7/5 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Bobby Roode vs. Roderick Strong for NXT Championship, Kassius Ohno and Hideo Itami vs. Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe

By Zack Zimmerman

NXT on WWE Network
Taped June 23, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

Zim Says: I apologize for the delay in coverage this week. Thanks for bearing with me.

A brief video advertised the main event, with Roderick Strong challenging Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship… The opening video played…

Inside the arena, Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in from the commentary table. Roderick Strong was shown arriving to the arena earlier in the day with his mother, wife Marina, and son Troy.

Kassius Ohno made his entrance to kick things off. Hideo Itami was out next to join him, looking more discontent than usual. Nonetheless, the two seemed to be on the same page for the time being. Their attackers from last week, Sanity members Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain, were out next.

1. Kassius Ohno and Hideo Itami vs. Sanity (Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe). Ohno sent Wolfe flying with a hard knee strike early, before he and Itami teamed up to deliver a wicked series of kicks. Itami hit his tornado hotshot in the corner, but a momentary distraction allowed Wolfe to take control and tag in Dain. [C]

Back from break, Sanity worked a slow-paced heat on Itami. Itami finally hit a series of strikes which Percy Watson called “Kobayashi style” (which is funny for several reasons). The flurry allowed him to reach the corner, but Wolfe distracted Ohno from ringside and he wasn’t there to take the tag.

Dain crushed Itami in the corner with a avalanche for a two-count. Itami fired up with another series of shots and had the opportunity to make the tag, but he did not. Itami continued on offense, connecting with a fisherman’s buster on Wolfe. for a two-count of his own. Once again, Itami had a chance to make the tag and Ohno was calling for it, but Itami stared at him and then intentionally turned away.

Itami drove Wolfe into the mat with a Falcon Arrow, but Dain broke up the pinfall attempt with a running senton. Ohno cleared Dain from the ring and Wolfe cleared Ohno. Itami looked to be in control as he looked for the GTS, but Wolfe managed to tag Dain before taking the move. Itami landed it on Wolfe, but Dain charged in with a hard running crossbody which was good for the three-count.

Sanity beat Hideo Itami and Kassius Ohno in about 7:00.

Dain stood tall over the fallen Itami, as Wolfe was slumped in the corner with a smile on his face knowing he had taken one for the team which scored them the win. Sanity left up the ramp while Ohno stood in the ring looking disappointed…

At the Performance Center, interviewers were all around Ember Moon asking her questions about her return. She said she has Asuka’s number and is ready to take the NXT Women’s Championship from her.

Ruby Riot approached and questioned how Moon could be ahead of her for a title shot. Riot said it’s her time, and then left. Moon finished up with the interviewers saying that the end goal is Asuka, but she’ll take care of anyone who gets in her path on the way to that goal…

A series of replays recapped last week’s first-ever Last Woman Standing match for the NXT Women’s Championship… On screen appeared a tweet from Asuka saying that she would be back to NXT once a worthy challenger steps forward…

A graphic advertised the main event NXT Championship match… [C]

Zim Says: Basic but effective storytelling in that one. They’re actually going slower than I thought they would with whatever they’re doing between Itami and Ohno. Not a stand out match by any means, but it served its purpose.

A Drew McIntyre hype video played, noting that he is undefeated in NXT…

Backstage, McIntyre was standing by for an interview. He was asked for his thoughts on tonight’s title match. He said it will be great, but the next time they’re having this conversation, it’ll be about his own title opportunity. He said that he chose NXT to join the lineage of great NXT Champions and won’t leave until he does that.

The interviewer asked about others who also claimed to be in line for a title shot, including the also-undefeated Killian Dain. McIntyre said that whether Roderick Strong or Killian Dain lay claim to title shots, ultimately all roads lead to Drew McIntyre: NXT Champion…

Mauro Ranallo narrated a replay package which showed #DIY’s breakup in Chicago, with Tommaso Ciampa attacking Johnny Gargano and taking him out of action…

A graphic revealed that Johnny Gargano will be making his return on next week’s show…

At the Performance Center, an interviewer was standing by with the “Iconic Duo” of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. They were about to be asked about the Mae Young Classic, but they’re not in it so they didn’t care. They complained that nobody celebrated Kay’s birthday which was apparently recently.

The Duo continued bickering, when suddenly there was a commotion behind them. Andrade Almas was arguing with the woman who slapped him after his match a couple of weeks ago (she’s Thea Trinidad). She cussed him out in Spanish and stormed out. The interviewer asked if Almas would reveal who the woman was, but Almas just said “una loca” and walked off the other way…

A replay from a Mae Young Classic qualifying match showed Bianca Bel Air beating Aliyah to earn a spot in the tournament…

The main event was advertised up next… [C]

A video package built up the upcoming title match…

Backstage, an interviewer asked Roderick Strong for a word going into his biggest match to date in NXT. Strong responded literally and said “victory,” before heading through the curtain. Strong made his entrance to a solid response, considering the low standard of the Full Sail crowd.

