No, shut up, you're late! And I assume you have a very, very good reason for that, and not just because you were incredibly lazy and didn't feel like writing up a recap. I mean reading a recap! Shit, what did I say? It's not important. What is important, is that this week's episode features a Battle Royal for the #1 contender to the women's championship, and it has a secret. Keep reading, and all will be revealed!
Anyhoo, we start the night off with Big Damo and Eric Young. I'll never call him Killian Dain, do you hear me? Damo's out to fight Danny Burch, who I actually like quite a bit, but he's out of his depth here. Especially if he's going to start out with shitty punches like that, yikes. Damo returns fire and messes Burch up, nailing a Wasteland/Senton combo that I believe Nigel called the Belfast Blitz. Burch does score a nice headbutt in here, but otherwise, it's all Damo all the way, right up until an Ulster Plantation scores three. Match Rating: Damo Forever!
Promo vignette for Patric Clarke, who we may now be referring to as Velveteen Dream? I can't believe how long it took me to realize he was doing a Jimmy Hendrix.
Heavy Machinery! Boom Shaka Loo! They're mashing up the two smallest jobbers NXT could find. The finish is pretty rad; Otis picks up BOTH guys, and Fulton reverse Thesz's everyone down into a massive pancake. Match Rating: Boom Shaka Loo! Holy Shit, Fulton's got the mic! They want us to know that Heavy Machinery likes having fun, likes working out, likes eating good food - Steaks and Weights, Baby! - but they're kind of done goofing around, and now they want the Authors of Pain. See, they're hungry, and IT'S ABOUT TIME THEY ATE!
That was everything I could have dreamed. NXT should just be an hour of these two every week.
Oh, shit, it's DIY! Remember them? They, uh, kind of fell off the face of the earth after the title match. Anyhoo, they're backstage, but they heard Heavy Machinery, and while they agree that Heavy Machinery are two very large men, they still believe that DIY is owed a one-on-one, uh, sorry, two-on-two rematch for the titles.
Kona Reeves is out to face Hideo Itami, and this one is more or less academic, but there's some good stuff, too. First off, the story going in is that Bobby Roode's been in Reeves' ear, trying to give him the advantage. So Reeves attacks Itami before the bell, and Itami winds up having a hard time getting out of the blocks. We haven't seen much more than squashes out of Kona Reeves, but what we've seen is really promising. He's got good movement and presence, and I like his punches. With a good gimmick, this guy could really go places. Anyhoo, Itami eventually gets fired up, nails a pair of clotheslines, then strikes the shit out of poor Kona, leading into a hesitation dropkick and a GTS. Match Rating: It Turns Out That I've Really, Really Missed Hideo Itami.
Package for Drew Galloway. Uh, McIntyre. Man, I am having so much trouble with this, and I never even really saw him perform as Galloway. It's just that, by now, he was Galloway longer than McIntyre, and I'm having trouble adjusting.
Anyhoo, it's time to answer the question; Who is Roderick Strong? Last week's package gave us a lot of great insight as to Strong's motivations, and a mess of shocking revelations about his past. This week? Not so much. It's a good thing they ran the one last week, because if they only had this week's package, the answer to "who is Roderick Strong" becomes "a jar of mayonnaise wearing a backwards baseball cap." This one is, uh, not great.
We try to wash that away by joining GM Regal in his office with Bobby Roode. Roode's trying really hard to duck a title defense at Takeover, but Regal interprets that as Roode demanding his challenger earn their opportunity, so he pits Itami against Strong next week to decide the #1 contender.
Sounds good by me, but first we need to find out who's fighting Asuka. It's Battle Royal time, and would you like to know the secret? The secret is, NXT's women's roster is actually amazingly deep. In this match, as incidental competitors (probably because they haven't finalized all the contracts yet, or possibly because some of them are still in a "try out" phase) Kimber Lee, Sarah Bridges (aka Mary Dobson), Rachel Evers (nee Ellering), and Candice frickin' LeRae. I know we've seen most of them before, but think about that field. That's on top of our regular weekly competitors, and we've got a couple of new girls that I'm not sure if we've seen before tonight - Lacy Evans, Bianca Blair, and Victoria Gonzales, who is super tall and who I just assume is somehow related to the Giant Gonzalez because of that fact. The match gets underway, and there's not much I can do besides track the eliminations at this point. Gonzalez and Blair are the first out, eliminated by the Aussie Mean Girl Squad. Aliyah takes out Evers and get huge boos for it, then Liv eliminates Bridges. The AMGS send Lacy and Daria out, and Ruby Riot finally manages to score an elimination by sending Kimber to the floor. Candace gets sent to the back courtesy of the AMGS, and now we're down to the women we more or less expected. Mercifully, Nikki Cross dumps Aliyah (to massive cheers), and then Liv, making Cross our greatest hero and surprisingly getting the field down to the five women most qualified to challenge. Ember Moon does the honors of sending out both members of the AMGS, which means that we have managed to get down to the three most qualified women.
Business really picks up, here. Cross nails a cross-body (ha) to Riot, but eats a dropkick from Moon. Moon sends her in to the turnbuckle, but Cross counters with a massive forearm shot. Cross muscles Moon up to the top and tries to dump her, but Riot comes rushing in and nails Cross with her spot where she uses her legs to drag Cross's head into the turnbuckle. Moon pops up at this point and forearms Riot, then heads up top and hits the Eclips on Cross! Then, Moon's got some kicks for Riot, followed by the handspring forearm in the corner, and - no wait! It's Asuka! She dumps Moon off the top, then sends her outside into the barricade, hard. Then it's into the ring, and a roundhouse for Riot and a Shining Wizard for Cross! It's carnage! Asuka takes a victory lap to celebrate. Match Rating: Kind Of Hard To Call This One, Honestly. Let's Say, P. Good.
Afterwards, our fallen competitors are trying to pull themselves back together, although Nikki Cross is willing to spare a moment to laugh at Ember Moon curled up on the floor. GM Regal will not allow this to stand, however. He's out to announce that now, as a result of Asuka's actions, at Takeover, she will defend her championship in a Fatal 4-Way! Yeah, that'll probably be all right.
Woof. Sorry, for real, about how late this is, but better late than never. Next week is Itami and Strong, and I highly recommend that we all take the time to catch that one.