Earlier today, NXT’s official twitter page posted a video of Blake and Murphy arguing, setting up two of our matches tonight. Apparently Blake has a match against Shinsuke (God rest his soul. I hope he’s made his funeral arrangements) and Murphy has a match against “the favorite to win” the Cruiserweight Classic. I remember hearing that Kota Ibushi showed up at a NXT taping recently. Hmm…
MATCH: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Wesley Blake
Tom announces that Shinsuke has returned to Full Sail after his bout with Finn and within seconds one of the best theme songs in WWE today starts. Apparently we are launching headfirst into Shinsuke vs. Blake (RIP, mate).
Corey Graves is still wearing an ugly shirt. I am ashamed of you. I am ashamed. But Tom Phillips is wearing a nice suit. Good boy.
…What is this entrance? What is Wesley Blake? This is…Uh. I disapprove. He’s a shoddy Tyler Breeze now. I disapprove. Generic jobber is a better look on him than bland Gorgeous George/Tyler Breeze knockoff.
The video of Blake and Murphy arguing is played. Blake says he’s going to beat Shinsuke and that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life. Good luck, mate. Corey tells us that everything in Murphy’s life that can go wrong will go wrong.
- The bell is rung.
- Shinsuke and Blake circle each other, before locking up, to a Nakamura chant and Full Sail singing Shinsuke’s theme. I do believe Full Sail adores this man.
- Nakamura gets Blake against the ropes and he’s mocking Blake. He treats him as much of a threat as I would.
- They’re circling each other again, then locking up. “Let’s go, Shinsuke!” as Blake gets Shinsuke into a headlock.
- Now he’s getting punched in the side.
- Blake and Shinsuke are rolling and jumping across the rings.
- Blake blows Shinsuke a kiss – Shinsuke catches it, sniffs it and gives it the most brilliant expression of disgust. Blake throws Shinsuke another kiss, while Full Sail chants “Throw it back!”
- Shinsuke drops both kisses to the ground and stomps on them.
- Blake is pissed, but he gets caught in the turnbuckle.
- Good Vibrations! Full Sail chants for Shinsuke to do it again and he does, but he makes his favorite error – he turns back for a third time. He should learn to not do that; this time he catches a kick to the stomach.
- Blake whips Shinsuke into the ropes, then nearly takes his head off with a clothesline.
- Blake covers Shinsuke for one.
- Two elbow drops from Blake, before he uses the turnbuckle to deliver a knee drop.
- Blake attempts another cover for one and a half.
- Blake is not pleased.
- Blake gets Shinsuke into a submission where Blake’s knee is pressing into Shinsuke’s back. Blake has his arms wrapped around Shinsuke’s jaw, pulling his head back.
- Corey just said that he thinks we could get a big upset here tonight. Yes, in the universe where pigs fly and Wesley Blake is more than a Gorgeous George knockoff.
- Shinsuke fights his way back to his feet. Then he nails Blake in the stomach with three elbows, getting Blake to drop the headlock.
- Corey and Tom are talking about Corey’s “investigative journalism” skills. Apparently Blake’s been living on an island, trying to find himself. Instead, he found those horrible, horrible tassels on his boots. My god, man.
- Blake whips Shinsuke into the ropes again and hits him with another clothesline. Blake goes for the cover and Shinsuke kicks out at two. This time Blake gets a two-count.
- Shinsuke is now sitting in the corner and Blake mocks Good Vibrations. This isn’t going to kick you in the ass later, Blake, I’m sure of it. (Also, do you think Alexa’s coming to your funeral? Since she’s busy on Smackdown Live now? I’m not sure if she’ll have the time)
- Corey says he’s been nominated for a “Poolitzer”. “Pulitzer?” is Tom’s response and Corey is not impressed with him.
- Full Sail begins to chant “Shinsuke’s gonna kill you!” as Blake goes to mock Good Vibrations again. Shoddy ripoffs aren’t anywhere as good as the original – Shinsuke usually gets two Good Vibrations in before his opponent whacks him. Blake only gets on.
- Blake had his foot on Shinsuke’s shoulder when Shinsuke started to stand up – now Shinsuke is holding Blake’s foot and this is going to end very, very poorly.
- Shinsuke is now on the offense. Holy shit, is he on the offense. He has knocked Blake to the ground several times now.
- Shinsuke gets Blake into the corner and he’s now driving vicious knees into Blake’s midsection.
- Blake fell over, so that his head and shoulders were draped over the bottom rope. Shinsuke wrapped his leg over the middle rope and started kicking Blake in the back.
- Shinsuke just set up Blake on the top of the turnbuckle. This really isn’t ending well for you, Blake. I mean, if Alexa finds the time to attend your funeral, she looks damn good in black. That’ll be nice.
