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28.9.16 1657
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - NXT #336 5/25/16
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#1 Posted on 26.5.16 1506.23
Reposted on: 26.5.23 1511.22

Huh. Where do we go, indeed?

There's...a lot going on right now. The End could just mean the Finn/Joe feud (and we'll get to that soon), but there's just so much up in the air right now, I genuinely don't know what the landscape is going to be in a couple of months. Does NXT become something else entirely? Does it get cancelled? Does it stay the same, and we're just over-reacting? Who can say right now.

Woof. It got really heavy with all of these announcements, but this week's show is actually really great. We open up with an announcement from GM Regal. Bayley hasn't been cleared for action after last week's contest with Nia Jax, so she won't be able to have her rematch at TO. Instead, tonight's main event will pit Jax against Carmella and Alexa Bliss to determine a new #1 contender.

On the one hand, this isn't real surprising to me, because they've basically been trying to get us ready for Bayley's call-up for a little while now, and this takes us into the home stretch of it. On the other hand, I'm not 100% sure what this means in terms of the booking.

From here, we head down to the ring. Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, who I have dubbed "The Indy Guys," are taking on a debuting tag-team: Aussies Nick Miller and Shane Thorne, TM61, previously known as TMDK. If I were naming them, they'd be "The Indy-er Guys," or possibly "Lil' Indy Guys," or quite possibly "Indy Guys Jr." They're all good choices. Anyhoo, presentation aside, TM61 are pretty great here. I had a lot of trouble keeping up with this one, so forgive me if some stuff gets left out. We start with some really nice chain wrestling. Ciampa and Miller do some waistlocks and some sitting reversals, leading into a shoulder block from Miller which allows him to bring in Thorne. Ciampa responds in kind, and now Thorne and Gargano start trading headlocks and wristlocks. There's also a great bit here where the crowd starts chanting "Johnny Wrestling," and Thorne's like, "Who, me?" I don't know, I thought it was fun. Anyhoo, Thorne backflips out of a wristlock into a snap mare, then hits a seated dropkick. Miller comes in and they hit a double shoulder block and a wishbone spot. They set Gargano up with an atomic drop running elbow combo that gets two, then slow it down a bit with an armbar. Gargano fights out and makes a quick tag to Ciampa, who comes in hot with some chops. Miller answers back with his own chops, then they blow...something, then they do a really cool standing moonsault/fist drop double-team. Ciampa goes outside, and TM61 send Gargano out to join him. Thorne teases a Danger Zone dive, but backs off when Gargano gets out of the way. When we come back, Ciampa's in trouble. Thorne's got a pretty good headlock, but Ciampa fights out and brings in Gargano with a battering ram. Gargano hits a dropkick to the back of the head for two, then hits a side Russian legsweep into a crucifix/headtrap submission. Thorne makes the ropes, so Ciampa comes back in to apply a headlock of his own. A jawbreaker gets Thorne out, and then he gets his boots up in the corner when Ciampa charges him. Ciampa cuts off the hot tag, but eats a dropkick when he turns his attention back to the man in the ring. That's enough for the tag to Miller, who does a decent enough "house afire" routine, ending with an Irish whip that sends Ciampa into Gargano. Ciampa tries a sunset flip from the outside, but Miller catches him. He brings in Thorne, and they combo an Alabama Slam with a swinging neckbreaker. Gargano makes the save and sends Miller to the floor, and follows him out hard with an appropriately named suicide dive. Ouch; he ain't pretty no more. Thorne tries to mount a comeback, but Ciampa sends him into the corner and follows him with a big knee. That sets up the Super Kick/Running Knee combo that I like so much, and "Indy Guys #1" pick up a well-deserved win.
Match Rating: Super-Indy, Super-Super-Great.

Next up is a Samoa Joe package for The End. This one is "The night it began." It sets up Joe's side of things, and really, really sells the match. Catch this one.

Bayley's backstage. She's not thrilled about being left off The End, but agrees that she wouldn't have been able to win if she's not at 100%. Nia Jax butts in to claim that Bayley's never going to be the same after what Jax did to her. Bayley ain't buyin' that, and neither is Carmella, who jumps in to defend her injured buddy. Alexa Bliss also shows up to remind us that, yes, she is also in this match. Good for her.

Okay, speaking of packages to catch, we've got another great one here for the former La Sombra, Andrade "Cien" Almas. I saw him as Manny Andrade at a house show (read my house show report that I'm too lazy to link to now!), and this guy is fucking great. I'm super excited that he's finally debuting. The package itself is just a really cool shot of him unmasking, and I don't know how much it sells him for guys that don't already know him, but I thought it was a winner.

Austin Aries comes out to the ring. He says that he hates the phrase "the best," because it's overused. He prefers to refer to himself as "great." And he's tired of being overshadowed. He wants the title. In response to this, Shinsuke Nakamura comes out and does his *entire entrance routine*. Well, that settles that. Nakamura starts speaking in Japanese, but catches himself. "Sorry, sorry, you don't understand Japanese, yes?" "I don't understand you." "Ah, me too, me too." Nakamura is the best. The best. Anyhoo, the upshot is that Nakamura also would like the title. So, Regal comes out, and decides that these two need to fight at Takeover. No complaints from me.

