nxt · Rehash

Rehash: NXT 3rd August ’16

Tonight’s NXT episode promises to be a good one, with the triumphant return of Hideo Itami from his shoulder injury and the glorious debut of Bobby Roode. There will also be an Asuka match and a match from The Revival.  

MATCH: Hideo Itami vs. Sean Maluta

And we open with Hideo Itami’s return! I like his theme song, it’s wonderful. Full Sail gives him a wonderful “Welcome back!” chant as he enters the ring again for the first time in over a year. Welcome back, Hideo. Full Sail’s been waiting for you.

All of the lights shift from NXT yellow to CWC purple and – Sean Maluta! Oh, yay! I’m so glad they’re using him again. This should be a good match. It’s a shame he’s going to lose (again. Poor man), but I’m really happy they’re giving him another match. I hope this means good things for him. Interestingly enough, both he and his opponent, Kota Ibushi, have made appearances on NXT now.

And three of the successful CWC competitors are on hand to watch the show – Zack Sabre Jr., Tony Nese and Drew Gulak. All of whom look very nice in their suits, even if I’m still upset that Nese and Gulak beat Harv Sihra and Anthony Bennett.

Hideo’s scar from his surgery looks wicked brutal. I’m concerned about it affecting his range of motion in that arm.

  • The bell rings. Hideo and Sean circle each other in the ring, before locking up. Hideo gets Maluta in a headlock.
  • Sean fights out with punches to the ribs and bouncing Hideo off the ropes. Hideo drops Maluta with a shoulder block.
  • There’s a moment where Sean bounces off the ropes and I’m not sure what happens afterwards. He starts to flip, but Hideo does…Something? Which drops Maluta to the mat. On second watch, I think it’s an arm drag.
  • Itami grabs Sean by the head and rolls him through so that Maluta is sitting with his back to Hideo. Then Hideo kicked him in the back.
  • Hideo arranges Sean on the mat, then pulls down his knee guard. He jumps like he’s going to drop his knee into Maluta’s face, but instead continues on over. He then kicks Maluta in the head with the back of his heel.
  • Hideo goes to attack Maluta, who’s sitting in the corner. Instead, Sean shoves Hideo so he hits his head into the turnbuckle.
  • Maluta gets whipped into the corner. Hideo goes to follow up, but takes a kick to the chest.
  • Sean delivers a Codebreaker to Hideo from the second rope.
  • Maluta covers Hideo for two.
  • Sean goes to the corner, then runs forward and delivers a splash to Hideo.
  • Maluta covers Hideo for two.
  • Body scissors from Maluta to Itami.
  • While Sean has Itami in the body scissors, the camera zooms in to give us a better look at Itami’s scar. I feel like surgery scars on wrestlers are rarely so large and noticeable, which just makes his scar look so bad.
  • Itami fights out of the body scissors by elbowing Maluta in the face.
  • Sean kicks Hideo in the chest, which just makes Hideo mad.
  • The two men lock up – I think Hideo yelled “Come on!” in Sean’s face, which made Maluta repeatedly hit him in the face with his elbow.
  • Hideo levels Maluta with a clothesline when Sean went to bounce off the ropes. He does it again once Maluta stands up.
  • Beautiful dragon screw from Hideo to Sean!
  • Wicked boot in the corner from Itami to Maluta.
  • Itami pulls Maluta out of the corner and up to his feet, then delivers a series of punches which ends in a roundhouse kick. The kick drops Maluta into the turnbuckle.
  • Hideo goes to the opposite corner, then runs across the ring and delivers a dropkick to Sean.
  • Itami is very fired up. He returns to the turnbuckle and waits for Maluta to get up. Once Sean stands up, Hideo runs towards him and delivers a shotgun kick.
  • Itami covers Maluta for the three count.
  • Hideo Itami wins by pinfall.
  • One of these days, Sean Maluta will get a win. One of these days.

But it was a triumphant return for Hideo, who’s been out with an injury for longer than I’ve been watching NXT.

Tom said “Welcome to NXT, Sean Maluta”, which makes me think this is a slightly more permanent position for Maluta than it was for Kota Ibushi. I may be wrong, but between Tom’s statement and Maluta’s instagram, I think Sean Maluta’s becoming a member of the NXT roster.

We get a shot of our commentary table and Corey. Corey. What are you wearing. Where did your nice suits go. Was there some sort of “Welcome to Raw, now burn all your dress clothes, we have a strict limit on people who wear suits” initiation? Like, c’mon, man.

