By John Moore
NXT TV on the WWE Network
Taped September 14, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University.
Right after the intro theme Mauro Ranallo welcomed the viewers to NXT. Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary. It was time for the NXT Women’s Championship Qualifying match for the Four Way at Takeover…
1. Sonya Deville vs. Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riot in a qualifying match for the Fatal Four way Women’s Championship match at Takeover: Houston. Mauro talked about how Ember Moon’s loss against Asuka at the last Takeover rose her stock. All three women teased a three-way test of strength but that turned into a takedown fest. Ruby isolated Deville and took her down with a single leg dropkick. The commentators talked about how Deville has the MMA advantage. Nigel said this isn’t MMA, this is “Sports Entertainment”. Mauro countered by bringing up Shayna Bazler’s success in the Mae Young.
Moon and Riot disposed of Deville to the outside. Riot caught Moon with a strong forearm. Moon came right back with a springboard crossbody. Moon took down Deville and Riot with a dropkick. Deville hit a knee and kick combination on Moon. [C]
Deville dominated back from the break. Riot sent Deville’s head right into the second rope. Riot sent Moon into the gut of Deville. Moon tossed out Riot to try to pin Deville. Deville caught Moon with a Spear. Riot broke up the pin attempt with a shoulder block. Riot and Deville traded running strikes. Deville gained momentum with a flurry of punches. Riot pulled the middle rope to cause Deville to send herself out. Riot went for a Tope but ran right into the right hand of Deville. Moon recovered but was sent into the apron by Deville.
Deville ran off of the apron and Moon hit Deville with a dropkick. Riot hit a plancha on Deville and Moon. Riot was favoring her knee. Riot caught Moon with a Pele Kick while also selling the knee injury. Deville entered the ring to give Riot an ankle lock to the injured knee. Deville then grapevined the hold. Riot went for the rope break but there were no rope breaks. Riot escaped the hold by crawling outside but Deville pulled Riot back into the center of the ring. Moon came in out of nowhere and hit the Eclipse on Deville and pinning Riot for the victory.
Ember Moon defeated Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville via pinfall in about 8:03 of TV Time to qualify for the NXT Women’s Championship match at Takeover: Houston.
Sonya Deville as shown with a scowl on her face as Ember Moon celebrated her win in the ring…
John’s Thoughts: I hope that Riot’s injury is just a storyline. I only have that thought after seeing the nasty Gordon Hayward leg snap/twist from the first game of the NBA season. Back to the match, it was well worked and one of Deville’s better showings to date. Something that was extremely odd was the tepid crowd energy. Maybe it’s deep in the tapings? Maybe this actually followed that hot Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano match? Who Knows? I was questioning why Deville was even in this match as opposed to someone more experienced like Billie Kay, but at least they put the effort to protect her by not having her in the finish while protecting Riot with the (hopefully) storyline injury.
Percy transitioned to commentating over WWE Performance Center “Security Camera Footage” which was eavesdropping on a friendly conversation between Roderick Strong and The Undisputed Era (why the commentators have access to and are spying on security cameras is beyond me?). The timestamp was October 16, 2017. There was no audio so Nigel and Percy were trying to imply from the reactions. Cole tried to give Strong a shirt. Strong put the shirt back on Adam Cole’s shoulder. Nigel McGuinness then hyped a Drew McIntyre “Exclusive Interview” as well as an Aleister Black match… [C]
Christy St. Cloud interviewed William Regal about who the fourth member of the Women’s Fatal Four Way was going to be. William Regal was about to announce the last qualifier but Peyton Royce and Billie Kay cut into the scene making squeaking noises. Billie Kay assumed William Regal was going to give her the fourth spot automatically due to her being NXT’s 2016 Breakout Star of the Year. Royce and Kay kept saying “eh”. Regal said Kay will be in a match, but it was in a match next week with more ladies who haven’t competed in the qualifying matches so far. Billie Kay let out an exaggerated “ughhhhhhhhh!. Peyton Royce told Regal “How could you?”…
John’s Thoughts: Kay and Royce have had go away heat for the longest time with me due to their annoying pointing thing. They didn’t do it here thank God. That said, the “ugh” and “how could you?” line by Kay and Royce might have been the funniest pieces of cheese that these two have produced. Plus, it was heelish, so it doesn’t make them lovable but still gets a laugh. Small thing, but I popped for that segment at least.
2. Raul Mendoza vs. Aleister Black. Mauro reminded viewers that Raul Mendoza was in the WWE CWC and he lost to The Brian Kendrick in the first round. Mauro talked about Black practicing kickboxing since 9 years old and is a product of the Kickboxing schools in the Netherlands. After the bel rang, Velveteen Dream Patrick Clark walked to the ring apron. He put on Black’s vest which distracted Black a bit. Mendoza took advantage of this.
