Recap of last week: Rich Swann & No Way Jose beat Tony Nese & Drew Gulak to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, as did Austin Aries and Roderick Strong who beat Tucker Knight and the debuting Otis Dozovic. Bobby Roode beat Sean Maluta while Danielle Kamela beat Nikki Cross via referee’s decision, and plus we had a shit load of good promos.
What was good?
Samoa Joe promo
Samoa Joe is interviewed backstage, he’s asked about last week when he came out to attack Shinsuke Nakamura but didn’t. He denies coming out to attack him, he was just walking out there to see if what he’s done have had an effect on Shinsuke.
He says Shinsuke isn’t confident anymore and is afraid that Joe can put him out for a long time. He says Shinsuke is scared and says he will be the next NXT Champion.
Good promo from Joe, he’s pretty good on the mic when he wants to be.
Aliyah vs Billie Kay
Kay is on again, I’m not looking forward to this. She’s out with Peyton Royce again too, shame there’s no Women’s Tag Team Titles anymore.
Kay goes right to Aliyah with Forearm Shots and Kicks as soon as the bell rings. Aliyah briefly gets the upper hand but when she goes for a Wheelbarrow Bodyscissors Kay drops her onto the top rope.
Aliyah gets back into the match, takes Billie Kay down with a Snapmare and hits a Flip Over Neckbreaker (of some description) and hits a unique looking Axe Kick into the corner.
She barely hits an Enzugiri but Kay takes her down with a Tornado Elbow. However before she can pin Aliyah Liv Morgan comes out and goes after Peyton Royce! Kay is distracted when Aliyah rolls her up in a Schoolgirl and gets the three count fall!
Afterwards, Liv goes after Billie Kay with some strikes but Liv succumbs to the numbers game adn Kay and Royce both attack Liv. Aliyah comes back to help but it’s no use and the two Aussies get the better of Liv and Aliyah.
A decent match that was made good by the finish, the crowd lost their shit when Aliyah rolled Kay up and they popped huge! It’s good to hear so many people be this into a women’s match that doesn’t include Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte or Becky.
Thea Trinidad vs Asuka
So who’s this already in the ring? Thea Trinidad? Who’s that? Well she’s Austin Aries’ missus if that helps. She’s better known as Rosita and for working in TNA, teaming with Sarita to win the Knockouts Tag Team Titles, and being part of Mexican America with Hernandez and Anarquia. She was also a Rosebud at one point, so she’s been in WWE before.
Commentators mention Asuka has been undefeated for a year now, so good luck to Trinidad, the wrestler I mean. Asuka starts off with some kicks, ducks a Clothesline and does a sexy dance before throwing her arse at Trinidad with a Butt Bump. I know they call it a Hip Attack but it’ll always be the Butt Bump to me.
Trinidad fires back but that doesn’t work out for her. She gives her a kick but Asuka grabs the leg and locks in an Ankle Lock. Asuka throws Trinidad over her head with an AWESOME German Suplex, looked amazing, then locks in a Fujiwara Armbar for the submission win.
After the match, William Regal’s music hits. He congratulates her and says he’s scoured the world and he’s found the perfect opponent, Mickie James! Of course if you read my post a few weeks ago, or visited WWE.com, this would have been spoiled for you, so thanks WWE.com.
Mickie says she has beaten some of the best Women’s Champions in WWE, the same women who laid the foundations that Asuka and the other women of WWE stand on, and she tells Regal to call the U.N. because it will be an international incident.
Great match, it was only short but Asuka kicked ass, it’s good to see Asuka look so dominant, and it’s great to see Mickie James back too.
TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi vs Lince Dorado & Mustafa Ali
Two random tag teams here, and not one of them are in NXT. All four men were in the Cruiserweight Classic, with TJ Perkins winning the tournament and the Cruiserweight Title.
Nice fast paced offense between Perkins and Lince to start things off, and both men get a round of applause and shake hands before both tag out. Mustafa Ali and Kota Ibushi have equally good offense, with Ali holding up Ibushi’s weight in a Bridge before hopping up onto the top rope and backflipping out of a test of strength before hitting a huge Dropkick while Ibushi comes back with a Dropkick of his own.
When we come back from the ad break Perkins is working over Ali, locking in a Kneebar but Ali manages to get to the rope. Ali tags out to Lince, they throw Perkins into the ropes but he hops out onto the apron. Ali goes for him, Perkins jumps off the apron to avoid him but gets hit with a HUGE dive from Lince.
An equally huge Flying Crossbody gets a two count, so Lince tags back to Ali who works over Perkins with some submissions. Perkins goes for a tag but Ali takes Kota off the apron before rolling through the ropes and hitting a nice Neckbreaker onto Perkins. Perkins takes Ali down with a Wheelbarrow Bulldog, and lies there looking at Ali and doesn’t tag in Kota until Ali has tagged in Lince. Jesus!
Kota kicks the shit out of everyone ever and goes for a Powerbomb but can’t hit it. He ducks a line from both Lince and Ali and hits them both with a Pele Kick. He hops onto the middle rope and Perkins tags himself in, but it looked as though there was supposed to be a tag there anyway. Kota hits a Moonsault while Perkins hits a Frog Splash but the pin is broken up by Mustafa Ali.
