1. It’s NXT time and our main event tonight is No Way Jose, Roderick Strong and Tye Dillinger taking on Sanity. Takeover Orlando isn’t far away and is already looking more interesting than Wrestlemania.
2. Our first match tonight is Boston brawler Oney Lorkin versus Cien Almas in a battle of the beards. Almas stalls for ages to start, then gets the crap chopped out of him by Lorkin. A bit of miscommunication narrowly avoids an injury to both men, then we get a nice look at Cien’s bright red chest. Those chops must hurt like a bastard. Lorkin sells like a pro for most of the match, then knocks Cien completely out of the ring with a running uppercut followed by a somersault plancha off the top turnbuckle. Sweet.
3. Almas eventually picks up the win with a hammerlock DDT, and this was without a doubt the best match I have seen from either worker. Let’s hope this is the start of an ongoing feud, if not a push for the hard hitting Oney Lorkin.
4. DIY promo talking about how they have been struggling for 12 years before getting their NXT opportunity, winning the Tag Titles before getting destroyed by the Authors of Pain. Nice ‘we are all DIY’ bit is followed by a great Tommy End/Alistair Black promo, closing with the words ‘fade to black’. Well I’m sold….
5. Recap of Billie Kay’s unfortunate injury at the hands of Ember Moon, which means it’s time for Asuka to slaughter some unfortunate on her way to Takeover. The victim in question is Priscilla Zuniga, who has a couple of cool tattoos but absolutely no chance of besting the Japanese superstar. Asuka calls out Ember Moon and then kicks Zuniga’s face off, then proceeds to beat her down for a few minutes before locking on the Asuka Lock for the submission victory. I hope Zuniga was paid well to take that beating…
6. Dash & Dawson talk about how they have made a name for themselves, valiantly ignoring that they’re enhancement talent destined to keep putting big goofballs like the Authors of Pain over until they get injured or released.
7. And now we get a recap of the feud between Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura, and they’re certainly not missing any opportunities to promote Takeover Orlando. Strong video package with some amusing pics of Roode as a fresh-faced aspiring superstar and the revelation that Nakamura is a surfer…
8. The oddball team of Jose, Strong and Dillinger say some words, and they’re about to face the alliance of Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and man-bear Killian Dane. Brawl on the outside to start, then Strong immediately becomes your face in peril. After a while the good guys take control, but there isn’t much of a story being told and the match sorta just happens, despite a few cool spots along the way.
9. Promo for the NXT book, reminding us that Bo Dallas was once NXT Champion despite being Bo Dallas. The main event continues with Alexander Wolfe working hard in the ring, while Eric Young jumps around like a goon and Nikki Cross screams on the outside. Strong hits a bunch of backbreakers, Dane looks like a beast and the match gets called due to the ref losing control. After the bell Tye Dillinger beats down EY, Nikki Cross makes the save and a mystery woman with lots of ink hits the ring to save the day. Fun, shambolic and almost completely pointless.
10. Overall a decent episode of NXT as we naive towards Takeover weekend. Almas and Lorkin set a high bar to start the night, and none of the other matches really came close to reaching it. So saying, I’m looking forward to Takeover, particularly the debut of Alistair Black and the return of Shinsuke Nakamura.
Tags: Asuka, JT on NXT, Oney Lorkin, Sanity