Okay, this episode was hot like fire, so probably I'd better get right into it. I mean, right after I take a second to complain about the new theme song again. Geez, it doesn't even rhyme! Who okayed this piece of shit?!
Anyhoo, moving on, we start out with Nikki Cross storming the ring. She heads out to where the ring announcer is hanging out, and rather than taking the mic from her, just leans down into her lap to call out Ruby Riot. Hey, listen to her, she just wants to be friends! Well, Ruby's more than happy to oblige her, so out she comes, sporting a snazzy Rockabilly look. The fans want these two to fight, and so they do. But not for long; a ref squad is out in short order to split them up, but the ladies aren't making it easy. In fact, Cross goes up top and dives out of the ring onto Ruby and a whole mess of refs. It takes three refs per lady to do it, but eventually they get these two pulled apart.
Let me tell you, I don't know if I've ever seen two opponents with such immediate in-ring chemistry. This is the women's version of Rock/Austin, and it's my number one feud in all of wrestling right now.
Bobby Roode's backstage. He feels that Itami's attack last week was cowardly, but he's more than willing to face him in the ring. Just not for the title.
Back out to the ring, we have the first of our scheduled big matches; Andrade Almas takes on Drew McIntyre. Almas' theme song is awesome, because it lets you know that el Idolo, la Sombra is coming to the ring. Drew's song is shit, because it lets you know that some dude who likes bad heavy metal is here. A pro wrestler who's into heavy metal? How novel. Anyhoo, this really isn't much of a match, it's more of a squash. Almas starts off Tranquilo, but Drew is considerably less so, and mostly winds up wailing on Almas with chops and knees. Almas briefly takes control, but instead of landing some big moves, he opts to taunt Drew, which enrages him to the point where he murders Almas dead with the Claymore. Match Rating: Is WWE Calling It That? Nobody's Called It Anything Yet.
Backstage again, GM Regal decides that Riot and Cross should settle things later tonight in a one-on-one match. Outstanding!
Next is a...Roderick Strong package? Well, okay, I guess I'll just get my pillow ready and curl up here. This is nice, just relaxing and drifting...wait, what! That cant' be what I just heard? Strong's mom shot his dad! That's nuts! Okay, what else you got? His way of rebelling against the instability of his family was to be boring and normal? Strong bottles up all his emotions because his family situation made him afraid to express himself? The only place he's ever been comfortable to be himself was in the ring? I, uh, maybe owe Roddy a little bit of an apology. I feel like I understand this dude a lot better now.
I mean, I'm not sure I find him any more exciting, I just "get" him now.
We're following up those shocking revelations with Kona Reeves vs. Aleister Black. Black's music is alright, I guess, but I really feel like he should be coming out to some kind of Sisters of Mercy knockoff. I feel like that's the correct branding. Anyhoo, Kona tries real hard, but all he gets for his efforts is knocked around a bit and a Black Mass to end it. Match Rating: I Don't Know, I'm Just On A Real Theme Music Kick This Week.
Backstage, Rockabilly Riot wants us to know that she doesn't like SAnitY because they try to tell people what to do, and not doing what people tell her is her whole gimmick. She wants to end this thing with Cross tonight, which is your cue that she will not be ending this thing with Cross tonight.
One of our lovely mic stands tries to catch up with Andrade Almas after his big loss tonight, but he's too busy piling into a limo with about a half dozen young ladies. They've apparently got a big night out planned. The mic stand is invited to join them, but she declines.
Almas' gimmick is that he's too interested in partying with the ladies to care about his wrestling matches, and I just now realized they're using Almas to take a shot at Del Rio. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I guess, it depends on if they wind up doing something worthwhile with el Idolo or not. Don't waste this guy.
Anyhoo, Riot's out for her match, but Cross don't wait for the bell. Or for Ruby to actually get to the ring, for that matter, as she jumps her from behind. These two absolutely brutalize each other around the ringside area, including Riot snap suplexing Cross on the ramp. The refs are out again, but it's nothing doing this time. They keep going, culminating in Riot hitting a monster splash off the stage onto Cross and like three refs. The camera is positioned perfectly for it, too. I hope it makes the show opening. The refs finally get Riot out, but it takes four refs picking Cross up by her arms and legs to carry her out. She's still snapping at them, too. Cross is a rockstar.
