Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. The calendar has officially turned to August, which means we’re very close to our next Takeover event, Brooklyn part 3. Let’s get right to it, as we’re kicking off with the return of a big name in NXT.
Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza
Gargano starts to come out to the DIY theme, but then as he’s on the walkway, it changes theme and titontron video to be just for him. The “Johnny Wrestling” chants start immediately as we start with a wristlock by Gargano. Great counters by both men leads to a front face lock by Gargano and then a Gator roll into a pinfall attempt. Mendoza kicks out but Gargano goes right to a side headlock. Mendoza shoots him off but gets knocked down by a shoulder tackle. A couple leap frogs and then another sweet pin attempt by Gargano. Mendoza up at one but Gargano nails him with his rolling seated kick. Gargano tries to work on the arm but gets caught with a forearm. Some back and forth off the ropes but it’s Mendoza who ends up catching Gargano with a high shining wizard. Mendoza works Gargano over in the corner, but as he tries to avoid an attack in the opposite corner, Gargano comes through the ropes with his spear. Gargano stops himself on an attempt to get whipped in the corner and comes back with a big clothesline. Mendoza regroups quickly though and nails an enziguri. Mendoza goes to the top rope and goes for a 450 but Gargano moves out of the way and locks in the Gargano Escape and Mendoza has no choice but to tap!
Winner: Johnny Gargano
K-Tank’s Take: For the time they were given, that was incredible back and forth action. A lot of fun to try and keep up with. Gargano looked as good as ever and it’s great to see him back. If only Ciampa could come back soon.
We get a recap of last week when Sanity came face to face with Authors of Pain. Mauro Renallo described it as “game on like Donkey Kong.” He’s the best. It’s officially announced that in Brooklyn at Takeover, it will be AOP defending the tag titles against Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe. We then go to AOP with Paul Ellering. Ellering says Sanity showed their sanity when they came after AOP. In Brooklyn, they will write the next chapter. Until then, be prepared. Monsters are real.
Still Undefeated… but for how long?
Asuka comes out in her business attire as she’s ready to speak to the Full Sail crowd. She says at Takeover: Brooklyn she will fight Ember Moon for the women’s championship. She’s beaten Ember before. She will beat Ember again. Ember Moon is not ready for Asuka! That brings out Ember herself as her music hits and she comes out in her t-shirt and jeans. Ember says that ever since Takeover: Orlando, she’s done everything to get back to this point, fighting for the NXT women’s championship. Asuka can say she’s not ready but she knows she’s ready. The fans know she’s ready. Asuka knows she’s ready too. Deep down inside beneath all of Asuka’s arrogance, Asuka knows the truth. The truth is that Asuka isn’t ready for Ember Moon. Ember drops the mic and they stare at each other. Asuka exaggerates trying to act like everything is ok and then wants to shake hands. Ember goes to return but Asuka says psych! Then she slaps the hell out of Ember. Ember gets one hell of a death stare on her face and drops Asuka with a forearm. Both women brawl until Asuka is able to dump Ember to the outside. Asuka starts to celebrate her actions, but she doesn’t see Ember get back up and go to the top rope… Ember drops Asuka with the Eclipse!! That gets a mega reaction from the crowd. Asuka is laid out and Ember debates whether to grab the belt, but decides she’ll wait until she actually wins it and leaves while Asuka is still out cold.
K-Tank’s Take: Awesome segment for Ember. That did a lot of good for her. A lot of people will say now that Ember has hit Asuka with the Eclipse, that means Asuka is going to win. Those same people would’ve said a couple weeks ago that Ember was definitely going to win and Asuka would move on to the main roster. So this was good in the sense that now this match has become completely unpredictable.
We now go backstage where Bobby Roode is getting set up for an interview. He’s asked about Roderick Strong’s opinion on what Bobby Roode did involving Strong’s family after their match. Roode brings up the lottery metaphor again and says that Strong just tried playing and lost. He says they may be upset but he’s going to want to play that lottery again. The fact is that Strong doesn’t belong in his NXT. He’s then asked about Drew McIntyre’s comments from last week. Roode says that things are apparently different now for McIntyre just because he came back and is a new man. Roode has some breaking news. How about next week, he and McIntyre get in the ring and have a sit down conversation. Roode goes to leave, but Strong storms the set and tries to get a piece of him but is held back by other wrestlers. William Regal shows up and says this isn’t the way to do it. Strong asks what is he supposed to do when Roode disrespected his family? Regal says this isn’t the way to go about things, he has to be a professional. Strong just wants to know what he has to do and Regal says his hands are tied. It will be McIntyre vs. Roode at Takeover: Brooklyn. Strong leaves in disgust and Regal obviously looks unhappy that he had to do that.
We get a vignette for The Street Profits again and they will be debuting next week.
