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WWE NXT Report
April 13, 2016
Taped 4/2 in Dallas, Tex.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor
[Q1] NXT starts with William Regal backstage. He thanks us for making “Takeover: Dallas” great. He books Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Vaudevillains, Bayley in action, and Shinsuke Nakamura also in action. Credits are already updated from the changes at Takeover: Dallas. That is a little touch I like about NXT.
Austin Aries is out for a match. Tom Phillips makes it seems like his win over Baron Corbin at Takeover was a fluke. He is facing Angelo Dawkins, “the Curse of Greatness.” It seems like Dawkins is getting a reboot, as he actually got an entrance tonight.
1 – AUSTIN ARIES vs. ANGELO DAWKINS
Quick chain wrestling out of the lock-up. Dawkins takes Aries down to the mat. Aries with a pair of covers. Graves calls Aries’s win “impressive” and puts him over. Armdrags keep Dawkins down. Dawkins hides in the corner, then bounces out with a cheap shot.
Dawkins gloats over Aries as he continues the beating. Aries officially rallies. Clothesline takes Dawkins down, neckbreaker through the ropes. Missile dropkick from Aries. Aries then bounces Dawkins into the turnbuckle and hits the rolling elbow for a win.
WINNER: Austin Aries. That felt mighty flat to me. Aries did not really stand out and Dawkins did not look especially impressive. Odd match-up.
Samoa Joe is backstage to be interviewed by Dasha Fuentes. He says nothing has changed from his NXT Title loss to Finn Balor, and he will continuing going after the title, and next week he will defeat Apollo Crews.
Shinsuke Nakamura is billed as facing Tye Dillinger tonight.
No Way Jose vignette. Next week.
Alexa Bliss is out to face the debuting Tessa Blanchard. Bliss has a revised outfit, finally ditching the Freddy Krueger outfit.
2 – TESSA BLANCHARD vs. ALEXA BLISS
Lock-up, then a break. Graves compares Blanchard to Charlotte, multi-generational wrestlers. Bliss angers Blanchard, who runs into a waistlock but takes Bliss down. Forearm from Bliss stops Blanchard’s offense. Bliss heels it up, “welcome to NXT sweetheart!” That starts an NXT chant, until Bliss tells them to shut up. The crowd tries to rally behond Blanchard.
[Q2] Knee from Bliss lets her insult Blanchard some more. Blanchard catches a slap, shouts back at Bliss, then goes on a flurry. Bliss grabs Blanchard like she wants a chokeslam, then hits the Bliss Flip for the win.
WINNER: Alexa Bliss. Not a great match, but Blanchard showed some good personality work in the ring.
Backstage, Fuentes asks Finn Balor who he sees as the #1 contender. He says his responsibility is to defend the title, it doesn’t matter who it is against. She asks him about Shinsuke Nakamura. Balor says he knows that Nakamura is gunning for the title, and he welcomes the challenge when it comes.
[J.J.’s Reax: A face vs. face title match between Balor and Nakamura would be pure money.]
3 – JOHNNY GARGANO & TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH)
The Vaudevillains have the face corner for some reason. Gargano takes Gotch down. Gargano struggles a bit against the Englishman and is then able to double-team English. Tag, then a knee from Ciampa sends English off the apron. Dive from Gagano. Gargano takes offense from English and Gotch as the crowd supports Gargano.
Gargano tries to fight from the mat, but fails. Gargano finally fights out of the corner. Diving tag gets Ciampa in the game. Ciampa steamrolls English and clears Gotch off the apron. DDT off the top rope get Ciampa a nearfall. A handful of tights doesn’t give English a win. Blind tag from Gotch, but Ciampa weathers it. Armbar from Ciampa and Gotch taps.
WINNERS: Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano. Fun match, particularly from Ciampa. The Vaudevillains have been defined down on their way to Smackdown.
