In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
This week’s NXT episode featured a main event of Samoa Joe vs. Tommaso Ciampa on WWE Network. Plus, five more matches and the latest build-up to the NXT: Takeover special in London.
WWE NXT Results
December 2, 2015
Taped at Full Sail University
Aired on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
FIRST WORD: Let’s see where NXT goes after last week’s absolutely horrific Women’s Championship match. It is clear that Nia Jax will end up in the title picture, but the question is if Eva Marie and/or Alexa Bliss will be there, too. … Dash & Dawson are likely going to be moving on to face Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady in London for the Tag Team Championship. … Sami Zayn is on his way back to NXT, and hopefully his health issues are firmly in the past.
[Q1] Baron Corbin starts the show off to his usual mix of boos and shrieks. He is facing Tye Dillenger. Maybe this time the match will actually happen. Dillenger gets a big pop, and tons of fans are holding “10” signs. Corey Graves heels on Dillenger, reinforcing that he is a face now.
1 – TYE DILLENGER vs. BARON CORBIN
Dillenger flashes a “10” to Corbin, who moves to hit him, but Dillenger slaps him. Dillenger walks right into a huge slam, then takes splashes as he recovers in the corner. Corbin taunts Dillenger, then delivers a knee lift. Corbin flips Dillenger upside down then lands a big hit to the head – a slick new sequence for Corbin.
Dillenger rallies, then reverses a reversed whip right into a mount. Superkick, Corbin catches it, and superkick for a nearfall. Graves: “That was about a seven at best.” Cross-body gets caught by Corbin into the End of Days.
WINNER: Baron Corbin in 2:55. Corbin looked more fluid and had a wider range of moves than in the past, while Dillenger displayed flashes of a Dolph Ziggler-like range of capabilities and styles. I feel like Corbin is slowly getting where he needs to be.
Backstage, Kyle Edwards interviews Apollo Crews. Crews is booked to face Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin will team with Finn Balor. Crews isn’t worried about Balor’s condition after he got beat up again by Joe last wek. Crews says that he and Balor will show who are the better men.
[ J.J.’s Reax: I am really liking the progress of Crews on the mic. ]
Rich Brennan asks Tommasa Ciampa about Samoa Joe’s change of character. Ciampa says that he has known Joe a long time, and he was always a loner, but now he’s changed. But Ciampa says he is even more dangerous, as he has nothing to lose. No one in the audience thinks he can beat Joe, but he knows he can, and a win tonight will change everything.
Nia Jax comes out doing a bit of a Brock Lesnar bounce, to a mix of boos and cheers, and a lot of indifference. Jax gives Dasha Fuentes the stink eye, who backs up. Blue Pants has a new theme song. It’s in the same awful singing style as her last one, but the tune is different. I guess the price was wrong? Blue Pants has a fun entrance and a nice pop.
2 – BLUE PANTS vs. NIA JAX
Blue Pants ducks a clothesline and gives a thumbs up. She ducks another, celebrates, and eats the third clothesline. Jax steps on her hand, then stomps it. Jax tosses Blue Pants by the hair. And again. Jax is angry at the audience and the ref. Blue Pants fires up, but Jax sends her into the ropes, hits a shoulder-breaker, and follows with elbow drops. Jax hoists Blue Pants up, then nails a Samoan Drop and leg drops. Jax steps on Blue Pants to cover for the win.
WINNER: Nia Jax in 2:08. Jax continues to show strong presence and a fun range of “big man” power moves.
[Q2] Tom Philips “earlier this week” interviewed NXT tag champs Dash & Dawson. He congratulates them, but Dawson say that is in the past, as they are moving forward. Have they thought about the consequences of their style? Wilder is happy with the consequences, the Tag Team Championship. Did those consequences come home to roost last week? Sure, they took a cheap shot after a title defense. Philips announces the expected booking of Dash and Dawson against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady at “Takeover: London.” Wilder says that Amore and Cassady haven’t earned it. Dawson says they are going to take them on, no issue. And Cassady has another knee, and it is a long flight for the seven-foot-tall Cassady to be stuffed flying coach with a broken knee.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Great work here. ]
Later tonight: The Vaudevillains against Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Up next: Adam Rose faces James Storm. He’s back.
3 – JAMES STORM vs. ADAM ROSE
Storm backs Rose into a corner. Ref break, then Rose slaps Storm. Big mistake. Storm blocks an armdrag and tosses Rose with ease. Rose hides in the ropes, then uses the ref as a distraction to nail Storm. Saxton talks up Storm’s past, and even mentions WCW. Rose twists Storm around in a hold. Storm punches his way free, but gets hit with a clothesline. Rose skins the cat, hits the ropes, and gets a good head of steam. Leaping neckbreaker, but Storm hits the Last Call for the win.
WINNER: James Storm in 2:26. Storm looked highly motivated in that match.
The Vaudevillains are interviewed by a new interviewer, “Alex.” Aiden English is disappointed that they lost last week. Simon Gotch says that Gable and Jordan are top athletes. Speaking of which, Jordan and Gable interrupt, and smugly put themselves over, saying they are going to become champions. Gable says the fans are going to be the real winners. Gable sounds just like Shooter McGavin here. They shake hands with The Vaudevillains.
Flash back to a year ago when Sami Zayn put his NXT career on the line against Adrian Neville. Highlights of the match. Amazing video package that immediately puts Zayn back on the map. He is like the Hulk Hogan of NXT. No date on his return.