Sonya Deville vs. Jenna Van Bemel
Van Bemel is much bigger than Deville and Deville starts off the match by toying with her and showing how much quicker she is. Deville shoots her into the ropes and comes back with a clothesline. Van Bemel ends up on the apron and grabs Deville’s neck over the top rope. Deville recovers quick though and takes some shots on Van Bemel and tells her that she’s in Deville’s world now. Van Bemel fights back and hits an avalanche splash in the corner but before Van Bemel can do anything, Deville catches her in a triangle armbar submission and Van Bemel has to tap out.
Winner: Sonya Deville
K-Tank’s Take: Not much to this one. Good to see another woman built up though. I miss Peyton Royce. And Eva Marie.
We go backstage now with Hideo Itami who is asked what prompted his new attitude. He says no one, including Ohno, is showing him respect. So why should he show anyone respect, especially Ohno. He starts to talk Japanese and the interviewer says that she’s being told we have to go to the ring. Itami grabs the mic instead and walks out to the ring. He continues to talk to Japanese and then when he gets in the ring he demands that the fans show him respect. He doesn’t care who is next. He goes back to the Japanese until the music of Aleister Black hits. Black forgoes his normal entrance into the ring to instead get right in Itami’s face. Itami decides he’s going to back off, but when he gets to the ropes, he turns around to go after Black, but instead is on the wrong end of Black Mass. Black takes a seated position as Itami is down and out.
Aleister Black vs. Kyle O’Reilly
All that leads to Black having a match after a commercial break. O’Reilly obviously comes at a surprise to the crowd and leads to a good reaction. It’s great to see him finally in NXT. Who knew that Black had heat with ReDRagon now that he’s both of their first match. The crowd is hyped now for this as both men show respect by hitting fists. Both men look for kick strikes early and then KOR goes for a double leg takedown. Black avoids it and they end up in the ropes and get a clean break. KOR catches a kick from Black and goes for a couple palm strikes but Black avoids it and goes for a front face lock. KOR gets out quickly and ends up getting Black in a triangle choke. Black manages to get out and starts to work on the left arm. KOR finally gets out and nails Black with a forearm but Black sweeps the leg on KOR and goes to his seated position as KOR tries to recover. KOR comes with a kick but Black leans back to miss it. KOR comes off the ropes and gets nailed with a knee to the gut as we go to commercial.
We return with Black coming off the top rope but KOR moves. Black lands on his feet and hits KOR with a kick to the chest. He goes for a pin but KOR kicks out. They end up in the corner where they trade shots until Black hits a boot right to the face. He goes for a suplex but KOR blocks it. KOR comes at Black with multiple kicks and strikes and then sweeps out the legs from Black. He hits a flying forearm smash in the corner and then a back suplex. KOR locks on an Achilles Lock and both men start trading slaps. Black kicks his way out of the hold with his free leg. Both men up and KOR does an arm wrench on Black that sends him to the mat face first. KOR cartwheels out of the way from a Black kick and now is looking for his cross arm breaker known as Armageddon. Black ends up stacking up KOR for a pin to get the hold broken. KOR goes to a bodyscissors now and strikes Black in the back of the head. Dueling chants from the crowd as both men get up and trade kicks. KOR hammerlocks the left arm of Black and goes to work on it. He drives a knee down on that arm as we go to another commercial.
We return with KOR still having that hammerlock on. Black yells at KOR to hit him, which KOR obliges. Black with a kick right under the chin and then a snap suplex. He drives a knee right into the chest of KOR and goes for a pin but KOR is out at two. KOR ends up on the apron and twists Black’s arm over the top rope. KOR continues to work on that left arm. He has what basically amounts to a cobra clutch on Black. Black hits some knees, which allows him to break the hold. Both men trade strikes but Black gets the better of it and then hits a forearm in the corner and a standing lionsault. Black lifts KOR by his boot for the Black Mass but KOR turns it into the Ankle Lock. Black gets out and goes for the lionsault again but KOR kicks him in the back of the thighs to stop that. KOR lays out Black with a stomp to the back of the head but Black somehow kicks out. Black is now the one to block a suplex attempt and KOR goes for that stomp again but Black moves. They trade kicks and hit them in stereo at one point. KOR with a jumping knee strike and this time hits that stomp again. Black looks out on his feet, but as KOR comes at him, Black Mass out of nowhere!!
Winner: Aleister Black
K-Tank’s Take: What a match!! It started with 17 minutes left in the show and ended about a minute before conclusion, so 16 minutes with two breaks. I hate the commercial breaks on this show, but that’s a story for another time. Even in defeat, that’s one hell of a debut for O’Reilly. The crowd took him seriously and he gave Black one hell of a fight. We’re just missing one now… BAY BAY. As for Black, it looks like it’ll be him vs. Itami at Takeover as WWE.com posted a video of them continuing what happened in the ring, backstage after the show. Kinda surprising that Ohno is being dropped just like that. Black is great in everything he does and I think NXT has some big plans for him.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back for next week where they have announced No Way Jose vs. Andrade Almas. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!