Okay guys, I think everybody knows by now that NXT is my jam, as it were, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The match of the week goes to Lucha Underground. If you haven't already seen the Sexy Star/Mariposa "No Mas" match, then do yourself a favor and check it out. While it is definitely not for the faint of heart, it does a great job of building in intensity over the course of the match, and telling a compelling story through the action, with a bunch of cool stuff that a WWE product just can't do.
As for NXT itself? Well, I guess some stuff happened. Like, in the first segment, when Samoa Joe's promo got interrupted by none other than NXT's newest signee, Eric Young. Joe's like, "Blah, blah, blah, I'm the champ and I'm a tough guy," and Young comes out like, "Blah, blah, blah, I collect championships(!?)." You know, I saw somebody else describe Young as a "solid bread and butter guy with good fundamentals," which I think is as apt a description as you could get, and he's a guy who I kind of like who's talent was, stop me if you've heard this one before, kind of wasted in TNA, but the whole place is starting to get a little TNA-y, if you know what I mean. Maybe we can get some of their other guys to come up now.
Well, this helps a little. Tessa Blanchard is back! I kind of like her, too. Let's see what she can show us against...uh oh. Nia Jax. Well, that's life in the big city. Jax is a monster, and she comes at Blanchard hard with a choke-throw. Blanchard tries to fight back with some forearm shots, but when she tries a crossbody, she just bounces right off of Jax. Jax gives her a pair of elbow drops, splashes her in the corner, then it's the Samoan drop/Leg drop combo to finish it. Match Rating: That's Life In The Squash City.
We're straight on to our next match, Tye Dillinger vs. Austin Aries. We start off with some nice chain wrestling, leading into a pair of armdrags from Aries. Dillinger won't take that lying down, though. He counters a rope run spot into a backbreaker, and shoots Aries hard into the turnbuckle. He tries a second time, but Aries rolls through and starts hitting some hard shots of his own. Dillinger tries to back body drop him out of the ring, but Aries manages to counter and come back with a springboard senton splash. Now it's Dillinger who goes out, which turns out to be the wrong move as Aries nails him with a corkscrew plancha. He tosses Dillinger back into the ring and hits his rope-assisted neckbreaker, but when he tries to follow Dillinger into the corner, Tye gets his boots up just in time. Dillinger cracks him with a fireman's carry into a knee to the base of the neck, which should be his new finisher. It does not, however, finish Aries, who reverses a rope run into the rolling elbow. That sets up a dropkick, which sets up a 450 splash for the win. Match Rating: Not The Best 450 I've Ever Seen, But On The Other Hand, I Didn't Expect It In This Match From This Guy.
We go back to last week, where the Revival jumped the Hype Bros and beat the shit out of them. I didn't mention it earlier, but Joe "put the whole world on notice," and if I'm Scott Dawson, I'm in the back with my arms crossed, squinting disapprovingly. You know, like he does.
Anyhoo, that was the setup for the next match. It's all Ryder for a hot minute, until he gets pulled off the middle turnbuckle while trying to set up a dropkick. Now, it's no flips, just fists, as the Revival take to punishing Ryder. I'd describe it, except I basically just did there. The Revival do hit their drop toehold/running elbow strike combo, but otherwise there's just not a lot to talk about here. Eventually, Ryder shoots Dash into the corner and makes the Hot Tag to Mojo, but while he is briefly a house afire, hitting that cool cross-up shoulder tackle move that I think is probably the best move he's got, it's not long before a Shatter Machine ends this one the way you probably expected. Match Rating: Are The Hype Bros Done Now? Not, Uh, Not Gonna Miss That, Really.
Alex Riley's in the back, talking shit about Shinsuke Nakamura, who he'll be fighting next week. You know, maybe these guys should maybe watch some of Nakamura's matches (or double check their own win/loss records), because they all seem waaaay too confident about beating him.
Hey, it's No Way Jose! The gimmick's fun, even if this guy is green like a verdant fucking meadow. His opponent is Some Jobber who, how do I describe this? He looks like a villain from an 80s karate action movie. Like, think of Bloodsport. He'd be maybe the third or fourth guy Van Dam beats up. Not the first guy, definitely not the last guy, but somebody right in the middle. Anyhoo, I'm not talking about the match because it's not very good. NWJ's got some nice punches, and I'm glad they transitioned his baseball windup punch away from his finisher. His actual finisher is now a twirl into a shitty full nelson slam. Match Rating: He'll Probably Get Better?
Austin Aries is backstage. He says something, but I don't know what it is because I'm fixated on the fact that he's just gesturing wildly with a banana. What is the banana for A-Double? Oh, he answers me! It's for potassium!
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium!
