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WWE NXT 07/12/17 Recap - Johnny Gargano
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WWE NXT 07/12/17 Recap

Johnny Gargano makes his triumphant return to Full Sail and we get a hoss battle for the tag titles in the main event.

WWE NXT 07/12/17 is the final episode from the June tapings. New tapings are happening right now as we inch closer to NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 3 next month. Tonight we’re getting the return of Johnny Gargano and AoP will be taking on Heavy Machinery in a title match. If the past few weeks have been any indication, this should be another strong episode of NXT. Let’s get to the recap.

WWE NXT 07/12/17 Recap

WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a dramatic video package highlighting the DIY break up and Gargano’s return to TV tonight.

Cold open on the announcers, no standard open, and we’re taped (originally taped June 23rd) from Full Sail. Mauro sends us to footage of Roderick Strong consoling his family after his loss last week.

Later tonight? Roode is in the building.

Also later tonight? Heavy Machinery challenge the Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

We’re sent to Aleister Black’s entrance. He’s not facing a developmental talent this week… he’s facing the debuting Bobby Fish!

Match #1: Aleister Black vs. Bobby Fish

Wow. This is the Aleister Black match I’ve been waiting for. It’s rare to have Black open the show and have a match that carries through a commercial break. Fish meets Black’s strikes and actually puts Black in peril a few times. This even beats the Ohno vs. Black match from the previous set of tapings. Fish hangs in there and makes it look credible that he could potentially win in his debut. However, he starts taunting Black, which signals the beginning of the end. Black is set off into a striking run, which ends with a Black Mass kick.

Verdict: Thumbs Up – I don’t know if Bobby Fish is in NXT full-time yet (or if this was just a one-off like the time Eric Young showed up before he was signed) but this was a strong debut and helped make Black look even more credible. Well done.

Next, we see footage of Itami and Ohno losing their match last week. After that, we see footage of Ohno attempting to talk to Itami after the match. Itami calls out Ohno as the reason they lost. Ohno is tired of Itami blaming others for his failures and he’s done talking.

Up next? A Mae Young Classic qualifier that is actually going to be shown on the show! Vanessa Borne (formerly Danielle Kamela) is facing Jayme Hachey.

During the break, we see a Street Profits vignette. They’re coming soon.

Next, we see footage from “2 weeks ago” of Kayla Braxton trying in vain to interview Velveteen Dream as he leaves the building. Dream tells Kayla that outside the door to the arena clearly isn’t the appropriate setting for an interview. Kayla defends herself, saying that she interviews the other Superstars in such a fashion. But, you see, that’s where she’s wrong. Dream isn’t the other Superstars. He leaves and Kayla looks annoyed. This isn’t “Dana Brooke patting Devin Taylor on the head”, but I’ll take it.

Vanessa Borne is out next. Jayme Hachey follows.

Match #2: Vanessa Borne vs. Jayme Hachey (Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match)

There isn’t a ton to this match – so that is possibly why they didn’t show us the other qualifier we just got highlights of. Hachey gets in a few spots of offense, but Borne goes over with a single-legged slam that isn’t even given a name by the announcers.

Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not terrible, but also not a lot to this one. It probably didn’t help much that Full Sail seemed ambivalent towards both contestants. I imagine the reception will be better at the Classic once we get profiles on who these woman are (ala the Cruiserweight classic profiles we got ahead of the tournament).

Later tonight? Tag Title match.

Up next? Gargano returns!

Back from break, not Gargano returning – but footage from last week of SAnitY attacking Drew McIntyre in the parking lot after the show.

Next, we’re sent to Regal’s office where he’s with Bobby Roode to make an announcement. Regal mentions that both Killian Dain and McIntyre are undefeated and Roode cuts him off saying that he knows Regal is trying to find a new challenger for him. However, Roode is a businessman and suggests that pitting Dain vs. McIntyre would be a good business move. Regal agrees and makes that match for next week, however it’s now a #1 Contender Match and the winner faces Roode for the title at TakeOver Brooklyn next month. Roode smiles and leaves.

Back in the arena, DIY’s music hits and Gargano is out in street clothes. Full Sail gives him a standing ovation and a “Johnny Wrestling” chant. Gargano cuts a promo saying he never saw Ciampa’s turn coming and will probably never understand why he did it. However, he’s not here to dwell on the past and he needs to get back to doing what he loves to do. Gargano mentions TakeOver Brooklyn sand says it’s time to be “Johnny Wrestling” again. His new theme hits and it sounds like a remixed version of the DIY theme with added female vocals.

Next, Mauro shows us the “tale of the tape” for the Tag Team Championship match. Total mass = 1205 lbs. That’s a lot of meat.

Back from break, we learn that next week we’re getting the #1 Contender match between Drew McIntyre and Killian Dain. Also next week? Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riot.

Heavy Machinery enter first for the main event. Champs (w/ Paul Ellering) enter last.

Match #3: Authors of Pain (c) (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Heavy Machinery (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)

Hmm, this one didn’t go exactly as I expected. The only other team viable to really challenge AoP right now is SAnitY and I figured a “heel vs. heel” match wouldn’t happen. So, I anticipated AoP getting a tainted win here to set up a stipulation match at TakeOver Brooklyn. So, imagine my surprise when AoP go over “clean-ish” and are confronted by SAnitY to end the show. Don’t get me wrong, there was a run in by AoP to prevent Heavy Machinery from hitting their “Compactor” finisher. But after that it was a clean win with the Last Chapter. Heavy Machinery looked really good here and I’ve turned the corner on them – possibly the fastest I’ve gone from not liking a NXT character to being behind them. It’ll be interesting to see where NXT goes with the tag team division at the next taping.

Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not bad at all for a “hoss battle” tag match. The finish was surprising, not in so far that AoP retained, but that they got a relatively clean win.

Post-match, AoP celebrate in the ring with Ellering. Eventually, the lights go out and SAnitY’s music hits. Dain, Wolfe, and Cross hit the stage and pages of a book start falling from the ceiling. Wolfe eats some of the paper as we go off the air.

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