Woof, this is another late one. Worth it, though, 'cause this week's go-home show is another winner. If I can say one definitive thing about NXT, it's that they really know how to sell a big show.
We start off the show with the Revival. They are not, however, "ready to fight." They're here to talk about the tag titles. They want to be the first two-time NXT tag champs, and I kind of love how everyone's goal now is to be the first to win a title twice. They acknowlege that American Alpha are pretty good - you know, for amateurs. Burn! This brings out...the Indy Guys? Okay. Well, they just want the Revival to know what we all already know - American Alpha are better than the Revival, and the Revival can't beat them. The Revival's response? They ain't got time for "two undersized, bearded guys who are, you know, just kinda 'good hands.'" Super burn! Tomasso Ciampa's response is just basically "I know you are, but what am I," and while accurate, it doesn't really have a lot of zip to it. The Revival look to take off, but the Indy Guys want a fight. They double dropkick the Revival out to the floor, and it looks like we have a main event for the evening.
I'm okay with that. I'm totally okay with that.
Backstage, NXT's pretty new mic-stand gets Nakamura's thoughts on his match with Aries. "Austin Aries will bow down to the King of Strong Style." Short, but sweet.
Perfect 10 Tye Dillinger's out to fight Buddy Murphy, in a match which will decide once and for all who is at the absolute bottom of the NXT pecking order. Murphy backs off to start, but eventually gets an armwringer into a wristlock. P10 standing switches out of it and nails a floating snap mare takeover. He hits a very, very nice armdrag and applies an armbar. Murphy reverses out of the corner, and destroys Dillinger with a running charge to the corner. Murphy's now firmly in control, and lays in some boots. He hits a short-arm clothesline, followed by a knee drop and a headlock. Dillinger counters out with a victory roll and lays in some chops of his own. He nails a Thesz press and some punches, then a back body drop. He goes to the corner for the 10-punch count along (every punch is "10"), and while Murphy tries to avoid the *actual* tenth punch, P10 puts him back in place for it. Murphy tries one more time to get back into the match, but all he gets is a superkick, which sets him up for Dillinger's fireman's carry-into-knee-strike that has no easy to use name. Match Rating: Murphy. Buddy Murphy Is At The Bottom Of The Pecking Order.
Next is Corey Graves' sit-down interview with Joe and Finn. I could give you the full blow-by-blow, but the only actually interesting bit of information is that Finn's never been in a cage match, which is pretty odd. He was never in a ladder match, either. What has this guy been doing with his career? Anyhoo, the important part of this interview is actually the overall story they tell here, that both men feel like the other somehow betrayed him, and both men feel like they are in the right. It's excellent shades-of-grey storytelling, which is something this company does not often do well. This is the third time these guys have fought on television, but it's the first time I've actually been interested in watching the match. Not that the other matches have been bad, but it's just that this is the first time that I feel like I've got a real story to sink my teeth into.
Next up, Austin Aries is facing the Drifter. You got this one Samson, it's your time! Actually, he does pretty good to start, getting the better of Aries with some chain wrestling and a couple forearm shots, but things turn around when Aries counters out of a hold with his headstand dropkick. Aries goes to an armbar, but Samson counters by maneuvering Aries through the ropes, then pulling Aries into the top. It's a pretty cool spot that I haven't seen before. Samson makes the most of it, going for punches and kicks and then a clothesline into a modified headlock. Aries elbows his way out, though, hits some punches, kicks, and chops of his own, then snap mares Samson over to set up a second rope elbow. Samson heads outside, but he's in the Danger Zone, and Aries obliges. Back into the ring for a rolling elbow, a kick, and a neckbreaker. That sets up the NXT debut of the Last Chancery, a move I only know by it's truly excellent pun name, which I am delighted they are allowing to stay. Anyhoo, that'll do it. Match Rating: Project Samson Is Coming Along, But He Should Probably Fight Someone He Can Beat. Afterwards, Aries grabs a mic to let us know he's a heel. Wait, I mean he grabs the mic to let us know that at Takeover, he's going to shine the spotlight where it belongs - on him. No, no, I was right the first time.
