Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight 04/13/16 by Kurt Zamora

Welcome back one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. The last couple weeks have been a little crazy as I prepared and relived my experience during WrestleMania week, which included NXT Takeover: Dallas. If you’re so inclined to read about my full experience, you can check out what I posted for the site here. NXT is finally back in the swing of things as tonight we get the (tv?) debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. If you did not see his match with Sami Zayn at Takeover, you’re in for a treat tonight and you’re doing yourself a disservice as well. I’ll have thoughts on Takeover as the night justifies, but for now let’s get to the action!

William Regal kicks off the show from backstage. He thanks the fans for making Takeover: Dallas such a huge success. He runs down tonight’s card. We will see Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa take on The Vaudevillians, Bayley will make her first appearance since losing the NXT Women’s Title, and Shinsuke Nakamura will be here as well.

Austin Aries vs. Angelo Dawkins

These next few weeks will be coming from Axxess during WrestleMania week, so a little different vibe crowd wise. Austin Aries is coming off what I feel was a disappointing showing at Takeover. Dawkins gets a full intro and is calling himself, “The Curse of Greatness”. Both men tie up and then Dawkins gets a go-behind slam on Aries. Both men taunt each other and then Dawkins gets a wrist lock. Aries escapes and toys with Dawkins for a second and then goes for a couple pins. Dawkins kicks out and Aries goes to the headlock. He gets shot off into the ropes and is dropped with a shoulder tackle. Aries comes back though and hits a couple armdrags. Now he hits a seated dropkick and Dawkins retreats to the corner. Aries follows up but gets caught with a right hand and then a clothesline. Aries tries to fight back but Dawkins hooks a front face lock. Dawkins takes him to the corner and goes for a splash but Aries moves. Aries fights back and then hits a huge clothesline. He drags Dawkins over to the ropes and hits a neckbreaker between the top and second rope. Now Aries hits a missle dropkick off the top rope and then follows that up with a dropkick in the corner. Dawkins is dazed and Aries hits a massive rolling elbow as Dawkins gets shot into the ropes and Aries picks up the win.

Winner: Austin Aries

Samoa Joe is now backstage and is asked what’s next for Joe after losing his match against Finn Balor at Takeover. Joe says nothing has changed, the plan is still the same, and he’s a warrior. What’s next is that he takes his war to Apollo Crews next week.

A vignette for No Way Jose is shown. He debuts next week.

Alexa Bliss vs. Tessa Blanchard

The greatness of Tessa Blanchard is in NXT. I love it. If you don’t know, she’s the daughter of, in my opinion, the greatest heel in pro wrestling history Tully Blanchard. Both ladies tie up a couple times and Alexa gets a front face lock. Both women reverse each other and then Alexa gets a cheap shot in. Tessa then drops her with a shoulder tackle and then shoots Alexa into the rope and drops her with a powerslam. Alexa manages to cut her off though with a couple forearm shots and then goes for a pin. Tessa kicks out but Alexa drags her to the ropes and chokes her over the middle rope. Now Alexa skateboards on Tessa’s face and stomps her face. Alexa goes for a neck vise of sorts but Tessa manages to reverse it into a quick pin. Alexa kicks out and then goes to slap Tessa. Tessa stops her and then fires up on Alexa. She hits some elbows and forearms, but then Alexa grabs her by the throat and gets crazy eyes. She throws Tessa down to the mat and then hits her back handspring double knees and that’s enough to pick up the win. My buddy Jeff can rest easy now.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Finn Balor is backstage now and is asked who he thinks his next challenger will be. He says it’s his job to fight. It doesnt matter who or where, he has an obligation to everyone and he carries that with pride. He’s asked if he’s going to stick around for Nakamura’s debut tonight. He says absolutely, he’s known Nakamura for years and he’s looking forward to it. If he knows Nakamura, he came to NXT for the NXT Title, so when Nakamura is ready, Finn will be ready too.

Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Vaudevillians

As good as the crowd was for Takeover, it’s that bad for these tapings. My goodness they are quiet, you can hear EVERYTHING. I’m really happy to see The Vaudevillians up on the main roster now, I just worry about their lasting power and I don’t want to see them end up like The Ascension. Simon Gotch and Gargano are going to start the match. A Johnny Wrestling chant actually starts up and I almost die of shock. Gargano gets an armbar on Gotch and then both men reverse each other until Gargano gets a Crucifix Pin. Gotch kicks out and hits Gargano with a forearm and then tags in Aiden English. Aiden shoots Gargano into the corner, Gargano jumps over Aiden and ends up kicking him in the face. Ciampa tags in now and they double team Aiden with a high knee and kick to the temple. Ciampa follows that up with a lariat but Aiden kicks out at two. Aiden tries to fight back but gets sent to the apron. Ciampa hits him with a running knee as Gargano makes a blind tag. Gargano comes in and hits a suicide dive to the outside. Gotch cuts off Gargano on the apron though and it gives Aiden an opening and he takes it. He vaults Gargano’s arm over the top rope and then tags in Gotch. Gotch goes right to that arm and works it over. Gotch quickly tags back in Aiden who continues work on the arm. Aiden then powerslams Gargano and then taunts everyone. Gargano tries to fight off Aiden from his back, but gets thrown to the opposite corner anyways. Gargano does everything he can to fight off both Vaudevillians and then finally tags in Ciampa. Ciampa cleans house on both of his opponents and then drops Aiden with a Flatliner, using the top rope as leverage. Aiden kicks out and then goes for a roll up with the tights but Ciampa kicks out. Gotch makes a blind tag as Aiden ends up outside and Gargano takes out Aiden with a front somersault. Gotch and Ciampa go back and forth until Ciampa is able to hook on the flip over armbar and Gotch has to tap out!

