Watch: WWE Network
Air Date: July 13, 2016
Full Sail University/Full Sail Arena – Winter Park, Florida
The show opens with a recap of Shinsuke Nakamura’s recent promo, in which he made it clear that he needed to defeat “The Icon” of NXT, Finn Bálor if he wanted to become the champion. After weeks of anticipation, that match finally takes place in tonight’s main event.
Samoa Joe comes out for the first time since NXT TakeOver: The End to cut a promo. First and foremost, Joe says that he’s here to witness the Finn Bálor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, seeing as the implications of that contest are a direct insult to him. Joe then adds that Bálor and Nakamura seem to think the winner of their match will receive an NXT Championship match, which is why he has come to “separate the fantasy from the reality.” In reality, Joe says that he’s slain Bálor and that’s why he stands before us as the undisputed NXT Champion. Joe then calls out fans who are chanting his name, saying they’re hypocrites who believe Shinsuke Nakamura will ride this wave of momentum straight to the NXT Championship. Shortly thereafter, he dismisses those fallacies before claiming to be the warrior of NXT. At this point, Joe is interrupted by Rhyno. Next, Rhyno stakes his claim to the title and Joe walks away.
Back from a commercial break, Bayley vs. Nia Jax, American Alpha vs. The Authors Of Pain and Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno are announced for next week’s show.
Finn Bálor vs. Shinsuke NakamuraRecommended
This appears to be the only match on tap for tonight’s show, and I’m currently hyped beyond words. On commentary, Graves compares the atmosphere in Full Sail Arena to that of John Cena vs. AJ Styles. Throughout the match, Finn ruthlessly targeted Nakamura’s left knee, locking in various submission maneuvers, including a heel hook and Boston crab. At one point, Nakamura kicked out of a reverse 1916. Later on, Bálor kicked out of a Kinshasa. Fortunately for Nakamura, he was eventually able to regroup and hit another Kinshasa to secure the victory. This was a very good TV match, as well as one of the best Finn performances I’ve seen in quite awhile, but it never quite kicked into the next gear. Post-match, both competitors shook hands.
Once again, this week’s episode of NXT was a breeze to watch and featured an incredibly enjoyable main event. If you’re pressed for time, the main event is worth watching, but Joe’s opening promo was also solid. As always, thanks for reading.