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  • Todd Puhl

Review: NXT St. Catharines 2017

Updated: May 27, 2019

So Droids Canada was lucky enough to be selected to promote the NXT show at our local Meridian Center in St. Catharines. We were lucky enough to get a good tour of the site before the show from our friend Erica and even had a chance to meet the director of the Meridian Center as well. The set up looked great and not a bad seat in the house. Todd dropped a huge surprise on us as well with an early present and managed to get us floor seats (3rd row) Right by Tye Dillinger’s family and just behind some of my old wrestling colleagues who I managed to catch up with during the intermission. (Tyberious King/JT Playa, Danger Boy Derek Wylde and The Hacker)

Johnny Gargano vs Killian Dane

Johnny Wrestling comes out to open the show to a solid pop. I have loved Gargano for a number of years even prior to his NXT run due to his great matches at PWG. Johnny is a selling machine especially against someone the size of Killian Dane. There were some ‘Shave your back’ chants through the match. Johnny takes a Vader bomb late but still manages to get Dane into the Gargano escape but Dane reverses it into his version of Omega’s One Winged Angel but Gargano pulls up the victory with a victory roll.

3 out of 5 Beards

Mandy Rose/Vanessa Moore vs Lacey Evans/Aliyah

Women’s tag match featuring the Canadian Aliyah and a couple competitors from the Mae Young Classic. Not a lot to write home about a lot of chain wrestling Lacey beat for a good portion of the match leading to the hot tag to Aliyah who picked up the win with a nice Northern Lights suplex for the win. Lots of cat calling for Mandy Rose throughout the match.

1.5 out of 5 Beards

Hideo Itami vs Aliester Black

Knowing these two performers it was going to be a hard hitting affair. Hideo takes a number of early powders. A lot of solid kicks and strikes throughout the match. Itami hits a couple moves with Black hanging between the ropes a guillotine and a knee off the turnbuckles. Itami lights up Black with some stiff kicks to his back. At one point Itami goes under the ring and gets a kendo stick. There is a small ref spot which is funny cause the ref was a former CZW champion and has been through some crazy hardcore matches in his day but we have to suspend our belief. The ref finally takes the stick from Itami at the last minute and Black destroys him with Black Mass

3.5 out of 5 Beards

Velveteen Dream vs Tye Dillinger

Dream comes out and cuts a promo on the crowd and mocks Bret Hart during the promo and through the match. Tye comes out to a huge pop being from the area. Was nice to hear he was added to the card at the last minute. Solid back and forth and Dream even hits a nice rolling Death Valley Driver on Tye. Tye sets up for the Tye Breaker but never gets to hit it. There is are some great chants through including a Laura Secord chant (Tye’s high school). Tye wins by submission with the Sharpshooter which was great with Dream moving Bret.

Great touching speech by Tye who was visibly emotional being able to wrestling for WWE in his hometown and afterwards went to his family in the crowd. Nice to see someone that I remember seeing 15+ years ago locally when I was training to make it that big.

Riddick Moss/Tino Sabbetelli vs Sanity (Eric Young/Alexander Wolfe)

Sanity got a great pop and it was hard to tell if they are supposed to be heels but it appeared they were playing face with Moss and Sabatelli playing the heels and unfortunately didn't do a great job at it. They’ve spent a lot of time in developmental and it shows why. Some of the crowd behind us were joking that Sabatelli looked like Tito Santana and Rick Martel combined he was a one man Strike Force. Young spent a lot of time on the outside but takes the hot tag and Sanity wins via a Gory Special bulldog which looked pretty decent

2.5 out of 5 Beards (Through no fault of Sanity’s)

Nicki Cross vs Ember Moon

I love Nikki Cross and live in person she is fucking intense. She plays crazy pretty well. I’ve loved Ember Moon since she was a Woman of a Honor under the name Athena. Ember even hit a great Blue Thunder inverted DDT on Nikki Cross. A bit of back and forth outside the ring but I think we all know the Moon hits the Eclipse for the victory. Todd still thinks it's an unsafe move but regardless it looks fantastic and she's been doing it a long time. If it was truly unsafe they wouldn't allow it but things do happen look at things like the Styles Clash

3 out of 5 Beards

Andrade Cien Almas vs Drew McIntrye vs Bobby Roode (Main Event)

Finally got to see the Glorious One’s entrance live and it was exactly that Glorious. Almas powders early to allow Drew and Roode to fight amongst themselves. But they follow and start beating on Almas. Each one takes their turn with powders in the match. Roode does the deal and hits a Falcon Arrow, Todd and I totally mark out ‘Noone kicks out of the Falcon Arrow!’. Almas hits a SICK overhand chop and it echoed through the whole Center. Drew hits an Air Raid Crash on Almas. Drew slingshots Roode into Almas’ nether regions. Drew follows up with a Future Shock DDT but not enough. There was a sick spot with Drew in the Tree of woe and Almas and Roode going for a superplex over top of him and I called the spider German suplex tower of doom spot which was nice. Dan loves pulling for the underdog and starts an ‘Other guy!’ Chant and even gets some of the guys behind us to start getting into it. It was hilarious to say the least. Roode hits a Glorious DDT but the ref is pulled out mid count and Drewhits the Claymore for the win.

Drew grabs the mike and ends up talking about Hurricane Irma and how the performers were all being affected being in Florida talking about family. Was a great and emotional promo not to the degree of Tye but still solid. Roode cuts a promo talking about his NXT Farewell tour which was a nice touch I would have loved to hear his speech in Toronto the next night before he makes his permanent shift to SmackDown Live. A good transition as well from Roode as a heel to a baby face in SmackDown saying that it's our NXT now not his NXT.

A fantastic show was great to see the NXT crew and it was a far better show than the SmackDown house show we saw in Hamilton in December and we had some decent seats for that as well. Just the production and the card was a lot of more solid overall. Hopefully, it leads to further tours of NXT in the area going forward. The house was pretty well sold it wasn't a sell out but it was a solid house. If they comeback I guarantee that the Droids crew will definitely be in attendance. I have a feeling we may be hitting up some good local shows again probably from Alpha-1 (All Ego Ethan Page’s promotion) we hit up one of his shows in August and it was pretty solid seeing Cody live. We’ve gotten the itch and I know I've gotten Todd hooked on the indy Feds because of things like PWG. Looking forward to our upcoming trips and upcoming shows in future.

#NXT #StCatherines

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