The Andrade Almas package airs again, but this time it lets us know that he'll be debuting at Takeover. Alright!
Oops, it looks like we have a contract signing for the women's title, and that's going to be the "main event" tonight. The big match between the Revival and the Indy Guys is up first. As the Indy Guys come out, Graves comments that fighting the Revival could jeopardize their chances in the upcoming Cruiserweight Classic. Looking at Ciampa and Gargano, I think that we can conclude that this is officially Not About Weight Limits, It's About Perceived, Wholly Fictional Weight Limits. Anyhoo, we start the match off with Dawson and Gargano. Dawson gets an early advantage with a headlock and a couple of shoulder blocks, but Gargano comes back with a pair of armdrags and a dropkick, which sets up a back elbow strike. He tags in Ciampa for the combination drop toehold/dropkick/running knee strike, but Dawson gets back to his feet and hits some chops. He trades punches with Ciampa, but Ciampa takes control with a pair of clotheslines. He takes his eyes off of Dawson to deal with Dash, and Dawson dumps him outside when he turns back around. On the outside, Dash nails a short-arm clothesline and tosses Ciampa back inside to Dawson. They start working the knee, like they do, but Ciampa tries to power out and make a tag, but he gets dumped outside for his trouble. When Dawson tries to deal some more punishment, though, Ciampa turns the tables on him and posts Dawson. He gets cut off when he tries to make the tag, though. The Revival go back to the knee, but Ciampa's able to manage a sunset flip. It only gets two, but it's enough to let him slip free and make the hot tag. Gargano comes in hard with a big running knee, followed by his roll-through kick and the battering ram. Dash makes the save on a pinfall attempt, and Gargano nails Dash with an enzuigiri. That buys Dawson enough time to recover for a DDT, but that only gets two thanks to Ciampa. Ciampa and Dash go outside, and Dawson decides to go for a superplex. It takes a little doing, but eventually he nails it. Unfortunately for Dawson, though, Gargano floats over on impact and steals the pin! Match Rating: Four Undersized, Bearded Guys Who Are, Make No Mistakes, All Very, Very Good Hands. Great match, but it's not quite finished. The Revival are pissed, and start beating the shit out of the Indy Guys. Ciampa eats a Shatter Machine, and the set him up to break his knee like they did to Cass. Guess who makes the save? Ah, you know it's American Alpha. The come in like gangbusters, and finish a quick brawl with a super-cool double German suplex spot. These guys are so great, you guys. Enjoy them while you can.
I'm going to be so, so sad when American Alpha get called up. Vaudvillains sad. Anyhoo, we've still got that contract signing. Personally, I would have ended with the match, or the sit-down interview, but here we are. Regal tries to do introductions, but Jax cuts him off. See, she's not impressed by Asuka. Asuka's "The Empress of Tomorrow," but Jax thinks that she's the future. She's not afraid. Asuka, for her part, tells her that she talks too much. Then she says something in Japanese, and tells her that she should be afraid. Then she jumps Jax, nails a couple strikes, and goes for the roundhouse. Jax catches her, though, and plants her with a powerbomb to close the show.
Honestly, the women's title match is the thing on the show I'm the least excited about, and it's been a very, very long time since that was the case. I understand that they have to do something with Jax because of her size, and they're probably saving Bayley for SummerSlam weekend, but Jax isn't ready for the title picture at all. She's getting better, but she ain't anywhere near ready yet.
The rest of the show looks killer, though. We've got the big title match that I'm finally excited for. We've got the tag title rematch, and we already saw what these four could do in Dallas. I'm interested to see if they can top themselves. We've got Aries/Nakamura, which kind of sells itself. I'm curious if they hand Nakamura his first loss here. Finally, we've got Andrade Almas' debut, which maybe only I'm excited for, but I am *very excited* about it. That's only five matches, though, so maybe some surprises? We'll see what goes down next week.
1Wrestling is reporting that, Extreme Associates, parent company of XPW, was raided by federal agents. They took computers, records and other items with them. This cannot be good news for XPW or its fans. Heres the link: http://www.1wrestling.