Not a lot pre-announced for tonight. Bobby Roode starts the process of tying up loose ends before going full time to SmackDown, when he faces Roderick Strong. It’s Strong’s last chance to get even with Roode for his disrespectful treatment of him and his family, so we can expect him to make a proper fight of it. The only other announced segment is Drew McIntyre’s first appearance as NXT Champion.
Peyton Royce def Ruby Riot
Heavy Machinery def Damien Aweel & Edwin Negron
Roderick Strong def Bobby Roode
The show opened with some footage from outside Full Sail. Alexander Wolfe, apparently unconscious, slumped against a car, with another person in the car, and security guards scattered around on the floor. Someone calls for William Regal, then medical assistance (wrong way round surely). Regal looks around without saying anything. Commentary speculate it may have been Adam Cole and friends, but it has Authors of Pain written all over it for me.
Drew McIntyre, in a suit, comes out for the first segment. He said, That winning the NXT title was his life’s work. Everything he’d gone through for the last 17 years led to the moment. But he’s not naïve. He knows it comes with a big target on his back, he hadn’t had for a minute before they were lining up. It’s one thing to win the title, it’s another to keep it. So he was going to get his mission statement out there straight away.
‘Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole, every single person in that locker room, I am putting you on notice right now. This is Drew McIntyre’s world now. If you want a shot at me, if you want a shot at the champ, all you’ve got to do is walk down to this ring, step through the ropes look me in the eye and ask me to fight.’
Roderick Strong’s music hit, and he made his way down to the ring. He congratulated McIntyre and agreed that being champion makes him a target. All Strong cares about is himself, his family and the NXT championship.
McIntyre said this was the type of challenge he wants, Strong stepped up to him like a man, McIntyre just hopes he’s ready to get knocked out like a man.
Next they showed the same interview with Roode they showed last week, where he talks about not leaving unfinished business. He’s going to have the match with Strong, then his NXT Championship rematch, then he’ll go off to SmackDown permanently.
Announcement for next week – Asuka will appear with an update of her status. WWE.com have already announced the outcome of all this, but we’ll keep it on their timeframe on here.
Ruby Riot vs Peyton Royce
This was inevitable after Riot beat Billie Kay a couple of weeks ago. And you can bet the iconic duo were going to do everything in their power to make sure Riot didn’t triumph again.
This was a really enjoyable match. I really like Ruby Riot, I think her NXT run so far has been exceptional. Royce has improved almost beyond recognition in the last year, she’s looking very polished now.
It was a fair, and fairly even, match for a while. Royce had her dominant period, Riot fought back. Billie Kay caused a distraction to Riot, long enough for Royce to deliver a huge kick to the face and put her back on top, for a few moments anyway. Royce was pulled from the ring by Kay, after a powerbomb from Riot, so Ruby Riot dived onto them both through the ropes.
Billie Kay got involved once more. Peyton Royce dragged the apron into the ring, and while the ref was dealing with that Kay kicked Riot in the face (apparently that’s now called ‘Shades of Kay’ and wiped her out. Peyton Royce then hit the bridging fisherman’s suplex for the win.
Riot has now won one, lost one, against Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.
Kassius Ohno interrupted an interview with William Regal, in his office. He said he’s fit now and wants Hideo Itami. Regal said Ohno will face Itami next week, Ohno asked for it to be no disqualification. William Regal agreed.
Heavy Machinery vs Damien Aweel & Edwin Negron
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen the likeable big lads of NXT.
This wasn’t a long fight. It didn’t really need to be. Tucker Knight’s cross body to take out both opponents was one of the highlights for me. Their opponents were big enough lads to cope with the beating, which is just as well because they took one.
One of their tag team finishers, The Compactor, finished the match in Heavy Machinery’s favour.
After a recap of Lars Sullivan’s attack on No Way Jose last week, William Regal told Lars Sullivan that actions must have consequences. Sullivan has beaten up three tag team partners, so next week he will face three opponents in a handicap match.
Another announcement for next week. Cezar Bononi vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Next week’s show must be almost entirely announced now, three matches and an appearance by Asuka have been announced during this week’s show. There isn’t much more that will fit into an hour long show.
Bobby Roode vs Roderick Strong
The countdown to Bobby Roode permanently departing to SmackDown has begun, and the time for Roderick Strong’s revenge has arrived.
Roode started the match with some trash talk, until Roderick Strong shoved him over.This had the air of a fight as much as a wrestling match. Ironically, I think it’s one of the best matches Roode has had in NXT.
As it’s almost certainly the last time they’ll face each other for the foreseeable future, they were always going to put everything into it. Strong was fighting for revenge and the honour of his family. Roode just wanted to put Strong in his place.
They hit each other with, and kicked out of, everything. Roderick Strong survived being throw into stairs and barricades, and kicked out of the Glorious DDT. Roode withstood backbreakers, and gutbusters galore, and a huge superplex. Every so often, things degenerated into an all out brawl for a few seconds.
Roode decided to start again with the trash talk. After calling Strong an embarrassment to his family, and slapping him, Strong hit him with three high knees to the face, and two ‘End of Heartache’ backbreakers to get the win. He even blew Roode a kiss before delivering the final blow.
As Roderick Strong celebrated, in a subdued and beaten up kind of way in the corner, Drew McIntyre took to the stage for the staredown. While champion and challenger stared each other down, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly jumped McIntyre, and beat on him until security appeared, accompanied by William Regal.
The last shot of the show was the three of them running away shouting, ‘this is our NXT, as William Regal walked briskly after them.
Drew McIntyre has declared himself as a fighting champion by asking for opponents to step up to him. I hope he means it, it would be good to see the championship defended more regularly. We have intrigue, as we wait to see who attacked SAnitY and security, I wonder if it was the same people who attacked Breezango on SmackDown. And we got three good matches, including one of Bobby Roode’s best NXT matches to date (I’m standing by that statement). Not a bad week at all.
Next week is pretty much set out for us as well. Kassius Ohno faces Hideo Itami in a ‘No DQ’ match, Lars Sullivan has a three on one handicap match, Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas has a rematch against Cezar Benoni, and Asuka is appearing to discuss her injury and the future of the title. That looks like a decent hour of tv to me.