10 Thoughts on NXT – Asuka, Nikki Cross, Hideo Itami, Oney Lorcan

1. It’s NXT time and our massive main event tonight is Asuka vs Nikki Cross is a last woman standing match for the NXT Women’s Championship! Also Mauro Ranallo is now a commentator on NXT, which seems like a bit of a demotion from Smackdown…

2. And as to not set the bar too high, our first match of the night is the Velveteen Dream taking on Hoho Lun, who you might remember as an undersized jobber from the CWC.

3. Dream no-sells all of Lun’s offense, ignoring the basic wrestling logic that if you can make your opponent look strong, you look stronger when you beat them. Dream wins with a Macho Man elbow drop. Meh.

4. After some outdoor shenanigans setting up how much Asuka and Nikki Cross hate each other, William Regal announces Heavy Machinery vs the Authors of Pain for the NXT tag titles in 2 weeks. Hey, we’re really fat!  Give us a title shot!

5. Our next match is a rematch between Hideo Itami and Oney Lorcan following the beatdown that Itami handed Lorcan last week. As soon as the bell rings Lorcan explodes, breaking Itami’s nose with a running European uppercut. And then the ref calls for the bell…

6. Cut to a recap of the growing feud between Roderick Strong and Bobby Roode, because apparently we all have very short memories these days. Suddenly Hideo is back in the ring with cotton wool stuffed up both nostrils, so the match is back on!

7. Itami takes control immediately, and while they’re both hitting each other hard there seems to be some chemistry missing. Back from the ad break Oney ‘injures’ his knee, Itami hits the GTS and that’s all she wrote. Good for Itami for working through an injury but this match should have been better considering the talent involved. Post match Hideo calls out Kassius Ohno and then Sanity come out to beat down both men. Alexander Wolfe cuts a terrible promo that kills the crowd stone dead, Nikki Cross screams incoherently and then the boys leave, clearing the way for our main event.

8. Cross glowers from the corner as Asuka makes her entrance. At the bell both women start working, and I hope everyone in the back is watching and learning how to put a compelling match together. It doesn’t take long for Nikki to grab some chairs, and then we go to an ad break because you don’t really watch WWE network for the matches, do you?

9. Back to the action and the battle is still on the outside with Asuka taking a big bump into the steps, which she quickly pays back. Asuka pulls out a trash can and the crowd goes wild, setting up an extended sequence of Nikki Cross wearing the can and getting the crap kicked out of her. Cross makes it to her feet before the ten count and the match continues, with Asuka filling the ring with chairs. More brutality ensues including multiple slams on chairs, and the finish only comes when Asuka suplexes Nikki off the top of a ladder through the announce table and just makes it to her feet before the ten count. Asuka is still the NXT Women’s Champ!

10. A five star main event saved this show from mediocrity, with Asuka and Nikki Cross putting on a performance that matched Bayley vs Sasha Banks for quality and emotion.

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