REVIEW: WWE ‘BEST OF NXT 2017’ DVD – NXT Takes Over With A New Annual Series

April 2, 2018 by Mark Armstrong

WWE 'BEST OF NXT 2017' DVD - Logo

The growth of NXT continued throughout 2017. It was the first year when every TakeOver special was held in a major arena, in conjunction with one of WWE’s main roster PPV events. It was a transitional period for the brand, with the next generation of NXT stars coming to the fore in place of those who had moved onto RAW or SmackDown, and one which has seen the brand become as diverse as ever. And NXT provided the basis for the first ever appearance of the War Games match in a WWE setting (more on that later). Combined with plenty of great matches as is the norm for the Wednesday night show, it made 2017 another fantastic year for one of the hottest brands in all of wrestling.

Another sign of NXT’s increasing prominence is the introduction of its own annual best-of compilation – “BEST OF NXT 2017”, which is the subject of this review. The third DVD collection dedicated to NXT, this looks back at many of the brand’s greatest matches from January to November 2017, not only from the weekly show but also with at least one encounter provided by all of the year’s TakeOver specials. So, with that introduction out of the way, let’s get to the action!

 
WWE 'BEST OF NXT 2017' DVD - Main Menu, Johnny Gargano

THE BEE’S KNEES! The new NXT DVD is available now – Amazon.com (US), Amazon.co.uk (UK)

 
DISC ONE

WWE - Triple H, The Creator of NXT!

NXT – January 4, 2017
NXT Tag Team Championship Match

#DIY (C) vs. TM-61

Kicking us off is a doubles match for the NXT Tag Team Championships between #DIY and TM-61. It’s a good way to get things under way on the DVD, though Shane Thorne would go down with a serious knee injury shortly afterwards, which meant that this contest would be TM-61’s in-ring highlight of the year, even at this early stage.

WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - DIY vs. TM61, Tag Team Title Match

NXT – January 11, 2017
NXT Tag Team Championship Match

#DIY (C) vs. The Revival

Next up, #DIY are once again defending their doubles crowns, this time against The Revival. Their Brooklyn and Toronto classics from 2016 receive much more attention, but this match is well worth watching between two sides that shared some terrific chemistry.

NXT TakeOver: San Antonio – January 28, 2017
NXT Championship Match

Shinsuke Nakamura (C) vs. Bobby Roode

Shinsuke Nakamura began the year as NXT Champion, but his reign ended here at the hands of The Glorious One, Bobby Roode. The pace is slower and more methodical than previous TakeOver main events, but the storytelling and psychology are strong, and along with the slightly surprising title change (Nakamura had only recently regained his title from Samoa Joe), it all makes for a very well-worked encounter.

WWE - Bobby Roode Beats Shinsuke Nakamura for The NXT Championship!
WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Asuka vs. Peyton Royce

NXT – March 1, 2017
Asuka vs. Peyton Royce

After a segment which marks Corey Graves’ departure from NXT, we get the first appearance on this collection of Asuka, who defends her NXT Women’s Championship against Peyton Royce. It’s watchable, but I’d have preferred to see Asuka vs. Ember Moon from TakeOver: Orlando a few weeks later (actually, their superior Brooklyn rematch isn’t here either, so it’s strange that this DVD omits the brand’s biggest female rivalry of the year).

NXT TakeOver: Chicago – April 1, 2017
Eight-Person Mixed Tag Team Match

Sanity vs. Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno, Tye Dillinger & Ruby Riot

TakeOver: Orlando IS represented here, though, in the form of an eight-person bout which opened proceedings. It’s easy to forget the match when thinking back to this particular TakeOver (The Authors Of Pain vs. #DIY vs. The Revival was the best match of the night, though it isn’t included on this DVD), but it’s a lot of fun to relive again here, and the crowd are well into it from bell to bell.

WWE - Drew McIntyre Returns to WWE on the NXT Brand

NXT – April 12, 2017
Drew McIntyre vs. Oney Lorcan

At that same TakeOver, Drew McIntyre was shown in the front row, marking his reappearance on WWE television. His official in-ring return for the company is the next match on the DVD, as he faces and defeats Oney Lorcan. This is followed by the segment which sees Shinsuke Nakamura bid farewell to NXT, having just been promoted to SmackDown.

WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young, Steel Cage Match

NXT – April 19, 2017
Steel Cage Match

Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young

Disc one closes with a pretty good Steel Cage match, as Tye Dillinger goes to war with Sanity’s Eric Young. There are plenty of cool spots to look out for here, and it’s a fitting way for Tye to also say goodbye to NXT. Given his current status on SmackDown, though, it’s a shame that Dillinger hasn’t been able to match this effort on the main roster as of this writing.

