A new year once again started. And we already are in the fourth year of the reign of William Regal as General Manager of NXT. This page here covers all of his actions and shenanigans in 2017. At the bottom of this page you’ll find the links to the previous years. And now have fun reading and watching the videos.
January 2017 – Matches need to be made for NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, part I
It had been made perfectly clear at the end of last year that William Regal would make a match between The Authors of Pain and the one team that would win the re-match for the NXT Tag Team Championship, either #DIY or The Revival, at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio on 28 January 2017. Now, it was also pretty obvious that #DIY would win against The Revival. So, the match was already written on the wall last year. But somehow, The Authors of Pain wanted to be pretty clear about their intentions, so they attacked #DIY after their victory over The Revival. And William Regal had no choice but to announce said already made match.
Also Asuka had been attacked during the NXT show from 11 January 2017 by Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Nikki Cross. So she demanded from William Regal to give her all those opponents for a Fatal 4-way match for the NXT Women’s Championship. And he had no choice but granting it again.
- [VIDEO] William Regal grants a few matches for NXT TakeOver: San Antonio (11 January 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) vs #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) (11 January 2017)
14 / 15 January 2017 – WWE UK & Ireland Championship Tournament
The WWE special UK & Ireland Championship Tournament isn’t entirely connected with William Regal as the General Manager of NXT. But maybe we’re going to see one or two participants in NXT later on this year or be it the fact that William Regal will be on commentary for the matches, I’ll put on here regardless whatever His Lordship does and says during the tournament. First, he had a little sit-down prior to the very start of it where he reflects about his time in Blackpool, where the tournament takes place.
- [INTERVIEW] William Regal reflects about his time in Blackpool and the UK Championship Tournament (13 January 2017)
How do you make a two-day tournament intriguing and interesting? Exactly, with a cliffhanger at the end of Day One. So, the first round with its eight matches went on smoothly. And after that, William Regal was out on the entrance to the Empress Ballroom to announce and present the eight remaining competitors of the tournament plus the very match-ups of the quarter-finals. One of those matches was Pete Dunne against Sam Gradwell and to make a name for himself, Pete Dunne attacked Sam Gradwell right on stage. William Regal though went immediately after Dunne, confronted him, also later on backstage. That set up all the intensity needed for Day Two.
- [VIDEO] William Regal on UK Championship Tournament Day One (14 January 2017)
- [INTERVIEWS] William Regal interviews during UK Championship Tournament (14 January 2017)
And Pete Dunne also left his mark on Day Two. He attacked his opponent in the upcoming final, Tyler Bate, right after the boy had won his semi-final against Wolfgang. And William Regal came out again to throw Pete Dunne out of the Empress Ballroom. Later on, William Regal was seen with the UK Championship belt inside the ring, throwing deadly looks on Pete Dunne when the man entered the ring for the final match. In the end, Tyler Bate won the tournament but another lasting impression certainly had been the mini-feud of Pete Dunne vs William Regal.
- [VIDEO] William Regal on UK Championship Tournament Day Two (15 January 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne (15 January 2017)
January 2017 – Matches need to be made for NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, part II
At the following NXT episode three days later, the General Manager was present in Tampa, Florida, to oversee the contract signing for the NXT Championship match at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio between Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode. Roode had much to say. Nakamura hadn’t. Yes, you may have guessed it: I’m not really looking forward to this match. Both guys don’t do anything for me.
- [VIDEO] William Regal oversees the contract signing for the NXT Championship match (18 January 2017)
For the last NXT edition before NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, William Regal was out again to make a stand-off confrontation between all four women of the Fatal 4-way match for the NXT Women’s Championship happen – against better judgement.
And when Billie Kay and Peyton Royce came out and entered the ring, William Regal immediately regretted his decision when Peyton Royce grabbed the microphone out of his hand to talk about the forthcoming match. Nikki Cross joined them but Asuka couldn’t wait for any announcement. Hell broke loose immediately, especially between Nikki Cross and Asuka, while Billie Kay and Peyton Royce asked themselves what they got themselves into. Can’t wait for this match!
