nxt · Rehash

Rehash: NXT TakeOver – The End

(Editor: Survive is joining us for our first ever NXT coverage, to see if we’re going to consider covering it in future!)

Renee Young greets us from Full Sail, with the best dressed commentator in the entire company, Corey Graves, and Lita, WWE Hall of Famer and absolute badass, joining her at the pre-show table. They talk about how there’s a different energy – Corey says he’s “not sure how to feel” about being on the pre-show for something called “The End”.

“Is this the end?” Renee effectively asked and Corey responds, “I hope not. I’m practically unemployable anywhere else. “Something’s coming to an end,” Corey states, but adds that it’s definitely not Samoa Joe’s title reign.

“It might be the end, but it’s beginning of something new,” Corey says, advertising Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas’ debut tonight. I feel bad for poor Tye Dillinger, NXT’s official jobber to the stars, apparently.

Corey talks about the careers of everyone who has debuted at a NXT TakeOver, listing Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura as some of the greater ones.

Cathy Kelly and some new dude named Mike are standing outside Full Sail. They call NXT’s fans ‘dedicated’ and then tell us to use the twitter hashtag. Cathy promotes her Facebook interview with Triple H, immediately after the TakeOver.

Apparently they got a BabyMetal song for this TakeOver. I feel like Seth’s and Xavier’s music tastes are slowly creeping up through the upper echelons of WWE.

Now we’re talking about Asuka and Nia Jax’s match tonight, for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka is on a more than six month long winning streak in NXT, which is amazing. Nia Jax remains an absolute monster, having kayfabe injured Bayley to the extent that Regal’s planned Bayley vs. Asuka for the Championship match had to be taken off the card. Nia defeated Carmella to earn a #1 contender’s match.

“You beat Bayley? I broke Bayley, just like I’m gonna break you.” Nia is not backing down and Asuka isn’t either.

Lita – a former Women’s Champion – talks about the Nia Jax vs. Asuka match, stating that she’s wanted this match since they debut.

Corey Graves compares it to Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze. “Nia Jax is not scared,” he says, wondering if that may be Asuka’s downfall, since Asuka is easily the most intimidating woman on the entire roster, not just the NXT roster. Graves calls Nia as the winner, Lita goes for Asuka – “And new” vs “And still.”

Andrade Almas is the new topic of discussion at the table and Corey starts off by stating we don’t know much about him. Which we most certainly don’t, but

Lita has a soft spot for Mexican wrestlers and luchadors, since her wrestling journey began in Mexico. ‘Cien’ also apparently means ‘one hundred’, which is why she thinks Cien will defeat Tye Dillinger. Who is still NXT’s official jobber to the stars, so, Corey, babe, I love you, there is no way Tye’s beating Almas. Sorry.

There’s a video package for Aries vs. Nakamura and I’m getting excited. This will be an amazing match, both of the men are well established as fantastic performers everywhere and gave fantastic performances at TakeOver: Dallas. Austin’s a liiiittle pissed off about going from the most amazing acquirement NXT had picked up to just “going under the radar” because of Shinsuke’s arrival.

Renee calls it a “dream match” and she’s not wrong. Lita calls them both “global superstars”, stating that Nakamura looked like he was having fun during the TakeOver: Dallas match. Corey supports Austin Aries, repeating his nickname of “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”.

Renee asks who they think is gonna win – Corey says that even though he really likes Aries, he thinks it’s gonna be Nakamura. In a shocking moment, Lita agrees with him.

After an ad for Warcraft (…why?), they are now talking about The Most Generic Wrestlers in NXT vs. The Most Adorable Couple in NXT – The Revival vs. American Alpha. Corey talks about how Chad Gable’s appearance just made something “click” in Jason Jordan.

We head backstage to The Revival doing an interview. Afterwards, Corey asks to switch his pick to American Alpha, since they’re actually taking it “seriously”. The Revival are incredibly talented, but they aren’t taking it seriously, according to him.