WWE - William Regal & The Iconic Duo Appearing in 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD

 
DISC TWO

NXT – May 10, 2017
#1 Contender’s Match

Hideo Itami vs. Roderick Strong

Disc two opens with Hideo Itami taking on Roderick Strong. This match set up Itami’s NXT Championship challenge against Bobby Roode at TakeOver: Chicago, and – no surprise – it’s another good bout. This time period, where Hideo was positioned as a threat to Roode’s crown, is the high point of Itami’s NXT/WWE career to date, and unfortunately things are unlikely to change as things stand.

WWE - Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne Go Head to Head for The UK Championship

NXT TakeOver: Chicago – May 20, 2017
United Kingdom Championship Match

Tyler Bate (C) vs. Pete Dunne

Next, we have what is, to me, the best match of the DVD, and the best NXT-related match of the entire year. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne for the UK Championship was a great contest on the night that Bate first captured the title in Blackpool, but this rematch is even better, and the Chicago crowd responds by providing a thunderous atmosphere. A true classic.

NXT TakeOver: Chicago – May 20, 2017
NXT Tag Team Championship Ladder Match

The Authors Of Pain (C) vs. #DIY

TakeOver: Chicago was also notable for this main event, a doubles Ladder clash between The Authors Of Pain and #DIY. Considering that Tommaso Ciampa entered this bout with an ACL injury, his performance in particular is fantastic. But the big story comes after the match, with Ciampa turning heel on Johnny Gargano in heart-breaking fashion. Ciampa’s aforementioned injury means that their feud was put on hold, but the former #DIY members are shortly set to clash in an Unsanctioned fight at TakeOver: New Orleans, which could be one of 2018’s greatest battles.

WWE - Tommaso Ciampa Turns Heel on Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Chicago
WWE - Tommaso Ciampa Turns Heel on Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Chicago

NXT – June 28, 2017
Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan

This is well-worked, as most Itami matches are, but coming after the outstanding UK Championship contest and the dramatic Ladder match, this doesn’t hold one’s interest as much. Especially considering what is coming up next…

NXT – June 28, 2017
NXT Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing Match

Asuka (C) vs. Nikki Cross

That would be the Last Women Standing war between Asuka and Nikki Cross, which to me was the best WWE women’s match of the whole year. It’s an intense, violent and totally gripping fight, and it provides further evidence as to why Asuka is WWE’s most compelling female performer (though Nikki also puts forth one hell of an effort here).

WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Asuka vs. Nikki Cross, Last Women Standing

NXT – July 5, 2017
NXT Championship Match

Bobby Roode (C) vs. Roderick Strong

This is only the second, and final, appearance of Bobby Roode on the DVD. Admittedly, it comes via a thrilling NXT Championship defence against Roderick Strong, but for a man who held the brand’s most prestigious title for the majority of the year, I expected to see more of The Glorious One.

WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Bobby Roode vs. Roderick Strong

NXT – July 19, 2017
Ruby Riot vs. Ember Moon

By this point, the hype was under way for the third annual TakeOver: Brooklyn card. As mentioned earlier, Ember Moon challenging Asuka was a big part of that card, and as a way to build her up for her second shot at The Empress Of Tomorrow, she faces and defeats Ruby Riot (one t) here. Both ladies looked good here, and I feel that Ruby is one of the more underrated performers in WWE’s women’s division right now. Still, this was Moon’s time to shine ahead of her rematch with Asuka.

NXT – July 19, 2017
#1 Contender’s Match

Drew McIntyre vs. Killian Dain

Brooklyn provided the basis for this match as well in a more specific manner, as an NXT Championship showdown with Bobby Roode would go to the winner. Stylistically, this match is different from most others on the DVD, as it’s a straight-up fight between two of the brand’s largest competitors. McIntyre winning was not a surprise, and the title shot he earned as a result of winning would complete the journey which began when he was sat at ringside in Orlando.

WWE - William Regal & Johnny Gargano Appearing in 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD

 
DISC THREE

NXT – August 2, 2017
Aleister Black vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Disc three kicks off with Kyle O’Reilly’s NXT debut as he attempts to vanquish Aleister Black, who himself had only debuted relatively recently on the yellow and black brand. It’s compelling viewing, with Black coming out on top, continuing a big push that is about to culminate in Black challenging Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas for the NXT crown in New Orleans. As for O’Reilly, he would align himself with Bobby Fish and Adam Cole to form The Undisputed Era shortly thereafter.

WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Aleister Black vs. Kyle O'Reilly

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn – August 19, 2017
Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas

Speaking of Almas, his incredible match with Gargano earlier this year in Philadelphia currently stands as WWE’s Match of the Year for 2018. But the two had already produced magic, as evidenced in this red-hot opener for TakeOver: Brooklyn III. It is tremendous from start to finish, and yet the two men would have an even better match five months down the line.

NXT Live (Lowell, Massachusetts) – September 21, 2017
Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza

Asuka’s farewell to NXT is followed by a match from a live NXT show in Lowell, Massachusetts, as Gargano pops up again to face Raul Mendoza. This is one of the cool aspects about the NXT DVDs, in that we get to see matches that have never been televised, and as Samoa Joe’s NXT Title win in 2016 proved, there is every chance that those attending a live NXT show could witness something special.

