Reviews

WWE NXT Spotlight: 7/13/16 (Nakamura vs. Balor) by Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to what surely will be a tremendous installment of the NXT Spotlight, right here at TJRWrestling. I am your host once again and tonight is the night we’ve all been waiting for. A match some would’ve never thought possible under a WWE banner, Finn Balor will go one on one with Shinsuke Nakamura. Will Nakamura make it three match of the year candidates? Let’s not waste any time and find out!

A very cool video package hyping tonight’s main event starts the show. Then we go to Balor and Nakamura earlier in the day. Balor entering the locker room and Nakamura getting a last minute workout in on a punching bag. Nice touch to add to an already huge match.

The Champ Returns

We start this week’s episode with the NXT Champion Samoa Joe coming out with a lot on his mind. This is his first appearance since Takeover: The End. Joe says he’s come here for a few reasons. First, he’s here to witness Balor vs. Nakamura. He guarantees a lot of people are here to watch that match. He can’t blame anyone, but the implications for that match are a blatant disrespect to him as champion. They think whoever wins that match becomes an automatic contender for his championship. So Joe has come here to separate reality from fantasy. Some think Balor will be victorious tonight and then get redemption against Joe to get his title back. Reality is though, he slayed The Demon and stands before us all as NXT Champion. Some people that are chanting his name like hypocrites, they think Nakamura will be victorious tonight and he will ride that momentum to his first NXT Championship. Reality is that he’s the first one that truly brought Strong Style over. Nakamura, if he’s the King, then bow to The Emperor. If he tries to snatch Joe’s crown, he will leave Nakamura broken on a heap of men that have tried before. He is the man in NXT now. He is the new face of NXT. If anyone wants to do anything around here, they go through him.

Rhyno’s music now cuts off Joe. Rhyno enters the ring and Joe steps right to him. Rhyno says Joe is the one he has to get through to get to the top. So he’ll go right through him. He challenges Joe and as they stand face to face, Joe just shakes his head in disgust and walks out of the ring. He tells Rhyno he will beat Rhyno up on his time, no one challenges the champ.

We get a preview of next week’s show, which will be a loaded one. Bayley will take on Nia Jax, American Alpha will take on The Authors of Pain, and Samoa Joe will take on Rhyno.

We get another video package, the same one from last week, hyping tonight’s main event.

Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

With 33 minutes left in the show, it is one and done tonight as it’s already time for our main event. This should be spectacular. Finn comes out first, no Demon. We go to commercial after Nakamura’s entrance and we return to chants of “This is Awesome!” before the introductions are even made. Big match intros for this one. We now have 25 minutes left after everything, so plenty of time for one hell of a fight. Split crowd as you’d assume but I’d have to say Nakamura slightly more popular.

As the bell rings, both men feel each other out, not doing much until they lock knuckles. Finn gets a go behind. Both men trade wristlocks. Finn turns one into a side headlock as the crowd chants, “Both these guys!” I’m sure we’ll get a “fight forever” if this goes according to plan. Nakamura tries to back suplex Finn but he maintains momentum with the headlock. Nakamura tries to shoot Finn off but he blocks it. Nakamura manages to keep it in the ropes though, so the ref calls for the break. Finn gives him a clean break but after Nakamura does his head taunt in the stomach of Finn, Finn turns it around and gives him Too Sweet right in his face. Nakamura smiles but unloads with a knee to the gut. Finn ducks a couple other kicks and then gets Nakamura to the mat and hits a seated dropkick. Finn goes back to the headlock now. Nakamura gets Finn to the corner, Finn ends up on the apron and Nakamura hits him with an enziguri there. Finn is in the corner now and Nakamura has Good Vibrations in mind. Not once, but twice. Nakamura goes to the outside and sets up Finn on the apron for the running knee to the ribs. Nakamura now goes to the apron and jumps off with a knee drop to the back of the head. We go to commercial.

