The NXT brand made its second ever appearance in Albany, NY last night in front of a nearly sold out crowd at the Washington Ave. Armory
Match #1: Asuka vs. Eva Marie
Odd choice for an opener, I thought. Eva Marie is slowly making strides in the ring, but still has her share of botches, including an ugly leapfrog spot.
Asuka seemed to land on her shoulder doing a top rope dropkick, and wouldn't let the ref touch it afterwards. Hard to tell if she was selling, or legit hurt. She turned a cross-armbreaker into the Crossface Chickenwing for the victory.
Match #2: Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley:
I completely forgot Riley was still with the company after getting hurt last year. The match itself was solid, with Crews doing some cool power spots. Finish saw him pick up Riley for what I thought was going to be a back suplex, but turned it into a powerbomb for the win.
Match #3: Carmella vs. Peyton Royce:
Most of the match seemed to center on the flower Royce brought to the ring. She taunted the crowd with it for what seemed like forever until Carmella got hold of it. Carmella won with her modified headscissors submission.
Match #4: Enzo/Big Cass (w/o Carmella)vs. The Vaudevillains:
The pop for Enzo/Cass nearly blew the roof off the building. The crowd was white hot for their pre-match spiel, too. I enjoyed getting to see The Vaudevillians live, as they're two of my favorites. It was a solid back and forth match, with Enzo getting his knees up on a Aiden English senton. Big Cass hit his side slam, and helped Enzo hit the Rocket Launcher for three.
INTERMISSION: WWE Live returns to Albany in May.
Match #5: "The Drifter" Elias Samson vs. Sami Zayn:
Samson started signing before the match to a huge chorus of boos. Sami got a big reaction, since this is the first time he's wrestled in Albany. Samson nearly dropped Zayn on his head with a pretty bad botch. Zayn was able to hit the Helluva Kick on his second try for the win.
Match #6: Bayley (with inflatable tube men and Macho Man jacket) vs. Alexa Bliss for the NXT Women's Championship:
Bayley is going to make WWE a TON of money if they don't touch her character when she makes the main roster. Of course, we've been down that road before. Bliss actually held up her end of the match, but there was a spot where she climbed the top rope while Bayley was on the mat, then just jumped down without doing a move. Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly to retain the title.
Match #7: Samoa Joe (w/towel) and Baron Corbin vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor and OH MY GOD, IT'S AUSTIN ARIES.
I think it's fair to say the crowd didn't expect Aries at all, even though he made his NXT in-ring debut in Philly. He got a huge pop, as did Balor, of course. The match was really good when Balor, Joe and Aries were involved with each other. It dragged with Corbin in there. I don't get what they see in him, honestly. At the end, Aries dove onto Joe, taking him out and allowing Balor to hit an ugly brainbuster for the win.
Afterwards, Balor thanked the crowd and the wrestlers in the back for their efforts in making NXT such a success. He then went to the back and came out dressed like Bayley, doing her full entrance, and saying "Finn 3:16 says I just hugged your ass!" I don't know how to embed video in a post, but it's on the NXT Facebook page right now.
Overall, it was fun night with all the babyfaces winning. Too bad American Alpha and Dash/Dawson weren't there, but what can you do?
Sorry I put the wrong date on the title. That's what no sleep will do to someone!
We got the same card here in Philly, except Crews wrestled The Drifter and Sami got A-Ry.
Sounds like Eva Marie made the same ugly leapfrog spot there too - she got boooooed like crazy, but oddly the biggest heat was for Samson...part of it was a Pittsburgh thing but the crowd HATED him.
Of course everyone loved Bayley, Sami, Finn and Enzo & Cass, who opened the show (and did last year too) to really psych up the crowd.
Last year's NXT Philly show was more special, considering it was main evented by Charlotte + Sasha, but this one was certainly fun.
Aries' appearance was given away because they made special posters with the entire night's card on it (and you could buy ones signed by everyone for $75). It's really weird to have 1/2 your main event be TNA/ROH guys that you could've seen all the time for the last decade and weren't really "special" for a while until they signed with NXT. That main event didn't really feel like I got my money's worth, especially since Finn is still protecting his ankle and Aries did most of the work.
But oh man I wish we'd gotten that adorable post-show fun here - I'm sure you saw the first version of all that, when Finn was on crutches a few weeks back and Bayley came out and did his entire entrance.
Are we not going to mention Finn dressing up as Bayley and cutting the Bayley 3:16 promo? How does the minor league team work way better than the major league team? If Marie fucked Asuka, they need to fire her ass.
Originally posted by lotjxAre we not going to mention Finn dressing up as Bayley and cutting the Bayley 3:16 promo? How does the minor league team work way better than the major league team? If Marie fucked Asuka, they need to fire her ass.
They did and he said Asuka got hurt doing a top rope dropkick, so ... reading
IF she's hurt, I wouldn't pin what happened to Asuka on Eva Marie. It looks like Asuka just misjudged it and came up short. She could have been selling to cover the mistake, because that kick definitely did not connect.
The show was supposed to start at 7:30, but was delayed 15 minutes. The reason I'm assuming that was the case was so many people were still waiting to go through security. There were still some empty seats being filled while the first match was in the ring.
I'd say the show, from first match to the Balor/Bayley stuff (with intermission included) was about 2 hours 45 minutes. Definitely worth the $15 dollar ticket.
Thanks for the recap. I was out of town this weekend and unfortunately couldn't make it to the show, but I'm glad they announced when they were coming back so I can plan ahead. Super cool that they had that much extra stuff.
It has nothing to do with TNA. The Observer has done this for years. It's because Meltzer is a giant MMA fan as well as wrestling fan (I think I heard someone on here say that he's probably a bigger MMA fan actually).