Welcome back to our weekly review of WWE NXT. Al will be taking over SmackDown reviews for Trask, so I have been assigned NXT for the foreseeable future. Last week’s show saw WWE Cruiserweight Classic participants Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa pick up an impressive victory over Rob Ryzin & Danny Burch. How will Gargano and Ciampa fare against the newly introduced team of TM-61? Last week’s show also saw Nia Jax defeat former NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley, in convincing fashion. Can Bayley regroup, or will Jax further establish her dominance over the NXT women’s division?
NXT General Manager William Regal opens the show. Regal says that Bayley is not cleared to compete against Asuka at TakeOver on June 8, and proceeds to make tonight’s main event a Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match between Nia Jax, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss. The winner will receive a title match against Asuka at TakeOver on June 8.
Next, we get a video package showcasing the NXT Champion, Samoa Joe.
We head backstage, where Cathy Kelley interviews Bayley about her exclusion from TakeOver. Bayley expresses her disappointment but gets interrupted by Nia Jax. Just as it appears that a brawl is going to ensue, Carmella and Alexa Bliss show up to even the odds.
Next, we get a vignette for Andrade “Cien” Almas, formerly known as La Sombra in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL).
Austin Aries comes out for a promo. Aries says that “the best” is one of the most overused phrases in professional sports, and everyone wants to be the best. He then adds that not everyone can be the best, and he prefers to be great since no one can take that away. Aries proceeds to say that timing is everything and that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the NXT Champion. Not if “The King of Strong Style” Shinsuke Nakamura has anything to say about it. Nakamura stakes his claim for the NXT Title, stating that it’s not coming to “Greatness.” Rather, it’s coming home with “The King of Strong Style.” This brings out William Regal, who announces that Nakamura and Aries will go one-on-one at TakeOver in two weeks.
Andrea D’Marco interviews American Alpha about their upcoming match with The Revival. Gable and Jordan say that it doesn’t matter where they are; they will prove that they are the best tag team on the planet.
Another quick squash with Jose picking up yet another victory. After the match, Jose danced on the announcer’s table while Graves and Phillips looked on. I’m still not sold on the character, as dancing gimmicks tend to have short shelf-lives in WWE, but Jose oozes charisma.
We get another video package, only this time, it flaunted the abilities of former NXT Champion Finn Bálor.
Cathy Kelley questioned Asuka about tonight’s main event. Asuka said that it doesn’t matter who wins because she will defeat them and retain her NXT Women’s Championship.
After a commercial break, Corey Graves announces that he will conduct an exclusive interview between Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe next week. We also learn that Austin Aries will take on “The Drifter” Elias Samson.
All three competitors in this match have secured quite a few victories as of late, so it should be interesting to see who walks out the new number-one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. Post-match, Asuka has an intense stare down with Jax. I may not be a fan of Carmella, Jax, or Bliss, but they put together a good match. All three performers had a chance to shine, and Jax pinned Carmella after hitting her signature leg drop.
Overall, this was an excellent hour of NXT TV. Everything served a purpose, but if you’re pressed for time, you may want to consider watching the tag match between TM-61 and Ciampa & Gargano.
Edit: As per Triple H, the NXT show on June 8 will now be called: “TakeOver: The End.”
Where do we go from here?
— Triple H (@TripleH) May 26, 2016