We move onto a video package about Angry Exes: NXT Version. Once again, I still can’t believe they made Finn drop his title at a fucking house show and then didn’t call him up. Really, y’all. Really. This is the first cage match in NXT history, so they have to work out their issues without involving anyone else. Personally, I’d recommend someone with a specialty in couples counselling over a referee in this situation, but whatever works for them, I suppose.

Renee talks about the rules of a cage match and asks how Finn could win a cage match, when he’s never been in one before. Corey says he doesn’t think Finn could, considering Finn says he’s “survived” Samoa Joe in the past. Lita says that Finn’s lack of experience could win him the match, since he has no expectations- but it has to be quick.

Corey calls his interview with Joe and Finn the “most intense, awkward” experience of his life. Corey says it’s “the end” of Finn Balor in NXT “period”. Lita says it be the end of Samoa Joe’s title reign.

Aaaand my arms already hurt, but the TakeOver is only just starting.

We get a short intro about how NXT is about beginnings, hopes and dreams, about how much of an impact NXT has had on the main roster. “But all things come to an end – it is, indeed, inevitable.” They show us Asuka ending Bayley’s reign, Joe ending Finn’s. “Tonight, the beginning will end – and the end will begin. Tonight, a new chapter begins. Tonight, the end is beginning.”

MATCH: Andrade Almas vs. Tye Dillinger

And we are starting with Andrade Almas’ debut! Tye Dillinger looks like a fabulous space alien with that vest of his – “He is the perfect ten, Tye Dillinger!” And the perfect jobber, apparently. Tom Phillips introduces Corey as a “NXT Icon”, saying “I know, I was nice to you this time”, which makes me think they have a very love/hate relationship at times.

  • Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas debuts and… let me be honest, this is not what I was expecting. He’s wearing white pants, with shirt suspenders and a white fedora with a white feather in it. He honestly reminds me of No Way Jose, with that get up but he does take all of the white clothes off to reveal blue and white tights.
  • “Let’s go Tye!” Full Sail chants.
  • Andrade and Tye are rolling around the ring. Tye did a cartwheel and is now flashing ‘ten’ at Andrade, the crowd chanting ‘ten’.
  • Andrade and Tye lock up – Tye gets Andrade on the ground, putting his knee on Andrade’s arm. They continue going around the ring, still locked up.
  • They are jumping over each other. Tye went down to avoid Andrade’s jump and got dropkicked in his face
  • Andrade hits a hurricanrana to force Tye into the mat and Tye rolls out. It looks like Andrade is going for something through the ropes, but instead he catches in the ropes and poses a bit like Tyler Breeze.
  • Andrade runs towards Tye, who’s in the corner and Tye ducks out of the way – instead of coming back down, Andrade does a handstand on the ropes.
  • Andrade goes towards Tye and gets caught into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
  • Now Andrade is on the top rope, with Tye behind him on the second rope. They fight
  • Andrade backflips off the turnbuckle, but Tye ducks away, so Andrade does an extra moonsault flip onto him. Tye kicks out at two.
  • Andrade does his handstand on the ropes again and gets superkicked in the face by Dillinger. Ahh, that was beautiful. A “Holy shit!” chant begins and, yes, I agree. Andrade is lying on the mat now. Tye stares at him and takes off his kneepad. He tries to pick up Andrade, who escapes.
  • Tye is in the corner, Andrade does a back flip and then another to whack Tye with his knees.
  • Tye is still stuck in the corner, Andrade runs at him – apparently it was a double knee, but it looked like Tye’s face ended up more in Andrade’s crotch.

Shockingly enough, Andrade wins his debut match. It was a beautiful match, he is obviously an amazing talent in the ring.

Tom Phillips calls Triple H the “father” of NXT. Have they always called him that or did the WWE fandom‘s constant nickname of him creep up?

