Did you miss NXT this week? Well, I’m here to make it all better. It’s the weekly NXT Report Card, right here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Did you miss last week’s grades? Check them out and catch up here.
So, who came out on top between Roderick Strong and Hideo Itami? Additionally, what will the ever-mysterious Aleister Black be doing this week? Let’s find out, shall we?
NOTE: In light of the grading scale changes, this series is now the NXT Report Card.
NXT Report Card: (5/10/17) – Hideo Itami Takes On Roderick Strong
Match: Aleister Black vs. Cezar Bononi
In our opening segment, we immediately received the treat of another Aleister Black match. This guy is absolutely insane, but you already know that. Since coming to the yellow brand, Black has dominated; that domination continued tonight. This week, he took on Cezar Bononi. Following a few meditation sessions, he quickly put Bononi out of his misery.
Right now, it looks like no one is ready to knock off Black yet, especially not enhancement talent such as Cezar Bononi. After a swift three minutes and one Black Mass kick, Bononi had had enough. One, two, three, this thing was over. Since Black’s arrival, I have personally become totally captivated by him. His mystique and poise are unmatched, and he looks ready to be holding the NXT Championship very soon.
Segment Grade: A-
Backstage: Kassius Ohno and Drew McIntyre
Alright, there wasn’t much to it. But this was a fun exchange. Especially hilarious was the size difference between Drew McIntyre and his interviewer, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, he and Kassius Ohno shared some words, and then went on their merry way. Doesn’t exactly seem like a rivalry, but again, this was mostly just funny.
Segment Grade: B/B-
Match: #DIY vs. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli
Next up were #DIY took a short look at Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. Truthfully, this shouldn’t have been a match. More than anything, I was really just confused. Why do these two have a beef with Gargano and Ciampa again? Honestly, they seem to have problems with DIY because…they do? Whatever, let’s just get into the match.
This match was alright. I mean, it wasn’t atrocious; DIY certainly made it better. However, it seems like Riddick and Sabbatelli don’t know what they’re doing as a team yet. Surely they’ll figure it out at some point, but the two need to work on their chemistry. Anyways, this one ended predictably with DIY picking up the win (with some difficulty). Even as a DIY match, this seemed slow and…clunky. It’s hard to explain, but it didn’t feel like a DIY bout normally feels. There were a lot of dangling spots that didn’t seem to really tell a full story in the ring. Nevertheless, this one was okay. After the match, William Regal announced that DIY would take on the Authors of Pain at NXT Takeover: Chicago. Oh yeah, and it’s a ladder match.
Segment Grade: C+
Backstage: Ohno Again
After the match, we cut to a backstage segment with Kassius Ohno. This time, Andrade “Cien” Almas was the object of his interview. Next week, he’s going to take on Ohno in a one-on-one match. Finally, those two get something for each of them to do.
Segment Grade: N/A
Match: Roderick Strong vs. Hideo Itami
Last but not least, we got our main event. For a shot at Bobby Roode‘s NXT Championship, Hideo Itami matched up with Roderick Strong. And boy, this one was a fun one. Starting out with the nigh-obligatory stalemate, Strong and Itami were evenly matched. Right down to their styles, the two mesh so well together. After about two minutes of staring each other down, the actual bout began.
Again, this main event was very, very fun. Then again, that’s what happens when you put two of the best in the world together. Honestly, Roderick Strong is oh, so underrated. But let’s fast-forward to the finish of this week’s main event. Following a devastating backbreaker by Strong, Itami quickly bounced back. It wasn’t very quick, but Hideo Itami got the upper hand. With a falcon arrow from the top rope, Itami did get a near fall, but Strong wasn’t ready to give up. However, after a quick Go To Sleep, it was all over. Your winner, and the number one contender for the NXT Championship, Hideo Itami.
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 a very up and down. First off was Aleister Black with another dominating performance. Then, DIY had an odd match that felt a bit clunky. Additionally, Kassius Ohno had a few very entertaining backstage segments this week. And finally, we saw Hideo Itami win a number one contendership and a ticket to NXT Takeover: Chicago. Overall, this show’s final grade is a B.