1. Before the opening credits we recap the growing feud between NXT Champ Bobby Roode and the recently returned Cassius Ohno, which is handy as I’ve missed one or two episodes…
2. Our first match of the night is a tag match between the Ealy Brothers and the Authors of Pain. The Ealy twins are big and jacked, but only get in some token offense before being hit with the Super Collider and then the Last Chapter. Basically just a squash match to make the champs look dominant, but AOP still need more talented workers to carry them to a decent match.
3. Ellering talks about the Authors and how they will soon be a dynasty, which I guess means one of them is having kids? Mazeltov, big fella. To distract from this, DIY hit the ring and play the ‘we’re not very bright’ card, which gets a strange amount of applause for a show taped at a university. The Revival join the party and Dash Wilder refers to wrestling as a ‘sport’. This brings Regal out, who makes a triple threat tag elimination match at Takeover: Orlando. Because that’s what happens in a sport.
4. Promo for Heavy Machinery, who are apparently coming soon despite debuting three weeks ago. Lots of hype for Takeover, including the return of Shinsuke Nakamura.
5. Our second match is a solo effort for Sanity member Nikki Cross, who sharper readers will remember is from Scotland, not Ireland. Cross is facing valley girl/former military policeman Macey Estraya. Cross is accompanied to the ring by Sanity, because where one goes, three follow. Must make bathroom trips interesting.
6. Nikki goes sloppy crazy at the bell and tosses Macey around the ring by her hair, then hits six spinning neck breakers in a row for the pin. To disguise what a crap finish this is, No Way Jose and Tye Dillinger hit the ring and get destroyed by Sanity.
7. Wait, was that a religiously themed teaser for Tommy End? Sweet! On the downside, it seems Billie Kay hurt her neck against Ember Moon last week, which segues awkwardly into an interview with Oney Lorkin, who doesn’t like bullies like Cien Almas.
8. Our main event tonight is Kassius Ohno (looking a bit tubby in some ill-advised trunks) vs Bobby Roode (still carved out of stone). While Ohno is a solid wrestler and a great striker, the chances of him going over here seem remote, to say the least.
9. Ohno is all over Roode to start despite Rikishi levels of cellulite, so Bobby bails to the outside and stalls for a while. Back inside and Kassius stays in control, possibly reflecting how much Kevin Owens has done for fat blokes in the WWE. Back from the break and Roode is in charge, wearing down Ohno with his old school heel offense. Nice back and forth as both guys work hard to make the other look good, and Roode eventually picks up the win with an Implant DDT.
10. Pretty much a one-match episode of NXT, but a fine match it was. Despite desperately needing new ring gear Ohno looks great in the ring, and the Roode vs Nakamura rematch at Takeover has five star potential.
Tags: JT on NXT, Kassius Ohno