In April 2016, Bobby Roode and Kota Ibushi nearly broke wrestling Twitter when they both appeared in the audience at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. They were two of the hottest free agents in the business at that time, and of course, nobody shows up at a TakeOver without having some sort of involvement with the brand. Roode had just wrapped up his run in TNA, and shortly following WrestleMania weekend, he signed a deal with NXT. As for Ibushi, while he never ended up becoming a full-time competitor for NXT, he did take part in the first-ever Cruiserweight Classic that summer and made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to TJP.
Fast forward six months to an NXT show show on October 30. Having been to multiple NXT live events myself over the years (including one where Samoa Joe won the NXT Championship from Finn Balor), I can tell you that every house show NXT puts on is must-see because you never know what to expect. The black-and-yellow brand is known to surprise fans every now and again, and this night was no exception.
In late 2016, Ibushi was still making appearances on NXT TV for the second-annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (where he teamed with TJP). He then showed up unannounced at this NXT house show to face Roode. Speaking of "The Glorious One," he was in the midst of a rivalry with Tye Dillinger heading into TakeOver: Toronto, hence the loud "Ten!" chants whenever either of them were outside of the ring.
This was very fun, although it was fairly obvious early on that they were working a house show-style match. They were given plenty of time, and despite starting out slow, they picked up the pace down the stretch and produced a real entertaining outing. Roode was on offense for a majority of the matchup, but Ibushi was impressive throughout, especially whenever he went high risk. I really thought he had it won when he hit his powerbomb finisher, but Roode kicked out and connected with one of the best Glorious DDTs I've ever seen for the victory.
Unfortunately, this was Ibushi's one and only house show appearance for NXT, and he hasn't wrestled for the brand since. As far as I know, he's still a free agent, so hopefully he'll pop up again soon enough. At any rate, this Hidden Gem is well worth the watch on the WWE Network.