By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped June 23, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
A brief video advertised the main event, with Asuka defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Nikki Cross in a Last Woman Standing match… The opening video played…
Inside Full Sail Arena, Nigel McGuinness checked in from the commentary table and welcomed Mauro Ranallo to the team, as well as Percy Watson as usual. Ranallo briefly hyped the main event before The Velveteen Dream made his entrance. His opponent, CWC competitor Hoho Lun, was out next.
1. Velveteen Dream vs. Hoho Lun. McGuinness claimed that Dream is only 21 years old. Lin tried some offense but it got him nowhere. Dream planted him with a Jackhammer and then came down with the diving elbow drop for the win.
Velveteen Dream squashed Hoho Lun in about 1:52.
Replays aired and Velveteen Dream celebrated his win…
Another graphic advertised the main event Women’s Title match…
The roving reporter was interviewing Asuka in the car on the way to Full Sail when suddenly Nikki Cross leapt onto the hood of the car and clawed at the windshield. Cross went to the door and tried to drag Asuka out, but security showed up to pull Cross away…
Asuka was shown throwing kicks into a heavy bag backstage…
A recap from 3 weeks ago showed Hideo Itami’s unsportsmanlike attack on Oney Lorcan during their match… A graphic advertised Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan up next…
Zim Says: If anything, that showing was a step backwards for Velveteen Dream, who I’m not sold on.
In his office, William Regal was hosting NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain with Paul Ellering as well as Heavy Machinery. He revealed that Heavy Machinery had earned a title match which will take place in two weeks. Regal suggested that The Authors be well prepared for the formidable challenge…
Back in the arena, Hideo Itami made his entrance. Oney Lorcan was out next.
2. Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan. Lorcan exploded towards Itami with an uppercut which rocked him right out of the gate. He fired off several more uppercuts and chops, before the referee stepped in as Itami was bleeding heavily from the nose. Officials tended to him and quickly called the match off.
The match went to an apparent no-contest in about 1:20.
Itami took off for the back, clearly unhappy. Replays aired before Lorcan raised his fist and the segment ended…
A graphic advertised the NXT Championship match for next week, as Bobby Roode defends against Roderick Strong…
A video package hyped up the match. The first half was a compilation of the character pieces which aired on Strong in the last month or so. From there, it went to Roode’s disparaging promos, and their backstage scrap last week. Strong declared he’ll be champion no matter what it takes…
Back in the arena, Hideo Itami made his way back out sans music. He also had plugs in his nose to tamp the bleeding. Oney Lorcan’s music hit and he charged the ring. The ref wasted no time calling for the bell and the match was back on.
3. Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan. Itami exploded at Lorcan with a dropkick and teed off with stiff shoot kicks to the chest. Itami hung Lorcan across the top rope and came off the turnbuckle with a diving knee. Itami continued with the stiff kicks and knocked Lorcan to ringside. [C]
Lorcan came back with a series of uppercuts and a running blockbuster. Moments later, Itami hit his tornado hangman in the corner and then hit a springboard clothesline. Lorcan tweaked his knee but wouldn’t let the referee stop the match, so Itami lifted him up and hit the Go To Sleep for the win.
Hideo Itami pinned Oney Lorcan in about 4:40.
The commentators questioned how ethical it was for Itami to continue, considering Lorcan backed off when Itami was injured earlier in the show. After replays, Itami took a microphone and asked Kassius Ohno to come out.
Ohno obliged and walked to the ring. The two spoke inaudibly, when suddenly Nikki Cross jumped up on the apron and screamed at both men. Her fellow Sanity members Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain then hit the ring and attacked Itami and Ohno from behind. They were dumped out of the ring before Alexander Wolfe took the microphone to speak.
Wolfe said that they’re there to put an end to the lies and false friendships. Dain said they would do so by “chaos.” He wrapped up his promo and then turned things over to Nikki Cross, who demanded that Wolfe and Dain leave so her match could begin…
A graphic advertised Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT title next week…
Zim Says: It’s an interesting line they’re walking with Itami and I’m curious to see how it plays out. Presumably he ditches Ohno in a tag match with Sanity and that kicks off the feud, but we shall see. As for Lorcan, he’s legitimately the 2017 MVP of NXT so far, delivering a very large percentage of the best NXT TV matches this year. Give this man a push.
Back in the arena, Nikki Cross was sitting in the corner impatiently awaiting her title opportunity. Undefeated NXT Women’s Champion Asuka was out next. Both ladies received formal in-ring introductions.
