Location: Orlando, FL
Date: July 27, 2016
On commentary tonight, at Full Sail University, are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
Singles Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Wesley Blake
Blake enters to new theme music, wearing new tights that feature his Texan background. We see a video from earlier today where Blake and Murphy are seen arguing about who is better and what they’re each going to do to prove it.
On the opening grapple, Nakamura pushes Blake to the ropes and leans his head against his stomach. A little bit of hilarity and taunting follows, putting the crowd even more in favour of Nakamura. Off the ropes, both men do some pretty nifty tumbling to evade one another. Blake blows a kiss to Nakamura. Nakamura catches it, looks disgusted and then throws it on the mat, squashing it with his foot. Wow.
Nakamura takes down Blake and throws him to the corner to choke him with his foot. Blake’s brought back to his feet and the two run the ropes, ending in a big clothesline from Blake. Off the middle ropes, springing knee smash on Nakamura and a 2 count.
Blake follows it with a headlock, which morphs into an Irish whip to the ropes. Back elbow by Blake and he pins Nakamura for another 2 count.
Blake shows he’s in control by choking Nakamura with his foot in the corner, but Nakamura catches Blake’s foot and sends him to the mat. He follows this up with strong kicks. Into the turnbuckle, Nakamura continues the onslaught, even forcing the referee to count to 4, after choking Blake. He lies Blake upon the top rope of the turnbuckle, runs back and charges with a flying knee to the mid-section. Reverse exploder suplex. He charges up in the corner and it’s KINSHASA! 1-2-3.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall in 5 minutes
Post-match, it’s nXt General Manager William Regal, taking the stage to make an announcement. The main event, on August 20th at nXt Takeover will be Samoa Joe defending the nXt Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura.
One cool point for Nakamura’s creative and spontaneous reactions to the in-ring mannerisms of one Wesley Blake. His personality shines through strongly in his matches, giving fans more reasons to like him each week. Do you realize he’s only been in nXt for just less than 4 months? Dude’s gotten over big time and now he’s #1 contender. Like there was anyone else they could give it to!
The official theme song for nXt Takeover: Brooklyn is “Relentless” by Of Mice And Men. They even did their own promo for it, promoting the exclusive song and their upcoming album.
Singles Match: Billie Kay vs. Santana Garrett
Billie Kay is wearing all blue, a much more definitive style than she used to have. Clearly, nXt is doing what they need to do to build up identities for this next wave of women’s wrestlers.
Out of the opening lockup, Kay with a fireman’s carry slam on Garrett. The two ladies take a moment to regroup and it’s Garrett sliding under the legs of Kay during the rope run and landing a dropkick on Kay. She follows it up with a whip to the turnbuckle. Kay counters. Garrett twists in the corner and receives a right hand for her efforts. Kay pins her for a 2 count.
Kay shows off her flexibility by choking a standing Garrett against the turnbuckle with her foot. Unique suplex where she grabbed Garrett’s right leg on the inside and used it to flip her over on to her back. 2 count pinfall attempt. She brings Garrett back to her feet and gets to kicking her. Side headlock but there’s too much distance between her and Garrett, allowing Garrett to spear Kay into the corner. She starts to fight back with right hands and even a headbutt. Tumbling cartwheel handspring back elbow! She goes for a big boot but Kay evades it and hits her with one of her own. That’s the knockout she needed to get the pin and win.
Winner: Billie Kay via pinfall in 3 minutes
No cool points to give. I feel bad but this match was not very exciting, nor did I learn very much about either wrestler, save for notes on their new outfits and theme songs. That’s news but it’s not cool news. The announcers were giving Kay a little more attention than Garrett which bodes well for Kay, if it stays consistent. I’ve yet to be impressed by Kay but, hey, this is a developmental territory and she’s got a welcoming forum in which to improve.
Recap: Still photos from Sunday’s WWE Battleground were shown, highlighting Bayley as Sasha Banks’ surprise partner in her tag match against Charlotte and Dana Brooke.
Backstage, Bayley is speaking with GM William Regal. He’s been there for all of her big moments and she tells him she’s ready for the title shot…for a chance to become a 2-time nXt Women’s Champion. Regal agrees and says he’ll talk to Asuka and try to make it happen.
