It’s Johnny Wednesday tonight as Johnny Gargano makes his in ring return tonight at Full Sail, and we won’t have to wait for it because it kicks off tonight’s show!
Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza
Very nice ovation for Johnny Wrestling, as his fresh start also includes new Titantron graphics and a new theme (which played once Johnny came out and cued it, after the old DIY theme originally brought him out). A huge “Johnny Wrestling” chants started before the bell, and once the match started, Johnny took that energy and had early control. The pace never really let up in this one, it was fast paced action from the get-go, and Gargano picked up the submission victory after countering a Mendoza 450 from the top with the Gargano Escape. This was a very fun match to start the show with, and looks like the start of a good run for Johnny Wrestling.
After the match, we get word that Bobby Roode and Asuka will both be on the show tonight, ahead of their big Takeover title defenses.
Back from our first break of the evening and we see footage of the Sanity/Authors Of Pain scuffle from last week. Their tag title match is now official for Takeover: Brooklyn, and leads to Paul Ellering standing with AOP and talking about how monsters are real. This will be a solid, but different matchup.
The Empress of Tomorrow is in the ring talking about her defense against Ember Moon. Very confident words from the champ as she says Ember is not ready for her, and that brings Ember down to the ring. Ember has on some jeans and a t-shirt, and looks amazing. Ember retorts that Asuka isn’t ready for her. Asuka extends her hand and then pulls it away when Ember goes to shake it, then slaps the challenger. This led to a brawl that ends with Asuka celebrating after tossing Ember to the outside, but Ember comes back and hits the Eclipse on the champion. And for the first time in recent memory, Asuka looks very vulnerable.
Bobby Roode Interview
The Glorious One is backstage being asked questions by a guy offscreen. When asked about Roderick Strong, Roode says Roddy played the Bobby Roode lottery and lost. He says people like Roddy will just continue to waste money playing the lottery again. When asked about Drew McIntyre, the champ says that he hears Drew saying he is a changed man. He states that maybe he is and that they should have a sit down interview next week. As the segment wraps up, Roddy tries to charge at Roode but is held back. The champ leaves and William Regal comes out to confront Strong. Regal wants Roddy to be more professional and Roddy says he will do anything to get a match with Roode. Regal says that his hands are tied and Roddy storms off.
Another Street Profits vid! They will be on the show next week, and I am excited. As you can see.
Sonya Deville vs. Jenna Van Bemel
Women’s action is up next as some of the newer women in the division get a little shine. Van Bemel has a size advantage in this one so Deville uses her speed to get ahead here. That speed was used to get Van Bemel into a triangle armbar, and that gives us our second submission of the night. It looks like the women’s division is getting a Squash Spotlight every week now. This is interesting considering the Mae Young Classic is coming up so I would have expected the women to get shown in some quality matchups ahead of it. Very interesting. Also, I really like Deville. I think she brings something different to the table in terms of skill set and how she works a crowd.
Hideo Itami is now backstage being interviewed by Kayla and says that if no one respects him, why should he respect anyone else. After Kayla is told by production that they need to head back to the ring, Hideo snatches the mic and heads off into the arena. He takes over the ring and states again that he deserves respect, and that he doesn’t care who’s next. That darkens the arena and then Aleister Black’s music hits. Itami stands firm as Black goes through his entrance and they end up in staredown. Itami finally backs down and goes past Black to leave, as Black keeps his back to him. Hideo charges him and catches a Black Mass for his trouble. Black peacefully sits down and Itami is OUT as we go to break. During the break, we learn that Andrade “Cien” Almas and No Way Jose will square off next week.
Aleister Black vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Black is sitting in a corner as we return, and out comes his opponent…. The debuting Kyle O’Reilly! Mauro plays it up as people from all over the world wanting to come in to face Black. The NXT Universe is very happy to see him. As am I. Early on, this match is a virtual replay of Black-Fish a couple weeks back: a strikers and shooter’s paradise. Kyle was able to have a tad more success in spots than Fish did though, which made things very exciting. The Full Sail crowd though, did not know what to make of things for most it but their interest perked up when they started dueling chants a little over halfway through the match. The pace quickened during the final minutes and included several momentum swings before Black ended it with a Black Mass out of nowhere (and immediately after an axe kick from O’Reilly) for the 3 count. This was an amazing main event, and I think almost anyone would agree even if they are not fans of the style presented in this one.
Tonight was a very solid show across the board, and it effectively moved along every storyline heading into Takeover. The main event, although not really directed to a specific angle, was one of the better NXT matches this year in my eyes and I would love to see those two go at it again. The Yellow Brand is in a very good place right now but all I really want to know is…
WHERE IN THE HELL IS ERIC YOUNG?????
Perhaps we will find out next week. So make sure you guys are here so that we can discuss it!