NXT Review 4/12/17: Sayonara Shinsuke

NXT APRIL 12TH 2017

For the first time in forever, they had a brand new intro video, new theme song and new graphics.

Aleister Black vs. Corey Hollis
Black stayed stoic when the bell rang until Hollis got annoyed and ran at him, right into the Black Mass spin kick for a one move victory for Black. The one move was good so the fans reacted well.

Recap of Tye Dillinger’s debut on Smackdown. Kayla interviewed Tye, who said he had a nagging feeling that he had some unfinished business on NXT, so Regal had given him a match next week against Eric Young and it’d be inside a steel cage.

DIY vs. Dylan Miley and Michael Blais
This was obviously a win for DIY, but there was a little more intrigue than that here. Miley, looking like something straight out of late 70s WWF, was put over strong on commentary and physically dominated Ciampa and Gargano. He shook hands with Ciampa to start the match, but Ciampa sold that he was sort of crushing his hand a bit. Miley then made the mistake of tagging out to Blais, who was much more your typical NXT jobber and was promptly beaten by DIY’s superkick/knee combo. This was an interesting way of doing a squash, but introducing and protecting someone who might have a role later down the line. Miley battered Blaise after the match for losing, giving him a couple of claw slams, a lifting knee to the ribs and a big powerslam. So they clearly see something fairly immediate in him. He needs a more intimidating name than Dylan Miley though.

An Asuka/Ember recap from Takeover, leading to footage from the arena after the ring had been taken down, with Ember coming out onto the yet to be deconstructed stage. Ember talked about how it was supposed to be her moment, but Asuka proved she’d do anything to keep the NXT Womens Championship. Ember said she would be the one to become the next NXT Womens Champion. This was pretty effectively done. Ember still has ways to go on promos though.

Ruby Riot vs. Kimberly Frankele
So, Ruby Riot is obviously the former Heidi Lovelace and Kimberly is the former Kimber Lee. Riot got an inset promo saying that she didn’t like how Nikki Cross and Sanity had been conducting themselves, but she came to NXT to be the Womens Champion. Nikki Cross came out through the crowd early on and distracted Ruby, giving Kimberly the advantage. Riot was able to regroup and get the win regardless with a pele kick, with Cross laughing as she backed up the ramp.

AOP hype video.

Footage was shown from the Performance Center earlier in the day, with Peyton following Billie around with a camera as she criticised the decor. They wandered into the trainer’s room and found Liv with Aliyah who was having her arm checked out. Liv pushed Billie into a nearby bath of water, which she sold in comical fashion. I kinda like these bits where Iconic cause trouble at the Performance Center and after a rough start to things, I’ve come around to liking the act.

Drew McIntyre vs. Oney Lorcan
Like NXT, Drew has new music. It’s no Broken Dreams. Another good, really physical Lorcan TV match. Crowd were big into Drew. Lorcan got his fair share of offence in and this was far from a squash, yet decisive for Drew at the same time. Early highlight was Lorcan hitting a flip dive, but then being caught in mid-air on a second dive and thrown onto the ring apron with a gutwrench suplex. Lorcan fired back with some brutal full-on slaps late on and took a back elbow which busted him open in return. Drew got the win with a sick kick. Which Strong had been using as a finisher, so maybe he’ll need a new one. Anyway, this was good stuff. Good bounce-back from last week for Lorcan too, who’s turning into an MVP candidate, at least for the TV product.

Dasha interviewed Drew on the stage post match. He talked about building up a reputation and said he could have signed for anyone, implying he could have gone to Raw or Smackdown, but he didn’t want to be anywhere else besides NXT.

The show closed with Shinsuke coming out for his NXT farewell. Nakamura said he came to NXT a year ago and he’d already been a champion in Japan, but he wanted to test himself and compete with the best in the world. He said he’d learnt a lot and put over NXT, saying the NXT Universe was crazy and NXT was their style. Shinsuke closed by saying he’d always be NXT and posing, before the locker room came out to applaud him. It ended with a cool little moment as Nakamura was posing with Regal, Ohno and Itami, with Finn appearing from the sea of people to hug Shinsuke who clearly wasn’t expecting him to be there.

 

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: I really enjoyed the show this week. The mild fresh coat of paint to the presentation was probably long overdue. The first three matches on the show were squashes, but all of them had some kind of interesting twist to them. The Iconic segment was the good kind of silly. McIntyre versus Lorcan was a strong main match of the show. And Nakamura’s farewell was a nice moment to top the show off. McIntyre/Lorcan is definitely worth your time as a stand alone match.

NXT WEEK: Tye Dillinger versus Eric Young in a cage match.

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