Another week, another NXT episode! And we have returned to Full Sail and Shinsuke is going to talk to us tonight. Won’t that be nice? That’ll be nice. We will also presumably have wrestling and more fallout from Brooklyn. Proper fallout from Brooklyn, even, not just ‘This is what happened at TakeOver, oh, and we taped a few more matches, too, have an episode’ fallout.
And right off the bat, we are into the direct fallout from Brooklyn. It’s a backstage segment featuring Samoa Joe, William Regal and a – presumably – physician of some variety. Apparently Joe has “previously undisclosed” injuries on top of his dislocated jaw, which means he’s not cleared for anything.
Joe’s…Not pleased, considering his expression. Regal is concerned.
MATCH: Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy
Hey, Tye! It’s only been a week, this is good! Please win again. I don’t know much about you, but I like you. You look like a cool dude. A cool dude with very weird fashion tastes, but a cool dude.
Tye gets into the ring and it looks like he’s having a lot of fun and really enjoying how much the crowd loves him. And holy shit, does the crowd love him. He’s actually really cute when he smiles.
And out comes Buddy Murphy with easily one of the most nauseating entrances in all of professional wrestling. If you can watch it without being hit by motion sick, I am in awe of you. On top of the jerky, rapid zooming in and out, it’s fucking neon. Neon. And the titantron is a whole bunch of quickly moving, flashing neons, to boot. Good god, it’s ugly. I mean, it’s not what every other jobber in NXT has, but, my god. It’s ugly. I’d boo him just over his fucking entrance.
…Okay, was the sticking out his tongue part of the entrance? I don’t…Know. It looks like it could be a deliberate thing, or just shitty timing to decide he needs to lick his lip. I’m…Not sure.
- The bell rings, the men circle each other, then lock up. After a lot of rolling around, Tye gets Murphy into an arm lock. Murphy fights out, reverses and now he has Tye in a headlock and this is a very ground based match so far. Which, well…I don’t think either man flies very much, they tend to keep their feet very stably on the ground.
- Murphy is mocking Tye. Tye responds fairly calmly. Until Murphy whips Tye in the face with his hair. I mean, most men don’t have hair long enough to pull that off, props. That one Tye well and truly takes offense to.
- You know that thing where the two guys just keep alternating bouncing off the ropes and dodging the other one? Tye and Murphy do that for a bit, then Tye fakes Murphy out. Murphy goes for the launch over and instead Tye catches him for an inverted atomic drop. Ouch.
- Tye, man, I love you, but…That cartwheel isn’t very good. Your legs are bent, you’re going at an angle. In the gymnastics scoring system, it may scrape a ten…But considering most scores are between thirteen and sixteen… I disagree with Corey calling it the “world’s worst cartwheel” because he completed the wheel and he didn’t fall on his head, but it’s still not the “perfect ten” that Tom calls it.
- Corey says there are few “more dangerous” than a focused Murphy. Let’s see…Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka, Ember Moon…Honestly, I should stop here because it’ll take me twenty pages and several hours to list everyone more dangerous than Buddy Murphy when he’s focused.
- Note that I didn’t say either man never flies. I just said that they don’t fly much. Murphy climbs to the top turnbuckle not once, but twice over the course of the match. Not gonna lie, that flying double knee to Tye’s face was actually pretty goddamn awesome. He covered Tye after that for a two count.
- But that second one obviously wasn’t leading to Murphy doing a move, but Tye catching him midair. C’mon, man. You literally just jumped into a fist. At least pretend you were gonna do something else.
- Tye is starting to properly fight back and dominate the match. I still do not get why the reverse side of his black knee sleeve is bright blue. It still feels like a glitched out texture in a video game – “We have no idea where the actual texture is, have a bright blue gap of death.”
- Tye hits Murphy with the Tyebreaker for the three count.
- Tye Dillinger wins by pinfall.
Well. Wasn’t that nice. They gave Tye Dillinger two wins in a row! Two whole wins! Back to back! It’s a goddamn miracle.
Aaaand pain. Still so much fucking pain. At least Tommaso and Johnny are going to be on Raw, in the Cruiserweight Division. Still upset they lost the titles, but, hey, bigger and better things, yeah?