We get a shot of Nia preparing backstage as Phillips and Corey talk about the women’s match, then we head into a recap of American Alpha vs. The Revival. 

MATCH: American Alpha vs. The Revival – NXT Tag Team Championship Match

The Revival come out, their theme song as boss as ever. The one-with-mutton-chops looks very, very aggressive. Corey says they’ve been “extra mean, extra mad” since Dallas.

American Alpha are so patriotic, it’s amazing. Shitty name, yet one of the greatest tag teams in NXT now. Arguably the best, since Enzo and Cass left. Their outfits match, with the exception of the ‘CG’ on Gable’s shoulders and the ‘JJ’ on Jason’s.

They bounce around a lot, Gable carrying his “Ready Willing Gable” towel and showing it off to the crowd.

  • It’s the talkers starting us off, with Gable and Dawson both initially in the ring. They’ve locked up and are now pulling each other around the ring. Gable tries to tag Jason, but Dawson pulls him away, managing to tag Wilder.
  • Wilder and Gable lock up after ‘Gable’ chants start up and Wilder looks a little pissed. Gable is twisting around him when Wilder punches him hard in the back. Wilder uses that to twist Gable down, stretching him across his back.
  • Wilder tags Dawson in, then holds Gable so Dawson can kick him in the stomach.
  • Gable is having trouble, but he gets out of it. He is so beautiful to watch in the ring.
  • He manages to tag Jason in and ducks down to make Dawson jump over him after bouncing off the ropes. This leads Dawson straight into a dropkick by Jason Jordan.
  • Wilder gets in the ring, then Gable gets in. Ref tries to stop them from full out brawling, but fails. It’s Gable on Dawson and Jordan on Wilder. They let go of Dash and Dawson and the Revival nearly run into each other, before being caught by the opposite American Alpha member.
  • JJ and CG manage to catch Dawson and Dash, locking both of them into Ankle Locks. Don’t you just love it when they mirror each other? Dash and Dawson get out of it, rolling out of the ring.
  • JJ and DW are the legal men in the ring. JJ absolutely dominates DW, then tags CG in. Dawson tries to get a tag, but it wasn’t a legal one – while the ref yells at Dawson, Dash gets his hand on Gable’s face and pulls. Gable lets go of him because of it.
  • A near pinfall, with a roll-up of Dawson by Gable. He gets out
  • Gable jumps off the turnbuckle to attack Dash and Dawson, knocking both of them to the ground via a double clothesline. JJ and CG then double dropkick both members of the Revival, before whacking them out of the ring with clotheslines in unison.
  • Dawson gets back in the ring and gets back into control. He manages to springboard Gable into the ropes.
  • The Revival are double teaming Gable now. Jason looks worried for his partner, reaching out for Gable to tag him.
  • Dawson is wrenching Gable’s arm hard – I’m not sure what the hold is, but Dawson has his elbow against Gable’s neck and Gable’s arm wrapped around it. Gable nearly escapes, so Dawson shifts position
  • Then Dawson misses two straight elbow drops by Gable rolling away. Gable rolls out of the ring.
  • We get a near fall, with Dawson pinning Gable after a sit-out spinebuster.
  • Dawson now has Gable on his shoulders as he tags Dash in. Dash kneels down and Dawson tosses Gable onto Dash’s knee.
  • Dash has Gable in a hold, where he’s wrenching Gable’s arm back, over his hip.
  • Gable is desperately trying to reach Jason, alternating reaching out to his partner with punching Dash in the face.
  • Dash got Gable on the turnbuckle, turned around and gloated to Jason. This was a mistake, before Gable got him in an armbar hung up over the ropes. He had to let
  • While the ref is distracted with Jason being upset, Dash and Dawson do a move where Dawson does a leg drop to Gable, who Dash is currently holding. We got a near fall, but Gable kicked out.
  • Gable manages to regain some momentum after Dawson tags in Dash, which then enables him to tag Jason Jordan, the absolute boss of the team.
  • Jordan comes in swinging, obliterating both members of the Revival. While they lay around, he takes off the sleeves of his unitard. Shit’s getting real.
  • Dash holds Jason while tagging Dawson. Dawson tries goes for a sunset flip (I think), but fails because he didn’t get enough momentum to pull JJ down. Dash swings through the ring (I think) to attack Gable on the other side, knocking him off (that might’ve been Dawson, I don’t know).
  • “Let’s go, JJ!” chants have begun, as Dawson attacks JJ. Jason manages to tag Gable – we get a dropkick from JJ right before Gable German suplexes Dawson for a near fall.
  • The crowd is chanting “This is awesome.” Gable attempts a tag, but Dash pulls Jason off the ring.
  • Gable locks in an ankle lock. Dawson desperately tries to grab the ropes, but manages to turn over.
  • Dawson uppercuts Gable from the floor, getting the Revival a near fall.
  • Dawson fails, but tags in Dash. Dash sets up Gable for a tag team move and tags in Dawson – the move fails because Gable is amazing and turned it into a belly-to-belly.
  • Dawson tries to do something to Gable, but Gable manages to tag in JJ.
  • Dash and Dawson pull off a move which reminds me of the 3D on Jason Jordan and manages to pin him for three.