- Running knee straight to Blake’s chest. Yewoch.
- Then a reverse exploder.
- Shinsuke Nakamura wins by pinfall.
You know – has Shinsuke lost any matches in NXT since his debut? I can’t think of one? He beat Sami. He beat Finn. He beat Murphy. He beat Blake. He’s beaten more in the middle, I know. Shinsuke and Asuka. Both undefeated.
Corey calls the Kinshaha his “favorite thing” and lets Tom shout Kinshasha the same way Corey does for the recap. In a continuation of what is – apparently – tonight’s theme, it’s a very sad ripoff. Tom cannot call the Kinshasha the same way Corey does
Regal’s theme begins to play and he doesn’t have a Titantron? (Or whatever the equivalent is, since NXT doesn’t really have a titantron) He looks very dapper in his suit as Full Sail begins to cheer. He congratulates Shinsuke on his win, then mentions that he was hoping Samoa Joe would be there for his next announcement:
Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn!
God. I am so excited for this, y’all. I don’t really care at all about the whole Orton vs. Lesnar whatever that WWE’s been hyping for SummerSlam (But Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor? Yes! Yes! Yes!), so it’s good one brand can still deliver a main event I want to watch.
Full Sail goes as ballistic as I just went. I am so excited. They are so excited. This will be a brilliant match.
We have a commercial break for SummerSlam and an announcement of one of TakeOver: Brooklyn’s official theme songs. Oh, look, it’s a song from Of Mice & Men! Man, Seth must be really happy. His music tastes are slowly taking over.
MATCH: Billie Kay vs. Santana Garrett
…I do not recognize this entrance. It’s a nice entrance. It’s a pretty entrance. I like the violins. But I do not recognize this entrance.
Ahh. Because it’s Billie Kay. Poor darling. I hope the sudden exodus of women allows for her to actually become more than what she currently is.
Wow. That velvet does not look good on her. I mean, the color looks good, but the actual fabric? Ehhh. No. The cape is nice, though.
This is yet another entrance I do not recognize. And this is a woman I do not recognize. Her name is Santana Garrett and she’s wearing a rainbow. Like, her entire outfit is rainbow. Also, we have apparently seen her before in NXT. I do not remember this. But it’ll hopefully be a good match.
- The bell rings. Billie and Santana are circling each other in the ring.
- They lock up. Billie definitely seems to be in the dominant position, standing behind Santana as she wraps her arms around Santana’s shoulders.
- Santana gets out, but Billie drops down, gets an arm around Santana’s knees and flips her over her shoulders.
- “That’s right!” Billie Kay yells, before telling Santana to get up.
- Who does. Oh, darling, you’re so cute and I think Billie’s about to murder you.
- I think someone’s chanting “Let’s go Hannah!”? Or maybe “Let’s go Tana!”? I’m not sure.
- Billie and Santana circle each other, then lock up. Almost immediately, Billie gets Santana into a bear hug.
- Santana fights out and reverses. Now she’s got Billie in a bear hug.
- Billie fights out this time. She’s really trying to get in control and keep it in this match.
- Santana goes to whip Billie against the ropes, but Billie successfully reverses it and whips Santana into the ropes. Santana slides under Billie, dodging whatever she was intending to do, then dropkicks Billie when she turns around.
- Santana grabs Billie by the head and begins to elbow her in the face. Billie manages to fight out, sending Santana towards the turnbuckle.
- Santana dodges Billie, who’s running into the turnbuckle, by launching herself over the other woman.
- But Billie retaliates by getting Santana with an elbow, knocking her to the ground.
- Billie covers Santana for two.
- Billie pulls Santana to her knees and whacks her in the back with an elbow. Santana tries to escape, only to get clobbered in the back again.
- Santana stumbles to her feet. Billie grabs her by the hair and shoves her into the turnbuckle. Billie then places her foot against Santana’s neck and starts to push her head back. Kinda like Good Vibrations to a standing opponent, only without the vibrations, if that makes sense.
- Billie holds it to the four count, then grabs Santana by the hair and pulls her out of the corner.
- Billie suplexes Santana. It looks a bit like a T-bone Suplex, only not really? Corey calls it a “pretty unique suplex”, so I don’t feel as bad about not being able to place it.
- Billie covers Santana for two.
- Billie is not pleased.
- Billie is most definitely not pleased.
- Taking hold of Santana’s hair, Billie pulls the other woman to her feet. Santana starts to punch Billie in the stomach, but that just gets her a solid hit to her back, which knocks her to her hands and knees.
- Billie kicks Santana in the side.
