NXT Recap: 2nd November 2016 – Injuries, Injuries Everywhere

Recap of last week’s show for the benefit of anyone who missed it or haven’t read about it for some reason: #DIY beat Hoho Lun & Tian Bing to advance to the second round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Aliyah beat Billie Kay and after the match both her and Liv Morgan were beaten up by Kay and Peyton Royce. Tye Dillinger beat some guy called Noah Potjes, Asuka beat thea Trinidad, afterwards it was announced that Mickie James will return to fight Asuka at TakeOver: Toronto. And in the main event TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi beat Lince Dorado & Mustafa Ali to advance to the next round of the Dusty classic.

Just a quick note before this review: this episode was compiled of pre-taped live show matches and they’re all Dusty Rhodes Classic second round matches.

What was good?

Roderick Strong & Austin Aries vs TM61

We’re in California and in the top corner it says “previously recorded”, even though every episode of NXT is pre-recorded and I don’t recall ever seeing that before.

Strong is out first followed by Aries who is in his casual attire. Why? I guess we’ll find out. Commentators mention him getting kicked by Shinsuke Nakamura, no idea what that was though.

Aries gets on the mic. He says he senses the disappointment due to him no being dressed to compete, turns out he suffered an injury and can’t compete. According to Wikipedia he ‘suffered a large orbital fracture during a live event at Fresno, California, in a match against Nakamura and is expected to be out of action until early 2017.’ Well that sucks, Aries was looking to fight Hideo Itami at TakeOver: Toronto but now they’re BOTH injured.

He says he really wants to compete but he is too valuable a commodity to risk any permanent damage. He says he and Strong are a better tag team and would have beaten them, and tells them to forfeit to save them the embarrassment of being beaten by Strong. Regal comes out and says he cannot compete this week, but he can next week, haven’t you read Wikipedia Regal? He can’t compete until early next year, and as we all know Wikipedia is never wrong. Anyway Regal announced a singles match instead, one of TM61 will take on Roderick Strong, and Shane Thorne volunteers.

So after all that let’s get to the match. Nice chain wrestling to start off, Strong is a better mat worker while Thorne is a fast paced high flier. Thorne hits a very nice Standing Moonsault but when he goes up top for a move he is dropped onto the ring post by Strong, looked nasty.

At this point I need to talk (well type) about this event. It was taped at a house show in California, and it really shows. It’s nice to see a different crowd than the same people each week who have to sit through weeks worth of tapings and, by the end of it, are bored and quiet, but it feels so different. For a start there’s no sound when anyone hits the mat, it’s just silence and it’s really odd, and on top of that the crowd hasn’t been lit so it’s really dark and gloomy, really takes a lot out of the match, but in saying that the crowd are really up for it, so that helps.

Strong has the upper hand until a HUGE Dropkick from Thorne to Strong’s face. Thorne goes for a Running Calf Kick in the corner but is caught by Strong who hits a lovely Backbreaker, and the crowd pop huge for it. Strong puts him up on the top and climbs up for a huge Superplex, but Thorne pushes him off, putting him in a Tree of Woe and hits a Double Stomp.

Thorne hits a Falcon Arrow for a two count but when he hits an Elevated Sitout Powerbomb, Aries gets on the apron and distracts the ref. Strong hits a Jumping High Knee but only for a two count. Nick Miller approaches Aries who gets on the apron a second time but is hit with a Dropkick from Strong through the ropes, but it was a mistake because Shane Thorne rolls him up in an Inside Cradle for the three count and the pinfall victory.

Good match, I’ve always likes Strong and I’ve never seen Shane Thorne in a singles match and he did really well, two thumbs up. TM61 will take on the winner of Ibushi & Perkins vs SAnitY.

 

#DIY vs The Revival

This is a rematch from TakeOver: Brooklyn II when The Revival retained their tag team titles against #DIY. Or at least it was supposed to be. Scott Dawson comes out on crutches, gets on the mic and says he’s just got off the phone with the doctor and he’s suffered a severe knee injury, a possible career ending knee injury, and as a result they cannot compete, and #DIY go through with a bye.

Very clever, Dawson is clearly lying so that he and Dash Wilder can avoid fighting #DIY a third time. Now #DIY will go on to fight the winner of Authors of Pain vs Jose & Swann.

 

What was bad?

Austin Aries is injured 🙁

Backstage interview with Cedric Alexander, he is asked how his experience has been so far, he says it’s been a learning experience. Andrade Almas taught him a lesson, he can’t just be happy to be there, needs ambition and a mean streak, and he wants to personally thank him for that in the ring, anytime, any place. He said nothing of any value, he took 30 seconds to say he’s going to fight Andrade at some point.

