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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (April 19, 2017): Someday finally came

Cue Eric Bischoff’s WWE theme, baby! My eternal thanks to Kyle Decker for giving me a much needed post-WrestleMania break and he & ReverendKain for covering while I yelled at Comcast these past couple weeks. They truly are the best team hot dogs can buy.

But I’m back! So let’s talk NXT!


GLORIOUS! Our champion is here to open the show. Bobby Roode tells Full Sail that, for the second straight year, ‘Mania weekend was Glorious because of him. He personally sold out the Amway Center, and treated the fans at TakeOver: Orlando to a front-row seat to the biggest draw in the business. On April 1, he also snuffed out the last star from the old NXT, and the transformation of the brand was finally complete.

Last week, he had to watch Shinsuke Nakamura walk to HIS ring, while all the wrestlers came out to say goodbye, and the crowd sang his pathetic song. But we didn’t see Bobby Roode! He wasn’t gonna standing there like a moron like everyone else, because he wasn’t gonna listen to the lie Nakamura was telling. Shinsuke didn’t leave NXT - Roode embarrassed him so bad he ran out of NXT. It made him physically ill listening to fans cheer and chant for Nak when HE’S THE CHAMP. None of the fans deserve to be in his NXT; none of the wrestlers in the back belong in his NXT. So from now on we have two choices: get on board or hit the bricks!

HIDEO ITAMI’S MUSIC HITS! He comes down to the ring, looking pissed (but good in a suit) while Roode laughs. He slaps the champ! Roode says “oh, you want to mess with the champ, huh?” and takes his coat off and starts rolling up his sleeves. While he’s running his mouth, Hideo puts him on his shoulders for THE GTS! Itami stands over the champion and picks up the belt to stare at it before laying it down next to an unconcious Roode.

After we’re reminded about the women’s tag and steel cage matches tonight, Kayla Braxton informs us we’ll have a UK title match next week. She interviews champ Tyler Bate and challenger - Jack Gallagher. They cordially compliment each other, but then things get a little testy when Bate says he’s looking forward to successfully defending his championship next week.

Roode is still in the ring selling the GTS. Numerous officials check on the champ, who stumbles out of the ring.

Heavy Machinery’s workout video from earlier today is shown, establishing tensions between Andrade “Cien” Almas and Drew McIntyre for next week when Almas interrupts the other three’s workout to talk trash at Drew before heading to the club... at 1:30 in the afternoon, much to Otis Dozovic’s disgust.


  • This was the quintessential Bobby Roode experience. Epic entrance (even without accoutrements like piano players and choirs), great heel presence, solid delivery of smart material. I love it, and am not sure there’s anything I or anyone else can say to convince you if you don’t.

  • Everything makes it so you really, really want to see him get his ass kicked - even the clever/funny lines and kind of endearingly dorky smirk. Even his heel-splanation for Nakamura’s exit is logically sound - if a version of reality he should get punched in the neck for espousing.

  • Have been in the bag for the former KENTA for a long time, so it’s hard to be objective. But he looks older in an Old Man Logan kind of way, and I’ve always dug pissed off Itami. Calmly waiting while Roode made a show of getting ready to fight was perfect, and then... BAM!

  • Remember when they were teasing the GTS and we debated when/if we’d see it on screen? Just putting it out there is the right call at this point, but it does make me a little sad for the years of Hideo’s career injuries have deprived him, and us, of.

  • My word, Bobby’s extended sell was... yeah, I’ll say it... glorious.

  • Gallagher vs. Bate is something I should be more excited for, as I’m a big fan of both men. This was a smart interview to set their encounter up, and slowly plant seeds for young Master Bate’s character development whenever we get a UK show, but I can personally only get so pumped for one-off exhibitions.

  • Dozovic sounds like Jack Black doing a Macho Man impression. It’s great.


While commentary continues to discuss Andrade’s personal life and work ethic, he’s got a match against Danny Burch. Cien runs through his usual schtick early, but the veteran UK brawler is not impressed. They trade counters, but eventually Burch throws Almas, pissing off the Mexican star. Using his opponent’s anger against him, Danny stays ahead of him and drops Andrade again, but is eventually caught with a chop. That sets Cien back to showboating, and he catches another forearm from Burch. But it doesn’t have much effect, and Almas clocks him in the back of the head with a strike of his own, then hits his double knees and the Hammerlock DDT to wrap it up in about three minutes.

Great video package putting over Asuka’s run, and featuring Ember Moon, Peyton Royce/Billie Kay, Liv Morgan and Ruby Riot claiming they will be the one to finally dethrone the overconfident Empress. That’s followed by a recap of the long Tye Dillinger vs. SAnitY feud, which also serves to hype tonight’s main event.

Then it’s women’s tag action, with Morgan & Kay starting us off. Billie uses her size advantage to dominate the early going, but when she & Peyton mock Liv, the tides turn shortly thereafter. After avoiding a clothesline, Morgan does the rolling cover spot for two. Aliyah is tagged in and gets another nearfall with a leg drop, but Billie is able to counter on a whip and reach he partner. Royce connects with the spin kick and seems to cover for three, likely because Liv didn’t make the save in time. The Iconic Duo use an illegal team-up to get leverage while stretching out Aliyah, so Morgan drop kicks Billie from the apron. That lets Liv’s teammate roll-up Peyton after about three minutes of match time, and the babyfaces celebrate their upset win while the Aussies have a tantrum in the ring.