We’re informed that Asuka has a match coming up tonight, before we cut to an ad for Summerslam (and I mutter “Who cares” as it’s entirely about Lesnar vs. Orton. IDGAF about Lesnar vs. Orton. Give me Seth vs. Finn, AJ vs. Cena, Dean vs. Dolph, Sasha vs. Charlotte – hell, give me Apollo Crews vs. The Miz. I actually care about those matches).

We come back from the ‘Oooh, Lesnar vs. Orton, you should care even though they’ve only been back for a week’ ad to a recap of American Alpha’s great showing of intelligence vs. the Authors of Pain two weeks ago. My sister, who is not a wrestling fan but watches NXT and the CWC with me every week because she is a very patient person, comments that “the 80’s wants their color scheme back” when she sees American Alpha’s singlets.

She also nicknames Paul Ellering the “Magneto wannabe” due to his supervillain-esque pose with the steepled fingers.

This recap is a segue into a backstage segment with The Revival and Andrea D’Marco. Thank you, Tom. I’m still bad with names.

Andrea says that The Revival is “claiming” to be the best tag team in NXT and Dash mouths “Claim. Okay.” and you can tell he’s not too pleased with her. She continues to ask if there’s any pressure on them and Dash scoffs.

He informs her that there’s no pressure and it’s not a claim. “It is scientifically proven we are the greatest tag team.” Okay. I don’t know how you’d scientifically prove that, but okay. What were the parameters? How did you define your terms? Because ‘greatest tag team’ is mostly an opinion based statement – you can’t scientifically prove something based on opinion.

Dawson takes over to give us a car related metaphor which…Man, I and Dawson must have a huge gap in reference pools because it makes no sense to me. Something about a Dodge Stratus not being a ‘82 Ford Bronco, even with a “pretty sticker” on the back. He says they are that Ford Bronco – which, I’ve done a little bit of googling, is one ugly ass truck – and that they are the best. There was also a comment about Jesse James driving? Which is confusing? Any time Dawson brings up a metaphor, I’m confused.

Dawson is reiterating how they’re the best tag team on the planet and oh, look. My favorite tag team in NXT just showed up: Generic White Boys from Australia. My sister ended up googling their team name – apparently the ‘T’ is for ‘Thorne’, the ‘M’ is for ‘Miller’ and the ‘61’ is the country calling code for Australia. Not the worst tag team name in the world, but…Ehhh. It’s got about as much character as they do – the only vaguely interesting bit is the Australian part.

Nick says the planet’s a pretty big place and – I don’t know what Shane said, but I’m comforted by ‘what the fuck’ look Nick just gave him. There’s a pause, before Nick goes back to talking. Shane looks confused by the reaction.

Apparently TM61 has been “traveling the planet” and “challenging the absolute best”, which is why we have to put up with them now. Presumably they’re more interesting in person, because Full Sail bloody loves the blighters, but I’m just bored.

Did Shane just say ‘yous’? “Those tag titles say that yous the best, so how’s about the Revival challenges themselves and faces us?” I’ll give him points that it’s an uncommon talking style – I haven’t heard anyone talk like that in a NXT segment before.

And Dash just called TM61 “kids”. Which is hilarious, considering that he – at 29 – is the youngest man in this room (Dawson is 32 and Nick and Shane are both 30). He continues to say that The Revival is the “top of the heap” and Dawson holds up his finger – indicating that they’re number one – and makes a hilarious expression. I have no words for it, beyond that I found it stupidly funny and had to pause to giggle for a bit.

Dash tells TM61 to “grab a ticket” (where are we? JoAnn’s Fabrics on the day of a sale?) and get to the back of the line and there’s this ‘ding ding ding’ noise. From Dash and Dawson’s expressions, they know who’s coming before I do and it’s – Gargano and Ciampa! Oh, my babies, I love them.

If I thought this segment was happening at a fabric store during a sale before, well. Gargano is miming ringing a bell at a counter while saying the ‘Ding ding ding’. I’m getting flashbacks to being nine years old and staring at a long line of ladies with more bolts of fabric than they can carry, knowing that lunch was on the other side. Shit, now I’m hungry.

Gargano says, “Excuse me, can we get some service around here? We seem to have a ticket with a number one on it, which means we’re next in line.” Dash, what the fuck did you start. What is this segment.

Ciampa says it doesn’t matter the number on their ticket, it doesn’t matter that they’ve defeated The Revival, because The Revival won’t wrestle them. Gargano asks Ciampa if The Revival is scared and Ciampa’s response is that they’re the “top guys”. Gargano nods, “Top guys don’t get scared!” and, fuck, I love these assholes.