WWE NXT Live Event - Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza, Non Televised Match
WWE 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD - Sanity vs. The Undisputed Era

NXT – October 18, 2017
Six-Man Tag Team Match

The Undisputed Era vs. Sanity

I mentioned The Undisputed Era earlier. They quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on NXT, but that didn’t sit well with another important faction on Wednesday nights: Sanity. The two groups lock horns here, though the match (and the interference at the end by The Authors Of Pain, who Cole and co. had previously attacked) is really a way to set up the War Games encounter that we’ll come to shortly.

WWE NXT Live Event - Drew McInyre vs. Adam Cole, Shawn Michaels as Referee!
WWE - Shawn Michaels Superkicks Undisputed Era Members at NXT Live Event!

NXT Live (San Antonio, Texas) – November 17, 2017
NXT Championship Match – Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee

Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Adam Cole

Before we arrived in Houston for the last TakeOver of 2017, though, NXT held a live event in San Antonio, which sees McIntyre defend the NXT Championship he defeated Roode for against Cole, and with hometown legend Shawn Michaels as special guest referee. It’s definitely fun to watch, but this would have been better as a TakeOver main event, and surprisingly enough, Cole (who debuted in grand fashion by attacking McIntyre in Brooklyn) has still yet to receive a NXT Championship match on the TakeOver stage.

NXT TakeOver: War Games – November 18, 2017
NXT Championship Match

Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas

McIntyre would still defend his crown the following night in Houston, though, as Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas stepped up to be his challenger. Few envisioned a title change beforehand, but that is exactly what we got, and the fans were definitely surprised by the result. Almas’ efforts since then have proved that he is more than worthy of the championship, completing a remarkable turnaround for a performer who seemed to be going nowhere a year ago.

WWE - Andrade 'Cien' Almas Beats Drew McIntyre for The NXT Championship!

NXT TakeOver: War Games – November 18, 2017
War Games Match

The Undisputed Era vs. Sanity vs. The Authors Of Pain & Roderick Strong

The DVD ends with the first War Games match in WWE history. The rules were changed slightly from the WCW version, but I didn’t see this as a bad thing, especially since the new rules allowed for some of the match’s biggest spots. Speaking of which: it’s an incredible fight, and a great way to revive the War Games concept. It’ll hopefully be the first of many in WWE, but even if it’s not, this brawl ends the DVD on a high note.

WWE - William Regal & The Undisputed Era Appearing in 'Best of NXT 2017' DVD

 

The Verdict

The War Games contest definitely ends this compilation with a bang, but there are plenty more tremendous matches on display in the “BEST OF NXT 2017” DVD, and the variety of performers and scenarios means that there will be something for everybody.

Of the three NXT collections released to date, this is probably the weakest as an overall package, but this is only due to the incredibly high standards of the previous two releases, and because of the notable omissions amongst the match selection (there are also some important members of the roster who don’t appear here, such as The Velveteen Dream). This is still an excellent collection, and one I would definitely recommend to anyone reading this review.

WWE 'BEST OF NXT 2017' DVD - Main Menu, Drew McIntyre

 
Get your copy of the brand new WWE “BEST OF NXT 2017” DVD…

 
USA: AVAILABLE NOW! Grab the new NXT 2017 DVD now here on Amazon.com.

UK/Europe: AVAILABLE NOW! Grab a copy of the NXT 2017 DVD now on Amazon.co.uk.

Australia: April 25th. Your pre-order opportunity is live now at Madman.com.au.
 

 




New WWE DVDs on Amazon.co.uk


6 Comments on "REVIEW: WWE ‘BEST OF NXT 2017’ DVD – NXT Takes Over With A New Annual Series"

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CDWWE24
WDN Reader
CDWWE24

If Dream/Black’s match was on here, it would of been ten times better. Still a great set though.

Jeff Copeland
WDN Reader
Jeff Copeland

i enjoy this dvd 2nd one was sorta meh match wise ex for sami vs nakamura but i really enjoyed this set. i would of added drew vs roode from nxt before summerslam and replaced few others

Daniel
WDN Reader
Daniel

Ember vs Asuka from Brooklyn Three was on the secret to sensation NXT DVD

Robert emons
WDN Reader
Robert emons

On the raw 25th anniversary DVD I received today the rating is TV-14 and on tv it was PG like always I believe why is the DVD TV-14? Just wondering it’s not a bad thing I would like WWE to go back to TV-14 again.

David
WDN Reader
David

My guess for the TV-14 rating is it likely has to do with the Top 25 Moments section that would warrant a TV-14 label.

Its like with the Network, some SD episodes were rated TV-14 even though SD since 1999 has always been PG, i think even 1 or two even had the TV-MA rating. I believe one of them was the episode where Brock Lesnar pushed Zach Gowen down a flight of stairs and that would likely trigger an MA rating,

Robert emons
WDN Reader
Robert emons

Yeah that would be a good reason thanks for letting me know

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