  • When you pop for a Martin Stone sighting, you’ve been following NXT for a long while.

  • Would love to see a longer match between these two. Since that probably won’t ever happen, I’m really hoping the UK show will allow Burch to settle into an Oney Lorcan-esque mid-card gatekeeper role. I’ve alway liked the guy - he’s the kind of good worker you need around, and can connect with the crowd enough to get an underdog/one last chance main event story out of at some point down the road.

  • Anyone else slightly uneasy about the presentation of Almas as unfocused and underachieving? It meshes well with what’s gotten him over with the audience, so it probably shouldn’t, but there’s something that bugs me about it... probably just cause I’ve had to transcribe so many Alberto El Patron rants.

  • Another home run from production in service of Asuka and the story of the women’s division. Still wish they didn’t rely so heavily on these, but at least they’re top notch.

  • Hyped to see Ruby featured so prominently - they must be high on her, and that pleases me to no end for a multitude of reasons. Less hyped by the complete lack of Nikki Cross. What’s up with that? (There’s no real reason to worry, as yesterday’s spoilers will attest, but still... what gives?)

  • Was not impressed with the women’s match, and I think I’ve seen all I need to see of Liv at this point. There’s too many exciting talents already at the Performance Center or about to show up who should be on my screen. Get back to me when she’s got another 100 Florida house show appearances under her belt.

  • The Icons looked really good - Peyton’s always on, and Billie’s getting into a nice groove. Aliyah’s okay, but I have no reason to care about her. Overall, yeah, this wasn’t good, and it’s mostly because I felt nothing when the babyfaces picked up the upset victory.


Commentary runs down next week’s card, which in addition to the UK title bout now officially includes McIntye/Almas and Aleister Black in action, then it’s main event time!

Tye enters first, and Eric Young sends his crew to the back before heading down to the cage. Dillinger grabs him up from the floor and slams the door shut to get started immediately, and they brawl. The Perfect Ten gets the better of it and goes for his finisher, but EY rakes the eyes and throws Tye face first into the cage as we take a break.

Young is inflicting more punishment when we return, bouncing Dillinger off the sides of the structure. He calls for the door, but Tye stops him, only to find himself in hanging sleeper hold a second later. That’s followed by an elbow drop and a two-count. A climb by Dillinger is turned into a battle on the top rope that EY ends with a Liger Bomb for another cover. Then Eric goes to escape, but ends up being choke/press-slammed to the mat as we take another break with both men down.

It’s all Perfect Ten when we come back this time, with Tye bouncing Young off the cage and putting the boots to him. A superkick really opens up a cut EY has on the bridge of his nose, and referee Drake Weurtz puts on the gloves. A climb by each man is thwarted, and the SAnitY leader eventually decides to go for another cover and hits an elbow drop from the top of the structure to set it up, but even that only gets two.

Dillinger grabs EY’s boot as he crawls to the door, and gets him up for the Tye-Breaker. This time it connects, but before Dillinger can exit, SAnitY is ringside. Nikki Cross jumps on the official’s back and Killain Dain & Alexander Wolfe slam the door and laugh in his face. Tye’s crew heads to ringside to even the score, but as Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong & Ruby Riot are dealing with Cross & Wolfe, Dain climbs the cage. Tye kicks him off, but then Wolfe blocks Dillinger’s exit and Killian enters through the door. The Perfect Ten decides to crossbody both SAnitY members who are in the ring, then he crawls out the door after eleven minutes of action.

Ohno & Strong lift our departing hero on their shoulders while the crowd chants “TEN”, and the celebration ends the show with a shocked EY still sitting in the ring.


  • The main event was pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be. Both guys went all out, and even managed to use the normally annoying escapes logically within a story of personal animosity - the way Tye started, and Young’s “what’s it gonna take to kill this guy” set-up for his big elbow spot were real standout examples of what I mean.

  • Interference in a match designed to limit interference usually drives me up a wall, and is probably even a bigger pet peeve than how escaping is used in these matches. But it didn’t bother me here, because EY and Dillinger’s allies were such a big part of this feud. Most importantly, Tye’s friends never gave him an advantage - and he still needed to overcome SAnitY’s numbers, even after Ohno, Strong & Riot ran to his aid.

  • What did bug me here is something I thought I’d accepted from NXT and WWE Network - commercial breaks. Not even that I shouldn’t have them on a pay service, but structure the show (over which you have 100% control, I might add) so you don’t need to pause the blow-off of a blood feud to sell me DVDs, okay?

  • As great a moment as Dillinger finally winning a big one in front of the Full Sail faithful was, I was surprised it - or the post-match speech released on YouTube - didn’t hit me harder. I suppose after a couple weeks of goodbyes here and on house shows, I’m just desensitized enough to avoid tearing up.

  • Still, thank you Tye. Yours very well may have been my favorite NXT story ever, because while Sami or Bayley’s had elements of truth in their kayfabe journey, it was all on the line for you. The gimmick made it more fun to cheer for you, but for a long time now, we’ve actually been pulling for the man behind the character. And on April 4, that dude won.

This one started and ended strong - with an emotional ending I’m too much of a softie to not mark up for, even if it didn’t get me quite as much as I thought it would. Everything in between was fairly inessential, consisting of the kind of material a lot of folks find “skippable”, but at least they set-up the weeks to come for us diehards.

Good luck, Mr. Dillinger. This A is for you (and the champ being a great d-bag).

Grade: A-

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