NXT Review 4/26/17: Gentleman’s Pursuit


The show started with Nikki Cross making an unannounced entrance, calling Ruby Riot to “come out and play”. Ruby answered and it led to a brawl in the ring between the two, which spilled outside and had to be pulled apart by officials.

Recap of Itami hitting Roode with the GTS last week. Kayla then tried to interview Roode, who called it a cowardly and unprovoked attack. He said things had changed since Itami was gone and it was his NXT now. If Itami wanted to challenge him that was fine but if he thought he was going to challenge him for the NXT Championship, he was going to have to earn it.

Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Almas messed around a bit early on, right up until Drew booted him in the face as he was reclining between the ropes, to a big pop. Almas managed to get turn things around with the use of the ring steps. But even when Almas was on top, Drew was basically poised to make a comeback and did so after Almas slapped him. Drew won with the sick kick in fairly decisive fashion, more decisive than the Lorcan match two weeks ago. Drew certainly came out of this looking pretty strong.

In Regal’s office, he announced Nikki and Ruby would face each other later on to settle their differences.

We got part 1 of a profile on Roderick Strong. I don’t know if the stories they told here were out there in shoot interviews or podcasts before and common knowledge or not, but it was stuff I wasn’t aware of, focusing on Strong’s family and how he started to learn to wrestle as a kid. Pretty interesting, certainly a different view on Strong who’s pretty much always been presented in a wrestling first kind of way. It’s probably something Strong needed too to get some momentum after his unspectacular introduction.

Kona Reeves vs. Aleister Black
Reeves tried to attack Black right away, but Black pretty immediately fought him off and got the win with the Black Mass. Black’s whole look and demeanour already seems polished and he seems like a good fit for NXT.

New interviewer Christy St. Cloud was with Riot, who said she could get behind Sanity’s non-conformity, but they wanted people to conform to them. She said Nikki found out that when she was pushed, she pushed back and she was going to push Nikki out of her way of becoming NXT Women’s Champion.

Outside the arena, Almas was seen leaving with a woman on his arm, as Kayla tried to get an interview with him. Three more women were waiting for him with a car and Almas ignored Kayla’s questions about Drew McIntyre, but did at least ask if she wanted to come with them before leaving.

Nikki versus Riot never got going, as Nikki jumped Ruby during her entrance. They brawled on the ramp where Riot gave Nikki a suplex on the steel, before Nikki threw her into the edge of the stage. More officials eventually came out to separate them again, with Riot punching one of the security guys and hitting a dive off the stage onto Nikki before she was finally dragged away. Nikki had to be carried away by the officials kicking and screaming.

Regal was with Asuka in his office and said next week, the number one contender for her at Takeover would be decided in a battle royal.

Tyler Bate (c) vs. Jack Gallagher
Fun technical match. Gallagher spent a portion of the match working over Bate’s left arm, but outside of that it was largely even. Gallagher blocked a dive attempt by Bate with a headbutt, which is a new one, then used another headbutt for a near fall. They teased Gallagher winning with a Breaks Special briefly, but Bate hit a rolling koppou kick and the Tyler Driver 97 for the win. It should be said that Nigel has found his feet really quickly on NXT and has been doing a really good job in general, but he seemed in his element here. Presumably, Nigel will be on commentary when a weekly UK show gets going, or at least I would hope so. Considering how important Graves was to NXT, Nigel has ensured there really hasn’t been much of a drop-off on commentary, so hopefully he can do both if so. Trent Seven, Wolfgang, Mark Andrews and Pete Dunne were all shown watching in the front row after the match. Three of them were applauding. Dunne wasn’t.


RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Neither McIntyre versus Almas or Bate versus Gallagher really turned out to be what you might have hoped for, but both were fun for what they were. The stuff with Riot and Cross was pretty effective and the Strong segment was interesting. Aleister Black’s performance was very impressive as well.

NXT WEEK: A battle royal for the number one contendership to the Womens Title and Part 2 of the profile on Roderick Strong.

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