NXT was back in Full Sail this week to really kick off the aftermath of NXT Takeover: Chicago. The show began with a brand new theme song. That’s a shame, I was enjoying the new one, and I really miss the old one. Anyway, this show did not waste anytime getting things started, as Tommaso Ciampa made his way down the the ring.
Ciampa came down on crutches and to the sound of mostly boos instead entrance music. Some chanted “Psycho Killer” at the beginning, but by the end, everyone loathed this man. He called Johnny Gargano down to the ring in order to explain himself, but he swerved us all by revealing that Gargano was not there. Fans chanted “Why, Ciampa, Why?” at him, and, well, here’s why: it all began when Ciampa suffered an injury at a live event just before Takeover. This did really happen, by the way, hence why he came down on crutches. He asked the crowd if they wanted to see Ciampa replace Gargano, then states that he knows all about being replaced. After he suffered an injury, fans were already eager to see if Gargano would replace Ciampa. He claimed that he did not want to hurt his best friend, but he knew that Johnny would replace him in an instant.
He said that knew that he injured himself really badly during the ladder match at Takeover, and he was going to be out for a long time because of it. He tried anyway, but knew that he was going away. See, if Ciampa had to go, then Gargano had to go. He cannot bare the thought of being replaced! Ciampa said that neither he, nor Johnny was replaceable, but the fans are replaceable. He said he never needed the fans, then added that he wouldn’t give a sob story about training hard to come back stronger than ever, because he is already the best in NXT. Then he said that he is professional wrestling where we all like it or not. Well, this was no freak-decision that he immediately ended up regretting. Alas, #DIY is truly no more. This was excellent though, and we will see the match take place… many months in the future. In Ciampa’s defense, Gargano considering a replacement for a man who calls himself a “psycho killer” may not have been the best move on his part.
Pete Dunne vs. Danny Burch was advertised for later in the show, they aired a quick video package for Burch.
Bobby Roode’s GLORIOUS CELEBRATION… never happened. It was advertised for this week’s show, but instead Roode shot a video, informing us that we were not invited. He did reveal that NXT is still his show, he will be back next week.
Danny Burch vs. “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne –
Like most UK matches, this match started out with some finger-related holds. Pete Dunne had the match of the year in WWE at Takeover, in my opinion. However, Danny Burch has appeared on this show a few different times, and he has been very impressive every time. He actually got a crazy amount of offense in on the UK Champion. Burch went for a crossface early on, but Dunne got the ropes. Then he hit a missile drop kick and began to power up. He gave Dunne and exploder and almost got the win.
Dunne may be the best in the world in terms of near-falls. Every pin attempt sort of makes you wonder at that very last moment if he’s going to kick out. Burch didn’t rest, he hit Dunne with a headbutt for another near-fall. A HEADBUTT! Finally, Dunne regained momentum when he used a snap suplex, then went for a kick in the corner. He got a near-fall out of it. He kicked Burch in the head, and ran the ropes only to run into a massive clothesline from Burch. Burch picked him up and gave him a draping DDT to the canvas for another near-fall, which may have been a bit of overkill for me. Danny Burch set up for a boot in the corner, but Dunne countered with a suplex. At last, he hit the Bitter End for the pinfall victory. Well, that was surprisingly entertaining. This Pete Dunne guy is on a hot streak!
Winner: “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne
After the match, Dunne cut a promo saying that he had to watch a “boy” hold his title since January., and the UK brand officially began when he won the championship. This was strange since I haven’t heard the announcers mention the UK show in a while. That whole show is reportedly in jeopardy. Whatever happens though, I pray that they keep guys like Dunne and Burch around for good.
Kayla Braxton interviewed the Velveteen Dream backstage. Oh joy. He refused to do an interview, but he promised to fix everything in NXT. Only then would he consider speaking to her.
A video package aired with Paul Ellering yacking on again about “the prophecy” and “destiny”. He alerted us that the “Book of Pain” has been closed, but the “Book of Dominance” has just begun. Dominance? Now? Seems odd that is starts now after the whole being undefeated for a year thing.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Cezar Bononi –
Bononi is tall! Other than that, nothing he did really stood out much. Almas absolutely destroyed Bononi was stiff shots to his entire body throughout this match. Percy Watson criticized Almas for being too focused on partying after his matches again. Nigel McGuinness then pointed out that before becoming an announcer, Watson wrestled as “Showtime” Percy Watson, and his gimmick was literally that he did nothing but party. I love it when the announcer we’re all supposed to root against makes valid points. Almas slapped Bononi hard in the face as he sat in the corner. Bononi got almost no offense in, but when Andrade went for a suplex, Cezar powered out and used a small package to score his first ever win.
Almas was immediately upset by this, he started throwing chairs around the ring and he then he made a puss. That all changed in an instant though, because after Bononi left, Andrade seemed to forget all about it. He put on a big smile and left the ring quickly as he headed to the back, presumably for another night of craaazy, wild partying.
Winner: Cezar Bononi
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have someone film them over at the Performance Center. I have no idea why, they didn’t do or say anything except introduce themselves. Well this was done because Ember Moon made her way past the “Iconic” duo. They teased her for being injured, but suddenly a doctor came forward with a clipboard and some paperwork. Moon signed the papers, looked at the Australians with a devious grin, and the two ladies knew that they don’ messed up, bigly.
They showed a video of Hideo Itami coming back through the curtain after losing to Bobby Roode at Takeover. He was enraged and destroyed one of the locker rooms as Oney Lorcan, Funaki, and Kassius Ohno tried to calm him down. Itami swore at Ohno for like an incredibly long amount of time. Maybe he used Japanese curse words and they’re longer than American ones. If that’s the case, I’ve got some Google Translating to do. Anyway, they showed Itami and Ohno shaking hands in the parking lot from earlier that day, and the announcers assured us that they are on the same page. Without revealing any spoilers, I can pretty much confidently proclaim that THEY ARE NOT ON THE SAME PAGE!
Kassius Ohno & Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe –
Eric Young was in there for the majority of the match, but all of the male members of SAnitY factored into the match. For the first half or so, Ohno wrestled the match and was pretty much dominated by Young and Wolfe the entire time. For the other half of the match, Strong came in with great momentum and had better luck taking on the SAnitY members than Ohno did. He pretty much ran wild for the entire time that he was in there, but eventually Young tagged back in and gained the upper hand. Ohno was being beaten down by Wolfe while Young took care of Strong in the ring. Killian Dain then stood on the ring apron, and it appeared that the three-on-two advantage would mark the end for the team. Surprise! No Way Jose made his return to NXT, he attacked Dain and the other SAnitY members that put him on the shelf for… wait, what? Two months! Seriously? And he was actually fine the entire time? Huh, interesting. Strong then immediately hit Young with a backbreaker for the victory.
Winners: Roderick Strong & Kassius Ohno
SAnitY went to the back defeated while our three heroes triumphantly celebrated in the ring together. Not a bad edition of the show! So what will happen with #DIY now? Where do they go now with the SAnitY faction? Will they actually have a women’s match on next week’s show? What does Bobby Roode have in store next week? Will Andrade “Cien” Almas be too hungover to even bother showing up to work? We’ll find out next week on what promises to be another thrilling edition of NXT. See you next time.