- Billie is smiling. I see very bad things in Santana Garrett’s future.
- Billie now has Santana in a headlock.
- Santana is fighting to her feet. She’s now elbowing Billie in the stomach.
- Santana successfully rams Billie into the corner, escaping the headlock. She uses this newfound freedom to ram Billie with her shoulder.
- Santana dodges Billie’s escape, ducking into the corner. When Billie came in for another attack, Santana got her with a back elbow.
- Santana is now in control of the match. She smacks Billie in the chest with her forearm twice, before headbutting her.
- After whipping Billie into the turnbuckle, Santana goes to the opposite corner. She screams – what is with wrestlers and screaming – then cartwheels across the ring. She flips and collides against Billie, backfirst.
- While Santana is celebrating, Billie stumbles out of the corner. Santana bounces off the ropes, aiming to get Billie in the face with a kick, and stumbles. Billie’s face was not where she thought it would be.
- Instead, Santana takes a big boot off of Billie.
- Billie covers Santana for a three count.
- Billie Kay wins by pinfall
Corey and Tom spent a lot of the match talking about how Billie’s become “arrogant” due to her appearance on Smackdown. I really hope this is lining up for a push for Billie. She’s been in NXT awhile and I don’t know much about her – not from NXT, anyway. I know a bit from googling around, but not very much from the show itself.
Tom uses Billie Kay and the NXT women’s division to segue into Bayley’s appearance at Battleground. I’m torn between “BAYLEY WAS AT A WWE MAIN ROSTER PAY-PER-VIEW!” and “Mojo Rawley was permanently drafted over her.” It’s two very conflicting emotions.
This then cuts to a backstage segment with Bayley and William Regal. “Mr. Regal, you’ve been here with me since day one. You’ve seen the highs, you’ve seen the lows. You’ve seen what I’ve had to overcome over the past few years. And you were there when I won my title at Brooklyn. You were there when I had the biggest match – the biggest moment – of my life.”
Regal is smiling. It’s adorable. I love his character in NXT. After watching enough stuff from before NXT, I’ve come to really appreciate William Regal the General Manager. William Regal the Heel Extraordinaire was good and it makes his character now so much more fleshed out, but – bloody hell, I love William Regal the General Manager.
“You know I’m ready,” Bayley continues. “I am ready for my rematch with Asuka.” Regal isn’t smiling now – he actually looks concerned. I love his character, damnit.
“I wanna do it in Brooklyn. Where I won the title the first time. To become two time NXT Women’s Champion.”
Regal smiles again, calling it an excellent idea. He says he’ll run the idea past Asuka and if she doesn’t object, there will be a contract. Bayley tells Regal he won’t regret it and I am so fucking excited for Brooklyn, y’all.
So. Fucking. Excited.
There’s a graphic announcing Kota Ibushi vs. Buddy Murphy (RIP) later tonight. I do hope Alexa’s not too busy to attend her boys’ funerals. It’s a shame they’re on such bad terms now. It would’ve been so much easier on Alexa if she only had one funeral to attend, not two.
Then another graphic, announcing General White Boys from Australia! Oh, wait, I’m sorry, their proper name is TM61. Either way, they’re coming up next.
What…Is this? It’s a bizarre promo. It sounds like a setup for a more supernaturally themed wrestler. There’s a figure crouching in some woods, in front of a full moon, and the scene is shifting. As the deep voiced narrator talks, the camera zooms in, a purple mist kicks up and eventually everything goes white.
“This is just the beginning” is the final words of that promo clip and, man, I really hope it isn’t. I’m so bloody confused. I’d like more information, NXT.
MATCH: TM61 vs. Rob Risen and Adrian Nails
Everyone’s favorite pair of Generic White Boys from Australia are here. Full Sail is at least more into them than I am. There’s already a pair of men in the ring, so I assume TM61 is going to win this one.
Their opponents are Adrian Nails and Rob Risen. I have no idea who’s who (on either team), please, Tom, help me out.
- According to Tom, it’s Shane Thorne and Adrian Nails to start us off. Thank you, Tom.
- The two men immediately lock up. Shane has Adrian in a bear hug.
- Full Sail is chanting “Oy, oy, oy!”, which presumably has something to do with someone in this match. (Editors Note: It’s an Australian thing. Don’t worry about it.)
- Adrian fights out, getting Shane in a wristlock.
- Shane quickly flips and twists his way out, reversing it until he has Adrian’s arm behind the man’s back.
- He tags Nick in and they pull Adrian into their shoulders. That…Was not what I was expecting. I thought they were going to whip him into the turnbuckle, but okay, guess not.
- Ah. Now they whip him into the turnbuckle.