4. Nikki Cross vs. Asuka in a Last Woman Standing match for the NXT Women’s Championship. The two began brawling in the opening minute, with Cross’s scrappiness allowing her to hang in the fight, but Asuka’s sharp kicks right there to cut her off. Cross managed to trap Asuka under the ring apron and got the better of her. She then began to pull out steel chair after steel chair from under the ring until there was a healthy pile at ringside. [C]
Back from break, the two were battling over attempts to suplex one another onto the chairs, but Cross changed plans and sent Asuka crashing into the ring steps. A short time later, Asuka returned the favor on Cross.
Asuka pulled a trash can out from under the ring. She put it over Cross’s head and upper body before teeing off with a series of kicks. She came off the top rope with a missile dropkick on Cross, who was still trapped in the can. Cross managed to under the referee’s count around seven.
At ringside, Asuka was retrieving more weapons. Cross leapt at her from the ring apron, but she leapt right into a high knee from Asuka. While Asuka loaded the ring with chairs, Mauro Ranallo announced that next week, Hideo Itami and Kassius Ohno would team up to face Sanity members Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain.
Cross hit a fallout reverse DDT onto the edge of the ring, but Asuka managed to answer the referee’s count. Cross went to the top rope, but Asuka cut her off and drilled her with a spinning heel kick. Asuka grabbed a handful of hair and whipped Cross off the turnbuckles onto the pile of chairs in the ring.
Asuka looked to follow up, but Cross dropped her with a back suplex onto the pile of chairs and both ladies were down. Both, however, managed to answer the referee’s ten-count. [C]
Back in the ring Asuka fired up with some shoot kicks to Cross’s chest, but Cross smiled while selling them. Out of nowhere, Cross dropped Asuka with a running straight-jacket neckbreaker. She fired off a few hard forearms and then connected with the fisherwoman’s whiplash neckbreaker.
Cross waited for the referee to count but as Asuka began to stir, Cross hit another whiplash. She hit a third and then a fourth, before again allowing the referee to count. It wasn’t enough to get the win however.
A short time later, Asuka caught Cross with two spinning back heel kicks, which rocked Cross. Asuka tried to suplex Cross from the ring onto the pile of chairs at ringside, but Cross reversed with a powerbomb onto the pile of chairs and Asuka’s head appeared to hit the metal ramp hard.
Cross rested on the ring apron while the referee counted, but somehow Asuka made it back to her feet at the nine-count. The two brawled up the ramp and over by the commentators table next to the stage. Cross found a railing to hand Asuka on and assist with her whiplash neckbreaker on the floor in front of the commentary table, but once again Asuka made it back up at nine.
Just shy of the 18-minute mark, Nikki introduced a ladder to hit Asuka with. She cleared off a table that was set up in the same area, and then set the ladder up next to it. Cross laid Asuka across the table and beat her down before climbing the ladder. Asuka made it back up however, and the two brawled to the top of the ladder.
Asuka got the better of Cross on top of the ladder, and then performed a huge suplex from the top of the ladder which sent both ladies crashing through the adjacent announce table. The referee counted, and with Asuka managing to make it back up for nine again and Cross laying motionless, he called for the bell.
Asuka defeated Nikki Cross to retain the NXT Women’s Championship in about 20:30.
A lengthy series of replays recapped all of the high spots in the match, with multiple angles of the big finish. Cross laid below, still splattered through the table and out of it but with a deranged satisfied smile on her face, while Asuka stood tall on the ramp with her title over her head. With that, the show closed.
Zim Says: They worked really hard in that match and made a big impression as they should’ve for a “first time ever” match like a last woman standing. It’s not particularly the type of match that I look for as a fan, but I can’t disparage it at all because it was an intense brawl and exactly what it should’ve been. It looks like Ember Moon is next for Asuka, but frankly she still needs to prove herself in that spot because at this point I still don’t think Asuka should be losing.
I enjoyed this show considerably more than I have the shows in recent weeks. The Itami/Lorcan stuff was hard hitting entertainment mixed with some intriguing character development, and the main event got the time it deserved and was the spectacle it needed to be. The only thing that gets a miss from me is Velveteen Dream; my ship hasn’t sailed on him but I want to see more from him in the limited time he gets. I’ll get into things deeper for DotNet members in audio tomorrow, so be sure to sign up and tune in for that. Thanks for reading along!
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.