In another attempt to actually use this site that I pay for, I’m going to start blogging brief reactions to the plethora of wrestling program I view throughout the week. Maybe not every show at least the ones I like more. NXT is definitely one of the shows I think of as a treat more than a chore to watch.
A very amazing NXT TakeOver happened just two weeks ago and the previous week was more of a recap while the brand gears up for more content. We’re still technically in that lull as the matches from this episode were recorded in Texas at the WrestleMania Axxess event during WM 32 weekend. The crowd was fairly tame by NXT standards sans the final two matches, but this was still a solid show from an in-ring standpoint.
No match ratings or detailed play-by-play, just simply the match endings and few brief thoughts from me. Let’s get to it…
Austin Aries def. Angelo Dawkins (Roaring Elbow, Pinfall)
What’s up with the stirring the cereal bowl stuff that Angelo Dawkins always does? I’m getting up there in age and am probably just not aware of what’s cool anymore… yeah, that’s actually the likely explanation. Still, I’d like to think that he’s making some cream of wheat and he’s stirring the mix in with the hot water for his son. That’s the only time I ever actually use that hand motion.
Aries has a sweet elbow. Even though Dawkins is much bigger, Aries looks like the more equipped athlete in the ring. I mean, he is – so that’s the explanation for that.
Alexa Bliss def. Tessa Blanchard (Backflip Knees, Pinfall)
I’ve actually never seen Tessa Blanchard wrestle before. I’ve heard about her because she’s the daughter of a Four Horseman and liked this pairing opposite Alexa Bliss. If there’s one person that knows how to give an evil glare, it’s Alexa. She’ll make anyone babyface.
This was a short one – less than four minutes. I miss seeing Blake & Murphy hanging around; those three feel like a natural unit by this point. I’m not sure what Tessa’s future holds but I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE nabs her permanently.
I read on 411Mania that Ms. Blanchard is dating Prince Puma. That’s pretty neat.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa def. The Vaudevillians (Ciampa armbars Gotch, Submission)
It makes sense that The Vaudevillians would be putting over another tag team in NXT since they’ve been bumped up to the main roster. Gargano and Ciampa are newer guys to that brand and I think have signed their deals – if not, I’m pretty confident they’ve at least been offered ones.
Simon Gotch is uber-talented. His ability to chain wrestle and throw out interesting reversals are among some of the best in the company. If him and Aiden English are given time to actually perform in-ring on Smackdown and hopefully the bigger shows, they’ll more than prove their worth.
Baron Corbin def. Tucker Knight (End of Days, Pinfall)
The Vaudevillians might be putting over talent as they move up the company ladder but NOT Big Banter Baron Corbin. This was even shorter than the Bliss/Blanchard match as Baron nailed his End of Days and the ref counted to 3 before the match could scratch two minutes.
Bayley def. Liv Morgan (Bayley to Belly, Pinfall)
There was a really cool leg takedown that Liv applied to Bayley during this match. I’ve seen only tiny bits from her up to this point and that was the first real impressive move I can remember from her. Hopefully there’s big potential in her.
Bayley hasn’t been bumped up to Raw and might not be making the move in the near future so there was no reason for her to lose against Liv. If felt like a chance for her to get another win to reestablish that she’s still a contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. Let’s see a rematch between her and Asuka. Hopefully it won’t have to follow a match of the year contender this time around.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Tye Dillinger (Kinshasa, Pinfall)
Nakamura feels like a superstar. I know, it’s because he is a superstar – it’s just nice that he still feels like the same guy that he was in NJPW. I’m glad he’s in NXT but I am really, really wanting to see his entrance on Raw. The ovation he’d get would be incredible.
Shinsuke and Tye had some really funny moments, including Nakamura looking puzzled towards the ref and wondering what the whole “10” business was about. The crowd also taunted Tye with a “He’s 11” chant directed towards his opponent. Funny stuff.
The match was about as good as it could’ve been for being kind of short, but I wouldn’t have expected anything too long for this matchup.
This definitely felt like a show that happened to be recorded during WrestleMania weekend and not the normal Full Sail shindig. Even though it’s a placeholder until we get back to business as usual, there’s still stuff to love. The Bayley/Morgan as well as the Nakamura/Dillinger matches actually got the crowd popping, so check those out if you missed them.
Next week there’s an American Alpha vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady match, which should be fantastic. There’s also a Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews bout as well as the debut of whoever the “No Way Jose” guy is. I assume this all was recorded during WrestleMania Axxess as well and I look forward to it.
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