Now both of them are talking and I can’t tell what either of them is saying, but Dawson is trying to get things under control again. He says something like “We were fair squared, honest and modest” (I think) and you can see he’s desperately trying to find a way out of a match with Gargano and Ciampa and – “We’ve already promised a match with these guys.”

Oh. Yay. The Revival vs. TM61. Yaaaay. Wonder what Regal’s gonna think of these lovelies making matches without his knowledge – he’s not really been a fan of it in the past.

Anyway. Dawson tells Gargano, Ciampa, Miller and Thorne to talk to each other – why, I’m not sure – and Dash says, “For now? Top guys out.”

Thorne tells Gargano and Ciampa that TM61 is number one and that Gargano and Ciampa need to get to the back of line. Gargano’s response? “It’s a metaphor. It doesn’t matter.”

Thorne then steals Gargano’s fake bell, saying, “Can I take the bell?” as he puts it into his pocket.

“Don’t take the bell, I like the bell.”

MATCH: Mojo Rawley vs. Chris Atkins

And it’s Mojo Rawley! Oh, c’mon. What is with your and your ugly outfits. And now he’s spreading it to Smackdown. Beautiful. My sister is convinced Mojo pissed off someone in the costuming department (she’s actually convinced the entire tag team division pissed off someone in the costuming department, after I filled her in on the Hype Bros. tag team gear).

His opponent is already in the ring. His name is Chris Atkins and he’s from – Oh, shit, TM61 better watch out. Atkins may end up stealing their ‘White Dude from Australia’ gimmick. He’s from Melbourne. He also seems to be bloody gigantic. He’s head and shoulders above the referee and I know that referees aren’t necessarily the biggest of guys, but they’re not typically that short.

  • The bell rings. There’s a faint “Mojo!” chant as the two men lock up.
  • Mojo bounces Atkins off the ropes, then hits him with a shoulder block. Immediately, Mojo goes for the cover.
  • The referee is nearly to the three count – well, that was short – but he stops to yell at someone and –
  • It’s Samoa Joe! Hey, man! How’re you? Why isn’t your music playing, I want your music to play.
  • Joe tears Mojo off of Atkins, then picks up Atkins and starts nailing him in the chest.
  • Due to interference, the bell is rung. I believe Atkins technically wins by disqualification, since he was attacked? Whatever, it’s not like it really matters.
  • Joe throws Atkins out of the ring.
  • Joe picks up Mojo, then starts whaling on him.
  • As Joe throws Mojo out of the ring, my sister jokes about what Joe’s probably thinking: “F you, dude, and your disgusting clothes. Get out of here.”

Now that his ring has been cleared, Joe walks over to where he left his belt on the apron and picks it up. Somewhere in the ring, he acquires a microphone and immediately starts his speech by yelling “Regal!”

Joe informs Regal that since Regal “[doesn’t] feel the need to consult with [Joe]” over the contenders for Joe’s title, Joe “[doesn’t] feel the need to consult with [Regal]” before he decides he wants to massacre a few people and “rampage all over your show”.

Joe promises that he will destroy Shinsuke at TakeOver: Brooklyn – Saturday, August 20th, mark your calendars – because “I am Samo -”

Mojo has recovered enough from his sudden departure from the ring to get back in and attack Joe. Mojo, man, on the list of brilliant ideas you’ve had – which is a short one, mate, I’m sorry – this doesn’t rank. This was a very, very dumb decision.

Three referees just showed up to haul Mojo off of Joe. One of the referees has got his arms around Mojo’s waist as he shoves him away from Joe. While the referees yell, however, you can see Joe recovering.

And this is not going to end well for Mojo Rawley. Man, you’re fucked.

The referees are escorting Mojo back up the ramp and there’s a sudden scream from the audience as Samoa Joe runs up behind Mojo, knocking him to the ground. Joe beats on Mojo for a bit, before rolling them over into the Coquina Clutch. He locks in the Clutch, while yelling, “I’m the champ!”

It’s only after Mojo’s been out for a bit that Joe finally lets go. He gets up, then kicks Mojo in the back, before the refs shove him back up the ramp. Joe then tells the cameras that this is what he’s going to do to Shinsuke.

Backstage interview with Bayley and the interviewer – who isn’t Cathy Kelley or Andrea D’Marco, damn it, WWE, I finally figure out both of their names and you add a new one – asks Bayley how she’s preparing for her match against Asuka.

