Welcome one and all to the latest installment of The NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. When I last left you, we had just see Nia Jax pick up a huge victory as she pinned Bayley clean to seemingly become the new #1 contender for Asuka’s Title. However, tonight we will be seeing Nia have to compete in a Triple Threat Match against Carmella and Alexa Bliss to see who gets to be Asuka’s next challenger. We should also get some more details on what to expect at Takeover on June 8th, so let’s get to the action!
The show begins with William Regal in his office stating that despite the fact that his original plan was to be Bayley getting her rematch against Asuka at Takeover, the NXT Medical Staff has deemed Bayley unfit to compete at this time, thus why we’re getting the triple threat match tonight.
A brand new entrance video for the show. Definitely an improvement.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. TM-61
TM-61 is TMDK from Japan. Shane Thorn and Nick Miller are their new names. There’s a screen in screen backstage interview with the new tag team and they state they may be new to NXT, but they’ve made a name for themselves all across the world and they are the best, so they’re here in NXT. They’re ready to prove themselves against the best, because they are The Mighty, and The Mighty Don’t Kneel. That’s cool they can bring their old name as a catchphrase over here. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not familiar with the tag team or why they’re “-61” now instead of just TMDK. We’ll learn as we go though right?
Nick Miller will start the match against Ciampa. They tie up and both men trade headlocks and go behinds, trying to get the advantage to start. Miller ends up dropping Ciampa with a shoulder tackle and then both teams make tags to their partners and we start fresh. They tie up as well and Thorn goes for a headlock, Gargano reverses, and then Thorn gets a wristlock. Gargano reverses it, but Thorn shows incredible athleticism to escape and then hits a sitting dropkick on Gargano. Miller tags in and drops Gargano with a shoulder tackle of his own. Miller stays on the attack and then Thorn tags back in and they hit a double team atomic drop into an uppercut that gets a two count. Thorn now works over the left arm of Gargano and then drops him with a bodyslam. Miller tags back in, but Gargano manages to crawl away and tags in Ciampa. Ciampa chops the hell out of Miller, Miller retaliates. Thorn makes a blind tag and when Ciampa goes down, they hit a double team fist drop and moonsault. Ciampa rolls to the outside and then Gargano is sent out himself. Thorn acts like he’s going to do a dive to the outside, but stops on the ropes and backward flips back into the ring. TM-61 gets a nice applause for their debut thus far as we go to commercial.
We return with Thorn getting a headlock on Ciampa. Ciampa works to fight out of it and hits a stiff back elbow. Ciampa goes for a back suplex, Thorn flips out of it and goes for a sunset flip. Gargano makes the tag as Ciampa hits another back elbow. Gargano comes in with his Spear through the ropes. Gargano hits a seated dropkick to the neck of Thorn and Thorn manages to kick out at two. Gargano hits a side Russian leg sweep and then goes for a pin but Thorn reverses it. Thorn however rolls right into a an inverted Rings of Saturn submission. Really cool move from Gargano but Thorn is able to reverse the momentum and get to the ropes. Ciampa tags back in and they both tee off on chops on Thorn. Ciampa goes to another headlock on Thorn. Thorn hits a jaw jacker to get out and now both men trade blows. Ciampa charges Thorn in the corner and gets caught with a couple sets of knees. He still manages to prevent Thorn from making the tag until Thorn hits a great dropkick. Miller gets the tag now and he is a house of fire on Ciampa. He ends up shooting Ciampa into Gargano and they knock noggins and then Miller follows up with a double clothesline. Ciampa tries going for a sunset flip over the top rope but Miller catches him in an Alabama Slam position. Thorn tags back in now and TM-61 and hit a double team move that looks like a back body drop into a suplex/neckbreaker. Thorn goes for the pin but Gargano breaks it up. Gargano then superkicks Miller to the outside and then follows him out there with a suicide dive. Thorn and Ciampa are still legal on the inside. Thorn tries to clothesline Ciampa, but he ducks and then sends Thorn to the corner and hits a big running knee. Now they set up Thorn in the middle for their Superkick/Running Knee execution and they drill Thorn and pick up the hard fought win. What a match!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Post match, Ciampa and Gargano give a big sign of respect to TM-61. The crowd gives them a well deserved ovation.
We get a Samoa Joe vignette to hype up his Steel Cage title defense against Finn Balor at Takeover. For what it’s worth, there are shots in the vignette of Joe inside a Steel Cage and the cage looks vastly different than what WWE uses. It looks more old-school NWA silver steel cage. Which knowing Triple H, shouldn’t be a surprise. It also looks much shorter than a WWE cage, but you would be able to climb to the top and stand, should someone choose to.
