Welcome one and all to what promises to be a huge installment of the NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. After last week’s phenomenal Balor vs. Nakamura match, the NXT landscape was changed completely when we saw on Tuesday that Finn Balor, Nia Jax, American Alpha, Mojo Rawley, Alexa Bliss, & Carmella were drafted to the main roster. I’ll have more thoughts on these picks in my Final Takes. As for tonight, we have three matches that could main event any episode of NXT, so it’s going to be action packed. Without any further ado, let’s get to the action!
Rhyno vs. Samoa Joe
Rhyno gets the upper hand to start but Joe shoots him off into the ropes. Rhyno comes with a couple shoulder tackles, but Joe doesn’t budge. Joe pie faces Rhyno and so he goes for a third shoulder tackle and this time Joe goes down. Rhyno then works over Joe in the corner until Joe fights back with a series of chops. Rhyno gets caught with a running back elbow and enziguri in the corner. Joe trash talks Rhyno and then lays in a series of right hands. Rhyno fights back but gets caught with another back elbow that sends him to the mat. Joe goes for a cover but Rhyno kicks out. Joe sends Rhyno hard into the corner again and Rhyno takes a hard fall. Joe hits a combo kick/elbow drop and goes for a pin but another kick out. Joe now goes for a nerve hold to continue wearing down The Man-Beast. The crowd gets behind Rhyno as he fights out, but Joe hits an atomic drop and big boot. Rhyno though, moves out of the way of a running senton splash. Rhyno gets the momentum and sends Joe down with a couple back elbows. Rhyno then hits a rolling belly to belly and now sets up for The Gore. Joe punts him to block it and lays in a couple shots but Rhyno pushes him into the corner. Rhyno charges him but gets caught in the urinagi. Joe goes straight for the Coquina Clutch and Rhyno taps out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Asuka is backstage with Andrea and is asked who she’d rather face between Nia Jax or Bayley. She says she’s fought Bayley, she’s fought Nia, and she’ll fight both.
We get a video package highlighting all six members of NXT who were drafted to the main roster.
American Alpha vs. The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering)
American Alpha was making their way down the ramp, but The Authors of Pain come out and lay out both members. Jordan got launched off the ramp and then Gable was double teamed.
They went to commercial break as refs tended to American Alpha. When we returned, William Regal was there to check on both men either. Gable fights off assistance and now they run to the ring to start the match. All four men brawl in the ring as the ref refuses to ring the bell. Alpha dumps both members of The Authors of Pain to the floor. Now the ref decides to ring the bell officially. Jordan and Sunny Dhinsa start the match. As I’ve said previously about The AOP, they haven’t been named on TV yet, so I’m going by their official names. Jordan bumrushes him into his corner and Gable makes a tag. They hit a double northern lights suplex, but Sunny kicks out at one. Sunny is able to tag in his partner Gzim Selmani. Sunny tosses Gable in the air and Gzim catches him in a bearhug. Sunny then comes off the ropes and hits an avalanche splash while Gable still in the bearhug. Now both members beat down on Gable until Sunny becomes the legal man and gets a bearhug of his own on Gable. He rams Gable hard into his corner and Gzim tags back in. He beats him in the corner for a minute and then Sunny tags back in and goes right back to the bearhug. Gable tries a sunset flip, Sunny blocks it, but Gable squeaks under the legs and makes the hot tag. Jordan cleans house and somehow manages overhead suplexes on both members of AOP. That is not easy at all. He goes for a pin on Sunny but he kicks out at one again. Sunny ends up hitting a Stun Gun on Jordan, but it was in Alpha’s side of the ring, so Gable is able to tag in. Gable charges Sunny and then hits an impressive exploder suplex. This time he gets a two count. Gzim comes into the ring now and AOP goes for the Sidewalk Slam/Big Boot combo but Jordan pulls Gzim out of the ring. Gable meanwhile manages to get the Ankle Lock on Sunny in the ring. Gzim comes from the outside though and pulls Sunny to the ropes. Jordan gets in the ring and jumps clear over Gable, over the top rope, and takes out Gzim. Gable is the only one in the ring and he goes for a baseball slide on Sunny, but he is caught and swung right into the LED board below the apron. Jordan now charges Sunny but he is rammed hard into the steel steps. Now both members of The AOP take Gable into the ring and hit their Russian Leg Sweep/Lariat combo and that picks up the victory.
Winners: The Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering)
Backstage, Cathy is with The Revival. They are asked what’s next for them. Dash says The Authors of Pain owe them a thank you letter for breaking American Alpha’s spirit. Dawson says they proved they are the best tag team on the planet and the only two time NXT Tag Team Champions. They said they’ve beaten everyone, no one has beaten them and the only thing left to do is clink the titles. They are interrupted by Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa though. Gargano says they’ve already beaten the champs before. Ciampa says the only thing they haven’t done is win the NXT Tag Titles. Gargano lets them know that the countdown is on.
A vignette is shown for Hideo Itami, who will return to NXT in two weeks.