Bayley says it’s pretty obvious that she’s no longer the same person after losing her title – poor sweetheart – but she also says that it may not be a bad thing. Bayley says that she thinks it’s time to adapt. She also states that it’s more of a mental preparation now, not a physical one.

She says that she’s been watching Asuka’s matches and she’s ready to take her title back. In the middle of a word, however, Bayley stops talking. The camera pans to reveal that Asuka has basically appeared behind Charly Caruso’s shoulder (yes, I ran a quick google search to find her name).

Asuka says, “You think you’re ready? Come watch.”

Bayley then tells Charly that, “I guess I’ll go see for myself.”

MATCH: Asuka vs. Aliyah

Time to discover what poor, unfortunate woman is getting fed to Asuka this time! But first, Bayley is coming out. She gets to sit at the commentary table and either the microphone on her headset needs turned up or she needs to talk louder, but it’s hard to understand what she’s saying over the sound of her theme song.

Corey suggests that Bayley replaces Tom. Bayley says, “Oooh. That’ll be fun, but, no, I like Tom.”

I do not recognize this theme song or entrance – oh, Aliyah. Poor, poor Aliyah. She’s so bouncy and cute and she’s going to be so dead.

Asuka comes out and my sister tells me that she looks like a thrift store reject. Which…Well, she’s wearing a kimono with fur trim. And blue tassels. I can’t tell the scraps of silky fabrics are scarves or also attached to the kimono. It’s a little bizarre.

Bayley says that Asuka can have all the confidence – she’s undefeated and she’s the NXT Women’s Champion – but that Asuka doesn’t realize that Bayley’s a new person now. Corey asks what’s different and Bayley is silent for a moment, watching Asuka, before saying, “You’ll just have to see.” TakeOver: Brooklyn II on Saturday, August 20th, mark your calendars.

Asuka climbs out of the ring and grabs a chair. It’s really funny to watch the production crew scramble out of her way as she carries the chair over to the entrance ramp. Asuka puts the chair down, then climbs up onto the apron. She gestures for Bayley to come over, then points at the chair.

Bayley leaves the commentary table, then walks over to the chair. She picks it up, closes it – because it was a folding chair – and tosses it to the side. Asuka nods, staring at Bayley. I’m not sure what she’s thinking, but I do believe things are about to get interesting.

  • The bell rings. Asuka and Aliyah circle each other – any time they get close enough, Asuka tries for a kick. On the third time, Asuka succeeds, connecting with Aliyah’s leg.
  • Asuka brings Aliyah to her knees, then grabs her by the neck and rolls her through. Once Aliyah is sitting on the mat in front of her, Asuka points at Bayley, then kicks Aliyah hard in the back.
  • Aliyah tries to climb to her feet, but Asuka stomps on her back. This repeats twice before Aliyah manages to get into a somewhat upright position.
  • Aliyah is fighting back. She’s punching Asuka repeatedly as she slowly gets to her feet. Aliyah manages to elbow Asuka in the face a few times before Asuka starts returning the favor.
  • Asuka gets whipped into the ropes, then bounces off to hit Aliyah with a flying hip attack.
  • Asuka slaps her thigh twice, then points at Bayley. I feel so bad for Aliyah. She’s a secondary part of her own goddamn match.
  • Aliyah is crawling around on the mat, trying to get to the ropes so she can stand up. Asuka keeps attacking her.
  • Once Aliyah finally makes it to the ropes and stands up, Asuka starts kicking her in the midsection.
  • Asuka is basically brutalizing Aliyah now. Someone in the audience yells “C’mon, ref, get her off the ropes!” as Asuka gets Aliyah into a brutal submission using the ropes. Aliyah’s torso is between the second and third ropes while Asuka has one leg around Aliyah’s neck as she pulls Aliyah’s arm back.
  • Aliyah is supporting herself using the ropes while Asuka is showboating in the ring. Asuka then delivers another hip attack to Aliyah, knocking her to the ground.
  • Aliyah crawls to the turnbuckle. Oh, sweetheart. That is a bad, bad idea. She stands up and Asuka begins to run towards her.
  • Yes! Aliyah managed to counter.
  • Aliyah then attempts something off the second ropes – I’m not sure, it was a jump of some kind – and takes a brutal kick to the head for her efforts.
  • While Aliyah is lying on the mat, Asuka walks over and kneels down, placing one knee on Aliyah’s stomach for a pin attempt.
  • Right as the referee is going for three, Asuka grabs Aliyah’s hair, pulling her shoulders off the mat.
  • Bayley’s not happy with this – she walks forward while Asuka gives her a mocking smile.
  • Asuka starts to knee Aliyah repeatedly in the stomach, before dropping her head and letting the poor girl fall to her knees.
  • Once Aliyah is kneeling on the mat, Asuka delivers a brutal kick to her head.
  • Bayley says something – I’m not sure what it was, a comment to the ref or encouragement to Aliyah – before Asuka locks in the Asuka Lock.
  • Asuka wins by submission.

