Tonight, we finally get the dream match of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor, as well as the return of our NXT champion, Samoa Joe. I am probably going to be wrong, but I have a feeling that Joe didn’t pick tonight to return by accident. Considering Triple H’s ‘No sleep ‘til Brooklyn’ tweet, from the tapings where the match was set up, I’m going to be incredibly surprised if this ends tonight.
We start with a video package about Shinsuke and Finn, with Shinsuke’s iconic “If I want to be champion, I have to beat icon – I have to beat you.” It ends on a graphic announcing it and I clap in excitement.
We get a shot of Finn Balor walking into the locker room and Corey is talking. His goosebumps have goosebumps, apparently. There’s also a shot of Shinsuke punching a bag. Corey and Tom are both dressed beautifully, but Corey is winning, as always. It’s a lovely double breasted suit jacket.
Tom says “We’re just getting started here tonight”, right as Samoa Joe’s music kicks in. His music is awesome and I love it. It’s so fitting. People are thumbs downing in beat with his music and it’s great. He looks like he doesn’t give a shit, which is awesome. God, imagine that music kicking in during the draft.
People are booing him before he even opens his mouth. “Know you see, I’ve come here for a few reasons,” Joe says. One of those reasons is watching Shinsuke vs. Finn and he knows that a lot of people watching are, too – and he can’t blame them. But the implications of the match are a direct insult to him, because Shinsuke and Finn think that the person who wins becomes a contender for his belt.
He talks about people who think Finn will win the match and win his belt back. “But […] I slayed the demon.” Then he picks on people who think Shinsuke will win the match and the belt. He says he brought Strong Style to America first and that he is the emperor to Shinsuke’s king. He’s going to beat Shinsuke. “I am the face of NXT.”
Why is Rhyno here? My dad says Rhyno is here to mess up another match he’s not a part of, since we watched TLC II yesterday. “So you’re the one I have to go through to to get to the top,” he says to Joe. “So I’ll go right through you.” They’re standing nose-to-nose and Joe looks ready to fight. But Joe shakes his head and walks away.
“The champ runs you, you don’t tell me what to do,” Joe says as he walks back up the ramp.
I still don’t get why Rhyno is here. I still don’t get it. But Tom says Shinsuke vs. Finn is going to be a “spectacular moment in [NXT’s] history” over a graphic for the match.
Then it’s an ad for the Cruiserweight Classic and I am so excited. I am so excited. Then it’s an ad for 2K17, complete with bouncing Lesnar boobs. Or is that not what I’m supposed to notice?
Graphic for Bayley vs. Nia Jax next week, as well as American Alpha vs. Authors of Pain and Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno. Please tell me that’s all that’s scheduled for next week, because I’m going to die if they toss another match in. Also – why are they announcing everything for next week already?
Video package for Shinsuke vs. Finn again. It’s the same from last week, with Triple H, Tye Dillinger and American Alpha. Little Finn is so cute. As well as Shinsuke’s smile when he calls Finn one of his best friends. It’s so cute. Please let them still be friends after tonight.
So we’re only having one match tonight? Since we have shots of Shinsuke and Finn walking down the hallways in Full Sail, with the ‘NEXT’ down in the corner. We’ve cut to an ad for Battleground, specifically for the Shield triple threat.
MATCH: Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
I am so excited and we’re only on Finn’s entrance. He looks good in that jacket – I think it’s a new one, since the words are written in shiny black instead of white. “It is time for our main event,” Tom says, as I bite back a sarcastic comment about it being the only match. Finn’s entrance is so cool.
“This could very well be one of those matches when, years from now, you can pinpoint where you were when you first watched it.”
Finn’s music cuts off and the crowd is immediately chanting “Nakamura”.
I got distracted watching Shinsuke’s entrance. Sorry.
Corey says he can barely hear himself think over how loud Full Sail is being, right before we cut to an ad break. It’s the obligatory ‘Go buy our stuff on WWE.com’ ad that happens every NXT episode.
On one hand, each ad cuts into how long the match is going to be. On the other, I want Shinsuke vs. Finn now.
- The crowd is chanting “This is awesome!” and all Finn and Shinsuke are doing is standing in the ring. We get a shot of Finn’s grin, right before the lights go down for the announcing. The crowd is already in the conflicting “Let’s go Finn!”/“Nakamura!” chants before the bell is even rung.
- They circle each other, before attempting to lock up. Finn manages to get around Shinsuke, but Shinsuke fights out. Immediately, Finn counters with a wrist lock. Shinsuke is rolling around the ring in an attempt to escape, and eventually reverses. Now he has Finn in a wrist lock.
- Finn manages to get Shinsuke on the ground in a headlock, but Shinsuke gets up. He’s still in the headlock, but he’s fighting out. Shinsuke manages to pick up Finn and drop him down, but Finn rolls over, keeping him still in the headlock.
- Finn and Shinsuke end up against the ropes and Finn does a Too Sweet to Shinsuke’s forehead.
- Shinsuke fights back, but Finn gets him with a low dropkick. He attempts an early pin, but Shinsuke kicks out.
- Finn has Shinsuke in a headlock again. Shinsuke fights out and throws Finn into the turnbuckle. He attempts to get Finn in the corner, but Finn flips out of the way. Finn blocks one of Shinsuke’s kicks, but Shinsuke gets him with the second one.
- Shinsuke gets Finn into a different corner and does Good Vibrations twice.
- Shinsuke gets Finn on the apron, so that Finn’s head was hanging over the edge. Shinsuke did a running knee to Finn’s face, then climbed up and jumped on Finn’s head. Finn rolls over onto the ground and we cut to an ad break. This time it’s the Goldberg 2K17 ad.
