Welcome one and all to the penultimate edition of the NXT Spotlight before NXT Takeover: The End which is one week away. What does “The End” mean? The end of Joe and Balor’s rivalry? The end of Takeover events? The end of NXT as we know it? A lot of questions and hopefully my coverage here at TJRWrestling will answer them all. Tonight we have Austin Aries in action and we also have a sit down interview with Samoa Joe and Finn Balor in the same room just one week before their Steel Cage match for the NXT Title. Let’s get to the action!
The Revival Put The Champs on Notice… Then Get Put On Notice Themselves
Dash and Dawson get in the ring with mics in hand. Dash says at Takeover, they will take their titles back and become the first ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. Dawson says not to get it twisted. They have enough decency to admit American Alpha have ameteur talent. This though, is the big time. The revival talk heavy and hit hard. That’s what they’re going to do at Takeover. Maybe then American Alpha can take Gable’s towel and wipe the tears away…
With that, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano’s music hits and interrupts The Revival. Dash asks them what they’re doing here. Ciampa says their time has come and gone. Everyone here knows that American Alpha is better than them. The Revival can’t beat the champs, and they can’t beat him and Gargano either. Dawson mocks them and says they’re two undersized guys who think they’re better than they are. Dash says they’re nothing more than a couple “good hands”. Ciampa asks if he’s talking about them, or The Revival themselves. Dawson says the renissance of the tag team division is because of The Revival. So Ciampa and Gargano can go back to thier bingo halls and let the top guys handle top guys business. Ciampa asks if they’re going to take care of business like they did in Dallas when they lost? Dash says at least they were champs, unlike these two jamokes. The deal is, when Ciampa and Gargano have ever done anything, maybe then they can talk to The Revival. Until then, top guys coming through.
The Revival leave the ring and then Gargano says, for two “top guys”, they’re sure leaving the ring pretty fast. The Revival stop and turn around and head back to the ring. They’re promptly met by dual dropkicks from Gargano and Ciampa and then send both members of The Revival to the floor. It looks like we’ll have a match later tonight.
Shinsuke Nakamura is now backstage and is asked about how two weeks ago he was Austin Aries’ partner and now next week he’s going one on one against Aries at Takeover. How does he feel about the match? Nakamura thinks about it and says that Aries will bow down to the King of Strong Style.
Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy
Corey Graves has a great line where he said Murphy lost his girl and his tag partner, but he got his first name back. Dillinger attempts to tie up but Murphy goes to the ropes to stall. Now they do tie up and Murphy gets a wristlock, Dillinger escapes and then does a bit of chain wrestling. To which he declares a perfect 10. He armdrags Murphy and then goes for an armbar. Murphy gets to his feet and sends Dillinger to the corner. Murphy charges but gets dumped to the apron. He lands on his feet though and grabs Dillinger by the hair and pulls him down to the mat. Dillinger ends up on the opposite corner and Murphy charges him with a fist to the face, much like a Broski Boot, just the fist instead of the boot. Murphy kicks Dillinger in the corner and then hits a short arm clothesline. He goes for a cover but Dillinger kicks out at two. Murphy hits a knee drop and another pin but Dillinger kicks out again. Murphy now goes for a headlock. Dillinger fights his way out and turns it into a victory roll but Murphy kicks out. Both men up and Dillinger lays in a couple chops and then drops Murphy with a Thesz press. Murphy gets shot into the turnbuckle and comes out into a back body drop. Now Dillinger gets Murphy in the corner and goes for the 10-punch combo. Murphy cuts him off at 9, but Dillinger hits a superkick that sends Murphy back and then hits his 10. Dillinger now pulls down his knee pad and gets Murphy up in a Fireman’s Carry and flips him over right onto his now exposed knee and that does it.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
The Champ & Challenger Speak One Last Time
Corey Graves is conducting a sit down interview with both Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. It’s the first ever NXT Steel Cage match. Graves wants to ask Balor first what it was like to be in Lowell, MA when Samoa Joe beat him for the NXT Title. Balor says it’s a hard question to answer. That was something he never saw coming. He always pictures the fairy tale ending and that night was definitely not it. He was ultimately speechless. Graves asks if he has any regrets putting the title on the line so soon after Joe’s previous challenge at Takeover in Dallas and Joe had come so close. Balor says absolutely not. You defend the title every night possible, he defended it 292 days and that night, he was beaten.
