Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight 03/23/16 by Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. We are just nine short days away from NXT Takeover: Dallas, which looks to be the showstealer of the weekend. Secondary market ticket prices are through the roof as we now have five huge matches official for the show, including the debut of one Shinsuke Nakamura. Tonight we have another Japanese legend in our main event as Asuka looks to settle the score once and for all with Emma. Let’s find out what else the yellow and black brand has in store for us tonight!

Elias Samson vs. Johnny Gargano

You can literally hear the groans of the crowd as Elias’ music hits. He is proof that not everything turns to gold in NXT. Both men tie up and Elias gets an armbar. Johnny reverses out of it nicely but gets forced to the ropes where Elias hits a back elbow. They go to the corner and Elias stomps him down. Johnny fights back but as he comes off the ropes, Elias hits him with an elbow that drops him hard. Johnny hits a discus elbow but Elias keeps coming and gets him back in the corner again. Johnny hits a kick from the ground and then they go to the other corner where Johnny goes for a spear from the apron inside but Elias hits him with a knee to the head. He sends Johnny to the ropes to go for another high knee but Johnny reverses it into the ROLLUP OF DEATH!!

Winner: Johnny Gargano

Post match, Johnny can’t celebrate as Elias attacks him immediately and hits him with his snap neckbreaker. Johnny gets sent to the outside where the attack continues. Elias tells him Johnny he is nothing before sending him spine first into the turnpost. Johnny gets up, only to get hit with a high knee right to the jaw. That’s still not enough as Elias drags him up the ramp, but wait a second, here comes Apollo Crews to finally stop the beating. Apollo dares him to hit him but Elias thinks better of it. Apollo says Elias doesn’t want any of him.

An AWESOME vignette is shown to promote Takeover: Dallas

Non-Title Match: Finn Balor vs. Rich Swann

Rich Swann with the awesome entrance. I dont know much about him, but if that’s his act in EVOLVE or on the indies in general, I’m a fan. Finn with a go behind on Rich to start the match and then gets a front face lock. The crowd is really behind both men as they seem to really like Rich. He gets to the ropes and they have a clean break. Finn goes to a wristlock now and Rich tries to break away with a few kip-ups but Finn keeps it hooked. They get to the corner and Rich tries to monkey flip Finn to counter but Finn still keeps it held on. Finn now chain wrestles into a headlock. Swann finally gets out and then ends up giving Finn a hurricanrana for a two count, but Finn goes right to a hammerlock now. Rich counters that and after a few reverals, Rich hits a nice dropkick. Rich showing great athleticism as he then hits Finn with a Superkick. Finn ends up in the corner and tries to go to the top rope, but Rich cuts him off with another hurricanrana and then a dropkick that sends Finn to the outside. Rich wants to go for a dive to the outside, but Finn is right back in and cuts him off. Rich is now sent to the outside and is dropkicked to keep him there. Finn comes off the apron and punts Rich right in the face. They go back to the inside and Finn hits his shotgun dropkick, followed by the Coup De Grace. Finn once again doesn’t go for the pin there and hits Rich with Bloody Sunday for the win.

Winner: Finn Balor

Alex Reyes is backstage with Emma and Dana Brooke. He asks Emma what will be different than their last encounter. Emma says a lot will be different. Her and Dana have put their minds together and two heads are better than one. Dana says she may look ok, but she’s not. If it was up to her, she’d be destroying Asuka, but instead it’ll be Emma. Emma says she’s got a lot to prove tonight and she’s going to prove it tonight and show that she should get the title match against Bayley. Asuka may be the Emperess of Tomorrow, but she’s in a lot of trouble tonight. Dana teases not giving Alex the head pat, but he gets one anyways.

We get a video package showing the signing of Shinsuke Nakamura along with his debut last week to announce his match against Sami Zayn.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sarah Dobson

The ladies tie up and Sarah sends Alexa down right away, much to the surprise of Alexa. Then she gets dropkicked and retreats to the corner. It’s a set up though as Sarah follows her in and Alexa sends her into the turnbuckles. Alexa now beats on Sarah and then they get near the ropes and Alexa surfboards on Sarah while stomping on the back of her head. Alexa taunts Sarah to her men outside and Sarah tries a small package but Alexa kicks out. Alexa now hooks on a submission wrenching on the left arm of Sarah. Sarah gets to the ropes and Alexa just kicks her straight in the spine. Now she chokes Sarah over the second rope. Alexa sends her to the corner and thrusts some shoulders into the midsection. Sarah sent to the opposite corner where she’s finally able to counter Alexa. Sarah goes to the top rope and goes for a cross body but misses almost completely and ends up kneeing Alexa right in the face. Alexa kicks out and now Blake and Murphy distract the ref enough to give Alexa the advantage back. She hits her back handspring double knees, followed by the Sparkle Splash and picks up the win.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Alex Reyes is now with Samoa Joe who asks him about his match with Finn Balor in nine days. He says Finn has been on a roll lately, which angers Joe and he just walks off without saying anything.