 

What was okay?

Gargano and Ciampa are interviewed backstage, Gargano says they’re not surprised, nothing surprises them when it comes to The Revival, and they say they’re going to win the tournament, and then become the next NXT Tag Team Champions. Meh.

 

Rich Swann & No Way Jose vs Authors of Pain

As always the fans love Rich Swann and No Way Jose, they’re the perfect tag team. Akam starts off with Jose and uses his strength to his advantage, Jose tries to use speed to take him down but it doesn’t work. Swann is tagged in and he and Jose use an assisted Hurricanrana to take Akam down, Akam tags to Rezar.

Swann gives Rezar a big right hand which just seems to piss Rezar off more than he usually is. He manages to stay in control however and sends Rezar to the outside. He goes for a dive onto both AOP members but is caught, so Jose goes up top and hits a dive of his own.

Rezar tags out and he and Akam get the better of Rich Swann, using their strength and size against him. They tag again and Rezar chokes Swann on the ropes, and while the ref isn’t looking Ellering chokes him as well. Swann gets back in the match however and hits a big kick to the face of Rezar who tags out to Akam who gets hit with a pair of Enzugiris, allowing Swann to tag to Jose.

Jose hits his signature offense, punches and a TKO, but only gets a two count from the pinfall. Jose goes to tag out but when Rezar takes him off he apron he’s too concerned to stay on his opponent, and by the time he can back Akam up against the ropes Rezar is already back in the corner and tags himself in. They hit their Side Russian Legsweep/Lariat tandem finisher and Rezar pins Jose to advance to the semi-finals of the Dusty Classic where they’ll take on #DIY, and that match will take place next week.

Decent match, especially for AOP. They’re not great and they don’t have much offense (that I’ve seen at least), and they often have short squash matches so it’s nice to see them in something a bit longer.

 

TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi vs SAnitY

Perkins and Ibushi main event their second NXT show in a row, so I’m hoping good things from these two. Commentators mention TJ Perkins losing his Cruiserweight Title at Hell in a Cell to Brian Kendrick. Oh, we’re back at Full Sail University now by the way.

Once again all four members of SAnitY are out, but only Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe. Ibushi starts off with Wolfe. Wolfe works Ibushi over with a Headlock and when he gets out of it Wolfe decks him one in the face. Ibushi uses his speed to get back at Wolfe, landing on his feet after a missed Standing Moonsault before hitting a big Dropkick.

Perkins tags himself in and tries to use his speed and agility to get both Wolfe and Fulton in the Knee Bar. When we come back from the ad break Ibushi is working Fulton over in the corner before tagging out to Perkins. Tom Phillips keeps calling Sawyer Fulton “Wolfe”, really confusing. Fulton is sent out of the ring while the real Wolfe is sent out also, Ibushi hits a Triangle Moonsault to the outside onto Wolfe while Fulton catches a dive from Perkins and slams him down on the apron. I hate it when commentators go on about how the apron is the hardest part of the ring, okay! We get it! Shut up about it! And FYI, the ring posts are harder.

Fulton tags out to Wolfe and slams Perkins onto Wolfe’s knees. Wolfe locks in a rest hold and fans chant “TJP!” while Corey Graves compares Fulton to The Predator. Wolfe tags back to Fulton and hit a Running Knee Strike/Gutwrench Suplex combo, and the fans shut up when Eric Young tells them to, awesome.

SAnitY continue to work over Perkins, cutting the ring in half, but Perkins manages to tag out to Ibushi. He takes Wolfe down and his a nice Standing Moonsault followed by a Golden Star Powerbomb but the ref is distracted by Young and Nikki Cross. Wolfe tags out to Fulton and they hit a Falling Powerslam/Vertical Suplex combo for the three count and the victory, SAnitY will now face TM61 in the semi-finals.

Decent match, I was hoping for something better but honestly I wasn’t expecting much. Yes, Perkins and Ibushi are fast but Fulton and Wolfe cannot keep up with them, so it was never going to be a fast paced match like last week’s main event. On top of that Perkins and Ibushi aren’t a tag team and they don’t work well together, there weren’t any tag moves (they both kicked a guy at the same time but that was about it) and they used a lot of quick tags, but it was just one guy comes in, hits the opponent a few times, tags out, then the other guy hits the opponent a few times and tags out. Disappointing main event, but Eric Young did make me smile when he told everyone to “Shut up!” and they did.

 

Overall

An okay show, but nothing really special. The opening match was the match of the night which rarely ever happens. #DIY vs Revival never happened, AOP vs Swann & Jose was good but nothing to write home about, and the main event wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anywhere near good either.

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