Coming Up: Kota Ibushi (from the CWC) vs. Buddy Murphy and, up next, TM 61 in action
Tag Team Match: TM 61 vs. Rob Ryzin and Adrian Nailz
Thorne and Nailz to begin. Thorne shows off his ability to do standing flips before bringing Nailz to his corner for a little double team action, twisting and working over Nailz’ arms. Miller with a back slam. He tags in Thorne who lands a senton over the top rope on to Nailz. He tags in Miller and whips Nailz into Miller’s clothesline. Standing moonsault and a drop of the fist by Thorne and Miller simultaneously. Cool move.
Miller brings Nailz to his feet, tags in Thorne and Nailz backs up towards his corner. As Thorne approaches, he gets tripped into the turnbuckle and Nailz tags in Ryzin who lays into his opponent with punches. Big backbreaker on Thorne and he swiftly applies a headlock. Thorne breaks it quickly but ends up in the wrong corner. Ryzin tags in Nailz who launches himself at Thorne who moves out of the way. Nailz charges and he misses, allowing Thorne to jog back to his own corner to tag in Miller.
Miller with two tough forearms on Nailz. He sees Nailz in the corner, charges, defends a big boot attempt and whips him to the opposite corner for a splash. Off of the ropes, spinebuster! Ryzin tries to interfere and gets a fist in the face for his efforts. Miller tags in Thorne and the two execute “Thunder Valley”, where each man picks up an arm and a leg of their opponent and slam him back to the mat. 1-2-3. It’s over!
Winner: TM 61 via pinfall in 4 minutes
Post-match, a sign of respect by Ryzin and Nailz who shake hands with the victors.
One cool point for TM 61 who demonstrated some strong tag work in this match. Plenty of quick tags and double-team moves exhausted their opponents. The outcome was never in question but the way they got there was enjoyable. TM 61 is all business in the ring but fairly likable so far. I’m keen to see them deliver in a longer match now.
Recap: We look back at the original altercation between Austin Aries and No Way Jose last month. It’s followed by the second fight that happened 2 weeks ago when No Way Jose attacked Aries to respond. Well, No Way Jose will be in action up next. Maybe we’ll see Aries, too.
Promo: Hideo Itami’s nXt career, to this point, is shown in highlight form. His desire to become nXt champion is reiterated. He returns next week!
Singles Match: No Way Jose vs. Steve Cutler
Phillips tells us that Cutler’s had a horrible attitude in the WWE Performance Centre and that’s why we haven’t seen much of him lately. I guess he’s not a fan of Jose getting all the opportunities he has so far. Good to know.
To open the match, we get the usual hip-wiggling in the lockup from Jose. He dances with Cutler as they salsa in the middle of the ring and Cutler attempts to side headlock Jose. It’s not very effective but the kick coming off the ropes is. Jose starts to feel some rage and he’s lacing into Cutler with big right hands and clotheslines. Off the ropes, a big hip toss slam. Jose’s eyes look something fierce as he winds up and delivers a strikeout punch to the jaw. Modified Book End/Rock Bottom type slam. 1-2-3.
Winner: No Way Jose via pinfall in 2 minutes
Post-match, Jose gets the mic and calls out Aries. Jose says he tried to show Aries the fun he’s been bringing to nXt. Aries took advantage of him and mistook him for something he’s not. Jose showed him he can turn a fiesta into a fight. Aries is the biggest coward in nXt. There’s no stopping Jose. He’s gonna whoop Aries’ ass.
One cool point for Jose making it primarily all business in this match and the post-match promo. That sends the right message to Austin Aries and to fans who weren’t certain if this guy had a more aggressive side. I admit the finish and the mic work have me feeling more confident in this guy’s long-term progress. Let’s see more of that in the coming weeks. We’ll likely see a Takeover match with him and Aries. Could be a show-stealer if they get enough time.
Up Next:Ibushi vs. Murphy
Singles Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Buddy Murphy
Seems like Murphy got to keep the old tag team music for himself. Crowd gives a big cheer for Ibushi so he’s firmly the favourite in this one.