Bull Dempsey vs. Danny Birch

Well this is awkward… oh wait, no it’s not. Samoa Joe comes out as Bull makes his way down and takes him out. Joe hooks on the Kokina Clutch and leaves Bull laying on the ramp. Now he goes in the ring and looks for a mic, but decides to take his aggression out on Danny instead. He hooks on the Kokina Clutch again. After he lets go, Joe gets right into the camera and tells Finn Balor that this is going to be him. Joe is coming for him and he will leave him laying and take his NXT Title.

Quick Plug: Check out this week’s episode of Main Event Madness on iTunes as I hop on with our own Marc Madison along with Jon Curry as we talk the hot topics of the week leading up to WrestleMania.

A tremendous video package is shown for American Alpha and their shot at the NXT Tag Titles against The Revival at Takeover: Dallas. Their history and love for amateur wrestling is shown. Just great stuff.

A vignette for “No Way Jose” is shown. No idea who or what that’s for.

Next week will be Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley and Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey

Asuka vs. Emma (w/Dana Brooke)

Both women tie up and Emma sends Asuka to the corner. Emma tries to attack but Asuka is too quick. Emma then goes for a headlock and takes down Asuka. Emma gets tripped down by Asuka has the headlock. Emma shoots her off but Asuka comes back with a shoulder tackle. Emma charges Asuka after being taunted and runs right into a armbreaker. Emma gets to the ropes but as she gathers herself on the apron, Asuka hits her Rear View and sends Emma to the ramp outside. We go to commercial.

We return with Emma trying to get back in the ring and Asuka stopping her. Asuka gets a hammerlock hooked on. Emma tries to roll out a couple times but can’t do it. She manages to get to the ropes and gets a break. Asuka jumps right into Emma and goes for a heel hook and then turns it into an ankle lock. Emma somehow rolls out and sends Asuka to the outside. Asuka gets back to the apron quickly, but Emma trips her and Asuka takes a hard fall. Now Emma is relentless beating on Asuka. She snapmares her down and kicks Asuak right in the spine. Now she steps on Asuka’s hair and pulls up on the arms. Emma goes for a pin but Asuka kicks out at one. Emma goes back to yanking on the arms with her feet on Asuka’s shoulders. She turns it into a glorified choke but the ref deems it acceptable. Asuka fights out and goes for her quick kicks. Emma manages to avoid them though and yanks Asuka down by her hair and goes back to the arms. Emma hits a couple knees to the small of the back of Asuka and now just toys with her on the mat. Asuka headbutts her way out to get some separation but Emma follows her into the corner. Emma goes to throw Asuka hard in the opposite corner but it doesn’t quite work. Nonetheless, Emma manages to get Asuka hooked in the tree of woe and then pulls up on Asuka so she can land some knees to the spine and back of Asuka. Asuka falls into the corner as Emma grabs the ref so Dana can inflict some damage from the outside. Emma hits the Emma Sandwich and goes for a pin but Asuka kicks out immediately. Emma is starting to look discouraged as Asuka fights to get back up. Both ladies trade some stiff shots and Asuka finally manages to hit a move as she hits another Rear View and then starts the kicks on Emma. Emma blocks one but Asuka turns to the back fists and elbows. Emma blocks it again and dropkicks Asuka into the ropes, who comes back with another Rear View. Asuka wants to capitalize, but Emma rolls her up and gets her feet on the ropes. The ref sees her after two and breaks the pin. Emma is not happy and that gives Asuka the opening she needed. A release German suplex followed by a Shining Wizard sets up the Asuka Lock and Emma has no choice but to tap out.

Winner: Asuka

Our show ends as Asuka celebrates in the ring.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– After that opening segment, I only have one question… who did Apollo Crews piss off? Man, what a drop off for him. I can only imagine what’s going to happen if Elias actually goes over in this storyline that’s sure to blossom.

– Second appearance in a row for Rich Swann maximizing his minutes. Great performance against Finn Balor tonight.

– Emma and Asuka had a really good match tonight. I say it’s better than their Takeover match in London. If you haven’t heard, Emma returned to the main roster last night during the Smackdown tapings, so this may have been her swan song. If so, she did some tremendous work in NXT and did a great job reinventing herself while down in NXT.

– Go out of your way to see the video package done for American Alpha. That was fantastic. They’re easily the hottest act going in WWE right now.

We have one more episode of NXT before we get to Takeover and I will have all the reporting for you here on that show. I’ll have my predictions for Takeover: Dallas probably out before that episode though, so be on the lookout for that. If you’re coming to Dallas for WrestleMania weekend, come find me and say hello! Until next time, always be ready, willing, & Gable.