THIS IS NXT for June 29th, 2016
From the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
This week: We’ll get comments from Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura about their huge match in two weeks. Also, American Alpha returns after losing their titles at Takeover.
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
I actually really liked this match and it’s more because of Alexa than Carmella. Carmella is getting better, but it still feels like she’s going through rehearsed spots than actually putting together a match. Alexa on the other hand seems to be getting just as good in the ring as she is on promos. She shows a viciousness that befits her character as she snaps Carmella’s arm on the rope and goes to work on it as we take a break.
Alexa continues the attack on the arm with cool looking twisting armwringers and hits jumping double knees which turn into her backflip double knees (Phillips calls it “Insult to Injury”) and flips out on the ref after a two count. Carmella uses the time to recover and goes into her comeback, cracking her with a superkick and hitting the Bronco Buster, but Alexa rolls her up for 2. Alexa goes up but is cut off and Carmella takes her down with Trish Stratus’ Stratusphere for 2. She goes to finish, but Alexa SLAPS ON THE GOOZLE and slams her down, finishing with the newly named Twisted Bliss (I saw them in Providence a few weeks ago) for the pin. This kind of match highlights the “developmental” part of NXT as both women have made really good progress over the last year and it shows with every match they have.
We recap the big challenge two weeks ago and get comments from Shinsuke Nakamura. He talks about how he’s known Finn for 10 years as they traveled all over Japan and how they are great friends. He watched Finn come to NXT and become an NXT icon. Now that Nak is in NXT, one of his goals is to face one of the best. If he wants to be NXT champion, he has to fight an icon like Finn. He knows Finn’s ability and is excited to face off with him, promising to give the fans something “sensational”. He of course finishes with the goofiest grin on his face because he’s Nakamura.
Cathy Kelley asks Bayley how it feels to be back in action. Bayley’s ecstatic and is ready to take back her title. Alexa walks in, saying she deserves a title shot much more than Bayley does because she didn’t lose the triple threat and just beat up Bayley’s little friend. That made her very happy, but not as happy as beating Bayley would. Alexa Bliss may be the best thing on the show right now.
Noah Potjes vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
I think I’ve figured out the problem with Almas not connecting with this crowd. First off, he still looks fucking ridiculous coming out with the suspenders and fedora. His debut teasers portrayed him in a more serious light so seeing him dressed up like Godfather Jr. doesn’t quite compute.
Then, we get him in the ring. He’s good, but it really seems like he’s holding back. He hits some nice quick impact moves which pop the crowd, but then he bails out of a dive and does his laying across the ropes pose, which draw quite a bit of boos. This is a smart crowd and I think even they can see when someone really should be doing more. To top it all off, he finishes with the double knees, which is a pretty mundane finisher. Hopefully they can see these faults and fix them sooner rather than later because Almas is a bit of damaged goods right off the bat.
The Other Interview Girl asks Asshole Austin Aries about his attack on No Way Jose last week. He blames the “self-entitled, self-important” fans for not realizing the greatness before them. He’s baffled that a nobody like Jose goes out there and shakes his hips to get cheers while Austin is getting “Austin sucks!” chants. He’s going to give the fans something to boo about. THANK GOD they’ve realized how great a dick this guy can be.
Finn Balor talks about how Nakamura was one of the first guys that helped him adapt to Japan and Japanese wrestling. They are more than just work friends, this is a true friendship. He thought he wouldn’t see Nakamura that much, but was ecstatic when Nak came to NXT and wanted to return the favor Nak did for Finn in Japan. He’s faced Nakamura in Japan, but this is much different. He’s excited at just saying their names together on NXT TV. So am I, dude.
Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss is officially made for next week.
The Hype Bros vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
I wonder how much more Zack’s soul dies every time he puts on that Hype Bros shirt?
The Bros work over Gargano in the early going, but Johnny knees out of a suplex and they hit a rollup kick into a neckbreaker by Tommaso to gain control. Zack hits a facebuster to gain control back and they dump Ciampa, but Gargano had made a blind tag so he wipes out Zack with a dive, but he doesn’t account for Mojo who BLASTS him with a clothesline on the outside and we take a break.
Gargano fights out of a hold by Mojo and makes the hot tag as Ciampa runs wild. Zack blocks a flying forearm with double knees and hits a dropkick, tagging in Mojo. Mojo bulldozes through Ciampa and Gargano breaks the pin. They go for the Hype Ryder, but Gargano pulls Mojo out and cracks him with a superkick while Ciampa wipes Zack out with a clothesline for 2 as this has turned into a hell of a little TV match. Gargano and Ciampa put Zack on top and go for a superplex, but Mojo scurries in and powerbombs them both off with Zack following with the ElBro Drop on Johnny for a close 2. Ciampa and Mojo fight on the outside with Mojo eating the steps to take him out leaving Zack to fight alone and Ciampa takes advantage, clotheslining Zack out of a Broski Boot attempt and their running combo gets the pin. REALLY good TV match as both teams showed really good chemistry.
Gargano grabs a mic and reminds us how they beat the new tag champs a few weeks ago, so that should put them in line for a title shot. This brings out American Alpha who say that if there’s any team that is going to take the titles from the Revival, it’s them. They will deal with the Authors of Pain in due time, but first thing’s first. They need to show the Revival who the alphas in NXT are.
This, of course, brings out the Revival. They are flattered that all these teams are fighting over them, but they let both teams in on a little #Topguy secret: right now, the Revival are calling the shots. And in their opinion, “Gargonzala and Chimpy” and the “Betas” aren’t getting what they want. The Revival are the A-team and they dictate the terms. Naturally, this brings out GM Regal and Dawson’s reaction of disgust is just tremendous.
Regal reminds the Revival that HE dictates the terms. He acknowledges that Gargano and Ciampa deserve a shot, but feels there is some unfinished business. Next week, we will have a NXT Tag Team title match where the Revival defend against American Alpha….in a 2 out of 3 falls match! The Revival aren’t very pleased at that.
Ciampa & Gargano and the Alpha reluctantly shake hands and Ciampa & Gargano head up the ramp, but suddenly The Authors of Pain jump the Alpha in the ring. Gargano and Ciampa try to help but are quickly dispatched but that gives the Alpha the opportunity to fight back with Jordan actually getting a suplex in on one of them, but he’s quickly wiped out with a clothesline and their legsweep combo finisher and Gable gets the same. Paul Ellering comes to the ramp and calls off the dogs with the Authors standing tall as we fade.
Really nice to see the tag division getting a big chunk of the show like this as we have four strong, established teams intermingling with each other (and let’s not discount teams like the Hype Bros) potentially leading to some good stuff down the line.
OVERALL: One of the best episodes of the year, in all honesty. Shows like this are what hooked me into NXT in the first place; a couple of really good matches along with a ton of character and storyline development leading to future matches I really want to watch. The next two weeks are looking to be tremendous shows as we get Alexa/Bayley and Revival/Alpha next week followed by the gigantic Balor/Nakamura main event the week after.
I know NXT is probably going to be gutted by the draft, but shows like this are doing a good job of having the current stars go out with a bang while taking time to build up the people that will try and replace them. Great stuff all around.
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