Going by last week’s announcements, WWE NXT 09/20/17 has a match between Lars Sullivan and No Way Jose and a promo from Aleister Black. After the finish to last week’s episode, I imagine we’ll get some sort of “Angry Regal” proclamation about Adam Cole’s new faction too. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 09/20/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
R.I.P. Bobby Heenan.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 08/24/17) from Full Sail.
Later tonight? Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly take on Tyler Bate & Trent Seven.
Also later tonight? Aleister Black speaks for the first time!
We’re kicking things off tonight with Johnny Gargano and he’s out first. Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss are out next. This clearly happened not long after last week’s match – so that potentially explains why Tino was out in gear for that match. We see a “last week – WWE.com exclusive” interview with Moss and Sabbatelli where Moss claims Johnny got lucky and Tino challenges Gargano to a match on this week’s show.
Match #1: Johnny Gargano vs. Tino Sabbatelli (w/ Riddick Moss)
I liked this match a little bit better than the one with Moss. This week, instead of Gargano losing his confidence towards the end of match, he starts out shaken as Tino attempts to psych him out. Tino gets a brief advantage and hits a nice looking powerslam after catching a slingshot attempt by Gargano. Tino starts selling a shoulder injury so he doesn’t go for the cover. Sabbatelli’s strategy then turns to attempting to verbally berate Gargano and it doesn’t go well. After a Johnny Wrestling superkick, Gargano locks a submission onto Tino. After struggling a bit, Tino taps out.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m still on board with Gargano as a singles guy. If they keep this style of build up they’ll have a new “underdog” (ala Daniel Bryan) on their hands before long.
Meanwhile, William Regal is in his office telling stories. Can we just have a weekly show of that on the WWE Network? This story involves Regal telling some guy he’s going to pull the wig off of his head. The way Regal’s stories have gone on the NXT Catch Up episodes I’ve been recapping, I imagine Regal thought better and just decapitated the man. Anyway, before we get the story’s climax, Roderick Strong enters and he makes his case for a title shot against McIntyre. Regal agrees and books the match for two weeks from now.
Later tonight? No Way Jose vs. Lars Sullivan.
Up next? Lacey Evans vs. Bianca Belair.
2 weeks ago? Asuka surrenders the title. We get an extended video clip of that and are told by Mauro that the entire women’s division feel they should hold the title. Next, “earlier today” Sonya Deville pleads her case as to why she should be the next NXT women’s champion. It involves her saying she never got to face Asuka because Asuka avoided her.
Lacey Evans is out next. Bianca Belair follows.
Match #2: Lacey Evans vs. Bianca Belair
Both women look good here. Lacey gets in her, almost gymnastic at times, signature spots, but Belair is clearly the one most over with Full Sail. Bianca uses her “hair whip” spot and follows it up with an impressive reverse powerbomb to pick up the win. Mauro even seemed impressed with Bianca’s finisher!
Verdict: Thumbs Up – With Asuka gone, this is the time for some new women to step up. I’ll be surprised if Belair isn’t a major force within six months or so.
Later tonight? Mustache Mountain vs. FO (w/ C).
Up next? Aleister Black speaks!
Back from break, Aleister gets his full production entrance – except he’s wearing a suit. Aleister makes his way to the ring, removes his shirt jacket and rolls up his sleeves. He cuts a promo saying he’s been on a 15 year journey to get to where he is now. He mentions his “scars” and makes reference to his tattoos. He starts to cut a promo implying he wants a title shot… when… enter Velveteen Dream.
Dream cuts a promo on Black saying that Black has walked through the darkness only to be blinded by the light that is the Velveteen Dream. Velveteen Dream says he doesn’t see any scars on Aleister and says he only sees a man who is hurt and afraid. Black spin kicks the mic out of Dream’s hand and sits on the mat cross-legged. Dream ponders this for a moment, slides down into Black’s face, and then slides backwards out of the ring on his hands and knees. Black sits stoically through this entire post-promo bit and it was pretty awesome. Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black is the squash feud for Black I never knew I wanted to see until now.
Next, through a series of video clips, Mauro explains the back story to Lars Sullivan vs. No Way Jose. That match is up next!
“Earlier today”, Dakota Kai cuts a promo explaining why she should be the new NXT Women’s Champion. She feels she shouldn’t be taken lightly and she’s here to kick some heads in.
Next, No Way Jose enters for his match. Lars Sullivan (w/ new entrance theme) is out last.
Match #3: No Way Jose vs. Lars Sullivan
Essentially a Lars Sullivan squash match. Sullivan does the dreaded “headbutt off the top rope” spot, which I can’t believe isn’t banned by WWE yet. Lars goes over convincingly with a slam that looks like a modified chokeslam of some sort. Jose was a strange choice of opponent here, since he appears to be roughly the same size as Sullivan – if not a little bigger. But, “Braun style push” of Sullivan continues so… yeah.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Okay for what it was. I felt like No Way Jose was probably the wrong guy for this program though. If you’re going to build Lars as a “monster”, he probably needed to manhandle someone smaller than him here.
Meanwhile, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate are backstage… and they’re… walking!
Up next? Main event!
In 2 weeks? Roderick Strong vs. Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship!
Next week? Who knows! It’s 2012 NXT up in here!
“Not Sledgehammer” hits and Tyler Bate is out. Trent Seven follows. CFO (yep, that’s allegedly this faction’s name) is out with Cole dressed in street clothes. Their theme sounds like what you’d imagine what the NWO’s theme would have sounded like if they were a WWF faction and not a WCW faction.
Match #4: Tyler Bate & Trent Seven vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly (w/ Adam Cole)
This is a really strong tag team match and serves as yet another great main event on weekly NXT. Fish and O’Reilly work excellent together and I’ll be shocked if a NXT tag team title reign is not in their immediate future. Seven goes in peril for most of the match and Fish and O’Reilly do a nice job of isolating him and preventing the hot tag. When the hot tag finally comes, we get some impressive strength spots from Bate on O’Reilly, but the “numbers game” rears its head when Cole hits Bate with a superkick on the outside. After some double team spots and a tandem finisher, Fish and O’Reilly prevail.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Some solid tag team action. Also, the first time we’ve gotten to see just how good Fish and O’Reilly are as a team on WWE television.
Post-match, oh, man…. the post-match. So CFO pose in the ring until McIntyre’s music hits. Drew is out in jeans and no shirt and rushes the ring. CFO bail and head into the crowd. You think we’re going off the air with them yelling at Drew and Drew angrily posing in the ring. But, no… there’s more. SAnitY appears behind CFO and a six-man brawl breaks out. At one point it spills back into the ring and Drew is able to dispatch O’Reilly. CFO flees to the back near the announce table and we go off the air watching chaos unfold. I like it.