Date: November 19, 2016
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips
We’re up north this time as NXT gets another showcase event on the weekend of a major WWE pay per view. There are a few rematches tonight but we’re also getting the finals of the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic as well as the return of WWE legend Mickie James, who is challenging the unstoppable Asuka for the NXT Women’s Title. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at various wrestlers from Toronto, which seems to translate into any wrestler ever from Canada, including the Harts. Tonight it’s NXT’s turn to show what they can do, which turns into your regular opening video.
The huge crowd looks great as always.
Tye Dillinger vs. Bobby Roode
Roode comes out with a freaking choir singing his theme song. Everybody else can go home because he just won Takeover. Dillinger comes out to a much simpler entrance but the pop is outstanding with the fans going nuts and chanting TEN. We get a BOTH THESE GUYS chant as they do the big staredown. It really is amazing how effective a story as simple as a broken team can be when you have a crowd like this to carry them.
They slug it out to start with Dillinger clotheslining him out to the floor twice in a row as the dueling chants begin. Back in and Roode begs off, only to have Dillinger stomp on his fingers. Some right hands in the corner (guess how many) have the fans even more fired up. Roode sends him outside and slowly takes over with some elbows to the neck but the crowd is still right there with the TENs.
A knee drop gets two for Roode as the fans want the apron fixed. Tye comes back with chops and other assorted strikes but the threat of a Tyebreaker is countered into a spinebuster for two. Roode gets two more off a superplex (or Gloriousplex according to Graves) and MOCKS THE TEN.
A rollup with feet on the ropes gets two and a superkick gets the same for Dillinger. Bobby might have lost a tooth and it’s only getting worse as they slug it out. The inverted DDT is countered into a Sharpshooter but Roode is quickly in the ropes. Back up and Tye is sent shoulder first into the post, setting up the inverted DDT for the pin at 16:32.
Rating: B. Well that worked. These two beat the heck out of each other but the story was in the crowd, who is white hot for this show. I wasn’t expecting much out of this one but I was buying the possibility of Dillinger winning more than once, which I really never would have thought possible. Tye is going to get a big rub here despite the loss and that’s what matters. I’m sure Roode will be near the title scene soon enough, as he should be.
Tye gets the big hero’s ovation after the match.
Long recap of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: TM61 vs. Authors of Pain
The Authors’ manager Paul Ellering is suspended above the ring in a small cage. Akum and Miller get things going but things quickly break down with all four heading outside. For reasons of general insanity, Thorn climbs the structure holding up the cage for a big flip dive to take out both Authors.
Thorn gets flipped upside down and lands head first on the apron and we hit the chinlock. That goes nowhere so the hot tag brings in Miller as everything breaks down. Thunder Valley actually gets two on Akum but Razar makes the save. Another flip dive takes the Authors down again but Ellering drops a chain down into the ring. Thorn gets two off a rollup but a quick Last Chapter gives the Authors the tournament at 8:21.
Rating: C+. The flips helped a lot and TM61 gave it more of a go than I was expecting but this was a bit of a mess. The Authors winning was the only logical call and they did a great job of making TM61 feel like bigger deals, though it’s still not quite enough. This should make the Authors the #1 contenders and that could lead to an amazing match against DIY, assuming they get the belts here.
HHH, Goldust and William Regal come out to congratulate the winners.
Long recap of DIY vs. Revival, with the challengers coming so close to getting the titles time after time. Tonight they have three chances in a 2/3 falls match.
Tag Team Titles: DIY vs. Revival
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson are defending. Gargano and Dawson get things going and hit the mat running (or rather rolling) with an early rollup getting two on Scott. A blind tag brings in Ciampa to face Dash as the champs slowly take over. The way too early hot tag brings in Gargano as house is cleaned. The slingshot spear through the ropes doesn’t work though and it’s a Shatter Machine to put the champs up 1-0 at 5:10.
Johnny is in trouble as the second fall begins, including Dawson grabbing a suplex for two. We hit a bodyscissors with a chinlock for a bit before Johnny grabs a tornado DDT on Wilder and enziguris Dawson at the same time. That’s enough for the hot tag off to Ciampa and the champs are suddenly in trouble. Three straight German suplexes and a running knee to the head get two on Dawson. The superkick/running knee combo is enough to tie things up at 14:22.
The third fall begins with Ciampa putting on his flip over armbar but Dawson counters into a crucifix for two. A hanging Downward Spiral and a slingshot DDT get a close two on Dawson, whose eyes are all over the place. Gargano has to fight out of the corner with forearms all around before making the crowd completely buy into a small package.
Dawson tries to bring in the title but winds up using it as a shield to block a kick to the head. We hit that reverse Figure Four and the crowd is losing it until Gargano does the big dive to get to the ropes. The champs get cute and try DIY’s double strike finisher but Dawson goes too high and superkicks his partner. A Shatter Machine gets two on Dawson and the reaction to the near fall is insane.
