NXT opens from Full Sail University with the ever lively Full Sail crowd chanting “NXT!” as Tom Philips and Corey Graves welcome us and tonight we’ll get exclusive comments from both Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor about their match. We’ll also see the return of American Alpha.
First match of the night is Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella. It will be exciting to see how both women present their last week’s tension into the match. Bliss is out first while Carmella comes out next minus her usual promo on her way to the ring. The bell rings and both women go at it, with headlocks and armlocks and grapples before Bliss gets the better of Carmella. Now both women trading rollups. Carmella hits a flying headscissors and later a dropkick that sends Bliss outta the ring. I simply love how she moonwalks away from Bliss. It’s always impressive. Carmella headlocks Bliss as she tries desperately to break free. She finally does throwing Carmella into the corner and works her left arm as we go to commercial.
We’re back and Bliss is still working Carmella’s left arm violently as she hits a back flip knee drop for a two count. Bliss starts arguing with the ref which gives Carmella the time to make her come back into the match with a big left hand to Bliss. Now Carmella with a series of offence. Hurricanrana! Followed by a heel kick. Carmella looking for a Broncobuster but Bliss hits a sun-=set flip for a two count. Bliss looks to go up top but Carmella cuts her off with a Trish Stratus like handstand headscissors off the top rope for a near fall. Carmella looks to follow up on her offense but Bliss hits an STO and follows it up with her finisher The Twisted Bliss off the top rope for a win.
Winner: Alexa Bliss.
Both women have come a long way from having awful matches to much decent if not MOTY type matches. They seem to be putting extra effort into their overall presentation in the ring which goes from selling a move to executing one and to keep presenting the desperate-ness (yes it’s my word and no it’s not because of bad grammar) of the situation. The crowd was either not too loud or cheering Carmella. Enjoyed seeing pull off that Trish Stratus move. Graves emphasizing on the new attitude of Bliss when she was making early pinning attempts was on point. Overall the match did for both women and established their roles further.
Recapping the face-off between Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor from two weeks ago. We hear from Nakamura who tells us that he’s known Balor for 10 years. They’ve met in Japan and got along. They know each other’s families and they’re friends. Nakamura says in order to become the NXT Champion he must defeat the icon, Finn Balor. A nice promo from Nakamura who promises to give the fans something sensational and we know it will be. I love how they’re building up for this match, step by step. It’s nice.
Later tonight: they hype the Hype Bros vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa.
We’re backstage with Cathy Kelly interviewing Bayley. Bayley says she’s ready for a match against Asuka and to regain her NXT women’s title. Just then Alexa Bliss interrupts and says she deserves the title shot. She was in the Triple Threat Match and just beat Carmella. Bliss says Bayley has to go through her to get to Asuka.
Noah Potjes makes his entrance for his match against Andrade “Cien” Almas. The commentators keep making fun of Potjes’s face. Out comes Andrande “Cien” Almas who’s rightly taken the NXT by storm and has been undefeated since his debut. Match starts and back and forth from both men, until Potjes hits a left back elbow, which leads Cien dropkicking him and Potjes leaves the ring. Cien does a swinging kick through the middle rope. He does his fake dive and hangs on to the ropes cheer from the fans. Potjes returns to the ring with some offense delivered to Cien which leads to a cover but Cien kicks out at 1. Cien comes back with a Springboard Dropkick and later hits a Wheelbarrow into a Bulldog. Cien finishes off Potjes with double running knees into the corner for a win and keeping his undefeated streak intact.
Winner: Andrande “Cien” Almas
I love this guy now. He’s exciting to watch. I see tons of potential in him and he can certainly “Wow!” the crowd with his athleticism and abilities. Having him go over Dillinger thrice in two nights was stupid. I hope the crowd gets behind him soon and he can rise up the ranks. Not much to say about Potjes. He was good too, it’s just that I couldn’t take him seriously. An overall decent match with the crowd finally getting into it towards the end.
Up next we’re going to hear Finn Balor’s exclusive comments on his match against Nakamura.
Backstage interview with Austin Aries who’s being asked about his post-match assault last week on No Way Jose to which he says that he‘s the greatest man that ever lived and one of the most decorated superstars in the world and the NXT crowd should’ve felt privileged watching him compete inside that ring … but did they?? No. Instead they booed him. They cheer for No Way Jose who’s not even accomplished a fraction of what Aries has in his career. If the fans want to boo him, he’ll give a reason to boo about. From now on it’s on the fans for what he does in the ring.
