Skip to main content

NXT & CWC video highlights: Itami returns, Roode debuts, Gargano and Ciampa face off


NXT --

Hideo Itami makes his return.

NXT opened with Hideo Itami finally making his return after being out of action for over a year with a shoulder injury. Itami’s real life injury was turned into an angle, with him being assaulted by a mystery attacker in the parking lot prior to NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable last year.

Fingers were initially pointed at Kevin Owens, and there was speculation on this week’s show about whether Owens was really responsible for the attack.

Maluta made his NXT debut after losing to Kota Ibushi in the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic. Fellow CWC competitors Zack Sabre Jr., Drew Gulak, and Tony Nese were ringside to watch the match. But it was mostly a showcase for Itami, with him making quick work of Maluta.

Itami did a promo after the match about what is next for him in NXT.

Asuka shows her mean streak.

NXT Women’s Champion Asuka faced off against Aliyah with TakeOver challenger Bayley watching on from ringside. Asuka showed more of a mean streak than she has been showing lately, and Bayley had to step in after the match to make Asuka release a submission.

The victorious Asuka will now set her eyes on her title defense against Bayley in Brooklyn later this month.

Ember Moon is coming.

After last week’s somewhat vague vignette, another aired this week confirming that Ember Moon will soon be making her debut.

Moon will also be in action at TakeOver, making her first televised appearance. She was known as Athena prior to the name change and will look to help restock the NXT women’s division after the brand split depleted some of its roster depth.

The "It Factor" makes his debut.

Despite making cameo appearances at the last two TakeOver specials and wrestling on NXT live events, this was former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode’s official NXT debut.

He cut a promo in front of the crowd, but the initially adoring crowd quickly started to turn against Roode as he got increasingly arrogant and ran down NXT fans throughout the segment.

Cruiserweight Classic --

Rich Swann shines.

After making a couple appearances in losing efforts on NXT TV, Rich Swann got his first showcase on WWE programming in the first round of the CWC against Hong Kong's Jason Lee. Swann showed his trademark charisma and ability to connect with the audience almost immediately.

Swann will be advancing to the next round of the tournament, where he will take on Lince Dorado.

Noam Dar starts the CWC on the right track.

Noam Dar, a 23 year old international star of Israeli-Scottish descent, made his first CWC appearance in a winning effort against Gurv Sihra of the Bollywood Boyz. Dar will look to stay on the winning track next round against HoHo Lun.

Dar did an interview after his win, talking about what the victory meant to him.

"Gentleman" Jack Gallagher wows the Full Sail crowd.

To the delight of Daniel Bryan and seemingly everyone in the audience, "Gentleman" Jack Gallagher was able to fend off a rigorous challenge from Italian Fabian Aichner to advance to the second round. Gallagher will face Akira Tozawa in what is sure to be one of the round's most anticipated matches.

Gallagher's unique style was on display and the crowd at Full Sail was fully into the British star.

Gallagher was interviewed after the win. He thanked the crowd for being so receptive and talked about his colorful ring gear.

Tag team partners collide, with only one advancing to the next round.

Though they may be tag team partners, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa showed no mercy for each other in what might be the CWC's best match so far. Ciampa was relentless, dishing out violent offense against his partner.

But no matter what Ciampa came at him with, Gargano would not back down. Gargano was able to get the win and the two partners eventually embraced after the match was over. Gargano will face TJ Perkins in the second round.