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 is one Hideo Itami doing back on NXT once more? Additionally, was Tye Dillinger able to come out on top in his yellow brand send-off match? Let’s find out, shall we?
NOTE: In the past, I gave formal analysis and my thoughts on segments in a full paragraph. However, I’ll now be making an effort to make NXT Recap a more objective series. Therefore, things will be on a grading system from now on. The grades will be the standard A+ through F, unless something particularly impresses/disappoints. Not only will this make NXT Recap more objective, but also more streamlined. Enjoy.
NXT Recap: (4/19/17) – Hideo Itami Makes His Return
Promo: Bobby Roode
As the show opens, we hear the ever-familiar piano that signals a Bobby Roode entrance. This week, he talked to NXT fans about how he made WrestleMania weekend “glorious.” Roode is, as his character implies, amazingly cocky. Even as someone with his reputation, he has garnered genuine heel heat at times. Really, it’s impressive and really showcases Roode’s talent. This is one of those times that Roode got actual heat. Tonight, he did it by verbally attacking Shinsuke Nakamura.
Roode opened his attack by noting that he never attended Nakamura’s farewell segment last week. Of course, to most professional wrestling fans, this is one of the deadly sins. Nakamura is one of the most talented wrestlers on the planet, and it’s a shame that Roode chose not to bid him farewell. But Bobby Roode couldn’t get much further until Hideo Itami interrupted him. That’s right; Hideo Itami is back, and it would seem that he’s better than ever.
The two stared each other down, and (rather quickly), Itami slapped Bobby Roode. Soon after, Roode decided that he and Itami were going to “get into it.” But Roode ran his mouth a bit too much, and Hideo Itami gave him a swift Go To Sleep. He then cleaned himself off, rearranged his suit, and left the ring. After coming back from commercial break, Roode was still lying there. Looks like the creative team on NXT really wants to show how devastating the GTS is. Hideo Itami is back, and hopefully for good this time.
Segment Grade: A
Match: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Danny Burch
Next, the white-hot Andrade “Cien” Almas took on a technically sound Danny Burch. Following some quick offense by Burch, Almas got down to business. And soon enough, he was absolutely annihilating Burch. With one lightning-fast Hammerlock DDT, the ever-playful Almas got way too serious with Burch. By that point, the fat lady had sung, and this one was over. Although technically sound, Danny Burch just looked over-matched. Perhaps they really do want to push Almas on NXT. If so, he definitely has the charisma.
Segment Grade: B+
Match: Aliyah and Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay
In the weekly women’s match, we saw some tag team action. The team of Liv Morgan and Aliyah took on Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Really, going up against Kay and Royce is greatly helping Liv Morgan’s case to become a lovable/tolerable version of Carmella. After a while, this match became a lot of … rolling around? Liv Morgan’s moveset is a bit odd, truth be told. But soon enough, Peyton Royce was able to put it back on track. However, Aliyah actually rolled her up for the pin. All by herself. Good for her, really. I don’t even remember the last time “The Iconic Duo” lost on TV. But this match was…alright? Nothing special, but serviceable.
Segment Grade: C+
Match: Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
Despite the Steel Cage Match stipulation, this match was just begging for shenanigans of some kind. However, things changed when Eric Young sent SAnitY back to the locker room. Truthfully, Young let the crowd know that he really meant business this time. Immediately, Dillinger got to work by actually locking the cage himself. No need for referees here on NXT, it looks like.
On the way back from the commercial break, Eric Young had gained the upper hand. Somehow, some way, he’s made his character into an even weirder Bray Wyatt. Young just has this look where he is geniunely unsettling, and stared down the audience and hard camera. And then, and only then, he got to work on Dillinger.
This thing really went back and forth for a good fifteen minutes. Each man got in a great amount of offense, especially Dillinger. It looks like the SmackDown Live team told NXT to make Dillinger look great. But what did I say before? Something like, “Despite the Steel Cage Match stipulation, this match was just begging for shenanigans of some kind.” Yeah, remember that? Well, turns out I was right all along. Just as Dillinger looked to escape, Killian Dain said “absolutely not,” and shoved him right back inside the ring. But soon after, the team of Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno, and Ruby Riot came to rescue Dillinger. After a genuinely amazing dive from the top to take out SAnitY, the Perfect Ten was finally able to defeat his demons and Eric Young.
Segment Grade: A Perfect Ten (I Had To)
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, we saw the triumphant return of Hideo Itami and a send-off for one Tye Dillinger. Between those two segments was sandwiched a solid episode. We saw the true potential of Andrade Almas, along with the fall of Kay and Royce. At the end of the day, this show was truly fit as a farewell to the Perfect Ten. We saw new beginnings and hopefully, a lead-up to a great feud between Itami and Roode. Overall, this show’s final grade is an A-.