SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REVIEW
DECEMBER 7, 2016
TAPED IN OTTAWA, CANADA
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
-Pre-credit video showing Shinsuke Nakamura losing the title at Takeover Toronto, then regaining it last week in Osaka, Japan.
-The NXT Championship steel cage match from Melbourne, Australia, starts the show.
(1) NXT Champion SHISUKE NAKAMURA vs. SAMOA JOE – NXT Championship Steel Cage Match
Odd positioning for the door cage, in the heel corner not facing the hard camera, instead of the usual neutral camera near the hard camera and facing it. Lots of close wrangling to start. This feels like neither a steel cage match nor a hot feud blowoff. Nakamura does his head to the chest routine but Joe tries to take advantage of it. Vibration kicks to Joe. They seem to be forgetting that a steel cage match is also no-disqualification. Joe dumps Nakamura into the cage, then assualts him as he is trapped between the ropes and the cage. Awkward cut to break. [c]
Nakamura knocks Joe down with a second kick after Joe ducks one. Nakamura with a guillotine, Joe escapes, then shrugs off a suplex attempt. Joe gets pushed into the ropes, then takes a German suplex for two. Nakamura wants the kinshahe but Joe counters with a scoop slam.
They trade strikes, then Joe suddenly shifts and locks in the Coquina Clutch mid-ring. Graves reminds us that there is no rope break. A boot on the ropes lets Nakamura flip over Joe to escape, then deliver kicks to get Joe down. Slow cover from Nakamura gets two. Nakamura starts to climb, but Joe meets him and looks for a super Muscle Buster. Nakamura grabs the cage to block then slams Joe’s face into the cage and delivers a powerbomb from the top. Nakamura climbs the ropes, then hits a Kinshashe from the top. Nakamura wants to exit through the cage door, is dragging himself there, then closes the cage himself, turns around and hits a second Kinshahe. Nakamura preps another, Joe gets to his feet, Nakamura hits the third and covers for the win.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 10:21 to retain the NXT Championship. It feels like 5 – 10 minutes were clipped from this match based on the pacing and selling. This was obviously the right ending and with any luck we will see Samoa Joe go to the main roster and finally depart the title scene after being in 100% of NXT Championship matches for the last year.
-Recap of the six-woman tag match from three weeks ago in Toronto.
-Backstage interview with Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. They blame the loss on Daria Barenato. Of course, she interupts. She wants a match with one of them next week and doesn’t care which one it is.
-Tye Dillinger comes out to a pretty stout reception. This guy is on fire right now with the crowd. He js just working the underdog story perfectly and the crowd is buying it. So am I.
(2) TYE DILLINGER vs. ERIC YOUNG (w/Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross) – NXT Championship #1 Contender Tournament Qualifying Match
Young immediately charges and pushes Dillinger into the corner. Watson says that every match is a big match. Clothesline sets up ten perfect punches in the corner. Young slumps to the mat, so Dillinger delivers… five stomps in the corner, drops the knee pad, and knocks Wolfe off the apron. Cross comes in and jumps on Dillinger, drawing a DQ.
WINNER: Tye Dillinger in 1:19. Well, that’s one way to get to the desired goal of Dillinger in the Fatal Four Way while working around the fact that he probably can’t beat Young with Sanity ringside.
Post-match: Cross and Young continue beating on Dillinger, but he knocks Young out of the ring, then sends Wolfe back off the apron, then holds the ropes open so Cross sends herself through the ropes too. Damo suddenly comes out, hits Wasteland then a senton to Dillinger, then walks up the ramp and past Sanity.
(J.J.’s Reax: Why would Damo want to join Sanity when he did the job by himself that the group couldn’t do together?)
(3) NO WAY JOSE vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS – NXT Championship #1 Contender Tournament Qualifying Match
Somehow Graves and Philips both manage to tear down Byron Saxton who isn’t even here. Jose and Almas feel each other out, trying to outshine each other. Big flapjack from Jose. Then an airplane spin into a rolling senton, followed by some dancing into a leg drop, cover gets merely one. Graves is unhappy about the prospect of Jose becoming champion as Almas clobbers Jose. Slinding kick drops Jose for two. Hip toss sends Almas down, but Almas blocks the baseball punch. Jose’s popup uppercut gets a nearfall. Big boot stuns Jose, DDT from nowhere gets Almas the win.
WINNER: Andrade “Cien” Almas in 3:56. Is this Almas’s first win since turning heel? He has been winless for so long I didn’t know what his finishing move was.
It will be interesting if they decide to pull the trigger on havng three heels in the Fatal Four Way to make a Dillinger win that much more impactful, or a loss for him that much more understandable.
Nuclear go-away heat for Samson’s guitar playing.
(4) RODERICK STRONG vs. ELIAS SAMSON – NXT Championship #1 Contender Tournament Qualifying Match
Samson immediately knocks Strong down with a boot to the middle, blows in the corner, then just tosses him across the ring. Leaping knee turns the match around, then a backbreaker for two. Strong wants a hold but Samson gets him to the ropes then a big punch knocks Strong into the corner. Samson stomps away in the corner.
[Q4] Samson sets up a Tree of Woe, then goes outside to wrench Stong’s head to the five count, then slam it on the apron. Running knee to Strong’s head. Strong is just out of it right now. Back in the ring, Samson keeps applying pressure. Strong suddenly fires up, and a dropkick puts Samson into a corner. Strong with a fallaway gutbuster, then a running single-knee dropkick gets the win.
Winner: Roderick Strong in 3:13. Good match from both men. Looks like NXT is running with Strong as a face, and Samson is struggling for traction post-injury.
Daria Brentato is booked to face Billie Kay next week.
(5) ONEY LORCAN vs. BOBBY ROODE – NXT Championship #1 Contender Tournament Qualifying Match
Roode immediately controls Lorcan with holds out of the bell. Lorcan transitions into holds of his own. Some nice chain wrestling here. Takedown and a helicopter from Rooode, then he slaps the back of Lorcan’s head. Lorcan smashes Roode as he does the Glorious pose. Suplex gets Lorcan two. Another suplex for two. Lorcan wants a superplex, but Roode elbows out. Roode takes firm control of Lorcan, making use of the apron. Lorcan blocks a neckbreaker and transitions into a backslide for two. Lorcan building a head of team but Roode dodges a big boot. Running blockbuster gives Lorcan a nearfall. Roode nails a spinebuster out of nowhere, then signals for the end. DDT, as Roode bleeds from the mouth to wrap it up.
WINNER: Bobby Roode in 5:13. Really nice showing for Oney Lorcan, who needs more opportunities to connect with the audience.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Solid in-ring action to set up the #1 Contender Fatal Four-Way match next week. The real story will be Roode and Dillinger meeting again. Can Dillinger complete the next step on his quest to prove himself, or will Bobby Roode win to set up a traditional face – heel championship match? I am pulling for Dillinger of course, but both choices look good.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S NXT REPORT: 12/7 NXT TV Review: Samoa Joe defends NXT Title against Shinsuke Nakamura in Japan, Swan, Jose, Sanity, Ember Moon
Didn’t Almas beat Cedric Alexander in his first match after his heel turn?