8/30 Moore’s NXT TV Review: Bobby Roode vs. Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish make an impact, Ruby Riot vs. Peyton Royce, Drew McIntyre’s first appearance as NXT Champion

By John Moore

NXT TV on WWE Network
Taped August 24, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The NXT opening theme played. The camera cut to shaky cam footage of a bunch of NXT people beat up. You could see Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, and (maybe) Eric Young knocked out. Regal walked in surveying the area to find the culprits. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuiness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Mauro called it a sea of carnage. Percy thought it might have been “Cole and his guys”. Nigel told Percy that everyone was innocent until proven guilty…

NXT Champion Drew McIntyre made his entrance. McIntyre wore a suit jacket and jeans along with his newly won NXT Championship. Drew soaked up “you deserve it” chants. Drew said he means it and this is his life. Drew said all the work, the dreams, the bumps, the sacrifices, the ups, the downs, the last 17 years have led to this moment. Drew said this is his life’s work. Drew said he’s not naive and that the title puts a target on his back. Drew said it’s fine because it’s one thing to win the title, it’s another to defend it. Drew said he was giving his mission statement. He called out Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Adam Cole. He was putting the locker room on notice that this was Drew McIntyre’s world now.

Drew said if you want a shot at the champion, you just have to walk into the ring and ask him to fight like a man. Roderick Strong’s theme played as Roddy came to the ring wearing his usual track jacket. Strong said he was here to congratulate Drew first but he agrees that the title makes Drew a target. Strong said he doesn’t care about what happened to Drew after his match at takeover. Strong said he cares about his family, himself, and the NXT Championship. Strong vowed to beat Bobby Roode on this show. Strong said Drew wants someone to stand up to Drew like a man and here he is. Drew agreed and said that Strong stood up like a damn man but he hopes Strong is ready to get knocked out like a man…

Mauro’s overdub voice transitioned to Roode’s unfinished business statement from the prior episode of NXT. Mauro then hyped up Ruby Riot vs. Peyton Royce… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Solid, somewhat generic but it works for him, first promo from McIntyre as champion. He got better in the ring in his time away but what he’s got to hone in on most is walking the fine line between cheesy babyface and inspired hero. Speaking of cheesy, I can give or take Strong’s promos now. Thankfully he’s wrestled like a main eventer but over time it seems like the acclaim his family documentaries have gotten have led to “his family” becoming the crutch in his speeches. He needs to learn from Drew on walking that fine line.

Mauro talked about Asuka’s injury and talked about Asuka’s first tweet after defending the championship. Mauro hyped that Asuka would be appearing on next week’s NXT to address her injury and championship status…

1. Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) vs. Ruby Riot. Ruby Riot grew out her hair a bit and evened things out (combined with her punk rock look, she sorta looks like Paige!). The crowd chanted “oi oi oi” and dueling let’s go chants (is Ruby from Reno?). Royce pressured Ruby to the corner. Riot got a side headlock takedown. Royce escaped by locking in a vice headscissors grip. Royce went for a backslide but Riot countered. After some dodges Riot hit an armdrag and dropkick.

Royce tried to fight out of an armbar with forearms. Royce pushed Riot to the ropes for the break but before breaking she pulled Riot into the rope. Royce kept Riot overpowered and tossed her to the outside. [C]

Riot fought her way out of a chinlock but Royce maintained the vertical base. Riot fought from her knees with forearms and a kick combo. Riot hit a front dropkick on Royce. Riot used her knees to scissor Royce’s head into the turnbuckle leading to a nearfall. Royce managed to get Riot into superplex position but was shoved off. Kay distracted Riot enough for Royce to stagger Riot with a spinning heel kick. Royce hit Riot with a modified Kinniku Buster for a good nearfall.

Royce went for another spinning heel kick but Riot lifted Royce into a powerbomb. After the nearfall, Kay pulled Royce to the outside. Riot hit both Kay and Royce with a suicide dive. Royce went to the ring to distract the referee. Kay hit Royce with a hard boot to the face. Nigel comically yelled “Shades of Kane” (I think he yelled Kane). Peyton Royce picked up the win utilizing her Fisherman Buster finisher.

Peyton Royce defeated Ruby Riot via pinfall in 7:09.

Mauro said the assist should go to Billie Kay for her boot. Oh! Kay’s finisher was named “Shades of Kay”. Who knew Billie Kay could finish anyone in a match? I’ll leave my “Kane” comment in the report. Kay and Royce did that choreographed pointing thing that I hate.

John’s Thoughts: Good work between the women with a few minor criticisms that don’t stem from the ring work. For one, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are like NXT’s Drew Gulak and Tony Nese. They may get a win here and there but it’s via cheating and meaningless. They either need to break up this duo or give them a fresh winning start on Smackdown or Raw. Also, I would give Royce a better finisher. She’s great and I love her ring psychology but she doesn’t perform the fisherman buster as well as say Alicia Fox who uses the same finisher. For positive thumbs up, thumbs up to Riot’s new hairdo. The same thumbs up went to Royce a few months ago for volumizing her hair which enhances the looks.

