Date: November 16, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
It’s the go home show for Takeover: Toronto and that means we get the big final push tonight. Normally that means good thing from NXT as they have this down to a science but there’s a first time for everything. The other interesting note is something called the Return, which has been hyped up in recent weeks. Let’s get to it.
Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce
It’s still so strange to see NXT women playing up the sex appeal, even in the toned down ways that Royce and Billie Kay do. Royce takes her down and hits a headbutt to start but gets sunset flipped for one. Some clotheslines have Royce in trouble and Billie gets dropped as well, only to have her come in for the DQ at 2:23.
The beatdown is on until Aliyah comes out for the failed save attempt. The beatdown is on but Ember Moon makes the real save. Morgan is very athletic but needs more ring time. The rest are all acceptable but again, in need of development. There’s already progress being made though as all four are miles ahead of where they were a few months ago.
Video on Andrade Cien Almas turning on and beating up Cedric Alexander.
Video on the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Apparently Paul Ellering will be in a cage above the ring during the finals.
It’s time for the Return and it’s…..Elias Samson. Elias sings a quick song about being back and Graves just unloads on him. Graves: “They should fire our sound guys. That was so bad.”
Elias Samson vs. Nathan Cruz
The jobber, as the fans refer to him, grabs a wristlock to start but is quickly kneed in the head. A jumping elbow gets two with Elias pulling him up at two, only to finish with the neckbreaker at 2:29.
Ember Moon, Liv Morgan and Aliyah are ready for Royce and Kay, particularly in a six woman tag. It would have to be better than Liv talking as she sounded really, really bad here.
Video on DIY vs. Revival.
Video on Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger. This is actually a lot more entertaining than you would expect with a lot of focus on Dillinger’s long tenure in developmental before he failed on the main roster and got released. You don’t hear that talked about too often but it was effective here.
Andrade Cien Almas vs. Cedric Alexander
Almas keeps hiding in the corner to start, showing that he’s instantly more interesting as a heel. His attempt at coming out of the corner earns himself a dropkick and some chops in the corner, including one that makes Almas gasp in pain. The chops continue as we’re over three minutes in with almost nothing besides chops.
Cedric switches things up with a stomp to the chest and even more chops to take us to a break. Back with Alexander losing a brawl and getting kicked in the face for two in the corner. Things settle down with something like a Kimura keeping Cedric in trouble, followed by a triangle choke of all things over the ropes.
We continue the arm work with a Fujiwara armbar until Alexander gets his foot on the ropes for the break. Alexander finally gets back up and sends Almas outside for a big flip dive, only to get caught in a powerbomb for two. The running double knees in the corner is countered into a Lumbar Check. Almas gets to the rope though and grabs an arm trap DDT for the pin at 17:03.
Rating: C-. They went with a different style here and I don’t think Almas is capable of pulling it off. The problem is he really doesn’t have a character. He was brought in and didn’t get over as a smiling face so now he’s a smirking heel who still doesn’t have much of a character anyway. Not a very good match but a lot of that was due to Almas being involved.
A long video on Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura wraps this up.
Overall Rating: C. This one entirely depends on how you look at this show. As a regular show, this was really, really dull and a completely skippable show. As a go home show, it was actually pretty solid with in depth looks at everything coming up on Saturday plus setting up a big enough match for (presumably) next week. I can get why people wouldn’t like this show but it got me fired up for Saturday, which is the right idea.
Liv Morgan b. Peyton Royce via DQ when Billie Kay interfered
Elias Samson b. Nathan Cruz – Swinging neckbreaker
Andrade Cien Almas b. Cedric Alexander – Arm trap DDT
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