SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NXT Report
June 22, 2016
Taped 6/9 at Full Sail University
Aired on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor
[Q1] Video package summarizing Finn Balor’s speech at the end of last week’s episode, and Shinsuke Nakamura challenging Balor to a match. I think they actually upped the crowd mic for that package.
New credits package adding some weird laser noises. Not a fan.
Tye Dillinger comes out not looking too happy. He is facing the already-in-the-ring Oney Lorcan (formerly Biff Busick and Chris Girard).
1 – TYE DILLINGER vs. ONEY LORCAN
Graves bills Lorcan as a bar brawler. Basic mat wrestling. Lorcan gets Dillinger down and flashes the tens, to draw boos. Dillinger is struggling to get some traction. Uppercut drops Dillinger, then Lorcan covers but Dillinger is partially under the ropes. Dillinger fights back into the ring with aggression. Dillinger is angry and nearly gets DQ’ed.
Lorcan hits a pair of running uppercuts in the corner, eats a superkick on the third, Dillinger covers for a nearfall, and then recovers for another nearfall. Dillinger wants ten perfect punches in the corner, but Lorcan shoves him off then nails a running/leaping neckbreaker of sorts for the win.
WINNER: Oney Lorcan in 5:52. Slow match for much of it. Is Dillinger on a “road to redemption” story? That’s a shame after his really nice showing against Andrade “Cien” Almas at Takeover.
Cathy Kelley interviews Austin Aries. His loss to Nakamura doesn’t change the fact that he’s great, it is a journey. Aries brings up his injury and Nakamura’s crowd support then says no excuses, Nakamura beat him. No Way Jose interrupts says that he learned from Aries, then tells Aries to get positive. Aries is dumbfounded.
Video package on Nia Jax injuring Bayley. “Earlier today” Bayley says she is excited because she returns tonight. No opponent named.
[Q2] No Way Jose gets the crowd happy and dancing. Will Aries interrupt this match in some way, or make a post-match attack to turn full heel?
2 – NO WAY JOSE vs. JOSH WOODS
Graves on Woods: “With that topknot and those tattoos I thought they found him at the local CrossFit gym.” Elbows let Woods cover for one. Jose gets off the mat then hits strikes, then an atomic drop, another strike. Spinning full nelson slam for the win.
WINNER: No Way Jose in 1:47. Enhancement match to show off more of No Way Jose.
Post-match, Austin Aries’s music hit, and Jose sells shock. Aries struts up the ramp. He is greeted with an “Aries sucks” chant and he asks them to bear with him. He says that victories do not define you, but the defeats. He was injured but he lost at Takeover. That defeat to Nakamura is weighing on him. Aries says that he didn’t know what he could learn from Jose, so he watched Jose, and now he can learn something.
Jose reminded him that despite his past successes, NXT is about having fun. Jose claps. Aries thanks Jose for reminding him of that and who he needs to be, then offers a hand. They shake after a moment of tension. Aries leaves, Jose stops him and invites him into the ring to dance. Aries suddenly starts to find himself trying to not dance and then he goes for it. They dance around the ring. Am I watching Raw?
They dance up the ramp. They head to the announce table and dance on the table. Tom Phillips is dancing, then Aries finally attacks Jose. And it’s on. A rare mild expletive from Phillips to enhance the attack. Full heel turn from Aries.
[ J.J.’s Reax: The genius of this segment was that they dragged out the dancing so long that I almost bought the idea that Aries actually wouldn’t attack Jose. The crowd expected it for a while and then bought into it too. Well done. ]
Transition to earlier today, with William Regal talking to Shinsuke Nakamura. He was electrified by the encounter last week and Balor politely requested it. Regal books it in three weeks (July 13, paired up with the Cruiserweight launch). Buddy Murphy interrupts and whines a lot. Nakamura offers a challenge and Regal seems to book it.
Recap of the Takeover match between Asuka and Nia Jax.
Replay of Aries turning on No Way Jose.
[Q3] Graves says he is not surprised by the attack on Jose. Phillips promises an update on Jose.
Deonna Purrazzo is out for her match against Bayley. She looks good in the ring, but is struggling for wins. She faces the returning Bayley.
3 – BAYLEY vs. DEONNA PURRAZZO
Thy struggle for control and block arm drags all around. Unproductive covers from each. Purrazzo blocks Bayley-to-Belly and gets hit with an armdrag. Purrazzo dodges in the corner, then a clothesline barely gets one. Kick to the middle stops Bayley.
Knee lift, then side Russian legsweep for a two count. Running kick to the face gives Purrazzo another count. Bayley suddenly hulks up in the corner and tarts her trademark offense. Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
Winner: Bayley in 2:45. Nice to see Bayley in action. Purrazzo has promise, but as someone who types these things up I am going to insist on a name change for her. “Dee” would be fine.
Andrea interviews Carmella. She wants to be the face of NXT Women’s division, Alexa Bliss cuts her off. New image for Bliss. Without Enzo Amore and Big Cass she is nothing. Carmella says that her boys are on Raw, while hers are drowning. They argue over who has better men. Carmella agrees that Bliss was the stand-out of that trio, then scares her off.
[ Reax: Carmella was a touch stiff here, but she has grown a lot on the mic. Bliss is so good now in these segments. ]
Package on NXT champion Samoa Joe making him look like a total monster.
Recap video of Nia Jax challenging Asuka at Takeover. The video package made this look a lot better than I remember it.
Jax is still getting the revised entrance with the tight close-ups of her eyes. Her hair is straight now, too.
[Q4] Liv Morgan is out to face Jax. I like Morgan but I am sure that this match will not go her way.
4 – LIV MORGAN vs. NIA JAX
Morgan tries to control Jax with a headlock. Jax with a nasty slam to shake her off. Morgan bounces off the ropes with elbows but Jax sends her packing. Morgan manages a leg scissors into the corner, then outsmarts Jax in the corner. Dropkicks back Jax up, but she responds with a clothesline, then a big powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Nia Jax in 2:08. I like that they are elevating the powerbomb to a finisher for Jax, after she used it at the contract signing a few weeks ago. Leg drops are not a finisher in 2016.
Bliss and Carmella will be wrestling next week. Nakamura has a slightly changed entrance outfit, with a shiny shirt instead of the Michael Jackson jacket.
5 – SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. BUDDY MURPHY
Five minutes left in the episode when the bell rings. Anyone want to guess how this ends? Test of strength, then Murphy ties a cheap kick, but Nakamura blocks it and kicks him hard. Test of strength, then Nakamura kicks Murphy in the face and laughs.
Murphy stops messing around and locks in an armbar into a wristlock. They trade control in holds. Nakamura embarrasses Murphy, sends him to the mat, and hits a knee drop. Vibration boots in the corner. The ref’s instructions let Murphy dump Nakamura into the turnbuckle, though. A diving punch gets a two count ,then two more covers.
Nakamura shrugs off Murphy’s offense and sells crazy. A knee breaks Nakamura free of a front suplex and Nakamura goes nuts. Very stiff kicks to Murphy. Running knee in the corner, inverted exploder suplex, and Kinshase for the win.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 4:34. Predictable outcome of a perfectly fine match. Nakamura looks so strong right now.
Final Reax: Setting Balor-Nakamura for three weeks from now instead of holding for a Takeover seems like someone is very eager to get Balor to the main roster before the draft. The main roster needs an injection of buzz to pump sagging ratings and Balor can help with that. Fine episode to move stories forward and get folks over in the ring, with no pressure to race to title matches yet.