From the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
They display a graphic with a ribbon with the American and rainbow flags intertwined saying We Stand With Orlando.
A recap video shows all the major happenings from Takeover last week (missed my recap? click here).
This week: We’ll get comments from STILL NXT Champion Samoa Joe as well as find out what is next for Finn Balor.
The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) utterly decimate two jobbers, not giving them a single lick of offense. They aren’t given names (just descriptions like “the tattooed one”) until they take one jamoke out with their boot into sidewalk slam and finish the other with the Russian legsweep clothesline. Definitely get a real old school monster team vibe from them and their finisher is impactful, but the boot into sidewalk slam seems kind of dumb.
Cathy Kelley asks Andrade “Cien” Almas about his debut last week, but “The Perfect 10” interrupts, calling Cathy a “six” (dude, she’s at least an 8) before calling Takeover a fluke and demanding a chance to “right the wrong”.
The Other Interview Girl tries to get a word from the Authors and then Ellering, but he says things will be explained “in due time”.
Carmella vs. Tessa Blanchard
They have a fun little TV match as Carmella is starting to stand on her own as a character. Not much to write about here as things are pretty basic, but Carmella needs a whole bunch of matches like these to get better and continue to try and become something other than “the girl that was with Enzo and Cass” or “Bayley’s friend”.
Samoa Joe talks about how much he sacrificed to win the NXT title: he destroyed his brother and chased a Demon around the world. All questions were answered and this begins his era. Nobody has enough to sacrifice to take the title away from him.
Cathy talks to Blake and Murphy, who have seemed to reconcile their differences by just blaming Alexa for everything. They promise to get back on track against TM61 tonight.
TM61 vs. Blake and Murphy
The fans taunt the heels with “Where’s Alexa?” chants. Corey Graves is ON FIRE in this match, talking about how Murphy and Thorne (both Australian) had great-great grandfathers who battled in Thunderdome. He also adds he tried to talk to Alexa about B&M but “she didn’t care” and adds to Murphy’s post-breakup woes by saying his car was repoed, he was evicted and “he dropped his Crossandwich this morning”. Miller and Thorne look really good here as they work over Blake with Thorne hitting a hilo for 2. They dump Blake and hit their moonsault/fistdrop combo, but Blake cuts off a tag and Murphy hits a clothesline on Thorne to take control.
Blake and Murphy wear Thorne down for a bit but Thorne catches a kick from Murphy and shoves his leg so he kicks Blake instead and ducks a Blake clothesline so he wipes out Murphy before making the hot tag to Miller. He runs wild, but probably just a .6 at best on the Jason Jordan scale. They finish Blake with a double team press slam (Thunder Valley) for the pin. I can’t wait to see TM61 against the tops of the tag division over the next few months.
The Revival celebrate their victory last week, saying this is exactly what they said they were going to do. They proved they are the best team on this planet and clink together their belts (I missed that).
We see the social media reaction of Bobby Roode’s NXT debut this past week in the UK.
We recap birthday girl Bayley getting injured against Nia Jax, forcing her to miss Takeover. She says she has a doctor’s appointment next week and if all goes well she is coming back. She is hopeful because she needs to come back and take her title back. Well, she’s been wrestling house shows pretty much ever since that episode aired so…..
“The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Dillinger is still the crowd favorite in this match. Andrade shows his agility with a backspring elbow and and springboard crossbody that sends Dillinger to the outside. Tye cuts him off back in the ring and throws him to the floor but Almas catches him with a pair of dropkicks and teases a dive but does a backflip instead. He headscissors Tye to the outside again and does his laying in the ropes pose as Tye makes a run for it leading to a break.
Almas wears Tye down with an armbar, avoiding a charge and hitting a basement dropkick to the ribs, but Tye yanks him down by the hair and hits a backbreaker before going to work. Almas fights back and escapes another backbreaker attempt, hitting a springboard dropkick and a spinkick before hitting a corkscrew dive on the outside. Back in, the sitout bulldog leads to the double knees in the corner to finish.
The crowd was pretty split for this match and I can’t really blame him that much. Almas isn’t bad — far from it — but they haven’t really shown us what the big deal is with Almas. When Asuka debuted, they showed videos of her killing women in Japan and in her first match she sent Dana Brooke off NXT for like 6 months. Here they’ve shown Almas dressed up like a Godfather who was left in the dryer too long and a couple of decent but unspectacular matches against a cult favorite. I’ve read that on house shows people go from not giving a shit about Almas to getting the crowd completely behind him. Hopefully we see more of that Almas going forward because this one isn’t really working out for me.
Finn Balor (in casual clothes) comes to the ring. He waits out various chants (“Please don’t go” and “Thank You Finn”) before talking about how he first watched NXT and saw Enzo and Cass which made him want to be a part of NXT. He made the move and NXT then became just as much a part of him. He was NXT champion for 292 days and battled the likes of Neville, Tyler Breeze, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. But now he’s not the champion and now the question is “What is next for Finn Balor?” The fans give him a “Balor Club” chant which he answers with a “Too sweet!”….and Shinsuke Nakamura interrupts to a huge ovation.
They bump fists and Nakamura tells him when he was in Japan, he watched Finn become the icon of NXT. He’s not champion anymore, but he’s still the icon. He realizes that if Nakamura wants to be NXT champion, he has to beat an icon. He has to beat…..
The crowd goes absolutely mental as things suddenly turn serious between Finn and Nak. Finn says it looks like he’s found the answer to his question, accepting the challenge. They shake hands and Nakamura is all smiles as he leaves the ring to Balor (not before giving a bow) and we fade.
Excuse my French, but FUUUUUCCCCKKKKK YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
I don’t know when this match will happen but goddamn it it’s happening. Perhaps they’ll do it at the next tapings as Nakamura’s next step towards Brooklyn and NAKAMURA VS. JOE, perhaps they will actually do it AT Brooklyn, although it will be hard to wait two damn months for this thing.
Good lord NXT is great.
OVERALL: We are in the down period where we just got through a Takeover and Brooklyn is still a bit too far in the distance, so this is a good time to try and establish some new talent. There’s been hits (TM61, Authors of Pain), misses (Almas) and yet-to-be-determined (Carmella), but it will be interesting to see where NXT is once Brooklyn comes around.
I’m @PKIsTwitting on Twitter. Say hi!