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NXT Live Event
Los Angeles, California at The Novo
Report by Dot Net staffer Will Pruett
The show started with WWE’s standard very strange synthesized version of the national anthem being played. I will never understand why they don’t use a recording of a full orchestra playing. An opening message from Triple H played on the video screen reminding fans that they made NXT happen. The standard NXT TV opening played.
1. Johnny Gargano defeated Andrade Almas. Gargano was the first wrestler out and fans greeted him with a ton of applause. The crowd was pretty split throughout this match though. Almas had one of the best performances I’ve seen from him in NXT. Gargano won with the Gargano escape. Really enjoyable opener.
2. Ruby Riot and Sarah Logan defeated Sonya DeVille and Mandy Rose. For some reason, Rose was cheered above everyone in this match. Perhaps I’m missing something I should know (feel free to educate me). I believe this was Sarah Logan’s first NXT live event. She was good, but nothing she did stood out. Ruby Riot pinned Mandy Rose after a back and forth match.
Kassius Ohno talked from backstage about fighting Hideo Itami tonight. He let us know that “Los Angeles knows Kassius Ohno ain’t nothing to mess with” which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as “Chris Hero ain’t nothing to f— with.”
3. Lars Sullivan defeated Oney Lorcan. Oney seemed to get busted open about a minute into the match. The medic from backstage came and took a look at him, cleaned him up, and seemingly cleared him to continue. Sullivan pinned Lorcan less than a minute after they began fighting again.
4. Hideo Itami defeated Kassius Ohno. This was the best match on the show. Once again, the crowd was split between the good and bad guys. This was well wrestled and paced. Itami won after faking a knee injury, taking a cheap shot at Ohno, and hitting a GTS. Both men received ovations after the match.
5. Aleister Black and Drew McIntyre defeated Tino Sabatelli and Riddick Moss. This match went a little longer than I thought it would. The ending had a couple weird moments with Moss bouncing awkwardly on the ropes during McIntyre’s comeback and Black diving and almost missing Sabatelli on the outside. Sabatelli and Moss’ antagonist schtick works well on house shows.
Intermission. Merchandise and nachos were sold.
William Regal showed up to begin the second half.. He said NXT is about the fans.
6. Asuka defeated Ember Moon and Nikki Cross to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka won this after a great Triple Threat when Moon hit the Eclipse on Cross, then was thrown from the ring by Asuka, who finished Cross with a big kick and pinned her.
7. Authors of Pain defeated Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe (w/Killian Dain) by disqualification to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. Dain got involved when it looked like Sanity might lose the match. This led to a disqualification. After many rings of the bell, all five men brawled to the back.
8. Bobby Roode defeated Roderick Strong to retain the NXT Championship. Bobby Roode main events make me sleepy. While there is nothing glaringly wrong with them, Roode’s matches on top are rarely worth writing home about. Strong and Roode had a passable match, which Roode won after a low blow on Roddy and a pair of Glorious DDTs. Seeing a crowd hearing Roode’s music is fun, but his matches are not.
Bonus Thoughts: This was a really weird venue to see wrestling in. The ring was set up on the stage, with a barricade guarding the very edge of the stage. There was no real entrance way for wrestlers, they just appeared at ringside. It wasn’t a bad venue, but it wasn’t what I usually expect at a wrestling show. This was a great showing from a stacked NXT roster. When you can put Drew McIntyre and Aleister Black against wrestlers no one really cares about and still get a great show, you’re lucky.