4/21 WWE NXT in Lowell – Second Detailed Report on Samoa Joe’s title win, crowd reactions, post-show ambulance

Samoa Joe ROH (photo credit Wade Keller)


WWE NXT Live Report
April 21, 2016
Lowell, Mass.
Report by Meredith of Lexington, Mass.

My husband and I were at the NXT Show in Lowell, Massachusetts on Thursday night. It was a relatively last-minute decision for us to go. It was VERY hard to get tickets for the show. Only 2-3 pairs were available on secondary retailer sites, and the box office was sold out.

Notes on the evening:

-Merchandise Sales: Bailey, Samoa Joe, American Alpha, and Finn Balor were featured prominently. The stand was completely mobbed every time I walked by pre-/post-event and during intermission. They only had adult size t-shirts (no women’s sizes). They were selling a fight bill poster for the night. I thought that was unusual for a seemingly “normal” every day house show.

-Reigns in WWE Promo Package: Roman Reigns was very briefly on the screen for a WWE promotional video. The place erupted in massive boos which lasted for at least several minutes.

-Mojo Rawley vs. Riddick Moss: Mojo seemed somewhat popular but not nearly as much as I’ve seen at the Full Sail NXT TV events. The crowd seemed to be more against Riddick Moss then for Mojo. At some point, Moss received sustained chants of “Terra Ryzing.” He did look a little like a young Triple H. The match itself had good pacing and crowd interaction. Mojo won.

– Divas Tag Match: Bailey/Carmella vs. Peyton Royce/Dana Brooke. Peyton had a nice stylized gait when strolling to the ring. She received muted crowd reaction at her entrance, but I was impressed with her ringwork and demeanor. Dana Brooke was wearing an outfit very similar to what Natalya wears on the main roster (cut-out black bodysuit with pink lining). At one point Dana received “Cheap Natalya” and “Shut-up Dana” cheers. The latter was in response to her heel jawing. The match was very light-hearted popcorn wrestling fare.  The crowd “sang” several songs to Bailey including “I wanna know if you’ll be my girl” and something that sounded like “Hooked on a Feeling.” Carmella was warmly greeted, too. Bailey and Carmella won, of course.

-Chris Girard beat Tommaso Ciampa. The wrestlers in this match worked very hard. It started slow, but once the match reached a crescendo the crowd was thunderous. I felt a little bad at the opening when Chris Girard was called Manny Andrade on the big screen. The slaps the wrestlers were delivering to each other were VERY loud. These two seemed like maybe they had an amateur background, as some of the moves looked very reminiscent of Greco-Roman wrestling from the Olympics.

-Austin Aries beat Manny Andrade. Aries was very nimble throughout the match. It felt odd to me that Manny seemed to be getting in so much offense for such a sustained period. If the match was to make Manny look good, it succeeded. But, I expected a veteran of Aries’s caliber to get more offense in. If he had, I think he would have received more sustained applause (than Manny) after the match. Some of the moves and coordinated timing between the wrestlers during the match was astounding to me. A half step off here or a second or two difference in timing there… and someone would have gotten hurt. But, they were very good,  and nothing went awry. The potential danger factor seemed higher here than all the other matches (except the main event).

-Shinsuke Nakamura beat The Drifter (Elias Samson). Nakamura was over huge. Throughout the match, he received sustained “Shinsuke’s Gonna Kill You” cheers. People did not like the Drifter. I guess he is supposed to sing a jingle before his match. The boos were so loud…I didn’t hear him say or sing anything pre-match. I kinda hoped Shinsuke would demolish the Drifter’s guitar. I have to say, in person, Nakamura somehow makes every movement count. His wrestling is like really good prose. Every word fits. Every movement conveys meaning. He’s a special talent. I thought his match was little short. Maybe it just felt short to me. Given what happened later in the evening, perhaps they didn’t want Nakamura to overshadow the main event.


-NXT tag champs American Alpha defeat The Revival. Real fun action and crowd chants during this match. I enjoyed Dash and Dawson cheating throughout the match to get the advantage on Gable and Jordan. Fun chants during the match were “Which ones’s Dawson?”, “Which one’s Dash?”, “Save the Gable”, and “Gable Backpack.” In-person,  Jordan is quite large. Some of that size is lost on the TV screen.

-NXT Women’s champion Asuka beat Alexa Bliss. This was a very good match. The crowd was a little tired after coming on VERY loud during the entire men’s tag match. The match was well received but a little tempered in response. Asuka was popular and very impressive in-person. I would have liked to see a sustained squash match with Asuka winning. Some of the back and forth to me was not believable. In real life, I felt like Asuka could vaporize some of these other women’s wrestlers. Chants during the match included, “Asuka’s gonna kill you”, “ Kick her head off”, “ Where’s Chyna?” (thankfully brief chant, that was greeted with sustained crowd boos, that killed it), ‘Asuka’s Booty” (after Asuka used her rear end to push Alexa out of the ring and probably a New Day reference as well), and a brief “We want Eva / No we don’t” battle chant. It was a good match. But, I would have preferred to see a mauling.

-Samoe Joe beat NXT champion Finn Balor to capture the NXT Title. Incredible match. Both men received loud applause. The guy next to me in the crowd was a big Joe fan. Every offensive move Joe made, he completely supported. I have the ringing ears today to prove it. I didn’t know Joe was so popular. In person for such a big guy, Joe was surprisingly nimble.  A couple spots here or there in the match, you see him move so quickly/so fluidly, that you mentally double take. There was spot towards the end of the match where both men were on the floor outside the ring. Finn took a running leap into Joe and broke through one of the metal side barriers towards the crowd. It was totally believable that someone would get injured from the spot. A ring doctor ran in from the back of the stage to check Finn out. After several minutes, Finn joined Joe in the ring to finish the match. There were several nearfalls during the match, so when Joe got the three count, everyone around was shocked and screaming. It was so fun. There was a fun “Joe wears short shorts / No he doesn’t” battle chant early in the match. The Joe fan sitting beside me took exception with this chant.

End Notes: As my husband and I left the arena, an ambulance came speeding up with siren blaring. It stopped by the side of the auditorium. We didn’t see anyone get in.That ambulance racing to the scene right after the show, made us think Finn really got injured. All in all, a really great night!

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