Welcome one and all to another installment of the NXT Spotlight right here at TJRWrestling. I am your host once again and althought we didn’t have much going on last week besides a solidified heel turn by Austin Aries, we are inching closer to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn and the WWE Draft that may have huge implications on the NXT Roster. While we wait for all that to transpire, let’s see what the yellow and black has in store for us this week!
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
Jeff’s favorite diva is looking to put herself right in the mix for a NXT Women’s title match. For those that have asked, Jeff is my buddy who is a bigger fan of Alexa Bliss than anyone should be. I don’t judge though, I just report the facts and give him a shoutout. Hopefully this gets a decent amount of time as both women have improved leaps and bounds lately. Both women start off with wristlocks and headlocks until Alexa hits a shoulder tackle. Carmella goes for a drop down, but Alexa just steps on her and ends up curb stomping her head. Carmella recovers though for a roll up but Alexa kicks out and gets a roll up of her own, to which Carmella kicks out as well. Carmella hits a nice headscissors and then a wheelbarrow into a snapmare, followed by a dropkick. That sends Alexa to the floor. Carmella does a little moonwalk to mock Alexa. Once back in the ring, Carmella goes back to the seated headlock. Alexa reverses it into a headscissors on the mat, but Carmella fights out and right back to the headlock. Alexa cannot find a way to escape it. Finally Carmella goes to the corner and goes for her hurricanrana but Alexa ends up sending her to the apron. Carmella takes a hard fall on the apron and Alexa wrenches her arm on the middle rope as we go to commercial.
We come back to Alexa with an armbar on Carmella. Alexa continues to work over that arm until she decides to hit a double knees to the midsection, followed by a back handspring knees to the midsection, which apparently is being called Insult to Injury. She goes for a pin but Carmella kicks out. Alexa complains to the ref and gives Carmella an opening. She hits a couple clotheslines followed by reverse atomic drop. Now she’s able to hit her hurricanrana out of the corner, followed by a superkick. Alexa ends up in position for a bronco buster, which Carmella hits. Carmella picks her up but Alexa out of nowhere turns it into a sunset flip pin, but Carmella kicks out. Alexa goes to the top, not for the Sparkle Splash, but Carmella cuts her off anyways. She ends up hitting Trish Stratus’ old hurricanrana handstand out of the corner and goes for a pin but Alexa kicks out. Alexa gets up and hits her modified STO Chokeslam and goes to the top and then this time she hits the Sparkle Splash, which has been renamed Twisted Bliss, and she picks up a big win!
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Afterwards, we’re shown video from Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura’s confrontation from two weeks ago. These men will go one on one in two weeks on NXT. We go to some exclusive comments from Nakamura now. He says he’s known Balor for 10 years, they’ve travelled together, they’ve known each other’s families and have been very good friends. He supported Finn in NXT while he was still in Japan. Now that he’s come here to NXT, he needs something like the NXT Title. To get there, he wants to face one of the best. Before becoming a champion, he has to fight the icons, so he has to fight Finn Balor. It will be a huge fight for him because Finn is a great friend. He knows Finn’s potential and ability and this match will be extra exciting for him. He is going to give the fans something sensational in this match.
Cathy is backstage with Bayley who is asked how it feels to be back now. Bayley feels great and says she’s 100% and is ready to get back her NXT Women’s Title from Asuka. She wants her rematch. Alexa interrupts and says Bayley doesn’t deserve the shot, she does. She wasn’t pinned in the triple threat match and Bayley blew her opportunity at the title. Also, Alexa just beat Bayley’s best friend. So if Bayley wants a shot at Asuka, she’s gotta go through Alexa first. She took pride in beating Carmella, but it’ll be much sweeter beating Bayley.
