7/26 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Kassius Ohno vs. Hideo Itami, the build to Takeover continues

By Zack Zimmerman

NXT on WWE Network
Taped July 12, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The opening video played…

Inside Full Sail arena, Mauro Ranallo checked in on commentary alongside Percy Watson and Nigel McGuinness. They hyped up Kassius Ohno vs. Hideo Itami for later in the show, and also mentioned that new No. 1 contender Drew McIntyre would be heard from on the show as well…

Ember Moon made her entrance. Her opponent, the debuting Lei’d Tapa, was out next. The commentators put over the Tonga native as a former MMA fighter and football player, noting the size disparity between her and Moon.

1. Ember Moon vs. Lei’d Tapa. Tapa charged right at Moon and dropped her with a clothesline. She took control until Moon fought back with a tornado snap suplex and a big series of strikes. Tapa was reeling as Moon went to the top rope, and came down with the Eclipse for the win.

Ember Moon pinned Lei’d Tapa in about 1:20.

Replays aired and when they concluded, Moon had a microphone. She said that she wants Asuka at Takeover Brooklyn. She recalled Asuka wanting some real competition, and said that she’s the one. Moon said she was going to dethrone Asuka and questioned whether Asuka was ready for her…

The commentators briefly discussed a Tweet from Roderick Strong claiming that NXT Champion Bobby Roode had not seen the last of him…

The Authors of Pain were advertised in action next… [C]

Zim Says: After beating Ruby Riot last week, I’m not sure it was necessary to give Moon this squash here. Especially considering that the whole point of the segment was her challenging Asuka, the match really only served to make her sound winded during her promo.

An Aleister Black vignette aired…

Back in the arena, two wrestlers were standing in the ring. The graphic said they were David Ramos and Timothy Bumpers. NXT tag champs The Authors of Pain were out next. However as they were halfway down the ramp they were stopped when Nikki Cross inserted herself between them and the ring.

Sanity members Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain slipped in the ring behind Ramos and Bumbers and destroyed them. They disposed of them to ringside and challenged the Authors to get in the ring with them. They went face-to-face and began to brawl.

Sanity briefly managed to bring the fight to the champs, but before long they were overwhelmed and dumped out to ringside by the Authors. Sanity re-collected themselves on the ramp and then made their way to the back while the Authors paced in the ring…

The Velveteen Dream was advertised to be in action next…

A Street Prophets vignette aired and said they’re coming soon… [C]

Zim Says: I’m going into this Authors/Sanity program with low expectations, so there’s room for me to come up. As of right tow though, I don’t love the idea of those two teams facing each other in Brooklyn.

A recap showed Andrade “Cien” Almas being beaten by relative-nobody Cesar Bononi a couple of months ago, and another showed him attacking Bononi last week under the instruction of Selena Vega (a/k/a Thea Trinidad).

A clip was shown from “earlier today” when Vega confronted No Way Jose in the parking lot and warned him that he got involved in her business with Almas and now he has a problem that he can’t dance around…

Back in the arena, Velveteen Dream made his entrance. His opponent, Cezar Bononi, was out next.

2. The Velveteen Dream vs. Cezar Bonini. Dream took the fight to Bonini until Bononi fought back with a rudimentary series of punches, an atomic drop, and a dropkick. He followed up with a Michinoku Driver for a two count, but his momentum was short-lived. Dream came back with a cartwheel death valley driver and a diving elbow drop for the win.

Velveteen Dream over Cezar Bononi in about 2:20.

After replays, the interviewer tried to get a word with Dream on the ramp. Dream said that he’d consider it for a lady dressed lovely like her, but he’s not doing it in front of the filth in the crowd…

Backstage in his office, NXT GM William Regal was asked for his response to Ember Moon challenging Asuka at Takeover. Regal said he keeps a close eye on the women’s division and he agrees that Moon is ready for her title shot. He formally announced that it will be Moon vs. Asuka for the Women’s Championship in Brooklyn…

Drew McIntyre was advertised up next… [C]

Zim Says: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Patrick Clark has something, but I’m not sure if Velveteen Dream really does.