Afterwards we go to a saddened Bayley backstage, who is asked her feelings on being told that she’s been held out of Takeover and won’t be getting her rematch at Asuka. Bayley says it sucks. It’s the last thing she wanted. She fought for the rematch, but Regal probably made the right decision as she’s not 100%, especially to go against someone like Asuka. Nia Jax interrupts her and says that let’s face it, she broke Bayley. She’ll never be the same again. She shoves Bayley and now Carmella shows up to back up her friend. Nia says she’s going to run through her and the little blondie Alexa tonight. Alexa Bliss shows up now and asks Nia if she has something to say. Nia says she’s not even worth it and walks away. Alexa says she is and then tells Carmella that tonight is her opportunity. Carmella says she’ll try to remember that when she’s making Alexa tap out.
A vignette hyping the debut of Andrade “Cien” Almas is shown. He is the former La Sombra from CMLL. He was going by Manny Andrade on the live events as of late, so they’ve changed his name before he comes on TV. I’ve heard great things on him coming from the live events.
Quick Plug: As of right now, I will be on with the guys at Main Event Madness next Wednesday talking about the Brand Split that is coming in July. That is subject to change due to scheduling, but I’m going to give those guys a plug anyways cause they do great work. You can catch their podcasts posted here at TJR every week now and on Itunes. This week they have an interview with the former Rich Brennan from NXT.
Greatness meets The King
Austin Aries now arrives in the ring to speak. He says “The best” is one of the most overused phrases in all of sports. Everyone wants to be the best. However, you’re only the best until someone better comes along. That’s why he’s always strived to be great. Once you’re great, no one can take that away. How do you prove greatness? Is it by proving your talent for over a decade in this ring? Is it winning championships anywhere you’ve competed? Is it debuting for the hottest company going and creating an even bigger buzz. He’s done all of those things, but he realizes that timing is everything. At the time he walked into NXT, there were other people who were grabbing all the attention. The crowd starts a “Nakamura” chant as Aries smirks. He says all of that is going to change. After Joe and Balor settle their differences in the cage, it’s just a matter of time before Austin Aries is NXT Champion. He’s not a man that sits….
The lights go out and here comes Shinsuke Nakamura. I’ll be shocked when he’s NOT on an episode. At least his entrance is 10 levels of awesome, so never get tired of seeing that. Aries looks impressed with Nakamura as he grabs a mic himself. The crowd is going nuts for him. He starts speaking Japanese and then says sorry. He asks Aries if he understands Japanese and Aries says, “I don’t understand you.” To which Nakamura replies, “Me too.” That was funny. Nakamura says the NXT Championship isn’t coming to greatness, it’s coming to the King of Strong Style. Now William Regal’s music hits. He comes out and commends both men on the impact they’ve both had in NXT. He really enjoyed them as a tag team last week, but seeing them in the ring now, he sees something more. The crowd starts a “Takeover” chant and Regal agrees with them and says on June 8th, it’ll be Austin Aries vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura likes it and goes to shake Aries’ hand. Aries returns the handshake and then Nakamura walks out as only he can.
Backstage now, the NXT Tag Team Champions, American Alpha are asked about their challengers, The Revival. Jordan says they are definitely the hardest competitors they’ve faced, but they know what to expect from The Revival. They know they’re going to try and punch them in the face. Gable says that’s what they do, but that’s not a boxing ring, it’s a wrestling ring. There’s no two better wrestlers than American Alpha. It doesn’t matter if it’s Takeover: Dallas, Portland, Minnesota, The UK, or anywhere else in the world. The Revival can bring whatever they want to Takeover this time and American Alpha will be Ready… Willing… and Gable.
No Way Jose vs. Jonathan Ortagan
The crowd goes nuts for Jose, and I gotta admit I’m on board. Jose gets a headlock to start the match and gets shot off into the ropes and comes back with a shoulder tackle. Ortagan gets up and gets a go behind and Jose starts dancing until it’s switched into a headlock. He’s shot off, Jose gets a leapfrog and then a hiptoss. Jose ducks a clothesline and hits a nice leaping snapmare. He then gets Ortagan up into an airplane spin. He turns that into a rolling senton and follows up with a little shimmy and a legdrop. Ortagan gets Jose in the corner though and hits a forearm, and that fires up Jose. Jose tees off on Ortagan and then hits a reverse atomic drop and a facebuster bulldog. Jose with the windup, the pitch, and a huge right hand. He gets Ortagan up for his Cobra Clutch slam and he picks up the win.
Winner: No Way Jose
Post match, Jose celebrates in the ring, then dances up the rampway. Now he heads over to Tom Phillips and Corey Graves. Jose pressures Graves into dancing and now the three of them are dancing at the announce table. That was pretty funny.
We now get a follow up vignette to Samoa Joe’s earlier, this time showcasing Finn Balor’s side of things. Both of these were really good as you would expect.
Asuka is now backstage and is asked if she has a preference on who she wants to win tonight. She says no matter who wins tonight, she will defeat them.