The match really takes off a minute in with Ibushi’s first dropkick on Murphy where he gets some good height. He follows it up with another kick and a standing moonsault that seemed Matrix-slow-mo-like. Murphy escapes the ring to catch his breath. Ibushi flips over the top rope, lands on the apron and gets tripped up by Murphy. Smart move to regain control. Inside the ring, he’s got Ibushi down close to the mat with a side headlock. Ibushi struggles for a good 40 seconds, not able to get to his feet. Finally, he gets to his knees, to his feet and backs into the corner, trying to smash Murphy off of him. After a second back smash, Murphy is still hanging on. The third one frees him. He charges and Murphy kicks him. Severe running knee smash by Murphy on Ibushi and he pins him. 1-2…kickout.
Murphy asks Ibushi who he thinks he is. He runs off the ropes, going for another kick. Ibushi catches his leg and unleashes a series of strikes. Off the ropes, Murphy counters with a high kick. Ibushi takes it in stride, backing off of the ropes and using the momentum, kicks Murphy and German suplexes him! 1-2…Murphy kicks out! Somehow he kept his bearings after that. Phillips says that one echoed around the nXt arena.
Ibushi on the top rope! He goes for a moonsault but lands on his feet, seeing that Murphy has gotten up from the mat and moved out of the way. Murphy sends Ibushi into the second turnbuckle. He kicks him into it and then rolls him up for a pin. 2 count.
Murphy picks up Ibushi, placing him on the top turnbuckle. He mounts the same corner, going for a superplex. Ibushi counters it with shots to the mid-section. He flips over Murphy, attempting the powerbomb but Murphy resists and stays seated on Ibushi’s shoulders. Finally, it’s a sitout powerbomb, with authority, from Ibushi. 1-2-3. His first victory in nXt!
Winner: Kota Ibushi via pinfall in 7 minutes
Post-match, Ibushi does a backflip off of the top rope as the crowd cheers for him. He made a lot of fans tonight.
One cool point for both wrestlers in this one. This was my favourite match of the night. Ibushi fights like there is absolutely no resistance from gravity on his movements. Very smooth moving and light on his feet. Murphy wrestled the best match I’ve seen him wrestle yet and he made that match much closer than it may have had a right to be. I’d watch these two again. The announcers made multiple mentions that Ibushi is a favourite to win the CWC. Is that consistent with your opinion, folks?
Backstage, nXt interviewer Andrea D’Marco catches up with Samoa Joe and asks him for his thoughts on GM Regal’s announcement on the championship match. Joe feels disrespected and wants to fix it right now.
Next Week: Bobby Roode will be in action. Seems like he may be sticking around after all.
Samoa Joe’s music hits and the nXt champion walks down to the ring, holding his title high in the air as he stands in the centre of the ring. He’s got a mic and he’s ready to speak. He tells us that he heard about the match that GM Regal announced. Joe says he wasn’t consulted first so it won’t be happening. Nakamura is an undeserving contender. He hasn’t done what Joe had to do and he’s not material to be #1 contender.
This prompts Regal’s return to the stage. He reminds Joe that his decision is final. Joe fights who he wants him to fight. Joe reminds Regal he had to jump through every hoop Regal put in front of him. Nakamura hasn’t done that so he’s giving Regal an opportunity to correct this disrespect. Joe wants approval over who he’s facing.
Regal says if Joe refuses to fight, it’ll be a forfeit and he loses the title right now. Seems Regal would look for a new wrestler to fight in the Takeover main event at that point.
Joe says if that’s how it will be, fine. This is a mistake though. At Takeover: Brooklyn, he’s going to beat up Nakamura like he did Finn Balor, unless he sees him before then.
Nakamura’s music hits and the crowd sings along to this very effectively catchy tune. Nakamura stands on the stage, staring down Samoa Joe, mock bowing at him. That’s pretty much it.
One cool point for Samoa Joe, for being foolish enough to think that he could refute GM Regal’s Takeover: Brooklyn main event. The ego is going to his head. All the more reason to boo him…for his delusions. These are the kinds of things that make him easier to dislike and more effective in his role. He’s clearly mistaken but he thinks he’s right. Hmmm…seems a lot like a certain election coming soon.
Looking forward to your cool point suggestions on tonight’s episode. Missing any of the nXt callups or are they fitting right in on the main roster? Balor’s sure doing fine! What a way to start out.