8/2 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Aleister Black in action, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka returns, Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza


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, the #DIY entrance music and video hit. Johnny Gargano made his way out onto the stage for his return match, but signaled for a music change. The wall switched from “#DIY” to “Gargano” and his new entrance music played him the rest of the way to the ring. His opponent, Raul Mendoza, was out next.

1. Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza. Gargano got the better of Mendoza with some technical work in the opening minute. Things picked up with a fast-paced sequence of reversals, yet Gargano remained in control with a rolling kick to the side of Mendoza’s head.

Gargano looked to build some momentum when Mendoza caught him with a running kick. Mendoza was not able to follow up significantly however, as Gargano caught him with a slingshot spear.

Mendoza appeared to be in trouble after a hard clothesline from Gargano, but he managed to catch Gargano with another kick. He went up top, but Gargano caught him coming down and sank in the Gargano Escape for the submission win.

Johnny Gargano beat Raul Mendoza in about 4:15.

Replays aired and Gargano’s celebration went on a bit longer than necessary…

A graphic advertised an appearance from NXT Champion Bobby Roode later in the show…

Another graphic advertised that NXT Women’s Champion Asuka would be heard from after the break… [C]

Zim Says: Nice return from Gargano. Mendoza was a wise choice in opponents, as there was a lot of fast-paced back-and-forth which made the most of the four minutes they were given.

Aleister Black was advertised to be in action later in the show…

A replay from last week showed the confrontation between Sanity and NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain. Mauro Ranallo said they treated each other “like a baby treats a diaper…”

A graphic revealed that The Authors of Pain will defend the NXT tag titles against Sanity at Takeover Brooklyn…

Somewhere dark, the Authors were standing by with Paul Ellering who cut a promo for them. He said that they’ll write another chapter in Brooklyn, but until then Sanity needs to prepare themselves because “monsters are real…”

Back in the arena, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka made her entrance in professional attire. A graphic advertised her upcoming title defense against Ember Moon in Brooklyn. Once in the ring, Asuka cut a promo. She said she’ll fight Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship in Brooklyn.

Asuka said that she’s beaten Ember before and she’ll beat her again. She said that Ember Moon is not ready for Asuka. Just then, Ember Moon’s music hit and she made her way down to the ring. Moon said that she’s been doing everything to get back to the top and earn another title shot. She said Asuka might not think she’s ready, but she knows she’s ready.

Ember said that the people know she’s ready, and deep down beneath all of that arrogance, Asuka knows it too. Moon rebutted that maybe Asuka is afraid because Asuka is afraid of Ember Moon. Asuka took a moment to collect herself, and then decided to extend her hand.

Her hand remained extended until Moon went to reciprocate, at which point Asuka pulled it away disrespectfully. She slapped Moon hard across the face, so Moon fired back with a hard forearm. Asuka regained composure and rocked Moon with a kick.

Asuka dumped Moon to ringside and began to celebrate, but it was premature as Moon came off the top turnbuckle and caught Asuka with the Eclipse. Asuka was laid out and the segment ended with Moon having gotten the better of the champion…

The commentators transitioned to an interview with NXT Champion Bobby Roode, which apparently Roode demanded the time on the show for. Backstage, Roode was being mic’d up and the interview began.

He was first asked for comments on Roderick Strong. Roode said that people from Roderick Strong’s trailer park class play the lottery and hope against odds that their dreams will come true. He said that Strong played the Bobby Roode Lottery and lost. He added that Strong doesn’t even belong in NXT.

Next, Roode was asked to address his next challenger for Takeover Brooklyn, Drew McIntyre. Roode said that McIntyre claims to be a new man, so Roode suggested a sit-down conversation between “the new man” and himself in the ring next week. He said he was done with the interview and began to get up when Roderick Strong ambushed the interview set.

Roddy was held back by four other individuals while Roode meekly slipped away. NXT GM William Regal angrily approached and told Roddy that he was going about things the wrong way. Roderick begged and pleaded for a shot at Bobby Roode and Regal said that his hands are tied, it’s Roode vs. McIntyre and that isn’t changing. Roddy stormed off…

A Street Prophets vignette aired…

Back in the arena Sonya Deville made her entrance. Nigel McGuinness tried to put her over by comparing her to Cris “Cyborg” and Holly Holm. Her opponent was already in the ring, and she was actually considerably larger than Deville.

