The first match for Chris Hero a.k.a Kassius Ohno back in NXT. Against Bobby Roode. For the NXT Championship. Something clearly changed in NXT since Kassius Ohno left. And not everything was for the better. Also Kassius Ohno changed. That’s why he kept his shirt on during the match. So, yes, I’ve got a bit to say about that match and its surroundings. Enjoy!
Episode: NXT #239
Recorded: 22 February 2017
Aired: 15 March 2017
Match duration: 15:23 minutes (plus two commercial breaks)
As it it usually the case, the champion was looking weak during the early stages of this match. For the people who didn’t know anything about Kassius Ohno before, they got an idea of what he’s capable of with a few covers and strikes and, all over the match, his vicious kicks to the head. Despite being heavily overweight, Kassius Ohno still shows a lot of agility and that was probably the most impressive of his first showing back in NXT.
Of course, after being thrown out of the ring for countless times, Bobby Roode came back into the match and then dominated for the main part while Kassius Ohno sold the hell out of his moves and strikes. And still, it was Kassius Ohno who impressed me far more with some classy and sometimes unexpected moves.
It took me about five years to finally watch the match from Kassius Ohno against William Regal but I managed to do that before this match here took place. We now all know basically everything about the injuries and finally surgeries that William Regal had to suffer from on his neck. And watching his match against Kassius Ohno with said knowledge made it almost unbearable. All those kicks by Kassius Ohno to William Regal’s head made me cringe every time it happened. Yes, William Regal also did a hell of a job in selling those kicks but the movements themselves weren’t good to his neck anyway.
Now, at the same amount I didn’t like those kicks against William Regal, I liked them against Bobby Roode. I can’t stand the guy, I don’t enjoy watching him, I don’t even like to hate him. He’s like the Roman Reigns of NXT. In WWE, it’s Vince McMahon who desperately wants to push Roman Reigns to Pluto; in NXT, it’s Triple H who desperately wants to push Bobby Roode to Pluto. The only difference is that it works in NXT, and I have no idea why. Seriously.
Anyway, after a near-fall fest at the end of that match, Bobby Roode finally hit his Glorious DDT (that actually isn’t glorious) on Kassius Ohno for the win to retain the NXT Championship. He’ll now face Shinsuke Nakamura in another NXT Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Orlando on 1 April 2017 while Kassius Ohno might have a match against Elias Samson who interrupted his post-match interview backstage. Well, at least Kassius Ohno will win that match.
I always like a good story told during matches. But we didn’t really have one between Kassius Ohno and Bobby Roode. It was rather obvious that Bobby Roode would win, so there wasn’t a big chance to be drawn into it too deeply. The only story told in here was to make Bobby Roode looking strong. And usually I hate those matches. I only included it in my list of Best NXT Matches of 2017 because it’s the first of Kassius Ohno back in NXT.
Winner: Bobby Roode
During his pre-match interview, Bobby Roode said that he wanted to prove with this match against Kassius Ohno that this is his NXT. And those basically are the words of Triple H. Bobby Roode not just looks like the quasi owner of NXT, he also talks like him. I won’t ever see Bobby Roode as his own character. Because there are so many similarities to Triple H that it hurts. I only watched this match because of Kassius Ohno. And I can’t wait for Bobby Roode to join RAW, so I don’t have to watch him anymore. Plus, I finally might enjoy watching NXT again.
It’s a little different when it comes to Kassius Ohno. I still find this name completely ridiculous and I also still wonder why he came back to NXT. Like he said in his interview with Tom Phillips, he’s popular all over the world and won a couple of championships on his wrestling path. But for some reason, he wasn’t able to make it in NXT / WWE. If we want to believe CM Punk (whom Chris Hero might still be good friends with), Kassius Ohno was at least considered to be the third Shield guy, alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Part of me is glad that he wasn’t chosen, because honestly spoken, it was a huge waste happening to Dean Ambrose. And he still sometimes suffers for his time being in that faction.
So, it’s kind of a good thing that Kassius Ohno always had been on his own. But here are also the bad facets. He clearly is overweight nowadays and it doesn’t suit him. It doesn’t fit his character. He even tries to hide it the best he possibly can. William Regal recently said that his physique is a problem that Kassius Ohno needs to work on. And he really has to. Yes, there are a couple of guys who are overweight, just take Bray Wyatt, but most of the time, it fits their character. Plus, they always had been like this. In the case of Kassius Ohno, he’d been in good shape during his first NXT run. But since he left, during the last three to four years, he gained a lot of weight and simply doesn’t look good or healthy.
The storyline, we didn’t have with Bull Dempsey, we could get with Kassius Ohno. I’m still waiting for the huge NXT story of 2017. The whole year of 2016 had been Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano fighting their way to become NXT Tag Team champions. The story of 2017 could be Kassius Ohno getting in shape to finally become NXT champion and prove himself to the NXT crowd. So, let’s just see where his second run in NXT will go to for Kassius Ohno.