Noah Potjes vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
I’m pretty sure Potjes has wrestled before under a different name. Literally NO reaction for Almas as he came out. This cannot be going as well as Triple H would’ve hoped. I’ll have more on this in my Final Takes. Both men trade wristlocks early. Almas does a cartwheel into a back handspring that actually draws boos. He hits a seated dropkick and then Potjes goes to the outside where Almas flips around and hits a dropkick through the ropes. Almas teases a dive to the outside and does his Spiderman pose in the ropes, which draws even more boos. Potjes comes back in and takes the advantage. He stomps away at Almas and goes for a pin but Almas kicks out at one. Almas cuts off a charging Potjes in the corner and then hits a springboard dropkick. Almas fires up and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog. Potjes is setup for the running double knees in the corner and Almas picks up the win.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
Austin Aries is backstage with Andrea who is asked about his attack of No Way Jose last week. What was the reason for it? Aries, the Greatest Man that Ever Lived, a huge star. The fans should’ve felt privledged to have Aries in NXT, but did that happen? No. As for No Way Jose, he hasn’t accomplished a fraction what Aries has, but he shakes his hips and the crowd goes nuts for him. Aries goes out there and hears “Aries Sucks” chants. No, they suck. The fans don’t want to like him? That’s fine. He’ll give them something not to like. They can look at the reflection in the mirror and no why Aries attacked Jose. From now on, what he does, it’s on them.
We now get exclusive comments from Finn Balor. Finn says he went to Japan at 24 years old, didn’t know anyone, but Nakamura was one of the first to take him under his wing and show him the way. Nakamura has made a lot people in the business. Shinsuke isn’t just a business friend, he’s a real friend. They hang out outside of work and know each other’s families. This isn’t a locker room friendship. He said goodbye to Shinsuke two years ago and didn’t know when he’d see him again. When he heard he was coming to NXT too, he still gets goosebumps thinking about it. He looked forward to returning the favor and showing Shinsuke how things go in NXT. Shinsuke has referred to him as the Icon of NXT and he doesn’t know that’s true, but they’ve faced each other before and a lot has changed since then. This feels special. This is NXT and the fans are in for a real treat. He’s excited just saying Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura on NXT TV.
We see American Alpha arriving to the arena.
Next week, it will be Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. The Hype Bros
Talk about conflicted in this match, I want good things for both Ciampa and Ryder. Good reaction still for the Hype Bros even though I have no idea what the long term plan is for these guys. Mojo just seems in limbo as the main roster continues to dance around going all the way with Ryder. Dueling Johnny Wrestling and Woo Woo Woo chants to start. Gargano and Mojo start the match. Gargano goes for a side headlock but Mojo just tosses him halfway across the ring. Mojo gets in his football stance and chop blocks the knee of Gargano. He tags in Ryder who comes in with a splash over the top rope. Ryder hits a lariat and goes for a pin but Gargano kicks out. Ryder goes for a vertical suplex but Gargano blocks it and hits a dropkick and then tags in Ciampa. Ryder is in the corner and catches Ciampa with a forearm but Gargano then hits a rollup kick and then Ciampa follows up with a neckbreaker. Ryder kicks out of a pin and Ciampa goes right to a modified front face lock. Ryder ends up face planting Ciampa and then makes the tag to Mojo. They go for a double team move but Ciampa ends up sending Mojo to the floor and follows him out there. Ryder hits a dropkick through the ropes. Gargano now dives through the ropes and takes out Ryder. Mojo however is behind Gargano and he turns right into a huge clothesline on the floor. We go to commercial.