The Revival are once again the tag team champions and I cry for our poor, collapsed babies. The Revival’s celebration is nowhere as good or adorable as American Alpha’s post-Dallas, so I am just sad.  The Revival are the only NXT Tag Team Champions to have done it twice. Can’t tell if this offers hope or not for Finn tonight, since he would be the only NXT Champion to do it as well. Jason and Gable look absolutely miserable in the ring – Gable looks like he’s almost crying and Jason looks like he’s actually crying, as he stumbles around the ring and who is this?

Two dudes in black gear jump into the ring, attacking Jason and Gable from behind. They’ve got shaved head and I don’t know what the fuck this is, or who the fuck they are, but it kinda reminds me of the Shield or even Anderson and Gallows. Corey asks “Who the hell are these monsters?” as they do a tag team move on Jason Jordan, who is now collapsed in a very, very uncomfortable position in the ring.

Some random old dude – Paul Ellering – walks in, wearing all black. He apparently managed the Road Warriors and… someone else? Corey calls him potentially the “greatest manager of all time”. This looks like a solid debut, because now I wanna know who the fuck these dudes are.

Asuka is preparing backstage with some dude in pink shorts. Bayley shows up, offering a handshake. Asuka looks tentative about accepting the handshake, but she does.

I love the random merch dude walking around outside, talking to someone on his cellphone. XD That may be the reason of the large Warcraft graphic which popped up, covering him from view.

Video package for Austin vs. Shinsuke. “You’re only the best until someone better comes along – that’s why I prefer to call myself ‘great’.” Austin Aries continues to be amazing in the ring.

I still love Shinsuke’s theme. (This is the same video package from the pre-show.) “I think Austin Aries will bow down to the King of Strong Style,” Shinsuke says.

MATCH: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries

Both of these men have amazingly theatrical entrances. Austin comes out first, wearing one of his capes. With a vest under it (or perhaps the cape is attached to the vest?). Not sure what I think of the light blue (silver?) and red combination on his gear. The black is fine. Aries’ midsection is taped, but there wasn’t any mention of an injury, so Corey thinks he’s doing it as a misdirect to Nakamura. You see tape, you see a target, which would pull Shinsuke’s attacks straight towards it.

Shinsuke’s entrance still needs an epilepsy warning because look at those strobe lights. The theme is amazing and I agree with Renee – very few men could pull off an entirely red leather outfit, but Shinsuke does. It almost looks like Austin and Shinsuke are doing a stretch off. Before the bell is even rung, the crowd is singing Shinsuke’s song. Now there’s a “Nakamura” chant and the two men are still two feet away from each other.