- Nick picks Adrian up, then falls down with him in some form of slam.
- Nick tags in Shane. Shane springboards into the ring, hitting Adrian.
- Shane pulls Adrian back to the corner, then tags in Nick. He then whips Adrian into an axhandle blow.
- Standing moonsault from Shane, elbow drop from Nick.
- Nick does not seem to consider Adrian much of a threat. This, however, backfires. While he’s holding Adrian lazily by the wrist and looking away to tag in Shane, Adrian manages to break away.
- Adrian backs up, eventually falling to the mat. Shane’s not making the same mistake Nick did. He marches on over, but Adrian manages to drop him face first into the turnbuckle.
- Tag to Rob Risen, while Shane continues to writhe around on the floor.
- Rob pulls no punches and gives no shits. He’s hammering on Shane, who still hasn’t found his way to his feet.
- Rob and Nick yell at each other, while Shane stumbles to his feet.
- Rob catches Shane and delivers a backbreaker.
- Rob does the same thing to Shane that Blake did to Shinsuke earlier. He’s got his knee against Shane’s back and he’s got his arms wrapped around Shane’s jaw, pulling back.
- Shane fights out, with an elbow to the midsection and an European uppercut.
- I think Rob got Shane with his hip.
- Shane is now in Adrian and Rob’s corner. Tag to Adrian.
- Damnit. They’re jobbers, but I like Adrian and Rob. They have a nice aesthetic. But TM61 is going to win.
- Adrian and Rob do a combination move where Adrian whips Rob into what should be Shane, but turns out to be the turnbuckle. Adrian launches in and collides with Rob.
- While this is happening, Shane is tagging in Nick.
- Axhandle and elbow from Nick to Adrian.
- Adrian gets to the corner. Nick runs in. Adrian lifts up his foot, in an attempt at a boot, but Nick catches it, then gets him in the face with a forearm.
- Nick whips Adrian into the opposing turnbuckle, then hits him with the forearm again.
- Nick whips Adrian out of the turnbuckle and into the ropes, then catches him and slams him down to the mat.
- Rob steps into the ring, probably to save his partner, and takes an elbow from Nick instead.
- Tag to Shane.
- Shane and Nick pick up Adrian, then flip him down onto the mat? It’s confusing to explain. They have him above their heads, so his chest is facing the mat, then they swing/flip him down so he lands on his back. It’s called Thunder Valley.
- Shane covers Adrian. You can see Rob climbing his way into the ring, in order to break it up, but he fails.
- TM61 wins by pinfall.
Yep. More interested in the pair of jobbers than the ones I’m actually supposed to care about. You can’t hear me, but I’m sighing. At the very least, it’s over with and more interesting content is coming up.
Once Tom and Corey are done talking about TM61. “Looking very good tonight here on NXT.” Yes, yes, that’s nice, can we move on?
Ah, yes, we can move on! To No Way Jose and Austin Aries. I need Austin for the Cruiserweight Division on Raw, but I’m really happy they think No Way Jose’s good enough for a feud with Austin. I spent the entire build up to Jose’s debut mourning the gimmick and the name and the whole shebang, but he carries it so well and this feud is really good, y’all.
Or, at least, in my opinion. But it reads a bit like Bayley vs. Sasha Banks – adorable, fun loving hero versus the villain they tried to make friends with, only to have it blow up in their face. I like it, damn it. It also gives Austin a beautiful segue back to being his ultimate asshole heel.
There’s a recap about the feud and can I just say I love No Way Jose beating the shit out of Austin Aries? Honestly, I love watching anyone beat the shit out of Austin Aries, he’s got this brilliant air that makes me want to see someone beat the shit out of him, but it adds a level of depth to No Way Jose’s character. He’s not some perfect, fun-loving guy who just brush anything off. He’s a fun-loving guy who won’t take being treated cruelly like that. Being underestimated and betrayed like that. There’s a spine of steel with that heart of gold and I fucking adore it.
I just love him, okay?
And No Way Jose is coming up next! After another ‘Hideo Itami is returning’ video package. Dude, I’ve never really watched any of Hideo’s matches, because at over 300 NXT episodes, there’s a bit of an archive panic when I look at it. I kinda feel like I need to find the time to do so, because he looks like an awesome wrestler.
MATCH: No Way Jose vs. Steve Cutler
I know this music! I love this music! No Way Jose is coming out! I will not lie to you, I’m dancing awkwardly in my seat. During his entrance, Tom echoes my earlier sentiment: “Don’t take his kindness for weakness.”
The entrance for his opponent starts and…Sounds like an army gimmick? I think I heard an “Atten hut!” His name is Steve Cutler. Doesn’t look very army-ish, but we’ll see. According to Tom, he’s a bit of an arrogant asshole. According to Corey, he’s an ex-Marine. Suddenly the gimmick makes sense.
