4/7 WWE NXT in Concord – Second Detailed Report on Nakamura & Balor, Bullet Club references, Aries, Asuka, more (w/Photo Gallery)

NXT Photo credit Scott Lunn (@ScottLunn)


WWE NXT Live Results
April 7, 2016
Concord (Charlotte), N.C.
Report by PWTorch correspondent Scott Lunn (@ScottLunn)

– Full professional photo gallery HERE.

This was my first time at the Cabarrus Arena in Concord. It was a decent-sized venue, but much smaller than I’m used to seeing WWE in obviously. I’d estimate capacity at about 2,500 and I’m going to guess there was close to 2,000 in attendance.

I heard some disappointment expressed while entering near the merch line because of the absences of Bayley and Samoa Joe, who had been advertised until the last couple days. But, most people were okay with it, and in particular were psyched to see Shinsuke Nakamura.

(1) No Way Jose pinned Riddick Moss. About as basic as you can get as they made it clear who was the heel and who was to be cheered. The crowd enjoyed chanting “No Way Jose,” but nobody had a clue who these guys were.

(2) “The Drifter” Elias Samson pinned John Skyler. Sampson was booed from the start and Skyler was announced as from Concord, gaining him minimal cheers. Nothing too special here as Sampson used a swinging neckbreaker to gain the pinfall.

(3) Alex Riley pinned Blake of Blake & Murphy. Chants of “Where’s Murphy” and “Where’s Alexis” greeted Blake. There was also plenty of cat-calling in reference of not knowing who we should cheer for. Riley was working the “rage” gimmick, but didn’t distinguish himself much as a good guy. Riley won with a second turnbuckle elbow drop, but Blake definitely seemed the better performer.

(4) Eva Marie pinned Carmella. Honestly, this match was a lot better than I think anybody could have expected. Carmella got the first solid pop of the night, while Eva Marie was booed extensively. Both girls got in some offense, though Eva’s was of course limited. No obvious mess-ups, though, and Eva won when she pulled the ref in front of her while down in the corner to stop an attack from Carmella. She then made the cover with her feet on the ropes for the victory. Carmella got revenge after the bell and chased Eva Marie from the ring.

(5) NXT tag champions American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) beat The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) when Gable pinned Dawson. This was match of the night in my opinion. These guys all know their roles and play them well. Dash played to the crowd beautifully whenever he was not the legal man. Gable got worked over in an old-school tag team manner as Revival cut off the ring until Jordan finally got the hot tag and cleaned house with several suplexes. American Alpha’s finisher was attempted, but broken up, which led to the finish of Gable and Dawson exchanging rapid-fire pin attempts, with Gable finally scoring the three count on a cradle. This was a much toned down affair compared to Takeover: Dallas, but still good enough to steal the show on this card.


(6) Austin Aries pinned Manny Andrade. This match was surprisingly very competitive as both men were given pretty much equal offense. I think this caused a bit of confusion as nobody knew who Andrade was. Apparently La Sombra isn’t a big deal in North Carolina. This was worked as a face vs. face match, and Andrade eventually gained crowd support after showing some impressive offense and hanging with Aries the whole way. Now, I’ve seen Aries wrestle live previously for TNA and this was a way toned down version. In the end, Aries hit a discus elbow to score the three count, and then helped Andrade up and gave him the ring to soak up some cheers.

(7) NXT Women’s champion Asuka submitted Peyton Royce via Asuka Lock. Asuka got a very nice reception, which was quickly spoiled by Eva Marie reappearing. She was holding something which was claimed to be Asuka’s title, though it must have been in a bag or something, and challenged Asuka to a title match tomorrow night in Charleston. Royce got in a lot of offense, but Asuka hit her signature spots and ended up locking in the Asuka Lock to make Peyton tap. Peyton is a quality wrestler, but nothing really sets her apart. She has a bit of a generic feel to her, which is probably holding her back at this point. After the match, Asuka wanted the mic and proceeded to tell everyone she would kick Eva Marie’s ass.

Main Event Time – Shinsuke Nakamura & Finn Balor vs. Tye Dillinger & Baron Corbin. Dillinger’s “Perfect 10” gimmick was over and the crowd loved playing along. Corbin was booed nicely when he appeared… and then the roof blew off. Nakamura had a huge chant and a giant pop when he was introduced. Far and away the loudest of the night. Finn Balor was then introduced and was clearly beloved as well. The former NJPW stars did a Bullet Club pose to another huge pop before starting the match.

(8) Shinsuke Nakamura & NXT champion Finn Balor beat Tye Dillinger & Baron Corbin. Balor and Dillinger worked the majority of the match, with Balor doing an extended Ric Flair routine in the heart of Flair Country, which of course the crowd ate up. Nakamura impressed in his brief appearances, while Corbin worked very little in the ring, but jabbed back and forth with ringside fans. The end came when Balor hit Corbin with a Slingblade, followed by one for Dillinger. He then hit Bloody Sunday and got the pinfall.

After the match, he and Nakamura celebrated in the ring, and Balor held up a fan’s sign that said “Where’s Doc and Karl?” Balor thanked us all for coming and said that after a long last few days, everyone was tired, homesick, etc. But, our energy is what keeps them going. Nakamura took the mic, and between his mouthpiece and accent, I’m not sure anybody has a clue what he said, but it riled up the crowd just the same.

All in all, this was a pretty fun show. It’s been a very long time since I’ve attended a non-televised event, and I forgot how enjoyable they can be. With all the recent call-ups and then the loss of an advertised Bayley and Samoa Joe, star power was definitely lacking a bit tonight, but I didn’t hear too many complaints. I’m very curious as to how long Nakamura will last in NXT as he is clearly ridiculously over right from the start. Though, the crowd tonight also skewed greatly towards the 20-30 something knowledgeable males. There were pockets of families here and there, but they were the minority by far.

Biggest Pops:
– Shinsuke Nakamura
– Finn Balor
– Asuka

Most Heat:
– Eva Marie
– Baron Corbin
– Roman Reigns any time his face appeared on the Tron

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