Mendoza hit a slicing leg lariat on Black. Mendoza hit a corkscrew Tope Con Hilo on Black. Mendoza hit a slingshot senton on Black for a nearfall. Black caught Mendoza’s foot and hit a kick combo on Mendoza. Black hit Mendoza with a basement dropkick. Black hit a lionsault on Mendoza. Black hit Black Mass for the win. ‘
Aleister Black defeated Raul Mendoza via pinfall in 2:11.
Black struck his meditative pose in the middle of the ring. Nigel then cut to a replay which showed Velveteen Dream putting on Black’s vest and gyrating his hips to distract Black. Nigel pointed out that Dream is trying to get Black to acknowledge him which Black refuses to do. The camera shot showed Black and Dream. Dream kept saying “say my name”. Black turned his head and Velveteen Dream was gone with Black’s vest. Mauro sounded shocked in wondering if that was Black acknowledging Clark… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A usual squash in favor of Black, but the time was utilized well in developing the Black vs. Velveteen Dream feud. Raul Mendoza has impressed every single time he’s had a match in WWE since the CWC. He kinda reminds me of Aerostar from AAA who performs moves that we’ve seen luchadores perform before, but with added oomph to make it unique. Back to Black, who continues to develop even though he’s still wrestling squashes. The Black vs. Velveteen Dream feud may be my favorite feud in all of pro wrestling at the moment (seriously, can you one up me with a better one?). For both men’s sakes, I hope this doesn’t end with Clark or Black taking a clean loss in their first encounter. This is due in part to Patrick’s stellar character work and solid in-ring.
Christy St. Cloud interviewed Drew McIntyre in a dark room. She asked Drew about his journey. Drew said he feels a bit weird saying that he’s champion now. He said he really meant it when he said it was his dream to be champion and it’s not like when other people do it out of being cliché. Drew said he set a goal a few years ago to be NXT champ. He said he was never home and set short term goals in those years. Drew said he feels good now. Drew talked about signing with WWE at age 21 and how things didn’t end up exactly the way he hoped. He said he was then released from his dream job. Drew said when he wasn’t a part of WWE anymore he was in a room by himself thinking about how he was going to explain his release to everyone.
McIntyre talked about it being hard to confront his father about getting let go from WWE since he has no other skills for other jobs and wrestling is all Drew ever did. Drew said things were worse since he and his girlfriend moved in a new home right before the release. Drew said his girlfriend took him by both hands and told him “were we going to be okay”. Drew said that moment changed something in him. Drew said he lost himself somewhere along the line and his girlfriend told him that there was something different in Drew. Drew said the fire may have went out but at that day it came back and he told her that everything was going to be just fine.
John’s Thoughts: Dammit, McIntyre! Why are you so good at being a nice affable dude!?!
Drew said he was going to make something happen at the only job he knows. He said they built something successful. McIntyre said after some time he made his long-term goal of getting back in WWE and four months later he was NXT Champion. Christy asked Drew if he came back to be an inspiration. Drew talked about wanting to be an inspiration for anybody in the world, not just wrestlers. Drew was going to go deeper into his speech. Zelina Vega interrupted and shoo’d Christy away to take over the interview.
Zelina said she was watching this interview on her phone and noticed that Drew and Andrade Cien Almas are very similar. Zelina said that Andrade was on a downward spiral too and got a second chance, Zelina was the second chance. Zelina said the difference with Drew is that Drew fell on his face and got fired, but Drew’s champ now. Zelina said Drew has a target on his back and Andrade is the biggest threat. Zelina asked Drew why Drew was avoiding Almas. Drew reiterated his point from a few weeks ago that he’ll take on all comers and all Zelina has to do is request a match from Regal. Zelina countered by saying that the Champion is the only person with the pull to convince Regal, so if Drew wanted to face Andrade, the match would have happened already. Drew said he admires Zelina’s passion, but next time if Andrade wants a match he should meet Drew face to face instead of sending his business partner. Zelina said okay and walked out…
John’s Thoughts: Even though McIntyre is a menacing giant of a man at first glance, once you hear him talk about life, you’d find out that he’s a giant puppy dog who comes off as the nicest person in the world. He’s convinced me of that in the last few years I’ve been transcribing his promos. Nothing new here, I believe he told this story on Talk is Jericho and on the PWTorch Livecast right after he got released, but not everyone listens to insider wrestling podcasts. So it was good for him to get it out here. I am not sure if I can buy Andrade Almas as an NXT Title contender yet. Plus, Drew’s only underwhelming match since his return was when he beat Andrade in a squash match where Almas was the one squashed.
