-Sorry, but I love Bobby Roode and I thought his TNA title run is one of the main things that made TNA watchable in 2012. He’s the sort of old-schoolish heel NXT can let shine, and has experience wrestling TV matches as well as elongated PPV stuff. And he does it damn well, along with his promos. I welcome him in NXT with open arms, and I’ve had that goddamned theme song stuck in my head for a week.
Bayley/Asuka Contract Signing
-In case you’ve been wondering, no, Bobby Roode’s music is not as great as Asuka’s.
-And boy oh boy, am I a happy man to see Asuka in BUSINESS WEAR!~! Bayley in leggings gets a thumbs up too, obviously.
-Bayley’s promo is great. She didn’t act like she lost a fluke or Asuka got lucky. She straight up said that Asuka was the better wrestler that night, and she wasn’t prepared for the match. But then she says “hey, I’m prepared now and I’m gonna win.” Easy fucking peasy. Gets over your champion as a badass who can beat anyone, but also tells the crowd that the challenger (hypothetically) got their ducks in a row for the rematch.
-Asuka’s promo was about what you’d expect, but it’s Asuka so she hardly has to say two sentences to get her point across better than many people on the main roster. Her presence is really top of the line.
-Loved Bayley showing some edge here, not happy with Asuka being a psychopath last week and just focused on getting her title back. Not something you need to go out of your way to watch, but it was a really fun segment with the usual solid, logical booking you’d expect from NXT.
Authors of Pain vs. Geeks
-These are the same geeks that faced TM61 a couple weeks back I believe, and they were horrifically bad. The squash is fun though, because the Authors of Pain are pretty decent as enormous bruisers and I think they have tons of potential. And it’s hard to look awful as the monster heel in a squash match, so hey.
-Their tandem powerbomb spot was delightfully barbaric. Afterwards, TM61 attack the Authors and get massacred. Not sure I’d have booked that the same way as TM61 doesn’t really have anything resembling characters yet and they just walked into a destruction anyway, so not sure why you’d have guys who aren’t really too established yet get killed. Either way, this was fun and the TM61/Authors match should be pretty good when it comes around.
– Shinsuke Nakamura is great.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Angelo Dawkins
-Good God, does Almas need a makeover YESTERDAY. I never saw him much as La Sombra so I don’t have much to compare him to, but whoever’s idea it was to dress him as a gigolo should be shot.
-Dawkins is still around I guess, the same pudgy Kenny King clone he was the last time I saw him. Lady in the crowd just shrieks at Dawkins “CHOKE. HIM. OUT” like she was Jay Lethal’s parents in ROH circa 2005.
-Almas wins with a Hammerlock DDT after a pretty non-descript squash. Just as I start to write about Almas’ lack of feud/storyline/anything, here comes Bobby Roode! This whole GLORIOUS deal is going to get Bobby Roode over big time with the NXT crowd, mark my words.
-His heel promo on Almas was just tremendous. Yeah, it’s cheap heat to insult a non-English speaker but Roode was amazing at just being such a condescending prick that it didn’t matter. He announces that it’s Roode vs. Almas at Takeover: Brooklyn which should be really fun, but I’m afraid Roode will probably come out a lot more over than Almas in this instance.
– Austin Aries is talking to William Regal about ORANGES!~! Aries bitches about not having an opponent, so Regal makes Aries vs. No Way Jose for Brooklyn. Cool.
Billie Kay vs. Liv Morgan
-I remember absolutely despising Billie’s music last time out, but here it clicked for me. It’s no Asuka or Nakamura of course, but it works for her.
-Liv is still massively green to the point where she can hardly run the ropes and Billie isn’t over enough to really cover for her, so this match doesn’t really end up doing much for me. Kind of hard to get Billie over when she’s only been squashed before and nothing’s been done for her as a character.
– Rich Swann, Noam Dar, and Jack Gallagher are in the front row. Swann is actually an NXT wrestler, so him being in the front row of a show he’s employed on is kind of silly. And that’s your Nitpicky Comment of The Week.
– William Regal asks Ciampa and Gargano if their match at the Cruiserweight Classic is going to affect their partnership, as he officially announces them vs. Revival at Brooklyn. They say “no, we’re good” obviously. They’re going to be over like gangbusters in Brooklyn too.
Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tucker Knight & Patrick Clark
-Tucker Knight looks like the biggest jabroni that ever came to Jabroni-town. Fortunately, Ciampa and Gargano murderize him in a fairly fun squash match. Patrick Clark’s tights are delightful.
Samoa Joe vs. Mojo Rawley
-Nothing special really, as you might have figured out. Mojo isn’t very good, Joe is amazing, but with 6 minutes it’s hard to do much when your main goal is to get Joe over.
-Mojo was alright actually, but it was the Joe Show pretty much. The story of the whole deal is the AMAZING post-match.
-Joe keeps choking Mojo, so Nakamura’s music hits. And instead of running like hell to save Mojo, Nakamura does his usual strut down the aisle as security geeks SWARM the ring in anticipation for Joe’s rage. I thought that was a tremendous, tremendous storyline move. Nakamura is so calculated that he knows Joe is going to flip his lid, so instead of putting himself in danger, he takes his time and plays head-games until security comes out. THEN NAKAMURA GETS HIS NOSE!~! Nakamura then BITCHSLAPS Joe, who is being restrained by security. Man, Shinsuke Nakamura is the best. I love this feud more than Balor/Joe already.
Overall: Pretty decent episode of NXT, all things considered. No great matches really, but the Authors of Pain had a fun squash, Bobby Roode was great, the contract signing and we got a lot of matches for Brooklyn. Plus, the awesome Nakamura/Joe segment was the perfect cap to everything. Nothing you need to go out of your way to see, but I didn’t find much about this episode appalling. Basically, your usual NXT stuff.
Jake St. Pierre