Patrick Clark vs. Austin Aries
Patrick Clark is from Tough Enough, the best one on the show, and I would know cause I recapped it here for you fine folks. Aries gets a wristlock to start, Clark manages to roll out of it and drops Aries with a fireman’s carry. Clark gets put in the corner and Aries lays in some punches to beat him down to the mat. Aries acts like he’s doing a clean break but he walks back to the opposite corner and then runs at Clark with a dropkick. Clark ends up on the apron but fights off Aries. Clark comes with a springboard off the top rope but Aries catches him with a Roaring Elbow. Aries then hits a kneebreaker into a reverse exploder suplex, then goes right into The Last Chancery and Clark taps out immediately.
Winner: Austin Aries
Aries taunts the crowd after the match, but here comes No Way Jose for a fight. He tosses Aries over the top rope and then follows him to the floor and fights some more. The refs try to break it up, but they cannot control Jose. Aries jumps the guardrail and runs away from Jose.
Nia Jax vs. Bayley
With 15 minutes left in the show, it is time for our main event. Their two previous matchups that Nia have won, were both very good, so I hope we get another one here. The bell rings and Nia tries to charge Bayley, but Bayley moves. Nia then tries to trap Bayley in the corner but Bayley escapes that too. Bayley somewhat dodges a Nia clothesline, but still gets shoved into the ropes a couple times after that. Baylet runs at Nia and jumps to hook a side headlock. Nia just sends Bayley into the corner. Now Nia reverses a wrist lock. Bayley manages to reverse it herself with the help of the ropes. Bayley gets sent into the corner but she ends up getting up on the second rope for the ten punches. Nia has a counter for everything and catches Bayley in the corner and drops her with Snake Eyes. Nia tries to throw Bayley out of the ring but Bayley ends up catching the middle rope throat first. Nia just toys with Bayley in the ring. Nia then drops a couple elbow drops, but Bayley moves when she goes for a third. It doesn’t matter though as Nia gets Bayley right back in the corner and continues the onslaught. Bayley continues to try and fight and slams Nia’s head into the top turnbuckle repeatedly. Just when Bayley has some momentum, Nia tosses her out of the ring like a rag doll as we go to commercial.
We come back to Nia using the middle rope to her advantage as she pulls back on the head and neck of Bayley. Nia works over Bayley in the corner again and then picks up Bayley for a big bodyslam. Nia then hooks on a loose Cobra Clutch. Bayley fights out of it and then hits a couple boots in the corner. Nia is rocked and Bayley hits a clothesline in the corner. Bayley charges her one more time, but Nia catches her and drops her with a backbreaker. Once more, Bayley is dropped to the floor. Bayley barely gets back in the ring on time but Nia just continues her attack. Nia taunts the crowd with Bayley’s limp body, but Bayley then flips the momentum and ends up sending Nia to the floor this time. Bayley comes off the apron with a clothesline that sends Nia down. Bayley tries to send Nia into the apron, but Nia blocks it. Bayley gets set up on the stairs and Nia charges her, but Bayley moves and Nia hits full steam on the stairs. Nia gets back to the ring at nine, but Bayley finally has the momentum. She traps Nia in the ropes and comes at her with a dropkick. Then she gets Nia in the corner and goes for her corner spear combo, but Nia gets a boot up. Bayley sent to the opposite corner and Nia charges her, but Bayley moves and Nia goes shoulder first into the turnpost. Bayley kicks and knees Nia repeatedly in the ropes. She goes to the top rope and hits a cross body block on Nia, but Nia kicks out. Bayley then wants the Bayley to Bayley but Nia blocks it and wants the Powerbomb. Bayley reverses that into a Victory Roll but Nia kicks out once again. Bayley ducks a couple clotheslines, but she can’t duck an avalanche splash into the ropes. Nia picks up Bayley and plants her with a Jackhammer but Bayley manages to kick out! That was an impressive new move for Nia. (The replay after the match actually made it look not so good.) Nia has Bayley down and out and goes for her legdrop, but stops right before he lands it and decides to drag Bayley over to the corner and go for a legdrop off the middle rope. Bayley jumps up though and catches Nia in a Bayley to Bayley from the second rope, just like that, and she picks up the win!
Bayley celebrates her win as that ends our show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes:
– First off, let’s talk about the Draft. I personally do not think that Alexa, Mojo, or Carmella were ready for the Main Roster. That’s not a slight on any of the three either, especially Carmella who has improved leaps and bounds lately. They just needed more time on NXT, with the spotlight on them more now that the current crop has left. Especially for the women and the fact that Zack Ryder had seemingly moved away from The Hype Bros. Nonetheless, the real issue I had with the draft is they did absolutely zero to explain how the likes of Roode, Aries, Joe, Nakamura, & Bayley went undrafted. They managed to make all three brands look really stupid. I’m actually surprised HHH didn’t think of this and didn’t ensure that something was presented to fix this gap in the process. Not only that, but if he couldn’t do anything on Smackdown, he definitely should’ve done something to address it on tonight’s episode. Just a colossal fail all around.
– Tonight’s show wasn’t quite on par with the last few weeks, but it was a solid show. The Authors of Pain had a very nice showing and I really enjoyed the Bayley/Nia match. They have a great dynamic together.
– Tonight should be the swan song for Nia and American Alpha as they rightfully move on to the main roster along with Finn Balor. I actually think there is a lot of pressure on American Alpha on the Smackdown brand because one could argue they’re actually the best thing on that roster.
There was nothing announced for next week’s show, but I’ll be here ready for anything as we draw closer to Brooklyn part two. Until next time, Be a Hugger.