Editor’s Note: Greetings fellow wrestling fans. I would just like to let you know that we are currently looking for writers! Whether it be WWE, TNA, New Japan, Dragon Gate, Ring of Honor, anything, feel free to send in an application by going to Write with Us. Enjoy the review!
The first post-Draft episode of NXT embodies the best the promotion has to offer and is evidence that NXT is the premiere Professional Wrestling company operating in the United States. Their titles are legitimate world-class championships and are held by the elite of the sport. It is a great time to be a wrestling fan. Let’s get in the ring.
Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno
Samoa Joe cuts an imposing and relentlessly aggressive figure within NXT. His seizing of the NXT Championship will be long remembered and is noteworthy for the single-mindedness with which it was persued. It could be argued that Joe is the best Professional Wrestler holding a championship title anywhere within the vast WWE Universe, such is the scope of the NXT Champion’s wrestling prowess.
Rhyno goes for it in this match and has a fine showing. His manic approach to matches and the frenetic brutality he wields, elicits an indomitable ferocity out of Samoa Joe. There is no stopping Joe at this point. Only an upcoming (and gloriously inevitable) fight with Shinsuke Nakamura will likely provide Samoa Joe with any credible disturbance.
Winner: Samoa Joe (following a submission via Coquina Clutch)
Authors Of Pain w/ Paul Ellering vs. American Alpha
This match is one of the finest tag team matches of recent memory. From the entrances to the final bell, this is showcase for everything that is exemplary within the NXT tag team division. Making instantly dominant monsters is a feature of the Paul Ellering School of Professional Wrestling Management. Dhisna, Selmani and Ellering resurrect the menacing wall-of-force-style tag team, previously a staple of every wrestling promotion worth their salt. Rather than two half-assed brawling hosses, the Authors Of Pain are extremely gifted fighters with a gift for malicious violence.
American Alpha are the best tag team in wrestling and Smackdown Live is lucky to have them. Both Gable and Jordan are superlative athletes on their own, together they advance the art of tag team wrestling. It is hard to understate the level of skill American Alpha bring with them to the ring and thankfully we get to see them compete on larger scale than NXT is privy to. If this is their last match in NXT, then it will stand as testament to their importance to the promotion. Recommended match!
Winners: Authors Of Pain (via pinfall on Gable following Russian leg sweep/clothesline combo)
Austin Aires vs. Patrick Clark
Despite having the best tights in wrestling, Patrick Clark gets his dues card punched by the malevolent Austin Aires. God bless Aires for bringing a Rick Rude-sized egotism and penchant for excellent technical wrestling to NXT. Having a go-to a-hole on the roster is just good business. Aires (and Clark too, for that matter) pulls off a really terrific ending combination that is a sight to behold.
Winner: Austin Aires (via submission following a Last Chancery)
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
It is privilege to witness a wrestler like Bayley. Seeing how far she has come and how many show-stealing matches she has been involved in, it is worth noting how immensely popular Bayley is without the benefit of being on the main roster shows. Some wrestlers like Nia Jax or Baron Corbin feel more natural in the larger scale environment of the main roster and will thrive in a way that NXT may not accommodate. Bayley has the ability to transcend such concerns. In micro and macro ways, Bayley has the ability to connect to audiences on an astonishing amount of levels.
One of those levels is straight up mat action. Bayley and Jax craft an impressive match showcasing why Nia is getting called up and why the former NXT Women’s Champion won cleanly and decisively. Recommended match!
Winner: Bayley (via pinfall following a Bayley To Belly from the second rope)
Follow @WeWatchWrestlin on Twitter!