Tonight promises to be an amazing night, with American Alpha returning, Carmella and Alexa Bliss having a match and more lead up to Shinsuke vs. Finn in two weeks.
MATCH: Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
We open with Alexa’s music firing. She comes out and thank god. The puke green is gone. She’s back in the red, black and white gear that works so well with her hair.
We get a great shot of Alexa’s face – and look of contempt – as everyone’s favorite princess comes out! I love Carmella. She’s so awesome. She doesn’t do her normal entrance, there’s no talking, but we do get a great shot of Alexa mocking her.
- The bell rings and the women take a few seconds to lock up – the ref was pissing Alexa off.
- Carmella mocks Alexa as Corey continues to defend Alexa.
- Alexa gets Carmella into a headlock – Carmella counters, getting herself out of it, but just gets hit when Alexa bounces off the ring ropes.
- This is a fairly equal bout, with both ladies trading off control of the match quickly.
- Carmella regains control of the match to Full Sail cheering. Alexa’s face there is brilliant.
- Carmella furthers her control of the match to “Car-mel-la!” chants
- Alexa rolls out of the ring, escaping Carmella.
- Alexa and Carmella trade submissions – first Carmella, then Alexa. Carmella escapes and gets a submission on Alexa.
- They trade headlocks, straight into Carmella getting Alexa in an armbar and then onto the mat with another submission.
- “Let’s go ‘Mella!” chants conflict with “Let’s go Bliss!” chants for a few seconds.
- Alexa does a move through the ring ropes, which Corey says “may have broken” Carmella’s arm and then rolls Carmella into a pin attempt. Carmella kicks out at two.
- We come back from a commercial break with Alexa having Carmella in an arm bar. Carmella tries to fight out, but just gets dominated by Alexa and pulled into a different type of arm bar.
- Alexa is doing knee drops onto Carmella’s injured arm, before a double knee onto Carmella’s chest. She rolls through, then backflips to do another double knee. She attempts a pin and Carmella kicks out.
- Alexa then throws a beautiful little temper tantrum, giving Carmella time to recover.
- Carmella is starting to regain control of the match.
- She does her little dance for the Bronco Buster while still holding her injured arm to her chest. She pulls off the Bronco Buster, but Alexa regains control of the match to a “Women’s wrestling!” chant
- Alexa lays Carmella out, but Carmella recovers as Alexa climbs to the top rope. Carmella flips Alexa off the turnbuckle and attempts a pin. Alexa kicks out. Carmella covers again. Alexa kicks out again.
- As the two women size each other up, the crowd starts chanting “Carmella!” again.
- Alexa throws Carmella down, then steps over her towards the turnbuckle. She delivers a move called ‘The Twisted Bliss’ and pins Carmella for three. It’s a very contemptuous pin, with Alexa’s knee pressed into Carmella’s face.
After the little match recap, the ref is missing as Alexa gives the space where the ref should be a disgusted look. She tosses her arms up, the way the ref should be holding her arm up, while still possessing the world’s best disgusted expression.
A little recap plays of the initial conversation between Finn and Shinsuke. It fires me up for their match, while also reminding me how much I disliked Finn repeatedly saying “What is next for Finn Balor?” in that initial segment. Good Lord, man, you did not need to say it that many times.
Tom tells us it’s a “dream match up”, before leading into a backstage interview with Shinsuke. Shinsuke talks about how much he and Finn know each other and how long they have known each other. Shinsuke says he needs something – like a title. In order to become champion, he has to fight NXT’s icons – which means he has to fight Finn. Shinsuke’s smile while he calls Finn one of his best friends is adorable. It’s really lovely how excited Shinsuke is to fight Finn. He says he’ll give us “something sensational”, before giving the camera a large grin. I just have to grin in response. He’s so cute!
Graphic advertising Ciampa and Gargano vs. Hype Bros, right into a backstage interview with Bayley and Cathy Kelly.
Bayley is adorable and says that she feels “good” and “ready” for her rematch with Asuka. She continues to be adorable as Alexa walks in. Alexa says Bayley doesn’t deserve a chance, since she lost, while Alexa wasn’t pinned in the triple threat and “just destroyed [Bayley’s] best friend”.
MATCH: Noah Potjes vs. Andrade Almas
A new theme song plays, without any sort of jumbotron, and Noah Potjes, from Honolulu, Hawaii, comes out. From the way Tom and Corey are talking, he’s a heel.
