NXT NEWS: Roderick Strong Debut, Hideo Itami Injured, Mickie James Return
I’ve been reviewing NXT’s weekly shows for only a few weeks, but for some reason I feel it’s my obligation to discuss NXT news, especially since there’s been quite a bit of it recently. I was going to mention this in my weekly reviews but thought it might take up too much space and time and I should really just focus on the show itself, so I’m going to report this news separately.
First of all, Roderick Strong made his debut in NXT at a taping last Thursday. While the event hasn’t been shown on the Network yet, WWE announced the debut via their website. However they didn’t spoil who his opponent was, so I shan’t either, just don’t go reading his Wikipedia page. If you don’t know who Roderick Strong is shame on you, but I shall enlighten you. He’s a 16 year pro and has worked for notable companies like Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and TNA, winning the PWG and ROH World Titles.
Elsewhere, Hideo Itami, who recently returned from a long absence due to injury, is injured yet again. He was out from May 20th of last year and returned to in-ring action on August 3rd of this year. The injury was reportedly caused by a Powerslam delivered by Riddick Moss, who debuted this week, during a live event on October 1st. As a result Hideo Itami has been taken out of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and replaced by TJ Perkins who will team up with Kota Ibushi.
Finally, and also announced on WWE.com, Asuka will be defending her NXT Women’s Title at TakeOver: Toronto against none other than Mickie James, who is making her in-ring return to WWE six years after her release. Mickie worked for OVW for two years before debuting in WWE in 2005, quickly winning the Women’s Championship from Trish Stratus at Wrestlemania 22. Since then she won the Women’s Title four more times, and the Divas Title once, before being released and going to TNA, where she won the Knockouts Title three times. A few people have complained about her returning to the ‘minor leagues’ but personally I don’t mind. I don’t see her winning the title or staying on long in NXT, and since there’s no one ready to face Asuka, why not bring back a veteran that the fans recognise like Mickie and let her put Asuka over?