We come back to Mojo with a Cobra Clutch of sorts on Gargano in the ring. Gargano gets out and hits an enziguri. Both men get a tag and Ciampa comes out guns blazing on Ryder. He hits a clothesline, but runs into a double knees in the corner and then a clothesline. Mojo is back in the ring now and hits a couple avalanche splashes in the corner. He then hits the Pounce on Ciampa and goes for a pin by Gargano breaks it up. Gargano is sent back to the floor and The Hype Bros go for the Hype Ryder on Ciampa but Gargano once again breaks it up. Mojo goes to the floor and eats a superkick. Ciampa meanwhile hits a roaring elbow on Ryder but Ryder kicks out! Gargano is now tagged and they are all in the corner but Mojo comes in and hits a double powerbomb onto Ciampa and Gargano. Ryder hits El Bro on Gargano but he kicks out! On the outside, Mojo eats the steal stairs. Gargano goes for a victory roll but Ryder kicks out. Ciampa tags back in but eats a forearm by Ryder. Gargano is now set up for the Broski Boot but Ciampa recovers to break it up. Ryder is set up for the double team superkick/running knee and they catch Ryder flush and pick up a hard fought match. Fantastic match from both teams!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Post match, Gargano has a mic and reminds everyone that they beat The Revival the week before Takeover when they won the Tag Titles. That should put them in line for a title shot. American Alpha’s music hits now and the former champs make their way to the ring. Gable says no offense, but they’re not next in line for anything. They lost their titles to The Revival, so when and if Ciampa/Gargano get a title shot, it won’t be against The Revival, it’ll be against them because they’re getting their titles back. Jason Jordan says they’ve got something to settle with The Authors of Pain too but first, it’s getting the titles back. This brings out the champions, The Revival. Dawson says enough with the bickering. It’s flattering to see them fighting over who will face The Revival. He’s going to let them in on a little “Top Guy secret”. Right now, The Revival are calling the shots. So if you ask him, neither of them are gonna get what they want. Dash then calls Gargano and Ciampa, “Gargonzola and Chippy”. They’ve told them before they’re nothing more than a couple of good hands and have done nothing to deserve a shot. American Alpha may have it in the name, but they’re not the Alphas anymore. They’re the betas. The Revival dictates the terms now. William Regal’s music now hits and he says The Revival is getting a little ahead of themselves because he dictates the terms. He confirms that Ciampa and Gargano are in line for a title shot and they will get it. First though, NXT needs to find out who the dominant tag team is. Next week, there will be a Tag Title match with The Revival vs. American Alpha in a Two out of Three Falls match. The champs aren’t happy and the two teams in the ring shake hands. Ciampa and Gargano leave, and all of the sudden here comes The Authors of Pain through the crowd and destroy American Alpha again. Gargano and Ciampa come back to try and make a save but get dumped back to the floor. That gives American Alpha an opportunity to fight back and Jordan ends up overhead suplexing one of them, which was damn impressive, but the other one just lays him out with a lariat. Jordan is then taken out with the Russian Leg Sweep/Lariat combo, and then Gable finds the same fate. All four men are laid out as Paul Ellering walks to the top of the rampway and admires his men’s work. They all stand tall as our show comes to end.
K- Tank’s Final Takes
– Maybe, just maybe, NXT read my words from last week. This week’s show went exactly as I asked future shows to go. Two very good matches, a couple vignettes to set up other members of the roster and basically everything was successful. I would love every show to be just like this.
– I’m actually surprised Alexa beat Carmella as Carmella seems to be the logical choice to take over for Bayley so I would think they would protect her, but the Alexa vs. Bayley match makes sense.
– I really can’t imagine Andrade Almas is coming across the way they hoped. He’s getting consistantly booed and clearly it’s not just cause Dillinger was his opponent. Dave Meltzer has said a lot about Almas and put Triple H to task for basically mocking CMLL where Almas came from, who put him under a mask. Triple H implied Almas is too good looking to be under a mask. Meltzer has said that Almas in CMLL, even under the mask was 10 times as charasmatic as he is without it in NXT. In NXT, he’s just a guy with a goofy haircut. What is the significance of “Cien”? We know what it means, but what’s the significance? He needs more to him. I haven’t seen any of Almas’ previous work to know if Meltzer is on point with his assessment, but I would be hard pressed to doubt him.
– Go out of your way to see the tag match between The Hype Bros and Gargano/Ciampa. That really was a very good match, especially after the commercial break. It was The Hype Bros’ best showing as a team by far. Like I said, it’d be nice if WWE would shit or get off the pot, for lack of a better phrase, on a singles run for Ryder. Cause if they’re not going to, tonight’s match really showed me there’s a future in The Hype Bros.
– The two out of three falls match next week should be simply incredible. I look forward to recapping that match for all of you. As I’ve said, I think American Alpha has been fast tracked to the main roster, so I can understand why they’d rush the rubber match.
I will see you here next week for that huge match and much more, so until next time, I Still Woo Woo Woo.