NXT MAY 17TH 2017
Roode was shown arriving earlier in the day at the top of the show, yelling at the guy wheeling his bag for him.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sean Maluta
McIntyre won a fun little match after a big headbutt and the running boot. Maluta got a little bit of offence in, looking pretty good in his own right and Drew ended up with a messed up eye and forehead somewhere along the way, which kinda added to the match. All of Drew’s matches since coming back have really hit the mark and he’s yet to have a Takeover or TV main event level match, so all of that is still to come on top of what we’ve got so far.
Kayla interviewed Drew on the ramp post match and brought up Wesley Blake confronting him last week. Drew said he wasn’t concerned with Blake, he’d be concerned if he didn’t have everybody’s attention. He offered to give Blake his full attention next week if he was man enough to get in the ring and fight him.
Recap of Itami winning the number one contenders match over Strong last week. Sanity attacked Strong after the show went off the air, with Dain and Young both hitting their finishers. Regal caught up with Strong backstage afterwards and he said he wanted Sanity. We then got a promo from Young with the rest of Sanity outside the arena. Young said they didn’t usually take requests, but he’d see him at Takeover Chicago.
Throughout the night they showed key moments in Hideo Itami’s run. The first was his debut at Takeover Fatal 4 Way, where he announced his name change from KENTA to Itami, before The Ascension tried to attack him and he fought both off.
Hype video for Bate versus Dunne at Takeover Chicago, showing the finish of their United Kingdom Title Tournament final and featuring promos from the two.
The teaser for “The Velveteen Dream” aired again.
Itami moment #2, March 27th 2015 in San Jose where he first hit the GTS on Tyler Breeze with his family in the crowd.
Interview with Asuka, as she was driven to the arena. Asuka refused to answer every question. Asuka got a good reaction from the fans waiting outside when she arrived and she played up to them, but once she was away from them she sighed in frustration.
Sonya Deville vs. Lacey Evans
Both of these two are clearly still inexperienced wrestlers and the match as a whole was a little disjointed, but there were a few promising signs. Evans clearly has a lot of athleticism and if Deville can improve, the MMA routine helps her stand out. Deville won with a step up enziguri.
The next Itami moment was him hitting the GTS on Roode last month.
Kassius Ohno vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Kassius had slightly different gear here and it’s a lot better. Same theme, but pinstripes and a bit looser fitting. That’s one thing I’ve touted for a long time with NXT, they don’t dawdle or procrastinate too much on changing certain key aesthetic things, like if someone’s gear gets some criticism or someone’s finisher looks weak. Match itself was a good main event. Almas got to control things for a while before Ohno rallied. Ohno missed a moonsault and Almas had the match in hand after shaking off a pump kick he took coming off the top and responded with a cartwheel kick. Almas hit the double knee in the corner, but Ohno countered the hammerlock DDT and then when Almas hit a tornado inverted DDT, Ohno kicked out at one. Almas fired up after another pump kick, but two rolling elbows got Ohno the win.
The last Itami moment was him beating Strong last week.
Roode came out to close the show. Roode said everyone was talking about Itami wherever he went. He admitted that Itami knocked him out a few weeks ago, when he was minding his own business, but said it would never happen again. Roode said he wouldn’t be in a $5000 suit in Chicago, he’d be in his gear ready to go and he’d beat Itami like everybody else he’d beaten. Roode referenced Itami returning and getting injured repeatedly and said he didn’t even realise Itami was employed there, where-as he’d taken the NXT brand to new heights. He told Itami he’d have to go back to Japan and tell his family he’d failed again, but this time it’d be because of him. Itami came out but Regal ran out and brought security to prevent him coming to the ring. Once security showed up, Roode pretended he wanted to fight. Itami made it past security and got to Roode. Itami then beat up the security and gave two of them a GTS, as Roode watched from ringside. I really hope NXT security get paid extra, because they get beat up a lot. He teased going for the third guy and Roode jumped Itami from behind, but Itami quickly hit Roode with the GTS and knocked him out again. That was a nice twist which took this above the usual NXT babyface beats up security angle.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Another show with a lot of Takeover hype padding. You can skip to the good stuff again this week and watch McIntyre/Maluta and Ohno/Almas, plus the Roode and Itami segment at the end of the show, without missing anything of real note.
NXT WEEK: Drew McIntyre versus Wesley Blake and Aleister Black in action, in matches to be taped before Takeover in Chicago.