by James Toal
Well, it’s that time once again, time to look at what happened this week on NXT. We’ve got the main event featuring the NXT title on the line, plus we have some more character development backstage. How did it all hold up? Let’s take a look.
Match 1: Kassius Ohno & Hideo Itami vs Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dane.
I may have been a little harsh last week when it came to SAnitY being part of the storyline with Itami and Ohno. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, there does need to be a conflict or at least a foundation for their friendship to sink or swim. They could’ve joined forces as disgruntled employees, or butt heads over the right way to deal with their position in the company. SAnitY didn’t fall well into this and do well in extenuating the troubles that Itami and Ohno have in working together. Creating mistrust within the duo and ultimately taking the victory, SAnitY stole the win and planted more seeds of doubt in Itami’s mind.
Backstage & Interviews!
-Ember was interviewed about how she feels about taking on Asuka next. She was interrupted by Ruby Riot who claims she hasn’t got a fair shot at her yet. So it looks like we’ll be getting Ruby vs Ember at one point to determine who’ll be the next to face Asuka.
-Drew McIntyre comments on the main event title match, he wants to be known as the guy that leads the industry just like the Nakamura’s or the Balor’s that have held the belt. It doesn’t matter who stood in his way, all roads lead to Drew McIntyre, NXT Champion. It’s fair to say that he may be confident. Rightly so, he’s been killing it so far since his return and now we’re just waiting to see him get a shot.
-Also, Johnny Gargano will be back next week to address the betrayal of his tag team partner, Tommaso Ciampa. I’m still really bummed out that we don’t have a DIY anymore, which is great because we’re meant to hate Ciampa. This industry is so weird sometimes (understatement of the millennium).
-Billie Kay & Peyton Royce felt disrespected other the lack of a birthday present. But the more important thing happened in the background was Andrade ‘cien’ Almas was arguing with a woman. Disgruntled girlfriend? It’s not been confirmed but this should be the thing that gets him to focus and take his in ring work seriously. Please.
-Apparently, a qualifier for Mae Young classic took place with Bianca Blair getting the win over Aliyah. It would’ve been nice to actually watch the match in full, but getting told it was alright is good enough?
MAIN EVENT: Rodrick Strong vs Bobby Roode – NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
With Roderick Strong’s wife and mother at ringside, I had my doubts that Strong would win. Even though we don’t know how close Vince is when it comes to working with the NXT show, you can be damn sure that he’d laugh his ass off to see someone get embarrassed in front of loved ones. The match itself was paced very well and thanks to the added length were allowed breathe and develop organically so it didn’t feel rushed. Rodrick was on fire in this fight, he was all over the ring and went fully on the offence. But Bobby managed to keep on top of him by focusing on Roode’s knee. Every time Strong gained the slight advantage, Roode would be there to stop the momentum right in its tracks.
The uphill climb was apparent for Strong, constantly trying to get back up and fight. When he did, you rooted for him to succeed. Roode only struggled to keep the resilient contender down, a change to his recent matches where he’s avoided or found ways around getting pinned. But the most surprising moment that turned the tide of the entire match. Roderick Strong kicked out of the Glorious DDT. Should the move have been protected? Maybe. But this makes the kick out so important that it definitely gives Strong a lot more credibility. But he wasn’t as lucky as suspected. Roode managed to get his feet underneath the rope before the number 3. Which then left Rodrick open to an attack from behind and Roode delivered the 2 more Glorious DDT right in front of Strong’s family and retaining the championship.
Bobby Roode once again perfects the heel tactics and succeeds in having one of the most punchable faces on NXT right now. This result leaves the door open for another match down the line and I got to say, I really want Rodrick Strong to win next time. It’d be a satisfying end to a glorious reign and ultimate comeuppance for the dastardly, Bobby Roode.