By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped May 25, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
A hype video advertised the triple-threat match for the Women’s Championship coming up later on in the show… The opening video played…
Inside Full Sail Arena, Drew McIntyre made his entrance. His opponent was already waiting in the ring.
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Rob Ryzin. The commentators noted that if McIntyre’s former partner Jinder Mahal could become WWE Champion, anything is possible in McIntyre’s future. McIntyre threw Ryzin around for a bit and then beat him down in the corner. McIntyre connected with the Claymore kick a short time later and scored the pin.
Drew McIntyre squashed Rob Ryzin in about 3:25.
McIntyre celebrated his win…
The commentary team of Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness checked in from the table. They threw to a replay of the video where Ember Moon received her medical clearance papers after Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were rude to her… A graphic advertised Ember Moon’s return to the ring against Peyton Royce next week…
Another graphic advertised the triple-threat elimination main event… [C]
Zim Says: Enough with McIntyre squashing jobbers. We get it; he’s back and bigger and shinier. Good. Now give him a program.
An Aleister Black vignette aired…
The NXT Tag Team Champions made their entrance for a non-title match, accompanied by Paul Ellering. Their opponents were already in the ring.
2. The Authors of Pain (Akem and Rezar w/ Paul Ellering) vs. an enhancement team. Ellering kept Rezar at ringside for a conversation while Akem destroyed both jobbers in the ring. He dangerously dumped one out of the ring and then pinned the other with a wrist-clutch Death Valley Driver.
The Authors of Pain won in about 0:55.
After the match, the Authors laid the jobbers to waste with the Super Collider powerbombs. Ellering took a microphone and addressed Heavy Machinery. He said they’re as foolish as they are large. He reminded everyone that the Authors are over one year undefeated. He ran through the teams they’ve beaten and said that Heavy Machinery won’t even make a footnote in their book.
Just then, Heavy Machinery’s music hit and the duo made their way down to the ring. They stood toe to toe with the Authors and actually backed the champs out of the ring. The next challengers pumped the crowd up to close their segment…
The commentators transitioned the focus onto last week’s interaction between Roderick Strong and NXT Champion Bobby Roode. Strong declared his intentions for the NXT Championship and Roode dismissed Strong without accepting the challenge…
The main event was advertised… The Velveteen Dream was advertised up next… [C]
Zim Says: The Authors have worked well with fun teams that can make a lot of movement around them and make them look like monsters, so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out with a team that’s very physically comparable. This could be a very fun big-man program.
A Sonya Deville (formerly Daria Berenato) vignette aired. It portrayed her as a dangerous MMA fighter and she said she was born to fight. She was advertised for next week’s show…
Back in the arena, CWC competitor Raul Mendoza (a/k/a Jinzo) was finishing up his entrance. The Velveteen Dream was out next.
3. Raul Mendoza vs. Velveteen Dream. There was some nice fast-paced back and forth out of the gate until Mendoza caught Drewm with a wicked kick to the jaw. His time in control was not long however, as Dream sent him crashing to the mat and took control. He dropped Mendoza with a back suplex and began to disrespect him; taking off his headband and whipping Mendoza with it.
Mendoza made a brief comeback and showed some very impressive agility, but he was halted once again this time with a flapjack. Dream hoisted him into a fireman’s carry and then did a cartwheel slam. He went to the top rope and came down with a big diving elbow drop for the win.
Velveteen Dream over Raul Mendoza in about 3:40.
A replay of the finish aired and Dream celebrated his victory…
A recap from last week’s main event showed Hideo Itami turning villain as he hit Oney Lorcan with repeated Go To Sleep knee strikes. Kassius Ohno eventually ran out to put a stop to the attack…
Backstage, Ohno was standing by for an interview. He was asked where his friendship with Itami stands. Ohno admitted that he sunk to Itami’s level when he shoved him. He noted that Itami isn’t a bad guy, he’s just stuck in a frustrated mindset right now. Ohno suggested that Itami “build a bridge and get over it.” Furthermore, he mentioned that he’d spoken to GM William Regal and been granted a match next week, however he revealed it was with Aleister Black and not Itami…
A graphic hyped the main event up next… [C]
Zim Says: The gimmick is a little hard to figure out besides being a Prince cosplay, but Patrick Clark is athletically impressive. I’m not sure how much of it to chalk up to the also very impressive Mendoza, but I thought this was better than Dream’s initial showing in Chicago.
