WWE NXT 05/03/17 features Hideo Itami in action. After a pair of injury set-backs, Itami finally appears to be getting a shot at the NXT Championship in the near future. Let’s get to the recap.
WWE NXT 05/03/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
Standard NXT open and we’re taped from Full Sail (originally taped 04/19/17).
Later tonight? Hideo Itami vs. Kona Reeves.
Even later tonight? A #1 Contender Battle Royal to determine who will face Asuka at TakeOver Chicago later this month.
SAnitY’s music hits to open the show, but the group is fractured this week as only Eric Young and Killian Dain are out. We do see Nikki Cross later on in the show, so I guess Alexander Wolfe got stuck in “slam dance” mode and they had to leave him in the back until the techs could reset him. Danny Burch is out next. Good luck, Danny.
Match #1: Killian Dain (w/ Eric Young) vs. Danny Burch
The announcers play up Burch’s abilities and name drop him being in the UK tournament. Burch even gets in a small amount of offense, but Dain is decidedly never in peril. Killian shatters any dreams Burch had of winning with a running dropkick. From there the Ulster Plantation gets Dain an easy three count.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – SAnitY seems directionless right now with the Dillinger stuff over and apparently no plans to use the faction in the tag division. At least they’re still on TV unlike Luke Harper. Yeah, that still stings. Sue me.
Earlier today, Hideo Itami shows up for work.
Back from break, a Patrick Clark vignette airs. He’s now apparently known as “Velveteen Dream”. Uh… okay. As weird as that sounds, it probably is a better name for this character than “Patrick Clark”.
Back in the arena, Heavy Machinery are out to make noises and run their abdomens into people. They’re facing two miniature “developmental talents” named Hector Kunsman and Ricardo Watts. Knowing nothing about Watts and Kunsman, I’m just going to assume they’re two people who go to school at Full Sail and desperately needed some extra credit in one of their classes and this was their only option.
Match #2: Heavy Machinery vs. Hector Kunsman & Ricardo Watts
Yelling. Grunts. Bellies. Squash match.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The crowd seems to love them, but Heavy Machinery does absolutely nothing for me.
Post-match, Machinery cut a promo that revolves around eating, steaks, beef, buffets, and wanting a match with the Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship. This gimmick confuses me so much. They’re big and hyped up as “walking construction equipment”, but the few times they do speak – they only talk about eating. So, are they two big food obsessed guys or Human Constructicons? What gives?
Meanwhile, Bobby Roode is backstage talking to Kona Reeves.
Back from break, we get a backstage interview with DIY courtesy of Kayla Braxton. DIY take exception to Heavy Machinery calling out AoP because as far as DIY is concerned, the line for a title shot starts behind them.
Next, Kona Reeves is out. Hideo Itami enters next. Reeves rushes Itami before the bell.
Match #3: Kona Reeves vs. Hideo Itami
Reeves manages to gain the early advantage, but squanders it with posturing and attempting to disrespect Itami. This does not go well for Reeves. Itami fights back with a series of strikes and puts a period on the end of the sentence with a running dropkick. One GTS later and Itami picks up a rather easy victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not bad for what it was. Itami needed a win after returning and Reeves is still low enough on the radar to serve as the redshirt here.
Later tonight? Battle Royal.
Back from break, we get a Drew McIntyre hype video.
Next, Part 2 of Who Is Roderick Strong? airs. This week’s installment focuses on Strong and his fiancé having a child and how Strong made his way to NXT. More good stuff.
Meanwhile, we’re sent back to Regal’s office. Regal is with Roode and apparently they were watching “Who Is Roderick Strong?” Er, at least Regal was – Roode clearly wasn’t paying attention. Regal wants to discuss Roode’s opponent for TakeOver, but Roode lobbies to have no match to “protect the new face of NXT”. Roode adds that Hideo Itami is dangerous, not just to Roode but to NXT’s overall well-being – because without Roode, NXT would suffer. Regal takes that to mean that Itami needs to earn a title shot – so he makes a match between Itami and Roderick Strong for next week. The winner of that match faces Roode at TakeOver Chicago for the NXT Championship. There’s a knock on the door and Strong enters. He and Roode have a brief stare down before Roode leaves.
Next, it’s time for the Battle Royal. Before the break, Lacey Evans (aka – Macey Estrella), Billie Kay & Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross enter.
Back from break, the ring has filled up. Liv Morgan, Ruby Riot, and Ember Moon all get entrances.
Match #4: Battle Royal to Determine the #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship
It’s a battle royal so it breaks down like so as far eliminations go: Victoria Gonzalez, Bianca Blair, Rachael Evers, Sarah Bridges, Sonya Deville, Lacey Evans, Kimberly Frankele, Candice LeRae (with a huge negative reaction from the crowd), Aliyah (with taunting “Thank you, Nikki” chants after Cross makes the elimination), Liv Morgan, Billie Kay, & Peyton Royce.
That leaves us with a final three of Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, and Ruby Riot. After a few near eliminations, Asuka rushes the ring in street clothes and starts decimating everyone in sight. Asuka throws Ember out of the ring and Moon slams into the barricade (and was apparently shoot injured from the spot). After dropping Cross and Riot, Asuka dances around the ring and shouts about how “no one is ready” for her. Asuka leaves to the back and everyone sells the damage.
The announcers mention a verbal altercation backstage between Asuka and Regal and eventually Regal comes out. He announces that due to the interference, Asuka will now have to defend in a Fatal Four Way with Moon, Cross, and Riot in Chicago.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not bad for a battle royal and going with a Fatal Four Way seems like a great choice. The obvious other direction this could have gone was having Moon win to set up a rematch with Asuka and doing Cross vs. Riot as a separate match – but, TakeOvers are shorter shows so I doubt they’d do two women’s matches on one card. Fatal Four Way it is.
We go off the air on Nikki Cross laughing maniacally at Regal’s announcement.