by James Toal
It’s that time once again, time to see what happened This Week on NXT! All you need to know to about the episode this week is this, Adam Cole. Vs. Rodrick Strong. That’s worth the price of admission alone, so without wasting any more of your time. Let’s dive right in.
Heavy Machinery vs Chris Payne & Sean Maluta
Where else can you see Otis doing the worm? Apparently here as the big guys from Heavy Machinery destroyed the competition, just having fun slamming and squashing their opponents. Tucker Knight even managed to land a springboard move. It all ended as Heavy Machinery won win their Precarious Compactor. Good to see they’re having fun in their roles, just hoped that we weren’t going to get ANOTHER squash match from them. They really need some competition soon.
- Ember Moon responded to comments made by Mercedes Martinez, she scoffed and retorted by saying that she can meet her in the ring next week and can show her why she is the biggest threat in the women’s division. A great way to kill time till Takeover, hopefully, Martinez will be able to get a decent showcase.
- Kassius Ohno visited William Regal in his office to inquire about his chances to be put into the NXT Championship picture. To prove he is capable, he offered to face Lars Sullivan (I’m dying a little inside).
- A video package played explaining the legacy of the War Games match. Honestly? With the right people in the match (which I believe we have so far) this could turn out to be a pretty decent main event. I’ll remain cautiously optimistic.
- Andrade “Cien” Almas sat down to an interview where Zelina Vega got her money’s worth by making him look like the next big thing in NXT. We also got to learn about the past between these two, she knows the real Andrade and Drew McIntyre will find out about him at NXT Takeover.
- After last weeks’ match, Ruby Riot was still seeking medical treatment. The doctor advised that she would need at least two weeks of rest. Sonya Deville showed up due to sour grapes over Ruby not tapping out of her ankle lock. So, we’ll be seeing them in a match soon.
- The Street Profits gave out free swag to passers-by… well, one guy in a suit. A laundry delivery man appeared with Tino Sabatelli’s suit. You can probably guess how this one will go. But, before any wacky hijinks could ensue, Sabatelli & Moss showed up just in time to reclaim their property. Don’t. Touch. Their. Stuff. Another conflict to be solved in the ring, which as a small feud works for me and I’m looking forward to seeing them in something that’s not a squash match.
Kairi Sane vs Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce
Billie Kay was not what you could interpret as “respectful” in the beginning of the match, mocking Sane in typical Iconic Duo style. Sane didn’t falter, instead, she took it to Kay and started to demonstrate why you shouldn’t disrespect the pirate princess. While it looked like Billie was controlling the match, Sane wasn’t a quitter. This only led to Kay becoming more frustrated with every failed pinfall. Roles were switched after Sane gained the momentum with a spear, proving that it only takes one slip for Kairi to take advantage. Kairi hit the Insane Elbow and she gained the win.
This was not a bad match, it’s your basic Face/Heel affair and a slight tease for what’s to come at NXT Takeover.
Velveteen Dream vs Cezar Bononi
It’s safe to say that Dream was not in keeping his cool. He felt vicious and even slightly unhinged during his match with Bononi, while he did deliver some good hits, Bononi lost thanks to a Death Valley Bomb via a Cartwheel. I’m still not fond of the constant squash matches, fortunately, this was only a small part of Dreams’ goal. He took to the mic and addressed Aleister Black, claiming he’s now on Blacks’ mind. He even went as far to claim that Black will indeed say The Velveteen Dreams’ name.
Rodrick Strong vs Adam Cole
I have to admit, I’ve not ever seen these two men fight each other outside of NXT (*COUGH* ROH *COUGH*). But, I can say that there is an appeal in wanting to see them face off one on one. Strong and Cole have proven to be some of the most athletic and hardest working individuals working in the business today. To have this tease for another possible match down the line is enticing enough, and for what we got on this episode was entertaining, especially since it’s only a taste of what they are capable of together.
The match kicked off strong with technical lockups back and forth, both men fighting to assert control. Strong came out looking good and clearly full of energy, and the same can be said for Cole who carried resentment with his strikes, showing his pride being hurt thanks to Strong’s refusal to join his stable. Throughout, Adam Cole almost wanted to punish Strong. But, the determination of Rodrick Strong kept his momentum going. He would jump back up and hit Cole with an incredible move in his arsenal. Cole couldn’t believe his resiliency, he wouldn’t stay down.
Just before Strong could get the pin, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly stopped the match to help their fallen brother. Of course, this triggered The Author of Pain and Sanity to come down. There was a calm silence, then everything went to hell. Fists flew, and the ring erupted into chaos. All of it culminated with Rodrick Strong delivering a Superplex to Adam Cole onto the outside, on top of all the members of the upcoming War Games match.