Welcome everyone to what promises to be a huge installment of the NXT Spotlight here at TJRWrestling. Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock, you heard the universe rocking news that Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor at a NXT Live Event in Lowell, MA. There is obviously a lot of implications with this title change and what it has to do with the brand. I will get to those in my Final Takes. Before we get there though, tonight’s episode is going to show the title change match in its entirety. On top of that, we have Japan’s top two products in action as Asuka goes against The Red Queen of NXT, Eva Marie. Shinsuke Nakamura will also be in action trying to make Elias Samson drift away forever. Lots to get to, so let’s jump right in!
Asuka vs. Eva Marie
This episode will be our last from Dallas during Axxess. Let it be known that Asuka was clearly too coward to put the title on the line against Eva Marie. I don’t even hold that against her, as I’d be afraid to lose my title that quickly too. Eva is looking spectacular in white tonight. The bell rings and Eva goes to the outside to regroup as Asuka throws a kick her way. They then tie up and exchange wristlocks. Eva then reverses it into a headlock, but ends up getting snapmared by Asuka and then kicked directly in the spine. They tie up again and Asuka gets a go behind, but Eva hits a back elbow, followed by a forearm and a shoulder tackle that sends Asuka down. Eva hits off the ropes and ducks an Asuka kick but then gets dropped by a shoulder tackle of her own. Asuka then mocks Eva and drops her with her Rear View version. Now Asuka wants the armbar but Eva gets to the ropes quickly. Eva stands on the apron and Asuka comes with another Rear View and sends Eva to the floor. Eva smartly stays on the outside for a bit and now The Queen’s protection has arrived as Nia Jax shows up. We go to commercial.
We come back to both women on the inside and Eva is in full advantage. She has Asuka in the corner and rams her shoulder into the midsection of Asuka followed by a running elbow. Asuka stumbles out and gets dropped with a big boot. Eva then hits a senton splash but Asuka kicks out. Eva now pulls back on Asuka’s arm with her knee pressed right into the spine. Asuka fights out quickly and sends Eva to the ropes. Asuka wants a third Rear View but Eva moves this time and Asuka hits the ropes. Eva capitalizes and works over Asuka in the ropes. Eva then hits a suplex and then goes back to the arm submission. Asuka somehow fights out and then gets a backslide but Eva kicks out. Asuka goes to the second rope and hits a dropkick. Both women trade forearm blows as they get up. Asuka ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick. Now the flurry of kicks start coming. Eva ducks a couple though and grabs the hair and slams Asuka down. Eva goes for another Senton, but Asuka moves and hits a Shining Wizard. Eva manages to kick out. Asuka charges Eva in the corner, Eva moves but then turns around into an Asuka spinning heel kick and Asuka picks up the win. Clearly that boot was loaded. Hopefully Regal looks into that.
Post match, Nia gets into the ring and stares down Asuka. Asuka shows no fear whatsoever. Nia helps Eva up and out of the ring, but never loses eye contact with Asuka.
NXT Title Match: Finn Balor (c) vs. Samoa Joe
We now go to clips from the title match in Lowell, MA. I thought we were getting the full match, but apparently we are not. That’s a shame. They show the turning point in the match where Balor goes for a dropkick on Joe on the barricade outside. Balor’s left leg looks like it hits awkwardly, but refuses medical attention. He goes to the top rope but Joe cuts him off and delivers a Muscle Buster to become the new NXT Champion. The reaction from the crowd is simply tremendous.
Winner: New NXT Champion, Samoa Joe
After the match, we catch up with Samoa Joe. Joe says he told everyone that he was the inevitable. Balor barely survived the last two encounters, but tonight, he didn’t.
