From the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
This week: Emma faces Asuka in a Takeover: London rematch and an inside look at American Alpha.
The Drifter Elias Samson vs. Johnny Gargano
It’s a Drifter match, so there’s not much to talk about until Gargano catches him with a rollup and gets the pin giving The Drifter his first loss. Samson jumps him afterwards and again, since this is the Drifter, his postmatch beatdown takes FOREVER until Apollo Crews finally comes down for the save. Who has Apollo pissed off to earn this feud? I guess Takeover could use a cooldown match to keep the crowd from burning themselves out.
Rich Swann vs. Finn Balor (non-title match)
Swann’s new theme music is the best and I don’t care who knows it. The announcers say that Finn accepted this match to keep himself fit and ready for Joe in Dallas. He controls Swann on the mat with armlocks and a headlock, but Swann comes back with a headscissors and is able to show off his ridiculous agility by doing a full front flip to avoid Finn and hitting a superkick. Finn cuts off a charge and goes to the middle rope but Swann leaps up and ranas him down. He dropkicks Finn to the floor and goes to dive, but Finn rushes back in and barrels into him to knock him down before dropkicking him into the corner and finishing with the Coup de Grace and Bloody Sunday for the pin. Incredibly entertaining semi-squash which let Swann show off a bit, but you always knew Finn had it in the bag. Hopefully Swann gets a bigger role post-Dallas.
Alex Reyes talks to Emma and Dana Brooke. Dana has been helping Emma train for her match tonight because Dana’s been injured since her match with Asuka at Takeover: Respect and she wishes she was the one who is taking Asuka out tonight. Emma thinks she should be getting the shot at Bayley in Dallas and promises that Asuka won’t make it to Dallas after tonight.
We get a quick video on Shinsuke Nakamura being introduced at his contract signing and then going to WWE HQ to meet HHH and Vince before reporting to NXT. We recap last week’s big announcement of his match against Sami Zayn at Takeover.
Alexa Bliss (w/Blake and Murphy) vs. Sarah Dobson
Dobson hits a dropkick but Alexa avoids a charge to take over and steps on her back while B&M put on the badmouth. Alexa keeps control until Dobson comes back with a kick and comes off the top with a crossbody, but she lands with her knees right into Alexa’s face. Ouch. Blake distracts the ref which allows Murphy to pull Alexa out of the way of…whatever the hell Dobson was going for…and the Sparkle Splash gets the pin. Alexa’s gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to opponents lately, hasn’t she? She’s not that bad, but you can’t do much when you have opponents like Cameron and Dobson.
Reyes tries to get a comment from Samoa Joe about Finn and Dallas, but he storms off.
Bull Dempsey vs. Danny Burch never gets going as Joe wipes out Bull during his entrance and chokes him out before doing the same to Burch. He yells at the camera that Finn is going to get the same and the title will be Joe’s. Joe is the greatest right now.
A recap of American Alpha’s win last week leads to a look at their history. Both men were longtime amateur wrestlers and both were among the best at it. But when Jordan went for a National Championship in college and Gable went for Olympic gold in London, both men failed. Gable: “That may have been the worst moment of my life.” They don’t want to fail and have that feeling again in Dallas. They are focused on the Tag Titles and are Ready, Willing and Gable. MAH BOYS. Such a simple but highly effective video to get you completely behind these guys.
Next Week: Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley and Samoa Joe faces Bull Dempsey.
Emma (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Asuka
Asuka controls early and takes a bit of a dance break before hitting a flying armbar that has Emma escaping to the apron, but Asuka hip attacks her to the floor and we take a break.
Asuka remains in complete control as she works the arm for a bit before tripping Emma up and locking in an ankle lock, but Emma sends her to the floor, tripping her into the apron when she comes back in to take control. She tries to wear Asuka down with a chinlock but Asuka fights back with kicks until Emma pulls her down by the hair. Emma hangs her in the corner and kicks her in the spine and pulls the hair, drawing the ref away so that Dana can choke her before hitting the Emma Sandwich, but Asuka quickly kicks out of any pin attempt. They trade forearms and Asuka hits a hip attack before laying in the kicks and strikes, but Emma catches her with another forearm and hits a dropkick, but Asuka bounces off the ropes and wipes her out with another hip attack for 2. That was a cool sequence. Emma rams her into the corner and rolls her up, putting her feet on the ropes, but the ref catches her. As Emma argues with the ref. Asuka comes from behind, but Emma ducks a kick and tries one of her own, but Asuka catches it and locks in an ankle lock, turning that into a German suplex before a running kick and the Asuka Lock ends it. Not as good as their London match, but it was a fun TV main event as these two have some crazy good chemistry in the ring together.
OVERALL: Another OK episode this week. They seem to feel that the Takeover: Dallas card kind of speaks for itself right now but the American Alpha package was great and they are doing just enough in the promo department and in the ring to keep things moving.
Only 9 days to go to Dallas. My predictions will be in this space next week.
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