How was NXT?
Asuka and Cameron opened the show, with Cameron making her NXT debut –this time around,– appearing with an all new look:
I understand sending Cameron back down to developmental, but when you’ve been with the company as long as Cameron has, along with being on the main roster for as long as she was…she shouldn’t still be with WWE. I will say though, if keeping her around means that Asuka can hit the former Funkadactyl with the Rearview, followed by Asuka celebrating by patting her own butt, then I’m all for this. Asuka is one of the most entertaining Diva’s that is in the company right now, because she’s quirky, silly, clearly has fun while she’s out there, and knows exactly how to play to a crowd; part of which is mocking every one of her opponents in perfect fashion. This match was a reintroduction for Cameron, but mainly a squash match in favor of the far superior Asuka, and it did its job very well. Cameron sold better than she was the last time around, but she still comes off as a relatively inexperienced rookie, rather than someone who’s been with WWE for over 4 years.
It’s mildly frustrating that we’ve only seen Asuka in one feud-type match, but hopefully that will change over the coming weeks, as we get closer to December’s Takeover event. I would be shocked to see Asuka in a match against anyone other than Emma, but wouldn’t be opposed if it were either Dana Brooke again or Carmella, because either one would help make for a great match, what with Asuka on the other side of the ring. When Emma and Brooke were talking about Asuka later in the night, it was a clear indication that we’re getting an Asuka vs Emma match very soon, but Brooke wants another shot at Asuka. It was funny to hear the two Mean Girls talking about respecting Asuka, not fearing her, but having shaky voices nearly the entire segment.
The Mechanics, Dawson & Dash interfered in Carmella’s interview, where the duo talked about their attack on Enzo Amore & Big Cass last week, reacting to Carmella saying it was a sprain instead of something far worse. They then went on to bring up their match next week against The Vaudevillains, bringing out a wheelchair, and saying for the interviewer to give it to Aiden English and Simon Gotch, as a gift of things to come.
Jason Jordan was backstage with Chad Gable, talking about Takeover Respect, how they’re not quite where they need to be, but their career trajectory is still pointing upwards. Jordan said they needed to do something to help them get to where they need to be, suggesting that they challenge the greatest tag team in NXT history, the most dominant tag team NXT has ever seen, the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions:
The idea of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable getting a chance to compete against The Ascension, is one I support; but, I want Ascension to be taken seriously, not show up, and not be able to hold their own against this start up tag team. Ascension isn’t working on the main roster, they’re just not, so why avoid bringing them back to NXT, where they can help out, get back some of their confidence that WWE destroyed when they brought up the greatest tag team in NXT history, and made a mockery of them?
Bull Dempsey took on Angelo Dawkins in a clear squash match, meant to do one thing: break up Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton. When Dawkins got pinned, Fulton was showering disappointment down on Dawkins from the outside of the ring. then threw his hands up and left the arena. These two have been tag partners for quite a while, so them separating is a big deal, but if it leads to them having a singles feud, leading to Dawkins getting noticed more as a singles competitor, then I feel like we’re all getting the best out of this scenario, especially Dawkins.
The Vaudevillains responded to Dawson & Dash from earlier in the night, admitting that The Mechanics are indeed their toughest competition to date, but added that there’s no doubt in their minds that The Vaudevillains will remain champs after next week. When they were given the wheelchair from earlier, Aiden English said that wasn’t going to be necessary, because while The Mechanics are brutes, devoid of gentlemanly traits, The Vaudevillains will dispose of them without the need for this kind of violence.
Apollo Crews was backstage, mentally prepping for his title match in last night’s main event, and when he stood up to go finish prepping, he glanced over to a corner locker, where he saw the NXT Championship hanging in Bálor’s locker…but there was no Bálor in the room. Cool image, but it’s strange to me to see him not keep the Title on him at all times, like other champs do; I can’t tell if it’s because NXT is trying to make it so it seems like he doesn’t really care about it or what.
All Red Everything herself returned, clearly not learning her lesson from the time she wore blue, since she was in all white everything last night:
Not excited at all about her being back, but the most annoyingly frustrating thing about this match wasn’t her being back, it was Gionna Daddio debuting on NXT…and not having an entrance, nor getting a win. How are you going to put someone new on screen, someone that’s been doing house shows for months upon months, and her not get a single second of promotion?