  • They circle each other in the ring. Austin comes close to lock up, Shinsuke tentatively fakes a kick to his face, but Austin didn’t back down. They have now locked up.
  • One gets pressed against the ropes, but they both spring free. They circle each other, then lock up again.
  • Austin has Shinsuke’s wrist, but Shinsuke rolls and flips around the ring to get free. Then Shinsuke has Austin’s wrist and Austin does the same thing.
  • They roll around, with Austin’s head ending up between Shinsuke’s legs. He does a headstand, flips out then attempts to dropkick Shinsuke in the face.
  • They end up jammed against the ropes – Shinsuke lays his hands across the bandage on Austin’s stomach. Austin doesn’t take it too well.
  • They roll around – Austin nearly does a move to Shinsuke, who escapes. Shinsuke is kneeling by the ropes and Austin does a “Come at me” gesture.
  • “Shinsuke’s gonna kill you” is now being chanted. Shinsuke and Austin roll around the ring.
  • As the crowd sings Shinsuke’s theme, Shinsuke manages to get Austin on the ground and does a knee drop. Then he gets Austin into the turnbuckle – he does Good Vibrations until the ref pulls him out. Then he comes back and does it again. The crowd chants “One more time!” – Shinsuke attempts it, but gets grabbed by Austin.
  • Austin grabs Shinsuke’s leg and leads him into the center of the ring. He does something to injure Shinsuke’s knee. “You take out Shinsuke’s legs, you take out his sharpest weapons” and that is exactly what Austin is doing.
  • He continues to dominate Nakamura, as the ref shouts, “Hey, watch his eye!” Austin launches off the turnbuckle, doing a twist in the air to elbow Shinsuke.
  • Austin had Shinsuke in a lock of some kind, wrapped around his neck. Shinsuke got out.
  • Austin went outside the ropes and attempted a springboard (something), only to land on Nakamura’s knees instead.
  • Austin does an elbow drop off the turnbuckle to Nakamura, who was lying prone on the mat. He gets a nearfall, but Shinsuke kicks out. Austin pulls him up, then knees him in the back. He does it at least twice, before getting Nakamura in a lock or perhaps a stretch. He lets go, only to knee Nakamura in the back.
  • “Ar-ries sucks!” chants begin to the “New Day rocks!” theme, as long as a “Let’s go Shinsuke!”. Austin has Nakamura in a submission, which requires Shinsuke leaning back – Aries has his hands on Shinsuke’s face and neck.
  • We get a shot of a Shinsuke Nakamura cosplayer in the audience as the crowd sings Shinsuke’s theme.
  • Shinsuke manages to reverse his fate – I missed the first kick, but he managed a second one to knock Austin to the ground. Shinsuke is now dominating the match, repeatedly kicking Austin again after again.
  • Now Austin is in the corner as Shinsuke knees him in the midsection several times. The ref tells him to knock it off, so he does. Then he sets up Austin on the turnbuckle to do a running knee to his midsection.
  • Pin for two, but Austin kicks out.
  • Shinsuke goes for something which involves twisting Austin around – Austin escapes and punches Shinsuke in the neck. Somehow, Shinsuke ended up outside the ring. Austin does a suicide dive at Nakamura, hitting him and the barricade hard enough to make both buckle.
  • His attempted pin did not succeed.
  • Nakamura locks in the triangle. Austin manages to get his leg on the bottom rope.
  • Shinsuke lays Austin on the mat and then does diving knees down into Austin’s face. Then I think that was a suplex. He sets up for a move, but his theatrics waste him valuable time and Austin counters.
  • Now Austin is doing a submission – Last Chancery? – to Nakamura in the middle of the ring. He’s bridging beautifully, while Shinsuke attempts to make it to the ropes. He couldn’t reach it with his hands, but he did get his leg on the ropes.
  • Austin does a frankensteiner from the turnbuckle. Nakamura props himself up on the turnbuckle, which sets him up for a dropkick from Austin.
  • Austin sets up for the 450 splash from the turnbuckle – Nakamura rolls out of the way, but Austin just rolls it out instead of crashing and burning.
  • Austin just pulled Nakamura out of the ring, over the ropes. They’re punching each other on the apron while the crowd cheers for Nakamura’s punches, but boos for Austin’s. Austin catches Nakamura and does a neckbreaker to Nakamura on the ring apron.
  • Ref checks on Nakamura, then rolls back into the ring and begins to count. Corey calls the move a Death Valley Driver. Nakamura clambers to his feet, hanging onto the barricade for dear life. Austin’s arrogance gets the better of him and he does a suicide dive onto Nakamura. It quite possibly caused more damage to him.
  • Nakamura gets back in the ring and controls the match. A Reverse something, then sets up the King Something and kicks Austin right in the face. Shinsuke drapes himself across Austin’s chest for three.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura is your winner.

