By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped November 30 at Full Sail University
The opening video played with new clips but the same old song… Inside the Full Sail Arena, the crowd chanted “NXT” as the commentators hyped the Fatal Four-Way main event, which will determine the next No. 1 Contender… Billie Kay made her entrance, with Peyton Royce alongside. Corey Graves and Percy Watson made comments on commentary which may have crossed the sexual harassment line. Daria Berenato was out next doing her best impression of an MMA fighter.
1. Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce) vs. Daria Berenato. Daria hit a sliding knee to the back early before Billie briefly took control. Daria regaind control and hit a spear coming off perpendicular ropes. Daria backed Billie into the corner with a series of straight punches, but Billie avoided a Superman Punch and slipped out to ringside. Billie and Peyton looked like they were going to walk out, but when Daria went out in pursuit, they used the numbers advantage to get the better of her. Billie hit the big boot in the ring moments later and scored the pin.
Billie Kay pinned Daria Berenato in about 2:30.
The heels dumped Daria out of the ring and took microphones. They said that the same fate awaits anyone who crosses them. They called out Asuka for claiming that there was no competition left in the division, and they threatened to show her that they run things… [C]
Zim Says: I wish Daria would tone down a little bit in terms of the MMA schtick, but she looked good in the ring here. I still haven’t seen the stand-out performance from Billie nor Peyton and I’m not sure how losing to Ember Moon repeatedly puts them in line for the next shot at Asuka, but who knows, maybe this will be the thing that gets them hot and they’ll rise to the occasion. We shall see.
Back in the arena, the Authors of Pain made their entrance. Their opponents were already waiting in the ring.
2. The Authors of Pain (Akem and Rezar w/ Paul Ellering) vs. John Ortagun and Anthony Bowens. The Authors wasted no time killing Bowens. Octagon looked like he was going to walk out, but the other Author blocked his path and forced him back into the ring. They did the powerbomb pancake spot before they power bombed Ortagun right onto Bowens’s face. Holy shit he might be dead. They recklessly lifted the clearly-injured man to his feet and were about to hit their finisher when the referee legitimately stopped them and called off the match.
The Authors won via stoppage in about 1:20.
Replays aired and then back in the ring, Ellering had a microphone but he was clearly concerned for the well-being of the poor jobber. He said that all roads lead to San Antonio and the Authors don’t care if it’s #DIY or The Revival. He said the Authors are on a mission to become NXT Tag Team Champions. They walked out of the arena looking like dogs who were about to get scolded while trying to act tough…
Zim Says: Yikes.
The commentators, Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Percy Watson, checked in. They threw to a recap of what happened between Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Daria Berenato earlier in the show. They showed Billie and Peyton calling out Asuka… Backstage, Asuka was asked to address Billie and Peyton’s comments. Asuka said they’re no competition for her. She warned them to be careful, before her attention was drawn to Nikki Cross who was hanging from the interview set. Nikki laughed, having gotten Asuka’s attention, and she walked off. Asuka’s smile showed that she has found the competition she wants…
The Fatal Four-Way main event was hyped. A lengthy video package recapped Tye Dillinger, Andrade Almas, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Roode winning last week to qualify for tonight’s match. Each guy got a nice little character spotlight in addition to their wins being showcased… the match was advertised up next… [C]
Back in the arena, it was main event time as the entrances kicked off with Bobby Roode. He was standing on the revolving platform and the crowd sang along to his music. The commentators clarified that the winner of the match will get their title shot at Takeover San Antonio. Andrade “Cien” Almas was out next to a considerably lesser response. Roderick Strong was the third man out. Tye Dillinger rounded out the competitors. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Tye” before the bell.
3. Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas vs. Roderick Strong vs. Tye Dillinger in a Fatal Four-Way to determine the No. 1 Contender to the NXT Championship. Roode rolled out of the ring right away thinking he was smart, but the other guys surrounded him at ringside and beat him up. Back in the ring, Almas got the better of Strong and laid out with the tranquillo pose as the show went to a quick break. [C]
Back from break, Almas continued to best Strong with a sliding dropkick to the head. Almas fended off the others from getting back into the ring and looked to be in firm control. He teased his running knees in the corner, but stopped short and slapped Strong hard in the face. Strong fired up and teed off with chops of his own, but Almas put him right back down. Almas missed a moonsault on Dillinger and Strong got his knees up on the follow-up attempt.
Roode seized the opportunity and tried to capitalize, but Strong hit a capture backbreaker for two. Strong fended off both other guys, which allowed Roode to get the better of him with a suplex and take control of the match. The match began to drag with Roode in control, until Strong caught him and tossed him overhead with an Olympic Slam. With all three opponents at ringside, Strong hit the ropes and went flying onto all three at ringside. [C]
Back in the ring, Roode had regained control of Strong and Dillinger. Around the eight-minute mark, Strong began to catch fire as he picked up that trademark high-intensity momentum. He went up top for a superplex, which inevitably became a big tower of doom that came crashing down hard.
Things picked back up moments later, with Almas knocking Strong to ringside with a springboard dropkick. Almas nailed Dillinger with the running knees in the corner, but as he dragged Dillinger to the center of the ring, Strong flew in at a million miles an hour and took his head off with the Sick Kick. Strong made the cover and scored the pin.
Andrade Almas was eliminated by Roderick Strong in about 10:15.
The crowd sang the “Na-Na Goodbye” song to Almas. Graves on commentary noted the virtually unmatched conditioning of Strong and talked about how it gives him the advantage in these long matches. Seconds later, Dillinger popped up and caught Strong with the Tye Breaker out of nowhere for the pin.
Roderick Strong was eliminated by Tye Dillinger in about 12:00.
Roode and Dillinger squared off and the crowd generously chanted “this is awesome.” Dillinger went off on Roode with stomps as the crowd chanted “ten” with each one. Dillinger got a quick near-fall on a rollup attempt, but Roode escaped to ringside where he retrieved a chair. He swung it overhead, but Dillinger caught him with a superkick for a great near-fall at 14:30.
Roode slipped off of Dillinger’s shoulders and planted him with the spinebuster. He set up his finish, but Tye popped up again with a Tye Breaker out of nowhere. He made the cover, but Roode kicked out just before the three-count. The two battled on the top rope, with Roode getting the better of the exchange and crotching Dillinger on the turnbuckle. Roode hit the lifting DDT and scored the pinfall.
Bobby Roode won in about 17:15 to become No. 1 Contender. He will face Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship at Takeover San Antonio.
Replays aired and the show closed with Roode posing and celebrating his win..
Zim Says: I really enjoyed that match. It was the first chance we’ve had to see Roderick Strong let loose on NXT which carried the early portion of the match, then Dillinger and Roode built some great drama down the stretch. With that said, I need to look big picture and admit that I would probably have preferred literally any of the other guys winning. Nakamura vs. Roode does nothing for me. By comparison, there’s a fun one-time underdog story to be told with a Dillinger title shot, Nakamura and Almas have some history to play on and work well together, and Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong was great the only time it ever happened. Bobby Roode in the main event of a Takeover doesn’t do much for me. I guess it’s on them to built to the match in a way that compels me to watch, but that’s going to be an effort on their part.
You can check back tomorrow for an All-Access NXT Audio Recap available to anyone reading this, plus Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.