WWE NXT for October 26, 2016
Watch: WWE Network
Full Sail Live – Winter Park, Florida
Side note: Corey Graves heel commentary, mere seconds in, is the best in the business. He and Tom Phillips are so good together and I hope they aren’t split up from NXT commentary in a long time.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. Tian Bing & Hoho Luneh
Tian Bing made his WWE debut back at a live event in China vs. Bo Dallas. Although I appreciate the pairing of Hoho and Tian, I question if they should have gotten a spot in the tournament. Of course, there’re room for more “homegrown” guys but this felt like the only team so far that is about five steps back. We all knew this was going to be a DIY win. Even if it was minimal, them getting in “convincing” offense in against DIY looked so fake and ridiculous. There was a IGF reference on commentary, which didn’t come with the initials yet “Antonio Inoki’s promotion in Japan”. It sure is a prestigious place. Thankfully the match was kept short. Although the “heel” offense was dumb, DIY dominated. The knee/superkick double team finish was hit to wipe away Hoho Bing.
DIY def. Tian Bing & Hoho Lun to advance
DIY and The Revival will meet in the Second Round.
TJP and Ibushi had a clunky, awkward interview that fit them so well yet was so bad. Ibushi said they came together because of … respect. It took a turn off a cliff though as TJP asked Ibushi what his OVERALL RATING was. Please do not implement the “nerd” gimmick into everything he does, WWE. Side note: they won’t. Ibushi joked he was a 99, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true considering he is a wrestling god. The two walked off cocky and confident.
We get another interview with Samoa Joe. Joe’s always been good in this heel role in NXT, always lurking being intense as ever on the mic. He broke down Nakamura on the stick, convincingly continuing the “Joe is unleashed and can put anyone on the scared roster out of action for a long time” story! He explained everyone should see the next NXT Champion, Samoa Joe. Even the interviews in the build to the Toronto match are A-B’s on the grading scale. Since I haven’t reviewed NXT ever, I wanted to chime in some of my summed up thoughts on current feuds you guys are watching/reading about as well. That means I LOVE this feud.
Aliyah vs. Billie Kay (w/Peyton Royce)n/r
I respect Aliyah because of how far she’s come, her role in Breaking Ground, and the fact she’s from the Six. The Aussies are one of my favorite things about WWE in GENERAL. That is a shoot. There’s been a storyline throughout all of these extended competitive squash matches vs. the mid card of the women’s division. The face tends to get a good amount of offense in which is good for a showcase on TV, only to be chopped down by whichever Aussie is in the ring. This was going to follow the same formula until Liv Morgan ran in to hold down Peyton Royce’s legs as Aliyah got a roll-up win on Billie Kay. This was simple old time storytelling that allowed for the face to get revenge without a LOT of contact in the lead-up to a match. Liv got a 2 vs. 1 beatdown only for Aliyah to (kind of) convincingly save face. I’m really looking forward to the timeline of the feud. Liv took a facebuster from Peyton on Billie’s knee. Beautiful.
Aliyah def. Billie Kay
Noah Potjes vs. Tye Dillingern/r
Noah Potjes is 2002 swagger Samoa Joe / ethnic Dwayne Johnson / resident creep of NXT. I was wondering if we’d go two for two in “TakeOver feud run-ins on a match”. This was really quick but a good squash match. Where as Noah isn’t experienced, he was really good in this role, taking the brunt of Dillinger’s moves like the cocky “shoot, I’m actually getting beat up” heel he was. I can see him getting a mid card role in the future, as not every mid card act should be slammed into a random tag team to pop the crowd or shoot for the stars. Tye hit the Tye Breaker for the win in what was an effective development match.
Tye Dillinger def. Noah Potjes
Tye was in the middle of shooting on Roode post-match when Roode jumped him from behind. Technically two for two, just after the match was this attack. It got heat on future confrontations, especially so since Roode hit his trademark DDT on the stage. It was a brutal spot that will probably be underestimated by people because it didn’t involve weapons. Yet another well-done segment to advance a feud. Roode posing over Dillinger could be a great WWE Shop t-shirt y’all.