A graphic advertised Kassius Ohno vs. Aleister Black as the main event of next week’s show… Ember Moon’s return to action next week was promoted with a short vignette. A graphic was shown once again…
Back in the arena, Nikki Cross was crawling and skittering around the ring as she apparently didn’t bother waiting for her music or video. Ruby Riot made her entrance next. Women’s Champion Asuka was the third and final entrant. The lights were dimmed for formal in-ring introductions before the bell.
4. NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot in a Triple-Threat elimination match for the NXT Women’s Championship. Things opened at a rapid pace with some very good looking physicality. By the two-minute mark, Asuka had been tossed to ringside and Riot drove Cross face-first into the middle turnbuckle with her knees. [C]
Back from break, Asuka tossed Riot overhead with a German suplex, but Riot fought back with a diving ‘rana a short time later. Riot connected on an arm-wringer head kick to Cross, but they called back to the Chicago finish where Asuka ran in to break it up but Riot caught the knee strike this time.
Asuka lifted Riot and dropped her into a knee strike to the face, but was unable to capitalize as Cross dragged her out to brawl at ringside. Meanwhile, Riot recovered and flew in with a dropkick to both opponents from the ring apron, resulting in a Riot herself taking the worst of it with the bump to ringside.
Riot tried to capitalize on Cross in the ring, but Asuka knocked her off the top turnbuckle. Asuka missed a missile dropkick and Cross hit her with the fisherwoman’s neckbreaker, but Asuka quickly rolled out to ringside. Riot snuck up behind Cross in the ring and dropped her with a Saito suplex. Riot fended off Asuka with a kick to the head, but the distraction allowed Cross to connect with a rope-hung whiplash neckbreaker on Riot to eliminate her. [C]
Nikki Cross eliminated Ruby Riot in about 7:43.
Back from break, Asuka teed off on Cross with a series of strikes ending with the spinning head kick that has finished some opponents. Asuka tossed Cross overhead with a German suplex, but Cross kicked out at two. Cross raked at the eyes and tried to fight back, but Asuka connected with a hip attack off the ring apron to ringside.
They brawled up on the ramp and over to the side of the stage. They continued brawling right to the back and out of the arena. The referee ran back to the ring and signaled for the bell, calling it a no contest.
The match ended in a no contest in about 12:19.
Cameras caught up with the two backstage, where they continued brawling out by a loading bay. Cross smashed Asuka into the loud metal door and thought she’d laid Asuka out, but Asuka came right back and massacred her. She bashed her repeatedly face-first into the door and then dragged her into an adjacent room where she continued smashing her. Cross managed to find Asuka’s kryptonite when she dunked her head in a cooler of water for the briefest instant and Asuka sold it like she was nearly drowned.
The two brawled and brawled, ending up back on the other side of the arena by the commentator’s desk. They brawled back into the production area that never gets shown on screen and up onto the tables. Cross threw herself at Asuka and the two went plummeting through a couple of tables that were set up down below.
The crowd popped big and replays aired. Neither lady moved as referees and officials tended to them. More replays aired and there were just the initial signs of movement from Asuka and Cross as the show closed.
Zim Says: Fun main event. They worked hard and fit a lot into a relatively brief match. Cross and Riot have definitely stepped up to fill some of the gaps in this division. The finish was a little curious though. perhaps they’ll just do a brief Asuka/Cross rematch program as Ember Moon rebuilds herself with Kay and Royce.
I thought this show was a slight regression after last week’s episode which I enjoyed a good bit. There weren’t any glaring negatives, they did a nice job of building next week’s show, and there was a solid main event so I really can’t complain too badly. I just didn’t think this show stood-out in any real way.
I’ll be back for members in audio form at some point tomorrow with my audio recap, so be sure to check in for that. Thanks for reading along!
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.