NXT TakeOver: Orlando
(Amway Center – Orlando, FLA. – April 1, 2017 – Attendance: 14, 975)
Hosts: Charly Caruso, Nigel McGuinness, Sam Roberts
Footage is shown of No Way Jose being jumped by SAnitY earlier in the day. He is out of the 8-person tag later in the night.
McGuinness did a great job of setting the table for Aleister Black’s debut.
They ran an awesome package about Asuka. Is there a chance that she drops the strap to Ember Moon tonight?
The company has done a fantastic job getting over Moon’s finisher (the “Eclipse”). Is there a chance that she drops the strap to Ember Moon tonight?
Peyton Royce and Billie Kaye are working the snob gimmick hard. (A “schmick?”)
The camera cuts backstage to footage of cases containing new NXT championship belts being delivered to William Regal.
A Triple H voiceover addresses the crowd. He says the company is home.
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Tom Phillips.
SAnitY (Eric Young, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe, Nikki Cross) defeated Tye Dillinger/Roderick Strong/Kassius Ohno/Ruby Riot.
The crowd is hot for Strong. It’s a far cry from the old days in Ring of Honor when fans would chant “Please don’t talk” when he would get near a microphone.
Audience to Dain: “Shave your back!”
The crowd is so hot. They erupt for Dillinger.
Ohno rocks Wolfe with a “roaring elbow.”
Strong and Dain square off. Cool moment.
Dain gets the pin on Dillinger.
Hot match. Lots of action. The audience was with all eight performers for every step of the match.
What a strange mixture of ROH, TNA, international, and independent talent. Matches like this showcase how incredibly cool NXT can be.
I’m glad that Jose was pulled from the match. He doesn’t strike me as gritty enough to hang against SAnitY.
I’d have loved to have seen Dain as a monster opponent for Hulk Hogan way back when.
Aleister Black defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas.
Black rose up from the staging like Dracula.
Fucking. Bad. Ass.
Almas is dressed in all white. It’s a nice contrast to Black’s gear.
Black starts out with nice cleanly executed strikes to his opponent.
Almas with a hard slap to Black in the corner. He begins to go after Black’s arm.
Black kicks out of a “straight jacket suplex.”
Black: “Black Mass” kick and pinfall.
Almas is dressed in white. Black is in black. It made for a nice visual contrast.
Black had a couple two-counts that felt like three-counts. It’s not clear if his timing, or the referee’s, was off.
McGuinness accidentally said that Black will do well “here in Ring of Honor.” Oops!
The close up of Black’s eyes after his victory is chilling.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Author’s of Pain (Akam & Razar) (c) (w/ Paul Ellering) defeated DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) & The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) in an elimination match to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Regal reveals the new championship belts before the bell.
This one is immediately wild.
DIY gets a table from beneath the ring.
Chant: “John-ny Wrest-ling!”
The AoP are so bloody bland.
The Revival back off from Ciampa’s tag. (The rules state that any member of any team can tag any other member of any team.) LOGICAL!
DIY pay them back by refusing a tag from the Revival. Ha! For once babyfaces don’t look stupid or soft.
Another “Johnny Wrestling” chant fills the arena.
The AoP use Gargano first as a blockade, then a missile.
Chant: “This is Awe-Some!”
Akam has Gargano in a “Human Torture Rack” for minutes.
Gargano “hot tags” Ciampa.
Ciampa rattles Akam with a “Snap German suplex.”
Dawson has Akam in a reverse “Figure Four.” Gargano hesitates but doesn’t interfere with the maneuver. Instead, he also locks him in the “GargaNO Escape.”
Razar finally saves his partner.
Dawson and Gargano with stereo superkicks.
Chant: “Holy Shit!”
Truce over: DIY and The Revival brawl.
Ciampa eats a “Last Chapter” and is pinned.
The AoP: Stereo powerbombs.
The crowd is booing loudly.
Crowd: “No one likes you!”
The AoP: “Super Collider” and pinfall to retain their championships.
No matter how hard NXT brass push, The AoP just don’t have it. Yes, they are big. Yes, they can be carried to decent matches. But they have no charisma. The fans boo catcall them but it’s “X-Pac” heat. If it was a matter of experience, time would fix that. They are missing key intangibles that are necessary for television performers.
The announcer botched The AoP’s introduction, calling them the “NXT Champions.” He quickly mumbled a correction on the mic.
In the last NXT event I reviewed, I badmouthed DIY’s theme song. I retract that statement. It has grown on me.
This match was so satisfyingly logical. The championships were the goal for all three teams. If DIY had to partner with The Revival to serve the greater interest of capturing the championships, they did. When it stopped making sense, the cooperation ceased. Putting a high premium on the championships only adds to the drama of the match.
NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) defeats Ember Moon to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
If Asuka survives this match, it will mark one year of her holding the championship.
Regal reveals the new title belt. It looks like the TNA X-Division strap.
The audience chants as the opponents lock up.
Crowd: “Let’s go, Asuka/Em-ber Moon!”
Headlocks and hip tosses lead to a shoving match between the two.
Moon is clearly not intimidated by the undefeated champion.
The commentators point out that Asuka has gotten cocky over the last year.
Asuka stuns Moon with a “Shining Wizard.”
The match is methodically paced.
Moon is caught in an “Asuka Lock.” She flails but breaks it.
Asuka: misses a hip attack.
Moon: leg sweep. Fallaway slam.
Asuka: German suplex.
The crowd warms up with the two trade palm strikes.
Asuka shoves the referee into the ropes to avoid the “Eclipse.” She kicks Moon in the head and pins her.
Asuka is going heel. There isn’t much left to do with her in NXT until she is called up to the main roster. A turn will freshen up her opportunities. I predict Moon slays her for the title.
The commentators did an excellent job in the early stages of the bout getting over the “Eclipse” as a game-changing maneuver for Moon.
Drew McIntyre was shown sitting at ringside. Wow!! I can’t wait to see what he does in NXT.
Bobby Roode (c) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the NXT Championship.
Nakamura is out first.
Roode enters accompanied by two pianists playing his theme.
Roode opens with a headlock. He laughs at Nakamura.
Nakamura retaliates with “Good Vibrations.”
Roode chops the challenger and whips him into the turnbuckle.
Nakamura is getting in very little offense but the momentum starts to shift for him.
Roode almost lops off Nakamura’s head with a clothesline. He cracks his opponent’s head off of a steel post.
The match begins to revolve around Nakamura’s knee. Roode puts him in a “figure four.” He continues to pummel the joint.
Roode: “Quit! I’M THE CHAMPION!!”
Tension is picking up.
The two combatants are on their knees, face-to-face, trading elbows. This is an excellent moment.
Roode: Glorious DDT. The challenger is out at “two.” Roode gets the bell at ringside to use as a weapon.
Roode to the referee: “Disqualify me!”
Nakamura: reverse “exploder.”
Roode: spine buster. Another two-count.
Audience: This is awesome!”
McGuinness sells that one more DDT will end this.
Roode chop blocks the knee. He tornado implant DDTs Nakamura and pins him.
The champion is presented the new belt.
Roode: “This is my NXT. Learn to love it.”
The story of the match was Nakamura’s knee.
Speaking of Nakamura, he has been working on his English. This will benefit him greatly down the road.
Roode is in incredible shape. He has slimmed down and sculpted his physique.
After the broadcast went dark, there was a “goodbye ceremony” for Nakamura. Will he debut at Mania? Or more likely later in the week for SmackDown? Only time will tell.