Carmella vs. Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss
Carmella is shown backstage walking with Bayley, who gives her a big hug before she comes out. 13 minutes left in the show as Carmella steps into the ring. Nia looks like an absolute monster next to the other two, as tiny as they are. As the bell rings, Alexa rolls out to the floor and leaves Carmella to Nia. Nia picks up up and sets her on the top rope. Carmella kicks Nia away and jumps off. She tries for a sunset flip, but Nia blocks her. They tie up and Carmella goes for a wrist lock, but Nia just shoves her down again. Nia hits a headbutt as Alexa tries to sneak behind Nia from the top rope. Nia turns around and Alexa thinks better of it and goes back to the outside. Nia then goes back to the attack on Carmella as we go to commercial.
We return with Nia still in control of Carmella. Carmella ducks a clothesline and goes for a hurricanrana but Nia blocks it. Carmella keeps the legs wrapped though and finally manages to send her momentum to get Nia to run into the turnbuckle. Nia goes to the outside, but now Alexa decides to join the match and attacks Carmella. She goes for a pin on Carmella but Carmella kicks out. Alexa kicks Nia to keep her at bay, but Carmella comes from behind with a roll up. Alexa kicks out. Alexa bodyslams Carmella and then goes to the top rope. She hits a Vader Bomb off the second rope, but Carmella kicks out again. Carmella starts to fight back, but Alexa grabs her by the throat and hits her modified chokeslam/STO. Alexa then hits the back handspring double knees. She goes for the pin, Nia tries to break it up but Alexa moves and Nia ends up giving Carmella an elbow drop. Alexa then hits a double knees on Nia. She goes up top and hits the Sparkle Splash on Nia! She goes for the pin but Carmella manages to break it up. Carmella rams Alexa into the turnbuckle and then Nia charges them both, but they move and she hits the turnbuckle. Now both women want to suplex Nia, but Nia blocks it and hits a suplex on to both of them at the same time. Very impressive. Nia again charges both women, but they move and she ends up taking a fall to the floor. Carmella sends Alexa out there as well. Carmella goes for her suicide dive through the ropes onto Nia, but Nia catches her. Alexa is now on the apron and kicks Nia right in the face. Carmella now knocks Alexa off the apron and she wants one more shot at Nia. She dives yet again through the ropes and this time Nia goes down. Carmella is hyped up now, but Alexa comes from behind and sends her back into the ring. Carmella fires up in the ring and ends up hitting a Bronco Buster in the corner on Alexa. She goes for her flatliner, but ends up just throwing her down on the mat and then hooks on her inverted triangle choke. That was odd. Alexa is close to tapping, but Nia breaks up the move. Nia grabs Alexa and sends her to the outside. She headbutts Carmella and then picks her up. Carmella scoots into a choke hold and gets Nia down to one knee. Nia rams her back into the corner though. Carmella goes to the top rope and hits a Thesz Press off the top. She goes for a pin, but Nia kicks out. Now she wants a Bronco Buster on Nia, but Nia catches her in mid-air and sends her hard to the mat. She hits off the ropes and nails the big leg drop and Nia Jax is the new #1 Contender.
Winner: Nia Jax
Post match, Nia talks smack to the crowd at ringside until Asuka’s music hits and here comes the champ. Asuka raises the belt from the top of the ramp and both women stare down each other. Asuka goes to leave, but then gives her creepy smile and decides to make her way to the ring. She gets inside and gets face to face with her new challenger and raises the belt high. Nia tells her that if she gets this close to her again, she’ll drop her where she stands. Asuka just smiles at her and that’s our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– This was a really good show, one of the best in a long time. The tag match was really, really good to start the show and the main event with the three ladies getting a chance to shine on their own was quite good as well. More of this please!
– I love Ciampa and Gargano getting showcased more. I really hope this continues. Both men will be a part of the Cruiserweight Classic that begins in July.
– I believe I said this last week, but No Way Jose is Elias Samson, just with charisma. I love the developmental projects when they work like this. Not everyone has to be a known commodity from Japan or Mexico. In fact, I’m sure Jose is destined for a storyline against Elias soon.
– As of now, the Takeover card is Balor vs. Joe in the cage, Asuka vs. Nia for the Women’s Title, American Alpha vs. The Revival for the tag titles, and Aries vs. Nakamura. There’s typically five matches to each Takeover, so I can see one more being added, but what that would be is anyone’s guess right now. Obviously it’s another stacked show and Aries vs. Nakamura looks as good as anything.
Next week will be the last show before Takeover and we’ll get an exclusive sit down interview with both Samoa Joe and Finn Balor, along with Austin Aries taking on the above mentioned Elias Samson. We’ll be here for all the action, so until next time, always work to be The Greatest Man That Ever Lived.