NXT – August 31, 2016

Date: August 31, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

The champ is back tonight as Shinsuke Nakamura makes his first appearance on NXT since winning the NXT Title in Brooklyn. I mean, that was only eleven days ago but NXT is making it seem like a big deal. It should be interesting to see who comes out to challenge him for the title, though odds are it’s Samoa Joe for a rematch. Let’s get to it.

Earlier today, Samoa Joe was deemed unclear to wrestle due to injuries suffered in Brooklyn. William Regal looks annoyed.

Opening sequence.

Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy

Murphy is deemed a one by the fans. Back in my day, being number one was a good thing. Tye gets him to the mat in a hammerlock but gets thrown away, meaning Blake can give himself a ten. Back up and Dillinger does his spinout into a cartwheel for the real ten. Graves: “That would get you disqualified from any gymnastics competition.”

The lame wrestling goes back and forth with Murphy sending him outside as we go to a break. That’s probably the good thing as this is a very simple match and there’s nothing that’s working especially well save for the TEN thing. Back with Dillinger making his comeback off a clothesline and a backdrop. Some TEN stomps in the corner set up the Tyebreaker for the pin at 9:46.

Rating: C-. This is a good example of the crowd carrying a match higher than it should have gone otherwise. Dillinger’s gimmick is way over but his in ring work isn’t the greatest. It’s an interesting change of pace from the Murphy vs. Ibushi match from a few weeks ago which was far more entertaining with Ibushi having more than one thing to carry him. Dillinger is more than worth investing in due to being so over but he needs some work. There’s potential in Murphy too, albeit with some adjustments.

We look back at the Tag Team Title match in Brooklyn and Johnny Gargano’s knee injury costing him in the Cruiserweight Classic.

Tommaso Ciampa says Gargano will be back soon when the Revival comes in and beats him into the arena. They take the beating into the ring and leave Ciampa laying. Wilder says everyone sounds tough until reality hits them in the mouth. Ciampa tries to get up but takes a good looking Shatter Machine.

Steve Cutler wants attention and demands respect. Dang the cupboard really is bare.

Steve Cutler vs. Kenneth Crawford

Crawford is a generic looking guy who Graves says is well dressed backstage. Cutler works on the arm to start but Kenneth flips his way out of a backdrop (didn’t stick the landing but he tried) and grabs an armbar of his own. Some good looking dropkicks and a running shooting star get two on Cutler but he walks into a spinning fisherman’s driver (as in a fisherman’s suplex into a sitout slam) to give Steve the pin at 3:38.

Rating: C-. Crawford did some good looking stuff but neither guy was anything special here. Pushing Cutler (and by pushing I mean setting up to be fed to someone else) isn’t the most horrible idea in the world as people already know him from all those jobs over the years and it’s not like he can’t just go back to being a jobber after this is done. It’s better to give someone some value and then take it away than take away value from someone who you’ve invested a lot of time in.

Hideo Itami says he kicked Austin Aries in the head at Takeover but Aries disappointed him by claiming an injury. If he doesn’t want to feel pain, get out of the ring.

Video on Sami Zayn vs. Nakamura back in Dallas.

Video on TM61.

No Way Jose vs. Angelo Dawkins

Jose dances around and grabs a headlock to start as Dawkins gets a few chants of his own. Dawkins’ chinlock doesn’t go anywhere so it’s the baseball punch and a full nelson slam (looked more like a cobra clutch this time) to give Jose the pin at 2:43.

Aries, banana in hand (Dig that potassium replenishing!), interrupts Andrade Cien Almas’ interview time, saying everyone is trying to steal his spotlight. Since Almas lost, Aries will just take his interview time. A challenge is issued for next week.

Video on Nakamura vs. Finn Balor.

Liv Morgan vs. Aliyah

Aliyah looks a bit more serious this time and kicks Morgan in the ribs. Some knees to the chest have Morgan in more trouble and Aliyah puts on a freaky hold where she cranks on Liv’s arm and holds her head down with a leg. Morgan pops back up and tries a kind of spinning kick close enough to the head for the pin at 3:21. There was a hard edit in there so it was probably worse than it looked.

Rating: D-. If this is the future of the women’s division, they’ve got a long way to go. Aliyah showed some fire but Morgan was a pretty bad mess. Her offense required an edit and consisted of two moves in about three and a half minutes. Also I’m really not sure how strong of a character I’M FROM NEW JERSEY is or how long of a life span it’s going to have.

No Way Jose is fired up about his win and says he has the heart to go with the hair. Bobby Roode comes up, compliments Jose’s head, and walks away.

Video on Nakamura vs. Joe.

Here’s Nakamura for his celebration and the dancing entrance looks even cooler with the title around his waist. The YOU DESERVE IT chants start up until Nakamura starts talking about being in Japan and wanting to face the best competition in the world. That meant he had to come to NXT where he beat Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. He’s still in a lot of pain but he became the NXT Champion. The Joe Era is over and it’s now the Era of Strong Style. Nakamura kind of barks and poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This show was about setting up stuff for the future as we’re firmly in the fallout period from Takeover and have a long way to go before the next one. Stuff like Almas vs. Aries and Asuka coming back next week are great ways to build week to week and keep you coming back long enough to let the big stories develop. It’s about making something seem important enough that you want to watch the hour of TV to see it and then get you ready for the big stuff. That’s such a simple strategy and NXT makes it work as well as anyone has in a long time.


Tye Dillinger b. Wesley Blake – Tyebreaker

Steve Cutler b. Kenneth Crawford – Fisherman’s driver

No Way Jose b. Angelo Dawkins – Full nelson slam

Liv Morgan b. Aliyah – Spinning kick to the face

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