I’m back! Sorry about last week, good ole Uncle Sam needed my full attention last week (I’m military) and I was pretty secluded and unable to check out the Yellow Brand. But I have returned to what looks to be a stacked show with Hideo Itami in action AND a battle royal to determine to #1 Contender to Asuka’s NXT Women’s title. But as seems to be the norm lately, lets go and kick off the show with Sanity!
Killian Dain (w/Eric Young) vs Danny Burch
Damn Daniel, good luck! Dane is out with ONLY Eric Young to face Burch and he gets going on Burch early with some forearms, then hits a running senton to take control early. Burch ends up fighting out of a corner with a headbutt and some European uppercuts that send the big guy into the opposite corner. As Burch runs in to follow up, Dain instead runs out to him and hits a huge front dropkick. The Ulster Plantation follows and Burch is counting to 200.
My Take: Man I forgot how well and how fast Dain can move. His agility really sets him apart from other super heavys in WWE like say, Braun Strowman. I think he is most definitely going to be the big breakout star of Sanity and I am curious to see just how long the powers that be keep him under Young’s tutelage.
After the opener, we see Hideo Itami entering the arena for his first match back, which will come against Kona Reeves. After a quick break, we get a hype video for the “Velveteen Dream” Patrick Clark that I could have totally done without. Next, it’s off to the ring for some tag action.
Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight) vs Ricardo Watts & Hector Kunsman
Knight and Dozovic are out to a big pop, and are now wearing vests as apart of their entrance attire. Dozovic and Watts start off and Watts is immediately suplexed and hit with double diving headbutts from the two big men as his partner looks on. But just so he does not feel left out, Knight tosses him into the ring and he and Dozovic do their little head compression maneuver and take him out of the equation. A double overhook belly to belly to Kunsman from Knight leads to both Watts and Kunsman being splashed in a corner, and then both are picked up and squashed by HM’s assisted slam for the 3 count ON BOTH JOBBERS. After the match, they jump on the mic and talk about how much they like to have fun, and have love “steaks and weights” The crowd now has a new chant. Knight continues on by saying that they love buffets and they want the biggest buffet of all, The Authors of Pain.
My Take: Heavy Machinery has grown on me, but I do not want to see them vs AOP. At all. On any planet. In any universe. But anyway, the crowd is really into them and it will be interesting to see if they have more crowd interaction moving forward.
Before the break, we see Bobby Roode backstage giving some tips to Kona Reeves before he takes on Hideo Itami. We come back to an exterior shot of Full Sail, and then an interview backstage with DIY. When asked about the comments Heavy Machinery just made, they say that Heavy Machinery may have the size to go up against AOP but that they have won the prize. Gargano locks in on the fact that they are still owed a straight up rematch for the titles, and Ciampa says that they welcome the competition but that the line for AOP starts behind DIY.
Hideo Itami vs Kona Reeves
Next up is our featured singles match between the physical Reeves and the multi-talented Itami. As Itami goes through his entrance (which the crowd blew the roof off the arena for) Reeves attacks him from behind. The bell rings once Itami gets up and Reeves is all over him and rings up two quick 2 counts. The crowd tries to rally Hideo as Reeves taunts him and Itami stands right up and slaps Reeves. 2 big clotheslines follow, as do some kicks, and then a dropkick to a seated and cornered Reeves. The GTS is next and Reeves is in need of a pillow and a blanket after this 3 count. Itami mouths “I’m back” after the match as the crowd cheers his return.
My Take: Short, straightforward match. Protect Itami at all costs. Please. We beg of you!
After a break, we go to a promo vid for Drew McIntyre, which opens with old footage of him being endorsed by Vince McMahon and winning titles during his previous run, then goes through his return to NXT. Very nice clip.