Good reaction for The Vaudevillains. Big, big pop for Jordan and Gable. These two just have to keep doing what they are doing and they will have a bright future.
4 – THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH) vs. JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE
[Q3] Gable takes on Gotch with heavy crowd support. Gotch leaps into an armbreaker. Single leg takedown by Gable, then some really slick technical work. Jordan tags in and continues the mat work. English gets a tag. English wants a test of strength, so Jordan picks him up and throws him down with ease. Jordan continues to show his strength. Jordan runs the ropes, catches English on a leapfrog, and English slides down into a cover for two. Armdrags, then an armbar. More back-and-forth. Hard leg screw.
Gable gets sent over the ropes and hits the floor hard. Jordan checks on him and the ref start counting. Gable rolls into the ring and right into a two count. Gable getting double-teamed. Gable sends English over his shoulder, then double tags. Jordan with his insane hot tag offense, taking on both Vaudevillains. Straps down, huge spear in the corner, and flapjack into the bridge for the win.
WINNERS: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable in 5:29. Gable and Jordan are just on fire right now. The technical skills that Gable showed at the beginning reminded me of a blend of Jack Swagger and Tyson Kidd. Jordan’s technical skill is top-flight, too, and his strength is off the charts. I would like to see a touch more variety, with Jordan taking the beat down from time to time and Gable making the save.
Post-match, Jordan and Gable offer handshakes, and The Vaudevillains walk away to a big boo.
Alex asks Emma and Dana Brooke to explain their ambush on Asuka last week. Brooke says it was a wake-up call for Asuka. Brooke is furious that Emma let Asuka up because she was going to beat up Asuka, too. Emma tells her to calm down, and next time it will be worse for Asuka. Emma has a match, she tells Brooke to stay in the back and cool off. She pats Alex.
Another vignette from the unnamed guitar player. More tight shots make his identify tough to verify. Still looks like Cal Bishop.
Gionna Daddio is now named Liv Morgan.
5 – LIV MORGAN vs. EMMA
Lock-up and Morgan gets Emma to the ropes to a “Joisey!” chant. Another lock-up, and Morgan gets Emma on the ropes again. Morgan dusts her shoulders off. Emma with an armbar and a handful of hair to take the match over. Emma-mite sandwich, and the ref has to check on Morgan. Hair snapmare, then the hair surfboard. Morgan fires up from the mat, but Emma kicks the knee then chokes her with a boot.
Morgan with a Dragon Sleeper into a DDT into a cover for one. Jackknife cover from Morgan, but Emma bridges out. Butterly suplex, but Emma holds the hair and stomps Morgan’s face into the mat. Emma Lock, and Morgan taps.
WINNER: Emma in 3:48. Well, I wanted to see more of Daddio/Morgan, and I got it. Still liking what I am seeing here. Emma is still being reinforced as a strong, aggressive heel.
[Q4] Post-match, the ‘Tron shows someone pounding a punching bag. Asuka looks around it, “Emma, see you in London.” The crowd cuts in with “Asuka’s gonna kill you!” as Emma looks around nervously and leave the ring.
Alex (now given the last name Rayez) interviews Bayley backstage. He asks her about her recent title defenses. Bayley says she is willing to accept any challenge, and she will face Jax. She’s never faced anyone Jax’s size before, but she will do the match at London if Jax asks. Jax comes out, stares at Bayley, then the title, then walks away. Alex says “it looks like she just asked,” and Bayley says she is game, then gets jumped by Jax.
[ J.J.’s Reax: This will be a good test for Jax – a longer match with the outstanding Bayley. It’s obviously too soon for a title change. Why is Bayley being presented as such a chump and sucker lately? ]
Ciampa gets a great response on his way out of the back. I would really like to see Ciampa get a win, but Joe isn’t the right person for him to beat two weeks before London.
6 – TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. SAMOA JOE
They tease a test of strength. Joe with a surprise roundhouse, but Ciampa ducks. Joe backs Ciampa into the corner, but Ciampa shoves Joe’s face out of the ref break. Joe works an arm, and Ciampa can’t get out with elbows or chops. Joe draws the ref’s ire in the corner. Ciampa takes a very stiff chop in the corner. Joe is just dissecting Ciampa.
Wristlock, then Ciampa slaps Joe. They have a slap-off. Ciampa ends up in the corner and Joe just kills him. Ciampa dodges a charge, cover for two. Ciampa with a running DDT to Joe’s arm. Joe pops off the mat with a clap, and they trade blows. This is a stiff match. Enziguri and Joe is stunned, but he catches Ciampa. Ciampa transitions to a Dragon Sleeper. Joe fights out, then Ciampa with strikes, then an armlock. Joe has to ram Ciampa into the turnbuckle to break the hold.
Joe looks crazed as he stalks Ciampa. Scoop slam at warp speed drops Ciampa again. Rapid strikes in the corner. Joe tries to run Ciampa’s beard off with his boot, but Ciampa dodges a boot. Ciampa runs into a one arm slam. Musclebuster, Kokita Clutch, and Ciampa taps.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 6:41. I really enjoyed this match. Joe looked like an absolutely unstoppable force of destructive fury, while Ciampa’s heart made him into the ultimate underdog babyface. There was never a doubt that Joe was winning, but Ciampa sure made me believe he had a chance.
Final Reax: Wrestling heavy episode capped by two really good matches at the end. I am honestly excited every time Jason Jordan and Chad Gable hit the ring.