger to the corner to lock in an elevated reverse dragon sleeper. Tye Dillinger came back with punches but his kick was caught. EY tried to monkey flip Dillinger but Dillinger used this to try to escape the cage.
Dillinger tried to escape the cage but EY powered through Dillinger’s punch rally to nail him with a sitout powerbomb. Eric Young tried to walk out of the door again but Tye kept him in. Eric Young went to climb up the cage but was tossed right off by Tye.[C]
Tye tossed around EY back from the commercial. Eric Young was given the boots against the cage as he started to bleed hardway (due to the cage). Eric Young kept Dillinger from climbing over the top of the cage. The two men traded blows at the top of the cage area. Young tried to escape but Tye still had his wits about him. Tye was sent down as Eric Young instead decided to nail Tye Dillinger with a wicked top of the cage elbow drop! Tye Dillinger kicked out at two to draw a “This is Awesome” chant.
Tye Dillinger struggled to get to his feet as Eric Young told him it was time to waive goodbye. Tye then pulled out a Tye Breaker out of nowhere. Tye then slowly tried to crawl his way to the cage door. Nikki Cross pulled the ref away and the other two Sanity guys closed the door. Tye’s two random buddies Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno, and Ruby Riot ran in to even the odds. Tye kept Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe out by running into the cage.
As Tye tried to escape he was blocked by Wolfe. Dain walked in through the door. Tye Dillinger hit Dain and Young with a crossbody. As the Sanity guys in the ring were trying to recover. Tye Dillinger managed to quickly crawl through the door and pick up the win.
Tye Dillinger defeated Eric Young by escaping the cage in 11:04 of TV Time.
Dillinger ran around the ring to lead 10 chants as the Sanity guys were locked inside of the cage. Tom Phillips said Tye has symbolically locked his demons inside of the cage. Eric Young yelled in the ring as the other two guys had a tantrum. The show closed with Kassius Ohno and Strong holding up Tye in victory as the crowd gave him a “Thank You Tye” chant…
John’s Thoughts: They managed to pull out a solid cage match just as I was about to get worried of the match being confusing and plain. Why was it confusing at first? Well, the story they were trying to tell early on was strange and Young was coming off as the kickass babyface. I thought the whole reason Tye wanted Young in a cage match so he can get a one on one fight with him, yet Tye very early on took every chance to try to escape the cage and it was Young who utilized the cage to inflict pain and punishment on Tye. I’m not crazy in thinking it was supposed to be the other way around. They even gave Young the babyface top of the cage move when he had every right to escape the cage as a heel. Luckily, the story corrected course after then and it was actually the Sanity run-in that helped get it back on track. Tye escaping the cage at the end only to lock Sanity in also made symbolic sense so at least that worked out.
All of that said, I’m ultimately just happy to see the end of Sanity vs. Tye’s Random Friends feud. Believe it or not, I think Strong and Hero make a better team than Strong and No Way Jose because of the ROH background so they can go that direction if they want. This episode was solid, but nothing really epic. The cage match was good, but the confusing first act kept it from being truly great. Young does come out looking strong with the bloody face and the dominating performance (though I believe he had a better six sides of steel match against Roode from back in 2015). I’m more looking forward to seeing next week’s NXT. Drew McIntyre vs. Oney Lorcan was a five minute masterpiece and could you imagine how good an Andrade Almas vs McIntyre match will be especially if they are given enough time? I’ll have more thoughts to say about this episode in my All Access NXT audio on Thursday.