In the 5/10/2017 WWE NXT Recap & Analysis, I’ll talk about my thoughts on Aleister Black, Moss & Sabbatelli, and the main event between Strong and Itami!
Aleister Black vs. Cezar Bononi
Aleister Black continued to impress on this week’s edition of NXT with a quick victory over Cezar Bononi. He hit a brutal knee strike and then followed it up with Black Mass. I really want to see how this character differs in a more back and forth match. Will there even be back and forth matches or is Aleister going to be the next dominant star running through the entire roster? I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s been fun to watch him take out rookie talent in the past few weeks. He’s an interesting character and I think as he evolves, he’ll become that much more exciting.
Ember Moon Update
We learned that Ember Moon will be out 4-5 weeks because of a grade 1 shoulder sprain. This is legitimate and happened when Asuka slid her out of the ring and she hit the guard rail. Ember vowed to be better than ever when she returns. This means that the NXT Women’s Championship Match will now be a Triple Threat at Takeover: Chicago between Ruby Riot, Asuka, and Nikki Cross.
Nikki Cross “Interview”
Nikki Cross had a backstage interview on NXT where she asked for her competitors and the NXT Women’s Championship. She messed with the microphones and almost attacked the sound guy. She flipped a chair and she walked up to the camera until it was pitch black asking for things. It was a good way for the audience to see her crazy personality in a different way.
McIntyre Meets Wesley Blake
Drew McIntyre was doing a backstage interview when he was interrupted by none other than Wesley Blake. We haven’t seen Blake for ages and I was as surprised as anyone to see him pop up. Blake told him he should leave before his second run fails like his first one. My guess is that we’ll see these two face off next week.
DIY vs. Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli
NXT has had a real lack of heel talent in the tag team division since The Revival were brought up to Raw. Enter Moss and Sabbatelli. These two look the part and both men have certainly improved a lot since we last saw them. I think they fill a void in NXT right now and it’s the perfect time to reintroduce them and get people to hate them. To be honest, they had a good match against DIY with some nice quick tags and isolating Ciampa. DIY did get the victory with Meeting in the Middle, but it was the rookies that made a name for themselves on this night.
It was announced after the match that DIY would face The Authors of Pain at Takeover: Chicago in a Ladder Match for the NXT Tag Team Championships. I can’t wait for this match, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a tag team Ladder Match in NXT history.
Ohno/Almas Next Week
Kassius Ohno talked about falling down and getting back up after losing his title match to Bobby Roode. As he was talking, Andrade Cien Almas came up with his smug look on his face and said something that was incomprehensible. Ohno vs. Almas looks to be set up for next week. NXT is starting to have a logjam of stars waiting for opportunities.
Roderick Strong vs. Hideo Itami for the #1 Contendership to the NXT Championship
I’ll hand it to everyone here, this match had a big match feel. It was one of the best builds to a #1 Contender’s Match that I’ve seen in NXT. It should be this important every time and sadly, most of the time, it’s not. Hearing Strong’s journey to NXT in the week’s leading up to this really made it feel like it was his moment. Ultimately, it wasn’t, but he had a great match with Itami and I think a lot of fans are going to see him in a much different light now after everything we’ve seen in the last few weeks. Roderick is destined to be champion sooner or later.
As for Itami, he came back and proved to everyone that he is every bit as good as he ever was. He had a fantastic match with Strong and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put a little fear in Roode. I don’t see him taking the title, but I think he’s going to make a mark in some way, shape, or form. I just think Itami has been in NXT long enough and I don’t really see him being the NXT Champion. I more see him going to the main roster and tearing it up there. Not everyone can be a champion before they’re brought to the main roster, I think Itami falls into that category. He’d be perfect on SmackDown with dream matches against Styles and Nakamura.
The Final Word
It was a great edition of NXT this week. Go watch the main event if you haven’t yet! There was plenty of storyline development and a lot of character vignettes with Ruby, Pete Dunne, and Tyler Bate. There was another Velveteen Dream hype video for Patrick Clark. They cram so much into that hour, sometimes it astounds me.