A graphic aired for NXT Takeover Brooklyn advertising Asuka defending the Women’s Championship against Ember Moon…

Back in the arena, Drew McIntyre made his entrance in street clothes to a good response from the crowd. A graphic advertised Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Roode for Roode’s NXT Championship at Takeover Brooklyn. McIntyre said it’s only four short weeks until Brooklyn. He said he doesn’t have a backwards button; he only looks forward.

McIntyre recalled being “the chosen one” when he arrived in WWE and said he expected everything to be handed to him. He said that he felt entitled and then failed because he wasn’t the hardest worker in the room. He said that he realized during his time away that he couldn’t succeed without being the hardest worker in the room, and so he went out and became the hardest worker in the world.

Drew said that when he looked at NXT, he saw a bunch of hard workers working together except for one person. He said that one person doesn’t show work but instead entitlement and that person is Bobby Roode. McIntyre had the crowd rise to their feet and sent a message to Bobby Roode that he is not NXT, “we are NXT” McIntyre exclaimed. The crowd chanted and McIntyre amped them up to close his segment…

A graphic hyped the main event of Kassius Ohno vs. Hideo Itami up next…

An Aleister Black vignette aired…

Zim Says: Short, sweet, effective promo from Drew. I’ll be curious to see whether they have Drew win and then pair Roode off with Roderick Strong in a grudge feud, or if the end goal is a rematch between Roode and Strong with Strong winning the title in his comeback try.

A graphic advertised that Bobby Roode will be heard from next week in response to Drew McIntyre…

Another graphic advertised the in-ring return of Johnny Gargano next week against Raul Mendoza… Mendoza was featured in an interview going into next week’s match. He said that he know’s Johnny has been training hard for his return, but Mendoza has been training hard too. He said that next week might not be about Johnny’s return but about Raul Mendoza…

Back in the arena, a haggard-looking Hideo Itami made is entrance for the main event. Kassius Ohno was out next.

3. Hideo Itami vs. Kassius Ohno. Standard fare through the opening minute until things progressively broke down into back-and-forth stiff shots. Shortly before the three-minute mark, Itami hung Ohno up in the ropes and came off the turnbuckles with a diving knee. Ohno rolled out to ringside going into the final break. [C]

Things returned just in time to see Itami catch Ohno with a hard kick right across the stomach. Itami continued to tee off with kicks, as the crowd began to boo and berate him. Itami hit a neckbreaker for a quick two-count.

A graphic aired on the bottom of the screen advertising NXT Women’s Champion Asuka for next week’s show, and Ranallo noted that she’ll be there e to respond to William Regal’s announcement of her upcoming title defense in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Ohno caught Itami with a hard chop coming off the top and he began to rally.

Ohno fired up with clotheslines and a shining wizard before nailing his cyclone big boot for a near-fall. He followed up with a back senton, but Itami came back with a fisherman’s suplex to even things up. Itami charged and hit a big delayed dropkick on Ohno in the corner and signaled for the end.

Itami hoisted Ohno up for the Go To Sleep, but Ohno slipped behind and connected with another boot. Before Ohno could follow up however, Itami hauled off and kicked him right in the groin The referee called for the bell and the DQ.

Kassius Ohno over Hideo Itami by DQ in about 9:15.

Itami took advantage of Ohno being crumpled on the mat as he fired off shoot kick after shoot kick. He beat Ohno down in the corner and then brought him to the middle of the ring for two Go To Sleeps. The crowd booed as Itami left Ohno in a heap.

He wasn’t done though. Itami turned around halfway up the ramp and pulled Ohno out to ringside where he performed a GTS dropping Ohno onto the ring steps. Itami finally left as Ohno appeared unconscious at ringside, and the show closed.

Zim Says: Pretty well-done turn. I’m still afraid it’s too little too late for Itami, but at least this is something new and if nothing else he’s bringing some new aggression and impact to his matches. I don’t have much to say otherwise though, which is kind of a general theme for this show. Everything was there and was fine. Nothing was stand-out good and nothing was stand-out bad. I’m not thrilled with this Takeover lineup, but the shows never turn out bad so I’m sure closer to showtime things will feel a bit different. I’ll be back for DotNet members with audio tomorrow, so be sure to check out that membership info link and see what we have to offer. Thanks for reading along.

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


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