The advertised highlight for tonight’s episode is the title match between Bobby Roode and, newly returned challenger, Kassius Ohno. It’s going to be great, because Ohno doesn’t do anything other than great. Simple as that. Also advertised on WWE.com ahead of tonight’s show, The Ealy Brothers issued a challenge to Authors of Pain after they robbed the Ealy’s of their match against The Revival. Brave, especially considering Authors of Pain’s current record, but it would certainly be a way to make a name for themselves.
Authors of Pain def The Ealy Brothers
Nikki Cross def Macy Estrella
Bobby Roode (C) def Kassius Ohno
The Ealy Brothers vs Authors of Pain
Big lads tag team wrestling started tonight’s show. Short but sweet. The Ealy Brothers started well, they isolated Rezar in their corner and even got in a double team move or two. It didn’t last though. Rezar overcame the Ealy’s offence with ease and tagged in his partner. One Super-collider, followed by The Last Chapter, and that was it for the Ealy’s.
DIY interrupted Paul Ellering’s speech about The Revival being next in his book of destruction and Dash and Dawson’s claim to be the best team in the world. He had said that he created the algorithm for greatness in tag team wrestling and Authors of Pain were his team of destiny. Ciampa and Gargano said they didn’t know what an algorithm was, but what they do know is that they are the team that can beat Authors of Pain. They’d love to see AoP destroy The Revival, but DIY deserve a proper championship rematch
The Revival joined the party and explained that they sat on the side-lines for the last TakeOver and watched AoP defeat DIY for the titles The Revival should never have lost. They’re not prepared to watch this time.
William Regal came out next and announced that the NXT Tag Team Championship match at TakeOver Orlando will be a triple-threat elimination match.
We got a quick promo for Heavy Machinery next. Another ‘big lads’ tag team comprised of Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic. They’ll be a good addition to the regular roster.
An excellent little video package for Asuka vs Ember Moon was up next. The majority of the package was dedicated to Asuka, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it as part of her introduction to the main roster. Something which looks to be imminent.
Nikki Cross vs Macy Estrella
Nikki Cross brought the rest of SAnitY to the ring with her for this match, as if she’s not intimidating enough on her own. The second the bell went Cross was on Estrella, driving her into the corner and swinging at her until dragged away by the ref. Estrella punched Cross in the face, and that was the single offensive move she managed.
Cross delivered five swinging neckbreakers, being egged on by Eric Young the whole time, without attempting a pin. She Pinned Estrella easily after the sixth.
After the match, No Way Jose and Tye Dillinger jumped the male members of SAnitY from behind. It didn’t work out well for them. They were quickly overcome by the numbers game, thoroughly beaten down, and left laying in the centre of the ring.
Another Aleister Black teaser next. Genuinely excited for this debut. Black (known as Tommy End previously) is an awesome talent and endlessly entertaining to watch. He’s going to be an exciting addition to NXT.
We were supposed to get an update on Billie Kay’s condition after her apparent neck injury following the Eclipse from Ember Moon last week. Instead, the camera panned to Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas shoving HoHo Lun against a locker and Oney Lorcan telling Almas to try that on him instead.
Oney Lorcan was interviewed and said Almas was acting like a bully. He defended Lun, not because they’re friends – they’re not, but because he stands up to bullies. The interview concluded with the announcement of Oney Lorcan vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas for next week.
It was then announced that next week we will get a six-man tag match. SAnitY versus Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong.
Bobby Roode (C) vs Kassius Ohno
Both competitors were, briefly, interviewed before the match. Kassius Ohno said he feels good, and he’s ready to right the wrongs of last time he was there. Bobby Roode said Ohno didn’t deserve a title shot, he’s a loser. But Roode is going to prove to the world why it was his NXT.
Throughout the match there were camera cuts to Shinsuke Nakamura, watching backstage, waiting to find out who he will face for the title at NXT TakeOver Orlando.
I loved seeing Kassius Ohno back in an NXT ring, even if I will miss seeing Chris Hero at indie shows. This was every bit the match O though it would be as well. Fairly even, with the balance of power shifting frequently, and with a well told story. It looked possible, on several occasions, that Kassius Ohno might secure the ultimate start to phase two of his WWE career, but it wasn’t to be.
After a several near falls in the space of a few minutes, Bobby Roode retained via pin following the Glorious DDT. He will now defend the title against Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver.
That was an excellent reintroduction to NXT for Kassius Ohno. I can’t see it being long before we see him in another title match.
NXT TakeOver Orlando is shaping up nicely. So far we have, Asuka vs Ember Moon, Bobby Roode vs Shinsuke Nakamura, and DIY vs The Revival vs Authors of Pain. So the title matches are all nailed down. I’d anticipate something to be put together from the Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong vs SAnitY storyline, but as they’re having the second tag match next week, I’m not sure what form that will take. It would be nice to see another women’s match but, unless Peyton Royce and Billie Kay implode in the next two weeks, I can’t think of a TakeOver-worthy storyline to create one from.
It was great to see Kassius Ohno hit the NXT roster and make an impact. It’s exciting to think how many new people will appearing in coming months. It looks very much like the main roster are about to do another talent sweep on NXT, but there are so many waiting in the wings that’s no bad thing at all.