NXT – June 21, 2017: That’s Very Clubber Lang of Him

NXT
Date: June 27, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

It’s the last episode of a taping cycle and that means we have a major match to wrap things up as Aleister Black is facing Kassius Ohno in what could be one of the hardest hitting matches we’ve ever seen in NXT. If nothing else Black needs to get a win over a bigger name instead of just beating nobodies time after time. Let’s get to it.

Quick look at the main event.

Opening sequence.

Bobby Roode and Roderick Strong had a backstage altercation earlier today and we’ll see it later.

Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce

I rather enjoy Royce and Billie Kay’s entrance but you can feel the pain coming from here. If nothing else I’m glad we get to hear Ember’s awesome theme again. Ember sends her cowering into the corner to start and hits a running forearm to really take over. An early Eclipse attempt is broken up but Peyton can’t hit a fisherman’s superplex (that’s a new one).

Instead she sends Ember shoulder first into the post and we take a break. Back with Peyton elbowing the bad shoulder like she should be doing. Ember fights up with the good arm but handsprings into a spinning kick to the face. A headscissors staggers Peyton but the threat of an Eclipse makes Billie pull her to the floor. Ember dives onto Kay to take her out and grabs a crucifix for two. Something like a Widow’s Peak (without grabbing the chin) gives Royce two of her own but Ember sends her face first into the buckle. The Eclipse (still looks great) is enough to put Peyton away at 9:01.

Rating: C+. Despite Ember being out for several weeks, the Eclipse still feels like one of the deadliest finishers in NXT. They set up a perfect story with Asuka being worried about that one move and seeing it come back felt like a big moment. Instead of possibly finishing Asuka, that feels like the be all and end all for her reign if Ember can hit it. That’s a great story and the roof is going to come off when she hits it on Asuka.

Hideo Itami comes up to Ohno to kind of apologize for his recent actions. Ohno understands and thinks they should be good to go, but Itami needs to stick on the good side.

Ealy Brothers vs. Sanity

Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe this time. Gabriel and Wolfe start things off with the twin being taken down for an elbow drop from Young. Sanity stays on him with alternating beatings, including Wolfe letting Gabriel get close to his brother and then drag him right back. That’s the kind of heel work I can always go for. A missed charge allows the hot tag off to Uriel, who cleans house for all of five seconds before getting caught in a belly to back suplex/middle rope neckbreaker combination for the pin at 3:21.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here and that’s something Sanity could use at this point. They don’t really have anything to do at this point so letting them squash a good looking team isn’t the worst idea in the world. That’s also a solid finisher which plays off of Young’s wheelbarrow neckbreaker. Nice little piece of business here.

We look back at the end of last week’s show with Asuka and Nikki Cross being left laying. Next week: Last Woman Standing.

Sonya Deville video.

Rachel Evers vs. Sonya Deville

Sonya wastes no time and clotheslines Rachel down for a knee to the back. Another knee to the ribs sets up some kicks in the corner, followed by a quick bodyscissors. The fans get behind Rachel and her right hands but Sonya takes off the glove and pounds away at the ribs. A Kimura makes Rachel tap at 2:42. Another total squash though couldn’t the finish have been something on the ribs, which were worked on all match?

Earlier today, Roode was in a photo shoot when Strong and his family showed up. Roode said Strong’s wife could be with a real man any time she liked and Strong snapped as you might expect. It’s quickly broken up with Roode saying Roderick can have a title shot anytime.

That anytime would be in two weeks on the 400th episode.

Aleister Black vs. Kassius Ohno

Feeling out process to start with Ohno getting a quick takedown for almost no effect. Black sits him on the top rope for about the same impact and it’s back to the technical work. Ohno gets two off a rollup but gets caught in a front facelock. A hammerlock keeps Kassius in trouble but a rope grab gives us a clean break.

The threat of Black Mass sends Ohno outside and it’s the moonsault into the meditation pose. Ohno tries to kick him from there so Black nips up with a knee to the face. Kassius knocks him hard to the floor and we take a break. Back with Ohno chopping away in the corner and dropping a backsplash for two. To really make this personal, Ohno sits down like Black, who doesn’t take kindly to the disrespect.

Ohno pounds away again and asks if Black is good or evil. That’s quite the perceptive question no? Somehow not crushed by the weight of that gut, Black pops up and slugs away, including a kick to the head for two. Another exchange of hard kicks gives Ohno two more as the BOTH THESE GUYS chant starts up. Since that worked so well, Black knees him in the head again for two more. A spinning bicycle kick (cool) gives Ohno two but a LOUD knee to Ohno’s jaw staggers him again. Not that it matters as Ohno loads up the roaring elbow but walks into Black Mass for the pin at 16:47.

Rating: B+. Most matches have a distinct style to them and this one would be “hit each other in the face over and over again”. I had a lot of fun watching this as they were beating the heck out of each other until one of them hit their big shot. It made both guys look especially tough, which is something we hadn’t quite seen out of Black yet with all the short matches he’s had so far.

Overall Rating: B. A return, two squashes, title matches announced for the next two weeks and one heck of a main event in the span of about 58 minutes. I’d certainly call that a success as it felt like an old version of NXT, which is one of the highest compliments I can give to a show. Really solid stuff here and hopefully they stick with this formula.

Results

Ember Moon b. Peyton Royce – Eclipse

Sanity b. Ealy Brothers – Belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combination to Uriel

Sonya Deville b. Rachel Evers – Kimura

Aleister Black b. Kassius Ohno – Black Mass

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