- [VIDEO] William Regal makes a stand-off between Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross and Asuka and regrets it immediately (25 January 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Ember Moon vs Liv Morgan (25 January 2017)
February 2017 – There’s a new bad boy in town
William Regal didn’t appear on NXT TakeOver: San Antonio and, quite frankly, the overall show was a little disappointing, the worst NXT TakeOver I have seen so far. And for the following NXT episode, matches from the pre-show were shown.
But the General Manager was seen again on the second February show to announce the first UK Championship defence match between champion Tyler Bate and Trent Seven on the coming show next week. But as per usual, William Regal then was disturbed by Billie Kay and Peyton Royce entering his office to demand a match against Liv Morgan. To get back his peace, the General Manager granted the demand but made it a tag team match with Liv Morgan free to chose her partner. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce found this funny and hopped away, leaving William Regal behind rather confused.
- [VIDEO] William Regal makes Billie Kay and Peyton Royce laugh (08 February 2017)
During the NXT show one week later, William Regal announced a Triple Threat match for the following show because he kind of sees several women are ready to go for Asuka’s Championship belt. So, Peyton Royce, Liv Morgan and Ember Moon will battle for that place on the table.
Not on the actual show but as a special introduction, Pete Dunne was interviewed backstage about his intentions in NXT. He will have a match against Mark Andrews, also next week, and wants to continue to make a name for himself. But he got a special warning from the General Manager, who’s probably excited to have a new bad boy in town.
- [VIDEO] William Regal makes a women’s match and confronts Pete Dunne (15 February 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Trent Seven vs Tyler Bate (15 February 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Mark Andrews vs Pete Dunne (22 February 2017)
March 2017 – Oh no! Chris Hero is back
For a couple of weeks already we’ve noticed that Chris Hero was finally back at NXT, of course under his WWE persona Kassius Ohno. It’s a stupid name really and fitting for a heel character. And he was a heel around three years ago when he left NXT. Now he’s back as a babyface and instantly confronted NXT champion Bobby Roode last week. That brought GM William Regal on the table to announce a championship match between those two in a fortnight. (Little reminder to myself to finally watch Ohno vs Regal before this match takes place.)
- [VIDEO] William Regal announces Ohno vs Roode in a fortnight (01 March 2017)
One week later Ember Moon won a match against Billie Kay, so William Regal asked for a special meeting backstage to inform Ember that she’s been granted a championship match against Asuka at the coming NXT TakeOver: Orlando on 01 April 2017 (the start of WrestleMania weekend). And a little later during the show, the General Manager added a small stipulation to the championship match next week between Bobby Roode and Kassius Ohno. Because the winner of that match will face Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Orlando. (Now I’m pretty sure that Kassius Ohno will lose against Roode, because of course the young Triple H has to headline the small WrestleMania. Btw: I’ve finally watched Regal vs Ohno but with all the head kicks to Mr Regal’s head and his recent neck surgeries I didn’t enjoy that too much.)
- [VIDEO] William Regal already prepares for NXT TakeOver: Orlando (08 March 2017)
Now, that the main event of NXT TakeOver: Orlando was all arranged for, William Regal next week had to finally confirm the Triple Threat encounter for the NXT Tag Team Championship between champions AOP, former champions #DIY and the always lurking Revival. It was pretty obvious for weeks that we would get this match, and for the NXT episode from the Ides of March, the General Manager came out on the ramp to make it a Triple Threat Elimination match.
- [VIDEO] William Regal finally announces the Tag Team Triple Threat Elimination match for NXT TakeOver: Orlando (15 March 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Kassius Ohno vs Bobby Roode (15 March 2017)
Next week, the General Manager didn’t have anything to do or announce. But a few days later we saw William Regal watching something on his mobile phone when Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were disturbing him with their demand to ban Amber Moon’s finishing move that hurt Billie Kay. Least to say, the GM wasn’t much interested.
- [MATCH REVIEW] Oney Lorcan vs Andrade “Cien” Almas (22 March 2017)
- [VIDEO] Peyton Royce and Billie Kay plea with William Regal to ban Ember Moon’s Eclipse (27 March 2017)
Just two days later, William Regal oversaw the contract signing between NXT championess Asuka and her challenger Ember Moon taking place in his office. He obviously learned from experience that the women can’t be controlled when they are inside the ring. So, Asuka and Ember Moon still exchanged words but no physical altercation happened. Successful contract signing for the General Manager this time. And now, all is done and prepared for the big NXT TakeOver: Orlando happening on coming Saturday.
