10 Thoughts on NXT – Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, UK Championship

1. It’s NXT time and the show has a new opening video taking out all of the people who have been called up recently. In the ring Nikki Cross calls out Ruby Riot, and Riot responds, then the pair brawl for a while. Security eventually intervene and do a typically poor job of keeping them apart.

2. Next up we get a recap of Hideo Itami’s return and GTS on Bobby Roode last week, followed by an interview with the Glorious one. Roode talks about Itami needing to earn his opportunity at a title shot, which seems fair enough really.

3. Our first match of the night is Andrade Cien Almas taking on Drew McIntyre, so forget what I said last week about CIen being on the rebuild. Almas stays out of McIntyre’s way for as long as he can but gets caught with a few big shots before bouncing Drew’s head off the stairs to gain a measure of control.

4. A bit of back and forth doesn’t hide the fact that Almas was never a contender, and McIntyre picks up the win in short order with the running dropkick.

5. William Regal makes a special announcement that he has booked Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot later tonight, then we get a video package called ‘who is Roderick Strong?’ He’s been everywhere and done everything, apparently. Oh, and his parents were assholes.

6. Next up it’s Kona Reeves taking on Aleister Black, and it looks like Reeves has changed his hair or trunks or something. Not sure that will help him. Reeves gets in a few shots but Black is always in control, and before too long Black hits the Black Mass for the pinfall victory.

7. Ruby Riot vs Nikki Cross is up next, after a short Riot promo calling out Sanity as hypocrites. Cross jumps Riot on her way to the ring, so they brawl through the arena with things looking fairly even before security once again try to break them up. Looks like a no-DQ match at the next Takeover… And then Regal tells Asuka that there will be a battle royale next week to determine the number one contender for the Women’s title.

8. Now it’s time for Jack Gallagher to take on Tyler Bate for the U.K. Championship, and talk about two skinny white dudes… Solid technical match with both men displaying some good old-fashioned wrestling skills but Gallagher consistently having Bate’s measure.

9. Man, I worry that Gallagher’s frequent use of a head-butt as an offensive move is going to set him up for serious problems later in life. Almost out of nowhere Bate hits the Tyler Driver 97 for the pin, which makes sense because Gallagher has bigger fish to fry.

10. Overall a good to great episode of NXT, with a couple a excellent matches and a solid feud building between Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot.

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