Date: March 16, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
Takeover is looming and we finally have a main event for the show. Last week Samoa Joe beat Sami Zayn in a two out of three falls match to earn the title shot against NXT Champion Finn Balor in just over two weeks. The rest of the card is mostly set as well and it should be interesting to see where things go from here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Joe beating Zayn last week.
Here’s Sami Zayn to get things going. Last week he went to war against a 300lb Samoan and for those of you who have never done that, it’s really not that fun. Sami isn’t the slightest bit ashamed of what happened last week and if he had fingers just a few inches longer, he might be going to Takeover for the title shot.
Either way though, Sami wants to do something special in Dallas and here’s Commissioner William Regal with an announcement. Sami does indeed deserve something special in Dallas so here’s his opponent: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA, who pops up on screen to say that he’s coming to NXT. As you might expect, the fans go INSANE.
Hype Bros vs. Angelo Dawkins/Kenneth Crawford
Rawley is a big crowd favorite to start and shoves Crawford around the ring early on. Dawkins comes in so Mojo starts doing some football drills to keep him in the corner. A big shot drops Dawkins and Mojo declares that both of them ain’t hyped. Ryder comes in for some of his signature stuff before bringing Rawley back in to clean house. A discus punch from Rawley sets up the Hype Ryder to put Crawford away at 3:24.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here as the Hype Bros continue to be an entertaining act and get to build themselves up before being fed to some other team who can beat them on their way to a title shot. Not bad or anything here and it’s a really good sign that there are jobbers who you recognize instead of bigger names losing all the time.
Video on NXT at the Arnold Classic, complete with a cameo by Arnold himself.
Emma and Dana Brooke run into Deonna Purrazzo and laugh about her loss a few weeks back. Deonna is ready for Emma tonight and trash is spoken. Dana promises that Emma will take it seriously but pats Deonna on the head anyway.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Emma
Emma takes her down to start and stands on Deonna’s hair like only a villain can. Some choking sets up the former Emma Sandwich for two before it’s off to the chinlock. Deonna fights back with a few elbows to the chin but misses a charge into the corner, setting up the Dilemma. Dana is very pleased as the Emma Lock makes Deonna tap at 3:49.
Rating: D+. Emma and Dana are similar to the Hype Bros as they’re not likely to ever get the title on their own but defeating them could look like a big deal for the right opponent. Assuming Asuka takes the title from Bayley in Texas, Emma (or Dana if she’s ever healthy) could be a good choice for a TV challenger before Asuka fights a refocused Nia Jax.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jesse Sorensen
Ciampa is very aggressive to start and pounds Jesse into the corner, including a hard running knee to the head. A discus lariat gets two but Jesse actually makes a comeback with a good looking dropkick. Sorensen gets caught on top though, allowing Ciampa to drive a knee through Jesse’s legs into the chest for a unique looking move. That floatover armbar makes Jesse tap at 2:30. Ciampa looked good here, maybe as good as he has aside from that match against Joe.
We look at Asuka saving Bayley from Nia Jax and Eva Marie.
Nia Jax/Eva Marie vs. Bayley/Asuka
Bayley and Nia get things going and the champ is thrown into the corner for the tag off to Eva. That’s just fine with Bayley as she easily takes Eva to the mat and brings in Asuka. The rapid knees and kicks have Eva looking….well moderately annoyed because she doesn’t know how to sell anything. It’s back to Bayley but Nia gets a blind tag and plants her with a Samoan drop. Eva comes in again to crank on both arms but Bayley pops up because she’s Bayley and it’s Eva Marie. Nia comes in and accidentally drops a leg on Eva, allowing the Bayley to Belly to put Eva away at 4:01.
Rating: C. There’s something about that charisma that Bayley brings to any arena that always makes me smile. She’s just hard not to like and it helps that she’s wrestling like a main event star now instead of a goofy comedy wrestler. Hopefully this wraps up Eva and Nia for now and they’ll split soon like they should have before they got together in the first place.
Post match Bayley and Asuka stand next to each other, allowing Regal to come out and make Asuka #1 contender for Dallas.
We look back at Baron Corbin beating up Austin Aries two weeks ago.
Aries is at his home for a satellite interview. He received a lot of offers to wrestle around the world but NXT was where he wanted to go. After the attack, Regal came and apologized to him but there was nothing to be sorry for. Corbin should have attacked him at his face because Aries has been a champion everywhere he’s gone. Aries hasn’t been handed anything because he earned his NXT contract. It wasn’t because he’s 6’6 and 300lbs but because he’s earned it over the last ten years. In Dallas on April 1, Corbin is going to learn that it’s a great day to be great but a bad day to be Baron Corbin.
American Alpha vs. Vaudevillains
For the #1 contendership. Gable takes Gotch to the mat to start but Gotch kicks his hands away and does something like an enziguri from the mat. Jordan comes in for a double dropkick and a double clothesline to put the Vaudevillains on the floor. Back from a break with English holding Gable in a chinlock before it’s off to Gotch for a chinlock of his own. Those dastardly villains.
Gable finally sends Gotch throat first into the ropes and makes the tag off to Jordan. Everything breaks down and Gotch has to break up Grand Amplitude (“their finisher”) according to Graves. A BIG German suplex drops English with Gotch diving in for a save. Gotch and Jordan go to the floor as English gets two on Gable off a sitout powerbomb. Not that it matters as Jordan comes back in for Grand Amplitude and the pin on English at 10:25.
Rating: C+. It’s getting more and more clear every single week that American Alpha is just flat out better than any other team on the roster right now. Dash and Dawson are talented but they’re much more of a niche team than anything else. Alpha continues to look awesome all the time and they’re so much fun to watch in the same vein as Haas and Benjamin used to be.
Overall Rating: C. This was a building show instead of anything worth watching and there’s nothing wrong with that so close to probably the biggest NXT show of all time. There were three matches set up tonight and each one of them should be something fun to see. This was more of an important show than a good one and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since NXT continues to know how to build a card at a much higher level than WWE.
Hype Bros b. Angelo Dawkins/Kenneth Crawford – Hype Ryder to Crawford
Emma b. Deonna Purrazzo – Emma Lock
Tommaso Ciampa b. Jesse Sorensen – Floatover armbar
Bayley/Asuka b. Nia Jax/Eva Marie – Bayley to Belly to Marie
American Alpha b. Vaudevillains – Grand Amplitude to English
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