Perkins sends Ali to the outside and Kota hits a beautiful Moonsault from the middle turnbuckle to the outside. Perkins goes for the Knee Bar but Lince rolls him up for a pin for a two count. Ali tags himself in but gets caught in the Knee Bar and has to tap out, so in the last match of round one, Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins advance.
Great match, great main event, loved it. There were a couple WTF moments but nothing major, no huge botches, nothing like that.
What was bad?
Authors of Pain interview
Authors of Pain are backstage being given a pep talk by Paul Ellering. An interviewer appears and asks if he’s pleased with their progress. He says the picture is clear and the puzzle is complete, he has a plan that they will act out. Then he mentions their opponents No Way Jose and Rich Swann. He says they have a fine future ahead of them in NXT (despite one of them being on RAW), but they won’t advance in the tournament against AOP.
That’s all well and good but it didn’t answer the question, which was is Paul Ellering pleased with their progress so far, and because of that I’ll have to put this in the bad section.
What was okay?
#DIY vs Hoho Lun & Tian Bing
Ciampa and Gargano finally have a team name, #DIY. They’re against Hoho Lun and Tian Bing, Lun of course took part in the Cruiserweight Classic, as for Bing I struggled to find any info on him. Tom Phillips mentions he’s the first Chinese wrestler signed to WWE, and before that he wrestled for Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) but that’s all I could find.
Ciampa starts off with Bing who is a big guy, 6’3 and 220 pounds. I’m glad to say Ciampa gets some “Let’s go Ciampa!” chants, as before we’d only get “Johnny Wrestling!” chants. Bing doesn’t do much but he does hit a nice Kick before tagging out to Hoho Lun. He gets hit in the jaw and sells with a blank look on his face.
Ciampa tags out to Gargano and they double team Lun. Lun has some impressive fast paced offense, and tags back to Bing who hits a nice Superkick onto Gargano. He hits some more nice Kicks before Gargano hits him with an Enzugiri, and both men tag out.
Ciampa floors Lun with a nice Tornado Lariat but tags back out when Lun gets the upper hand, allowing Gargano to hit a Diving Spear through the middle rope before he and Ciampa hit a Superkick/Running Knee combo to finish Lun off and get the three count fall. #DIY will now go on to fight The Revival.
Decent match, it was a bit meh early on and really picked up at the end, the fans also picked up at the end because they were rather quiet during the match. We didn’t get to see much of Bing in this match, so hopefully we’ll see more from him in the future.
Tom Philips mentions Hideo Itami’s recent injury and questions who Kota Ibushi’s tag team partner will be for the Dusty Rhodes Classic. We go to a backstage segment where we see Kota being interviewed alongside TJ Perkins. No big reveal like with Roderick Strong, it was just a “Yeah it’s Perkins.”
They’re asked what brought them together, Kota says “Lespect.” while TJ rambles on about how he jumped at the chance to team with Kota after Hideo was injured. It really shows the difference between the two, Kota is to the point while TJ likes to go on a bit.
Noah Potjes vs Tye Dillinger
Tom Philips says we’ve seen Noah Potjes before but I don’t remember him. Apparently he previously worked for World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) and now he’s in the Performance Center and NXT. He’s against Tye Dillinger so he’s going to get booed.
Potjes is Hawaiian so he has ‘Aloha’ on his tights, that made me smile. Noah is pretty aggressive which the commentators pick up on.
Not much happens, lots of punches, kicks and some Corner Stomps until Tye hits the Tye Breaker for the three count pinfall. After he is interviewed, he says the only glorious thing Bobby has done is run away. Before he can continue Bobby comes out and attacks him, setting up their match at TakeOver.
This is going to have to go into the okay section, it wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad either. Good things about the match, it got over Tye’s feud and upcoming match with Bobby Roode, Roode himself got booed which is what a heel is supposed to get. Bad points it wasn’t an entertaining match, not much happened, like I said it was only here to get over Tye’s match with Roode.
TM61 are being interviewed, they’re going to fight Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in the next round of the Dusty Rhodes Classic, and they’re asked how they’ve prepared for the match. Miller says they’ve prepared the same way they always prepare, they’ve won titles and tournaments but this is the most important one.
Thorne says it’s more than being a team, and families don’t get to choose each other but they chose to team up. Miller says they are the mighty and the mighty don’t kneel. No you guys are TM61 now, not The Might Don’t Kneel.
It was a good show, not as good as last week but still good. #DIY and Hoho Lun & Tian Bing had a fine match to start off with. Aliyah and Billie Kay had an alright match but it was the post-match antics that really made it. Tye Dillinger vs Noah Potjes wasn’t really anything, but it did build up to Tye vs Roode. Asuka and Thea Trinidad had a great match, and the main event was match of the night.
There’s not a lot of bad to talk about in NXT, especially when it comes to the pre-taped TV shows. There’s no pointless segments like Goldust and R-Truth trying to catch Pokemon, everything is there to build up to a future match or to get someone over, and any botches can easily be edited out.