WWE NXT – March 23, 2016 Recap and Review

WWE NXT

March 23, 2016

Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida

Elias Samson vs Johnny Gargano

Samson starts off the match strong by throwing Gargano face first into the turnbuckle and a forearm to the face after an Irish Whip. Samson then has a weird glazed look over his eyes and is knocked back into this world with a forearm by Gargano. Gargano rolls Samson from the turnbuckle and kicks Samson in the face with loud clap. From the apron, Gargano launches himself into Samson but is met with a knee to the jaw. Samson gets rolled up and attempts to kick out very closely after the three count. 

Post fight, Samson is angry that his first loss at NXT was to Gargano and tosses Gargano out of the ring onto the floor after a swinging neck breaker. He begins yelling at Gargano saying that he is the one NXT needs and that Gargano embarrassed him. The beat down continues for a few moments too long and Apollo Crews comes out to finally stop Samson’s beat down Gargano. Here begins the two week build up for these two to face each other at NXT Takeover in Dallas.

Rating **

Finn Balor vs Rich Swann

Finn begins the match by smothering and crawling over Swann with some headlocks thrown in. After getting to their feet, Finn locks up Swann’s wrist with Swann attempting to kip up to counter. Finn doesn’t allow Swann to get out of the wrist lock and places him in a side head lock. Once Swann finally gets out of the headlock, Swan takes Finn down with a head scissors take down. This is followed by a nice bit of offense by Swann with a Huricanrana and sending Finn out of the ring with a drop kick. While outside of the ring, Finn gets the advantage over Swann. From this point on, we see a very aggressive and overpowering Finn Balor. Finn runs along the ring apron and kicks Swann, who is standing outside the ring, in the face. Once back in the ring, Finn delivers a strong drop kick sending Swann into the turn buckle. With Swann laid out on the mat, Finn hits the Coup De Grace. Usually we might see him use the Coup De Grace then pin the opponent but he then pulls Swann up and delivers a Blood Sunday to finish Swann for the pin and the victory.

Rating ***1/2

Alexa Bliss with Blake and Murphy vs Sarah Dobson

Bliss comes down to the ring, where Dobson is already, in pink ring attire but still has her Freddy Kruger hand thing. Dobson starts off the match strong with an arm drag and a drop kick but Bliss lures Dobson into the turn buckle. Dobson attempts a small package on Bliss but kicks out. While Bliss keeps Dobson’s arm in a lock behind the head, she digs her nails into Dobson’s rib attempting to make the hold stronger. Dobson is then thrown into the turnbuckle where she does a Flair Flip over the top onto the ring apron. Dobson then delivers a kick and boot to Bliss followed by a flying cross body. The cross body hits Bliss but so does Dobson’s knee…right into what might be Bliss’ face. After a two count Bliss strikes Dobson with a forearm but after getting hit, Dobson takes Bliss down to the second rope. Blake climbs up to distract the ref while Murphy pushes Bliss out of the way causing Dobson to miss. Bliss then hits the Sparkle Splash from the top rope and gets the win over Dobson. The match really made Dobson seem like a good competitor until the final bit with the interference.

Rating **1/2

Bull Dempsey vs Danny Birds

The match doesn’t happen due to Samoa Joe putting both Dempsey and Birds into Coquina Clutch. Samoa Joe then says that Finn will not escape and the championship is going to be Joe’s.

Rating Nothing because it never happened.

Asuka vs Emma

The main event of the evening is a rematch between Emma and Asuka from NXT Takeover London. Earlier on in the evening, Dana Brooke and Emma shot a segment talking about how Emma has improved since then with the help of Brooke.

Emma starts out with putting Asuka in a side headlock followed up by a shoulder tackle knocking Asuka down. Asuka puts on her own side headlock clinic on Emma and returns the favor with her own shoulder tackle. After mocking Emma by shaking her hips, Asuka traps Emma into a jumping arm bar but Emma breaks the hold by getting to the ropes. She is then dumped out onto the outside after getting hit with a hip bump. Asuka gets Emma into a hammer lock and after a few failed counter attempts, Emma is locked into a knee bar and an ankle lock by Asuka. Asuka is placed into a choke by Emma. She releases the choke after taking some hip bumps by Asuka and is met with a flurry of strikes by Asuka. When Asuka fails to deliver a connecting blow on Emma, she is slammed down by her hair by Emma. In the corner, Asuka is hung up in the corner with Emma beginning to work on Asuka’s lower back. Brooke interferes while the ref’s back is turned by pulling on Asuka’s hair. Emma launches a cross body at a vulnerable Asuka sitting in the corner and hits with force. Again the two are very evenly matched until after Emma counters a few well scouted kicks from Asuka. She hits Asuka with a forearm knocking her down to the mat. Once Asuka is back to her feet though, she lands a few serious hip bumps onto Emma. Emma attempts to pin Asuka with her feet on the ropes but the ref sees it and calls off the count. Distracted arguing with the ref, Emma turns around in time to duck a spinning heel kick from Asuka. This leads into Asuka German suplexing Emma after Asuka puts on a quick ankle lock. After a running kick to Emma’s face, Asuka takes her down and finishes the match with a tap out victory due to the Asuka lock.

Rating ****

Closing NXT tonight with the rematch from NXT Takeover London was a good choice. Showcasing how well Asuka and Emma are in a fight together even on a random episode of NXT. They got a lot of time to show off what one and the other can due in the ring especially with Emma possibly going up to the main roster and Asuka going on to face Bayley at NXT Takeover Dallas for the NXT Women’s Championship. Even though I am slightly disappointed Emma will be with the Total Diva wrestlers on the main roster, she shows that she can still probably hang very will with the styles of Sasha, Becky and Charlotte on the main roster. I would enjoy watching these two fight again when they are both possibly on the main roster.

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