Okay, you know how last week, there was a bit of complaining about the weird holding pattern NXT is in right now, and how maybe the shows aren't as good as they've been in the past? Totally valid stuff. But this week, this show? If you didn't like this one, maybe take a little break from wrestling right now, because it just ain't gonna do it for ya. This one was dynamite, top to bottom.
At the top, we have Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss, in what I suspect is probably their last NXT match together. Bayley starts out very strong here, coming out of the lockup with a series of armbars that she transitions into a seated back elbow and then a forward clothesline that nearly takes Bliss's head off. Bliss gets up off the mat with a knee shot to the midsection, positions Bayley between the bottom and middle ropes, and uses a slingshot to send Bayley's throat into the ropes. That puts Bliss fully in control. Some clubbing forearms are followed by ramming Bayley's head into the turnbuckle, then Bliss goes into a cravat for a breather. Bayley gets loose, so Bliss opts for a rope choke, then a rope rake across the face. Bayley's down, so Bliss goes into her standing stomp, and feels that this is probably a good time to taunt Bayley a bit. Protip - it is never a good time to taunt Bayley. Bayley catches Bliss's leg and scoops her up for a buckle bomb. With Bliss slumped in the corner, Bayley launches into her shoulder tackle/back elbow/knee strike trio. Then, she scoops up Bliss, tackles her into a different corner, and does all three again, then she goes for it a third time. That's once to the well too often, and Bliss counters with a sunset flip attempt, but Bayley countercounters with a victory roll for two. Bliss punches her way out, then mounts Bayley with some more punches. She puts Bayley under the bottom rope, and uses it for leverage while she yanks on Bayley's arm, putting pressure on the shoulder. She goes for another slingshot, but Bayley pulls her into the ropes instead, and uses the ropes to pull off an assisted stunner for two. Bliss doesn't sell that much, though, and comes right back with her choke throw, followed up with a double knee drop, then her backflipping double knee drop (which, if I heard right, is now "Insult to Injury," but really just seems like maybe double injury to me). Anyhoo, Bliss goes upstairs for a Twisted Bliss attempt, but Bayley follows her up and goes for a super Belly to Bayley instead. Bliss doesn't let her pull that off either, though, and instead comes off the turnbuckle with a Code Red sunset bomb for two. Bayley counters out of that into a jackknife cover, which Bliss reverses into a jackknife of her own, and then we're in full-blown pin/reversal sequence: rollup, rollup, backslide, and then, instead of another backslide, a transition from Bayley into a back side suplex. Bliss recovers enough to shoot Bayley into the turnbuckle, but Bayley counters a charging Bliss with a back elbow. She goes upstairs, but Bliss pulls her down in a particularly nasty-looking spot, then goes for a Vader-bomb. Bayley gets her knees up just in time, and with Bliss stunned, rushes in to spike her with a Belly to Bayley. Wow. Match Rating: Just Great. Just, Just Great. After the match, Bayley gets on the mic to remind everybody about what's been going on with her lately, and when she gets to the part about Nia Jax injuring her, Jax predictably comes on down. The two exchange pleasantries, ending with the two of them agreeing to one more contest to settle the score between them. They don't, however, tell us if that's going to be next week with Balor/Nakamura, or if we're spacing that out to contend with week three of Ultima Lucha.
Up next is a pretty cool video package for TM61.
Following that, Dash and Dawson express their confidence in beating American Alpha tonight.
Our next match is the Hype Bros (still a team!) vs, Blake and Murphy (still a team?). Blake starts off by missing Mojo with a clothesline, so Murphy tags himself in. Now the two of them are arguing with each other, Mojo doesn't know what to do and holy shit it's Rhyno! Rhyno cleans house, goring just about everybody, then clears out.
Huh, guess that means no more Rhyno for State Senate?
Up next is a hype package for Balor/Nakamura, not that anybody needs a video package to get hyped for this. Still, I'd recommend this one. The highlights are actual comments from HHH and some old photos of Balor and Nakamura from back in the day.
American Alpha also have comments regarding their upcoming title match. They figure the longer the match goes, the more it favors them. Can't argue with that. Also, Chad Gable has never been more Gable than he is tonight. Uh, I guess I also can't argue with that one.
