Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight 04/20/16 by Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight right here on TJRWrestling. We are still feeling the fallout of NXT Takeover: Dallas and tonight will be the first time we see one of the champions in action since that night as American Alpha takes on the challenge of Enzo and Big Cass. We also have the debut of No Way Jose and we have another huge match as Samoa Joe tries to rebound from coming up short for the NXT Title again, as he takes on Apollo Crews. Let’s get to the action!

American Alpha vs. Enzo and Big Cass

Even though this is NXT, no Carmella with Enzo and Cass. One can only assume this is their swan song for the Yellow and Black. Big ovation for the tag champs and a huge “This is Awesome!” chant before the match starts. Enzo and Gable will start the match. Gable with the takedown and shows off his amateur skills to start. They get a double knuckle lock and Gable toys with Enzo turning him inside out and outside in before getting an armbar and then tagging in Jordan. Jordan works over the left arm of Enzo and then tags back in Gable. Fireman carry drop by Jordan and then Gable goes for the pin, which Enzo kicks out. Quick tags between the champs as they continue to work over that arm. Enzo works to get the crowd behind him as Jordan wears him down. Gable back in and then goes for a hammerlock and really wrenches on it. Just like that, Jordan back in. Enzo gets shot into the ropes and stops his own momentum so he can tag in Cass. Cass and Jordan now face off as we go to commercial.

We come back to Cass getting a headlock on Jordan. Jordan shoots him off the ropes, Enzo makes a blind tag, and Cass drops Jordan with a shoulder tackle. Enzo gets bodyslammed on top of Jordan but Jordan manages to kick out at two. Enzo now gets a headlock. Jordan goes for a back suplex, Enzo lands on his feet. Jordan goes off the ropes and this time it’s Gable with the blind tag. Enzo ends up running into a Judo throw. Both men get near the corner with Gable on the apron and they both go for a knockout blow and knock each other out. Enzo being in the ring, is able to make the tag to Cass and he gets a hammerlock on Gable. Gable tries to fight out but Cass just clubs him down to the mat. Gable is taken to their corner and Enzo tags back in. They double team Gable with an Enzo splash and then goes for a pin, but Gable kicks out. Enzo gets a headlock on Gable now. Gable manages to escape and then tries to crawl through Enzo’s legs, but Enzo cuts him off and makes the tag to Cass. Cass gets Gable into the corner and then whips him into the other side and follows in with a huge avalanche splash. No pin attempt, but instead gets a knuckle lock and lifts Gable almost seven feet in the air and he does not have a good fall. Cass does it again at the command of the crowd and again Gable takes the huge fall. Cass goes back to the hammerlock. He shoots Gable into the corner and wants another avalanche splash but Gable moves and Cass hits nothing but turnbuckle. Both teams get the hot tag and it’s now time for Jason Jordan to throw around Enzo. Enzo goes every which way and then gets sent to the corner. Jordan goes for his spear in the corner but Cass falls on the sword for his partner. Cass is out on the floor now and Enzo goes to the top rope to capitalize, but Jordan is able to catch him. Enzo gets promptly tossed with an overhead suplex. This time Jordan throws Enzo in his corner, hits his spear, and Gable tags in to hit their toss back suplex finisher and they get the win.

Winners: American Alpha

Apollo Crews is backstage and says he doesn’t like bullies, which means he doesn’t like Samoa Joe. He knows what Joe can do and his history in the business, but Apollo can do a lot too and he’s going to show that tonight. Welcome to the Age of Apollo.

 

No Way Jose vs. Alexander Wolfe

I don’t know if this was the right crowd to debut Jose in as they literally give no reaction to him. The match starts with him getting a headlock on Wolfe and doin a dance move while doing it. He then gets a flying snapmare, followed by an airplane spin. He stops and then keeps going with it. The crowd is actually warming up to this act. Jose drops him with a rolling senton and then hits a legdrop. Wolfe manages to fight back and snapmares Jose down and then goes for a neck wrench. Jose armdrags Wolfe to get out of it and then a couple punches and hiptoss, followed by a bodyslam. Now he swings like a baseball batter and hits a couple chops, followed by a face plant. Now he winds up like a pitcher and drops Wolfe with a right hand and…. that’s the match.

Winner: No Way Jose

Austin Aries is backstage with Alex Reyes and is asked about his match with Baron Corbin at Takeover: Dallas. Reyes says that Corbin says that Aries’ win was luck. Aries says he doesn’t need luck. He was beaten down by Corbin, but all it took was three seconds to prove he was the better man. If Corbin wants another shot, Aries isn’t hard to find. That’s a message to the entire roster too. There’s a lot of great competition in NXT, but there’s only one at the A-Double level and that’s Austin Aries.

