NXT – April 20, 2016

Date: April 20, 2016
Location: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re still down in Texas and it’s a big week tonight with Apollo Crews vs. Samoa Joe and American Alpha facing Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in a non-title match. It should be interesting to see how these now main roster stars are treated on NXT, though there’s a good chance that at least one of them wasn’t announced for the main roster when this was taped. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. American Alpha

Non-title. Before the match, Cass says he and Enzo have been doing this longer than anyone in NXT history. Tonight they’re going to find out if there’s just one word to describe them. The fans immediately declare this to be awesome as Gable and Amore get things going. Gable easily takes him to the mat and it’s off to Jordan to stay on the arm. The fans think this is wrestling though I could also accept a Bavarian checkers tournament.

Jordan works on a variety of armbars before it’s back to Chad for a hammerlock. After at least two minutes of working on Enzo’s arm, he dives over for a quick tag to Cass as we take a break. Back with Cass slamming Enzo onto Jordan for two before we hit the chinlock. Gable tags himself in though and snaps off an over the shoulder flip to keep Enzo in trouble. A collision allows the tag to bring in Cass though and Gable actually gets beaten down for a bit longer.

Cass hits a good looking Stinger Splash before working on the arm as well but Gable finally sends him into the corner and makes the tag off to Jordan. That means it’s time for the running right hands and the suplexes with Jordan ripping the straps down. Enzo gets sent into the corner for the running shoulder but Cass takes the bullet for him. Jordan puts the straps back up and takes them down again, setting up Grand Amplitude to put Enzo away at 13:30.

Rating: B-. Another good match from two teams who do little over than have good matches. Enzo and Cass have turned into one of the biggest surprises as far as in ring abilities go and it was cool to see them in one last big match before they left. Alpha is just so far ahead of everyone else though that I’m not sure who they could conceivably lose the titles to.

Apollo Crews is ready for Samoa Joe because he doesn’t like bullies.

No Way Jose vs. Alexander Wolf

Jose likes to dance a lot but Graves is much more concerned about why Jose is always being denied entrance into various places. Alexander gets caught in an airplane spin and a legdrop gets two, but he’s up with a chinlock on Jose because it was just a legdrop and it’s not 1987. Some baseball swings to the chest sets up a baseball style punch (as in he winds up for a pitch and punches the guy in the face) for the pin on Alexander at 2:59. Jose is fun but I really don’t see him lasting more than a few months without some big adjustments.

Austin Aries says he wasn’t lucky at Takeover and if Baron Corbin wants to fight him again, he’s not a hard man to find. There’s a lot of A-level talent in NXT but there’s only one man at the A-Double level.

Elias Samson is playing guitar when William Regal comes in to say Samson will be facing Shinsuke Nakamura soon.

Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Nia doesn’t waste time and grabs a shoulder breaker to start. A big elbow drop sets up a Samoan drop and the big leg ends Deonna at 1:35.

Bayley thinks Asuka will beat Eva Marie next week but she’ll be watching.

Apollo Crews vs. Samoa Joe

Fans: “PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!” I’m not sure who that’s directed at but it could apply to either. Feeling out process to start as Joe can’t quite get anywhere with his wristlock. Instead Apollo grabs a headlock as we actually get some NXT house show ads with the announcers saying Joe gets a title shot at a show in Massachusetts. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them do that before. Joe comes back with the snap jabs but Crews snaps off a great looking dropkick.

We take a break and come back with Joe hitting a big chop, followed by the corner enziguri. A hard running elbow drops Crews again and it’s off to the neck crank. Joe gets two more off the backsplash but gets caught in a snap suplex to give Apollo a breather. The running clothesline and really quick nipup set up Crews’ jumping enziguri but the standing moonsault gets two. Crews can’t quite get Joe up for the lifting powerbomb though and the Rock Bottom out of the corner plants Apollo. For some reason this draws a loud NXT chant, followed by the Koquina Clutch to make Crews tap at 13:33.

Rating: B-. This was a hard hitting back and forth match with Crews being an interesting opponent for Joe. Balor is the kind of guy who can get by Joe with pure skill but Crews is someone who can match the power, requiring Joe to just beat Crews even harder for the win. Fun stuff here and a good TV main event.

Overall Rating: B+. Two big matches that both worked, matches set up for next week and a debut. I’m really not sure what else you could ask for in a show that ran forty seven minutes without commercials. It’s going to be interesting when we get out of Dallas and see what’s coming up but of course NXT is capable of setting up a few things like the idea of Balor vs. Joe/Nakamura or Bayley/Jax vs. Asuka. Any combination could be entertaining and it’s not clear who it’s going to be, which gives you a reason to come back. Really efficient show here and that’s all you should expect from something like this.


American Alpha b. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady – Grand Amplitude to Amore

No Way Jose b. Alexander Wolf – Baseball punch

Nia Jax b. Deonna Purrazzo – Legdrop

Samoa Joe b. Apollo Crews – Koquina Clutch

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