March 8, 2017
Orlando, FL (University of Central Florida)
Commentary: Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
Report by Alex Kahrs of Wrestleview.com
“WWE: Then. Now. Forever.”
We see a video package hyping Shinsuke Nakamura’s return to NXT as he takes on TJ Perkins tonight! With that, the NXT intro takes us to a packed crowd at The Venue as commentary hypes up Nakamura in action tonight! At ringside, Tye Dillinger makes his way to the ring for tonight’s opening match. SAnitY’s music hits, as they make their way to the ring for Eric Young to face Dillinger. Eric tells the rest of SAnitY to leave, telling Tye it’s just the two of them. Before this match can start, SAnitY come back to the stage with a beaten down Roderick Strong to taunt Tye, who leaves the ring to check on Strong. SAnitY stand tall in the ring as No Way Jose comes out to check on him, as do officials while Eric yells “You did that!” Tye and Jose run to the ring to take on SAnitY, but the numbers game gets the better of them. Wolfe and Dane double team Jose while Young hits a double barrel neckbreaker on Tye, standing tall over the heroes as their music hits. Commentary hypes Shinsuke Nakamura vs TJ Perkins later tonight, as well as Booby Roode defending his NXT Championship against Kassius Ohno next week, before we get a WWE.com exclusive where Billie Kay and Peyton Royce look for a place to hang up their NXT Breakout Star of the Year award. They spot Ember Moon training, and raises her ire in the process. Later tonight, Billie Kay takes on Ember Moon!
Alex’s Thoughts: Good opening segment here. It was a bummer to not have an actual match, but smart to hold off on this just a little longer. Good emphasis on having the support team involved as well. I’m curious to see where this leads.
– AD: Video package for…someone. “Fade to Black” –
Back from break, Ho Ho Lun makes his way to the ring, followed by Andrade “Cien” Almas. The bell rings, and this match is underway!
Ho Ho Lun vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Almas is slow to start, refusing to lock up with Lun at first. Lun goes for a rollup but Almas blocks it, stomping Lun before sending him into the corner. Some right hands and a boot, before Almas sends Lun to the other corner to continue the attack. Almas has Lun up on the ropes, before the ref counts to break the hold. Almas continues the offense with some hard elbows, before Lun tries to fight back with some right hands. Almas sends him into the corner, but Lun starts to get some momentum before Almas finally slams him down. Almas sets him up for the hammerlock DDT for the win!
Winner via pinfall: Andrade “Cien” Almas
Almas celebrates in the ring as we get replays from the match. Commentary hypes Shinsuke Nakamura taking on TJ Perkins later tonight, but up next Ember Moon takes on Billie Kay up next!
Alex’s Thoughts: Decent match, though a bit short for my liking. Good showcase of Almas while giving Hoho Lun some screen time. Would love to see a little more from Lun in the future!
– AD: “Are You Coming With Me?” by Crown The Empire is one of our official theme songs for NXT Takeover: Orlando! –
Back from break, Billie Kay is accompanied by Peyton Royce as she makes her way to the ring for the next match. Out next is Ember Moon, and this match is underway!
Kay jokes around with Royce in the corner, and takes a dropkick from Moon for her troubles! Ember with a crossbody and a nearfall. Peyton gets in involved, which gives Kay an opening to get some shots in for a nearfall. Kay pulls Ember up, and Ember rolls her up for a nearfall. Kay with some offense of her own for a nearfall, and she is getting frustrated as she continues the attack. Ember hits back with some hard forearms, but Kay hits a rolling forearm of her own for a nearfall! Kay talks down to Ember, who brings her down with a couple kicks before climbing to the top…but Peyton gets on the apron to get involved, before thinking better of it. Ember hits Kay with the Eclipse for the win!
Ember celebrates in the ring as we get replays of the match. Back inside the ring, we see officials and Royce checking on Kay, who hasn’t moved much since the match ended. After a bit, Kay is able to sit up and finally get on her feet, officials helping her to the back as we go to break.
Alex’s Thoughts: Oof. The match itself was pretty good, again kinda stifled by its length. It’s always tough seeing the kind of thing that happened to Kay, though. Hoping all the best for her!
– AD: Wrestlemania is 25 days away! –
Back from break, commentary hypes Shinsuke Nakamura vs TJ Perkins later tonight, as we go backstage to see TJ Perkins talk about rolling where the competition takes him, and looking forward to facing Nakamura later tonight. Back at ringside, The Revival make their way to the ring for tag team action! Out next are Gabriel and Uriel, the Ealy Brothers…but the Authors of Pain have other ideas, taking out the Ealy Brothers as The Revival hightail it out of the ring. AOP bring one of the Ealy Brothers into the ring, delivering a Last Chapter to send a message to The Revival who are stood in the crowd as the Authors of Pain’s music hits. Backstage, William Regal announces that at NXT Takeover: Orlando, Ember Moon will take on Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship! Ember Moon promises that at Takeover, the NXT Women’s division will begin a new phase. Commentary hypes that, as well as Bobby Roode defending the NXT Championship next week against Kassius Ohno. Up next, we’ll hear from both champion and challenger about this big match!