Elias Samson is now by himself playing his guitar backstage. William Regal comes by and says he’s heard Elias’ songs and it sounds like he wants an opportunity. Elias questions how Regal could know what he wants. Regal says he really doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter because next week he’s going against Shinsuke Nakamura.

Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Both ladies tie up and Nia immediately overpowers Deonna. Deonna gets tosses halfway across the ring and then is followed up with two big splashes in the corner. Nia gets Deonna up in a shoulderbreaker and drops her with it. Two elbow drops after that and now Nia just taunts her opponent. Deonna tries to get Nia down but fails miserably. Now she wants to chop down Nia, but instead is crushed with a Samoan Drop and Nia’s legdrop after that and it’s already over.

Winner: Nia Jax

Bayley is now backstage and is asked about next week’s match between Asuka and Eva Marie. (YES!!!!!) Bayley says she knows how good Asuka is because all you have to do is watch their match from Takeover: Dallas. She then says don’t look past Eva Marie because she’s the greatest woman on the NXT roster not named Bayley. OK, maybe I made some of that up. Bayley does say that no matter who is in the ring, if it’s the women’s division, she will be paying attention.

Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews

Both men tie up to start and Joe gets the advantage with a wristlock. Apollo rolls out of it and reverses. Joe walks him back into the corner and Apollo manages to get a clean break. They tie up again and this time Apollo gets a headlock. Joe gets to the ropes and again they get a clean break. This time it’s Joe with the advantage again but Apollo reverses it into another headlock. Joe fights out of it and punches Apollo into the corner. Joe chops Apollo and then delivers a headbutt. Joe goes off the ropes and Apollo leapfrogs and drops down, hitting Joe with his patented dropkick. Apollo now beats down Joe in the corner and we go to commercial.

We come back with Joe fighting out of the corner. Apollo fights back himself though, but gets sent to the opposite corner and is hit with a back elbow and enziguri. Joe kicks Apollo while he’s down and then drops a couple elbows to the crown of the skull. Apollo wants to fight back but is dropped hard with a running back elbow. Joe now goes to a neck wrench on Apollo. Apollo fights up but is slammed to the mat. Now Joe wrenches back on both arms with his knee on the spine of Apollo. Apollo works to fight out but Joe hits an atomic drop, big boot, and senton splash combo. Joe starts to bully Apollo on the mat and no matter what Apollo does to fight back, he gets cut off. He tries blocking a Samoa Joe suplex and finally manages to reverse it. Both men slow to get up but Apollo manages to fight off Joe. He hits a splash in the corner and then a jumping clothesline. A jumping enziguri and standing moonsault leads to a pin, but Joe kicks out. Apollo comes off the ropes but Joe catches him in a snap powerslam. He goes for the pin but Apollo kicks out. Apollo fights back once more and both men trade blows. Apollo hits a solid bicycle kick and then tries to get Joe up in his spinning powerbomb finish. Joe rolls out and goes to the corner. Apollo charges and gets caught in the urinagi in the corner. Joe kicks Apollo when he’s down and then when Apollo struggles to get to his feet, Joe comes from behind and hooks the Kokina Clutch. Apollo has to tap out.

Winner (By Submission): Samoa Joe

Joe stares into the camera and says, “it’s not over.” That ends our show.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– Another solid showing by American Alpha. They just continue to be the hottest act in NXT. If you listen to Jim Ross’ podcast, he had Dave Meltzer on last week and Meltzer had some really strong praise for American Alpha.

– I really love Nia Jax. She seems to be getting in tremendous shape for a woman her size, especially ever since that match against Bayley in London. I would think being on that stage has really motivated her. I honestly can’t wait to see what Asuka can do with her.

– I can honestly see No Way Jose getting over as a comedy act. I mean that finisher is on the level of The Worm in terms of silliness but he turned a crowd who literally gave him less than crickets for an initial reaction, into a crowd that was chanting “Jose” to the tune of “Ole!” They seemed to dig it. I think Full Sail will get behind him.

– I’m almost a little surprised at how one sided the Joe and Apollo match was. Apollo really didn’t get that much offense in. It was a really good showing though for Joe, especially coming off his match with Finn at Takeover. Where Joe goes from here, I’m not sure. I do know though that this persona of Joe is perfect for him and is really some of his best work. (UPDATE: Well, where Joe goes from here is new NXT Champion! If you haven’t heard, at a NXT Live Event in Lowell, MA, Samoa Joe pinned Finn Balor clean in the middle of the ring to become NXT Champion. Read all about it here!)

Next week we will all be glued to the tube in anticipation for The Red Queen of NXT taking on Asuka. We’ll also get the second appearance of Shinsuke Nakamura, who hopefully will destroy Elias Samson forever. I’ll be here to cover the action, so until next time, How You Doin?