- No Way Jose and Cutler look at each other from across the ring. Cutler moves first, launching across the ring to lock up with Jose. He gets Jose in a bear hug, but Jose doesn’t seem very disturbed.
- Full Sail is singing “Jose” to the melody of “Ole, ole, ole”.
- Jose is doing that thing where he shimmies his hips. He’s slowly fighting his way out of the bearhug.
- He just made Cutler do the wave and Cutler’s expression was hilarious. It might just be the impressive mutton chops, but Cutler reminds me of CM Punk right now.
- They lock up again. When Cutler tries to escape, Jose does that little spin out – if you’ve ever watched two people ballroom dance, you know the part I’m talking about. Where they’re both holding hands? Only Cutler’s less than pleased.
- Jose has Cutler in a headlock.
- Cutler escapes by grabbing Jose’s afro.
- He grabbed Jose’s afro.
- What a dickhead move.
- Cutler then pulls Jose into a headlock.
- Jose finally fights out by throwing Cutler into the ropes. Cutler manages to get Jose with a kick to the face.
- Jose is…Not pleased. Not pleased in the least.
- They’re really selling that he doesn’t like being disrespected and I appreciate that. It isn’t even early 2000’s Undertaker hatred of disrespect.
- Cutler has fucked up. Cutler has fucked up big time.
- Jose gets Cutler with several blows to the face, then an axhandle blow to the chest.
- Another axhandle when Cutler stands up, then a brutal clothesline to knock him down when he stands up again.
- No Way Jose is not happy.
- Jose picks up Cutler, tosses him off the ropes, then delivers an arm drag.
- Cutler finally manages to stand up, only to get leveled again by the Fastball Punch.
- Then Jose uses a cobra clutch slam, bringing Cutler to the mat.
- Jose covers.
- No Way Jose wins by pinfall.
I really like the new depth to Jose’s character. They’re trying to sell him as more than the entirely happy, dancing babyface and I love it. Perhaps with a little more subtly? Just a little? But either way, I love it.
After a short recap of the match, Jose has a mic. He says “Austin Aries!”, then is interrupted by an “Ar-ies sucks!” chant.
“All I tried to do was be encouraging! All I tried to do was show you a little bit of the good vibes, a little bit of the fun that I have been bringing this place ever since I got here!” Full Sail is cheering and clapping. I know there is a lot of fear of No Way Jose falling in the same way that Adam Rose, Tyler Breeze and the Vaudevillains fell when they came up to the main roster, but I trust this dude. I think he could go the way of the New Day instead.
“But you took advantage. You mistook me for something I’m not. And when I showed you I could turn that fiesta into a fight, when I showed you where Jose came from, the Greatest Man that Ever Lived turned into the Biggest Coward in N-X-T!” Can that be Austin Aries’ new nickname? I like it.
“So the next time you see Jose, there ain’t gonna be no running. There ain’t gonna be no stopping. No way! ‘Cause I’ma whoop your ass.”
Now that Jose’s said his piece – and I like his piece, dang it. I like his character – he’s starting to dance again.
Scene change to backstage! And the side of Kota Ibushi’s hip. Good lord, what is with these people and zooming in on people’s gear instead of their faces. Corey tells us that Kota will be in action up next, which means it’s time for the death knell to start ringing for Buddy Murphy.
RIP, mate. RIP.
MATCH: Buddy Murphy vs. Kota Ibushi
Before we get to Buddy Murphy’s upcoming demise, we have a WWE 2K17 ad, complete with bouncing Lesnar boobs. No, seriously, it’s all I can see, so I’m gonna make sure it’s all you can see. Then a quick sponsorship message, we are sponsored by Tapout, everyone. Just making sure you knew that.
And now we have Murphy’s nauseating entrance. Can we stop the zooming in and out wildly, dearest camera person? I’m feeling sick. Combine the zooming with his obnoxiously neon colored entrance and I’m reaching for the nearest trashcan.
At the very least, Murphy’s gear has had a major upgrade. Have to look your best for your funeral, I guess. The accent color is a metallic purple now, instead of puke green, and it looks so much better on him.
I don’t know why there’s a debate about who the better member of Blake and Murphy was. It’s obviously Alexa, duh.
Kota Ibushi’s entrance is his entrance from the Cruiserweight Classic. Since he hasn’t officially signed with WWE yet (and probably won’t, until he captures a belt that he’s been chasing back in Japan), it makes sense. The LED sections which typically display the NXT logo changed to the Cruiserweight Classic logo.