The Revival vs. Matt Lee & Jeff Parker
Dawson and Parker start the match, or as Corey Graves calls him, Jamoke #1. I like that. The former champs destroy the Jamoke in their corner. Dash hits a drop toe hold and Dawson comes in with an elbow. Dawson dares Lee, AKA Jamoke #2, to come in and he says he’s going to respect the rules. That got a pop from the crowd. A double team gutbuster to Parker meanwhile and now Dash is back in the ring. This is a beatdown as now The Revival hitsa Doomsday Device from a Powerbomb position. Dawson just tosses Parker to his corner so Lee can get in the ring. It’s more of the same and just like that, Shatter Machine and it’s over.
Winners: The Revival
Post match, The Revival continue the beatdown and then pose in the ring. Dawson grabs a mic and says there’s a reason they’re called The Revival. They’re preaching the sermon on this Tag Team revolution because they’re the best tag team around and everyone around here knows it. The crowd then starts chanting “Alpha”. Dawson says in saying that, they have to have the NXT Tag Titles. They eat, sleep, dream about those championships. So now every tag team in the world is on notice. No one is safe, they’re all targets. The Revival talks heavy and hits hard and they’re not stopping til they get back what belongs to them.
BAMF vs. The Hype Bros
I have one question for this match, what was Zack Ryder thinking? This was taped one day before WrestleMania. I’d have to assume he knew at this point he was winning the Ladder Match for the IC Title. I bet he was telling the other guys, “Dear God, whatever you do, don’t get me hurt.” Blake and Murphy come out with better ring attire but sans Alexa Bliss. So there’s pros and cons. A “Where’s Alexa?” chant starts up immediately. Mojo and Blake start the match. Blake gets a headlock but Mojo throws him off with ease. Mojo then ducks a clothesline and hits a clothesline of his own. He tags in Ryder who hits a seated neckbreaker. Blake kicks out of a pin and then Ryder gets a headlock. Ryder ducks a double leapfrog after Murphy gets a blind tag and then hits a double faceplant. He gets Murphy in the corner and wants the Broski Boot, but Blake pulls his partner out of the way. Ryder won’t be stopped though and hits a dropkick through the ropes on both his opponents. Ryder throws Murphy back in, but Blake with the distraction and Murphy is able to chop block Ryder. Now he works over the left leg. He tags in Blake and he does more of the same. Ryder finally kicks off Blake, but sends him right into Murphy who makes the tag and prevents Ryder from doing the same. Quick tags and BAMF continue to work that left leg. They try to double team Ryder, but he dumps Blake over the top rope and crawls over to Mojo for the hot tag. Mojo takes care of Murphy and then Blake tags back in. Mojo gets Blake in a fireman’s carry and throws him into Murphy. He then grabs Blake and tags back in Ryder to set up the Hype Ryder and they pick up the win.
Winners: The Hype Bros
Post match, they celebrate their win until The Revival show up and take them both out from behind. Ryder gets sent hard into the turnpost and then they hit the Demolition Decapitator on Mojo on the outside.
Carmella vs. Aliyah
Aliyah is from Breaking Ground if you saw that show on The Network. Both women tie up and Aliyah gets a headlock but Carmella escapes a snapmare and then ducks a shot from Aliyah and does a little moonwalk. Reverse atomic drop and dropkick by Carmella and Aliyah kicks out from a pin. Aliyah grabs the hair and slams Carmella down and then mounts her and hits some punches on Carmella. Carmella kicks out of a pin and then Aliyah hooks a full nelson with a bodyscissors. Now she modifies the full nelson with her legs but Carmella spins out, right into a pin, but Aliyah kicks out. Carmella is sent into the ropes and Aliyah hits a cross body in the corner. Aliyah comes off the second rope with a legdrop, but again Carmella manages to kick out. Carmella monkey flips Aliyah and then hits a Thesz Press. She rams Aliyah in the corner and then hits her hurricanrana out of the corner. A superkick followed by the Bronco Buster. Carmella pulls her out of the corner and hits a Flatliner that rolls right into her inverted Triangle Submission and Aliyah has to tap out.
