NXT Review 8/2/17: DRagon Slayer


Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza
Gargano initially came out to the DIY intro, but had a new singles theme and tron when he got onto the stage. This was a fun, back and forth opener. Mendoza’s impressed in his couple of appearances so far, the Cruiserweight Classic match with Kendrick and a match with Velveteen Dream a couple of months ago and this was no exception. If he has infact been signed to a proper contract, he deserves it. Finish here saw Mendoza go for a 450 and Gargano avoid and catch him coming down into the Gargano Escape for the submission.

Recap of The AOP and Sanity’s battle last week. According to Mauro, they treated each other like a baby treats a diaper. Okay then. Ellering then cut a promo on Sanity about their match signed for Takeover Brooklyn and warned Sanity to be prepared between now and then.

Asuka came out and Asuka versus Ember was officially announced for Takeover as well. Asuka said she’d beaten Ember before and she’d beat her again, because Ember wasn’t ready for Asuka. That brought Ember out. She said she’d been doing everything in her power to get a title shot since last Takeover and Asuka knew that she was ready. Ember claimed Asuka was afraid of the truth and the truth was Asuka wasn’t ready for her. Asuka offered a handshake, but pulled it away when Ember went to shake and then slapped her. Ember knocked Asuka down with a big forearm, but Asuka was able to fight back and throw Ember out of the ring. As she posed with the belt though, Ember came off the top with the Eclipse. She teased picking up the belt herself, but decided not to, saying she’d pick it up when she earned it. This was pretty effective and it was a segment this feud really needed. The talking portion was kept simple and the physical stuff was exactly how this should have gone.

Roode had a sitdown interview backstage. Roode claimed Strong didn’t have the right numbers to play the Bobby Roode lottery and not only did he beat him, he proved he was the better man. He knew Strong would want to play the lottery again, but claimed he didn’t belong in his NXT. Roode then discussed McIntyre and said maybe he was a new man, so next week, he offered to have a sitdown conversation in the ring with him. As Roode was leaving, Strong then tried to go after him, but was held back from doing so and Roode ran away. Regal confronted Strong about it and Strong said Roode disrespected his family so he’d do anything Regal wanted to get Roode, but Regal said his hands were tied.

Another Street Profits video and an announcement they’d be on the show next week.

Sonya Deville vs. Jenna Van Bemel
Deville seemed cockier than before here and toyed around with her opponent at the start, before being forced to get a little more serious and winning with a triangle armbar.

Kayla interviewed Hideo backstage. He said nobody was giving him the respect he deserved, including Ohno and he deserved better, so why should he show respect to anyone. You knew something was up when you could hear the crowd, because that meant were in the interview spot that’s right by the stage and they only use that if they’re using the door. Sure enough, Kayla tried to cut the interview short to go back to the ring, but Itami grabbed the microphone and went out to the ring himself. He demanded the crowd show him respect and spoke in Japanese. It turned out Aleister Black’s match was next and Black’s entrance interrupted him, leading to them going nose to nose briefly. Itami feigned to leave, tried to jump Black from behind and got KOed with the Black Mass.

Aleister Black vs. Kyle O’Reilly
O’Reilly was a surprise opponent, ala Fish in Black’s last match. Not sure what to make of the reaction to O’Reilly. The match itself went great though. They had the kind of match you’d expect them to have, with evenly contested grappling and striking pretty much the whole way. For all of the different people who’ve come through NXT, it wasn’t the kind of match that’s been seen on the show much if it all that I can remember. They got a considerable amount of time too. It turned into a big exchange of strikes at the end, ending with Black hitting the Black Mass to counter a rolling strike by O’Reilly to get the win. A very interesting main event. Presumably Fish and O’Reilly are destined for the tag division soon enough and that’ll be a welcome move.


RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Between the Asuka/Ember segment, Roode’s interview, Strong’s interruption and Itami’s confrontation with Black, this week was the best the non wrestling portion of the show has been in some time. On top of that, both Gargano versus Mendoza and Black versus O’Reilly were very good and even the mid show squash showed some signs of improvement for Deville. All in all, a strong episode in a number of facets.

NXT WEEK: No Way Jose versus Andrade Cien Almas, Street Profits debut and Roode and McIntyre’s sitdown conversation.

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