Winners: Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa

Tye Dillinger is backstage and is asked about his match tonight against Nakamura. Dillinger says he gets that Nakamura is great, but it’s not going to be easy tonight if he thinks he can just dance all over him tonight. He’s going to send Nakamura back to Japan and when he gets back home, all he’ll be able to tell anyone is that he lost to a Perfect 10. He then gives Alex Reyes a 3 for the interview.

Baron Corbin vs. Tucker Knight

I really wonder if these matches with Corbin and The Vaudevillians show just how easily plans change in WWE. If the plan all along was for them to come to the main roster when they did, I don’t see the point of these NXT appearances. I digress though. The two big men tie up and Corbin forces Knight into the corner. Corbin goes to town on Knight and works him over in a couple corners. He drops Knight with a knee and then an elbow right to the scalp. Corbin hits a right hand and then goes to follow up, but Knight counters and fires up. He hits a nice dropkick and then a Thesz Press. It doesn’t last long though as Corban hits a throat thrust and then catches Knight in the End of Days.

Winner: Baron Corbin

We go to earlier today where American Alpha are standing inside an empty Dallas Convention Center Arena and basking in the history of the building and the fact that’s where they won the NXT Tag Titles finally. Enzo and Big Cass show up and congratulate the champs on their accomplishment and put them over for winning the titles. Big Cass says they’ve faced everyone in NXT and never won the titles. Yet, they’ve never faced American Alpha. They don’t have to put the belts on the line, but they need to mix it up. American Alpha immediately agree and say they need to make it happen. All four men shake hands.

Bayley vs. Liv Morgan

So the way people feel about Eva Marie, I feel about Liv. Every time I see her come out, I want to throw my laptop through my TV. I can’t explain it, but I legit feel that way. Bayley looks weird without the title. The crowd actually perks up for Bayley. Both women trade wrist locks to begin. Liv gets shot into the ropes, ducks a Bayley clothesline, but can’t escape the snapmare, elbow to the spine, and then seated clothesline. Bayley goes for a knee drop, but Liv moves out of the way. Both women go for a go behind and then Liv does a handspring bounce off the ropes and catches Bayley in a tilt a whirl headscissors. Bayley manages to get the momentum back though and gets a headlock. Bayley then works over Liv in the corner and hits a back elbow. She goes for a second, Liv moves and then drops Bayley with a shoulder tackle. Then she hits a bulldog and then a monkey flip out of the corner. Liv goes for a back suplex, but Bayley blocks it and then turns it into a Bayley to Bayley for the win.

Winner: Bayley

Bayley gets the mic after the match and says a true champion isn’t measured by how many times they get knocked down, they’re measured by how many times they get up. She lost to a better woman that night at Takeover and Asuka is a great competitor. She knows it made some people angry that she lost, and she’s angry herself. Don’t feel sad though, she will be champion again because she fights for all of the fans. She finds her #1 Fan Izzy at ringside and gives her a hug. I met Izzy actually, very sweet girl and her parents are very nice. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Next week it will indeed be American Alpha vs. Enzo and Big Cass, along with that Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews match.

Tye Dillinger vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura’s entrance is tremendous. I wish I could explain to you the buzz that was in the building at Takeover when he came out. It was incredible. Nakamura manages to make the crowd as loud as they’ve been all night. Dillinger doesn’t know what to do with Nakamura as he teases some kicks Dillinger’s way. The crowd taunts Dillinger by saying Nakamura is an 11. That was funny. Dillinger manges to snapmare Nakamura though and then taunts him. He tells Nakamura to bring it. They tie up and then they end up on the ropes. Nakamura doesn’t give the clean break as he nuzzles his head on Dillinger’s midsection and then tells Dillinger to bring it himself. Dillinger runs right into a knee and then Nakamura works him over in the corner. Dillinger gets a break though and uses the separation to hit Nakamura with a superkick. Nakamura kicks out but Dillinger stays on the offense. After a few punches, he gives the Garvin Stomp to Nakamura and then drops a knee to the spin and hooks a headlock again. Nakamura works his way out finally and both men duck a couple kick attempts, but Nakamura finally drops Dillinger with one. Then he hits an enziguri and gets Dillinger in the corner. Dillinger gets put on the top rope and Nakamura hits his running knee to the ribs. Nakamura then sets up for the Bomaye, which is being named the Kinshasa in NXT and he drops Dillinger with it and picks up the victory.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

That ends our show.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– For an Axxess event that legitimately sold out in advance due to the announcement of them taping NXT during that session, this crowd SUCKED. This show would’ve been much better in front of a Full Sail crowd. Especially for that Ciampa/Gargano victory, which really is a big deal.

– Not that she needed it, but good to see Bayley get a showcase win after losing her title to Asuka. I was honestly quite surprised that she didn’t just go to the main roster after the loss, but maybe they’re saving her for a SummerSlam debut. Until then, she is owed a rematch against Asuka, which I expect to be just as good as the first one was.

– A pretty good showcase for Nakamura who was in there with a perfect opponent in Dillinger. Obviously with Balor mentioning it tonight, we’re just counting down the days until it’s Balor vs. Nakamura. I can only imagine how amazing that match will be. What Nakamura will do until then, I don’t know and I don’t think it matters. He’s a spectacle to see any time he’s on TV.

Next week looks to be another big show, that American Alpha vs. Enzo and Cass match should be a lot of fun. We’ll be here to cover it all, so until next time, remember that one headband is bad enough. Two is just awful.