Dawson grabs a rollup with trunks but the referee won’t count it because he’s not legal. Wilder goes after Gargano’s good leg but a pinfall reversal sequence breaks up the leg lock attempt. Johnny puts on the modified Crossface and Ciampa adds his flip armbar. The Revival grab hands to block the tap before they tap out at the same time to give DIY the titles at 22:16.
Rating: A+. I had this at an A and then got to thinking that there’s really nothing holding it back. If there’s anything in wrestling more exciting than NXT tag teams doing hot tags and saves on near falls, I’m not sure what it is. DIY winning makes sense here and they have a built in feud with the Authors ready to go. Outstanding stuff here and one as this tag division just does not stop.
Jim Ross is here.
Recap of Mickie James vs. Asuka, which is basically Asuka needing competition and no one in NXT being ready to give her a real challenge.
Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Mickie James
Mickie is challenging and still looks great. The first three rows all have Asuka masks for an even creepier entrance than usual. After the Big Match Intros, we’re ready to go with a feeling out process and a very intense handshake. Mickie cartwheels out of a wristlock and scores with a basement dropkick to send Asuka outside for a rare show of weakness.
Back in and Mickie fires off a kick, only to get knocked to the floor with the hip attack. Asuka lets Mickie get back in but decks her with another hip attack to really take over. The Mick Kick is blocked and a release German suplex on the floor has Mickie looking mostly dead. Back in and another hip attack sets up some YES Kicks with Mickie asking for more.
A big one is countered into a Muta Lock of all things until Asuka gets a rope. Back up and they both do the crazy eyes until Mickie snaps off a neckbreaker and a flapjack (always like that move). A cross between a top rope seated senton and Thesz press gets two on the champ and Mickie kicks her down again. Now the Mick Kick connects but Asuka gets a foot on the ropes. The MickieDT is countered into the Asuka Lock with James flipping all over the place (ignore her feet touching the ropes at one point) before tapping out at 13:11.
Rating: B. This was a lot more competitive than I was expecting with Mickie more than holding her own against the monster champion. They did a great job of treating Mickie like a real threat and someone who could actually give Asuka a run for her money instead of someone just there because she used to be a name. Well booked and fought match here with the only possible outcome.
Mickie offers a handshake but Asuka just holds up the title.
Pat Patterson is here.
We recap Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe in a rematch from their showdown at Brooklyn where Joe lost the title. This time is set up to be more violent though with Joe injuring Nakamura to help set this up.
NXT Title: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura is defending and walks through a tunnel of violinists playing his theme song. They even serenade him as he’s doing his entrance on the mat. The strikes start at the bell and Joe takes over with a kick to the thigh. Nakamura does his head on the chest taunt and says bring it on, followed by Good Vibrations in the corner.
They head outside with a running boot to the face putting Joe in the crowd for a rare visual around here. Back in and Joe scores with a hard kick, which Graves says is why people call him Joey Head Rocker. I’ve never, ever heard anyone call him that Corey. Like, never. Nakamura comes back with the hard knees to the head but Joe strikes him back just as hard.
The champ misses a strike though and is sent outside for a big suicide elbow. Back in and Nakamura puts him on the top for the running knee to the ribs. Joe’s big boot and backsplash get two, followed by the powerbomb into the submission sequence. Ropes are grabbed and Nakamura gets up with a middle rope Kinshasa for no cover.
Instead Nakamura muscles him over into a German suplex. Kinshasa hits buckle though and Joe takes it out again. It’s too early for the MuscleBuster though and the regular Kinshasa gets two. A second attempt is countered into the Koquina Clutch but Joe has to settle for rolling suplexes (German, dragon, straitjacket) and the kickout has him in awe.
Joe, with blood on his eye, takes another Kinshasa to the back of the head to put him outside. With the referee shoved aside, Joe gets in a low blow and hits the Rock Bottom onto the steps. Back in and the MuscleBuster makes Joe the first ever two time NXT Champion at 20:11.
Rating: A. I’m genuinely shocked by that ending. I mean, they’re clearly setting up a trilogy fight (likely in San Antonio) but I can’t believe they actually switched the title back. It’s not a bad thing or a crazy decision but quite surprising. This was another great brawl though with both guys beating the heck out of each other for twenty minutes. What else could you really ask for? I mean, save for a gimmick rematch where they can get even more violent.
Joe walks off with the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: A. The short tournament match holds this back a bit but the two male title matches more than carry it to greatness. Couple that with the crowd being on fire all night and there was no way this wasn’t going to feel huge. That Tag Team Title match is a must see though as the tag division has replaced the women’s division as the best thing about NXT. You can skip the Dusty Classic and probably the women’s match but check out the other three.
Bobby Roode b. Tye Dillinger – Inverted DDT
Authors of Pain b. TM61 – Last Chapter to Miller
DIY b. Revival – Double submissions
Asuka b. Mickie James – Asuka Lock
Samoa Joe b. Shinsuke Nakamura – MuscleBuster
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