Tommaso is backstage, giving us an update on Johnny’s condition when – shocker – the Revival trot in to be jackasses. They’re damn good at that. Tommaso looks…A little less than pleased at their interference – and touching. Stop touching him, Dawson – before he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
Then he gets Dash in the face with a wicked elbow and Dawson in the head with a punch. This is the best offense he puts up the entire segment, because he has no one to back him up because Johnny’s out. And the Revival are jackasses.
This beating spreads out of the backstage area and into the arena. Tommaso has a very bad day, as the Revival make his body collide with the floor, the commentary table, the barricade, and the ring. Oh, and their fists. And feet. They just kinda beat the shit out of him. Because they’re jackasses.
Once Tommaso is lying on the floor, Dawson gets his hand on a microphone. He’s talking about tough guys and reality and how “everyone’s a tough guy until they’re faced with reality”. How about “everyone’s a tough guy when it’s two-on-one”, Dawson? How about “everyone’s a tough guy when they’re content with being a big fish in a tiny pond”, huh? How about “everyone’s a tough guy until a real fight comes along and then they’re a lying, cheating, coward jackass”, Dawson? How about that?
…No, I’m not still pissed about Brooklyn, why’d you ask?
Also, there’s a cool moment during Dawson’s promo where Tommaso crawls into the ring and across the ring to Dawson. He uses Dawson’s legs to pull himself somewhat upright and then grins at them. Then, obviously, Dawson immediately returns to beating the shit out of him, but it was a cool little moment. Of course the Revival ruined it, the jackasses.
While Tommaso is lying in the mat, the Revival walk out to an astounding chorus of boos. If you don’t count them as some of the greatest heels in WWE today, you’re wrong.
MATCH: Steve Cutler vs. Kenneth Crawford
Okay, so first out is Steve Cutler. At least his entrance isn’t blue. That’s nice. He gets to cut a promo? Not in the ring, but a video they recorded and then played. I just…I dunno. I guess I don’t like him? I suppose? He just kinda bores me. It’s not the ungodly rage I feel towards the Revival or the dislike I have of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. He’s just…A dude.
A dude with impressive mutton chops.
My faith – and interest – in this match plummeted impressively when the other guy came out without an entrance. Steve Cutler and some guy without an entrance. Why. I…I have no reason to invest in this match. That’s cruel, but I don’t.
They are both wearing red trunks. I think Cutler’s trunks may have ‘Cutler’ written on his ass, but I can’t tell because the design looks very faded, the letters probably weren’t thick enough to be legible at a distance to start with anyway and it looks like it was a very shitty color. The NXT costuming department budget has obviously been absolutely demolished by those masks the Authors of Pain wore last week.
- Cutler is the heel. Crawford is the de facto face. Cutler seems to enjoy his submissions.
- There was an impressive moment when Cutler leaned down to catch Crawford, who was bouncing off the ropes, and instead Crawford just flipped over him. That was nice. Of course, it resulted in Cutler discovering his inner pissed off brawler and going after Crawford, but it was nice while it lasted.
- Cutler manages to bounce Crawford off enough things to make him lie still for a one count. He then bounced Crawford out of the ring, beat him up a bit, then shoved him back into the ring for yet another bloody kick out at one.
- The longer this takes, the less time I have to cook dinner. Hurry up, you two.
- Full Sail is at least behind Crawford as a face. That’s nice. I will give Cutler and Crawford points – they quickly established who is the heel and who is the face and they haven’t deviated once.
- Crawford does a running shooting star onto Cutler for a two count.
- Cutler turns this around very quickly with a stomp on Crawford’s face, then he delivers fisherman michinoku driver. He covers Crawford for the pin.
- Steve Cutler wins by pinfall.
It was a match. I have nothing else to say, really. It was a match.
We are backstage with Hideo Itami and…An interviewer I don’t recognize. Damn it, WWE, why do you keep doing this to me? She asks him about TakeOver: Brooklyn and – more specifically – Austin Aries. Hideo’s response? “I kicked him in the head with my sockless loafers. It was a huge moment for me. But [he’s] a huge disappointment. Ruptured eardrums? So what?” Hideo goes on to call Austin a “little baby” and I feel like Austin Aries, he of so much self-restraint and composure, is going to take that very well. (No, wait, I think I got that backwards. Ahh, Austin.)
“He doesn’t want to feel pain? Get out of my ring.”
Recap of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn from TakeOver: Dallas! It was Shinsuke’s first match in NXT and the first time I’d ever seen him wrestle. It was a good match, go watch it.