Aliyah taps out within milliseconds of the submission being locked in, but Asuka doesn’t release the hold until Bayley climbs into the ring. Bayley takes a protective position by Aliyah while Asuka stands over them both.

The referee hands Asuka her belt and Asuka raises it high, while keeping eye contact with Bayley.

It’s…Not very face to brutalize someone to make a point. Like, it’s one thing to brutalize your opponent to make a point – faces do that honestly very often. It’s another thing to brutalize someone who has nothing to do with the feud at hand, beyond being in a match with you, to make a point. I can’t tell if this is an anti-hero face gimmick or a ‘power corrupts’-esque heel gimmick.

A recap of the Tye Dillinger vs. Oney Lorcan (AKA ‘I Pissed Off Creative When It Came Time to Come Up with a Ring Name’) match from last month. Why? Oh. So we can watch a backstage interview.

From last month.

Why wasn’t this played last month?

Anyway. Oney says that he won, that the competition in NXT is only going to get better and stronger and that he has to get better. In order for him to do that, he has to “go back where [he] started”. He has to “go back to [his] roots” and I’m sure if I knew anything about him, that would actually make sense.

As it is? It’s just very “…Okay. Why’d we wait a month for this?”

That weird promo from last week played again. This time, the hooded figure stood up and I started to wonder if this wasn’t for a woman debuting because of the way the figure stood – you know that stance where a woman stands with her hip cocked out? That’s how the figure was standing. Then everything goes dark, before the words ‘EMBER MOON 8.20.16’ pops up. We’re getting a debut at TakeOver.

Which also means a second women’s match at TakeOver, because I may have googled a bit and a female wrestler has been doing house shows and dark matches under the name Ember Moon. Since I’m a fan of those big reveal debuts, I don’t feel like revealing what her name used to be, but by all rights, she’s damn good and we’re in for a treat when Ember Moon shows up at Brooklyn.

And now! Time for Bobby Roode’s glorious debut! And, man, is his theme song glorious. It’s very happily already on YouTube in it’s complete form and it’s beautiful. Go listen to it.

He’s also wearing a glorious suit, which means no match. Hopefully, anyway. That suit looks too good on him for it to be wrecked by an unexpected attack.

Bobby now has a microphone. For some odd reason, there are a few very determined boos mixed in with the fairly friendly welcome from Full Sail. (I mean, it’s not really ‘odd’ – most of Bobby’s work that I know of included him being a heel – but it’s slightly odd that he’s getting booed during his debut)

He informs us that the wait is over and that “Bobby Roode is N-X-T!” That moment struck me as very Triple H-esque, so we’ll see what comes of it.

Bobby tells us about going to TakeOver: Dallas. “And still to this day, I can’t describe the feelings and emotions I had that night.” He tells us that, ever since that night, he has known that NXT was the “perfect place” for him.

“There has never been another company, another brand, anywhere in the world that has revolutionized this industry quite like NXT has.” He continues, mentioning that he’s heard the phrase ‘We are NXT’. He then tells us that he believes that ‘you’ (either referring to all NXT fans or just Full Sail) are also NXT. “We are all NXT!” A NXT chant has begun.

Bobby Roode says that he’s here to take NXT – and the audience – to the next level. He just twitched a smile – not a face-esque smile, but more of that quick almost corpsing smile of a heel. Like, he suppressed it too fast, if that makes sense.

He informs us that we all need Bobby Roode. NXT has apparently been scouring the globe, looking for someone to expand the brand, to make it a global powerhouse. He informs us that he’s proud to be here and that he’s the superstar NXT has been seeking and here comes the heel. His face will apparently be on billboards in Times Square.

I would like to mention it’s been exactly three minutes since he started talking (he started talking at 29:47, it’s currently 32:47). If we’re treating this like he came out as a face (which he did kinda sound like a face for that three whole minutes), that is one hell of a fast turnaround on the heel turn.