Alex’s Thoughts: This is the second time tonight I’ve had to #DELETE my match heading since the match never happened. That’s probably for the better, because I was probably gonna have a hard time distinguishing the Ealy Brothers all match (a pain in the butt similar to my days recapping Usos matches for Smackdown). That said, I’m still digging the involvement of Revival in this feud with AOP and #DIY that’s been brewing. As for the announcement, well…good for Ember Moon getting the shot, but lines like “the women’s division will start a new phase” are the kind of thing that turn me off when it comes to establishing talent in wrestling. I’m like, okay, we get it, you’ve got a moon thing going on. Again though, really happy to see she’s getting the shot, and that match has a lot of potential.
– AD: 205 Live, immediately after Smackdown Live on WWE Network! & We thank I Prevail for “Come and Get It,” one of the theme songs for Takeover: Orlando! –
Back from break, we get an interview with Kassius Ohno, who says it’s surreal being back in the Performance Center after being there when they first moved things from Tampa. Asked about his match against Bobby Roode next week, Ohno talks about wrestling all over the world and this being the first place where he feels doubt. Until he can get that NXT Championship, that doubt will continue to stay. Commentary hypes the title match for next week before taking us live via satellite to Bobby Roode from his home in Toronto. Roode is clearly not thrilled, telling Tom to shut up and that he doesn’t know or care what Kassius Ohno has to say. Just as Roode was setting up his era of NXT, Kassius Ohno had to come in and put his stink on it. Roode’s goal was to shape NXT in his image. What would you rather have NXT look like, me or a long-haired hippy from the 70s? Roode won’t let a man like Ohno ruin his era, and he will walk into NXT Takeover the NXT Champion…and he will continue to make it glorious! He tells the cameraman to leave before walking off. Back at ringside, TJ Perkins makes his way to the ring for our main event! Out next is Shinsuke Nakamura, who gets a big reaction from the crowd as they sing along to his music. Chants of “NAKAMURA” as the bell rings, and this match is underway!
TJ Perkins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Both men circle before TJ looks to get a single leg on the former NXT Champion, who gets out of the way before TJ gets him into the ropes. The ref forces the break, and both men exchange holds. Nakamura gets TJ into the ropes, messing around before breaking the hold. More exchanges between both men, but TJ brings Nakamura down with a headscissors and holds him down. Nakamura rolls TJ up, but TJ brings him right back down with the headscissors. Nakamura finally gets out, taunting TJ before the match quickly comes to the outside where Nakamura catches TJ, bringing him down hard as we go to break.
– AD: NXT: The Future Is Now, available for preorder now! –
Back from break, Nakamura is in control as he drives his knee into the head of TJ. Nakamura with a sleeper hold on TJ, who gets to a vertical break before getting out of the hold. TJ starts to build momentum now, but gets taken down by Nakamura who drives a boot into the throat of TJ. Nakamura charges at TJ in the corner, but TJ ducks over hitting a neckbreaker to bring Nakamura down hard. TJ with a dropkick on Nakamura, charging into him in the corner and hitting a dropkick from the top before sliding into the ring for a nearfall. TJ looking for a Detonation Kick but Nakamura locks in a triangle hold, which TJ reverses for a nearfall. TJ starts unleashing a flurry of offense, but TJ ducks out of a double knee before hitting a dragon screw to work on the injured knee. Nakamura locks TJ in a triangle hold again, and TJ reverses it only to get locked into an armbar. Both men exchanging submission holds now until TJ locks in a cloverleaf. Nakamura gets out, but TJ locks in a knee bar that makes Nakamura writhe in pain as he reaches for the bottom rope to break the hold. Nakamura to his feet now, but TJ kicks him in the leg. Nakamura showing some fighting spirit as he hits some hard kicks on TJ, stopping him from a top rope move to hit the double knee and a single leg backstabber before landing an exploder suplex and Kinshasa for the win!
Nakamura celebrates in the ring as we get replays of the match. Backstage is William Regal, who announces that the winner of next week’s NXT Championship match will go on to Takeover: Orlando to defend against Shinsuke Nakamura! Nakamura continues celebrating in the ring as the show comes to a close.
Alex’s Overall Thoughts: WOW, what a main event! The blend of technical wrestling and high flying (especially on TJ’s part) was fun, and honestly, all credit to TJ Perkins for really looking strong going up against the former NXT Champion and a man he got to train with in the NJPW Dojo. They also did a great job telling the story of Nakamura’s knee being of major concern near the end, before he picked up the win. Super happy to see him back in NXT! Overall, kind of a weird show tonight with some non-matches and a couple rough spots here and there, but the main event is definitely worth checking out for sure!
* Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Ho Ho Lun
* Ember Moon def. Billie Kay
* Shinsuke Nakamura def. TJ Perkins
That’s it for NXT this week, Wrestleviewniverse!