Elias Samson is backstage and asked about his match with Nakamura tonight. Elias says that Regal misinterpreted his words and song from last week. Elias says he will show Nakamura that he is THE Drifter and Nakamura should’ve never drifted into NXT.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Elias Samson
Despite being the only Superstar to perform twice during these tapings, Nakamura still gets a rock star reception. Perhaps even bigger than his reception two weeks ago. Both men tie up and Samson gets Nakamura agains the ropes and they get a clean break. They tie up again and this time Nakamura gets the advantage and toys with Samson. Samson kicks Nakamura and sends him to the ropes. Nakamura blocks a hiptoss, snapmares Samson down and hits a big knee drop. Samson kicks out of a pin and then as Nakamura struts across the ring, Samson hits a stiff clothesline and takes control. He hits a bodyslam and then wrenches at the face of Nakamura. Nakamura is sent into the ropes and gets hit with a knee, a chop in the ropes and then a suplex. Samson goes for the pin but Nakamura kicks out. Now Samson goes for a headlock. Nakamura makes his way to the ropes. Samson chops him again. He tries to shoot Nakamura off but Nakamura hits a knee to the midsection and then hits a spinning jumping heel kick. Now Samson is put up on the top rope and Nakamura drives his knee into the ribs. He follows that up with a reverse exploder suplex and then it’s time for the Kinshasa and he picks up another win.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
End of Show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– I’m going to have a lot of Final Takes this week so I’ll start with this one. Corey Graves and Tom Phillips were spectacular on commentary this week. Especially during the Eva Marie/Asuka match. I’m not trying to make a comparison, but during that match, it was honestly the closest thing we’ve had to Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. It really was that good.
– Samoa Joe as NXT Champion excites me. First off, he deserves it. His latest run as a heel has been probably his best work ever. If not ever, then since his first year at TNA. What does this mean for Balor? I personally think we’ll see Balor in the main roster come this Sunday at Payback. I’m sure they’ll give him a rematch against Joe but I don’t expect him to get the title back. For anyone mad that Joe didn’t win the title at Takeover: Dallas, you have to remember that the other two titles changed hands that night and you want those to have some sort of impact. Joe winning that night would’ve superceded everything. Also, for anyone mad that the title change took place at a Live Event, that was a brilliant decision. I’ve said for years now that WWE needs more of that at their Live Events. Why should I pay for a ticket for a show on Saturday or Sunday that is the exact same show on Friday? I can just read results and save money. You want bigger crowds than 3,500 people barely filling out the lower bowl? Have some surprises!
– So then, who becomes Joe’s first challenger? I think there’s time to figure that out, as like I said above, I fully expect Balor to get a rematch. However, the next Takeover event isn’t until June. So I would set up a tournament and have a new challenger established that way to be ready for June. I think a lot of people will automatically think it’ll be Nakamura. I would actually hold off on that for a bit. Let that build. Give Austin Aries the shot first. Aries hasn’t exactly set the world on fire yet in NXT, but him and Joe had amazing matches in TNA and I think it would be the perfect match for Aries.
– The Revival were the stars of the show tonight. That was an old school Jim Crockett Promotions beatdown squash match. I loved it. Dawson’s promo was short, sweet, and to the point. Then the attack of The Hype Bros really put the exclamation point. They didn’t waste any time making their point. Big fan of it.
– Kudos also to Eva Marie and Carmella tonight. Eva Marie easily had her best showing ever tonight. That was a very good match with Asuka and she was able to hold her own. Carmella, being on her own offically, showed some nice offense. I got to speak to Carmella for a few minutes in Dallas when I met her, and she clearly does not want her one shot against Bayley a few weeks ago, to be her only shot.
– Nakamura is a rock star, not much else can be said about him. Another showcase appearance tonight. Elias Samson’s push definitely did not last long, which is for the best. Not sure where he goes from here now, but also not sure that I care.
Next week, Austin Aries will be in action as I believe we return back to Full Sail University. Whatever takes place, I’ll be here to cover everything. So until next time, remember to always be All Red Everything.