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    Friday, May 26, 2017

    The NXT Grapevine, June 2017

    We're fresh off another epic NXT TakeOver—which means it's time for another round of tapings! TakeOver: Chicago caused some major shakeups, and fans are already getting pumped for the next one when NXT returns to Brooklyn in August. The first set of tapings are in, and we can already see the start of NXT's next big rivalries.

    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 May 31:
    • Tommaso Ciampa kicks off the show in crutches. He explains his attack on Johnny Gargano by saying that he didn't want to become an afterthought due to his injury, since that would allow Johnny to shine on his own. Ciampa puts everyone on notice, saying that he'll be the most dangerous man in wrestling when he returns.
    • New WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Danny Burch in a non-title match. Dunne took the mic and ran down Tyler Bate after the match.
    • Cezar Bononi def. Andrade 'Cien' Almas. Thea Trinidad was once again at ringside to watch Almas.
    • Roderick Strong and Kassius Ohno def. SAnitY (Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe) after No Way Jose made his return to help fight off Killian Dain.
    Thoughts: If by "most dangerous man" he means the Sicilian Psychopath, then I can't wait for Ciampa to come back. I feel like we could see him have a nice singles run by then, with a highly emotional feud against Johnny Gargano already waiting in the wings. Meanwhile, Almas continues his losing streak (please let this lead to something for him), and it looks like No Way Jose gets to pick up the SAnitY scraps after Tye Dillinger and Roderick Strong picked up their victories.

    Airing June 7:
    • Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic) def. Lars Sullivan and an enhancement talent. Sullivan is the former Dylan Miley, and he attacked his partner once again after the match.
    • Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay) def. Sarah Logan. Logan is the former Crazy Mary Dobson/Sarah Bridges.
    • Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan ends in a no contest after Itami hits Lorcan with three GTS in a row. Kassius Ohno runs out to stop Itami's assault, and the two have some fierce words.
    • Killian Dain (w/ SAnitY) def. No Way Jose. Notably, Dain seems to have a new theme, which is a remix of the original SAnitY theme.
    • Roderick Strong comes out to cut a promo about his new family, and that he's set his sights on the NXT Championship! NXT Champion Bobby Roode comes out and mocks Strong, telling him that he has to earn a shot at the championship first.
    Thoughts: Here we go! Those video packages for Roddy really paid off, as he's simply the most relatable and iconic face there is in NXT right now. He's looked very strong (no pun intended) since his debut, and being inserted into the NXT Championship scene is the natural next step. An Itami vs. Ohno feud would be amazing, though, and might just be the next amazing match we'll be talking about from NXT. Angry, bitter Itami is a nice twist to his character, and it should be fun to watch him just GTS everyone in sight.

    Airing June 14:
    • Drew McIntyre def. Rob Ryzin.
    • Ember Moon def. Peyton Royce.
    • NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) def. Beastly Brody and Malken in a non-title match. Paul Ellering called out Heavy Machinery afterwards, leading to Dozovic and Knight coming out for a face-off. The Authors then backed out and left.
    • The Velveteen Dream def. Raul Mendoza.
    • Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross vs. NXT Women's Champion Asuka in a three-way elimination match ended in a no contest. Cross eliminated Ruby Riot via pinfall, but the match did not finish as she and Asuka brawled to the backstage area. Cross ended up launching herself at Asuka and they both fell through a platform.
    Thoughts: These are some interesting developments in the Women's Division, and the easy thing to think of here would be Nikki Cross having a third straight title shot. I wouldn't mind that because I do want to see her become champion, even if I think the endgame will still be Ember Moon triumphing over Asuka. The brawl sounds really fun, though. I'm also fine with Heavy Machinery being the next in line for the tag team championships, though I wonder if there's some way to add SAnitY into the mix. Authors/Machinery/Wolfe and Dain would make for some fun big boy wrestling.

    Also, hey, Raul Mendoza is back! I did love his match with The Brian Kendrick in last year's Cruiserweight Classic, so hopefully we see more of him. Dude might turn out to be another hidden gem like Mustafa Ali.

    Airing June 21:
    • SAnitY (Young and Wolfe) def. The Ealy Brothers (Gabriel and Uriel Ealy)
    • Sonya Deville def. Rachael Evers.
    • Aleister Black def. Kassius Ohno. Both men shook hands before the match, with Black eventually picking up the win after a Black Mass.
    Thoughts: Black vs. Ohno has some nice indie background to it—they actually worked as a tag team called Heroes Eventually Die in EVOLVE and PWG, so this should be fun to watch. Other than that, there's nothing much to talk about here.


    Are you excited to watch next month's episodes of NXT? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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    Item Reviewed: The NXT Grapevine, June 2017 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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