Oh, shit, I must have missed this up at the top. Joe's fighting EY tonight! I guess this explains why they absolutely refused to tell us anything about this show last week.
Next is a Finn Balor package that makes this incredibly cool guy look like the coolest fucking guy in the world. He's returning next week, ostensibly because we all figured out that he was going to RAW and now they're trying to swerve us a little bit.
Main event time. This is a big, big way to debut Eric Young. I also like how the announcers put him over here. They point out that, as a guy who's known Joe for a long, long time, he's basically followed Joe here in an attempt to win gold and glory. That's not a bad way to sell the emergence of these TNA guys (and I think safe money is on a Bobby Roode appearance sooner rather than later). This one starts off with main event style, but then it breaks down into trading fists. EY looks great here just by being able to go toe-to-toe with Joe. EY looks terrible here when he goes for a dropkick and looks like absolute shit. EY follows up, though, with a perfectly acceptable neckbreaker, then smacks Joe's head into the turnbuckle a couple times. Joe's had enough of this shit, though, and tosses him outside. Then he murders him by hitting a suicide dive on the ramp. You know, the match should be over when he does that. That should end things. It doesn't, though, so Joe has to nail a spinning elbow strike back in the ring. He shoots EY into the corner, and then absolutely mauls him with a splash, followed by an enzuigiri. Joe goes for...are you shitting me? A nerve hold. Old school! Eventually, he relents on that and it's the old atomic drop/big boot/senton, then he just rabbit punches EY. He's got more where that came from, though, as he jabs away at EY. EY tries for a comeback with some punches of his own, but he gets stopped with a back body drop. Joe's got more jabs, but EY keeps swinging, too, until he gets put down with a second spinning elbow strike. EY manages to escape from Joe's clutches, and hits a massive clothesline, followed up by, holy shit, a suplex! EY hits a top rope elbow drop for two, and, uh spoiler I guess, that's as close as he's going to get. Young sends Joe into the corner, and if you've seen more Samoa Joe matches than Eric Young evidently has, you know what's next. Corner urinage throw, followed by a Hundred Hand Slap (which Graves actually calls! This is why Corey Graves is great!). Then a Muscle Buster, and Joe chokes EY out with the Kokina Clutch. Match Rating: Good, But A Little TNA-y. After the match, Joe refuses to let go. For a second, I think they're going to do the old "Ref reverses his decision" spot, but eventually Joe breaks on a five count to celebrate his victory.
For all my slight misgivings, this was a pretty good debut for Eric Young. Although, for the record, I should point out that he's dropped a ton of mass due to the Wellness Policy, and his vest now hangs off him like a fucking scarecrow, so let's go ahead and get him some new gear before his next appearance. Next week we've got Nakamura vs. A-Ri, which will most likely be our main event because Nakamura's in it, and I don't know what else. Some new guys, let's hope!
You know, when I heard Eric Young showed up I wasn't really thrilled with the idea but I enjoyed how he was used here. I wouldn't mind if he stuck around Young is a steady hand and I like his gravely voice. I couldn't help but think about all the oddball gimmicks he's had over the years, so seeing him make it to NXT was kind of neat. He looks better off the gas too and the vest not fitting makes it look less like he just plucked it off the rack at Hot Topic. Now if he would just get the thing dirty.
Nia Jax's music is absolutely atrocious. Lyrics aside, it doesn't suit her character at all. It's right up there with Carmella's for worst music in NXT in my book.
Originally posted by Tenken347 His opponent is Some Jobber who, how do I describe this? He looks like a villain from an 80s karate action movie. Like, think of Bloodsport. He'd be maybe the third or fourth guy Van Dam beats up. Not the first guy, definitely not the last guy, but somebody right in the middle.
Cyrus from The Warriors was the comparison that jumped immediately to mind.
That promo from A-Double had "turn me heel!" practically screaming from it.
I haven't checked any of the spoilers from the last taping, but if it is his last hurrah, getting his face caved in by Nakamura will be a fun way for A-Ri to go.
I liked the main event, but it felt like EY was moving a step slower than Joe. Still good, but a little weird.
I was really confused by Reily not knowing what Strong Style was. Didn't he call matches when Itami was wrestling? Did KO beat him so badly he has blacked that time out? I guess that would explain his unexpected confidence.
It's the most important meal of the day.
Originally posted by Tenken347 You know, I saw somebody else describe Young as a "solid bread and butter guy with good fundamentals," which I think is as apt a description as you could get, and he's a guy who I kind of like who's talent was, stop me if you've heard this one before, kind of wasted in TNA, but the whole place is starting to get a little TNA-y, if you know what I mean. Maybe we can get some of their other guys to come up now.