- [VIDEO] William Regal oversees the contract signing between Asuka and Ember Moon (29 March 2017)
01 April 2017 | NXT TakeOver: Orlando
From the collection of black/white backstage photographs from NXT TakeOver: Orlando we got this wonderful picture from William Regal standing by the still closed cases with the all new NXT Championship belts. He announced that there would be new belts for the NXT Women’s Championship, the NXT Tag Team Championship and the NXT Championship respectively at NXT Axxess, just hours prior to the main show. And during the show itself, the General Manager was out prior to the three very matches to reveal the new belts. I expected worse; they actually look good.
- [VIDEO] William Regal announces new title belt designs for NXT TakeOver: Orlando (01 April 2017)
- [SHOW REVIEW] NXT TakeOver: Orlando 2017/04/01: Ohno for No Way -OR- NXT is still glorious – thanks to Asuka and the tag teams (01 April 2017)
April 2017 – And all of a sudden Oney Lorcan is my favourite wrestler
For the show after NXT TakeOver: Orlando there were kind of used the leftovers, i.e. the matches from the pre-show. One of them was the fun match of Oney Lorcan against El Vagabundo. Check this out if you haven’t seen this already. You might die from laughing (like I did).
One week later, the General Manager was seen again at the end of the show, together with all NXT wrestlers, handing Shinsuke Nakamura his farewell from NXT. The nice photograph on the right hand side Kassius Ohno kindly posted on his Instagram account, shows the man himself at #NXTAtlanta on 14 April 2017 together with Dave Taylor and out favourite General Manager, Sir William Regal.
- [MATCH REVIEW] Oney Lorcan vs El Vagabundo (05 April 2017)
- [VIDEO] William Regal attends the Nakamura Farewell (12 April 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Oney Lorcan vs Drew McIntyre (12 April 2017)
It took another fortnight until the General Manager appeared on TV again. Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross had just opened the show with a brawl, so William Regal made a match between those two for later in the show. But the match didn’t happen because Nikki Cross started another brawl with attacking Ruby Riot when she was about to enter the ring. So, William Regal met up with NXT championess Asuka in his office to inform her about a battle royal for the #1 contender that will take place next week.
- [VIDEO] William Regal takes care of the NXT women’s division (26 April 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Jack Gallagher vs Tyler Bate (26 April 2017)
From 27 April 2017 to 29 April 2017 WWE held an international tryout in Dubai with talent from 18 countries. William Regal was there as a coach as well as several NXT talents to help with the training and all over NXT / WWE philosophy.
I personally liked that women were part of it and that both, men and women, were trained and taught together. That shouldn’t be pointed out in the 21st century. But WWE usually leaves the women at home when they do live shows in Muslim countries. This was only a tryout and it was held in Dubai. But some competitors might origin from Muslim countries. So it was good to see those lads being put together with women, even better: have fighting sequences against each other inside the ring. It’s always the small steps that work.
And as for the talent as a whole: good luck to them. Maybe we’re going to see a few of them during the women’s tournament in Summer and / or in NXT later on this year.
May 2017 – #DIY created and destroyed themselves
The next NXT special, NXT TakeOver: Chicago on 20 May 2017, is already lurking, so the General Manager needs to put things on the right tracks. Most important here are the main singles titles for the men and women in NXT. So first, William Regal was seen in his office, apparently just watching the life documentary about Roderick Strong. Bobby Roode was also there but he only paid attention to his mobile phone. After all, he finally talked to Mr Regal in his usual arrogant way but he didn’t have much more to say when the GM informed him that Bobby Roode will have to defend the NXT Championship title in Chicago against the winner of next week’s match between returning Hideo Itami and Roderick Strong. Said man then entered the office and a stand-off between Roode and Strong finished this segment (we possibly will get a Triple Threat then).
Later on the main event match of the first NXT episode in May was a little chaotic. That’s usually the case anyway for a Battle Royal, so this women’s battle royal was no different.
But when only Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross and Ember Moon remained, Asuka appeared on the scene to cause disqualification to the match. She then went on to destroy the three competing women and then went off. We later saw in a special clip that William Regal was furious, confronted Asuka and finally made her next title defence a Fatal 4-Way match against the three women she just killed before. And the GM then went out to the ring (without his entrance music!) to inform the other competitors about their fate.