Cien comes out! I love this man. And he shed the white entrance gear, wearing black trousers, suspenders and trilby.
- Andrade and Noah lock up. Noah has Andrade in a wrist lock, which results in Andrade rolling around the ring in order to escape. He does, then Noah gets him again.
- Andrade flips around the ring, then dropkicks Noah.
- Noah escapes the ring. Andrade flips out of the ring, flips back into the ring, does a dropkick through the ropes – I think. Corey says that the cameras can’t even follow him and that is accurate.
- Andrade does his little thing, where he lounges in the ropes. Noah, who had been in that general area, runs for the hills, assuming Andrade is going to do a suicide dive or something.
- Noah is a liiiiiittle pissed at being disrespected and – to quote Tom – “clobbers” Andrade in response.
- Noah has Andrade in a headlock, while Andrade yells “It’s not gonna work! It’s not gonna work!” as he fights his way out.
- Beautiful springboard corkscrew from Andrade to Noah.
- Noah is in the corner while the crowd starts clapping. Andrade nods along, then does his running double knee while Corey cracks a joke about Noah needing an arc.
- Andrade pins Noah to win. He is undefeated in NXT so far.
Tom and Corey crack more jokes about Noah’s arc, then we had backstage to Austin Aries and one of the backstage interviewers.
“I know you’re new here, Andrea, but let me give you a history lesson.” Number one, thank you, Austin, I had forgotten her name. Number two, seriously. People need to google your name and that’s all they need to understand you kicking Jose’s adorable, adorable, little ass.
Austin tells us that No Way Jose should’ve felt privileged to watch Austin in the ring. Oh, arrogant asshole Austin Aries, how I love you.
Fiiiinn! Aww. “Shinsuke Nakamura was one of the first people who helped me adapt and took me under his wing,” he says and and I love Shinsuke Nakamura more and more every sentence. “All wrestling aside, Shinsuke and I are friends,” Finn says, before reiterating what Shinsuke said earlier about each of them knowing the other’s family.
I really love this. Please let Finn and Shinsuke stay faces through this – please let them both remain friends in-ring. This is how a face vs. face match should be.
Finn says the fans are in for a real treat. He grins afterwards, saying that he’s excited even saying that he and Shinsuke will match off.
We get a shot of Jordan and Gable entering Full Sail and neither one looks particularly happy.
Tom and Corey remind us that Gargano and Ciampa are taking on the Hype Bros.
We get a graphic telling us that Bayley and Alexa will battle next week, right before the Hype Bros’ entrance plays.
MATCH: Hype Bros vs. Gargano & Ciampa
Good lord, what are they wearing. Whaaaaat. What is that color scheme. Radiation neon green and two shades of pink I would both describe as ‘watermelon’.
The crowd reacts a lot more for Gargano and Ciampa than they did for the Hype Bros, standing up and clapping around to their entrance music. I’m excited for the Cruiserweight Classic (and, not gonna lie, that’s how I remember how to spell their names. Whoops).
The crowd chants “Johnny Wrestling!” as Gargano sheds his vest. I really love how Gargano and Ciampa wear different gear, but it looks like they belong together. It’s gear that stands alone and together, which is better than I can say for the Hype Bros’ fashion disaster.
- Gargano and Mojo Rawley lock up. Gargano gets in control for a bit, but then Mojo slams him into the ground. Gargano bounced hard from the impact.
- Mojo tags Zack in while slamming Gargano down. Zack jumps in, landing hard on Gargano.
- Gargano gets dominated by Zack for a bit longer, but then tags Ciampa in.
- Tom points out that the Hype Bros are bigger, to which Corey points out that “sometimes a Napoleon complex will help you out”.
- Ciampa attempts a pin on Zack – Zack kicks out, then gets pulled into a submission.
- Zack tags Mojo in – they attempt a tag move on Ciampa, but Ciampa doesn’t bounce off the ropes when they need him to. Mojo goes to pull him back and instead gets tossed out of the ring.
- Ciampa and Mojo end up outside the ring together, but then Zack attacks Ciampa. While Ciampa’s laid out and Zack’s outside the ring, Gargano does a suicide dive, leveling Zack.
- While Gargano is celebrating his quick domination, Mojo lands a brutal hit on him, knocking him to the ground.
- We come back from the ‘Don’t Do This’ reminder to Mojo holding Gargano in a headlock.
