Tag Archives: Austin Aries

NXT Takeover The End

Apparently this NXT Takeover isn’t just The End, it’s The End of the Beginning. That’s what they called it at the start of the show, anyway. Inconsistent name aside, I’ve been looking forward to this one more than any Takeover since the one with the Bayley versus  Sasha Banks Iron Man Match..

The  first match of the night was Tye Dillinger versus the debuting Andrade “Cien” Almas. Dillinger had some really silly looking entrance attire. Almas was apparently well known in the indies but I didn’t know anything about him. They said he was a masked luchador before now, which is cool. Overall, neither of these performers meant much to me going in.

Very technical match early on and fun to watch. There was a lot of showing off from Almas. Possibly too much. I don’t think it worked for the live audience any more than it did for me.

Almas got the pin, which led to a partial standing ovation and a lot of boos. This was a great first showing for Almas and, while we still don’t know much about him, I think we can look forward to some great matches from him in the future.

Up next was the NXT Tag Team Championship match between the challengers The Revival and the defending champions, American Alpha. American Alpha won the titles from The Revival at the last Takeover, so this has been brewing for a while. The audience was all for American Alpha.

Right from the start, they played up the wrestlers against brawlers aspects of their characters. Fantastic match. This is what tag team wrestling should be. After a lot of back and forth, The Revival scored a pin making them the firs-ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. I did not expect that.

After the match, two big guys dressed in all black came out and attacked American Alpha. Paul Ellering, WWE Hall of Famer, then joined them on the ramp. This is going to be big.

The next match was Shinsuke Nakamura versus Austin Aries. I couldn’t call this one. Both are very over with the audience, though I think Aries has the potential to be a great heel.

The audience seemed mostly behind Nakamura, and even continued his entrance music after it stopped playing. It didn’t take long for me to realize I overestimated support for Aries.

After the best match I’ve seen from either of them yet, Nakamura scored the pin for the win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this continue between these two, assuming neither move up to the main roster with the WWE brand expansion.

Following Nakamura versus Aries was the NXT Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Nia Jax. This was probably the match a lot of people were really looking forward to. I think these two performers are the future of the NXT women’s division going forward, with all the others who have been called up to the main roster over the past year (and I don’t think it’s long before Bayley and maybe some others join them.)

Asuka is always fun to watch in the ring and I believe Nia Jax is going to be the best women’s heel the WWE has ever had someday. She’s not there yet, but it’s coming.

The match started just about how you’d expect with their very mismatched sites. Asuka went in with a game plan which didn’t go how she’d like and Jax just tried to be overpowering (which usually works well for her.) As the match progressed, we saw Asuka focusing on submission maneuvers and Nia Jax targeting Asuka’s back.

The match was surprisingly short before Asuka scored a pin to retain the title.

Finally, we came to the main event of the night: Samoa Joe defending the NXT Championship against Finn Balor (who Joe took the title from not all that long ago) in NXT’s first-ever steel cage match. 

Oddly enough, that was the match I got least into of the night. I wouldn’t call it bad, it was just far less exciting than I would have liked after how high the bar had been set going into it. The match was back and forth all the way through before Samoa Joe finally captured the victory over Finn Balor. You may recall that’s the outcome I predicted after the previous episode of NXT.

I read after Takeover went off the air and Finn Balor got up to go interact with fans some, the audience began chanting, “thank you, Balor,” and “see you Monday.” Obviously, a good portion of the audience is expecting the same thing I am: Finn Balor getting called up to the main WWE roster sooner than later. He’ll be a welcome addition there. I expect he’ll join up with former Bullet Club stable mates in The Club. After all, if they’re going to be feuding with John Cena and The New Day, they’re a man short.

Recap
Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT debut match) defeated Tye Dillinger.

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival defeated American Alpha to become the first-ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries.

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuke defeated Nia Jax to retain the title.

NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor to retain the title.

Predictions
Not much to say here, really. Obviously, American Alpha is about to go into a feud with whoever this new team Paul Ellering brought in is. I wouldn’t be surprised if that concluded at the next Takeover and we see American Alpha drafted up to the main roster during the brand expansion before the end of it.

I expect Nia Jax will go on to feud with someone new, possibly Carmella or Alexa Bliss, while Bayley returns to chasing Asuka for the Women’s Championship. I do expect that will be short lived, however, as Bayley is almost sure to be getting called up to the main roster very soon. Maybe she’ll even start chasing the title there right away. That could lead to friction between her and Sasha Banks and give us a couple more great matches from them before Sasha claims the WWE Women’s Championship at Summer Slam, as I hear is the plan. 

I’m unsure what other women will get called up during the brand expansion, but the main roster will definitely need to pad their women’s roster if it’s going to be split in two. Carmella seems like an obvious choice, since Enzo and Big Cass are already there, but I’m not sure if she’s ready. The coming expansion could also be part of why Alexa Bliss split from Blake and Murphy. I’d love to see her on the main roster and being more active all around.

I expect Finn Balor is now done with NXT. A lot of people seem to expect him to show up at RAW tonight. I don’t. I think he’ll get a little time off and show up to aid The Club at Money In The Bank (though I don’t think we’ll see any titles change hands on that front.)

As Bobby Roode (I hear they may be going with Rude?) is now with NXT, I wouldn’t be surprised if we say him enter into a feud with Austin Aries, since I’m told they were two of TNA’s best before jumping ship.

Nakamura is going to go on being an entertaining crazy person. This isn’t so much a prediction as it is a wish list item, but I’d really like to see him have at least one good match with Tye Dillinger, who I think I am becoming a fan of. I read Hideo Itami may be coming back to NXT before long, being nearly recovered from whatever the injury that took him out was. If that’s true, I would not be at all surprised to see him feud with Nakamura at some point, maybe frame it as a rivalry between Japanese wrestling styles or something. Or maybe I’m way off base on that one, as I know next to nothing about Itami.

