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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (May 24, 2017): Won't ever be equal

TakeOver dark match/fallout time...


We open with a video package recapping all the matches and post-tag title match action from last Saturday at TakeOver: Chicago, then it’s straight to Aleister Black’s entrance. His opponent is his rival from the episode of Main Event taped in London a couple weeks back - Curt Hawkins!

The Fact Man goes on the attack immediately, faking the test of strength and delivering a kick to the gut. He whips Black into the ropes, allowing Aleister to leap frog over him and land in his “contemplative position”. Hawkins is caught with some kicks and a knee, but after he’s brought to his feet by Black’s boot, he slips out of the ring. They chase each other in-and-out, which gives Curt an opening to drive his opponent back-first into the apron. Back in the ring, he works a rest hold for a moment, but Aleister escapes. Strikes in the corner set-up the springboard moonsault and Black Mass, with Black picking up the pin in under 3 minutes.

Longest video package of the show focuses on Chicago’s main event (set to “Judas”) where Authors of Pain defeated #DIY in a ladder match to keep their tag titles, including the aftermath where Tommaso Ciampa turned on Johnny Gargano. It ends with the lack of a medical update on Gargano but nothing from Ciampa about his attack, despite the segment being called “D - I - Why?”.

Ember Moon was interviewed before the show on Saturday, and talked about how she thought she was okay with being injured until she got to Allstate Arena. A selfish part of her hopes Asuka wins so she can take the title from her. She closed by saying time heals all wounds, but battle scars are forever.

Then it’s highlights of the Women’s title Triple Threat where Asuka pinned Ruby Riot & Nikki Cross, with narration by Tom Phillips & Percy Watson. The champ’s post-show interview is played (if you missed them this weekend, all the fallout interviews are here).


  • Made a joke about it on Twitter, but it’s not really a joke... WWE pre and post big match/event video packages are some of my favorite things. On this show, the opener covering the entire show from May 20 - and especially the #DIY/Authors of Pain one were phenomenal.

  • Had not seen their Main Event encounter (there’s only so many hours in the week, even when you’re lucky enough to call this your job), but the comic book nerd in me was excited to see Hawkins show up - I’m all for a little WWE Network crossover action!

  • Fun match that, if anything, should have been a couple minutes longer so Curt would have more time to be a dick and earn his beating... because watching Black demolish people with little or no expression on his face is one of the best things in WWE right now.

  • His flat affect makes it even better when he gets pissed before the finish, or winks while sitting cross-legged after the pin.

  • While I love Moon as an in-ring performer, I am not feeling her as an interview. Especially not someone I trust to get me fired up to see her takedown the Empress.

  • Perhaps it’s their habit of giving her a tag line to slap on the end of her promos without much in the way of a transition? Seems like this isn’t the first time she’s busted out a pithy closing statement that feels like it’d make more sense coming from someone on SRW.

  • Asuka’s interview closing, giggly taunt, “It’s mine” deserves to live on forever.


We’re told the Velveteen Dream is next, but Roderick Strong’s win over Eric Young of SAnitY gets the recap treatment, and Roddy’s fallout interview is shown.

Dream is out first, to not much of a reaction from the Second City crowd. His opponent is Robert Anthony. Velveteen starts with a side headlock, then the evade each other in the ropes until he takes Anthony down with a drop kick. A punch connects for the enhancement guy, which only angers his opponent. Dream shoves him into the corner and flails at him with punches. He chokes him in the ropes a bit, but as the crowd tries to get behind Anthony, he takes him down with a clothesline off the tope and a neckbreaker. Before we even hit three minutes, Velveteen Dream flies off the top with an elbow to get the pin.

Then it’s recap time for the awesome United Kingdom title match at TakeOver, and new champion Pete Dunne’s interview where he spoke of ending Tyler Bate’s dream so he can live his own.