Okay, I’m honestly not sure what corporate America has to do with anything, but okay. He tells us that very soon, he will be able to look around the arena and see faces of presidents, vice presidents and businessmen of Fortune 500 companies. “Not you losers wearing your oversized t-shirts, your stupid cargo pants, your ripped jeans -” Side note, I really hope no one in Full Sail is wearing those last two things at the same time. That’s one hell of a hot, ugly mess. Back to Bobby Roode heeling it up. “-Your dumb hats, your stupid signs, chanting your stupid, stupid chants. You’re gone. You’re out.”

Number one: Is his issue with Full Sail or John Cena? Number two: This man is enjoying the hell out of himself right now.

According to him, he is a superstar not just because of the things he’s done in his career (did you know he won the TNA tag titles with Austin Aries once? Please exploit that, WWE. They’re still the same characters, it still makes sense), but all because of the fact that he looks and dresses like a superstar. Gotta love arrogant asshole heels who won’t shut up about how much their wardrobe costs.

“And whether you like it or not, there has never been anyone – anywhere, any place – as glorious as Bobby Roode.” And now you get part of my hang up on the word ‘glorious’ (the other part is that it’s the first word in his theme song).

“This is the new NXT. And I am at the helm.” I did honestly wait for Samoa Joe to come charging in and beat shit out of him. That would have been perfect timing if they were going to do a run-in, but that may also damage his heel cred in a way, so no run-in. But, man. Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode. Wouldn’t that be great.

“And from this moment forward, NXT will be glorious.” I feel like I should mention that Bobby closes his eyes every time he says ‘glorious’. I’m really hoping the facial expression that results isn’t intentional, because it looks like he’s having an orgasm. Okay, moving on.

His music starts to play again, as he stands in the ring with his arms extended.

MATCH: TM61 vs. The Revival

Tom reminds us that the Asuka vs. Bayley contract signing is next week, while TM61 enter. Shane Thorne has a scrap of fabric tucked into his trunks? Is it a flag? Did he raid Jericho’s scarf collection? I’m not sure what it is. It looks like there’s something in katakana written on it.

NXT’s theme song game is on point. I still love The Revival’s theme. It’s so them and something I’d feel no shame listening to on the bus.

I never noticed that Dash and Dawson had a design on their trunks. Maybe it’s new? I’m not sure what I think about it being green, since their entrance is blue and the accent color on their jackets is red.