Graves now asks Joe how did it feel to accomplish what he made no bones about was his goal all along. Joe says he finally got what he deserved. For whatever Balor just said, he made Joe jump through ridiculous hoops to get his shot. He had to go through Zayn, he had to go into a ridiculous battle royal, he says it’s not true that Balor was a defending champion. Balor cuts him off and says Joe came in with a sense of entitlement that he deserved a title shot. There was a hundred guys at the Performance Center who were more deserving than Joe, who work every day in the Performance Center. Joe asks if they were more deserving, why aren’t they champion? Balor says maybe they weren’t bitching and moaning every day talking to the office asking for a title shot. Joe says it’s not entitlement, it’s confidence. Balor has never been able to handle that and never wanted to give Joe a real shot. Balor asked for help in the Dusty Tournament and Joe got them the win, but then when he asked for a title shot, Balor didn’t stand up for him when Regal made him jump through hoops.
Graves then asks so what happened to the two of them and what made it go sour? Balor then asks Joe what happened to that guy ten years ago. What happened to the guy who Balor showed up to his wedding for. Joe asks what happens to the guy who would give a fair shot to someone he knows could beat him. Maybe that’s why Balor never gave him the shot. Anywhere Joe goes, he wins gold. Balor asks if Joe thinks Balor hasn’t been anywhere. He’s been in the UK and dojos in Japan. He’s not afraid of Joe nor is he afraid of the Steel Cage match. Joe asks who got him into Japan. Balor says he got himself in there through hard work. Joe says that’s revisionist history. Now Graves asks them about their first encounter for the title at NXT Takeover: London, also once against in Dallas. Balor said he didn’t beat Joe, he survived. Balor says people twist his words. He may have survived, but he won. It wasn’t some miracle. Graves brings up the fact that Balor has never been in a Steel Cage ever. Is that a disadvantage? Balor says maybe, but his first ever Ladder Match was in Brooklyn and look what happened there. Graves asks Joe if he has the advantage. Joe says he does and Balor knows he does. In a cage, no one can come in and affect the outcome. Joe gets busted open in Dallas but he’s kicking Balor’s ass, however the medical staff gets in Joe’s way and prevents him from beating Balor. There were no distractions in Lowell and he won.
Graves asks Balor if he’s concerned about the risk he’s putting his career in by accepting this match against this guy. Balor says this is his career. It’s all about the NXT Title. People ask him about the Future but all he cares about is the present and getting his title back. Joe says this match is an opportunity to show certain people where their place is. Joe says trust me and Balor says he doesn’t trust him for one second. Joe is the one who stabbed him in the back. Joe says of course he stabbed him in the back because he was walking away from him avoiding his challenge. He would’ve been happy to stab him in the heart. Graves thanks both of them and says we’ll see them in seven days. Balor tells Joe to say seven days because he better enjoy it while it lasts. Joe says it’s all over as both men get in each other’s face to close out the interview.
Quick Plug: I joined the guys at Main Event Madness once again last night and we had a makeshift Mock Draft. We went 20 rounds and it was a lot of fun. Obviously it’s hard to predict a draft this far out when we don’t know the official rules, but it still turned out to be a fun conversation with everyone involved. You can check out the show at our new home of blogtalkradio.com and also I know they’ve been getting posted here at TJRWrestling as of late.
Elias Samson vs. Austin Aries
Interesting heel vs. heel dynamic here as Aries does not get much of a reaction and that he does get is not favorable. They tie up to start and Elias gets a headlock. Aries shoots him off but Elias cuts it off and goes to an armbar. Aries counters it. Elias backs Aries into the corner and manages to break it. He sends Aries to the opposite corner, Aries leapfrogs over him and goes off the ropes but is caught by an Elias shoulder tackle. Aries hits a couple armdrags on Elias and then goes back to the arm. Aries then hits a seated dropkick and goes for a pin but Elias kicks out. Aries goes back to the arm. Elias gets Aries into the ropes and then hangmans Aries’ neck. Now he beats Aries down in the corner. Aries gets shot off the ropes and hit with a clothesline. Another pin but Aries kicks out. Aries now goes after the head and neck. He turns it into a headlock but Aries fights out and then hits a kneebreaker right into a back suplex. Aries hammers Elias with punches and chops and then drops him with a clothesline. Elias is in the corner and gets snapmared over. Aries then comes off the second rope with an elbow drop to the back of the neck. Elias rolls to the floor and Aries follows up with a low bridge suicide dive. Both men back in the ring and Aries hits a Roaring Elbow followed by a shotgun dropkick in the corner. Aries now sets up Elias for the Front Chancery submission and Elias has to tap out.
Winner: Austin Aries
Post match, Aries gets on the mic and says that he’s said it before and proven it in the ring… the crowd drowns him out with a Nakamura chant. Aries says at Takeover, he will leave no doubt and show everyone where the spotlight belongs on and that’s Austin Aries.
