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    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The NXT Grapevine, March 2017

    Earlier today, NXT taped another set of tapings that are scheduled to air throughout the month of March. It's worth mentioning that these are the last set of shows before NXT TakeOver: Orlando in April, so expect these tapings to shape the matches we'll be seeing over WrestleMania weekend.

    Once again, we'll put our usual SPOILER WARNING here. The matches you'll see below have yet to be aired, so don't scroll down if you don't want to be spoiled. Also, these tapings sometimes go through heavy changes before the on-air product is released, so there may be matches and segments that won't be seen.


    Airing March 8:

    • Elias Samson came out to perform a song but was interrupted by Kassius Ohno. Samson proceeded to insult Ohno, which led to Ohno challenging him to a Loser Leaves NXT match later on in the show.
    • Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger was set to take place, but SAnitY (Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain and Nikki Cross) attacked Roderick Strong on the ramp. No Way Jose came out to even the odds for Dillinger, but both were also laid out.
    • Andrade 'Cien' Almas def. Ho Ho Lun.
    • Loser Leaves NXT: Kassius Ohno def. Elias Samson. Samson was then escorted out by security while Ohno broke his guitar.

    Thoughts: We've been waiting for this for months now, and it's finally happened. Ho Ho Lun has made it to NXT!

    Seriously though, who saw that Samson exit coming? He's had a few feuds here and there, but he's mostly been treading along at Full Sail without any real direction. Having him gone from NXT points towards three routes: either he's legitimately gone from WWE (in which case this is sad), he's going to be kept off television and repackaged (the safe, boring answer) or he's going to get called up. Get hyped for main roster Drifter, ladies and gentlemen.

    Airing March 15:

    • Ember Moon def. Billie Kay. Kay might have been injured after taking a finisher from Ember Moon, as medical staff were seen helping her to the back after this match.
    • The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. The Ealy Twins (Gabriel and Uriel Ealy) did not push through as NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) ran down and attacked the Ealy Twins.
    • Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic) def. Johnny Vandal and QT Marshall.
    • Nikki Cross (w/ SAnitY) def. Macey Estrella. After the match, Tye Dillinger and No Way Jose ran down to attack SAnitY.

    Thoughts: Hopefully that Billie Kay injury isn't anything serious - she's actually been very entertaining in this heel duo run with Peyton Royce, and they added much-needed character to the women's division right now. Otherwise, this week mostly continues two of NXT's ongoing feuds, with the Authors matching the Revival's antics and Dillinger continuing his war agains SAnitY.

    Airing March 22:

    • Andrade 'Cien' Almas def. Oney Lorcan.
    • NXT Women's Champion Asuka def. Angel Rose in a non-title match. Afterwards, she cut a promo on how the same fate awaits Ember Moon.
    • NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain def. The Ealy Twins in a non-title match after the Ealy Twins called the champions out due to last week's attack. Paul Ellering then cut a promo but was quickly interrupted by DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) and The Revival. NXT GM William Regal came out and announced that the Authors will be defending their titles against both DIY and the Revival in a three-way elimination match at NXT TakeOver: Orlando!
    • Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong def. SAnitY (Young, Wolfe and Dain) via DQ after Nikki Cross interfered. Ruby Riot (formerly known as Heidi Lovelace) made the save in her official debut, standing opposite of Cross to even things up for Dillinger's side!

    Thoughts: There we go. There's your show-stealer for WrestleMania weekend. DIY/Revival/Authors is a five-star recipe, and the elimination three-way setup means we're going to be seeing some cool things at NXT Takeover: Orlando. Dillinger finally gets something going for his side with Ruby Riot coming to the save. Heidi seems to have gone through the NXT Name Generator as well, although let's be honest: Ruby Riot is a very good name.

    Special mention goes to the Ealy Twins, who somehow thought it would be a good idea to call out the Authors of Pain.

    Airing March 29:

    • Dash Wilder def. Akam and Johnny Gargano in a three-way match.
    • NXT Championship Match: Bobby Roode (c) def. Kassius Ohno to retain the championship.
    • Shinsuke Nakamura def. TJ Perkins.
    • In a dark segment that closed the tapings, Bobby Roode and Andrade 'Cien' Almas attacked Nakamura. Finn Balor then ran out and made the save, taking out both Roode and Almas.

    Thoughts: The Revival pick up the momentum heading into NXT TakeOver: Orlando, while Ohno picks up his first loss since coming back to NXT. It's worth noting that he apparently lost cleanly, which does seem to halt Ohno's momentum since coming back. I suppose we'll see how this plays out soon. 

    Nakamura vs. Perkins looks like it's going to be a great match though, and it's also a small reunion of former NJPW talents/guys who beat Kota Ibushi. Also, TJP did motion capture for Nakamura's character in the latest WWE video game, which is amusing to point out.

    So, here's how the NXT TakeOver: Orlando card is shaping up:

    • Three-Way Elimination Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship: The Authors of Pain (c) vs. DIY vs. The Revival

    Well, from what took place at the tapings this is the only confirmed match so far. The feuds do hint towards some other matches being set up though, probably along the lines of the following:

    • NXT Championship Match: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Possibly bringing up Nakamura's rematch since he lost the title)
    • NXT Women's Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon
    • SAnitY vs. Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose, Roderick Strong and Ruby Riot (could also be two matches, with Nikki Cross and Riot having their own match)

    Expect to see several others in action, with names like Andrade 'Cien' Almas and Kassius Ohno yet to have something lined up. Keep an eye for further developments in house shows and other live events, especially now that NXT has a lot of time with matches for until March already done.


    Are you excited to see the next couple of episodes of NXT? What do you think will be set for NXT TakeOver: Orlando? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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    Item Reviewed: The NXT Grapevine, March 2017 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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