Tickets go on sale Saturday for TakeOver: Brooklyn. Hopefully it’s just as good as the last one and this TakeOver.

We get a shot of Samoa Joe walking into Full Sail, looking like an absolute boss.


MATCH: Asuka vs. Nia Jax – NXT Women’s Championship Match

We get a shot of Nia powerbombing Asuka at the contract signing from three different angles. The Full Sail crowd seems to be standing up to boo Nia Jax’s entrance and her theme song. Someone at NXT’s costuming is very big on those huge ass collars, since Tye Dillinger and Nia both have them, though I think her’s a little bit sideways.

Asuka is coming in, as the crowd claps to the beat of her song. I do love how Asuka and Nia have entrances to rival Shinsuke’s and Austin’s. Arguably, I prefer Asuka’s to Austin’s – Shinsuke, Asuka, Austin, Nia, in order of my favorite NXT entrances.

Both women are in the ring and the lights go down? Did…That…Happen last match? I don’t think that happened for any previous matches. Though this time they’re both being introduced in the ring, which may be it. Also, I don’t like this dude announcer. I feel like the women announcers are just better. Okay, and the lights have come back up. 

  • Asuka and Nia lock up. Asuka is attacking Nia’s midsection and legs. She’s bearhugging Nia from behind now, using her lack of height to avoid Nia’s elbows.
  • Asuka taunts Nia, by proving her speed.
  • Holy fuck, Nia just threw Asuka half way across the ring, nearly throwing her into the turnbuckle.
  • Nia is now shouldering Asuka into the turnbuckle.
  • Nia’s outfit is my favorite outfit so far.
  • Asuka is locking in a submission, a hangman, I think?, but Nia manages to get out. Asuka gets off Nia’s back, but still ends up being caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
  • Asuka’s chest is in front of the ropes, while Nia pulls on her arms for a submission. She breaks it when the ref tells her to, then comes back and does a similar move to Asuka’s face.
  • There are duelling “Let’s go Asuka!”/ “Let’s go Nia!” chants, which I wasn’t expected.
  • Nia now has Asuka across her knee.
  • Asuka attempts what is definitely a hangman’s choke hold, but instead gets suplexed by Nia. Whoops.
  • After a failed pinfall by Nia, she gets up and kicks Asuka in the head. The ref tells her to not do that, but, let’s be real, he couldn’t stop her if he wanted to.
  • Asuka was attempting to choke out Nia, I think, but Nia instead just picked her up and gave her a buckle bomb.
  • Now she’s bending Asuka’s spine around the turnbuckle.
  • Nia is an absolute monster in this match. I’m not sure if she’s quite ready for the main roster yet, but whenever she shows up, she will absolutely mix it up – I don’t think any woman on the current roster has fought Nia in the ring.
  • Asuka had a submission locked on Nia’s leg, but Nia crawled to the second rope.
  • Nia goes to pull Asuka up by her hair, but instead gets kicked in the face. However, Nia merely dropped to her knee, refusing to let go of Asuka’s hair.
  • Asuka bounces off the ropes, going for something, and instead gets powerbombed into the mat (I think). While Asuka lays there, Nia bounces off the ropes, going for a legdrop. Asuka rolled out of the way.
  • They yelled at each other, but I didn’t catch what either one said – I think Asuka said “I’m the champ!”
  • Asuka backhands Nia, then does her hip move – the one where she bounces off the ropes, then hits you in the face with her hip/butt.
  • The crowd chants “Asuka city!” as Asuka attempts another attack on Nia. Nia merely counters into a powerbomb.
  • Asuka managed to get Nia on the ground and now has her in an armbar. Nia powers out. Asuka then attempts the Asuka Lock, but Nia refuses to go down.
  • After Asuka comes off Nia’s back, she kicks Nia in the face. Then again. Then Again. Nia screams like a fucking banshee, but Asuka gets her in the face one more time, knocking her completely to the ground.
  • As Nia lies on the ground, Asuka gets the pin.