The Andrade “Cien” Almas vignette is shown. He will debut at Takeover. It was announced after the show that his opponent will be Tye Dillinger.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. The Revival
Gargano and Dawson start the match. They tie up and Dawson gets the advantage with a headlock. Gargano shoots him off but gets dropped with a couple of shoulder tackles. Gargano comes back though and hits a couple armdrags and a dropkick. Dash comes in to stop Gargano and he gets hit with a dropkick himself. Gargano now tags in Ciampa. They shoot Dawson in and hit a double team kick to the head. Ciampa goes for a pin but Dawson kicks out. Ciampa gets a front face lock to prevent Dawson from making a tag. Dawson gets Ciampa in the corner and doesn’t give a clean break. Ciampa lays in the chops and forearms but Dawson cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Ciampa hits Dawson with a couple clotheslines though and then sends Dash off the apron. Dawson grabs Ciampa and sends him to the outside. Now Dawson drags the ref over to Gargano, where he starts to mess with Gargano. Meanwhile, Dash hits Ciampa with a clothesline on the floor and we go to commercial.
We come back to Dash in the ring with Ciampa and now working over the left leg. The crowd really gets behind Ciampa and he manages to catch Dash in a small package, but Dash kicks out. Ciampa wants a tag but Dash cuts him off and then sends him to the floor. Dash tags in Dawson who goes to follow Ciampa to the floor. Ciampa manages to send Dawson into the turnpost though. Ciampa crawls for a tag but somehow Dawson is able to cut him off. Now Dash is back in the ring and continues to attack that left leg. He goes for a back suplex, but Ciampa reverses it into a pin attempt. However, Dawson makes the blind tag and Ciampa still can’t make a tag. He finally escapes and here comes Gargano. He hits a double knee in the corner on Dawson and then hits his roll up kick to the face. Dawson tries to dump Gargano to the floor but he lands on apron and comes back in with his spear through the ropes. Gargano goes after Dash now but then turns right into a DDT from Dawson. Gargano manages to kick out. Dash and Ciampa now go to the floor and Dawson grabs Gargano and puts him on the top rope. Gargano fights back and sends Dawson to the mat, but not for long as Dawson comes right back and now wants a top rope superplex which he hits beautifully. However when they land, Gargano grabs Dawson’s legs and turns it into a small package and he steals the win!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Post match, The Revival immediately start beating down Ciampa and Gargano. Gargano goes to the floor and both men work over Ciampa. They hit the Shatter Machine on Ciampa. Now they set up Ciampa’s knee to injure him like they did Big Cass but here comes American Alpha! All four men start brawling in the ring and fists are flying. Eventually American Alpha hits German Suplexes in stereo and are left standing in the ring.
Making The Women’s Title Match Official
William Regal is now in the ring to conduct the contract signing between Nia Jax and Asuka for the NXT Women’s Title match at Takeover: The End. After both women enter, Regal talks about how Asuka debuted nine months ago and two months ago she won the title. Nia Jax then grabs the mic and cuts off Regal. She is surprised that everyone is running from Asuka. She’s done nothing besides kick a couple chicks. She may have beaten Bayley, but Nia BROKE Bayley. Asuka may be the Emperess of Tomorrow, but Asuka has never faced anyone like Nia Jax. She is not scared of Asuka. Nia signs the contract. Asuka grabs the mic and tells Nia that she talks too much. Then she screamed at Nia in Japanese. Then she says if Nia isn’t scared of Asuka, she should be. Both women start to brawl. Asuka gets the upper hand at first and then goes to kick Nia in the head but Nia catches her leg and turns it into a powerbomb and lays out the champ. Nia then leaves the ring and looks proud of herself. That’s our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– I won’t have many final takes this week as I’m going to have a Takeover preview piece that will probably go up Tuesday morning that will have a lot of my overall thoughts. I’ll also have all my predictions in that piece as well.
– Another really good show overall though. That’s two in a row. As Lou said in Major League, “We get one more, that’s called a winning streak.” Loved the importance put on the Balor/Joe match. That sit down interview was a great piece of business.
– If you couldn’t tell, The Revival stole the show this week. Tremendous mic work, far and away their best promos, and then a great match against Ciampa and Gargano. Gargano and Ciampa continuing to get pushed makes me happy. More of that please.
So as I said, I’ll have a full Takeover preview piece that will probably be up on Tuesday. Then I’ll have full, live coverage of Takeover: The End on Wednesday. I’m not sure if it’ll be play by play or running blog style (more than likely the latter) but I hope you’ll join me here for the show. Until next time, be a Perfect 10.