– Maybe it’s always been there, but that stupid laser sound in the NXT theme is going to drive me batty. Should have never changed it from Welcome Home, I say.
Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno
Rhyno may be the thickest man on the North American continent.
-As the match starts, it’s your usual TV fare of a hoss battle, although I’d imagine Samoa Joe is better than using a NERVE PINCH on a guy like Rhyno.
-Rhyno ends up tapping after like 6 minutes in a pretty meh opener. Call it **, pretty much as average as average gets.
– Asuka says she’d fight both Nia and Bayley, but forgets the “I’m Hardcore” at the end to truly make it great.
– Kinda dumb that they’d give hype packages for the people who were drafted, on the show they were drafted from, instead of actually doing something to give them a presence on the actual show. But considering how incredibly WWE bungled this draft, it’s right in line.
American Alpha vs. Authors of Pain
-The Authors don’t even let Jordan and Gable get halfway down the aisle before jumping them. Has anybody even said the Authors’ names? I feel like if you’re going to apparently put them over your top babyface team, you’d give them like… names, right? Anyways, Gable and Jordan are uber-babyfaces and just run in anyway and beat the shit out of the Authors, and here we go.
-The smaller Author bearhugs Chad Gable’s headband right off his head, a burial that makes Stephanie McMahon look like Barry Horowitz. Jordan gives the same Author an awesome Backdrop Driver, but the Author kicks out at one.
-Gable comes in and gives him a SWEET T-Bone Suplex that actually gets 2! Ankle Lock scores for Gable as Tom Philips calls the Author the “short, tattooed one” which is a direct quote. And Jordan comes out with a BEAUTIFUL Undertaker plancha that might be one of the coolest spots I’ve seen in a hot minute.
-Then the Authors are all “fuck that shit” and destroy Gable to win the match. As for the match itself? Great stuff even if I’m sure most of it was because of how great American Alpha is. For a no-name tag team though, the Authors held up their end as monsters really well and I do really think they have the potential to be something special with a good year or so of good development. WWE needs a good monster tag team, and I think these guys will be able to fit the bill. ***1/2.
– Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa pretty much challenge The Revival backstage, before Dash Wilder asks Scott Dawson to “clink him” before bumping title belts. How can you hate these guys?
– Hideo Itami is coming back in two weeks. Cool.
Austin Aries vs. Patrick Clark
-Aries squashes this jabroni in a minute with Last Chancery. No Way Jose jumps him after the match and punches him like 900 times before Austin Aries gets the fuck outta Dodge. This wasn’t anything special but it’s cool that NXT is trying to at least give No Way Jose some semblance of credibility, and there’s not many better to help him along than A Double.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
-I sure could do without the neon close-up on Nia Jax’s face, especially when you can basically see her 16 layers of makeup in HD.
-This basically goes as one would imagine. Nia lumbers around, Bayley bumps and tries to come back, rinse repeat. Nia pulls out a Jackhammer down the stretch that looked terrible as she kinda stuttered before dropping Bayley, but the intent was nice.
-Bayley gets the win with an Avalanche Bayley-to-Belly in a pretty average match. Nia isn’t good enough yet to make her formula work, the crowd wasn’t very good, and Bayley just kinda seemed ‘there’. Probably the worst of Nia’s longer efforts so far at **.
Overall: Not as great as the last three or so weeks of NXT, but that’s quite the lofty standard to hold something to week after week. We had a LOT of wrestling, with one of those matches being pretty awesome in the Authors/AA while the other two were pretty middle of the road. That said, this show is easy to watch like every NXT episode so it gets a thumbs up from me. It’s just not must-see great wrestling like American Alpha vs. Revival III or Nakamura vs. Balor.
Jake St. Pierre