Full Sail is incredibly excited to see him, y’all. They’re incredibly excited.
Corey calls this “not Murphy’s best decision” which is a bit of a ‘No, duh’ moment, but we’ll at least get another good Ibushi match out of this. What is with Murphy and challenging Japanese guys, by the way? Shinsuke last week, Kota this week. It’s like he hasn’t realized most Japanese wrestlers are absolute monsters who will eat him for breakfast. It’s on the same level as challenging Samoa Joe to a match.
Murphy is not impressed with Kota. Considering he won’t be conscious enough to pass judgment later, I guess it’s for the best he gets his judging in early.
- Full Sail is chanting “Ibushi!” before the match even starts.
- Murphy doesn’t look phased. Poor man, he doesn’t even see it coming.
- Ibushi and Murphy lock up. Murphy gets the upper hand, pulling Ibushi into a headlock.
- Ibushi begins to fight his way out, standing up, then getting Murphy in the chest with a hit. Then he pushes Murphy into the ropes, which finally breaks the hold.
- Murphy bounces off the ropes, then off the opposite ropes. He knocks Ibushi to the ground with a brutal shoulder block.
- He then bounces off the other ropes to hit Ibushi with another brutal shoulder block. Full Sail seems to utterly hate him now.
- Murphy and Ibushi are now bouncing and rolling around the ring. Murphy bounces off the ropes, Ibushi ducks under him. Murphy bounces off the other ropes, Ibushi jumps over him. Murphy, however, wraps his arms around the ropes for his third bounce, stopping his momentum in its tracks.
- This results in Ibushi going to kick an opponent who didn’t show up. It results in him falling wildly off balance and stumbling in the ring for a bit.
- Murphy charges from the ropes, seeing an opening and – nope. Nope. He got dropkicked in the face.
- He stumbles around the ring, straight into a kick to the chest from Ibushi. This knocks him flat on his back.
- Ibushi is grandstanding a bit, as Full Sail cheers and claps.
- Then Ibushi delivers a standing moonsault, straight into a cover.
- Murphy kicks out at two.
- Murphy rolls out of the ring and stands at the apron for a bit. Ibushi comes over, intending to kick him through the ropes, but Murphy ducks away.
- Ibushi jumps over the ropes. He lands on the apron and it looks like he’s going for something else, but Murphy grabs his foot and knocks him down. Ibushi lands hard on the ring apron.
- Murphy’s doing some pretty solid heel work here. While Blake’s character seems to have taken a solid beating from the break up, Murphy’s doing pretty dang well for himself.
- Murphy shoves Ibushi back into the center of the ring – before, Ibushi was mostly under the ropes – then goes for the cover.
- Ibushi kicks out at two, to a rousing “Ibushi!” chant.
- Murphy is, simply put, pissed off. He grabs Ibushi into a headlock. Apparently Murphy had to walk to Full Sail, because he had an unpaid parking ticket and his car got booted. Yow. That is such a bad day, man. And, man, is it about to get worse.
- Now Murphy is the one showboating. He’s keeping a pretty good hold on Ibushi, not letting him wriggle out of the headlock. Murphy looks very happy with himself.
- Ibushi is starting to fight out. He’s slowly forcing Murphy to his feet.
- And Ibushi’s not an idiot – if he knows something works to get out of a hold, he does it again! While it wasn’t exactly the same as earlier, Ibushi freed himself by ramming Murphy back first into the turnbuckle.
- This doesn’t work as well as one may hope – Ibushi didn’t fully pull himself free, he left Murphy’s arms still on his shoulder – it’s still smarter than what Gable did last week.
- Murphy, because his arms were still on Ibushi’s shoulder, just reapplied the headlock again.
- And hey! If it worked once, it’ll work again! Ibushi rammed Murphy back into the turnbuckle. This did release the headlock – and he did move his neck away from Murphy’s arms this time – but Murphy responded by grabbing his hair. Bad Murphy, no biscuit. Learn to play nice with the other kids.
- And Murphy pulled Ibushi into yet another bloody headlock. Do you have anything else in your arsenal? Anything? Does anyone else know of that time Cactus Jack started criticizing hardcore wrestling and literally only ever used holds? Like, that’s what I’m starting to think Murphy’s trying to emulate here. Dude, do you have anything else?
- And third time’s the charm! Ibushi rams Murphy into the turnbuckle, but manages to free himself and escape before Murphy has time to recover. Good Ibushi. Have a cookie.
- Ibushi turns around, running to do…Something to Murphy. He takes both of Murphy’s feet to his chest instead.
- Ibushi gets knocked to the ground. Murphy does a running double knee – holy shit, you do know how to do things other than bloody headlocks!
