6/1 Zim’s NXT TV Live Review: The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa headline the final show before NXT Takeover: The End

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Zack Zimmerman

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NXT on WWE Network
Taped May 19 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

Please bear with any delays, as I’m experiencing internet troubles.

A new opening video played with the same old music…

The show kicked off with The Revival making their entrance in street clothes. Once in the ring, Dash vowed that at the next Takeover they’ll become two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. Dawson said that they have the decency to admit that Americal Alpha are great “little amateur” athletes, but The Revival hit harder. As he was carrying on, he was interrupted by the music of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. The commentators noted that they’ve been o na roll as of late.

Once they were in the ring, The Revival questioned what they were doing there. Ciampa said that The Revival’s time has already come and gone, and everyone knows he and Gargano are better. Dawson called them “undersized bearded guys” who think they’re special but are simply good hands. Ciampa said that sounds a bit more like The Revival. The Revival took credit for boosting the tag division in NXT and told Ciampa and Gargano to get back to the bingo halls. Ciampa mocked them for losing the tag titles in Dallas, and Dash mocked them back for never holding titles.

The Revival left the ring, but as they walked up the ramp Gargano spoke up. He said they’re running away pretty fast for “top guys.” The Revival turned back and re-entered the ring. Once they did however, they were caught with tandem dropkicks from the babyfaces and cleared from the ring, The Revival yelled at them from the apron and said that they made a mistake and would see Gargano and Ciampa in the ring tonight…

Backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura was asked about his match against Austin Aries at Takeover. Nakamura pondered and then said that Austin Aries will bow down to the King of Strong Style. He hit a pose and then walked off set… Austin Aries vs. Elias Samson was hyped for later in the show, as was Corey Graves’s sit-down interview with Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe… A video package hyped the cage match main event at Takeover The End…

Zim Says: Not exactly the most gripping opening segment, but I really like that they’re giving Gargano and Ciampa some wins as a unit and now are giving them a bit of a voice as well. Should make for a very solid tag match between these teams.

Back in the arena, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger made his entrance. He was followed by Murphy, who was out solo.

1. Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy. Dillinger got the better of Murphy in the opening minute and repeatedly flashed the big “10” in Murphy’s face with the crowd’s assistance. Dillinger grounded Murphy and worked an armbar for a while before Murphy fought back to his feet and got the better of Dillinger from the apron. Murphy hit a big running punch for a quick two-count and maintained control for the time being.

The commentators noted that Regal made the match official between Gargano and Ciampa and The Revival for later in the show. Dillinger snuck out of a rest hold with a leg-clutch pin attempt and then mounted his comeback. Dillinger hit nine punches in the corner, and then landed a super kick before connecting on the 10th. Dillinger lowered his kneepad and then hit AJ Styles’s fireman’s carry neckbreaker over the knee for the win.

Tye Dillinger beat Buddy Murphy in about 5:00.

Replays aired and Dillinger held the ring as Murphy sat slumped at ringside…

The commentators threw to Corey Graves’s sit-down interview with Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor. Bálor struggled to answer what was running through his mind in the seconds and moments after losing the NXT Championship in Lowell, Mass. He said that he didn’t see it coming, especially not at a house show, but he has no regret because his job as champion is to put that title on the line whenever and wherever.

Samoa Joe said that he accomplished what he wanted to, but more than that he got what he deserved. He said that Bálor made him jump through ridiculous hoops just to get his shots at the title. Bálor called him out on his sense of entitlement and said that 100 guys who work harder at the WWEPC are more deserving than Joe. Joe asked why one of them wasn’t sitting there with the belt if that’s the case and scoffed at the notion. Joe continued to accuse Bálor of ducking him and making him go out of his way for title shots.

Bálor asked what happened to the guy he was friends with, the guy whose wedding he attended. Joe took credit for getting Bálor into New Japan. Bálor admitted that he survived Joe the first two times, but said that doesn’t take away from the fact that he won both times. Joe said he has the advantage because he’s been in a cage before and Bálor hasn’t. Joe recalled Bálor needing medical attention when he’s fought Joe in the past and said the same would happen in the cage.

Bálor disagreed with the question that he’s risking his career getting into the cage with Joe and said that is his career. He said the title means everything to him and he’ll do anything it takes to get it back. Joe said this is going to be a perfect opportunity to show Bálor exactly where his place is. They bickered awkwardly, stood face-to-face, and the segment came to an end…

Zim Says: Good interview to build the main event but it didn’t hit the level of intensity that I’d expect in the go-home show for a cage match blowoff. As for the preceding match, instantly forgettable.

Elias Samson made his entrance to a chorus of boos. A caped Austin Aries was out next.

2. Elias Samson vs. Austin Aries. The guys traded armlocks while some vocal members of the crowd booed relentlessly. Samson hit a cheap shot in the corner, but Aries came right back with a series of arm drags and his headstand dropkick out of a headscissors. Graves noted that Aries is a better guitar player than Samson. Samson took control and worked at his pace while the crowd chanted “drift away.” Aries worked back to his feet and hit the shipbreaker into a back suplex.

