Welcome to this week’s NXT review! This was shot at WrestleMania Axxess, which means there will be different look and a different crowd. This show will feature the TV debut of The King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura and some tag team action!
Dawkins comes out, very cocky with this theme and I love it! Dawkins was a former amateur wrestler, and you saw that here, as he tried to mat wrestle, he even threw Aries down early on. After a couple of Arm Drags, even a WOS-esque headstand jump out of a head scissors into a kick and a few Dawkins kicks, this was all Aries. He hit a missile dropkick and then a dropkick in the corner. A rolling elbow gets him the win. The match was short, but I was not expecting Dawkins to get that much offense in and I did not mind that. He looked more impressive than Aries here, and I don’t even know if that is a hot take.
After the match, Samoa Joe gets interviewed backstage. He says nothing changed and he is a warrior, and will finish his war. He also announces a match with Apollo Crews next week! And then a TapOut ad, reminds me of High School days, as well as a No Way Jose vignette, a jamming theme.
Tessa Blanchard being on NXT is quite interesting, but I am not complaining at all. She is pretty green, and would get a lot from working at the Performance Center! She has a lot of potential! They put over Blanchard a lot on commentary, a sign maybe? She got in some offense, more than I would usually expect from some one in this position, she even nearly gets a comeback in. Bliss says “Welcome to NXT, sweetheart!”, which starts a NXT chant, but Bliss shuts them up. After a brief comeback, Bliss stops that and hits a flipping back spring double knee stomp for the victory. Not that bad, and cool to see Blanchard here, get a lot of offense in but it was still very short and just to put over Bliss.
After that match, Balor has an interview talking about Nakamura and his upcoming TV debut. After that a Camp WWE ad plays, I can’t be the only one excited for that?
Seeing Gargano and Ciampa on NXT always makes me happy and them tagging up? Even better! Gargano was quite over and he was putting in that work early on until the Vaudevillians teamed up on him until he hit the signature rolling Pele. Ciampa gets in, and Ciampa hits a nasty lariat and one of his awesome knees! Gargano then hits a sweet dive! But after that, English and Gotch takes control. Ciampa gets the hot tag and saves Johnny! He hits an elevated flatliner for a near fall. Gargano hits a somersault plancha too. Ciampa locks in his arm bar and wins. That was a very fun match, and a very good TV match. Ciampa and Gargano in NXT is something I could see more of, so this was great to see. A solid way to put these two over and send off the Vaudevillians.
The Perfect 10 has an interview, talking about his upcoming match. Then an ad for the new NXT best of DVD/Blu-ray plays, which looks pretty good to be honest.
Knight looks like a beast, but that does not matter as it is against big banter Baron Corbin. Tucker gets little offense in, he hit a drop kick and a seated takedown dive thing and Baron is still looking strong as he hits the End of Days soon after to get the win! A squash, not much to say here, but if this was a way to send him off to the main roster, it was not the best, but he looks like a monster.
They play a video package of American Alpha cutting a promo in the arena they won their belts in, basking in the glory, but Enzo and Cass come out and put them over. Enzo and Cass say they have never gone head to head with them, and that match does not need to be a title match and American Alpha says they can make it happen! Later on that match gets confirmed for the show next week!
Bayley looks so weird without the title belt we are used to seeing around her waist, looks empty. Graves making fun of New Jersey constantly during this match was pretty funny, as Live Morgan is “representing the 201”. I’m not up to date with the lingo. Morgan hits a handspring-rolling-spinning headscissors that was the only cool part of this match as the rest was very boring and not much to talk about, besides the fact it was Bayley’s first match without the title. After a bit of back and forth, Bayley wins with a Bayley to Belly. Bayley cuts a promo after the match, saying she will be the champ again! I would not complain about that! But Asuka with the title is still a cool idea, and I am interested to see where they head with that.
Tye has his own shirt, that looks nice by the way, and I hope it is on WWE Shop soon. This is a pretty significant match as it is Nakamura’s NXT weekly TV debut! Nakamura is incredibly over and it is awesome but it does not surprise me as he has so much darn charisma. But so does Tye and they played off each other’s mannerisms so well, and I loved it. For the time it was given it was good, but it was still too short. After a Strong Style Boot, Nakamura wins with a Kinshasa. It was a good way to display his charisma but his in ring work was not showed off enough in this bout.
A pretty solid episode of NXT TV, with a good tagteam match, but it felt like there as no direction. No stories started or progressed besides announcing two matches for next week. For all your NXT reviews and needs, you are already in the right place, Wrestling With Words.