It’s clear that she’s still green, there’s no debating that, but she’s got talent, she’s got a great look, her taunting sounds convincing rather than contrived, and she’s got moves:
Towards the very end of the match, Daddio hit a big DDT on Eva, rolling over so she was on Eva’s stomach, and started viciously punching Eva in the face until Eva tossed Daddio off. When Daddio moved to the corner to set up another big attack, Eva ran at Daddio, tried to go for a high kick, didn’t quite get her foot up high enough, ended up grazing Daddio in the chest, and Daddio went down. The strange flub garnered “what was that” chants from the crowd, but it was evident that Daddio knew she was supposed to get hit with a kick, setting her up so that Eva could do her finisher, so even though the move didn’t quite play out as planned, she did her job, and Eva got the win.
I expected for quite a while that we would see Eva and Nia Jax pair up, because of things being booked at house shows, but now I’m hoping we see Eva become another victim of Jax’s domination. It was really good to see Daddio finally appear in a match on NXT TV, but it’s a crying shame that she didn’t get an entrance, and was a jobber for Eva’s attempted pursuit at being taken seriously. Eva is improving, but not at a rate in which she deserves a title shot any time even remotely soon, which is why I roll my eyes every time she does the Discount Double-Check championship gesture.
Motorhead‘s Ace of Spades was announced as the official theme song of NXT Takeover London, which makes sense to a point, but is weird considering the age of the song. All of the other themes have been songs that were released relatively close to the event’s date, but this one? This track was released in 1980. I get it, they’re Triple H‘s favorite band, but there are plenty of huge, mainstream, and alternative bands/musicians for NXT to handpick from the UK that would have been more appropriate.
Bayley revealed the tag team that would help her take on Team BAMF, and it wasn’t who we initially thought it would be, it’s the Hype Bros. I like the combination, mainly because they’re all so silly, so it makes sense they would want to join up, since all three are so positive, and energetic.
Apollo Crews got some smoke added to his entrance, while Finn Bálor got a ton of smoke added to the opening of his new(er) entrance –when not in paint.– I’m still opposed to there being a significant difference between paint and non-paint Bálor entrances, but if it helps him find his character, one that will lead to his success on the main roster, then by all means. I think the coolest part of this match, may have actually been the lead up to it, where the lights were dimmed while they announced the match, the ref held the title in the air, and then the bell rang, turning the lights back up to normal:
The fact this was made a big deal, creating a moment that was memorable, different, and had a movie kind of feel to it, was a brilliant choice. As for the match, these two gave us an absolutely incredible Title-match, especially for it being a normal episode of NXT, and not a special event, where they both put it all out there. We saw a PPV quality match…up until Baron Corbin interfered. This main event was far better than I could have ever hoped, mainly because I had my doubts on how long it would go for before we would see an interference or something fishy to happen, but it went long enough to prove that these two can tear the house down if given the chance, something that helped both men involved. The other thing I really like is seeing Corbin interject, making his presence felt in the Title picture, something that should happen. I don’t mean that Corbin should have the gold, but him competing for the Title is something that’s been earned, he’s busted his tail getting better, finding his confidence, and putting on good to great matches. We saw Apollo look like a legitimate contender to the Title, seeming like the clear favorite to succeed Bálor as Champ, proving that he’s more ready for the spotlight than maybe we thought; but we also got a tease for what’s going to happen at Takeover London:
Samoa Joe came out to help fend off Corbin, but after The Lone Wolf exited the arena, Joe turned to Bálor, beating the Champ down, and when Joe set up for the Muscle Buster
Joe looked Bálor in the eyes and said, “I did this to you.” The second Joe turned, the crowd immediately chanted, “Why Joe Why“, which was followed by a chorus of boos the rest of the time Joe was in and around the ring.
I can’t tell whether we’re going to get a match between Bálor and Joe or if it’s going to be a Fatal 4-Way, but my money is on the latter. If there is a way for Bálor to lose his Title in the best way possible, it’s having an opponent pin someone else besides him. I believe last night set up the main event for Takeover London, between Corbin, Apollo, Joe, and Bálor; but who will capture the gold? Early odds are Joe, pinning or submitting Corbin, but I could see Corbin taking out Apollo in order to win as well. We had an entertaining opening match, a debut –even if it wasn’t announced,– and a great main event that had us all talking afterward, so I give NXT a:
+ Asuka rules
+ Great main event, even if it was cut short
+ Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe interfering in the main event pumped a ton of energy into the Title picture
+ Gionna Daddio finally appearing
– Daddio’s appearance being a loss to Eva Marie
– Bull Dempsey match was amusing, but set up a feud that doesn’t have any weight to it just yet
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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