  • The bell rings. The two legal men are Dawson and Miller. They stare each other down for a bit, before surging at each other. Miller goes for a headlock, but Dawson gets him into a bearhug instead.
  • Dawson lifts Miller up and drops him chest first onto the mat.
  • This is more like a mess of flailing limbs than a wrestling match. Miller and Dawson are both trying to control each other, but all that results in is a flurry of quickly moving limbs with some crawling around on the mat.
  • Eventually, Dawson rolls under the ring ropes. Dash steps over to check on him, then Dawson rolls back into the ring.
  • Dawson walks over to the turnbuckle, where Dash is, and, man. That is some subtle plotting, you two. I nearly didn’t catch it. It’s not like Dash is cupping Dawson’s ear while he whispers. About as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face. Though it’s presumably purposefully unsubtle.
  • Dawson and Miller size each other up again, then they began to chain wrestle. There is a lot of rotating around the other person.
  • Dawson gets Miller in a wristlock.
  • Miller reverses it so now Dawson is in the wristlock.
  • Dawson strains for Dash, but he’s too far away. Miller manages to pull Dawson into TM61’s corner, where Thorne tags in.
  • Thorne takes the wrist lock from Miller. Dawson tries to fight out and grabs Thorne’s hair in the process, but Thorne just wrenches Dawson’s arm, then pulls them both back to TM61’s corner.
  • Miller tags in. Dawson is still in the wrist lock. TM61 does that thing when they pull their opponent into dual shoulder blocks.
  • Miller covers Dawson for one.
  • Dawson kicks out, then immediately tries to run for Dash. Miller intervenes, pushing him back into TM61’s corner.
  • Wonder if Dawson regrets making the match with TM61 now. Looking at his face, he may just.
  • Tag to Thorne as Miller bounces Dawson off the ring ropes. Miller gives Dawson an – honestly weak – elbow, which – somehow, it didn’t bloody touch him – drops Dawson to the mat.
  • TM61 delivers one of their dual moves. This is the elbow drop from Miller combined with a standing moonsault from Thorne.
  • Miller rolls out of the ring while Thorne covers Dawson for two.
  • While both Thorne and Dawson are kneeling on the ground, Thorne gets Dawson into some form of armbar.
  • Dawson starts to fight out, standing up as he goes. This only results in Thorne locking in the armbar better.
  • Thorne makes the weirdest fucking expressions, what the hell.
  • Thorne forces Dawson down onto his knees, but this only enables Dawson to roll out of the armbar.
  • Dawson nearly escapes Thorne, but Thorne catches his wrist and pulls him into yet another bloody wrist lock. Presumably, this shit is effective, because it’s been 80% of TM61’s moveset so far.
  • Dawson has given up on properly ‘escaping’ and now is mainly focused on pushing Thorne back into The Revival’s corner. Dash nearly reaches his partner, but Thorne kicks his hand away.
  • Dash starts to climb into the ring. While the referee is distracted telling Dash to get out, Dawson manages to throw Thorne onto the mat.
  • While we can’t properly see it, the referee is telling Miller to get out of the ring.
  • Dash tags in, then immediately starts stomping on the prone Thorne.
  • Dash hauls Thorne to his feet in order to deliver a hit to the back, then an European Uppercut which sends Thorne flailing to the turnbuckle.
  • Dash pulls Thorne to his feet, then chops him hard in the chest. Shit, that made a noise.
  • Dash pulls Thorne out of the corner, only to send him right back into headfirst. Then he stomps him one time for good measure.
  • Pulling Thorne back to The Revival’s corner, Dash tags in Dawson. Dash holds Thorne still while Dawson delivers a kick/stomp to Thorne’s midsection.
  • The Revival are beating the ever loving snot out of Thorne.
  • Dash tags back in, then goes to whip Thorne into the turnbuckle. That turns out to be his undoing as Thorne dodges over top of Dash when he charges in.
  • Thorne bounces off of the ropes. Dash catches him and holds him up above his head, then Thorne either rolls or falls off of Dash’s hands. It…Looked awkward? Potentially, that could have been the plan, but Thorne’s fall to the mat still looks a little…Not planned, even on the third rewatch. There’s just too much ‘Oh, shit’ in his movements as he went.
  • Whether or not that particular drop was planned, Dash and Thorne recovered quickly from it. Thorne got up and nailed Dash with a dropkick.
  • Dash gets up and immediately runs straight into another dropkick. Really, mate?
  • Dawson gets into the ring and takes a dropkick from Thorne before the referee starts yelling at him.
  • Miller enters the ring as well and he and Thorne grab The Revival. They bounce them off the ropes then…Bend over? Okay?
  • This results in them taking big hits to the back from Dash and Dawson, which was a sort of ‘What did you expect to happen when you take your eyes off your opponent and expose your back like that’ moment.
  • However, when Dash and Dawson bounce off the ropes, TM61 catches them and deliver tandem backdrops.
  • Dash and Dawson roll out of the ring.
  • Commercial break!
  • And during the commercial break, a series of things apparently happened: 1. Dash reentered the ring. 2. Dash tagged in Dawson. 3. Dawson attacked Thorne, dropping him to the mat near the ropes.
  • Dawson pulls Thorne back up. Thorne attempts to fight out by punching Dawson in the stomach, but Dawson is still in control.
  • Dawson attacks Thorne’s shoulder, then picks him up and delivers a northern lights suplex.
  • Dawson bridges into a cover, where Thorne kicks out at two.
  • Dawson pulls Thorne back into The Revival’s corner, where he then tags in Dash. Dawson holds out Thorne’s arm, allowing Dash to deliver a double knee drop to it from the second rope.
  • Dash covers Thorne for two.
  • Dash looks a little pissed off as he rolls Thorne through for an armbar.
  • Dash pulls Thorne up, then rams him into the turnbuckle in The Revival’s corner. Dawson tags in.
  • Thorne is trying to wriggle his way to Miller. This does not work out for him. He’s about two thirds of the way there when Dash delivers a low dropkick to his face.
  • Dawson taunts Miller, before covering Thorne. Thorne kicks out at two.
  • Dawson gets Thorne into an armbar. He’s wrenching Thorne’s arm around.
  • Thorne manages to roll up to his feet and now it’s a battle of wills as he and Dawson push against each other. Dawson is trying to shove them back to The Revival’s corner, while Thorne’s trying to push through to TM61’s corner.
  • Dawson solves the problem by spinning them around and whipping Thorne into the ropes. Thorne bounces off the ropes straight into a wicked forearm by Dawson.
  • Dawson tags in Dash.
  • Dash pulls Thorne closer to the turnbuckle, then climbs up. Thorne pulls up his feet to counter Dash’s attack. Dash jumps short, grabs Thorne’s feet and – I have no idea why, but – leans in.
  • Shockingly enough, leaning onto Thorne’s feet was like pushing on a spring. Dash got kicked hard into the turnbuckle.
  • Dash manages to tag Dawson just seconds before Thorne finally tags in Miller.
  • Miller is on a rampage. He elbows Dawson in the head twice, then runs to the corner and elbows Dash, knocking him off the apron.
  • Miller picks Dawson up and slams him into the mat, back first.
  • Dash enters the ring. Miller catches him and delivers the same move.
  • Both members of The Revival crawl to turnbuckles at opposite corners of the ring and, man, what an absolutely intelligent decision. That is not at all going to backfire in your faces.
  • Spoiler: it does. Miller delivers running forearms to both men – first to Dawson, then across the ring to Dash. He then turns around and runs back towards Dawson, who had turned in the corner. He slams Dawson into the turnbuckle chest first.
  • Then he rolls Dawson through into a pin. Dawson kicks out at two.
  • Miller catches Dawson, who had bounced off the ropes, and delivers a spinebuster.
  • Miller attempts a pin. Dawson kicks out at two.
  • Miller grabs Dawson by the head and starts pulling him towards TM61’s corner. As he reaches for Thorne, however, Dash pulls Thorne off the apron.
  • Dash starts pulling Miller out of the ring by his ankles and it’s kinda hard to tell what happens during that because Dash manages to back up into the cameraman.
  • Miller is now chasing Dash outside the ring.
  • Dash climbs back into the ring, Miller follows and catches a DDT by Dawson.
  • Dawson covers Miller.
  • The Revival win by pinfall.