More video ahead as we now go to part 2 of the “Who Is Roderick Strong” series. We get a look at Roddy at home prepping for fatherhood and being with his fiancee. His mom also talks about him always wanting to be a wrestler and clips of his early career are shown. Scott Hall Cameo Alert as he is shown backstage saying Roddy has come a long way. Man I wish we could have seen some PWG clips but we did get an ROH shirt and shoutout with some still pics. The video ends with him reaching NXT and tearing up as he says that he would tell his younger self not to give up and that everything is going to be ok. Pics and video of Roddy with his fiancee and child are shown to end the segment.
Now we are off to William Regal’s office as he and Bobby Roode start to talk about Roode’s next opponent. Bobby says Itami needs to earn his shot. Regal then talks about how impressed he has been with Roddy and says that next week, Roddy and Itami will face off in a #1 Contender match to determine Roode’s challenger for Takeover: Chicago. A knock at the door precedes Roddy’s arrival into the office as Roode exits.
#1 Contender Battle Royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship (Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riot, Ember Moon, Aliyah, Victoria Gonzales, Candice LeRae, Rachel Evers, Sarah Bridges, Sonya Deville, Kimberly Frankele, and Bianca Blair)
Alot of action to start with no eliminations but The Iconic Duo actually eliminated the massive Victoria Gonzales during the first break, then knocked Blair off the apron as we came back from that break. Aliyah manages to eliminate Evers and then Deville and Evans team up to try to toss Bridges but she fights them off. Liv comes running across the ring to dropkick Bridges off the apron for an elimination, and the Iconic Duo come right up behind Deville and Evans to toss them. Liv and Ember try to team up to toss the Aussies, and in another part of the ring, Frankele tries to powerbomb Riot over the top but gets eliminated as Riot turns it into a huracanrana over the top. As we reset, we are down to LeRae, Riot, Cross, Aliyah, Kay, Royce, Morgan, and Moon. Candace gets caught on the apron trying to fend off Royce and Kay, and is eliminated by a big boot from Kay. Cross spears Aliyah to eliminate her, much to the crowd’s delight. Kay and Royce try to toss Riot but Moon makes the save, just as Cross tosses Morgan. Royce is not quick enough to stop Moon from side kicking Kay off the apron and out of the match, and then is eliminated herself as Moon just muscles her over the top. We are down to Cross, Riot, and Moon now and Cross immediately takes down Riot before Moon takes her down. Things get fast and furious now as Riot hits a double knee to the back of Cross’ shoulders that smashes her head into a turnbuckle, that Moon hits the Eclipse off of on Cross, tries to toss her dead weight out, is stopped by Riot’s attempt to toss them both, and after it fails Moon hits a kick combo on Riot followed by a front headspring forearm in the corner. Moon goes up top to hit the Eclipse on Riot but is tossed off the top by…. Asuka! She then tosses Moon through the ropes and to the outside headfirst into a guardrail. She then brutally takes out Cross and Riot before saying “No one is ready for Asuka” before prancing off. Moon is down and clutching her shoulder as Regal comes out and announces that the Women’s title match will now be a Fatal 4 Way with Asuka defending against her 3 victims, just before we go off the air.
My Take: Slow start but this was a very nice battle royal that featured some big names in women’s wrestling. I think it was a very nice preview of what should be an outstanding Women’s Tournament and I would encourage you all to get familiar with some of this superstars, ESPECIALLY Candice LeRae. The Asuka bit at the end was sensational because it was not drawn out and furthered the point that right now, she will do ANYTHING to keep her title. Reminded me of a 1986 episode of World Championship Wrestling with Flair running out to pull a drive by on an impeding challenger. I loved it. This match at Takeover should be everything that the Asuka-Moon match wasn’t.
Well, that was fun! Pretty slow week, but the battle royal really brought things up a bit and how could it not, Candice was in it! Let’s hope that the next 2 episodes before Takeover really whip us into a frenzy because the card is light right now and we truly need some quality matches and setups in order to spice it up. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and I will see you all next week!