My boys TM-61 were backstage. Nick and Shane cut a promo on Generation Next aka Roderick Strong and Austin Aries. They provided a generic outlook explaining they’re the new wave and that they’ll overcome the “good then” veterans. “Families don’t get to choose each other but Nick and I chose to team.” They did a goofy trust fall and reiterated that The Mighty Don’t Kneel. I enjoy the allusions to their past mantra/tag name.
Thea Trinidad vs. Asukagood (squash)
Speaking of Austin Aries, his girl was already in the ring ready to be mauled by the NXT Women’s Champion. This reminded me of the times Asuka would work less experienced people in Japan. It had a sense of urgency but looked like Thea was literally learning every second she spent in the ring as she tried to survive. It was very well paced for a squash. Asuka even funnily tumbled over after hitting Thea with a hip attack. Asuka caught Thea’s only kick attempted and rolled into the Asuka Ankle lock. She hit an INSANE German suplex, transitioning into an arm bar. This was a tremendous squash. I’d typically give them N/R but this really did its job well and even though she’d likely be exposed in a longer match, Trinidad looked awesome. I hope to see her back.
Asuka def. Thea Trinidad
It was time for the announcement I freaked out over when the spoilers came out. William Regal introduced a video promo from the U.K. It was none other than Mickie James, cutting a clear, short and concise promo stating that Asuka may have beaten a lot of women but Mickie has beaten loads of champions. “Regal honey, you may want to call the U.N. because we’re about to have an international incident.” This was brilliant and unique. I can’t wait for the match. Asuka laughed it off, providing sheer happiness in only the way we can interpret it. She can’t wait to knock Mickie the hell out.
Paul Ellering was backstage with his Authors of Pain. He gave them an unorthodox looking hype talk until he was interviewed about A.O.P’s progress so far. Ellering said the cycle was complete and they are going to execute his strategy. “Mr. Jose and Mr. Swann,” his prelude to his speech began. The Authors spat out other-worldly raised voice promos to explain the Cruiserweights would be squashed!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Mustafa Ali & Lince Dorado vs. TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushigood
This is such a 2016 NXT TV main event. Wrestling fans like myself do indeed like to repeat the year because it’s so special. It never dawned on me that I’d see Kota Ibushi and Mustafa Ali exchange lucharesu offense, but it happened! To pull a Bobby Roode, it was glorious. This was a Raw Cruiserweight tag amplified times two. Everything was so crisp and had meaning. There was a lot of lucharesu influence especially when Kota was in the ring. We got valuable once in a lifetime interaction between Ibushi and Ali that tore the house down. Surprisingly TJP was used as face in peril as Ali and Dorado, while usually babyface spotty guys, did a good job keeping him grounded without coming off too cocky. There wasn’t meant to be a definitive heel vs. face dynamic here. The rest saw solid near falls, pin breakups, and offense you’d need to watch the match to see in total as it was a crash course main event. While it wasn’t really good or blow away, it was a feather in the cap for everyone involved as well as the tournament. TJP tapped Ali in the knee bar which led to both dabbing as they face Authors of Pain in the Second Round.
TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi def. Mustafa Ali & Lince Dorado to advance
WWE NXT FOR OCTOBER 26, 2016
Decent - 6/10
This was a solid episode of NXT TV. While it doesn't match some of the incredible hour iterations of 2016, it told stories, advanced everything towards TakeOver, and gave us some good wrestling to boot; which is secondary to storylines on TV -- as it should be. Asuka and Mickie James had an electric confrontation without being face to face or in the same country. I continue to enjoy everything NXT puts out with the exception of a few things that future episodes will allow me to bury (aka The Drifter). With that being said I look forward to covering NXT weekly. I hope you learned what I like and don't like from the promotion as we move forward to November with great TV build all around.