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WWE NXT 10/04/17 Recap - Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross
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WWE NXT 10/04/17 Recap

Nikki helps Ruby again, Lio Rush debuts – sort of, and Drew and Roddy have a TakeOver quality main event.

WWE NXT 10/04/17 features Roderick Strong getting a shot at Drew McIntyre’s NXT Championship. Will we get a clean finish or will Adam Cole & The Undisputed Era further anger William Regal with a run-in? Let’s find out!

WWE NXT 10/04/17 Recap

WWE. Then. Now. Forever.

“We Stand with Las Vegas” graphic with a moment of silence.

A dramatic video package airs hyping us up for tonight’s Drew McIntyre vs. Roderick Strong title match.

Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 09/14/17) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show and mentions that Aleister Black is in action tonight. Nigel chimes in to remind us about the main event. Mauro gives a shout out to the late Lance Russell to send us to Ruby Riot’s entrance.

Ruby is once again booked in a tag match with the Iconic Duo. Ruby is out alone and the Iconic ones are out together to Billie’s theme. Of course, this turns into yet another “RubyCross” tag match.

Match #1: Ruby Riot & Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay & Peyton Royce

Similar in style to a couple of weeks back. Ruby works a handicap match and does okay – until the “numbers game” double teams start happening. Once again, enter Cross through the crowd. Riot reluctantly tags Cross in. Nikki goes on a run, but the wrinkle in the script this time is that the Iconic Duo counters it a bit. After kicking out of one double team finisher attempt, Royce and Kay set Cross up for another – but this time Ruby makes the save from the outside. Cross is able to counter this into a pinfall and “RubyCross” is triumphant yet again!

Verdict: Thumbs Up – They’re doing this right and it’s currently my favorite thing happening at NXT right now.

Post-match, Nikki smiles like a crazy person and leaves. Riot still seems really unsure of what is happening.

Next, Christy is with Lars Sullivan at the Performance Center “earlier today”. We learn that next week Lars faces Danny Burch after Lars beat down Oney Lorcan. Lars claims he’s “in control of everything he does” and opponents should be afraid of him. Next week, Danny Burch needs to be in control of “his fear”.

Meanwhile, Roderick Strong is shown backstage preparing for his title match.

Up next? Aleister Black is in action!

Back from break? “Earlier today” some “members of the press” are attempting to ask Zelina Vega some questions while she’s on the phone. Zelina eventually says she knew how to pull at Gargano’s heart-strings, but Almas won the TakeOver match fair and square. They’ll take a rematch with Gargano and Almas will be victorious once again – and he’ll keep beating people to get closer to a title shot. When asked how she’d feel if Almas lost the rematch, Vega answers by saying that they brought “Johnny Irrelevant” back to life by letting him wrestle Almas at TakeOver. However, now Gargano’s lifeline (flatline sound for emphasis) is dead.

Last week? We see footage of EY choosing chaos in the main event and losing to Cole. In 2 weeks, we’re getting six-man action between SAnitY and the Undisputed Era.

Meanwhile, Lio Rush is out to make his NXT debut against Aleister Black. Aleister enters next. During his entrance, Velveteen Dream rushes the ring and beats the crap out of Rush. Welcome to WWE, Lio! Dream gyrates on the top rope, taunting Black, and hits his elbow drop finisher on Rush. Seriously, while not quite Kairi Sane level, Dream does have a pretty elbow drop. Black is on the ramp during all of this and slowly advances to the ring. After Black hits the ring and sits cross-legged, Dream keeps trying to get Black’s attention – but Aleister no sells it. Velveteen keeps saying “say my name” and some hero in the crowd starts to sing “Say My Name“. Dream slowly leaves vowing to make Aleister say his name. Aleister sits calmly in the ring.

Up next? Kairi Sane’s NXT TV debut!

Back from break, Kairi Sane makes her way to the ring. Already in the ring? Aliyah.

Match #2: Kairi Sane vs. Aliyah

Not bad. I expected a Sane squash, but this isn’t quite that. Aliyah gets in some offense and we get to see how far she’s come since debuting on TV. Of course, Sane goes over relatively quickly with the elbow drop, but she has to work a bit to do it. Not much to add here since Kairi is coasting until the title match at TakeOver it seems – but nice to see her work a match again after the Mae Young Classic.

Verdict: Thumbs Up – They could have made this way more of a squash than it was. Also, kudos for having two women’s matches on an episode!

Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre is backstage getting ready for his title defense. The main event is up next!

Next week? Qualifying matches for the Women’s Championship Fatal Four Way begin. First up will be a triple threat between Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, and Peyton Royce.

Also next week? Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas.

Roderick Strong (w/ what seems like new graphics) is out first for the main event. Champ enters last!

Match #3: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Roderick Strong (NXT Championship Match)

Another “TakeOver quality” main event match on the weekly NXT show. This being, for the most part, a face vs face title match – I expected some sort of dubious finish or interference to protect both guys. Instead, we got a clean and definitive outcome here. Drew and Roddy beat the crap out of each other and put on a great show that extended through multiple ad breaks. Roddy works the back, naturally, and Drew attempts to use his size and strength to his advantage. Everything here made sense all the way down to the outcome. Roddy mounts several near far comebacks, including a Sick Kick which leads to a near fall. But, it was in the cards for Drew to retain here. McIntyre hits a Future Shock, stares at Roddy with a “I’m not enjoying this” look, and hits the Claymore to win.

Verdict: Thumbs Up – Excellent story-telling and a well worked match. Despite Strong losing a title match again, NXT can either continue going the “underdog” route with him or potentially flip him heel down the road as big match loses start to rack up.

Post-match, Drew offers the “handshake of respect”. Roddy accepts. Drew poses in the ring and Roddy heads to the back. Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly meet Strong on the stage and exchange some, seemingly friendly, words. The Undisputed Era leave and we go off the air with Strong looking back at Drew celebrating in the ring with a dubious look on his face. Hmm…

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