- Gargano escapes to “Johnny Wrestling!” chants. He levels Mojo with a dropkick, then tags Ciampa in. While Ciampa is climbing in, Mojo tags Zack.
- Ciampa gets control over over the match for a bit. But takes a double knee from Zack while attempting a turnbuckle move.
- Zack does a missile dropkick to Ciampa, then tags in Mojo.
- Mojo almost gets a successful pin on Ciampa, but Gargano breaks it up.
- Mojo tags in Zack. They are setting up the Hype Ryder (I believe that’s what Tom called it), but Gargano slides in and hauls Mojo out. Then he superkicks Mojo in the face. Because he’s a tiny, attractive badass.
- While Gargano and Mojo are outside, Ciampa levels Zack with a spinning clothesline, before attempting a pinfall. Zack kicks out. Ciampa does not look pleased.
- Gargano and Ciampa attempt a tag team move to Zack from the second rope. Mojo interrupts with a double powerbomb.
- Zack, the legal man, does an El-Bro Drop to Gargano and attempts a pinfall. Gargano kicks out.
- Ciampa and Mojo are fighting on the outside – Ciampa tosses Mojo into the stairs.
- Gargano rolls Zack into an unique roll-up pin, but Zack kicks out.
- Gargano is in the corner – Zack wobbles towards him and gets kicked in the face for his trouble.
- Zack and Gargano effectively switch places, with Zack knocking Ciampa off the ring apron in the process. Gargano comes towards Zack and gets knocked headfirst into the turnbuckle. Ouch.
- Woo! Woo! Woo! Zack goes from the Broski Boot and gets knocked on his ass by Ciampa, who came back up onto the ring apron to save his partner.
- According to Phillips, somewhere in here, Ciampa tagged Gargano to become the legal man.
- Ciampa and Gargano do a double superkick to Zack, from opposite sides of the ring, and Ciampa gets a successful pin on Zack.
Aww. Ciampa and Gargano do a side hug thing, where Ciampa hugs Gargano’s head to his shoulder and that was just really cute.
Gargano has a mike. “A few weeks ago, we beat the new two time NXT tag team champions,” he says. He gets interrupted by the crowd chanting “Johnny Wrestling!” and “Let’s go Ciampa!” – after waiting for the chants to die off, he says that puts them in line for a title shot.
American Alpha come out and Gable looks a little pissed. Just a bit. A teeny, tiny bit.
“Uh, no offense, boys, but you two – you’re not next in line for anything.” I never thought Chad Gable could get booed. But holy fuck, did Chad Gable get booed. However, the crowd does cheer him when he says that American Alpha is gonna get their titles back. Yes, you are, boys, yes, you are.
The way Jordan says ‘Authors of Pain’ sounded more like ‘Office of Pain’ and I got a little distracted imagining those two hulking brutes in an office job.
The Revival comes out. “As flattering as it is to have you guys fighting over me and Dash Wilder,” Dawson says, in a way which totally did not sound gay. Not at all.
Dash calls Gargano and Ciampa “Gorgonzola and Chippy”, then tells American Alpha that they’re no longer the ‘Alphas’. There is one very, very dedicated woman in the audience who really likes Dash and Dawson.
Regal comes out and he looks a little less than pleased. “I dictate the terms,” he says, in response to Dawson saying that the Revival dictate the terms of their title run. He promised Gargano and Ciampa a title match – when the time arrives – before telling us that next week, The Revival will face American Alpha for the NXT Tag Titles next week in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
I’m torn between utter excitement and ‘oh, shit’ as I remember I’ll have to recap that.
Gargano and Ciampa and American Alpha shake hands while Corey asks Jordan to suplex people.
And the Authors of Pain return. Gargano and Ciampa watch from the ramp. It looked like they may have intended to help American Alpha, but the Authors of Pain knock them off the ring apron and onto the ground. Using the distraction, Gable and Jordan fight back. Gable gets tossed out of the ring, but Jordan manages to suplex one of the Authors before getting flattened.
Gable attempts to climb back in, instead getting hauled back in. He gets flattened as well right before Paul Ellering comes out. I can see Ciampa and Gargano lying side by side by the ramp and it’s cute, okay? It’s cute. I like them. They are a new little ship of mine.
And that’s the end of the episode. A nice build up to Shinsuke vs. Finn, while also furthering the women’s division storylines and the tag division storylines. See y’all next week!