- Murphy covers Ibushi for two. I think he yelled “No!” when Ibushi kicked him off. On third replay, yes, that was Murphy yelling “No!” when Ibushi kicked out. Poor Murphy. Your suffering just never ends, does it?
- There’s a “Let go, Kota!” chant as Murphy seems to be losing his shit. He’s very frustrated.
- Ibushi is such an adorable little baby face. I can see why he’s so well loved. I kinda just wanna hug him and wrap him up in a blanket burrito.
- And Murphy wants to kick him in the head, apparently. As he does there.
- Murphy asks Ibushi who he thinks he is as he shoves him around the ring. Now, Murphy, I know you’re having a really shit day – week – month – year – life – but is that really a reason to take it out on the new kid?
- Corey says he has to disagree with Murphy’s strategy and, yep. I’d have to disagree to. Murphy bounced off the ropes, going to kick Ibushi in the head. This did not pay off, as Ibushi caught his foot.
- Ibushi throws Murphy’s foot to the ground, then starts barraging him. Two hits to the face and chest, a kick to the leg, then a brutal roundhouse kick to the side. And, damn, did that kick make a noise.
- Ibushi bounces off the ropes, then takes a boot to the face. Murphy apparently recovered quickly from a kick loud enough to echo in Full Sail. I’m amazed.
- Murphy bounces off the ropes, going for…A clothesline or a punch to the face, I think, but Ibushi rolls under.
- Holy shit. If that last kick was loud, holy fucking shit. Ibushi delivered a shot to Murphy’s head that somehow didn’t concuss the Aussie. Holy shit, that was loud. My god. What a fucking kick.
- Murphy is somehow still standing after that shot – how, there is no power on this earth with the knowledge – so Ibushi grabbed him by the midsection and applied a German Suplex, bridging into a pin.
- …How the fuck.
- How the fuck. Murphy kicked out.
- Murphy fucking kicked out.
- He should be in a goddamn emergency room, being checked for a fucking concussion.
- Ibushi’s not pleased.
- Ibushi rolled Murphy over, then climbed to the top rope. He attempted a moonsault but – how? Murphy rolled out of the way, into the corner.
- Ibushi runs at Murphy, but gets caught. Murphy tosses him into the turnbuckle – ow – then delivers a dropkick to…His butt. I get that Ibushi was bending over and his butt was the largest surface area possible, but, man. Dropkicked in the ass, knocking his head into the turnbuckle. Damn.
- A+ heel work there, Murphy.
- Murphy rolls the dazed and confused Ibushi into a pin attempt.
- Ibushi kicked out at two.
- Murphy looks like he can’t quite believed what the fuck just happened. Confusion is a symptom of concussions commonly reported by male athletes, Murphy. It’s perfectly normal.
- Murphy pulls Ibushi to his feet, then leads him over to the turnbuckle. He picks Ibushi up and puts him on top of the turnbuckle.
- Murphy chops Ibushi in the chest, then climbs up to the second rope. It looks like he’s going for a superplex, according to Tom, but Ibushi is fighting back, hitting Murphy repeatedly in the chest.
- Ibushi sunset flips over Murphy – and my heart always drops when I watch a wrestler do a sunset flip, just because of Seth’s injury back in November – then lifts him off the ropes. He carries Murphy to the middle of the ring, lifts him up as far as he can and drops him down for a sitout powerbomb.
- This leads immediately into a pin attempt. One-two-three and Murphy’s out like a fucking light, y’all.
- Kota Ibushi wins by pinfall.
During the recap, we get another angle on the Kick Heard ‘Round the World. Tom was saying “Take a look -”, before he was interrupted by Corey saying “Take a listen” about that kick. Holy shit, was that a noise. I’m honestly amazed Murphy kicked out.
A very solid match, which built up Murphy a lot more than I was expecting. Yes, he lost. But holy shit, did he take a lot of damage before he got there.
Ibushi delivers a moonsault from the second rope to celebrate. While he may not officially sign with WWE any time in the near future, this was a solid introduction to anyone who had decided to – for some bizarre reason or other – skip the Cruiserweight Classic. Remember his name. He’s going to make one hell of a mark on the WWE, whenever he does officially sign.
Oh. Oh. This will be fun. We get a shot of Samoa Joe walking into Full Sail, with his belt over his shoulder. One of the interviewers – not Cathy Kelley, the other one. Bloody hell, I did this last week. One second. Andrea D’Marco! Andrea D’Marco steps over and asks him about his reaction to Regal’s announcement.
Considering his incredibly pissed off expression immediately afterwards, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no one told him about his upcoming TakeOver: Brooklyn plans. Whoops.