William Regal was interviewed backstage. Regal said the beatdown in the parking lot was a serious matter. Kassius Ohno walked in and told Regal he was healthy and wants his hands on Hideo Itami. Regal booked Itami vs. Ohno in a match next week. Ohno requested a no-DQ match so Itami couldn’t weasel his way out again. Regal said Ohno asked and he shall receive his request. A video clip hyped up Heavy Machinery in action after the break… [C]

2. Otis Dozovic an Tucker Knight vs. Two enhancement guys. Mauro said the guys were named Damien and Edwin. I didn’t catch the last names. Otis overpowered Damien early on. Otis pushed Damien to the corner while yelling “yes”. Tucker Knight tagged in and Damien got his head sandwiched by Heavy Machinery. Damien escaped a hanging DDT.

Edwin tagged in and both of the enhancement guys got cross-bodied by Knight. Heavy Machinery hit both men with “The Compacter” (Assisted World’s Strongest Slam) to pick up the win.

Heavy Machinery defeated the enhancement team via pinfall in 2:12.

Nigel said he was going to question who the legal man was but he didn’t have to since Otis pinned both men. Percy and Mauro talked about how great the tag division was. Mauro transitioned into talking about “The Leviathan” Lars Sullivan. After showing clips of Sullivan beating down Jose the Mauro voiceover cut to Regal reprimanding Sullivan. Regal said those actions need consequences. Regal said Sullivan has beaten up three tag partners and will now face three men in a handicap match for next week… [C]

Mauro hyped up Cesar Bononi against Andrade Almas for next week. He then hyped up Hideo Itami vs. Kassius Ohno…

3. Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Roode. The crowd gave Roode a “Thank You Bobby” to start off the match. Roode yelled at Strong that Strong was a failure. Roode was trying to do his Glorious Beer Money chant but Strong shoved down Roode. Roode carried Strong’s headlock to push him into the corner. Roode blocked one of Strong’s signature backbreakers and slowed down the pace with a side headlock. Strong picked up the pace with a dropkick and punches on a prone Roode.

Roode gave Strong a back elbow. Strong came back with chops. Strong cradled Roode into a backbreaker. Strong then hit a nice rope assisted backbreaker after tried to use the rope to escape. Roode fought out of Strong’s apron backbreaker with punches and by shoving Strong into the ringpost. Strong almost cradled Roode again but Roode pushed Strong into the steps. Roode hit a spinebuster on Strong on the outside. [C]

Roode whipped Strong into the corner and hit a neckbreaker on Strong. Roode hit Strong with a Side Backbreaker. Roode hit another and rubbed it in Strong’s face. Roode then led the crowd in his “glorious” chant. Strong struggled to get to his feet but managed to chop Roode. Roode was whipped into the corner. Strong only got a one count. Roode slowed things back down with an arm stretch resthold. Roode elbowed out of another backbreaker attempt. Strong hit Roode with a gutbuster to gain breathing room. Strong cornered Roode and gave several strikes. Roode got an armdrag on Strong. Strong quickly transitioned to a backbreaker and nearfall.

Strong hit Roode with a Tiger Bomb and then locked in a Boston Crab. Roode made it to the ropes quickly for the rope break. Roode hit Strong with a TKO to get a nearfall on Strong. Roderick tried to fight back with arm strikes but Roode hit his signature spinebuster. Strong blocked the Glorious DDT and hit Roode with an Angle Slam. Strong hit Roode with a flapjack slam to get a nearfall. Roode used the ropes to ground Strong. Strong fought Roode on the top rope. Strong was shoved off. Strong hit Roode with an enziguri. Strong successfully hit Roode with a Superplex to get a nearfall. Strong and Roode traded punches and kicks. Strong almost hit the referee and took a Glorious DDT. Strong rolled to the ropes to avoid the pinfall loss.

Roode yelled to Strong that he was an embarrassment to his family. Strong hit three consecutive high knees on Roode. Strong hit a Strong Breaker on Roode. Strong blew a kiss to Roode and hit another front Strong Breaker on Roode to pick up the win.

Roderick Strong defeated Bobby Roode via pinfall in 14:26

Drew McIntyre’s theme played as Strong was recovering in the corner. McIntyre walked out and held up his championship in Strong’s direction. Cole, O’Reilly, and Fish beat down McIntyre at the top of the ramp. Cole hit Drew with a DDT on the ramp. After beating up some security guys, the attackers fled. Regal came out. Cole yelled that this is “our” NXT and you’ll never know when they are coming. Regal chased Cole’s trio to the parking lot to close out the show…

John’s Thoughts: This was a good match between Roode and Strong that could have had five minutes trimmed off to be a bit more compelling. The dull stretches are due to Roode’s methodical pace and Strong’s technical storytelling meshing. Even though the wrestling was solid, the atmosphere was a bit off. 50 percent of the crowd was super hype but the other half sounded silent, I wonder if it was just bad sound mixing. They were the same during the Riot vs. Royce match.

As for Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Adam Cole, I’m starting to see them being booked at “The Shield in dress shirts.” They are going with the approach where the trio interferes in NXT main events which has me thinking this is going to lead to a long series of babyface trios setting up trios matches where the former ROH guys will dominate. Then when a trio finally beats Cole’s trio they can break up into singles matches. I can see that working if done correctly. As long as Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly aren’t booked the way that Sanity was on the onset.

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