Did you miss NXT this week? Well, I’m here to make it all better. It’s the weekly NXT Recap, right here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Did you miss last week’s recap? Check it out and catch up here.
So, what happened in Shinsuke Nakamura‘s NXT return? Additionally, what did The Revival have to say for themselves after last week’s incident? Let’s find out, shall we?
NXT Recap: (3/8/17) – Shinsuke Nakamura Returns
Match: Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
Tye Dillinger, the Perfect Ten, just might be the most over asset that NXT has to offer. Outside of Bobby Roode and maybe Nakamura, it isn’t even close. In the opening bout this week, he took on Eric Young in an interesting scenario. For once, Young called off his SAnitY supporters. For a little while. They came back having bloodied and beaten Roderick Strong. This one got really weird, really fast when No Way Jose came out to help Dillinger. From there, this thing was just a brawl with Young and SAnitY coming out on top.
Analysis: Wait, what? I mean, I get the point of it, I guess. This “match” allowed SAnitY to flex their muscles. Additionally, it allowed SAnitY to show their pure insanity in their actions by dragging strong into it. But what was the point of having No Way Jose there? Comic relief, I guess. This was a weird start to the show, and I’m not sure that I liked it. By NXT standards, this segment didn’t belong.
Backstage Segment: Kay and Royce’s Antics
After Billie Kay and Peyton Royce won NXT’s Breakout Star of the Year, they needed somewhere to put it. Thus, they looked around the NXT facility for a spot to put their plaque. I mean, this was kinda funny, but it just took too long. Kay and Royce work well together, but this felt too scripted, even by wrestling standards. And that is saying something.
Analysis: There’s a saying that goes something like, “If a joke has a lifetime of two minutes, don’t make it last for five minutes.” Take heed, Kay and Royce. This segment was funny for a little bit, but it dragged for too long. I don’t have much else to say about this one.
Match: Ho Ho Lun vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Andrade “Cien” Almas. He’s an…intriguing, character to say the least. With what little character he does have, he makes good. This week, he took on the Cruiserweight Division’s Ho Ho Lun. And boy, did Almas really make his presence known. Almas dominated Lun for most of this bout, which is a double-edged sword. But more on that later. Essentially, the most that Lun was able to do was stun Almas. This was a glorified squash match. But hey, at least Lun didn’t get full jobber treatment. He did get a televised entrance sequence after all.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
Analysis: Okay yeah, maybe this was a squash match in a normal bout’s clothing. But in truth, and I feel weird for saying this, but I actually really liked it. For the first time, I actually felt an attachment to Almas. Unlike every other time I’ve watched Almas, I truly cared about this match. Almas felt like a physical force. Perhaps the NXT creative team could be building something with him? That’s usually what you do when you feed someone talent for squash matches. Nevertheless, I did really like this. Although Almas doesn’t have Shinsuke Nakamura levels of charisma (who does?), he could be a compelling character if he works at it.
Match: Billie Kay vs. Ember Moon
Next up, Billie Kay took on Ember Moon in the show’s lone women’s division match. Of course, fans expected shenanigans from Peyton Royce at ringside. And antics they received. Royce was fully involved in the match, for both better and worse. For the first time, we got to see Ember Moon in a way we normally don’t. For a while during this one, Moon actually looked mortal. But a few punches and one Eclipse later, and this one was over. And Kay didn’t get up as the medical staff came to check on her. It looks like the creative team might be writing her off of TV for a while, provided that Kay is actually alright.
Winner: Ember Moon
Analysis: I try to be unbiased when I do NXT Recap, but I just really like watching Ember Moon wrestling. Something about her style and the mystique of her character is just fascinating. It’s almost like she does her entrance in the style of The Undertaker. And it works incredibly well. Additionally, her in-ring style is captivating, and NXT fans (including myself) really care about her. It will be interesting to see what the main roster does with her in the future. But as of right now, Moon is dominating the NXT women’s division. As for Kay, we might have to wait and see what’s in store for her.
Match: The Revival vs. The Ealy Brothers (And Regal’s Announcement)
Well, this one didn’t last long. During the Ealy Brothers entrance, the Authors of Pain came out. And where the Authors are, destruction is sure to follow. While the Revival ran away, the Authors proceeded to make a statement without saying a word. By laying waste to the Ealy Brothers, the Authors sent a message to not only The Revival, but the entire tag division.
Soon after, the Authors fled the scene. Following that, we got word from NXT general manager William Regal. Regal proceeded to announce that Ember Moon would face Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Orlando. Ember made some eerie comments as always, and then the show continued.
Analysis: The in-ring segment, though short, served a purpose. The Authors are monsters, and clearly, they know that. The tag division has their hands full with Paul Ellering‘s boys. Moving on to Regal’s announcement, this could be very exciting. With Asuka’s time on the yellow brand undoubtedly coming to a close, Moon could be the one to take the belt. And that could be a very interesting situation in NXT.
Match: TJ Perkins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Finally, the main event wowed the crowd just as they expected. Both TJ Perkins and Shinsuke Nakamura are terrific competitors. This week, they put on a fantastic show. As did the fans, as they deafeningly sang along to Nakamura’s theme as per usual. Both men made their entrances, and then we got underway.
Earlier in the night, Perkins made the point that he and Nakamura had trained together in Japan. That little nugget of information made this main event even better. Not only did both men get their work in, but both men shined. It’s incredibly clear that Perkins and Nakamura know each other so well. But at the end of the bout, after a downright lethal Kinshasa, Shinsuke Nakamura emerged victorious. To end the show, Regal announced that the winner of Kassius Ohno vs. Bobby Roode next week would face Nakamura for the NXT Championship at Takeover.
Analysis: This main event was fantastic. The atmosphere was electric, the spots were incredible, and having Nakamura back was great. As the bout went on, the knee became the main story of the match. Nice touch by Perkins. Still, Nakamura looked great, but was able to make Perkins look damn good too. At the end of the day, this match just showed the greatness of both TJ Perkins and Shinsuke Nakamura. Oh yeah, and Nakamura hit the dab in Perkins’s face. For that, I actually laughed out loud.
A Hundred Words or Less
For those who said, “Too long; didn’t read”, I offer you this. Tonight’s NXT in one hundred words or less.
Tonight’s showed started pretty slowly as SAnitY wrought havoc upon Tye Dillinger and Roderick Strong. After that, Andrade “Cien” Almas finally showed that he could be great if given time to develop. In the women’s division, we saw Ember Moon take a win. In three weeks, she might just take Asuka’s title. Then we saw a confrontation between the Revival and the Authors. Finally, Shinsuke Nakamura and TJ Perkins treated us to a great main event with Nakamura coming out on top. Overall, the main event saved this week’s show, which gets a solid 7/10.