Two of my current favourites going against each other. Means: this match certainly goes into my collection of Best NXT Matches of 2017. It also has this one moment that makes it worthy of the appreciation. It also got great storytelling because the two lads are simply good at it. Enjoy!
Episode: NXT #248
Recorded: 19 April 2017
Aired: 17 May 2017
Match duration: 9:21 minutes
The bell to start the match rang and Andrade “Cien” Almas as per usual still did his preparation shenanigans while Kassius Ohno kept his focus and waited for the right moment to get in touch. But Andrade “Cien” Almas wanted to play, so he posed on the mat. The first competitive stand-off though happened after a little game of avoiding each other’s attacks, and that’s always highly enjoyable to me.
When Andrade “Cien” Almas wanted to continue the playing, Kassius Ohno finally hit some competition into Andrade “Cien” Almas’ face, so the Mexican immediately left the ring to recover. He was also able to avoid a flying attack by Kassius Ohno over the top rope. But when Andrade “Cien” Almas wanted to attack himself, Kassius Ohno was fast enough to react with a boot right into Andrade “Cien” Almas face.
Now it looked that Kassius Ohno would take over control of the match when he slapped his opponent through the ring. But Andrade “Cien” Almas turned his fate around and kicked his opponent outside the ring. From there we went into the commercial break.
After the break Andrade “Cien” Almas was in control. Now he slapped Kassius Ohno around and then placed him into the left near corner to use the ropes for his punishing. He finished the sequence with his interrupted run into his opponent with the subsequent mocking. But then arrogance hit him hard, so Kassius Ohno interrupted the posing with a slap to Andrade “Cien” Almas’ face.
But that didn’t turn the table immediately. A little fist fight took place and then, Andrade “Cien” Almas was able to hit the armbar on Kassius Ohno, using the ropes to his advantage. A flying drop kick from the turnbuckle by Andrade “Cien” Almas further hurt Kassius Ohno. The man kicked out of the following cover but just for Andrade “Cien” Almas to put his left arm into the Fujiwara Armbar. Kassius Ohno was able to stand up but he got beaten into the right front corner. Andrade “Cien” Almas went again for the mocking but this time Kassius Ohno kicked him into the face.
A little more furious now, Kassius Ohno went for Andrade “Cien” Almas with kicks and punches and finally a beautiful spinning neckbreaker. With both men temporarily down, Kassius Ohno showed some more agility with jumping back to his feet. And after another kick to the head, Kassius Ohno got a cover. But Andrade “Cien” Almas kicked out.
Again it looked now as if Kassius Ohno would take over control but he needed too much time for the moonsault from the turnbuckle, so Andrade “Cien” Almas rolled out of the way. And shortly after he got a cover himself. But Kassius Ohno kicked out this time.
Andrade “Cien” Almas then went for a suplex but Kassius Ohno held on and then had the advantage of weight to push his opponent into the far left corner and put him onto the turnbuckle. Andrade “Cien” Almas fought back though and was able to push Kassius Ohno back into the ring. But then Kassius Ohno countered Andrade “Cien” Almas’ flying attack from the turnbuckle into a kick. Just for Andrade “Cien” Almas coming back with a flipping kick to Kassius Ohno’s head. And he closed the sequence with finally hitting Kassius Ohno with the double knees into the corner.
Wanting to finish off the match, Andrade “Cien” Almas went for the hammerlock DDT but Kassius Ohne shoved the man into the corner. But a punch to Kassius Ohno’s head enabled Andrade “Cien” Almas to hit his opponent with a tornado inverted DDT for a subsequent cover. Usually the receiving counterpart kicks out at two. But this time the referee just reached one when Kassius Ohno kicked out yelling – moment of the match for me!
Now full of fighting spirit Kassius Ohno put all his remaining power into the following fist fight with his opponent until he finished off Andrade “Cien” Almas with his finisher for the win.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
It’s always amazing for me to see Kassius Ohno being basically a kicking highflyer stuck into the body of a heavyweight. The man is so agile that it’s impressive to see how he’s using all parts of the ring structure to his advantage. He’s still without a feud or direction. So his recent matches are just there to re-introduce him to the NXT crowd and giving him a good face following. But at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn Kassius Ohno needs a good title match or at least a good feud match.
The lack of any proper feud or direction also can be said of Andrade “Cien” Almas. The language barrier obviously doesn’t do him any favours. Even though it’s not a problem for Hideo Itami or Asuka. For quite a while NXT now tries to sell Andrade “Cien” Almas as a party boy who doesn’t care about losing matches but loves it to head to parties with a bunch of ladies. That gimmick only helps him to have some time to work on his English speaking skills but doesn’t get his character forward. He’s great inside the ring, he’s great at storytelling but still seems to be a little disappointed that he wasn’t accepted by the NXT crowd. So he might lack a bit of patience but I hope we’ll get an interesting story with Andrade “Cien” Almas soon.
Now for the match itself, it didn’t have much background regarding tension and story between the two counterparts. But they told the story of the arrogant party lad somehow getting a bit more competitive against the heavy lad who wants to earn his opportunity of being back at NXT with good fighting spirit very well. I still hope that this time, Kassius Ohno gets what he deserves in NXT.