Tye Dillinger takes a question from Alex Rayez.Dillinger makes himself sound like a bigger star than Nakamura. He will send Nakamura back to Japan with a loss against the perfect ten. He then gives Rayez a “3” card. I guess that’s better than the “2” he said Dasha Fuentes was in North Charleston.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Nice promo from Dillinger, who is filling the void left by Tyler Breeze nicely. ]
Tucker Knight finally gets his own entrance, to some music that sounds like a bad Guns ‘n Roses cover band. He is facing Baron Corbin, who needs some wins to regain credibility.
4 – BARON CORBIN vs. TUCKER KNIGHT
Corbin easily over-powers Knight in a lock-up. Knight pushes Corbin, which angers him. Corbin waves off the crowd’s disdain. Knight with a back elbow, dropkick, corner splash, then a Thesz Press. Corbin knocks Knight down, then hits End of Days.
WINNER: Baron Corbin in 1:58. Knight looked decent there for a moment while Corbin is being kept strong. I feel like Corbin can become what Roman Reigns should have become if he had stayed in NXT longer.
“Earlier today” American Alpha stands in the empty arena marveling at the history of the arena. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady come in, and say they can imagine what that felt like to win. Amore is happy that The Revival are not champions anymore. Amore reminds them if their long history in NXT, and Cassady says that they have never faced American Alpha. American Alpha are game. Amore says that they are not asking for a title shot, but would love one. American Alpha agree to make it happen. Respect all around.
Bayley is out. She truly deserves to have the chance to cut a promo post-title loss. She is all smiles, but seems a but less energetic than usual. Her opponent is the promising Liv Morgan.
5 – BAYLEY vs. LIV MORGAN
Bayley trades control with Morgan, who shows some athleticism. Sliding elbow, sliding forearm, but Morgan dodges an elbow drop. Morgan with some contrived moves to hit a leg scissors take down. Side chinlock from Bayley.
Bayley rolls into her usual routine, but Morgan dodges an elbow in the corner and comes back. Fire from Morgan draws some applause. Monkey flip out of the corner, but Bayley blocks a suplex and hits Bayley-to-Belly.
WINNER: Bayley in 3:17. Another flat-feeling match. Morgan continues to show promise, but this match just did not flow.
Post-match, Bayley gets the mic. She delivers the line about champions being measured by how many times they get up. Bayley puts Asuka over as the better woman. She says she knows it makes some fans angry, and herself too, but do not feel sorry for her because she will be champion again. She is still standing and will still stand for each and every one of us.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Why can’t John Cena cut promos like this? Short, to the point, and super babyface red meat. You would have to be a real hater to dislike Bayley. ]
Phililps confirms Amore and Cassady facing American Alpha next week (no mention of it being a title match) and Joe vs. Crews.
[Q4] If you want an excuse to see NXT live, Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance is it. So much electricity in the air.
6 – SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. TYE DILLINGER
Nakamura intimidates Dillinger just by threatening to strike. “He’s 11!” from the crowd, pointing at Nakamura. Dillinger takes Nakamura down, then does a cartwheel and flashes 10’s. Nakamura acts confused. Dillinger mocks Nakamura, who gets him to the ropes. Nakamura sends Dillinger into the corner with swagger.
Superkick drops Nakamura for one, then another one count. Dillinger mounts Nakamura and hits punches. Dillinger mocks Nakamura again. Dillinger with some Orton-like grinding, complete with a rear chinlock. Nakamura powers out, ducks a superkick, and hits a kick to the head. More kicks. Dillinger across the ropes, then takes a knee to the middle. Kinshasha ends it.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 5:13. I feel like Nakamura should have won this in about three minutes, not five, and have taken far less offense.
Final Reax: Maybe this was just an off night for NXT, taped right after Takeover and before the Carolinas tour? “Flat” really was the adjective of the night here. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, The Vaudevillains, Apollo Crews, and Baron Corbin all have a murky future on NXT with main roster debuts indicating a full-time call up, or just a test run. I feel like next week’s match will be the end of Amore and Cassady’s time on NXT. I will miss those two for sure.