This is the ‘Sanity’ promo from Brooklyn. I honestly have no idea who it is supposed to be hyping – presumably it’s someone, but I have no idea.
A recap of TM61’s time in NXT – I guess they’re now officially the tag team division’s “Next Best Thing” or whatever now – and, yeah. That’s a thing. Cool. I am starting to like them now, so, hey. Whatever they’re doing is finally working.
MATCH: No Way Jose vs. Angelo Dawkins
No Way Jose! Oh, my darling, it’s so good to see you again. I love his entrance. I especially love watching Full Sail dancing along and chanting “No Way Jose” with the beat.
His opponent is Angelo Dawkins and, oh, god. Corey Graves just said he did some ‘investigative journalism’. Corey Graves wouldn’t know what investigative journalism was if it came up and backhanded him in the face. This should be good. Apparently ‘Dawkins Island’ is some form of online scheme. Okay. That’s nice, Corey. I’m sure your non-existent journalism teacher is very proud of you.
- Corey has apparently never been in the ring with a wrestler who “salsa dances while he’s punching [him] in the face”. There are days when I wonder where Corey could have gone had he not been permanently benched. Today is one of those days.
- That is the third time today I have seen a wrestler bend over to caught someone bouncing off the ropes and instead get hit with a move. C’mon. Don’t y’all watch the matches before yours? This time, it was Jose who bent over and Dawkins who got him.
- It’s a fairly even matchup between the two men. Dawkins was in control a lot in the beginning, but Jose bounced back and ended up in control in the end.
- No Way Jose is a lot of fun to watch. He’s just a lot of fun to watch. I like him.
- Jose catches Dawkins with a full nelson slam, then covers him for the pin.
- No Way Jose wins by pinfall.
I’m happy Jose got a win after Brooklyn. This is nice. He goes into the crowd afterwards to dance with them. That’s also nice.
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas is backstage with Charly Caruso. She asks him how he’s going to recover from his first defeat and he starts to respond, but – honestly, I’m not sure why – Austin Aries appears.
…Okay, you already sent Cien up against one incredibly popular ex-TNA heel and saw how that went. Also, what happened to Aries vs. Itami? What happened to that?
If you’re gonna whine about respect, Aries, couldn’t you whine to someone who’s actually bloody disrespected you? Itami. Regal. Fuck, you could go back a ways and go whine to Bobby Roode. Just, man, c’mon. Go whine somewhere else.
Apparently Itami ruptured Austin’s eardrum. I don’t remember this, but, eh, guessed it happened. Cool. But, anyway. Austin? You wanna talk ‘hogging the spotlight’? Oh, sweetheart. At least he’s admitting that he’s just here to steal Cien’s spotlight.
Cien responds to Aries in Spanish – I studied Latin in high school and took a semester of American Sign Language in college, I cannot help you here – and Austin’s a huge dick about it, as per usual. So Cien repeats himself in English – presumably – and tells Austin he wants a match next week.
DID YOU NOT LEARN FROM TAKEOVER. DID YOU NOT LEARN.
Austin leaves, claiming that he couldn’t hear it because of his bad ear. So. Yeah.
A recap of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor. That was also a good match. Shinsuke is just really good at having good matches.
MATCH: Liv Morgan vs. Aliyah
And a women’s match! I also think they’re starting to push Liv Morgan, which is nice. Ember Moon seems to be their planned top face for the women’s division (which I am, not gonna lie, super fucking excited for), but having Liv as a midcard face would be good.
Aliyah has a new entrance – which looks like literally everyone else’s, my god. What the fuck. And a new song, which is a shame, ‘cause I enjoyed her old one. Oh, well. She also has a new outfit. I…Have no words for it. I’m not even going to try. It’s…Interesting. We’ll…Go with that.
- She also came out wearing a headband with cat ears on it. Okay.
- There is a ‘Jersey’ chant as Aliyah beats up Liv. She covers for an early pin and Liv kicks out at one.
- After Liv starts to fight back, she catches Aliyah unawares and rolls her up for almost two.
- Aliyah is being a very solid heel here, beating the shit out of Liv. Full Sail is chanting “Let’s go, Liv!” I don’t think Liv has picked up a solo win in awhile – she won in the six woman tag match with Carmella and Nikki Glencross, but Carmella got the pin – so we’ll see if she gets one tonight.
