WWE NXT 03/29/17 is the go home show for NXT TakeOver Orlando. It also wraps up the most recent set of tapings from UCF. Tonight we’re going to see Heavy Machinery in action, a triple threat featuring one member of each tag team in the TakeOver tag triple threat, and Kassius Ohno taking on Elias Samson in a “loser leaves NXT” match. This also marks the last opportunity for WWE to announce any last-minute additions to the TakeOver card. Considering Tye Dillinger and SAnitY are currently unbooked I expect something to be made official there. Let’s get to the recap.
WWE NXT 03/29/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from UCF (originally taped at UCF on 02/22/17).
Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson open the show and hype up TakeOver this Saturday. Since I’m back on the NXT train, I’ll be recapping TakeOver Orlando Saturday night after the show, just FYI.
Later tonight? A loser leaves NXT match between Samson and Ohno.
DIY’s music hits and Johnny Gargano (w/ Tommaso Ciampa) is out. Revival’s music hits next and Dash Wilder (w/ Scott Dawson) is out. AoP’s music hits last, which brings Akam (w/ Rezar & Paul Ellering) out to the ring. Of note, Ciampa and Dawson are in street clothes, but Rezar is dressed in the same “not The Shield” SWAT gear the AoP always wear. I like to imagine they just tool around Orlando in those clothes at all times.
Match #1: Akam (w/ Rezar & Paul Ellering) vs. Dash Wilder (w/ Scott Dawson) vs. Johnny Gargano (w/ Tommaso Ciampa) (Triple Threat Match)
So, The Revival steal the show here. The early stages of the match involve Gargano and Wilder forming a brief union trying to double team Akam to very little effect. Before long, Wilder and Dawson have bailed to the back and have left Gargano to fend for himself. What follows is Akam running roughshod over Gargano, but Johnny Wrestling gradually mounting a comeback by way of some well-timed kicks and a spear through the ropes. After Ciampa and Rezar get into it on the outside, Gargano eats a big powerbomb from Akam, but Dawson re-appears and ring side and grabs Akam’s leg. Meanwhile, Wilder slides in from the other side of the ring and pins the fallen Gargano to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m so glad that they had the Revival do the “crafty heel” thing and win this match. I mean, of course, I’d rather see them do that to win the titles at TakeOver, but I imagine they’re on the short list of guys heading to the main roster, as there is nothing really left for them to do at NXT.
Post-match, the Top Guys flee to the back and leave AoP and DIY to wonder what just happened.
Later tonight? Ember Moon and Asuka will have a contract signing for their match at TakeOver.
Up next? Heavy Machinery will be in action so we get a hype vignette on them before going to break.
During the break, another Aleister Black vignette airs – this one hyping up his debut match at TakeOver on Saturday.
Back from break, Heavy Machinery are out for a match. Already in the ring? Jonathan Ortagun & Mike Marshall.
Match #2: Heavy Machinery vs. Jonathan Ortagun & Mike Marshall
Sigh. It seems like every time an act I’m not a fan of in NXT moves up to the main roster or wins me over, something new I’m not into slides in and takes its place. Heavy Machinery’s gimmick appears to be that these are two big guys who can make funny noises and have a move set that is so limited it makes Mojo Rawley look like a master technical wrestler. I’m sure I’ll end up being on the wrong side of history, as I appear to have been with No Way Jose, but these guys do absolutely nothing for me with this gimmick. They essentially squash Ortagun and Marshall with a bunch of shoulder tackles and a tandem move where they smash a guy between their bellies. Yeah, not feeling this. About the only redeemable thing about this segment for me was Nigel constantly calling Ortagun “Orangutan”.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Heavy Machinery are not for me. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
Next, Regal is in his office with Asuka and Ember Moon for the contract signing. Odd that they chose to do this here and not in the ring, but I suppose they had their reasons. I kept expecting for Regal’s office to get destroyed, but this was possibly the most civil contract signing in NXT history. Asuka and Moon trade verbal barbs, but that’s about it. Asuka clearly doesn’t view Moon as a threat, and Moon feels she’s fated to be the one to end Asuka’s record title reign. I’m really on the fence here and can see this match going either way on Saturday.
Later tonight? “Loser leaves NXT, but will return shortly as Mr. NXT” match.
Up next? A closer look at the Roode vs. Nakamura match on Saturday.
Back from break, we get another stellar video package hyping up the NXT Championship match at TakeOver. This one revolves around Roode watching clips from his Nakamura feud while drinking champagne in a private screening room. On paper, this is one of the more thinly booked title feuds we’ve seen in recent NXT history, so WWE has done a good job of attempting to build this up by way of these video packages. Nice work.
Next, we get a backstage promo from Ellering, with AoP looming in the shadows behind him. Ellering cuts a promo on DIY for believing in fairy tales so the Authors will show them their “yellow brick road from Hell”. Ellering shifts to Revival and essentially says they’re jealous that they don’t have Ellering guiding their careers and the fate of the Top Guys is in the Authors’ hands.
Up next? Kassius takes on a Drifter.
Back from break, we learn that an eight person tag has been booked for TakeOver pitting SAnitY against the team of Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose, Roderick Strong, and Ruby Riot.
Next, Ohno is out first. Samson enters last and doesn’t even play us a song.
Match #3: Kassius Ohno vs. Elias Samson (Loser Leaves NXT Match)
It’s a “loser leaves town” match, so the early stages are both guys attempting quick roll ups and covering the other guy after every move. Samson gets a slight edge by slapping on a crossface, but Ohno is able to eventually get a rope break. Samson loses the advantage by attempting to go “blow for blow” with Ohno which doesn’t work out too well for him. Samson goes for his neckbreaker finisher, but Ohno kicks out. Kassius hits a huge rolling elbow out of nowhere and sends the Drifter packing.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I just haven’t been able to get excited about anything involving Samson. Clearly, the WWE sees something in him since his promotion to the main roster appears to be a done deal, but I still don’t get it. The match here is okay, but it’s strange that Ohno is left with nothing to do at TakeOver now.
Post-match, Samson won’t leave the ring and looks stunned. A second ref comes out and tries to coax him into leaving to no avail. It eventually takes a bunch of security guys to pull him, kicking and screaming, down the aisle. Samson asks for his guitar, which Ohno grabs, and destroys it in front of Samson. This is all fine and good, but it’s incredibly similar to what NXT did with Bo Dallas a few years back, and arguably, Bo Dallas did it better.
Ohno poses with the broken guitar, and breaks it some more, as we go off the air.