by James Toal
Here we are once again with another review of NXT. Only now something on the show is noticeably different. Yea! now we have Mauro Ranallo Everybody! He’ll be replacing Tom Phillips who’s preoccupied with Smackdown Live and 205 live. Glad to see Ranallo back with the company and looking forward to more MAMA MIA’s to come. With that all out of the way, let’s take a look what happened This Week on NXT.
Match 1: Velveteen Dream vs HoHo Lun
As expected, the match came and went pretty quickly with Velveteen securing the win. Honestly, not really much to talk about with this one. Glad we get to see a little bit more of HoHo Lun, even if was what felt like a couple of moves. Seems like the plan for Dream is going to be a slow burner. Hopefully, this doesn’t lead to an endless repetition of easy matches that fall in his favour. Lord knows they can become quite abundant on this show at times. I love that he’s seemingly working well with his gimmick, but we need some progression if they want to develop this further.
EARLIER TODAY (BASICALLY BACKSTAGE BUT OUTSIDE)
Asuka was being asked on her thoughts towards the main event but was suddenly interrupted by an enraged Nikki Cross jumping onto the car and had to be pulled away by security. They have built up this match so well, Nikki’s character has progressed so well to this point that it’s actually plausible for her to win. Asuka still maintained her confident attitude even with something so simple as flicking through her phone while she’s being interviewed.
Meanwhile, Heavy Machinery and AOP are in the room with William Regal where he announced that at NXT Takeover they will fight for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Regal also warned Paul that his guys should be prepared. This may be a slower match given the size of the men, but it also may be a hard hitting fight so I guess we’ll have to see.
Match 2: Oney Lorcan vs Hideo Itami
Justice was in mind for Oney, and he came out brawling. Itami even had to take a second to check if his nose broken. The ref wisely stopped the match as blood profusely came out his nose. Well, certainly didn’t expect this. You can’t help an injury but I can’t deny I’m a little disappointed.
However! Just after a video package played, Itami came back out and was raring to go and how quickly the tables had turned. Itami laid into Lorcan and tried to make Lorcan pay. It took its time but we got a really fast paced and extremely physically demanding brawl. It even left room for some character development. Oney injured his leg and refused any kind of help from Itami and wanted to continue, a nice callback to their last match when Itami faked an injury to gain the upper hand. While yes we saw an unsuccessful attempt to repeat this by Itami. It showed Oney is a man of principle and honour, whereas Itami took the easy win with a downed opponent…
“Kassius Ohno, please come out”
Ohno met with Itami and we were finally going to get a confrontation. That would be true, if SAnitY didn’t interfere for who knows what reason. They really don’t belong in this story, it feels so forced. Then they leave to go onto the next match. Okay, thanks guys for ruining that moment between Itami and Ohno. But at least Alexander Wolfe was good on the mic, didn’t expect to see that happen so I’m both annoyed and happy.
Rodrick Strong vs Bobby Roode is next week and to build this up, we got a combination of his previous video packages and the confrontations he and Roode have shared in recent weeks. Love that Roode is coming across as the self-absorbed arrogant prick. Rodrick could be the guy to take him down a peg, but I also feel like it’s a little too early for him to win the belt.
Match 3: LAST WOMAN STANDING (NXT WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP) Asuka vs Nikki Cross
Did you want the main event? Well, here you go! These women wanted to tear each other apart and they weren’t afraid to express their feelings. Whatever object they could find, you can bet that they were going to use it creatively. Oh, there’s a bin? Well let’s turn Nikki into a bell and Asuka kicks the absolute crap out if it with her inside. There’s a pile of chairs? Well, how about Asuka Chuck’s you across the ring on top of it, but Nikki side suplexes her onto the same chairs.
This was possibly the most vicious matches for both of these women, but proving how much resilience and hatred they both share. Even after 4 fisherman neck breakers. Asuka still managed to get up. What thought to be a devastating move to Asuka (genuinely thought she hit her head on the ramp) after a Powerbomb onto chairs. She still stood up. You’re left questioning what the hell could put her down?! What could keep them both down?!
Fittingly, the match culminated where they had once crashed and burned together. Down by the tech area, Asuka and Nikki climbed a ladder and with one suplex, Nikki and Asuka crushed the commentary table. Holy mother of all that is awesome, Asuka proved once again that she was the strongest woman and retained her title. Whatever list we at SteelChair decide to make at the end of this year. Let me be the first to say that this is possibly my favourite match that NXT have put on ever since I’ve started doing these reviews.
You owe it to yourself to watch this and see how far two women are willing to go to destroy each other. Nikki Cross. Asuka. You’ve made NXT one of the best shows on the network. Period.