We return with both back in the ring and Nakamura hits another knee drop. He goes for a pin but Finn kicks out. Nakamura gets Finn back in the corner, hits a couple knees and sends him to the opposite corner. Finn fires out of that corner though and hits a low dropkick right to the kneecap of Nakamura. Now Finn goes right to the legs and starts grapevining them. He rolls into a front face lock, but Nakamura fights out. Nakamura goes for a sunset flip but Balor rolls through and hits another seated dropkick. He goes for a pin but Nakamura kicks out. Nakamura now in the corner and Finn chops him. They walk to two other corners and Nakamura gets the same result. Nakamura tries blocking a charging Finn but Finn catches the boot and then does more damage to the injury. Finn sets up for a surfboard but instead just does a double stomp to the knees. Finn now gets a heel hook on Nakamura, trying to get the submission. Nakamura is able to get to the ropes. Nakamura tries to fight back as both men get to their feet. Finn comes off the ropes and gets caught with a knee. He ducks one kick but he can’t duck the follow up. Both men back up and Nakamura drops Finn with a forearm. Now he hits a series of kicks and gets Finn back in the corner. He does not let up and then gets Finn set up for the running knee on the top rope and he connects. Nakamura goes for a pin but Finn kicks out. Nakamura wants the reverse Exploder suplex but Finn battles out. He chops Nakamura into the corner but gets caught with a kick. Nakamura tries to go to the top rope but Finn hits him with an enziguri that sends him to the floor. Nakamura tries to get back in but Finn dropkicks him back to the floor. Finn gets on the apron and hits a running punt right under the chin of Nakamura. We go to commercial.

We come back with Finn coming off the top rope with a double foot stomp the spine of Nakamura. Finn goes for a pin and Nakamura kicks out. Finn wanted 1916, but Nakamura blocks it. Nakamura goes for his roundhouse kick, but Finn catches it and turns it into a short scissor lock on the knee. Even Corey Graves said he doesn’t know if he’s seen that submission before. Nakamura gets to the ropes. Finn grabs the leg again but Nakamur with an enziguri. Then out of nowhere, Nakamura grabs the arm and has the armbreaker locked on. Finn gets up slightly and so Nakamura just turns it into a Triangle Choke. Finn passes out just as he gets his foot on the rope, so Nakamura has to let go. Nakamura then drives a series of knees right to the temple of Finn. He picks Finn and hits a front suplex. Nakamura charges Finn but he moves. Finn hits a wheel kick and then goes for the Reverse 1916! He covers Nakamura but Nakamura kicks out! Finn can absolutely not believe it. Finn fires up and drops Nakamura with a Sling Blade. Finn charges for his shotgun dropkick but Nakamura kicks him in the face. KINSHASA!!! Nakamura with the pin but Finn kicks out! Wow! After that kickout, sure enough here are the “Fight forever!” chants.

Nakamura wants another Kinshasa but Finn jumps in the air and hits a standing double foot stomp! That was awesome! Finn with another pin and Nakamura stays alive! Finn is in even more disbelief. Finn goes for a regular 1916 but Nakamura blocks it. Nakamura with the knees and now both men trade haymakers. Finn hits a flurry of shots, including one directly to the side of the hurt knee. Nakamura still manages to kick Finn in the head and charges Finn, but Finn catches him with another Sling Blade! Shotgun dropkick and now he goes up top for Coup De Grace. Nakamura moves and jumps to the top rope and hits a knee to the head. Finn is down and Nakamura sets up for the KINSHASA!!! This time he connects, pinfall attempt, and Shinsuke Nakamura has won this battle!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Post match, the crowd sings Nakamura’s theme as both men are down and selling the war they were just in. The crowd then starts chanting “Thank you, Finn” and Nakamura helps him to his feet. They shake hands, hug, and then bow to each other in a really nice sign of respect. The ref raises Nakamura’s hand in victory and Finn leaves the ring gracefully. Nakamura celebrates with the crowd as we see highlights from the match. That ends our show.

K-Tank’s Final Takes

– Only one final take tonight and that is HOLY. SHIT. What a match. It didn’t even start slow. Maybe the first minute or so and then it was full speed ahead. Absolutely tremendous. If that was Balor’s swan song in NXT, he couldn’t have left in a better fashion. The Kinshasa near fall was one of the best I’ve seen in a very long time. Go watch this match!

– I wanted to just throw out my official Cruiserweight Classic prediction. I think Zack Sabre Jr. wins his half of the bracket quite easily. The other half, there are four men I really have my eye on, Kota Ibushi, Cedric Alexander, and the winner of Johnny Gargano vs. Tomasso Ciampa. I think Sabre vs. Ibushi is the sexy pick, but I’ll go out on a limb and say Gargano vs. Sabre in the finals with Zack Sabre Jr. winning it all. I cannot wait to see it all unfold, regardless of who advances. It’s a great time to be a wrestling fan.

Three straight weeks of fantastic shows and next week clearly will keep the trend going with three huge matches. I’ll be here for all the action, so until next time, throw up the Too Sweet.