2. Sonya Deville vs. An enhancement wrestler. Deville arrogantly toyed with her opponent while avoiding shots and then connected with a hard clothesline of her own. The opponent, who resembled Charlotte, managed to catch Deville in the corner with an avalanche, but Deville came right back and caught her with a flying armbar/triangle combo for the quick tapout win…

Donya Deville won in about 1:45.

Backstage, Hideo Itami was standing by for an interview and was asked about his attack on Kassius Ohno last week. Itami said that nobody, including Ohno, has given him the respect he deserves. He asked why he should show respect to anyone. He began to speak in Japanese, when the interviewer cut him off and said they have to go back to the ring.

Itami was slighted and took her microphone. He walked off the set, through the curtain, and out into the arena. He carried on in Japanese and got into the ring. He demanded respect and went on about deserving better. Suddenly, the lights cut out and Aleister Black made his entrance.He approached the ring while Itami stared hole through him; refusing to leave the ring.

Mid-ring, Itami and Black stood face to face. Before long however, Itami appeared to back off and looked as though he was going to leave the ring to Black. As he reached the roped, he turned as though he was going to jump Black from begind. Quick as can be, Black whipped around with the Back Mass spinning kick and Itami crumpled. Black sat in his pose mid-ring as the show went to break… [C]

Zim Says: Where to start… Solid builds for both the NXT title and women’s title matches. I thought Strong came across a bit hokey with his verbiage but I like the dynamic of Roode having multiple challengers and enemies. The Itami turn also continued to be well-done, though I’m not sure serving him up to Aleister Black necessarily bodes well for his career prospects as a heel either. As for Sonya Deville, I get what they’re going for but when the Mae Young Classic is coming up and Shayna Baszler is one of the breakout stars, it might be wise for Deville to re-assess things.

A graphic advertised Andrade Almas with Selena Vega vs. No Way Jose for next week…

Several replays aired of Aleister Black catching Itami with the knockout kick…

Back in the arena, Black was still seated in the corner and was awaiting his actual opponent. Music hit but the graphic was delayed to build anticipation. It was revealed to be former PWG and ROH Champion Kyle O’Reilly making his long-awaited NXT debut. By Full Sail standards, he got a good reaction from the crowd.

3. Aleister Black vs. Kyle O’Reilly. The two grappled shoot-style in the opening couple of minutes with O’Reilly looking impressive and Black holding his own as well. Kyle landed a couple of hard strikes, but as he wound up for a big kick, Black swept his leg and Kyle took a big spill. Black caught him with a hard knee to the gut going into a break. [C]

Back from break, Black leveled O’Reilly with a hard kick to the chest. Moments later, O’Reilly svoided another kick and fired off a rapid sequence of his own. He used an over-the-shoulder arm breaker and then dropped a back suplex into a kneebar. They traded slaps the face with the hold applied until Kyle was forced to release it.

As the match approached the seven-minute mark, O’Reilly continued to target the arm and looked for his cross armbar. Black managed to escape but Kyle remained in control with mounted palm strikes. The crowd chanted for both guys and they traded kicks mid-ring. Again, Kyle took control of the arm and worked it over while using it to keep Black grounded going into the final break. [C]

Both men showed the effects of the match to this point before Black managed to take Kyle down and drop a knee across his jaw. Kyle held his own however, as he yanked Black’s arm across the top rope and went back to work with a top wrist lock on the damaged arm.

Black worked his way back up and began to build momentum. He teed off with some kicks and his a Lionsault while O’Reilly was standing. Black set up for his finish, but Kyle caught it. Black looked for another moonsault but Kyle kicked his legs out and landed the Ax and Smash kick and rolling elbow combo for a good near-fall.

O’Reilly looked to follow up, but after a wicked back-and-forth exchange, Black struck out of nowhere with the Black Mass spinning kick and it was good for the pinfall.

Aleister Black defeated Kyle O’Reilly in about 14:25.

Replays aired and Mauro Ranallo said he’d like to see these two develop a rivalry on the level of Tanahashi and Okada. Black sat out in the middle of the ring in his pose to close the show after a well-earned victory.

Zim Says: I really liked that match. It’s far from ideal to debut Kyle with a loss, but this was a hell of a match to debut with and Black is clearly a guy rapidly on the rise among their ranks. Rightfully so, too. Black has yet to have one off appearance so far, with matches like this putting him at the top of the ranks in NXT in a lot of ways right now. I’ll have more to say for members in audio tomorrow, so be sure to click that membership info link and check out 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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