NXT Champion Bobby Roode was also asked for his thoughts going into the match. Roode said that Strong has been living a fairytale and tonight he faces reality; “A reality which is simply…” He stopped and stepped through the curtain, allowing his entrance music to finish off his sentence.

Both men received formal in-ring introductions before the bell. Strong got a good reaction, while Roode received almost all boos.

2. Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship. Roode got the better of Strong and slapped him in the back of the head, but when he went for his pose, Strong popped up and hit a hard dropkick. He hit another shortly after the minute-mark for a quick pin attempt.

Roode rolled to ringside and briefly managed to take control when they re-entered the ring. It was short-lived however, as Strong came right back with a big half-nelson backbreaker for an early two-count. Again, Roode rolled out to ringside looking for a break. [C]

As soon as things returned from commercial, Strong lifted Roode in back suplex position before dropping him down back-first across the knee. Roode cut Strong off a short time later with a Blockbuster out of the corner and began to go to work. Roode looked for a suplex, but Strong slipped behind and hit another back suplex onto the knee.

Roode rolled to ringside, where Strong met him and wiped him out with a wrecking ball dropkick through the ropes. Things looked to be going well for Strong until Roode trapped his leg between the ring steps and ring post and kicked the steps hard.

Back in the ring, things settled into Roode’s pace as he began to pick apart the leg of Strong. Strong showed some fight, but Roode cut him off several times to the ire of the crowd. [C]

Roode had Strong gained in a leglock, but Roddy fought free with upkicks. Strong fought from one knee before making it back to his feet. He began to build momentum but sold the leg in the process. Strong hit a running clothesline, a kick to the head, and an Angle Slam. He hit another big backbreaker for a near-fall.

Roddy looked to follow up, but Roode clipped the knee and Strong went down. Strong got a quick near-fall on a roll-up before Roode got one of his own with a hard spinebuster. Strong slipped out of the impaler DDT and dropped Roode across his knees with a fireman’s carry gutbuster for another two-count.

From ringside, Roode managed to snatch Strong’s leg and wrap it hard around the ring post. Roode looked to follow up, but Strong popped up and caught him on the top turnbuckle with a kick to the head. Strong lifted Roode in backbreaker position and dropped him across the top turnbuckle. Roode took a great bump, but fell out of the ring. By the time Strong got the pin attempt in the ring, Roode managed to kick out.

Back on their feet, there was a brief back-and-forth before Roode planted Strong with the impaler DDT. Roode made the cover and the crowd was bummed, but Strong managed to kick out before the three-count and they popped back to life.

Roode taunted Strong’s mother and wife who were sitting front row. He talked trash to Strong, who suddenly popped to life as well, rocking Roode with a hard knee strike that sent Roode reeling backwards. Strong charged and connected with another in the corner, before he sent Roode crashing down with his big faceplant slam. Strong wasted no time following up with the End of Heartache at the 18-minute mark. He made the cover and the referee counted three, not noticing that Roode’s foot was under the bottom rope.

The crowd popped and his family began to cheer, just as the referee began to realize the situation. The referee stopped the announcement from being made and called off the decision. Strong was at ringside hugging his wife in celebration when the referee notified him that that the finish would not stand. The ref went to explain the situation to an official in the corner, when Roode knocked Strong off the ring apron and sent him crashing into the barricade.

Roode went out to ringside and delivered the impaler DDT to Strong right on the floor in front of Strong’s family. He rolled Strong back in the ring and planted him with a final impaler DDT to score the pinfall.

Bobby Roode beat Roderick Strong in about 19:15 to retain the NXT Championship.

Replays aired before Roode backed up the ramp with the NXT title still in-hand. Meanwhile, Strong slowly rolled out of the ring and embraced his family members who were teary-eyed. The crowd chanted “Roddy” in support as the show closed…

Zim Says: Very good match. There were brief glimpses of it hitting Roddy-gear but never quite picked up in intensity to that level. The swerve finish was pretty well done and I think actually does more to get fans behind Roddy than it damages him by the loss. Roode continues on as the unlikeable champion to encounter either Drew McIntyre or a reinvigorated Strong down the road.

Overall a pretty strong show. There wasn’t the filler that can sometimes make shows feel like wastes of time, whereas this show advanced things throughout the card and featured a main event that is worth seeking out. I’ll have more to say once I get audio recorded and uploaded for members. Once again I apologize for the delay in coverage this week and hopefully things get back to normal next week. Until then, thanks for reading along!

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.


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