- We come back and Shinsuke has Finn in the middle of the ring. Shinsuke attempts a pin, but Finn kicks out at two.
- Shinsuke drags Finn into the corner and knees him in the rib. Finn runs to the opposite side of the ring, then comes back and does a dropkick to Shinsuke’s knee. The flip Shinsuke did right there was impressive.
- Finn gets Shinsuke into a submission. The crowd is clapping rapidly, trying to encourage Shinsuke out of the hold.
- Finn flips over, pulling Shinsuke in a headlock. Shinsuke fights out.
- Sunset flip from Shinsuke into a pin attempt, but Finn gets out and dropkicks Shinsuke in the face.
- Finn gets Shinsuke into the turnbuckle and hits him in the chest with a hard chop. They continue this for two more turnbuckles, then Finn whips Shinsuke into the opposing corner for another chop. He then whips Shinsuke back into the other corner – Shinsuke pulls up his foot to block, but Finn just attacks his knee instead.
- Finn has Shinsuke in a slightly bizarre surfboard esque submission. Shinsuke starts to fight out, but Finn just double stomps the back of his knees.
- Attempted pin for two.
- Shinsuke is selling his knee, with all of that screaming.
- Finn gets Shinsuke into a submission which puts more pressure on Shinsuke’s knee, but Shinsuke crawls to the bottom rope.
- I was expecting a much more even match, to be entirely honest.
- Finn keeps trying to damage Shinsuke’s knee, but Shinsuke manages to get a kick out which knocks them both to the ground. The ref starts counting and gets to four before both men are standing up.
- I take that comment back. Shinsuke is starting to get control of the match again. He’s got Finn in the corner and sets up for the high knee.
- He connects, then attempts a pin. Finn kicks out a two.
- Shinsuke’s expression when Finn kicked out.
- Shinsuke pulled Finn up in an attempt for the Reverse Exploder, but Finn fought back.
- Shinsuke ends up in the corner, but he countered whatever Finn was about to attempt with a kick.
- Finn knocks Shinsuke out of the ring. Shinsuke gets up onto the apron, but Finn just dropkicks him down again.
- More action on the apron and outside before another ad break. This time, it’s the Scott Hall documentary and the Cruiserweight Classic. Still excited. Still excited, y’all.
- We come back and Finn is jumping off the turnbuckle. He connects, then attempts a pin fall. Shinsuke kicks out.
- Finn goes for the 1916, but Shinsuke knees him in the chest then goes for a roundhouse kick. Finn ducks out, then catches Shinsuke’s foot when he attempts to kick again.
- Finn gets Shinsuke into a submission which puts pressure on Shinsuke’s injured knee. Shinsuke manages to get to the bottom rope.
- Finn picks Shinsuke up and starts elbowing his knee, but Shinsuke manages to kicks out hard.
- Shinsuke wraps himself around Finn to pull him into an armbar, then wraps both legs around Finn’s neck to lock in the triangle. Finn manages to get his foot to the bottom rope.
- Shinsuke knees Finn in the head.
- Shinsuke picks up Finn and then throws him into the mat.
- Finn is in the corner, but dodges Shinsuke runs over.
- Finn succeeds the reverse 1916, but Shinsuke kicked out of the pin.
- “This is awesome!”
- Wow. Look at that expression on Finn’s face right before he charged at Shinsuke, launched up, wrapped his arm around Shinsuke’s neck and pulled him to the floor. I hope that move has a name because, damn, that is a lot of words. I am relatively certain it’s a Sling Blade? But don’t quote me on that.
- Finn attempted to repeat the move, but Shinsuke kicked him in the face.
- Holy crap, Finn kicked out. First time in NXT.
- “Fight forever!”
- Shinsuke attempted the Kinshaha again, but Finn managed to catch him with a double stomp to the chest.
- We’ve got fourteen minutes left, so we’re not anywhere close to done. “NXT!” the crowd chants.
- Finn grabs Shinsuke by the hair and hauls him up, for the 1916.
- Shinsuke fights out with shots to the midsection.
- Shinsuke and Finn are hitting each other in the face now. Do you remember the seagulls from Finding Nemo? That’s what Full Sail sounds like.
- Finn drops his hits from the face to the chest – he connects three times with his hands, then connects with a spinning kick.
- Shinsuke kicks Finn in response, then catches a Sling Blade.
- Shinsuke is in one corner, Finn is in the other. Finn runs over and pulls off a dropkick, dropping Shinsuke to the ground.
- Finn attempts a coup de grais but Shinsuke dodges.
- Shinsuke does a kick from the second rope, then goes for the Kinshaha again.
- And he connects!
- And he pinned Finn!
- Shinsuke Nakamura is your winner!
But there’s so much time left?
Shinsuke looks so emotional, though. I want to hug him. And Finn. Finn honestly looks sad and/or in pain, from the way he’s clutching his shoulder.
But there is so much time left.
Full Sail is chanting “Thank you, Finn!”, as Shinsuke offers Finn a hand up. They do a small hug, then bow to each other.
There is so much time left.
Finn slides out of the ring, to allow Shinsuke to celebrate in the ring by himself.
But there is so much time left. I and my sister are speculating that perhaps Finn got injured? But it doesn’t seem like that. It merely may be to make time for the Cruiserweight Classic.
I was wrong about Joe’s return, which makes the amount of time left over even more confusing? Why did they end the episode six minutes before the hour? Anyway, it was a good episode. Shinsuke vs. Finn was amazing, go watch it if you have the time, it was a little over twenty minutes, I believe, and the setup for Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno was good. Why we’re getting Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno, I have no idea, but, whatever, it’s a Samoa Joe match, it’ll be good.