Well, last week officially marked the end of my CRZ-like Cal Ripkin-like streak of recaps. And you might think, "well, since there wasn't a recap, I probably didn't miss much." That's a stupid thought; you should probably feel bad about having it. Go to your room and think about what you've done. Last week's show was one of, if not the best since Dallas. It had three excellent matches, and you should definitely go back and catch it if you skipped last week.
Anyhoo, the real story this week is the CWC final, which is being discussed in some other thread (The W), but NXT this week really seemed geared not to try and steal any thunder. It's a solid show, but as we'll see in a second, pretty sedate, all things considered.
The show starts of with Samoa Joe. His loss has made him reflect on what he's done so far, and he has to agree that he was a disgrace as champ. He ruined a lot of good friendships, but it was worth it, because of how important being the champion of NXT is to him. So he calls out Nakamura, so that, like a man, he can formally request his rematch, face to face. Of course Nakamura obliges (eventually. This guy!). Joe even concedes that Nakamura is a worthy champion, and offers the handshake of friendship. Well, that was pretty unlike Joe, I have to say.
Moving on, ... oh, shit, wait! As Nakamura makes his way up the ramp, Joe runs back out and clobbers him. Nakamura tries to fight back, but Joe hoists him up and delivers an urinage half across the ring steps. It looks legit painful. They do a full injury angle here, with both Regal and Graves coming over to check on Nakamura while Damage Control preps him for a full stretcher job. By the way, I love the fact that when a champ goes out on a stretcher, they send the belt with him. That's great. Anyhoo, the injury becomes the story for the episode, with the whole "hushed voices" treatment and everything. Regal attempts to confront Joe, but as Regal makes his way outside, Joe speeds away in an SUV, presumably flipping Regal off as he goes. It's a pretty effective segment.
Back to the ring, I guess we're going to cool down a bit, as Liv Morgan - I'm sorry, c'mon. More Liv Morgan? - is going to be taking on Rachel Fazio, who is actually Rachel Ellering, and I assume they just don't want to associate her with her father just yet. It's...a pretty terrible match, actually. They are not clicking, at all, and half the stuff either of them is throwing is landing about a foot in front of the other one. I'm not sure who's to blame - maybe both of them! Match is mercifully put out of it's misery when Liv hits a DDT into a guillotine choke submission. Match Rating: Pretty Terrible, Actually.
Afterwards, they give Liv a mic. I feel pretty confident that making a wrestler talk right after a match is some kind of bizarre wrestling punishment. Liv does her best, and manages to gasp out a half decent promo calling out Asuka, claiming that Liv is the last woman standing in the division. Not only is this patently untrue, I'm pretty sure it leads to Liv getting absolutely killed next week.
Next up is a palette cleanser. Drew Gulak, of CWC fame, is taking on Hideo Itami. This is easily the match of the night, inexplicably not going into the main event slot, but we'll talk about that later. To start, Gulak and Itami play a little keepaway, trying to avoid locking up while they feel each other out. Once they finally tie up, Gulak delivers a slap to Itami's face, which, as it turns out, isn't a great idea. Itami returns it with interest, then a pair of running knees to the midsection, then a pair of shoot kicks. He follows that up with his always delightful scuff kick, and just generally works Gulak over for a while. Gulak tries to get back in with a double palm strike, but Itami keeps stalling out his attempts at offense, until Gulak is able to hit a dropkick. That puts him in control, and he follows up with a body slam into the ropes. He goes to the mat, which is his strong suit, and locks in a toe hold, and then a sort of double armwrench. Itami escapes, so Gulak transitions into a back suplex. He's feeling pretty confident now, so he lays in some strikes, but that just fires Itami up. Dudes should watch Itami's matches - this is a matter of public record. Itami fires back, then hits his strike combo, the hesitation dropkick, and as the crowd screams for it, the GTS. That's three. Match Rating: Itami Should Just Fight All Of The CWC Guys.
The Authors of Pain are out next to squash Some Jobbers. The match starts, and we got some clubberin' Tony. Eventually, they pull the other guy into the ring and stuff powerbomb him, then the side Russian legsweep combo. Match Rating: Authors? More Like Ascension! Am I Right? Am I Right?
Seriously, less is more with these guys.
P10 gets interviewed in a hallway, or maybe Regal's office. His star is on the rise, and everybody's going to realize he is, and always has been, a perfect 10. Tye Dillinger is the kind of guy who makes me wish NXT had a mid-level title.
Tonight's actual main event is No Way Jose vs. Bobby Roode, and okay, let's talk, The Internet. Bobby Roode has a great theme song, and he's reprising Shane Douglas's "Franchise" character, which is always fun, but frankly he's a mediocre wrestler. Always has been. He's always been the second best guy in any team he's been a part of. I don't hate him, but we can't keep pretending he's better than he is. Meanwhile, across the ring from this mediocre talent with a great gimmick, is NWJ, a super-super-mega green guy with a fun gimmick. Outside of his dance moves and his punches, NWJ's got nothin'. So, this match is about as good as it can be, which is slightly below average. Roode's regular entrance does have him standing on a rotating disc, which is fun, but it's all downhill from there. Roode's got a nice delay suplex, and NWJ busts out an airplane spin into a TKO, but this match is dull. Finish is an Impaler DDT from Roode, which is definitely a step up from the Glorious Bomb. Match Rating: Please Don't Kill Me For Not Liking Bobby Roode.
Oh, hey, I didn't mention that they kept doing progress reports on Nakamura the whole night. I like the old school "he's really hurt" vibe they got from this, and it moved the ball forward on our main event storyline without really pulling focus from the CWC finale later on. This was a solid episode of storytelling, but if you wanted matches, last week was your show.
Oh, no. you. DIDN'T! Geez, the gimmick was so awful! I really think that's the reason Holly continues to get pushes to this day. Every time he sinks past a certain point, he clears his throat and gently reminds Vince about Sparky Plugg and the MX...