American Alpha know exactly what to expect from The Revival. They're tough guys, but this ain't a boxing ring, it's a wrestling ring, and nobody's better than American Alpha. Short, sweet, and to the point. I want to see if these guys can outdo what they did in Dallas.

No Way Jose's got another tuneup against Some Jobber. Same stuff as before, but it all looks a little crisper here. NWJ dances into the lockup, dances out of a waistlock, and hits a hip toss and a snap mare. He's still doing the airplane spin into the rolling senton. Standard jobber offense fires him up, and some stiff jabs and chops transition into an inverted atomic drop and a flapjack, followed by the baseball punch and the Dancing Full Nelson Slam, which is much, much better than the last time we saw it.
Match Rating: Just A Squash, But Better Is Better.
Afterwards, Jose dances out to the commentary table, and gets both Tom Phillips and Corey Graves to dance along with him.

This is followed by a Finn Balor package that corresponds to the Joe one from earlier. "The night it ended." If I thought the Joe one was good, and I did, this one is better. This is the most excited I've ever been to see these two guys fight.

Asuka's backstage. No matter who the #1 contender is, Asuka will beat her.

Corey Graves will have an exclusive sit-down interview with Joe and Finn next week. We'll also see Austin Aries take on Elias Samson. I was starting to wonder if they'd saved anything for the go-home, because this show is packed.

Speaking of, it's time for the main event triple threat. Bliss immediately powders out and leaves the other two to do the fighting. Jax rushes Carmella into the corner, but Carm hits her with a boot and goes for a sunset flip. Jax powers out (that's her move!), and Carm tries for a keylock. Jax powers out of that, too, and goes on offense with a knee to the midsection. Bliss almost gets involved here, getting up on the top turnbuckle, but backs down as soon as Jax sees her. Jax delivers another knee to Carmella, but Carmella comes back with a hurricanrana that takes Jax shoulder-first into the post, and then to the outside. Bliss comes in for reals now, and hits a rollup+handful of tights for two. Bliss starts laying in her patented stomps here, and gets another two count before making sure Jax takes a boot to the face that keeps her out of the ring for a little while longer. Carm tries a comeback, but Bliss bodyslams her and hits a Vader-bomb for another two. Carm throws some elbows, but Bliss hits the choke-shove and a Bliss Flip that looks absolutely devastating. That would have done it, but Jax breaks up the pin, only to eat a double knee drop to the midsection and a Sparkle Splash. Carm makes the save on that one. Bliss is looking good here. She decides to team up with Carmella for a minute, and they both go after Jax. They hit a double kick and go for a double suplex, but instead Jax powers them both over instead! It's a great power spot. Jax presses her advantage, but when she charges the two of them, they dump her out of the ring. Carm sends Bliss out to join her with a kick, then hits a tope dive, but gets caught by Jax. Bliss frees Carmella with a kick, which is her undoing, as Carmella sends her back outside, and hits an even bigger dive for real! Jax is down, so Carmella goes back inside to hit a flurry of offense on Bliss, culminating in a bronco buster. She then hits a reverse Russian legsweep into the inverted triangle, but Jax breaks it up. Jax goes for a power move, but Carmella locks in a sleeper instead. Jax plants her in the corner, but Carmella goes upstairs and hits an atomic Thesz press for two. Carmella's feeling it, and goes for another bronco buster. Jax counters with a shitty spinebuster, though, and delivers a legdrop to score the win.
Match Rating: These Three Have Great Chemistry.
For real. I think this was both Jax and Carmella's best matches to date. Afterwards, Asuka comes out for the big staredown. Jax is talking shit, but Asuka's not backing down.

Great, great, great show this week. Two big matches, a monster in-ring promo segment, and a lot of little stuff setting up for Takeover. Everything worked, Andrade's debuting soon, things look great (I may be overusing the word "great" here). Unless, you know, you start reading a lot into "The End." But I'm not going to make any bold proclamations. I'm just going to enjoy the ride, and see where it takes us.
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#2 Posted on 28.5.16 0737.43
Reposted on: 28.5.23 0738.02
    Originally posted by Tenken347
    Okay, speaking of packages to catch, we've got another great one here for the former La Sombra, Andrade "Cien" Almas. I saw him as Manny Andrade at a house show (read my house show report that I'm too lazy to link to now!), and this guy is fucking great. I'm super excited that he's finally debuting. The package itself is just a really cool shot of him unmasking, and I don't know how much it sells him for guys that don't already know him, but I thought it was a winner.

I caught NXT live when they were up in New England last month, and I can vouch for Tenken's excitement. Almas is great, and had a really nice way of connecting with a crowd that had no fucking idea who he was. Hopefully that will translate on TV. The fact that I can still remember him and his match after seeing Nakamura live speaks volumes. One thing Tenken neglected to mention: Almas came out wearing shiny vinyl black pants with suspenders making him look precisely like 1993 pretty -boy Tommy Dreamer's non-union Mexican equivalent. Sadly, he did not wrestle in suspenders.

On RAW, Rollins came out to confront Reigns and Shame came out and pussy-footed around for 20 minutes before making the inevitable match. On NXT, Nakmura came out to confront Aires and Regal comes out. The crowd chants "Takeover!" and in Regal immediately says, "Yes, they will fight at Takeover." This is why I love NXT, we know what's going to happen, and they don't kill time to get to it.
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