According to Corey, all Australians are thieves. That’s nice, mate. (Though it could also be a reference to the colonization of Australia. Fun fact: the US state of Georgia was colonized for the exact same reason, a place to send prisoners to.)

Dawson has a microphone and he’s now telling us it doesn’t matter where their opponents come from, because The Revival are the “big leagues” and the “top guys in NXT”. Dash is listing off the people they’ve beaten – TM61, American Alpha, Enzo and Cass and The Vaudevillains. I feel like an asshole for saying this, but I feel like that last one doesn’t truly match with the others (and, yes. Even as someone who’s at best ‘meh’ to TM61, I’ll admit they’re pretty fucking good and they aren’t on the losing streak from hell).

Familiar music begins to play and I get excited, while Dawson continues his streak of absolutely hilarious facial expressions. Notably, the music Gargano and Ciampa use seems to be Gargano’s music. At least, it was the music he used for the CWC. Ciampa used a different theme.

Gargano says that The Revival are dropping a lot of names, then promptly offers to pick them up. Ciampa picks up the first name – American Alpha. He picks up the second name – The Hollywood Blonds. “Wow, you guys are much older than I thought. You are aging well.”

Ciampa picks up the third name and tells Gargano that he has this one. The name(s) in question? “Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.” This is around the time that Dash starts trying really, really hard not to corpse.

Gargano picks up the fourth name. “Pikachu and Charmander.” Dash is trying so hard not to corpse, it’s hilarious. Props that he successfully doesn’t corpse, though.

Full Sail is chanting “Pokemon”. Ciampa says, “Wait, wait, wait, serious question.” There’s a pause, then, “Have you collected them all?”

Gargano apparently hasn’t, because the only thing that he’s concerned about collecting? Are the NXT Tag Team titles. Full Sail starts up a “Yes!” chant after this.

Gargano tells The Revival that they can drop all the names they want, because there’s one team they haven’t dropped: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.

“If we’re done with comedy hour,” Dawson says. “The two time Tag Team champions would like to speak right now.” Apparently their belts mean a lot more than words and they’re holding them up and I see bad, bad things in The Revival’s future.

Apparently the “top guys” are out, with Dash telling Gargano and Ciampa to “go back to [their] basements”. Dash and Dawson put their belts down and attack Gargano and Ciampa, but are immediately caught.

Gargano and Ciampa deliver a series of hits to the heads of Dash and Dawson, then Ciampa throws Dawson out of the ring. Gargano gets Dash with a kick to the head.


Dash crawls to the turnbuckle, which results in him taking a running knee from Ciampa. He crawls to the center of the ring – genius move there, you stupid idiot – which results in him taking kicks from both Ciampa and Gargano.

Gargano rolls Dash over onto his back and Ciampa lies down to do the three count. Full Sail counts along, then erupts into cheers as Gargano and Ciampa grab the belts. We end on what will hopefully be the result of SummerSlam: Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, standing in the ring as best friends, holding the NXT Tag Team Championships.

See you next week!