NXT MARCH 22ND 2017
Oney Lorcan vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
These two have had a couple of strong matches on NXT and this was another to add to that list. Very hard hitting. Almas was in Ingobernable mood with a lot of stalling and general jerkishness. He caught Oney coming off the ring steps with a big powerslam to gain full control of the match. Oney came back and took out Almas with a flip dive from the top to the floor. Oney would hit a number of charges in the corner and a half and half suplex for a near fall, which got the UCF crowd into things. Almas would hit a cartwheel pele kick at one point and got a near fall of his own off a stiff clothesline, before the double knees in the corner and the hammerlock DDT got the win. This went to the next level towards the end with a great finishing stretch and they won over the crowd. Really good stuff.
DIY did an interview backstage taking about their backstory and their history on NXT. Gargano said The AOP did this for money where-as they were all heart, said DIY was all the fans who supported them and they’d have their moment at Takeover.
Another teaser video for TAFKA Tommy End.
They replayed Ember beating Billie two weeks ago again and Billie being checked on by medics. There was no update or anything on Billie, they were purely trying to put over the Eclipse. They also showed a tweet from Liv who predicted Ember would win the title if she hit the Eclipse on Asuka.
Asuka vs. Priscilla Zuniga
Asuka got on the microphone, after the match had started, telling Ember Moon that this was her head before nailing Zuniga with a spin kick. Zuniga got one slap in, which was probably a bad idea as Asuka destroyed her with a running butt bump, kicks and knees, pulled her up at two on a pin and then tapped her out with the Asuka Lock. Asuka also kept that in for a few extra seconds after the match. Certainly seems that between this and the poolside promo last week they’re at least teasing Asuka as a heel, or positioning her as the heel for this Ember program. Asuka cut a promo in Japanese after the match, ending by saying “no Eclipse”. I wouldn’t call the build for this match particularly substantial, but this segment was a winner.
The Revival got promo time on the triple threat at Takeover, saying they’d learnt from the past and made it better, they were better than Arn and Tully, the Midnight Express, The Rockers and The Hart Foundation, they were fighting for money and it was their fate to become the greatest tag team of all time at Takeover.
Hype video for Roode versus Nakamura. It was very slickly done, but for all the great presentation and the nice voiceover work, it still doesn’t feel like a hot feud and if anything this level of hype felt like a lot of effort for not a lot to go on. I can’t remember if they’ve even directly interacted with each other outside of the last Takeover match and the contract signing for it.
Kayla interviewed No Way Jose, Strong and Dillinger about Sanity. They all talked about the numbers game not being in Sanity’s favour tonight.
The Heavy Machinery hype video from last week aired again, teasing them being on the show next week.
Footage was shown of Dasha interviewing Ohno last week after losing to Roode. Ohno said he didn’t anticipate starting with a devestating loss, before he was interrupted by The Drifter walking down a nearby stairwell, singing about Ohno losing. Ohno said he needed an ass kicking and Drifter said he didn’t think Ohno belonged in NXT, setting up a match between the two, loser leaves NXT.
They announced that Aleister Black, formerly Tommy End, would debut at Takeover in Orlando against Almas. Almas was then interviewed by Kayla, saying he’d make Black believe in him.
Sanity vs. No Way Jose, Roderick Strong and Tye Dillinger
This started with the faces pulling Sanity out of the ring and attacking them briefly before the bell. The faces were in serious moods, including Jose and they worked over Wolfe early on. Young avoided getting in with Dillinger, before Sanity were eventually able to cut off Jose after Cross grabbed his leg from the outside. Jose got the tag to Strong after Young had knocked Dillinger off the apron and it broke down into a brawl causing the referee to call for the bell and a double DQ. The pace was lively throughout making this a better match than you’d expect. Strong definitely shone here, athough everybody looked pretty good.
The brawl continued post match, with Dillinger getting his hands on Young. When Cross got involved, another woman came out to make the save, allowing the babyfaces to clear off all three of Sanity individually, Dain needing to be triple teamed to take him out of the ring. The woman wasn’t identified, but it was Ruby Riot, the former Heidi Lovelace. Between the brawl, the debut and the post match as a whole, this was the best segment this feud has had so far by a wide margin.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: The whole show really. Almas versus Lorcan was a really strong match but the main event was decent as well. They also went some way to actually make the Takeover matches more interesting between Asuka’s squash, the DIY/Revival promos, the Nakamura/Roode video package which almost highlighted how little substance it has as an actual feud but was nicely made and presumably something between Sanity and Team Dillinger on the show as well.
NXT WEEK: Akam, Johnny Gargano and Dash Wilder in a triple threat preview for the Tag Title match at Takeover and Heavy Machinery on the show, presumably in action.