Aries fired up with shots, chops, and clotheslines. Aries hit a back elbow to the back of Samson from the second rope and then wiped Samson out with a dive through the ropes to ringside. Back in the ring, Aries hit a rolling elbow, a high-impact corner dropkick, a neckbreaker, and several knees before hooking the Last Chancery for the submission win.

Austin Aries beat Elias Samson in about 4:30.

Replays aired before Aries cut a promo. He said that he’s proven it time after time, while the crowd chanted “Nakamura.” Aries said that’s what he’s talking about. He said that at Takeover, he’s going to put any doubt to rest and take the spotlight off Nakamura to put it back where it belongs…

A contract signing for the title match between Asuka and Nia Jax was hyped for later in the show. Ciampa and Gargano vs. The Revival was hyped up next… The Andrade “Cien” Almas vignette aired. It was slightly extended, though he still did not reveal his face. His debut was hyped for Takeover The End…

The entrances for the main event took place.

3. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). Dawson got the better of Gargano through the opening minute before Gargano fired up and ran wild on both members of The Revival. The babyfaces used some nice team offense when Ciampa tagged in. Ciampa landed some hard chops and knees to both members of the Revival, but Dawson managed to knock Ciampa to ringside and a brief distraction allowed Dash to blindside Ciampa, giving The Revival control. [C]

Back in the ring, Dash had Ciampa grounded in a kneebar, but Ciampa showed fight by chopping his way out from that position. Ciampa looked for the tag but remained isolated by The Revival. The fight went to ringside where Ciampa managed to send Dawson bouncing off the ringpost. It appeared as though the separation had been created, but at the last minute he cut Ciampa off and The Revival once again remained in control.

A few moments later, Ciampa managed to make the tag to Gargano who came in hot. Gargano hit double-knees to Dawson in the corner and then a rolling enzugiri. Gargano connected with the slingshot spear for a two-count and hen rocked Dash with a kick. Dawson wound up for a punch on Gargano, but then crunched him with a DDT when he ducked and covered. Good spot. Dawson hoisted Gargano onto the top rope and after a brief battle, connected with a top-rope superplex. However, as soon as they hit the mat, Gargano caught Dawson in a small package for the surprise win.

Ciampa and Gargano beat The Revival in about 7:00.

Immediately after the bell, The Revival put a beatdown on Gargano, and then on Ciampa. They laid Ciampa out with the Shatter Machine. They set him up in position for their knee breaker, but before they could do the deed, American Alpha hit the ring. They cleared Dawson from the ring and then planted Dash with their alley-oop suplex…

Zim Says: Good tag match. It didn’t get enough time to really build up or get past a certain gear, but both of these teams are doing very good work and that certainly doesn’t cease when they’re put together. Interesting finish too; I wonder if we’ll see Gargano and Ciampa added to the Takeover match last-minute.

Back in the arena, NXT GM William Regal was set up in the ring for a contract signing. He first welcomed out the challenger, Nia Jax, and then NXT Women’s Champion Asuka. Regal noted that Asuka had debuted only nine months ago. He was carrying on when Nia Jax took the microphone from him. Jax said that everyone is so scared of Asuka but she’s not. Jax noted that Asuka beat Bayley, but Jax broke Bayley. Jax said that Asuka has never faced anyone like her because there’s nobody else like her. She said she’s the future and she’s not scared of Asuka. Jax put pen to paper.

Asuka took the mic and said “you talk too much.” She also signed, and then she went off on Ja in Japanese. She said if Jax isn’t scared of her, she should be, and then got right in Jax’s face. Jax shoved her away which led to Asuka teeing off on Jax. Asuka threw a kick, but Jax caught her leg and planted her with a powerbomb. “Scared of that?” Jax scoffe as she left the ring. The commentators questioned how Asuka could overcome Nia Jax to close the show.

Zim Says: Short, sweet, and effective. I’ll note again that I don’t have particularly high expectations for the ladies at Takeover, but I enjoyed this segment and thought that for a last-minute push in the go-home week, this was a quality way to go. This show had some interesting things considering next week’s Takeover special, but everything they did will lead to something either directly at Takeover or in the weeks and months to follow. This Takeover really does feel randomly plopped on the calendar, but I do think they’ve made the most of this week and last’s shows to hope it up. I think this is the least excited I’ve felt going into a Takeover, but looking at the show on paper I can’t imagine it’ll disappoint.

Unfortunately I won’t be around to cover the show next week, but Jason Powell will be here to keep you folks covered on all things NXT Takeover. Enjoy the show, and I’ll be back in two-weeks!

Check back tomorrow for an All-Access edition of the DotNet NXT Audio Recap, as well as Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist.

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.

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