- “How you livin’ now?” Aliyah mocks Liv and I actually had to stop and giggle there. Nicely done, Aliyah. Nicely done. Aliyah tries to cover Liv, but Liv’s feet are under the bottom rope, so Aliyah rolls Liv slightly more inside the ring and tries again. Liv kicks out at two.
- Aliyah gets Liv into a submission which Corey calls “fantastic”. His description is that it’s “almost a kimura, with headscissors”. Aliyah has the good sense to kick Liv repeatedly in the back of the head when she tries to get out. Liv does get out in the end, but, dang, did Aliyah make it hard for her.
- And, of course, when Liv gets out, Aliyah gets her one good in the head then covers her. Liv kicks out at two. Aliyah is…Less than pleased. She repeats her taunt of “How you livin’ now?”
- Liv is now fighting back and fighting back well. Liv gets Aliyah with a bulldog, then – once Aliyah stumbles to her feet – hits her with a cartwheel kick (I can’t words it right. It looks like she cartwheeled into Aliyah in such a way that Liv kicked her in the face). Once Aliyah was knocked down by the kick, Liv covered her.
- Liv Morgan wins by pinfall.
I’m glad both Liv and Aliyah are being utilized now. Their more or less ‘television debuts’ were in that battle royal from January of this year, so it’s nice to see they’ve come up a little bit higher than ‘random jobber #3’.
Jose is walking backstage – well, I say ‘walking’, it’s more like ‘still dancing’ – when he’s stopped by one of the interviewers.
…Who calls him ‘No Way’. Okay. Like, I get that that’s the first part of his name, but who the fuck calls someone else ‘No Way’?…Well, obviously this interviewer, but still. C’mon. Anyway.
While Jose is talking to the interviewer, Bobby Roode walks in and are you fucking kidding me. DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM BROOKLYN. DID. YOU. LEARN. NOTHING. WHAT THE FUCK. C’MON.
Roode looks Jose up and down, scoffs and says “Nice head.” …Okay? I…Okay. Anyway. Don’t scoff at Jose’s clothes, man. We’ve all seen your ring gear.
Recap of Shinsuke fighting Joe for the belt at TakeOver. Hopefully this means we’ve made it to the end? And Shinsuke will come out, talk for a bit and hopefully not get jumped because can we please, please, please let this man have his moment without some rude asshole jumping in?
A graphic advertising Asuka’s return next week – they’re using a new format, it seems, for the graphics for the returns. I actually like it, it looks nice. Tom informs us that he’ll be doing an interview with her and that’ll be fun.
We’ll see who shows up and/or how it all goes to shit.
And now it’s time for one of the best entrances in NXT – and arguably, the entire damn WWE. Am I the only one who’s impressed that audiences sing along with Shinsuke’s entirely lyricless theme? It’s really cool how they do that. It adds a lot to an already fantastic entrance.
It’s also really cool to see the belt on him. It’s nice. It looks nice on him. I approve.
There’s a ‘Nakamura’ chant which phases into a ‘You deserve it!’ chant and Shinsuke has such an adorable smile, y’all. How can someone not love this man, seriously. Look at his smile! Look at it!
Shinsuke came to NXT because he wanted to face the best competition in the world. He wanted to challenge himself, to see how good he actually was. So he fought Sami Zayn (“The Best”). He fought Finn Balor (“The Icon”). This set him on the path to TakeOver: Brooklyn and Samoa Joe.
He’s still feeling the effects of the match – his neck still hurts, his legs still hurt. His fingers are still shaking. But he became the NXT Champion. He says it means the most of all of his championships.
He has a “great respect” for Joe, but he also declares that Samoa Joe’s era is over. “Now, is the era of strong style!”
I will admit, I hadn’t really heard the “Yeaoh” noise he makes before. If I had, I really hadn’t paid the proper attention to it before. My sister described it as a “congested mountain lion clearing its throat”, which…Yeah. Shit, man, I would not want to hear that noise while I was walking alone at night. Anyway.
The King of Strong Style is here to stay. We’ll undoubtedly have amazing matches from him again and I’m actually very excited to see who he’ll have his first proper feud as champion with. I’m just saying – Austin Aries vs. Hideo Itami, Bobby Roode vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. It’d be goddamn awesome. And it’d be up against the two dudes in the company Aries and Roode could actually get booed against. Isn’t that a novel idea?
See you next week!