Date: April 27, 2016
Location: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
It’s a big night around here as we’re going to take a quick field trip up to Lowell, Massachusetts where Finn Balor lost the NXT Title to Samoa Joe. We’ll be looking at at least part of the match tonight, which is a really cool thing that NXT can do. When is the last time you even heard WWE reference a house show other than the European tour? Let’s get to it.
We’re told about the title change right off the bat. Why hide it at this point?
Asuka vs. Eva Marie
Non-title. The fans tell Eva that she can’t wrestle as we hit the stall button to start. The fans are actually split on Eva as they trade headlocks and armbars. Asuka blasts Eva in the face and rolls forward for a little dancing followed by the hip attack. A Fujiwara armbar sends Eva straight to the ropes and another hip attack sends her out to the floor. Graves thinks it’s starting to unravel as Nia Jax comes out to check on Eva.
Back from a break with Eva mostly missing a running boot to put Asuka down. We hit the double arm crank for a bit before a hard shot to the face keeps Asuka in trouble. Another arm crank slows things down even more until Asuka pops up with a middle rope dropkick. A second dropkick has Eva in trouble and it’s time for the kicks to the chest. Eva tries to send her into the corner but eats a spinning kick to the face for the pin at 12:55.
Rating: C-. Eva was WAY better than usual here but it should be noted that she was doing very basic stuff for the most part. Still though, the fact that she didn’t have a major botch is a step up and it’s definitely one of her best performances yet. Also Graves deserves some credit here as he was channeling Bobby Heenan hard here by praising the heel throughout the match. That adds so much and everything worked well here.
We see some clips of Samoa Joe winning the title last week with the Muscle Buster. They only showed about thirty seconds total.
Joe says his win was inevitable and no more words are needed.
Revival vs. Matt Lee/Jeff Parker
Parker and Lee are both really skinny and I believe used to team as 3.0 in Chikara. The 3.0 on their tights would seem to support that theory. We’ll say Parker is easily taken down and pounded in the corner as Lee shouts that he is respecting the rules by not interfering. Lee then starts a DEFENSE chant as Parker is dropped ribs first into Dawson’s knee for two. It’s off to Lee as the fans chant DEFENSE as well. The Shatter Machine puts Lee away at 3:12.
Rating: C. You could tell there was something to Lee and Parker after those chants. They were both entertaining and it was clear that they had some experience. Unfortunately they didn’t have any kind of a look and are almost completely interchangeable. It was a total squash though and I could get behind the new aggressive Revival, though I don’t know how much steam it would have.
Post match Dawson says they’re the best and want their titles back.
Hype Bros vs. Blake and Murphy
No Alexa here so the interest is already down. The fans want to know where she is too as Mojo scares Blake into the corner to start. Mojo gets down in a three point stance and declares that neither Blake nor Murphy are in fact hyped. Ryder comes in for two off a neckbreaker and a double facebuster to take both villains down. Blake starts in on the leg before it’s off to Murphy for a shot to the head. It doesn’t seem to do that well though as Ryder slips over to the corner for a tag off to Mojo. House is cleaned and the Hype Ryder puts Blake away at 4:48.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here but how far have Blake and Murphy fallen in the last few months? When you’re putting over the Hype Bros, it might be time to reconsider your career choices. I don’t think Rawley and Ryder are going anywhere other than a midcard tag spot and there’s nothing wrong with that, at least as long as the fans still dig them.
Post match the Revival comes back out and jumps the Hype Bros.
Carmella vs. Aliyah
Aliyah was in a battle royal recently but is probably most well known from Breaking Ground. Carmella snapmares her to start but Aliyah takes over with a seated full nelson. A middle rope leg gets two and this is almost all Aliyah so far. Carmella comes back with a hurricanrana out of the corner and a Bronco Buster, followed by the leg crossface to make Aliyah tap at 3:19.
Rating: C. Aliyah was a very nice surprise here and Carmella looked fine. I know they’re not exactly the new Horsewomen but it’s really cool to see the division being rebuilt with a fresh cast of characters. Bliss and Blanchard looked awesome recently and these two would be a nice addition as well. Good little match here.
Elias Samson says he’ll show that he’s the drifter and will prove to Nakamura that he never should have drifted into NXT.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Elias Samson
Nakamura takes him to the ropes to start and holds Samson in place with his head. A knee drop sets up the shaky boot in the corner, only to have Elias explode out with a clothesline. Samson gets two off a suplex and we hit the chinlock. That’s fine with Nakamura who kicks Samson in the head, setting up the running knee in the corner. Kinshasa puts Samson away quick at 4:24.
Rating: C. They’re doing a really good job of setting up Nakamura as the new star of the roster, which is a really good idea given the possible departure of Finn Balor and having someone like Samoa Joe as champion. Samson is fine in his role and I’m kind of glad they didn’t push him too hard yet as he’s better as a jobber to the stars for the moment.
Overall Rating: B. I had a really good time with this show as they kept things moving all night long and got a lot of acts out there. It’s going to be interesting to see where things go at the next TV tapings but leave it to NXT to figure out a way to move the top story along while still being on the Dallas tapings. They nailed this episode though, which says a lot when none of the matches amounted to anything special.
Asuka b. Eva Marie – Spinning kick to the face
Revival b. Matt Lee/Jeff Parker – Shatter Machine to Lee
Hype Bros b. Blake and Murphy – Hype Ryder to Blake
Carmella b. Aliyah – Leg crossface
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Elias Samson – Kinshasa
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