NXT – September 21, 2016

Date: September 21, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips

Last week’s show saw Samoa Joe completely snap and destroy NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, who was stretchered out of the arena as a result. That leaves no one to stop the rampaging monster, who is still scheduled to challenge Nakamura for the title down the line. Let’s get to it.

We get a long recap of Joe attacking Nakamura last week.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Samoa Joe with a piece of paper. Joe felt it was necessary for him to come out here and address last week’s altercation. Due to his actions, the NXT Champion is in a bad way. Joe has a copy of the official medical report, which lists off Nakamura’s multiple injuries, capped off by a grade two separated shoulder. Surgery is not required but he’s going to be out for six to twelve weeks.

Joe isn’t a patient man so he wants William Regal out here right now to make him the rightful champion. Regal comes out and says the report isn’t correct though he isn’t sure what Joe has it. He’s been talking to Nakamura but Regal is going to deal with the problem Joe started. That’s not cool with Joe, who gets in Regal’s face and says Regal can solve this or the entire roster is going to look like Nakamura.

We look at Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander from the Cruiserweight Classic in their match of the year candidate that earned Alexander a job.

Alexander says it took him seven years on the independent circuit to get here but that’s just the start. Not much to this one but the cruiserweights aren’t often going to get over on their talking.

Liv Morgan wants Asuka and the Women’s Title. Asuka comes in and says we can find out if Liv is ready. Morgan really shouldn’t be talking that often.

Oney Lorcan vs. Austin Aries

Aries rides him to the mat and grabs a headlock without looking like he’s put in much effort. Back up and Oney jumps over a charge and clotheslines Aries into a headlock of his own. Aries comes back with something like a belly to back suplex over the top and out to the floor for a crash.

We come back from a break with Aries dropping a middle rope elbow to the back for two. Oney fires off his hard strikes, including some chops in the corner as the announcers keep pushing his offense as ugly but effective. A charge misses though and Lorcan crashes out to the floor again. Oney comes right back with more running uppercuts, only to miss his middle rope sunset flip. Aries hits the discus forearm and wraps Oney up with the Last Chancery at 11:29.

Rating: B-. Lorcan has a horrible name and not the best looking offense but he’s being treated like someone with some value instead of just another jobber. NXT really needs some fresh blood in the midcard and Lorcan could mean something someday. One of the important things about NXT is that they don’t cripple talent that might mean something someday and it’s going to do them some good down the line.

Post match Aries says he’d call Hideo Itami out but everyone knows he wouldn’t show up. Cue Itami but of course Aries runs because he wants it on his terms.

Video on a monster named Dan Matha who debuts in two weeks.

After their win at the Cruiserweight Classic last week, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were jumped by the Revival. The champs got beaten up though and ran off.

Aliyah vs. Billie Kay

Aliyah starts fast by sending Billie into the corner for a running crossbody to the ribs. Billie’s arm is wrapped around the ropes and a slingshot legdrop gets two. Back up and a torture rack with an arm trap of all things has Aliyah in trouble but she comes right back with a running seated Blockbuster for two. The big boot gets Billie out of trouble though and knocks Aliyah off at 3:17.

Rating: C-. This was fine and there’s some potential in Aliyah, who showed a lot of fire. She’s in really bad need of ring time though and it wasn’t the best showing in the world. Billie is working well as a heel just by looking the part and that big boot could become a dangerous enough weapon. I mean, it worked for Test.

Mandy Rose thinks Ember Moon looks like a cross between the Hunger Games and Little Red Riding Hood.

Andrade Cien Almas vs. Cedric Alexander

Almas comes out in just a vest and with far less flair and energy than before. We hear about Stephanie McMahon bringing the cruiserweights to Raw as Almas grabs a headscissors to start. The fans are behind Cedric as a very fast pinfall reversal sequence gives us some near falls. They fight over a wristlock but both guys flip out to give us a standoff. Almas does his posing in the ropes and catches Cedric with a slingshot dropkick and a running corkscrew dive to take us to a break.

Back with Cedric fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with a Tajiri handspring into an enziguri. Alexander adds the big flip dive over the top but Almas comes back with elbows to the jaw (Fan: “HEY! STOP DOING THAT!”) and a powerbomb for two. Almas knocks him off the top for the moonsault into the standing moonsault and Cedric’s kickout stuns him. The double running knees miss and a Lumbar Check is enough to pin Almas at 11:47.

Rating: B-. Alexander is definitely being treated like something special and with good reason. He’s not going to regularly blow your mind but he does a lot of things well enough to put together a good match. Almas acting more like a heel and getting more aggressive is the right call and changing his look is an even better idea.

They shake hands and hug to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a different kind of show from NXT as they shifted the focus to the midcard for a week. I’m not entirely sold on having the cruiserweights appear on NXT all the time as NXT has more than enough to go around as it is but once in a while won’t hurt anything. This show was more about setting things up for down the road and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when one of those things will be Nakamura returning to blow the roof off the place.

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