Welcome, ladies and gents, to another Wednesday night tradition of NXT. This is the first episode in the recent string of April 28th tapings back at the usual stomping grounds of Full Sail University, and we have many questions left to be answered as NXT is set up for the next TakeOver. Will Balor and Joe clash again? Who will be the next challenger for Asuka’s NXT Women’s Championship? Will Elias Samson drift off into outer space and never appear again on my television? Time will tell.
Nia Jax goes over in a squash match, ending Tessa’s futile effort mercilessly. I guess Jax is being positioned as the next challenger for Asuka? That’s the only reason I see for all of these squash matches out of nowhere. Nia Jax has lost her appeal, not that she had much in the first place with me. Yawn…moving onward.
Aries and Dillinger lock up for the second match of the night, and the crowd is fully behind Dillinger. At the end of the day, I admire how Dillinger went from bottoming out in a tag-team with Jason Jordan to now being one of the mainstays on the NXT roster. He’s capable of delivering consistent and great performances, and has a dash of charisma that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd. Aries and Dillinger have a fantastic sequence for the better part of a few minutes, with Dillinger being the predominate performer. Aries rallies back following a double ear slap and hits a diving corkscrew to the outside. Dillinger gets him back in the ring and hits an absolutely vicious neckbreaker, nearly derailing Aries. Seriously, that neckbreaker was something wicked, a perfect ten, if you will. Aries connects with a rolling elbow and follows it up with a 450 splash that is more than enough to keep Dillinger down for the count.
Very short, but good match between Aries and Dillinger. As I mentioned, I really dig what Dillinger is doing not only in the ring, but with his character in general. Can he eventually rise to the top of NXT and have a meaningful program? I hope so, because the guy is incredibly talented. He could be a great mid-card addition on the main roster if it ever came to him being called up, but that’s purely fantasy booking and speculation.
I’d like to amend that list of questions I put earlier that need answering by NXT to include the following: Will that heaping pile of un-amusing garbage known as Mojo Rawley ever stop dragging down Zack Ryder? Probably not, but a guy can hope, right? Regardless, The Revival are absolutely livid about losing their coveted NXT Tag Team Championship, and rightfully so. What’s the best thing for them to do? Beat the unholy crap out of the Hype Bros, and I’m behind that. This match serves/served one purpose and one purpose only: To show that Dash and Dawson still have their trademark pitbull tenacity and that they will stop at nothing to regain their tag team championship. It wasn’t a bad match, it wasn’t a good match, it was, quite simply, the match that they had to have to put them back on the winning track. You can skip it if you’d like, but I’d say the mean streak of The Revival is entertaining if nothing else to watch.
Another sub-par affair, akin to the way Elias Samson has been presented and booked, in which a talent is made to perform a goofy and nonsensical gimmick when they could amount to so much more. Not sure what else to tell you about this match, folks.
After being interrupted at the beginning of the program by Eric Young, the new NXT Champion Samoa Joe is here to make a statement. He’s already taken out the longest reigning champion in NXT history, so one has to wonder what threat Eric Young poses to him? For those who are familiar with TNA, these two have had numerous battles in the past. I may never, ever, want to hear Eric Young talk ever again, but I can’t deny that him and Joe mesh incredibly smooth. They also work a vicious type of match, as they’ve been known to do. The two trade back and forth momentum, with Joe starting to tip things in his favor following a corner splash and step-up enzuigiri, which is always incredible to watch. Joe is so agile for a big man, and yet he’s able to pull off a seamless transition between a move that requires power to one that requires agility. Young fights back again, but is planted by an atomic drop/big boot/senton sequence. Young makes one more attempt to build back momentum, capping things off with a flying elbow, but just isn’t able to come up with the victory. Joe gains control again, connects with a Muscle Buster, and the rest, as they say, is history. Going one step further, Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch instead of opting for a pinfall victory. Joe comes up with the victory, in vicious fashion, refusing to release the Clutch well after the bell.
That’ll wrap things up for this week’s NXT. It was nice to see a bit of forward momentum this week, as opposed to the stagnant state NXT has been in. Three matches out of five tonight are worth seeing, and that’s enough to satisfy me. Next week, we’ll see the return of Finn Balor to NXT television following his shocking loss to Samoa Joe in Lowell, Massachusetts. Until next time, keep it glued to Wrestling With Words for NXT, and all things wrestling from around the world!