And still your NXT’s Women’s Champion, Asuka! 

And it turns out my stream was very far behind, so now I don’t know what I missed.

We get a backstage interview with William Regal and that new backstage interviewer lady. HOLY FUCK BOBBY ROODE

Bobby Roode walks past, the crew member he was walking with whispers something into Regal’s ear and Regal excuses himself from the interview to follow Bobby Roode into the room and HOLY FUCK. Sorry – no, not really. It’s fucking Bobby Roode.

MATCH: Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor – NXT Championship Match

The cage is coming down from the ceiling, right before we launch into the Joe vs. Finn video package. Duuuude! Neville is watching the match from ringside and the dude next to him is incredibly happy about that, lemme tell you.

Finn enters to a chorus of loud screaming. His dramatic entrance involves him coming out behind large chunks of chain link fence. He knocks down the one he was specifically standing behind and begins his crawl down the aisle.

Finn climbs up the side of the cage and does his normal “Rawr” arm opening on the corner of the cage. He drops down to the turnbuckle and walks across the top rope to the next corner, where he then balances in that iconic Spiderman pose.

Couldn’t see it because of the lights, but it turns out Finn’s headdress is only black and white tonight. The same with his face paint and gear. (Edit: Someone on Tumblr pointed out that he’s never done this before. Since the other former Bullet Club member who dropped a signature color from his outfit is AJ Styles, it does make me speculate about Finn’s immediate future)

Samoa Joe still looks a fucking boss, as he walks in. The bell rings, the lights go down and spotlights are focused on Finn and Joe. Why they ring the bell before announcing them, who even knows. (Someone probably does, I’ve only been a fan for a year, my bad)

After Finn’s introduction, the crowd begins clapping and chanting “Finn!” The crowd boos for Joe’s introduction, though a contingent starts chanting and clapping “Joe!” The lights come back up, the ref raises the NXT Championship belt and I feel very afraid for that poor small child. He looks very young compared to most refs – if you can’t get a couples counsellor, you can at least get a veteran referee. While they don’t have official training, they do have a lot of experience dealing with couple’s spats. Do you have any refs who’ve worked with Dean and Seth? 