- [VIDEO] William Regal sets pathes for NXT TakeOver: Chicago (03 May 2017)
Just a few days later, William Regal was part of the WWE Live Tour all around England with a finishing Tryout in London. After already two title defences in regular NXT shows this year, Tyler Bate had to find out about his next opponent for the United Kingdom Championship title at NXT TakeOver: Chicago. A match for the #1 contender took place between Trent Seven and Pete Dunne – and of course Pete Dunne won.
William Regal made sure that the stand-off between those two wouldn’t end in a brawl. The schedule of the mini live tour with William Regal usually greeting and thanking the crowds for coming was as following (with the links leading to the specific reports with social media content from WWE):
The London Tryout only took place in the O2 Arena, so the event was a little shorter than in Dubai. Nevertheless there are still some good photographs that are worth keeping / showing here:
Back on Florida soil, William Regal granted #DIY their one-on-one re-match for the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain. But the General Manager made sure that being smaller wouldn’t be a disadvantage for Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. So, at NXT TakeOver: Chicago we will have a ladder match between those two teams.
- [VIDEO] William Regal makes a ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver: Chicago (10 May 2017)
For the last NXT episode before NXT TakeOver: Chicago the rest of the match-up needed to be scheduled and announced. For the first one, it was shown what happened after the match between Hideo Itami and Roderick Strong one week before. Roderick Strong was attacked by SAnitY, so later on in the backstage area when the General Manager checked on him, Roderick Strong demanded a match against SAnitY. Because William Regal didn’t want for Roddy to get killed, he just granted a match against Eric Young. But, of course, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain will be at ringside…
Right before NXT went off air, Bobby Roode still had a few words to say when he was (thankfully) interrupted by Hideo Itami. Knowing that any accident would cost the NXT TakeOvershow its main event, William Regal stormed out in his desperate attempt to avoid the brawl. But he failed as well as his security entourage. After the brawl, Hideo Itami got the upper hand and hit Bobby Roode with the GTS. If this happened on RAW or SmackDown, it would mean that Bobby Roode will retain. But NXT always teases hard and does it just like that. So, Hideo Itami, come Saturday evening, will be the new NXT Champion. Take my word!
- [VIDEO] William Regal wants to kill Roderick Strong and avoid a brawl between Bobby Roode and Hideo Itami (17 May 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Lacey Evans vs Sonya Deville (17 May 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Kassius Ohno vs Andrade “Cien” Almas (17 May 2017)
Sorry to everyone who has taken me and my word seriously. Bobby Roode after NXT TakeOver: Chicago is still champion but the far better matches had been for the UK Championship and the NXT Tag Team Championship. If you haven’t watched them already, do it! Or better: click the following link and get my thoughts about the matches as well as the matches themselves.
William Regal didn’t attend the show live because the man had been on a special mission in Japan. Once again he was scouting for new talent plus meeting some old friends there, esp. Yuji Nagata.
- [MATCH REVIEW] Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate (20 May 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] The Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) vs #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) (20 May 2017)
- [PROMO REVIEW] NXT 2017/05/31: Tommaso Ciampa makes sure that the NXT crowd hates him but he still loves Johnny Gargano (31 May 2017)
In early June the NXT Live tour around Scotland and England continued and the General Manager was part of it, of course. There wasn’t any special kayfabe / storyline stuff taking place, just the usual greeting and thanking the fans for being at the very events. So, here is the full list of happenings. Through the links you can head over to the photo sets of the shows:
- 05 June 2017 | NXT Live in Aberdeen, Scotland
- 07 June 2017 | NXT Live in Leeds, England
- 08 June 2017 | NXT Live in Brighton, England
- 09 June 2017 | NXT Live at the Download Festival, Day 1
- 10 June 2017 | NXT Live at the Download Festival, Day 2
Back in America, the weekly NXT shows went on without personal appearances by the General Manager. There were still a few matches I wrote a little about. So, watch and enjoy:
- [MATCH REVIEW] Hideo Itami vs Oney Lorcan (07 June 2017)
- [MATCH REVIEW] Raul Mendoza vs Velveteen Dream (14 June 2017)