Samoa Joe returns next week! That probably won't have any bearing whatsoever on that cool dream match, right?
We catch up with Rhyno walking away from Full Sail, but he ain't got nuthin' to say.
Finally, it's time for out main event: American Alpha vs. the Revival in a 2/3 falls contest. I saw somebody else call these guys the Platonic ideal of face vs. heel. That might be the best possible way to describe them. Two clean-cut athletic college guys against two mean and dirty Southern brawlers, doing some of the best stuff NXT has done in the last year. I actually didn't take any notes on this match the first time I watched it, because I wanted the pure experience of enjoying it as it took place. Anyhoo, we start this one off with Gable and Dash. Gable comes out of the lockup with a go-behind, but Dash counters out with a wristlock, but Gable flips his way out of that, takes Dash down, and clamps on an anklelock! Dawson pull his partner through the ropes to save the first fall, and Dash comes back in only to immediately tag out to rest the ankle. Gable maneuvers Dawson into his corner and tags in Jordan, who fireman's carry takedowns Dawson into an armbar. Dawson gets loose and chain wrestles his own way into a headlock takeover, but Jordan escapes that to come back with another fireman's carry, and Dawson escapes that back to his feet, and it turns out that Scott Dawson is actually also really good at chain wrestling. Dawson slows it down a bit, but then he cheap-shots Gable on the apron, causing a distraction that lets Dash hit Jordan from behind, and now the Revival have the advantage. Dash comes in legally, and they shoot Jordan in for a double hiptoss attempt that Jordan counters out of, runs back under the two of them, then nails them with a double flying clothesline! He tags Gable back in, and they hit this absolutely stunning sequence: Irish whip, reversal, duck clothesline, go-behind, escape to the turnbuckle, roll-out, double dropkick - all in completely synchronized stereo. *Amazing* AA rule the ring right now, but when we come back from break, Dawson is able to make a blind tag in the middle of being atomic dropped, and Dash bulldogs Jordan from behind. Dash hits some mounted punches, then drags Jordan back to his corner so that he and Dawson can lay the boots in. Now, they start working Jordan's knee, wrenching it ever which way they can. I'd like to take this moment to point out that these guys are working crazy stiff tonight. Dawson takes Jordan outside, using the steel post on Jordan's knee, twice. Ref's giving them a lot of leeway here. They keep on the knee, but Dawson does take a moment to hit a low dropkick to Jordan's face. Dash Wilder comes in, and while he's working a rest hold on Jordan's knee, the two of them exchange some chops as well. Jordan gets the better of it, but when Dash breaks the hold, he's able to tag in Dawson, who's fast enough to cut off the attempt at a hot tag. Dawson goes for a suplex, but Jordan block it. As he does, he manages to spin the two of them towards Gable, until, on the third attempt at a suplex, they're close enough for Gable to tag himself in! Gable saves Jordan from the suplex, then starts dropkicking everyone. A crossbody and an atomic drop for Dash, and an exploder for Dawson, but that only gets two. Gable counters a whip with a small package, but the ref gets busy with Jason Jordan, and a second whip sees Dash low-bridging Gable, sending both of them hard to the ramp. When we come back from break, Dawson is just laying into Gable, and a suplex gets him two. Still no falls here. Dawson goes back to his corner, and Tom Phillips actually calls clubberin' here. Dash goes for a European uppercut, then tags in Dawson for the drop toehold/elbow drop combo. Dawson brings in Dash for an assisted legdrop (another two), then Dash nails a big headbutt before clamping on a rear chancery. Gable ducks a shoulder tackle, but Dawson cuts off the tag attempt. He ties Gable up in the ropes and starts wailing on him, and Dash sends Gable back inside with a big clothesline. This time, the only thing that saves Gable is Jordan jawing with the ref, which keeps him out of position to start the pinfall. Gable tries to punch his way out, but Dawson absolutely kills him with one of the best spinebusters I've ever seen. Still only gets two. By the way, Jason Jordan's been selling his knee on the apron this entire time. Dawson goes into a headlock, but when he brings in Dash, Gable sunset flips his way out of whatever they're trying to