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NXT Live Event
Rochester, New York at Main Street Armory
Report by Dot Net reader Dustin Lockwood
This was the first time NXT has ever come to WNY, and my only other NXT event I’ve been to was the first time they went on the road to Ohio so it was nice to get a show a bit closer to home this time.
1. Tye Dillinger beat Kona Reeves. Tye made a surprise appearance to a big pop, while Kona was out to crickets. Pretty standard match with Kona having to work to get some heat, while the 10 chants were very over. Tye wins with the Tye Breaker, then has Drake Wuertz perform a perfect 10 cartwheel before he goes to the back.
2. Ember Moon and Aliyah beat Mandy Rose and Vanessa Borne. At least I think it was Vanessa, she didn’t have a tron video and the acoustics in the venue were awful so I couldn’t really hear the announcer throughout the night. Aliyah’s certainly showing more personality and upside than she did on Breaking Ground, and it’s clear she and Mandy have been working hard at the PC. Vanessa, on the other hand, is a definite work in progress. Ember got the win for her team after initially going up top but having to jump over a charging Vanessa, then hitting the superkick for the three count to actually some disappointed boos for no Eclipse.
We’re shown a brief promo from the Velveteen Dream on the tron saying that he believed his services were being called upon for Hurricane Irma, but it’s actually much worse as he’s in Rochester, NY.
3. Johnny Gargano beat Killian Dain. Gargano was out to a big pop, while Dain didn’t get bad of a reaction either. At several points, there were dueling “Johnny Wrestling”/”Killian Dain” chants. A really good David vs. Goliath matchup with Gargano using speed to escape Dain’s power and size while also getting in his offense in a believable way. Gargano got the upset with a crucifix.
4. Aleister Black beat Hideo Itami. Black got another good pop, while Itami actually got a good amount of heat. A hard hitting match not quite to the caliber of their Takeover match but still good. Itami has a great sense of his heel character. At one point, Itami was cut open above his eye and the match was briefly stopped to clean it up. Hideo pushed Black into the ref, hit a low blow, and rolled him up for a good near fall. Black reversed the GTS and nailed Itami with the Black Mass for the win.
5. Bobby Roode beat Velveteen Dream. Dream got a pretty good reaction at first, but was dwarfed by Roode’s entrance of course. Roode was in full face mode here. Lots of grandstanding for a good 3-4 minutes to start the match, fittingly considering the two characters involved. Lots of hard chops from both men. Dream misses a nice Purple Rainmaker, then eats a RR spinebuster and a Glorious DDT.
6. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe (w/Nikki Cross) beat Tino Sabbitelli and Riddick Moss to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships. Tino and Riddick were out first to little applause. They cut a promo degrading the crowd and and the ring announcer, but because of the venue, we couldn’t really hear much of anything and the crowd didn’t seem to care until Sanity interrupted for a big reaction. Sanity were also in full face mode while Young played the babyface in distress allowing Wolfe to come in with an impressive hot tag sequence. Certainly not a bad match, but Tino and Riddick need more character before they get any sort of push, because right now they’re just generic good looking guys. There was a minor blown spot where Riddick and Tino set up for their finish, a Gory Bomb/Bulldog combo, but Riddick ended up dropping Wolfe over his back, but they quickly recovered. Sanity got the win with their back suplex/neckbreaker.
7. Nikki Cross beat Lacey Evans. The Mae Young Classic competitor was out first and got a nice reaction when people realized who she was. Nikki was out next to a big pop. For the first few minutes, I actually thought Lacey was playing the heel at first but Nikki cleared it up after she screamed at the people cheering for her to shut up, surprising considering how Sanity were faces earlier. Impressive offense from both women. It’s also a nice touch that Killian and Nikki have their own separate versions of the main Sanity theme. Nikki got the win with her fisherman’s neckbreaker.
8. Drew McIntyre beat Andrade Almas to retain the NXT Championship. Almas was out first without Zalina Vega, followed by Drew to a good pop. This was another really good, really hard hitting effort from both men. Early on, Almas caught himself in the ropes and taunted Drew before eating a kick to the face while still in the ropes, and Drew followed up with a pose of his own to a big reaction. The story of the match was Almas working over Drew’s arm with a number of unique submissions. At one point, Drew hit a scary looking Celtic Cross off the second rope for a good nearfall. At the end, Drew hit a nasty Future Shock and followed up with the Claymore for the win. After the match, Drew cut a nice face promo about wrestling distracting from all the bad things happening in the world right now and ended the night celebrating with the fans at ringside.
Overall, a really nice night of action. Nothing spectacular like you’d see at a Takeover special but that’s to be expected. I noticed a majority of all the faces were taking the extra time to focus on the kids at ringside, especially Johnny Gargano, who was giving out hugs during his entrance, and Lacey Evans, who gave her flag to a little girl by the ramp, which I thought was a nice touch. Black/Itami was the MOTN for me but there weren’t any bad matches at all.