Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger
-Is it just me, or are Dana Brooke and Mouthbelly’s themes fairly similar? They have that same stutter-stepping guitar riff at the beginning.
-Tye Dillinger looks a lot like Eddie Edwards in the face, by the way. Eddie is on another planet when it comes to wrestling but you can’t win em all.
-“This guy’s barber is terrible. He needs to stop trying that man-bun thing.” – Corey Graves.
-All things considered, this was a good little match. Tye has good explosiveness on his comebacks so his hope spots were actually interesting for what was really just a slightly extended squash match. Hopefully after Takeover, NXT gives him something resembling a storyline.
-Baron has slowly inched his way into my good graces, and his MENTAL Bossman Slam is probably the reason why. That move is a thing of beauty, and his counter into End of Days was pretty gnarly too. Good opener.
-Tommaso pulls out a pretty awesome promo here, if we’re being honest. And if you’re gonna match him up with anybody in NXT, Joe is literally the perfect guy. Color me excited.
Nia Jax vs. Blue Pants
-What the fuck is that butchered version of Blue Pants’ theme? Are you telling me Big Cass isn’t the musical virtuoso I’d been led to believe? This version sounds like Aiden English drank five bottles of Crown Royal and broke into Jim Johnston’s studio. NO BUENO. She did get a maaaassive pop though. That’s about where the fun ends for her though.
-Nia tossing her around by her hair legit got some cringes of pain from me mainly because Leva broke her fall with her face. Good heel booking by putting Nia against NXT’s most beloved jobber, but the match wasn’t much.
-I thought the Mechanics sitdown interview was great. It wasn’t the most intense character study in wrestling history, but it gave them some intimate promo time to get over the foundations of their characters as well as the feud with Enzo and Cass. They brought up some good points about Enzo and Cass being unfairly gifted a title shot, but they phrased those complaints in such a way that you still walk away from the promo thinking of them as assholes instead of champions ‘against the odds’. I love these guys the more I see them.
James Storm vs. Adam Rose
-I don’t have much to say about this one beyond the usual TNA jokes, but I’ll just say I’m happy NXT is letting Storm be himself, complete with the Last Call and all. WWE might as well release Adam Rose at this point.
-Jordan and Gable’s chemistry just gets better and better every week. Their exchanges during the Vaudevillains segment (“Oh man, you didn’t have to say it this time! Sick”) were great. The best thing going in NXT for my money.
-Words cannot describe how ready I am to see Sami Zayn again. I love that they’re giving him these video packages before his return. It’s NEVER done on the main roster and with such a beloved guy like Sami, it’s really a no-brainer.
The Vaudevillains vs. Jordan & Gable
-Whoa, Simon Gotch with the awesome rolling cross armbreaker in the opening minute. Definitely didn’t see that coming against a guy like Gable. And then Chad turns it into some wicked technical stuff that gets the crowd going even more. THE GUY IS MONEY. He also takes a vicious bump on a backdrop to the outside where it seems like he took a play from Blue Pants’ book, breaking the fall with his face.
-The match was a bit short for my liking, so I can’t really say it’s Match of the Night but still, watching Gable and Jordan is a treat every time they’re in the ring. They’re so fast and fluid, and never seem to rest once. Gable is tremendous at selling, tremendous at the opening technical stuff, and tremendous with the fast-paced finishing sequences. Jordan is basically the same way, and his MURDERDEATHKILL spear into the corner is an excellent transition into the finish.
-I like the Vaudevillains dissing Jordan and Gable at the end of the match. I don’t know if it sets up for a feud or not, but hopefully it freshens them up and gives them something to do besides losing. **1/2
-I don’t know why exactly, but interviewer Alex Reyes’ dejected sigh after Dana patted him on the head made me laugh out loud. Alex Reyes vs. Dana Brooke will be the 2016 Feud of the Year, you mark my words.
-THE DRIFTER is going to either be wildly successful or flop horribly, but I don’t see a situation where I don’t love that corny Sons of Anarchy shit the minute I see it.
Emma vs. Liv Morgan
-“She’s a beautiful girl, I’m sure she’s talented, but this is like putting a bumper sticker on a Cadillac.” Corey Graves’ thrashing of New Jersey here might be some of his finest commentary. Liv does kind of look like Alexa Bliss if Alexa started shooting dope and found the stripper pole. Luckily a strung out Alexa Bliss is hotter than most girls, so she’s still a winner.
-Some dude in the crowd yells “TWERK A LITTLE” as Emma mean mugs, which was great.
-I love Emma’s little curb stomp before she locks on her finishing submission, which I’m not even sure has a name. So good stuff, I guess. It was a squash, but Evil Emma is amazing so I’ll watch anything she does and like it. Asuka comes up, says four words, and everybody goes apeshit. Words can’t describe how awesome that woman is.
-The Nia Jax attack wasn’t anything particularly special, but the way it was shot was kind of cool. It felt organic and not really all that glitzed over. Small touches like that enhance atmosphere and grit, and they aren’t done very often.
Samoa Joe vs. Tommaso Ciampa
-This match is the Joe everybody likes and the environment Tommaso excels in. I’d read that this match was overly stiff, but when you’re talking about something under the WWE umbrella, I don’t really take it seriously.
-These guys MURDERED each other in this match. Joe’s roundhouse kick was fucking frightening, Ciampa threw some nasty chops, and overall the match really made Samoa Joe out to be the killer that TNA started him as. His facial expressions, intensity, and mannerisms were on point throughout and I’m frothing at the mouth to see him and Balor do their thing.
-That match is going to be incredible. As for this one, it’s great. It’s short, but packs a lot of awesome action into a short window of time, putting over Ciampa and Joe at the same time. Seek it out. ***1/4
Overall: This wasn’t as crazy as last week’s episode, but it still provided the usual entertaining NXT formula: Squash matches, a couple good sprints, a great main event, and a ton of good storyline advancement. It isn’t rocket science, but it works. NXT has done a tremendous job of building this Takeover: London show with shows like this and the one last week, and is probably their best-built show since Unstoppable back in May. No complaints from me this week.