WWE NXT Review
Air Date: September 21, 2016
We Write Wrestling – @WeWriteWrestlin
NXT today has a much different look from that of a year ago and a year before that. The roster is still packed with incredible athletes, the shows are still filled with solidly worked matches and the Full Sail faithful are still behind the product 100%. The feeling, however, is that the brand is at a bit of a slope. Let’s take a look at the latest episode as NXT builds back towards its former prestige.
This weeks starts off with a video recap of the confrontation between Samoa Joe and the NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, where Joe viciously slammed the champ onto the ring steps. Joe then came out to address the altercation. He was somehow able to obtain a copy of Nakamura’s medical report which stated that due to the severity of his injuries he would be out recovering for 6-12 weeks. Because of this, Joe demanded that Regal strip Shinsuke of the title and give it to him, otherwise he would decimate the entire NXT roster.
Next we are shown highlights of the second round Cruiserweight Classic match between Kota Ibushi and Cedric Alexander. Alexander is then shown backstage for a short interview. He states that for his first match in NXT, he asked for the best so he was given Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas.
Oney Lorcan vs. Austin Aries
Lorcan (formerly known as Biff Busick) was mega-popular on the indies, but so far in NXT he has not been given much to work with in terms of a storyline or feud. Hopefully that turns around soon and we do not see him have the same trajectory as Sami Callihan.
Austin Aries comes into the match with his typical arrogant “Greatest Man who Ever Lived” style, but Lorcan is having none of it. He quickly shuts downs Aries’ hotdogging with an array of stiff chops followed by some fierce elbows and European uppercuts. With the match well in hand, Lorcan executed a series of corner hip attacks. On the third one though, Aries moved out of the way dumping his opponent to the outside. It was all Aries from this point on. He finished off Oney with a corner dropkick followed by the Last Chancery.
Winner: Austin Aries
Afterwards Aries cut a promo on Hideo Itami. He said he would call Hideo out, but he knows he’s too much of a coward. Itami then hit the ring only for Austin Aries to hightail it out of there.
There is then a short teaser for the 6’7″, 300 pound Dan Matha who debuts in two weeks. In attempting to find out information Matha, all that comes up is about how little information there is about him. There are no matches showing from before his time in NXT. By the looks of him, he appears to be a bodybuilder. Let’s hope he can work and has a personality.
Aliyah vs Billie Kay
Fans of Breaking Ground might recognize Aliyah as Nooph, one of the wrestlers being highlighted. This match was very short which is unfortunate seeing as how the women’s division needs the most rebuilding at this point and we should see these talents showcased. Hopefully this is not an indication of lack of ring skills. Billie Kay dominated the whole way, save from a short burst of offense from Aliyah. Billie performed an arm trap version of the torture rack and finished the match with a big boot.
Winner: Billie Kay
Cedric Alexander vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
These two put on a really good match. They started off going tit-for-tat in a dance of moves and counters that instantly got the crowd on their feet. They then traded aerials to the outside, first Almas hitting a spinning crossbody to Cedric and then Cedric returning the favor with a high arcing tope con hilo. Cien went up for a top rope moonsault and Cedric rolled out of the way, but Almas landed on his feet and immediately moonsaulted again landing it for a very close near fall. Cedric once again gained the upper hand and was able to hit his finisher the Lumbar Check (a back suplex into a double knee backbreaker) for the win.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Solid is a good word to describe this weeks edition or NXT. The booking still seems a little uneven. When he debuted, Almas seemed to be getting positioned as a heavy hitter, but he has lost quite a few matches lately. Something that also isn’t very clear is that at the end of the main event, the commentators told Cedric “welcome to NXT”. Does this mean that Cedric’s recent Raw debut was a one off?
There are lots of other questions still to be answered. See you next week on the NXT review!