by James Toal
So it’s that time once again, what happened This Week on NXT? We’ve got the main event to look forward to, and even a killer promo from Drew McIntyre. How did it all hold up? Let’s take a look.
MATCH 1: Ember Moon (Winner) vs Lei’d Tapa
After a quick bit of research. I found that Lei’d Tapa is a former TNA/GFW/Impact Wrestling performer and as of writing isn’t under a contract with the WWE. This may just be a one off performance for her but at least she got to show off her skills right?
Tapa took the fight straight to Ember in the beginning of the match. Predictably, this offence didn’t last all that long as Ember’s kicks and finisher Total Eclipse made quick work of her. We knew that Ember wouldn’t be made to look weak as we near her title opportunity, so here we got to see her as a force to be reckoned with.
After the win, Ember demanded a match with Asuka at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, saying that she has all that she desires when it comes to competition and a being a worthy opponent. Her promo was filled with intensity and you could definitely feel the anguish of waiting so long to get another chance. The camera itself helped as the extreme close up let us take in the emotion and see that devilish smile that has become so familiar. It’s safe to say that I’m excited for the match that’s slowly becoming a reality.
MATCH 2: David Ramos & Timothy Bumpers vs The Authors of Pain (non-match)
Seeing as this is yet another squash match for the AOP. Who had 2 minutes? We’ll you’d be wrong for a start as the AOP was obstructed by a grinning Nikki Cross. Killian Dane & Alexander Wolfe (still no sign of Eric Young) attacked Ramos and Bumpers from behind. Akem & Rezar stood their ground in the ring as the calm before the storm began to commence. All hell broke loose. Bodies flying, chopped, and slammed by both tag teams. The AOP managed to toss the members of Sanity onto the outside, leaving Nikki attempting to hold back Dane.
This feud is moving along really well, although it seems like we’ve got two heels facing each other. Nevertheless, Sanity is a strong stable to get behind and could be ushered in as the new faces of the NXT Tag Divison, which may please some of you who are sick of the AOP.
– We saw more of the tag team “Street Profits” messing around on Snapchat while out on the town partying. They’re still treated as coming soon, presumably, they’ll be debuting just after NXT TakeOver.
– Zolita Vega talked with No Way Jose in the parking lot, confronting him about interfering with Andrade’s business. Apparently in the process, he “lit a fire under Andrade Cien Almas that you cannot dance around”. But shaking it is all he knows!
– William Regal announced that Ember Moon will indeed face Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn. Yes!
– Apparently, we will see Johnny Gargano vs Raul Mendoza next week. In an interview, Mendoza stated that next week may not be about the return of Gargano, but all about Raul Mendoza…
MATCH 3: The Velveteen Dream (Winner) vs Cezar Bononi
I’m not going to lie, I was hoping that this match wasn’t going to take too long. Bononi managed to run circles around Dream, even managing to hit an impressive falcon arrow. But like all dreams, they end with an elbow drop to the stomach (only me?) and Dream pinned Bononi for the win. Hope that Bononi doesn’t turn out to be a jobber, he has some potential after seeing some more of his moves. All he needs is a personality.
The Dream was interviewed after the match where he once again avoided the question by insulting the interviewer and the crowd for good measure. He left and denied the chance to get actual answers out of him. He seems to be working well with his gimmick and even managing to gain some minor heat from the crowd. He’s on the right track anyhow, let’s hope he can keep on it.
Drew McIntyre Speaks
In this promo, Drew talks about his failures in the past and even referenced his first WWE run. If he was going to succeed, he had to wake up and become the hardest worker in the room, even the hardest working in the world. NXT is the home of equal standing and pushing you to become the best you can be, according to Drew McIntyre, all except one person that stood out to him. Bobby Roode. All he can see from Roode is an entitled man, NXT belongs to the loyal fans. “We Are NXT!”
Got to give it to McIntyre, he knows just what to say in order to get the crowd on their feet. The feeling of hard work and dedication emanates well from this promo, McIntyre did a brilliant job and I’m looking forward to more of what he has to say.
MATCH 4: Hideo Itami vs Kassius Ohno (Winner by DQ)
The reception to the feud must’ve been received very well. Chants back and forth for both Ohno and Itami suggest that given a spot on the TakeOver card, they’ll have the atmosphere and the chance to put on an engaging fight. What commenced during this match though were heavy strikes and an impressive display of athleticism from both men.
Hideo took control throughout the majority of the match, putting pressure on Ohno and succeeded in keeping him grounded. Each kick from Itami seemed to have extra aggression behind it, almost treating Ohno like a punching bag. Ohno showed signs of a comeback, and slowly tried to gain back some momentum. Ohno hit the Cyclone boot but Itami would refuse to give up. Itami looked like he was about to lose until he made the unjust decision to kick Kassius right in his Ohno’s. Kassius won by DQ but Itami would not stop beating him down. After 2 GTS’s and even a GTS onto the steel steps, Itami finally stopped and leaving Ohno in a collapsed heap.
A perfect finish which leaves room for their next encounter to have a definite ending. It was a decent match and it gives us a glimpse as to what their big clash could look like once they’re able to duel it out once more.