  • While I stand by my love of WWE video productions, you know why the tag title one was the standout of the night? Because it just used music and commentary from the night of as a soundtrack. Phillips & Watson talking over the other ones was a bummer.

  • Dea and I joked about this on our post-TakeOver podcast, but they really did it. The man’s name is “Velveteen Dream”. Not “Patrick Clark the...” Just Velveteen Dream. I... I mean... really?

  • No idea what to make of the gimmick, and from the lack of noise in Allstate Arena (based both on my perception from the show and Stella Cheeks’ live report), I’m not alone. I’ll reserve judgement until they give us more, but - this seems like an uphill climb to make this into much more than CJ Parker’s old role.

  • Clark looked a little crisper in terms of wrestling than the last time we saw him, so there’s that.

  • Don’t have much to say on the interviews from after Saturday night’s show. They’re good, but they’ve been out for a while and don’t really take us anywhere new.


Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami highlights lead into the champ’s post-match interview, and we’re informed Roode will be hosting another GLORIOUS Celebration next Wednesday (that actually tapes tomorrow night at Full Sail).

Main event time! Drew McIntyre enters first, followed by Wesley Blake, now utilizing a more cowboy/western look and theme. Blake starts slow, but connects with some offense on either side of being shoulder blocked in the corner. After some strikes get Wesley to the middle of the ring, McIntyre flattens him with a kick right in the face. Blake fires back with strikes of his own and clothesline, but Drew launches him over his head. The former NXT tag champ is able to create some space when he stuns McIntyre’s arm over the tope rope, and another clothesline earns a nearfall as we take a commercial.

Arm-work is the focus when we return, as Blake keeps the larger man down. McIntyre manages to get free and counter a couple times (including a flurry which ends with a sitout spinebuster for a two count), but largely remains grounded. Wesley wraps the wounded limb around the post, tries a cover and then slaps on a crossface. The Scot fights out, hits the reverse Alabama Slam, but can only get two himself. Drew tries for a Future Shock DDT, but Blake responds with an attack on his arm. After a knee drop, Wesley climbs the ropes in the corner, but McIntyre catches him. They remain tied up there for a bit, but the former Intercontinental champ gets free and tosses Blake with an overhead suplex. His first attempt at his finisher misses, but after a head butt, the one-leg Yakuza Kick connects, and McIntyre wins in about nine minutes.

Trademarks are up as he celebrates, and that’s the show.


  • Of all the fallout clips, the one I was most interested in seeing again wasn’t aired tonight. Very anxious to learn how the Hideo Itami meltdown and confrontation with Kassius Ohno gets played, so we could make more educated guesses about both mens’ directions. But I guess we’ll have to wait for Thursday night (or later, for you non-spoiler types) for that.

  • Can’t say as I was terribly impressed by Blake’s makeover. But then, the James Storm-esque characters have never been my thing, so I’m not gonna waste too much time thinking about it - other than to say it seems like it might be too generic to get anywhere.

  • The former Dubstep Cowboy/BAMF-er is a guy I like quite a bit, too. If you’ve seen him on house shows, you know he’s a good worker and probably the kind of wrestler they’d like to keep around for house shows and training purposes, so maybe the gimmick isn’t a huge deal to them, either.

  • Blake delivered in this match, too, which was an entertaining-if-completely-unsuspenseful television main event.

  • Really dug the Future Shock tease, and am excited to see Drew roll out more of his arsenal as he climbs the ladder in NXT.

  • Guess we can’t call the drop kick finisher “Claymore” any longer because it has military/weaponry connotations or something? What’s weird is I thought Sami Zayn’s finisher wasn’t a Yakuza Kick any more for similar reasons... Should definitely come up with something better than “single leg Yakuza Kick” or whatever Nigel McGuinness keeps calling it.

Entertaining, but entirely skippable, show. It would be good to see them figure out a formula for the fallout episodes like they demonstrated they could with the ‘go home’ editions last Wednesday.

Grade: C+

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