Andrea extends the microphone and Joe can’t actually talk for the first few seconds. The first thing he gets out is “He said -”, but he doesn’t finish the sentence. He does, however, gather his thoughts enough to state: “The level of disrespect that I endure here, it’s getting to be a bit much.” He adds that he’s “going to fix this right now”, before walking off.
The screen fades to black, before going to the obligatory ‘Buy our merch!’ ad that has to be played every episode. After that, it’s the Cruiserweight Classic ad.
After the ads finish, it’s a graphic advertising BOBBY ROODE! Fucking hell, we all knew it was coming, we all knew he was coming, but I’m excited and you can’t make me stop. I am so fucking excited. Bobby Roode is coming to Full Sail next week and I am so fucking excited.
There is no chill. There is only Bobby Roode.
Have I ever told you how much I love Samoa Joe’s music? Because I fucking love Samoa Joe’s music. He’s coming out for a little chat and he’s a little less than pleased. You know, only a little.
There is a lot of booing before he’s able to start talking. “Now, upon my arrival here, I was informed that our general manager, William Regal, has decided to it will be myself defending the NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver: Brooklyn.”
My sister pointed out that Joe smiled during the “Nakamura!” chant and I rewatched it. Yes, he did smile. I’m not sure if that was a moment of corpsing or Joe in character finding the chants amusing or something, but it did seem like a very legitimate smile for the two seconds it was on his face. He has dimples, by the way. If anyone’s curious. He has dimples. One’s deeper than the other, but he has two dimples.
“Unfortunately, due to some oversight by our general manager by not consulting me first, that will not be happening.” Joe paused to take in the boos. “Shinsuke Nakamura is an undeserving contender.” Hoo boy, is that getting boos. “Shinsuke Nakamura has not done what I did to get this championship, and he sure as heck is not material to be number one contender.”
Okay, stupid moment, but Joe using ‘heck’ instead of ‘hell’ actually knocked me out of the belief for a second. Yes, very stupid. Now back to transcribing our wonderful NXT Champion’s speech.
“So when it comes to TakeOver: Brooklyn, I will not be facing Shinsuke Nakamura.”
Cue Regal’s music! And wow, does Joe look pissed. Happily, Regal’s retired, so there’s no way he’ll end up in a ring, getting mauled to death by Samoa Joe. That’s really nice. Joe’s not the type to attack non-combatants – or at least, he doesn’t seem the type. I may be forgetting something, but he doesn’t seem like he’ll attack a non-combatant.
Regal walks out, carrying a microphone. “Joe, I’ve heard enough.” While Regal pauses, a woman in the crowd yells “I love you!”
“You may be the champion, but I’m the general manager. And my decisions are final. You will fight who I want you to fight!”
Joe looks amused, before he responds. “You know, when I wanted my opportunity at the NXT Championship, you made me jump through every hoop that you had.” Don’t feel bad about that, Joe. All parents have favorites. They may say they don’t, but they do. It’s unfortunate. “I had to battle and lay waste to everybody on this roster to get an opportunity to win this championship.”
“And Shinsuke Nakamura has not done that!” Joe pauses, before continuing. “So I am going to give you an opportunity to correct this disrespect to your NXT Champion. And I say we both walk out of here in the back, go to your office, and we will figure out a way to determine a real deserving contender of whom I approve.”
Regal looks, simply put, pissed. “I’m dreadfully sorry you feel that way, Joe, but -” Regal pauses, looking at Joe. “If you refuse to fight, I will take that as a forfeit and you can hand me that title right now and I will find another contender to face Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver for the NXT Championship.”
Oh, boy. Joe looks…Uhm. Not happy is one way of putting it. He looks at his belt, then looks back at Regal. They glare at each other for a bit, then Joe lifts his microphone back up to his mouth. “I am going to hand you nothing.”
There’s a pause, then Joe continues. “Is this how we’re going to play this? Is this how our relationship’s gotta be? Fine! If you want the match, you got the match!” There’s a pause, as the camera zooms in on Regal’s still very pissed face. “But, Regal, trust me. This is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. I decimated your golden boy, Finn Balor. And at TakeOver: Brooklyn, I’m going to do the very same to Shinsuke Nakamura.”
“That is, of course, unless I see Shinsuke before then, because he might not make it to Brooklyn at all.” There is a pause here, and the camera turns to Regal, who looks displeased and disappointed, but not surprised. As he starts to walk away, a familiar theme begins to play.
And Shinsuke Nakamura walks out! We get a shot of Joe’s incredibly pissed off expression, as everyone’s favorite king of NXT struts out. This episode of NXT ends the same way it began – with the King of Strong Style standing before an adoring audience. We will see you next week!