Kassius Ohno came to the ring wearing his Sacramento Kings gear. He was wrestling the enhancement wrestler with my favorite last name to pronounce…
3. Kassius Ohno vs. Cezar Bononi. Mauro talked about how Bononi has beaten Andrade Almas. Bononi laid in some early punches on Onno. Ohno came back with chops. Bononi came back with a high dropkick. The commentators pointed out that he’s 6’6. Bononi laid in some muay thai clinch kicks. Bononi dropkicked Ohno off the apron when Ohno tried to gain momentum. Bononi went for a few pin attempts. Mauro put over Bononi’s jujitsu.
Ohno stopped on a dime to cause Bononi to miss a front dropkick. Ohno hit Bononi with a running senton. Bononi caught Ohno with a boot. Ohno came back with a strong boot to send Bononi outside. Ohno hit Bononi with a dropkick tope. Ohno caught his opponent with another boot. Ohno hit the rolling elbow to the back of Bononi’s head to pick up the win… [C]
Kassius Ohno defeated Cezar Bononi via pinfall in 3:05.
John’s Thoughts: Ohno’s in a precarious situation at the moment. He’s in no-man’s land without anyone to feud with, but that’s probably due to circumstance due to everyone else in the upper echelon of NXT being occupied at the moment. Which begs the question, where in the world is Hideo Itami? Did he pull a Neville too? I kid, I kid.
Mauro Ranallo hyped up Johnny Gargano vs. Fabien Aichner. They then hyped up the “Qualifying Battle Royal” which was the match for the final spot in the NXT Women’s Championship Four Way. It was essentially the entire Mae Young Classic roster plus Billie Kay…
4. “Sanity” Eric Young, Killian Dain, and Alexander Wolfe (w/Nikki Cross) vs. “The Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish. Wolfe started off against Fish. Fish dodged Wolfe and took it to him with low kicks. Wolfe caught a mid roundhouse and gave Fish a forearm strike. Fish used a drop toehold on Wolfe to tag in O’Reilly. Wolfe caught O’Reilly with a body slam. EY tagged in and hit Kyle with an elbow drop. Dain tagged in and squished Kyle in Sanity’s corner. Young hit Kyle with a jumping forearm for a nearfall.
O’Reilly took down young with some quick CQC strikes. Fish tagged in with a few stiff forearms. The Era isolated Young in their corner. EY showed some fire but was given a roundhouse kick to the outside. [C]
After the obligatory 205 Live and Video Game commercial, Adam Cole was working on Eric Young in the middle of the ring. The crowd fired up EY but Cole pushed Young to his corner. O’Reilly hit a few shortarm punches on Young. Fish tagged in for some tandem strikes. Fish continued the strategy of keeping Young isolated from the rest of Sanity. Fish and O’Reilly both kicked Young in the corner. O’Reilly kicked off Wolfe from the apron. Young dodged a corner splash. O’Reilly and Fish managed to stop Young from tagging in Dain. EY shrugged off Fish and tagged in Dain for the hot tag.
Dain hit a O’Reilly with a dropkick. Dain had both O’Reilly and Fish in the air and hit them with a Samoan Drop fallaway slam. Cole had a look of shock. Dain gave Fish a Senton Splash. Dain hit Fish with a Vader Bomb. Cole broke up the pin. Madness ensued with all of the men in the ring. Cole was singled out by Sanity who dominated. Cole tried to bide his time as he was surrounded by Sanity. Dain pulled Cole in the ring by the hair. Suddenly, the Authors of Pain made their entrance. An author gave Wolfe a boot for the DQ.
The Undisputed Era defeated Sanity via DQ in 9:45 of TV time.
The Authors took down Young and Wolfe on the ramp. They overpowered Dain in the ring by smothering him with punches. Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly crawled up the ramp in retreat as the Authors took down Sanity. Paul Ellering was directing traffic. The Authors hit Wolfe and Young with the Super Collider. The Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering celebrated with the NXT Titles in hand. Mauro Ranallo asked “What does this mean for the NXT Tag Team Division?”…
John’s Thoughts: A bit of a disappointing main event. I get that they’re setting up things down the road, but this is not the first time that they’ve made Cole and the Undisputed Era look a bit weak. The weak cowardly character fits Cole, but I thought they were going for a bit more dominance with him on the onset. Maybe there’s a way to push him in another direction but I’m not too impressed with it at this moment. At least it was fun to see the AOP back. Overall, this was an okay show, a bit disappointing, but not bad by any means. The Drew McIntyre interview about his journey back to WWE was the strong point.