SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NXT TV Report
August 17, 2016
Taped at Full Sail University
Aired on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor
[Q1] Hmm, the WWE Network teaser photo seems to have Alexa Bliss in it? Yes please. Her presence is missed on NXT, as everyone in the Women’s division other than Bayley and Asuka has had absolutely zero promo time to define themselves.
Pre-credits package advertises a face-to-face interview between Shinsuke Nakamura and NXT champion Samoa Joe tonight. That should prove to be highly volatile after last week’s encounter.
Hideo Itami starts NXT. We’ll know he’s made it when the FSU crowd invents lyrics to his music (Bayley, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura). Big pop for him all the same. Mustafa Ali from the CWC tournament is his opponent.
1 – HIDEO ITAMI vs. MUSTAFA ALI
Struggle for control at first, then Ali runs up Itami’s chest and lands a dropkick before gloating. That lets Itami recover and take him down. Itami shows Ali some disrespect. Ali eludes Itami to frustrate him, then ducks out of the ring making a timeout motion.
Baseball slide from Itami puts him down hard. But, Ali with a running neckbreaker to Itami through the ropes for a two count. Ali eludes Itami again, and a jumping neckbreaker get Ali a nearfall.
Itami hulks up off the mat in the face of blows and starts his offensive routine. Rapid strikes, “finish him!” from the crowd, then Graves compares Itami to Shang Tsung. A few more moves, and the Shotgun Kicks wraps Ali up.
WINNER: Hideo Itami in 3:21. Giving Itami squashes on his return is much more effective than a lame feud with The Ascension like his initial debut. Itami is looking strong.
Three new women’s wrestlers are advertised for a six-woman tag team match with Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, and Carmella.
Video package on Bobby Roode along with interview clips and bits from his debut promo explaining why he is in NXT. Then his confrontation with Andrade Almas.
Video package taking us back to Dallas when Asuka choked Bayley out to capture the Women’s Championship. Sad sack Bayley feels like she let everyone down backstage. Nia Jax got a shot at the title before Bayley because a medical decision kept Bayley out of the title picture.
[Q2] Shots of Asuka tearing her opponents apart and smiling with sadistic glee. Parts of their awesome exchange last week.
[ J.J.’s Reax: NXT has had two people where you are emotionally engaged beyond belief: Bayley and Sami Zayn. And two people where a loss is beyond shocking: Kevin Owens and Asuka. Pitting Bayley again Asuka has the same emotional impact as Zayn facing Owens and I predict few dry eyes in Brooklyn no matter what the ending of the match is. ]
Clips from various NXT wrestlers talking up Takeover: Brooklyn while Of Mice and Men play.
[ J.J.’s Reax: No Way Jose really acquitted himself well in this package, bringing some fire. Andrade Almas needs to get some promo time; his ring work is singing an opera for him, but we need some personality. ]
More hype packages. Lots of filler hype.
NXT GM William Regal in his office talks about the quantity of international talent. Billie Kay comes in and says that if he wants Takeover to be the best over she needs to be on it. He books her to face Ember Moon. That answers that question.
Time for the big women’s match. Nikki Glencross is from Scotland and says she is inspired by Fit Finlay and William Regal. Daria Barento is from New Jersey looking like a UFC fighter, and Mandy Rose is from New York. Corey Graves gives her his Eva Marie treatment, gushing over her looks.
2 – CARMELLA & LIV MORGAN & NIKKI GLENNCROSS vs. ALEXA BLISS & DARIA BARENATO & MANDY ROSE – Six-Woman Tag Team match
[Q3] As the match starts, Graves compares Rose to Eva Marie. Bliss and Glenncross to start. Graves calls this the best episode of NXT ever thanks to the amount of women’s talent in the ring. Glenncross isn’t intimidated by Bliss. Cross-body gets two for Glenncross. Dropkick sends Bliss scampering out of the ring. Glenncross is hot to trot shouting from the ring. Bliss re-enters the ring, then tags Barenato. Barenato removes her gloves. Cut to break.
[ Break ]
Who in the world calls for a break the moment a debuting wrestler is about to lock up with her opponent? What a bad decision.
Out of the break, Morgan has Barenato grounded with a side chinlock. Bliss tangles with Morgan on the apron letting Barenato clobber Morgan, then isolate her. Bliss heels on Morgan, who plays a good sympathetic face. Rose finally tags in and Graves pops for a snapmare and a kick like it was the best combo ever.
Roll-up and Morgan kicks out at one. Barenato makes a good showing of herself against Morgan. The crowd tries to rally Morgan off the mat. Morgan manages to push Barenato’s shoulders to the corner to force a break, but Barenato keeps her away from the corner. Bliss back in for a knee lift to the face.
Enziguri finally lets Morgan tag in Carmella, while Bliss brings in Rose. Carmella goes nuts and clears the apron. Graves is angry that Carmella is picking on poor Rose. Superkick, but Bliss breaks up the cover, then tries the choke out Glenncross. Action breaks down. Brutal takedown from Barenato just destroys Glenncross. But, Rose taps to the Code of Silence from Carmella in the ring.
WINNERS: Carmella & Nikki Glenncross & Liv Morgan in 8:20. Fun match, good way to get some shine on new folks. Barenato has tons of promise and was the standout of the three new debuts. Glenncross looked good, too. I like Morgan’s potential to be a goody-goody face, and the crowd seems to be getting behind her. Mandy Rose does the Eva Marie routine quite well already, and already looks better in the ring (low bar, I know).
William Regal prepares for the interview between Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura. The room is filled with security guards, and Regal tells them to not even allow Joe or Nakamura to leave their seats. Byron Saxton will be conducting the interview. Regal makes sure that Joe understands the rules. Nakamura isn’t there yet.
Ember Moon package. “Prophesies of fire” – this is corny as anything. I stand by my description of “Undertaker as envisioned by Jeff Hardy” – this kind of comic book gimmick doesn’t fly at FSU or in NXT.
[Q4] Byron Saxton conducts the interview. A horde of security guards and William Regal supervise. Saxton asks Joe how excited he is. Joe says he is excited, being here one year after his debut. Nakamura is excited, with this being his first championship match. Joe says that his issue with the booking was the disrespect. He had to jump through hoops to get his title shot, had to beat everyone, battle royals, matches with Sami Zayn, and carrying Finn Balor through the Dusty Rhodes championship. Nakamura beat a couple people and got the chance. Regal checked with Asuka before booking Bayley against her.
Nakamura has been calm since being given the title shot. Nakamura claims that “calm is my style, even in the ring.” Before NXT, has Joe faced Nakamura? Joe talks about his history with Nakamura, including training Nakamura in “my dojo.” Nakamura doesn’t remember that. Joe respects Nakamura, but maybe not what he’s done. Nakamura says of course he respects Joe, but says it with a bit of attitude. Nakamura makes eyes at him. Joe explodes in anger, gets up, and the guards surround Joe. Nakamura struts out and Regal throws Joe out.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Nakamura has so much charisma, and him getting the upper hand in these encounters by egging Joe on is really working for me. ]
Final Reax: Great episode to take us into a stacked Takeover, though it had a bit too much filler in some places. But I also don’t think that anyone competing at Takeover should be in the ring less than a week before either. Suffice it to say that this is a super-hot card with the exception being the Ember Moon debut. She’s expected to eat Billie Kay in a couple of minutes, in a match that could have been saved for the post-Takeover episode to give more time to the other matches.