I’m really not sure what’s next for Samoa Joe.

And that’s all for now. Sorry this one got up so late but it was a lot more to write and I got busy. I still made sure to get this up before this week’s NXT so I can try to keep this a regular thing. I will continue to give my thoughts on matches, but I’m going to try to focus more heavily on the story and how they go about crafting a narrative in the serialized format.

Check my About Me page at the top for all the places you can find me online. I’ll pretty much always be glad to talk about wrestling or probably just about anything else. You can join in the global conversation by using the hashtag #WWENXT or just #NXT on social media. You’ll find me tweeting there when I watch NXT and usually the other WWE shows, though the main roster pay per views are usually the only things I watch live, due to my real life schedule (and that may be changing if the rumor of two pay per views per month after the brand expansion is true.)

NXT Recap 06/01/2016

What follows is a recap of the episode of WWE NXT which aired on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016. This is my first time writing one of these and my also be my last, I can’t say for sure yet. I just decided it had been too long since I had posted to this blog and I needed to flex my writing muscles a bit. After reading, let me know in the comments section if you think I should make this a regular thing.

Before getting to the breakdown, I have a single comment: The fuck was Corey Graves wearing?

The episode opens with The Revival. They came down to the ring in regular clothes and did the usual heel opening thing. They focused mostly on how they’re the best and threatening American Alpha, who they have a tag title match against at Takeover The End next week.

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa mercifully interrupted a promo going on longer than necessary when not much was being said. They stuck up for American Alpha a bit but mostly boasted about how they’re on the way up and the time of The Revival is passed. Standard stuff.

The segment ended with The Revival getting kicked out of the ring (literally) and a match was made. That match confirmed as the night’s main event during the first match.

Before moving on to the first match, there was a brief bit in the back with Shinsuke Nakamura. He didn’t say anything important but I did notice his English communication skills have improved drastically since he started on NXT. That’s probably the only thing keeping him from the main roster at the moment.

The first match of the night was Tye Dillinger versus Buddy Murphy. That’s right, it’s Buddy Murphy now, not just Murphy. He entered alone, which will probably be the norm now as it appears his tag team is done for and Alexa Bliss abandoned them both. He still entered with the same video showing all three of their names, though.

It was strange to me, seeing Murphy in a solo match. I’ve only ever seen him as part of Blake and Murphy. It wasn’t bad or unwelcome, just different.

It was a solid, technical match right from the start. The work remained good all the way through, though it was nothing especially exciting. Dillinger came through with the victory.

I get the feeling they’re starting to give him a push, but I still can’t really get behind Dillinger. I’m not sure what it is.

Next, Corey Graves interviewed Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, who will be facing each other in a cage match for the NXT title next week at Takeover The End.

I think Finn has gotten better at this sort of thing since I started watching NXT back in August. At that time, he was pretty awful whenever he had to talk. Joe seemed oddly happy, at least at first. This sort of thing is not the strong suit for either of these guys.

Finn sort of rewrote history about how Joe got as far as he has. It went from a respect to treating him like a whiny child. The interview otherwise played up their past friendship and referenced them teaming together in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Apparently, Joe has been in cage matches before but Finn hasn’t. I don’t expect that really matters at all, but they played it like that gives Joe an advantage. I half expect to see Finn fly from the top of the cage next week.

I think Finn will lose their match and it will lead to him getting called up to the main roster, maybe joining The Club. It would be following a similar path to Kevin Owens.

The second match of the night was Elias Samson versus Austin Aries. I don’t really like Samson, and not in a heel kind of way. I think his character is lame and the commentators get even worse whenever he’s in the ring. They pretty much always say the same stupid things. He also reminds me of Jason Mantzoukas, for whatever reason.

I don’t feel much more positive about Aries, but I don’t really know him yet. I feel like they’ve been leaning too much on his fame outside of WWE/NXT, which I know nothing about. And I can’t be alone in that.

Early on, Aries made Samson look like a chump with an arm bar he wouldn’t let go of and things continued in much the same way. It was obvious all the way through how much Aries outclasses Samson as an actual wrestler.

In the end, Samson tapped out, giving Aries the win.

The main event was the Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano versus The Revival match promised at the show’s start.

Neither of these teams get me excited, but they’re both good at what they do. I’ve even read rumors they may both be moving to the main roster when the brand split happens next month. I don’t know how reliable the source is, so we’ll just have to wait and see. The Revival, of course, has a tag title match at Takeover The End next week. If they win that, they’d be stuck on NXT for a while longer. I don’t particularly want them to win, but I’d much rather see American Alpha move up over them.

This was one of those matches where my attention starts to drift.

Dawson delivered a superplex to Gargano, but Gargano roled it into a small package and stole a pin. The Revival kept the fight going after the match, which is fitting for them, but American Alpha intervened.

The show wrapped up with a women’s title match contract signing, with Asuka and Nia Jax. It’s nice to see a women’s event in the final slot, even if not a proper match. NXT gets that right. It was also nice to see William Regal actually on the show.

I really like Asuka. I think Nia Jax has a lot of potential but she’s a ways off of realizing it. She’s really bad on a mic but should be a brilliant heel someday.

After some shit talking, Asuka told Jax she talks to much. A brawl ensued, ending with Jax power bombing Asuka.

As always, you can join the global conversation using the hashtag #WWENXT or just #NXT. You can also check out my About Me page to find me on social media, where I’ll gladly talk about wrestling or just about anything else until you’re sick of it.