  • Joe tries to pull Finn to the cage wall, but Finn stops himself with his leg. He’s looks very lanky in comparison to Joe.
  • Joe rams Finn into the turnbuckle by the door – the ref starts opening the door, but Joe pulls Finn away.
  • Finn escapes and starts bouncing around the ropes to hit Joe. He succeeds at least twice. Finn gets Joe into the corner and attacks him – Joe walks away from the turnbuckle after the successful attack, then Finn jams him into the turnbuckle by the door. The ref goes to open, then ends up locking the door again as Joe and Finn turn away.
  • Finn gets Joe on the ground, then starts looking at the cage wall. He takes his bloody time standing up on the ropes and trying to climb out, allowing Joe to recover and pull him down.
  • Now Joe is in control of the match. He tosses Balor into the corner, hit him, then pulled back for an enzuigiri.
  • One small, but very determined crowd is chanting “Let’s go Joe!” The chant is dying out as my Internet fucking hates me, leaving only one voice right before my internet pauses. Fuck my internet.
  • Joe gets Finn into the corner. He presses Finn down with his foot several times, then pulls back and kicks him straight in the head. Corey Graves says “It’s a good thing those teeth are painted on because I think Joe just kicked a few of them out.
  • Finn attempts to reclaim some power in the match, but gets tossed into the cage wall yet again. Seriously, mate. Why you such a lightweight? The only other person I saw getting tossed around this much tonight was Asuka. She’s 5’3.
  • Joe gets to the door and calls for the ref to open it. Finn stops him. They fight – Joe gets tossed back into the ring, Finn nearly crawls out. Joe pulls on his leg while Finn pushes against the side of the ring, but in the end, Joe’s monstrous strength wins out, dragging Finn back into the ring. The door is closed.
  • Joe does a German Suplex to Finn. Then he starts to climb up the ropes. Finn recovers quickly and joins Joe on the ropes, alternating attempting to climb out while attacking Joe.
  • Finn turns to climbing and Joe instead kicks him in the back, bringing both of them to the ground. Finn falls between the ropes and the cage wall.
  • Both refs came to talk to him, then it looked like there was a moment of Finn, Joe and the ref talking for a second before they go right back into it.
  • There are several moves where Finn looks like he’s getting control of the match again. Most of which I missed while recapping.
  • Joe does a Coquina Clutch to Finn through the ropes. They fight a little more.
  • Finn manages to get almost entirely over the top of the cage before Joe drags him down. Finn hangs onto the top of the cage and kicks Joe in the face – he lets go and falls crotch first onto the top rope, nicely done there, should’ve thought about that.
  • Joe regained control of the match, but Finn reversed one of his attempts into an attempted pinfall. He failed, because it was only 7:40-something.
  • Now they are both balancing on the ropes, trying to climb out. Finn hits a slingblade and knocks both of them down. He’s right by the fucking door, but doesn’t realize it and attempts a pinfall instead. It fails.
  • There was more action, Joe acquired control again and now they both look exhausted, though Finn looks a shitton more exhausted. We get a nice shot of his ass as Joe hauls him to his feet.
  • My Internet continues to hate me as it keeps glitching and repeating the same segments. …Though seeing Finn’s ass in that position twice isn’t really a problem, technically speaking…Hehe.
  • Joe is pinned into the corner by the door – Finn does a fabulous dropkick to him, but even though Joe’s lying on the floor and the door’s right fucking there, Finn allows his feelings to get the better of him. He doesn’t call for the door to be opened, he does a Coup de Grace.
  • Joe recovers and catches Finn in the Coquina Clutch. Finn seems to be failing, but he stands up. He does a Shiranui.
  • The fans chant “Up!” as Finn attempts to climb the cage. Joe gets him by the leg, then gets kicked down again. Finn is now balanced on the top of the cage – he managed to get both legs over the edge, but Joe catches him. He does a Muscle Buster from the second rope.
  • He pins Finn to retain his NXT Championship.

I do genuinely hope this results in a Finn call up, either for MITB, SummerSlam or whatever that PPV in the middle is. Sami lost his final match in NXT, Corbin lost his and I think even Tyler Breeze lost his final match in NXT – I would not be surprised if Finn just lost his.

Though both refs and a medic are checking on Finn as Joe holds his title high. I think Joe tried to get closer, but a ref told him to stay away.

We are left with alternating shots of Joe at the end of the ramp, raising his title high, and Finn lying on the mat, being checked on by a medic. Corey calls it “The end of the beginning and the beginning of the reign of Samoa Joe.”