Date: March 30, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips
It’s the go home show for Friday’s Takeover: Dallas and the card is set in stone. Therefore tonight is all about the final push towards Texas, meaning all six matches are going to get some solid TV time. Announced for tonight is Bull Dempsey vs. Samoa Joe in what should be a good slaughtering. Let’s get to it.
American Alpha vs. Corey Hollis/John Skylar
Jordan powers Hollis into the corner to start, easily lifting him up like a small child. Gable comes in and rides Hollis on the mat for a bit before cranking on a hammerlock. Fans: “BREAK IT OFF GABLE, BREAK IT OFF!” It’s off to Skylar for a wristlock of his own, only to be taken down with ease. A slingshot armdrag doesn’t do much damage but looks very cool, much like a lot of Gable’s offense. The jobbers actually get in a swinging slam on Gable, only to tick him off and earn Hollis and Skylar an overhead belly to belly each. Grand Amplitude puts Hollis away at 4:40.
Rating: C-. Standard squash here with American Alpha looking awesome, just like they were supposed to. The title match on Friday should be a lot more entertaining as the Revival should be a really solid opposition for Gable and Jordan, though I can’t imagine anything but new champions.
Finn Balor is tired of hearing about Samoa Joe’s obsession with being NXT Champion because he has an obsession of his own. That obsession is the reason that he beat Kevin Owens to become NXT Champion and the way he defeated Samoa Joe the first time back in London. Two more days Joe.
Video on Baron Corbin attacking Austin Aries a few weeks back.
Baron Corbin vs. Mike Culori
Mike actually gets in a dropkick to knock Corbin into the corner to start but it only earns him Deep Six for the pin at 1:17.
Culori gets the End of Days post match.
Video on Shinsuke Nakamura with people talking about how amazing he is.
No Way Jose video.
Revival vs. Tucker Knight/Steve Cutler
Non-title. Dawson takes Cutler into the corner to start and it’s quickly off to Wilder, who kicks Cutler in the face to keep control. The slow beating continues with Dawson getting two off a gordbuster. Cutler finally escapes a suplex and it’s off to the much bigger Knight to clean house. The champs get Knight to chase them though and it’s the Shatter Machine for the pin at 4:45.
Rating: C-. Slow and steady here as is always the case with the Revival. They really do work an old school style and it really does still work, though the fun part is going to be seeing them get knocked off by a more energetic act. It’s still cool to see the known jobbers in NXT and it’s even better that they still get in enough offense to make them look credible.
We look at Joe choking Dempsey out last week.
Bull Dempsey thinks Joe is jealous of Dempsey’s physique. Tonight though, Joe gets a cheat meal in the form of these two fists.
Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley
Riley hammers away to start and is looking aggressive like he has in recent appearances. Crews fights up and starts getting athletic though with a jumping clothesline into a nipup, followed by the toss into the Batista Bomb for the pin at 1:58.
Post match here’s Elias Samson to sing a song for Crews, warning him to take his time and avoid the danger. Graves: “With a voice like that, no wonder he’s homeless.” Samson backs away from a challenge though.
Baron Corbin finds it interesting that Austin Aries hasn’t showed up since the beatdown a few weeks ago. After Dallas, Aries can “go sit next to Virgil at one of those conventions and beg people to remember him.” Oh man that was glorious.
Video on Bayley vs. Asuka, focusing on Bayley growing up in front of our eyes and becoming a role model for all fans from men to women to children. Then Asuka debuted and was immediately the most dangerous woman in NXT. As Graves put it: “Don’t disrespect Asuka or she’ll kick you in the skull.” The women aren’t sure who to pick because Bayley will never quit but Asuka is like nothing anyone has ever faced before. This was the only match they could have gone with and it’s going to be awesome.
Sami Zayn is ready for Nakamura, even though he has an Intercontinental Title match of his own two days later. He knows a thing or two about making a name for yourself in NXT and doesn’t think he would be here if he hadn’t beaten Cesaro three years back. Yeah he may face Nakamura again down the line but there’s only one chance to make a first impression at the biggest NXT show ever on the biggest wrestling weekend ever. Sami isn’t about to step aside and let Nakamura make his name that easily.
Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey
Dempsey runs him over to start and fires off some heavy right hands in the corner. Joe gets bored being on defense though and kicks Bull in the head, followed by an STO and the Koquina Clutch for the submission at 1:31.
William Regal has to send wrestlers down to break the Clutch but Joe beats them up as well. The hold goes on again until Finn Balor runs in for the real save. Balor dropkicks him into the barricade but Joe drags him to the announcers’ table as this turns into a fight. Security holds them apart until Balor dives off the table with an AJ Styles forearm. They’re finally separated to wrap things up.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a show where the wrestling meant nothing. Instead this was all about hyping up Takeover and that’s exactly what they did. Every match got some time or some kind of a buildup package and I want to see Takeover more than I did coming into tonight. Friday looks like a great night of wrestling matches and that’s exactly what Takeover has become: two hours of entertaining wrestling, which is all it needs to be.
American Alpha b. Corey Hollis/John Skylar – Grand Amplitude to Hollis
Baron Corbin b. Mike Culori – Deep Six
Revival b. Tucker Knight/Steve Cutler – Shatter Machine to Knight
Apollo Crews b. Alex Riley – Toss sitout powerbomb
Samoa Joe b. Bull Dempsey – Koquina Clutch
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