Number one feud in wrestling!
We rejoin GM Regal backstage, who has Asuka present to let her know that the next #1 contender will be chosen in a battle royale next week. Asuka believes that is as lazy as I do, and rolls her eyes accordingly.
All right graps fans, it's time for our main event, as Tyler Bate defends the UK championship against Jack Gallagher, in what promises to be a high water mark for British comedy wrestling. I assume Regal is glued to a monitor backstage. Bate's sporting a new look, which is more in sync with what you'd expect from an indy wrestler these days - undersized, beardy, good hand, all check. We get a classy handshake to start, then Bate moves right into a wristlock, but Gallagher reverses it. Bate switches it into a headlock, but the Extraordinary Gentleman handwalks his way out as we have seen him do before. Jack goes to a full nelson, but Bate does a leverage-y escape with his leg, only to have Gallagher pick the ankle and go back to the wristlock. He ties up Bate with his submission-reclining-into-pin for two, then follows up with a headlock takeover. They go into a pin reversals spot next, ending up with the two of them in a bit of a standoff. Gentleman Jack goes once more to the wristlock, working over the arm with some knee strikes and stomps as well, but Bate is able to get back to his feet and counter with a monkey flip. Jack holds on, though, and comes back with some kind of extremely complicated-looking hold, which I actually find myself at a loss for words describing. It goes into a cover for two, however, and when Bate kicks out he maneuvers into a test of strength, which he gets the better of. He goes for another monkey flip, but when Gallagher holds on, Gallagher comes back with a monkey flip of his own, then both of them bridge up! That's a fun spot! Back to their feet, and it's Bop and Bang to Gallagher, which sets Bate up for a massive German suplex. He does a cool thing where he bridges off his knees, and I've never seen that before. That's good for two, so he goes for a snap suplex, but Gallagher counters into what looks like double wristlock, but instead it's the Jim Breaks special! You knew we weren't getting out of this match without a Jim Breaks. Bate powers it back into the suplex to escape, then forearms Gallagher so hard he falls out of the ring. Bate's not native to NXT, but he knows where the Danger Zone is. However, as he winds up for the Big Dive, Jack Gallagher catches him coming out of the ring with a headbutt! Then, he gets back in the ring, and delivers another headbutt! That gets another two count, but let's be real, that headbutt really ought to be his finisher. Gallagher hits a pair of European uppercuts, and goes back to the Jim Breaks, but he can't hold on. He tries to Irish whip Bate, I believe trying to set him up for the Gentleman's Dropkick, but Bate reverses it, and hits the spinning front heel kick. We all know what's next, and sure enough, a Tyler Driver '97 picks up the win for the champion. Match Rating: Fair Graps-y.
Whew. Nothing quite as good as last week's cage match, but everything on this show was money. Even the Almas stuff, which I'm still a little up in the air on, and even the Roderick Strong stuff, can you believe that? NXT finally feels like it's back on track.
The Cross/Ruby feud should end with a bloody steel cage match. Now, it will end with a 15 minute match full of rest holds for no reason. Honestly, this feud should be good for both of them. The women's division just more than Asuka who seems completely bored.
I have to say I was sorely disappointed by the glorified squash between Drew and Andrade, as I was looking forward to that match all week.
Originally posted by TenkenAlmas' gimmick is that he's too interested in partying with the ladies to care about his wrestling matches, and I just now realized they're using Almas to take a shot at Del Rio.
As much as I enjoyed ADR in the ring, Andrade has far more charisma outside and should really be used as something more than material to take potshots at a guy no longer with the company. I'm all in on EL IDOLO! I'm hoping the company can get in as well.
The Ruby/Nikki stuff was fire, especially how Nikki had to be physically carried out by FOUR people.
Who in the hell came up with "Christy St. Cloud?" Like, can we choose something a little less pornstar-y? Anyway, from the brief glimpse of Christy, man, she has a lot of work to do on her craft.
Aleister Black's latest showing was okay, I guess. I liked the strikes offense into the meditation stance. I still don't see what the big deal is about this guy, but I suppose that's what NXT is for. That finisher is cheeks. It's 2017 and I don't buy a roundhouse heel kick as a finisher.
Bate/Gallagher felt like the first 10 minutes of a 20+ minute match. The finish was really abrupt, and I thought it took away from the match.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!