WWE NXT 04/12/17 is the first episode to air of the tapings from Full Sail after WrestleMania weekend. Ahead of this I know we’re getting some farewells, some TakeOver Orlando fallout, and apparently a new opening sequence and theme song. I’m bracing myself already. Let’s get to the recap.
WWE NXT 04/12/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
New NXT open, new theme, and we’re taped from Full Sail (originally taped 04/05/17). I like the new opening credits, not much of a fan of the new theme song. Also, the “heading to break / back from break” bumper music sounds like menu music from a N64 WWE game. Hmm. Anyway, Phillips welcomes us to the show and Aleister Black’s music hits.
So, the Nosferatu entrance isn’t just for Takeover shows since he does it here. He’s facing Corey Hollis – a man with zero chance.
Match #1: Aleister Black vs. Corey Hollis
True to form, once the match hits – one Black Mass Kick and Hollis is out. Black gets the immediate pin.
Verdict: Thumbs in the Middle – Too many squashes like this are what drove me away from NXT last year. I get why they did with this Black here, but I’d like to see him work an actual match soon.
Post-match, Black sits cross-legged in the ring and looks ominous.
Next, we see footage of Tye Dillinger debuting on SmackDown. Meanwhile, Kayla is backstage with Tye and congratulates him on joining the SmackDown roster. Tye says he still has unfinished business at NXT, so he spoke to William Regal. Tye says that Regal granted him a match on next week’s show against Eric Young. Tye adds that the match will be a cage match to prevent the SAnitY “numbers game” from playing a factor.
Later tonight? Drew McIntyre debuts against Oney Lorcan.
Up next? DIY will be in action.
Later tonight? We say farewell to Shinsuke Nakamura.
Back from break, DIY make their entrance. Their opponents are already in the ring.
Match #2: DIY vs. Dylan Miley & Michael Blaze
You can tell from the way this match is shot and produced that WWE has future plans for Miley. The man is just massive and gets to manhandle DIY for a bit here. Of course, the match is merely here to tell Miley’s story, so once Blaze tags in, DIY goes to work on him. The rest of the match is inconsequential as DIY handle Blaze easily and put him away with their finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m intrigued where this Dylan Miley stuff goes after the post-match segment and “exclusive” WWE.com video.
Post-match, Miley goes insane and beats the living crap out of Blaze while the crowd chants “delete”. Not shown on the broadcast, is Blaze in the trainer’s room getting looked at. Miley comes in and is freaked out that he hurt Blaze and is pleading with him to be okay. Interesting.
Next, our announce team sends us to a video package on Ember Moon. We see Ember walking around the empty arena after TakeOver looking depressed. By the end of the video, Ember vows to be the one who dethrones Asuka.
Up next? Ruby Riot.
Next week? EY vs. Tye in a cage!
Back from break, Ruby Riot is out. We get a picture-in-picture “earlier today” promo from Ruby where she talks about having issue with Nikki Cross and SAnitY. Ruby also says that she’s here to become NXT Women’s Champion. Kimberly “Kimber Lee” Frankele is out next. I’m kind of surprised they’re burning this match here.
Match #3: Ruby Riot vs. Kimberly Frankele
Almost immediately, Nikki Cross is out at ring side and banging on the barricade to distract Ruby. That allows Kimberly to get a little bit of offense in. Despite Cross literally swinging from the ring post, Ruby is able to hit a wind-up Pele kick for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m all over a Ruby Riot & Nikki Cross program so I’ll forgive the distraction laden match with Kimberly here.
Post-match, Cross leaves without incident.
Up next? Lorcan vs. McIntyre.
During the break, a hype vignette for the Authors of Pain airs. Kind of strange the tag team champs need a random hype video.
Back from break, we see Billie Kay wandering around the Performance Center by way of Peyton Royce live-streaming it. After a Norman Smiley and Kassius Ohno cameo, we focus on Liv Morgan and Aliyah talking to a trainer. Billie and Peyton start to harass Aliyah, which leads to Liv shoving Billie Kay into a tub of water. Billie flails around and eventually a trainer helps her out.
Meanwhile back in the arena, Lorcan is out for his match. Drew McIntyre enters last and gets a nice ovation. I’ve seen people complaining about his entrance theme, but it seems fine to me. I missed McIntyre’s first run in WWE so I have nothing to really compare it to.
Match #4: Oney Lorcan vs. Drew McIntyre
A glorified squash match. I call it “glorified” because Lorcan gets in way more offense than any other losing wrestler gets in on this episode. But, like almost everything else on this week’s show, this match is clearly here to get someone new over. McIntyre fights out of a Tree of Woe, hits a few power moves on Oney, and then puts him away with a single leg dropkick.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A solid enough debut for McIntyre. With NXT thinned out a bit, I can see why WWE likely has big plans for McIntyre on the yellow brand.
Post-match, Dasha interviews McIntyre on the ramp. He claims he’s built up a reputation and could have gone anywhere – but he chose to come to NXT.
Up next? Goodbye, Nakamura!
Back from break, Nakamura’s music hits and he makes his entrance at Full Sail for the last time. After a huge Nakamura chant, Shinsuke puts over his time at NXT and thanks the fans for the experience. He says he’ll “always be NXT, because we are NXT! Yeaoh!”.
Nakamura’s music hits again and the roster (save Roode and some of the heels) come out to give him a standing ovation and send off. Nakamura heads up the ramp and bows to William Regal. Finn Balor makes a cameo and hugs Nakamura as we go off the air.