This is NXT for July 20th, 2016
(Or: “Never do a fantasy money league with Shane and Bryan”)
From the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Tom Phillips and RAW’s Corey Graves (well deserved).
This week: Three big matches as Samoa Joe faces Rhyno in a non-title match, American Alpha finally get their hands on the Authors of Pain and Bayley faces Nia Jax in a match with women’s title implications.
Rhyno vs. Samoa Joe (non-title)
This match is pretty much Big Dudes Hitting Hard. Joe gets the upper hand after some early clubberin’ and sends Rhyno hard into the corner. He locks in a nerve hold and cuts off Rhyno’s comeback, but misses the senton. Rhyno makes the comeback and the blistering pace of this match has Rhyno out of breath as he barely gets Joe over in a suplex. He goes for the Gore, but eats a boot before Joe plants him and locks in the Coquina Clutch for the submission.
Pretty nothing match just to give Joe something to do. Rhyno didn’t seem to have much of a chance and gassed out pretty quickly.
Asuka is asked who she prefers to face between Bayley and Nia Jax. She’s down with fighting both of them.
We look at the NXT talent that was drafted earlier this week. Alexa Bliss was a nice surprise.
American Alpha come out for their match and are jumped by the Authors of Pain on the ramp. Jordan in particular takes a nasty bump off the ramp and into the barricade. Trainers check on the Alpha as Paul Ellering accompanies his men to the ring and we take a break.
GM Regal is out as the Alpha collect themselves and want to go. Regal orders a ref to the ring as the Alpha charge in and the fight is on. Jordan and Gable dump them out before the ref gets control to start the match proper.
American Alpha vs. The Authors of Pain
The Alpha work over Author #1 in the corner and hit an impressive double northern lights suplex, but Author #2 tags and #1 throws Gable into his arms for a bearhug before #1 crushes Gable between them to take control. They take turns wearing Gable down with bearhugs but Gable escapes and makes the tag to Jordan. Jordan fights off both and manages to suplex #2 out of his boots before hitting one on #1 but only gets a one count. #1 hotshots Jordan into the ropes and Gable tags in, bullrushing him to the mat and impressively hitting a capture suplex for a 2 count. The Authors try a double team, but Jordan breaks it up and Gable gets an anklelock on #1. #2 tries to pull his partner free, but it’s AIR JORDAN as he flies out with a dive onto #2. Gable tries a baseball slide, but #1 catches his feet and swings him into the LED apron before sidestepping a Jordan charge and sending him into the steps. They bring Gable in and finish him with the legsweep clothesline for the pin.
The Alpha did a bunch to help make these guys look like monsters and I think they did a fairly good job. They do need to flesh out the Authors’ gimmick fairly soon (like give them names for instance) if they want to do anything with them.
The Revival take credit for softening up the Alpha for the Authors and say they proved they are the best a few weeks ago. There’s no tag team that has beat them and there won’t be. They go to clink, but Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa interrupt, reminding them that there *IS* a team that has beaten them and they have their eyes on the tag titles.
Hideo Itami returns in two weeks. I guess we’ll never know who took him out since all the prime suspects have gotten called up.
Austin Aries squashes Patrick Clark from Tough Enough, finishing with a nice combo of a kneebreaker into an inside out suplex into the Last Chancery for the tap. Aries celebrates but is suddenly jumped by No Way Jose, who is in no mood to dance right now. They fight around ringside until Aries jumps the barricade to finally get free.
Nia Jax vs. Bayley
Bayley grabs a headlock and tries to hold on but Nia easily shoves her off grabbing an armlock, but Bayley uses the ropes to reverse it and goes to work in the corner, but Nia catches her and hits snake eyes in the corner and tosses her. She wears down Bayley with elbow drops and talks trash, but Bayley fires back and rams her head into the turnbuckle, but Nia just grabs her and flings her across the ring, leaving Bayley in a heap on the outside as we take a break.
Nia continues to power Bayley around and locks in a cobra clutch, but Bayley makes the comeback and tries a crossbody, but Nia catches her and hits a backbreaker. She tosses Bayley again and is quite happy with taking a countout win, but Bayley just makes it back in at 9. Nia goes to toss her again, but Bayley reverses the momentum and sends Nia out, following with a clothesline off the apron. Nia knees Bayley in response and charges, but Bayley avoids and Nia crashes into the steps. Bayley gets in the ring and wants a countout, but Nia makes it to the apron at 9, so Bayley hits a stunner in the ropes and beats on her as she is trapped, hitting a dropkick. She goes for her corner elbow, but Nia knees her in the back and charges herself, but Bayley jumps the rope sending Nia into the post. She hits knees while Nia is again in the ropes and hits a crossbody for 2. She goes for the Bayley to Belly, but Nia headbutts her and goes for a powerbomb, but Bayley turns it into a victory roll for 2. Bayley runs the ropes for momentum, but Nia crushes her and hits a Jackhammer (!) for a close 2. She looks for the legdrop, but stops herself and instead drags Bayley towards the corner, going to the middle rope for the big finish. Bayley suddenly pops up as Nia gloats and hits a Bayley to Belly off the middle rope for the pin.
These two have developed a pretty good chemistry and rivalry together and Nia has improved a lot as a result. It was another good example of the Bayley formula where she doesn’t give up fighting and pulls it out in the end. She definitely is showing a much more aggressive side to her which goes with the story that she needs to step up her game if she is going to face Asuka again.
OVERALL: Another good episode, but maybe not as good as the last few weeks. The draft is going to lead to a much different NXT in a few months as a lot of the more established stars are heading up, leaving plenty of opportunity for new faces. We’re starting to see that with guys like Gargano and Ciampa challenging for the tag titles and I’m sure we’ll see more new people soon.
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