Sit-own promo from Finn Balor who talks about Nakamura that how when Finn travelled to Japan, at the age of 25 Nakamura was one of the first people who helped him out there and took him under his wing. He calls Nakamura his legitimate friend. He was very happy to hear Nakamura coming to the NXT and wanted to help Shinsuke adapt to the NXT style. Finn says he doesn’t know if he’s the icon of NXT like Nakamura called him but he says the fans are in for a real treat.
We see American Alpha arriving to the NXT arena earlier today.
Up next is Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. They Hype Bros.
Next week it will be Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss.
They Hype Bros Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder make their entrance first followed by Ciampa and Gargano coming out next. Rawley starts the match against Gargano as he locks in Rawley in a side headlock but Rawley just tosses him away. Offense from Rawley as he brings Gargano into his corner and tags Ryder who hits a jumping splash for a 2-count. Ryder looks to hit a suplex but is turned into Gargano making a tag to Ciampa. Ryder receives a nice roll-up kick to the head by Gargano. Ryder breaks free from Ciampa by slamming him into the mat face first and tags in Rawley. The actions spills to the outside and Rawley spears Gargano as we go to the commercials …
We’re back and Rawley has Gargano down with a resthold. Both men tag in their respective partners. Ciampa receives Ryder’s knees and a missile dropkick. The Hype Bros looking to end this but Gargano took Rawley out with a superkick. Ciampa goes for a cover after hitting a lariat on Ryder but Ryder kicks out at 2. Awesome moment in the match when Mojo powerbombs both Ciampa and Gargano and Ryder hitting a diving elbow for a 2-count. Blind tag as Ciampa clotheslines Riley and Gargano and Ciampa hit their Running knee and Superkick for the win.
Winner Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.
It was good to see the commentary team acknowledging both Gargano and Ciampa as part of the Cruiserweight Classic. Both men have established themselves as an entertaining tag team in the NXT. Very talented and amazing to watch, executing crisp moves all over the ring. Couldn’t forget to mention The Hype Bros who’re seen putting effort in every match they’re in. Ryder is already a hard worker and Rawley seems to be improving too.
Post-match scene as Gargano takes the mic and remind everyone that they beat dash and Dawson a week prior to them winning the Tag Team Championships and this makes them next in-line for a title shot. Just then the American Alpha; Gable and Jordan make their return and hit the ring. Gable asks how both of them are doing and tells them that they’re not in-line for anything. The American Alpha lost their titles at Takeover and the only title shot Ciampa and Gargano are going to get is against The American Alpha. They’ll get their hands on the Authors of Pain too but first they want a piece of The Revival.
This brings the current tag champs out and Dash and Dawson make fun of both teams and tell them neither of them deserve a title shot against The Revival. Finally NXT General Manager William Regal who tells everybody that he calls the shots around here and announces a Tag Team Championship match next week with the Revival defending their titles against The American Alpha and the match will be a two out of three falls match. Regal and the Revival leave after the announcement. Jordon and Gable shaking hands with Gargano and Ciampa as the latter left the ring. Just then the Authors of Pain ambushed from behind and start attacking the American Alpha. Gargano and Ciampa try to help but are quickly taken care of. Gable and Jordan try to fight back but can’t and they hit their Russian Legsweep+Clothesline move on Jordan first and Gable next as they lay The American Alpha out in the middle of the ring. The show ends with Paul Ellering walks out onto the stage and the Authors walk down the ramp to join him.
Great to see the return of American Alpha who received a nice welcome from the crowd. Nice ambush from the Authors of Pain which will add further to their on-going tension with Gable and Jordan. Although the Authors look like a dominant team and both men look like humungous beasts, it’s still too early to judge them. Need to see how they work in the ring. I’m predicting they’ll be put into a match next week or the week after. Let’s see what these guys have got.
Overall an overall positive show with enjoyable matches. Lots to look forward to. How will Bayley and Bliss match turn out? What’s Austin Aries going to do next to put on the fans? What’s next in the buildup for Balor vs. Nakamura match in two weeks? Who will prove they’re the dominant team and take away the tag titles? The American Alpha or The Revival? What role will the Authors of Pain play in their match? Tune in next week.
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