This IS NXT
After a month of episodes taped from Dallas we are back home at the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
New NXT Champion Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring for a promo. He is a man of his word and Finn Balor found out that, like death and taxes, Joe holding the title was inevitable. He says it is a new era and he runs things now; anyone who has a problem with that can step up and get choked out. Suddenly, music plays and Eric Young makes his way out to a big reaction. He looks nothing like I remember from when I briefly watched TNA like a decade ago. He says change is coming because he collects championships and he is coming for Joe’s. They have a brief staredown before Joe leaves the ring, saying that Eric doesn’t belong in the same ring as him. The next time, he’s gonna beat Eric’s ass.
Nia Jax fairly easily squashes Tessa Blanchard, including a nice spot where she swats Tessa out of the air on a crossbody attempt. Nia is looking a lot more comfortable in the ring and is moving with a lot more quickness and purpose which actually gives a lot of her stuff much more impact. She desperately needs to get a new finisher though; that legdrop is not impressive at all. I’m still not sure if I really want a Jax/Asuka title match (since that seems like where they are going here), but I’d much prefer this Nia than the one that faced Bayley in London.
“The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger vs. Austin Aries
Both guys get good reactions, but Tye definitely is the crowd favorite here. They trade holds as the crowd chants for both guys before settling on a “both these guys” chant. Tye hits a backbreaker and sends Aries hard into the corner. They chop the piss out of each other and Aries rolls out of an Irish whip, hitting a tope in the ring before hitting a corkscrew plancha on the outside. Back in, Tye kicks Aries out of the air on a charge and hits a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker, but walks into the rolling elbow and the 450 ends it. This is a matchup that I really would like to see get like 10-15 minutes. Dillinger is filling the Tyler Breeze role of “guy that really needs a bigger role on the show” right now and hopefully won’t suffer the same fate that Breeze did.
The Hype Bros vs. The Revival
This was set up after The Revival jumped the Bros after their match last week. Ryder fights off both heels but gets yanked off the top to give the Revival control. They work Ryder over and Dawson grabs a hold while Mojo tries to hype up the crowd but his partner just takes more punishment. Ryder avoids a bulldog and makes the hot tag, but Dawson blind tags in and the Shatter Machine finishes. A pretty formula match to continue the “Revival are pissed off and will run through the tag division until they get a rematch” story.
Alex Riley cuts a promo. Since it’s Riley I immediately stopped paying attention but I heard the name “Shinsuke Nakamura” and realized they are fighting next week which made me happy because Riley is going to get his head kicked off.
No Way Jose squashed Noah Kekoa, finishing with a full nelson slam. Jose reminds me way too much of Adam Rose: a cool character with a fun entrance and a lot of energy that pretty much goes away once the bell rings. They can only coast on the character for so long before people start expecting a little more from him. This is only his second TV match, so there’s still plenty of time for him to grow unless they suddenly bring him to the main roster and completely expose him like Rose.
Cathy Kelley (damn, that dress) asks Aries about his victory. Austin calls Dillinger an A-level talent, but Austin is a AA-level talent and a perfect 20. He feels like he’s been flying under the radar a bit and he may have to show a little more initiative to get to the top of NXT. First, it’s time to eat a banana to replenish his potassium.
Finn Balor returns next week.
Eric Young vs. Samoa Joe (non-title)
They slug it out and Young hits a dropkick, following with a spinning neckbreaker but Joe launches him out of the ring and follows with a dive as we take a break.
Joe is in complete control on Young, cracking him with a jumping enzigiri that causes EY to flop to the mat. Joe grabs a nerve hold and cuts off Young’s comeback by squishing him with a senton for 2. They slug it out again and Joe hits a backdrop, but EY fights back again which only pisses Joe off but EY muscles Joe over with a suplex and hits an elbow off the top for 2. EY charges, but Joe PLANTS him with an STO and slaps the shit out of him before hitting the Muscle Buster and the Coquina Clutch for the submission. Joe keeps the hold on after the bell to teach Young a lesson and send a message to everyone else about getting in his face.
A decent main event, but I doubt many outside of that Full Sail crowd really give much of a thought about Eric Young. I barely remember him from TNA like a decade ago and I don’t really see the appeal of him in NXT aside from a one-night shot like this. It feels like he’s taking a spot someone newer like Dillinger could just as easily have done.
I just really like The Perfect 10, okay?
OVERALL: Much like the last set of tapings, this was a pretty easy, breezy watch with some decent matches and we can kind of see the next Takeover start to take shape (at least, who will be the focus of that show). The hotter Full Sail crowd definitely helped over the sometimes flat crowd at Axxess. I am kind of concerned at the “NXTNA” vibe the show is starting to get with all these ex-TNA guys showing up since who knows what star power some of those guys really have left. Eric Young is kind of reaching towards the bottom of the barrel.
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