set up. Dash cuts him off, though, sending Jordan to the floor. The Revival nail Gable with the top rope assisted legdrop, but Dawson hurts his hip on the way down, and again it only gets two! They put in some more punishment, but when they go for another double-team, Gable flips out of it, and sends the Revival crashing into each other. Finally, Gable is able to make the Hot Tag, and it's dropkicks, exploders, and flapjacks all around. He kills Dash with a spear, but it's another two count. He puts Dash up top, but Dash headbutts his way free. Gable rushes in and pushes Jordan out of the way, as it turns out that Dawson was coming off the other turnbuckle with an axehandle attempt. Gable hits a belly to belly on Dawson instead, and Jordan is able to roll through Dash Wilder's crossbody attempt, into an anklelock! Gable's got an anklelock on Dawson on the floor! Dash Wilder...taps! American Alpha is up the first fall! It's going to be fast and furious now. Dawson goes for a sunset flip, but Jordan fights it, back body drops Wilder, and sits down for a pin! Only two, though. He counters Dawson for another two, but Dawson reverses for two of his own. Dawson hits a DDT for two, then clamps on an inverted figure four on Jordan's injured knee. That...gets a tap-out, and now we're tied up. Next fall wins the match. Dawson tries to go right back to the submission, but Jordan counters into a pin attempt. That doesn't do it, but Jordan's able to tag in Gable. Gable manages a pair of pin attempts, and then moves Dawson into the corner where Jordan tags in. They go for Grand Amplitude, only for Dash to make the save. Then the Revival go for the Shatter Machine, but Gable pushes Dash out of position, and Jordan rolls up Dawson! One, Two, No! Oh man, I really thought that was going to be it. So did the crowd; they get a great reaction shot. Jordan manages another anklelock, but Dawson gets free and locks in the inverted figure four again. It looks bad, until Gable bullseyes Dawson with a diving headbutt to make the save! Dash tries for a clothesline, but Gable crossbodies the both of them to the floor. Gable's back to his feet in his corner. Dawson shoots Jordan into his own corner, allowing the tag in what appears to be a real tactical error, but Dawson's actually being really smart here. The tag allows him to attack Gable while he's still in the ropes, and he tries to suplex Gable into the ring. Gable tries to counter to the floor, but Dawson manages to get to the apron instead. Gable goes for a back suplex off the apron to the barricade(!?), but Dawson holds on for dear life until Dash can make the save, setting up a Shatter Machine on the apron! While Dawson makes the pin, Wilder takes a flying leap onto Jordan to prevent the save, and that's that. Match Rating: The, Uh, 1300 Words I Just Wrote Probably Sum It Up.
I mean, wow. This is what pro wrestling is all about. A great, athletic contest, and I knew what the outcome was going to be. American Alpha are going up, they were not going to win this match. I knew that going in. But I wanted them to win. And because of the way they did this match, there were a half dozen places where I believed they were going to win. We're all expecting big things from Balor/Nakamura, but this match just set a very high bar for NXT TV matches, and delivered probably the best episode of NXT since probably January. Everybody owes it to themselves to make sure they catch this one.
Originally posted by Tenken347Up next is a hype package for Balor/Nakamura, not that anybody needs a video package to get hyped for this. Still, I'd recommend this one. The highlights are actual comments from HHH and some old photos of Balor and Nakamura from back in the day.
This package was incredible. It was *so* good at establishing their long-standing, genuine friendship, I think it retroactively *hurt* their initial in-ring segment (which to me came across as a first meeting between the two).
He tags Gable back in, and they hit this absolutely stunning sequence: Irish whip, reversal, duck clothesline, go-behind, escape to the turnbuckle, roll-out, double dropkick - all in completely synchronized stereo. *Amazing*
These two teams are just magic together. They had similar sequences during their last match, and it really is amazing.
They go for Grand Amplitude, only for Dash to make the save. Then the Revival go for the Shatter Machine, but Gable pushes Dash out of position
...which was a play on the finish at The End, which was a play on the finish in Dallas!! Awesome.