How was NXT?
Carmella opened the show, sans Enzo Amore & Big Cass –due to Cass being severely injured at the hands of The Mechanics, Dawson & Dash,– where unfortunately, the Princess of Staten Island fell victim to the overwhelming power of Nia Jax. Carmella was a steadily rising talent, and then became nothing more than a Diva jobber; it makes me sad, because I really started becoming a fan of hers, and now I feel like she isn’t able to be anything someone can really root for right now.
It did look like Carmella was going to possibly sneak something out when she countered Jax’s Bear Hug, putting Jax in a hold of her own, and then shortly after tricked Jax into going for a sit down attack, where Carmella rolled out of the way; but it wasn’t meant to be, not with Jax laughing off every time Carmella attempted to turn the tide. Jax is quite obviously being built up to be the ultimate powerhouse in the division, but when will we see Jax experience some struggles?
Alexa Bliss talked about being Blissed Off over hearing about the Iron Man match between Bayley and Sasha Banks all the time, that holding the Title last week felt right, and there being a need for a new era in NXT…until she was cut off by a referee, who informed Team BAMF that Blake & Murphy were banned from ringside for Alexa’s NXT Women’s Championship match, sending BAMF into a tizzy.
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable did battle against The Ascension, in a match between up and comers and NXT’s greatest tag team of all time. One of my favorite moments had to of been when Jordan and Gable did a revolving door kind –think New Day‘s corner stomp tag in tag out– of shoulder strikes in the corner on Konnor, and then with both of the youngsters in the ring, they Double Suplexed Konnor, with Gable holding on afterwards, pinning Konnor with a bridge pin. Another memorable moment was Gable launching Viktor with a toss that seemed as easy as breathing for the star studded amateur wrestler:
I want Gable to start screaming, “see ya later” every time he does stuff like that. This was a significantly more even match than I was thinking it would be, since the last time we saw Ascension make an NXT appearance, they practically forgot what it meant to have any offense; but Jordan and Gable were able to hold their own against the once Champs, long enough to convincingly defeat the former NXT standouts:
I miss when Ascension was a team that was taken seriously, but at least they weren’t a complete joke in this match. Jason and Gable get stronger every week, making fans believe in their capabilities more so than we ever have.
Bayley responded to everything Alexa has said and done, Bayley said Alexa would learn the wrestling lesson of Alexa’s life, where Bayley would remind Alexa that respect is earned.
Emma faced newcomer/possibly local talent, Mary Kate, who looked like a combination of a Mortal Kombat & a Wonder Woman wannabe, in one of the most uncomfortably bad NXT matches I’ve ever seen. These two had zero chemistry, which led to them practically wasting time rolling around, in order to take up a little more time.
Baron Corbin told Apollo Crews that Corbin costing Apollo the Title was a personal attack, because Corbin straight up doesn’t like Apollo. Corbin also set up the first official match for NXT Takeover London. I like the combination of the two, but still wish it would have been a Fatal 4-Way for the NXT Championship. Corbin has gotten better at promo’s, but he’s definitely still learning; he sounded quite green, but got his point across, set up the match, and got me excited for what’s to come.
The Struts “Could Have Been Me was announced to be the second official theme for Takeover London.
Dawson & Dash had a non-Title match against Corey Hollis & John Skyler, two names we haven’t seen on NXT. Dawson & Dash having their first match as the defending Champs being against newcomers, is an incredibly heel move, boosting their win column, but not challenging themselves, because why risk a loss? The Champs dominated nearly every second of this one, until Hollis overcame the odds, managed to fight his way away from the Champs, and get the tag…which is when everything went even further south than Hollis could have ever anticipated:
Asuka was asked about the special meaning behind her masks, bu before Asuka could utter a word, Dana Brooke busted in, challenging Asuka to a match next week. Naturally, Asuka responded with an emphatic yes…in creepy fashion.
Samoa Joe talked about his absence from the NXT arena this week, and the reason being because William Regal didn’t want Joe there for Finn Bálor‘s safety, even though Regal justified it by saying it was for Joe’s safety, because Regal couldn’t guarantee that Bálor wouldn’t go ballistic if he were to run into Joe before their contract signing next week; which confirms a singles match between Bálor and Joe at Takeover London.
Next week’s episode will also have The Vaudevillains getting a rematch against The Mechanics for the NXT Tag Team Championship; which is a surprising move, given that Aiden English was supposed to be taken out by The Mechanics’ finisher. To have him be match ready within two weeks is a touch surprising.
Alexa came down to the ring with new music, combining her old theme with the BAMF theme, creating an amalgamation that doesn’t suit Alexa at all, but that’s alright. While there was no chance Alexa was going to win last night, I’m a fan of hers, and hope she stays in the Title picture or even wins it in the relatively near future, but not before we get a Takeover match between Bayley and Asuka. Alexa and Bayley worked really well together, playing off the others moves, counters, and energy in the way everyone wants to see; it felt effortless for them to come out and deliver their match, making it mostly a joy to watch. There were a few hiccups, but nothing egregious enough to say it made the match bad. The audience helped make this match even better though, with them chanting for Bayley every chance they had, sending Alexa into fits every couple of minutes. Alexa owned the majority of this match, targeting Bayley’s limbs and hand, constantly trying to make sure that Bayley couldn’t gain momentum; so when Bayley countered one of Alexa’s attacks, then hit Alexa with a couple axe handles, but Alexa wasn’t having it, ducking Bayley’s third attempt, slapping the taste out of Bayley’s mouth, and putting the Champ on her back. When Alexa went to the top rope for her finisher, Bayley regained enough energy to fight to the corner, lift her challenger onto Bayley’s shoulders, and slam Alexa down on the mat, turned, and performed a Bayley to Belly for the win.
After the match, it became clear that Bayley was killing time for something to happen, and then it happened…something that nearly made me puke: Eva Marie made her way to the ring, stood before the Champ, and tried for forever to speak, but kept being drowned out by a crowd that cannot stand Ms All Red Everything, booing her to the point that Eva kept getting distracted by the audience, and couldn’t get her very scripted line out. After finally spitting it out, Eva informed Bayley that a Title match would take place between the two of them on next week’s episode. The fact that Eva couldn’t even say, “versus me“, she said “verse me“, made me cringe with bitterness, that this Diva is in line for a Championship match, when other names aren’t. Eva has been on the main roster, she’s had big time opportunities, and she flopped, then she came to NXT, had a few matches, minimally improved, and is already facing Bayley? I get it, to a point WWE hears the crowd reacting and thinks it’s a good thing, but there’s a difference between genuine disgust/disinterest, and someone being a good heel. Fans don’t want to see her out there at all, so the notion that fans are booing because she’s an over heel, is nauseating. If her in-ring skills had improved to the same level as a lot of these women, I wouldn’t have any issue, but it’s the fact that she’s had training, she’s had opportunity, she’s gotten a second chance, and she still hasn’t gotten to the level of newcomers, drives me crazy. End rant.
We got a good tag match, and main event, but the rest of last night was more or less filler, along with promise for next week’s loaded episode. That said, I give NXT a:
+ Main event between Bayley and Alexa Bliss
+ Jason Jordan/Chad Gable vs The Ascension
– The rest of the matches and segments felt like filler
– Eva Marie even sniffing the NXT Women’s Championship is an insult to the division
That’s The Lowedown on NXT this week, thanks for reading, and remember to watch more wrestling!
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The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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