WWE NXT 05/17/17 is the go home show for this weekend’s NXT TakeOver Chicago event. Tonight is also the final episode from the April 19th tapings. Tonight’s main event is set to be Kassius Ohno vs. Andrade Cien Almas. Let’s see if anything new gets added to the TakeOver card tonight.
WWE NXT 05/17/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
Cold open on Bobby Roode arriving at Full Sail “earlier today”. Roode gives the guy rolling his bag for him a hard time in typical Bobby Roode fashion.
Standard NXT credits and we’re taped (originally taped 4/19/17) from Full Sail. Tom Phillips opens the show and we’re immediately immersed in Drew McIntyre’s entrance. He’s facing Sean Maluta. Good luck to Sean Maluta.
Match #1: Drew McIntyre vs. Sean Maluta
So, an early strike from Maluta clearly connects with Drew too hard – as his eye swells over the course of this (short) match. Taking that into account, it makes the resulting squash by McIntyre look that much more fierce. Was he laying it in a little more than usual to give Maluta a receipt? We’ll never know, but McIntyre goes over in convincing fashion with his finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Having dudes squash dudes is the NXT Way when it comes to introducing new dudes that they want to be top-tier talent – so this works in that context.
Post-match, Kayla asks Drew about Blake’s comments last week. Drew isn’t concerned and challenges Blake to a match next week.
Next, we see some footage of last week’s main event and the post-match assault on Roderick Strong at the hands of SAnitY. We then see backstage footage of Strong saying he wants SAnitY and Regal seemingly being okay with that prospect.
Meanwhile, we’re sent to some airport runway where Eric Young cuts a promo accepting a match with Strong for TakeOver. I love that they go the extra mile with these SAnitY promos and have them out in the woods in front of a burning trash can or now on a runway. It definitely beats the standard “backstage in a hallway at Full Sail” promos everyone else cuts.
Later tonight? The battle of the recently renamed women wrestlers as Sonya Deville takes on Lacey Evans.
Also later tonight? Kassius Ohno takes on Andrade Cien Almas.
Back from break, the announcers shill the Network and hype up TakeOver. After that, we see the first of several promo videos reminding us who Hideo Itami is.
Next, we see a video package hyping up the UK Championship match that will happen at TakeOver.
Later tonight? Ohno vs. Almas.
Up next? An exclusive interview with Asuka.
Meanwhile, another Velveteen Dream hype video airs.
Back from break, Regal has made it official and Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young is booked for TakeOver.
Next, we get the “earlier today” interview with Asuka. This breaks down as Asuka sitting in a SUV and answering “next question” to everything until she finally asks if the interview is over. Asuka exits the SUV as it arrives at Full Sail and takes a selfie in front of all of the fans.
Lacey Evans is out next. Sonya Deville enters last.
Match #2: Sonya Deville vs. Lacey Evans
We haven’t seen much of either of these women yet. Taking them both at current face value, I think in the long run I’ll personally be more of a fan of Deville – as I’m not a fan of Evans’ current gimmick. I’ve been over it before in the recaps about how the “classic 40s pin-up girl” clashes with the announcers putting her over as a former SWAT team badass. Sonya’s rather nondescript “MMA fighter” gimmick likely could have more legs if she’s positioned correctly over the next six to nine months. Regardless, this match is okay. Nothing super spectacular and due to Deville and Evans working a similar style, this is mainly strikes and ground assaults. Deville ends up hitting a running kick out of nowhere to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not horrendous, but both women clearly have a long way to go – especially since both just recently got character refreshes.
Up next? Main event time.
Back from break, Ohno enters first. He’s followed by Almas.
Match #3: Kassius Ohno vs. Andrade Cien Almas
Considering the pre-TakeOver episode that will be taped on Saturday looks to feature Aleister Black and Drew McIntyre – this match serves to keep Almas and Ohno in the spotlight since neither will factor into Saturday’s big show. The match is okay. There is only so much that you can do when Almas’ entire gimmick right now is that he doesn’t care. We get a few flashes of greatness out of him, but largely he’s working a more subdued style to go along with his character. Ohno remains hugely over, so having him dispatch Almas with a pair of rolling elbows was likely the right call to make.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – A strong showing from Ohno, but it’s hard to get super excited about Almas when his gimmick revolves around his matches being an afterthought.
Next week? McIntyre vs. Blake and Aleister Black “in action” – which means likely another squash match.
Back from break, we get another Hideo Itami hype package, the announcers sell us on the main event, and Roode’s music hits. Roode hits the ring and attempts to bury Itami by saying all he’s accomplished is taking out Roode while he was wearing a $5000 suit. Roode says he’ll never “go to sleep” again and on Saturday he’ll be in his boots and ring gear ready to fight. Damn, no #SuitWrestling on Saturday. Roode continues to say that Itami will have to return home and tell his family he has failed once again – only this time he failed because of Bobby Roode.
Itami’s music hits and he’s out. Before he can get too far down the ramp, Regal is out with security in an attempt to talk Itami down. Hideo easily runs around them and attacks Roode before getting rushed by security. Itami hits two GTSs on security, gets the third guard up, when Roode enters to break it up. Itami quickly gets the advantage and puts Roode out with another GTS.
We go off the air with Roode taking a nap and Itami standing tall in the ring.