6/15 Zim’s NXT TV Live Review: The fallout from the NXT Takeover: The End live special

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Zack Zimmerman

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NXT on WWE Network
Taped June 9 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A “We Stand With Orlando” graphic aired… A video package recapped the events of last week’s Takeover: The End show… The opening video played…

Inside the arena, the commentators Tom Phillips and Corey Graves welcomed viewers to the new chapter of NXT. They hyped that we would be hearing from both NXT Champion Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor later in the show… The Authors of Pain made their entrance to boos from the Full Sail crowd.

1. The Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. An enhancement team. The Authors went right after both opponents at the bell. They cleared one from the ring and isolated the other for a short time. One of the Authors yanked one of the jobbers over the ropes onto his partner. A short time later, they hit the boot and side slam on one guy before putting the other away with the clothesline and leg sweep combo.

The Authors of Pain squashed in about 1:30.

Backstage, Andrade “Cien” Almas was asked about his debut at Takeover. He began to talk about how incredible it was when he was interrupted by Tye Dillinger. “Don’t blow that out of proportion, you 6.” Dillinger said. He said that Almas winning was a fluke because he’s nowhere near a perfect 10. Almas said “nos vemos” (see you) and Dillinger left…

TM61 v.s Blake and Murphy was hyped for later in the show. The commentators noted that Blake and Murphy are on their last legs as a team… Carmella was hyped up next… [C]

Zim Says: It’s not hard to look like killers in a minute-and-a-half squash match, and I think the Authors of Pain have a long way to go if they want to be anything more than a one-dimensional big-man act (see The Ascension for results). In theory, I like Almas working with an experienced guy like Dillinger, but it’s a really bad matchup in Full Sail where Dillinger is very popular and Almas is completely unestablished.

Backstage, an interviwer tried to stop the Authors of Pain for a question but they blew right past her. Paul Ellering simply said “In due time…”

Back in the arena, Carmella made her entrance. She cut her usual promo on her way to the ring. Tessa Blanchard was out next.

2. Carmella vs. Tessa Blanchard. The two traded headlocks to open before Carmella got the better of Blanchard with a fancy roll-up attempt, headscissors, and dropkick. Tessa briefly got the better of Carmela and mocked her, but Carmella regained control and moonwalked in celebration. Tessa began to work the heat around the 1:30 mark and settled into an abdominal stretch a short time later. The crowd chanted for Carmella and she began to fight back, she fired up and hit the bronco buster in the corner. Carmella planted Blanchard with a Flatliner and then locked in her submission, which they finally named, The Code of Silence for the win.

Carmella forced Tessa Blanchard to submit in about 2:50.

Replays aired and Carmella had one more reason to moonwalk in celebration… The commentators recapped Samoa Joe retaining the NXT Championship at The End last week. A Samoa Joe interview airedd where he said that he put to rest any question of who the undisputed NXT Champion is. He said it marks the end of those questions and the beginning of his era. “I am Samoa Joe. I am NXT Champion. And you don’t have enough to sacrifice to take [the title] from me…”

At the interview set, Blake and Murphy were asked about teaming tonight against TM61. They played up the tension, but then agreed it was Alexa Bliss’s fault. They said that they’re leaving history behind them to regain their NXT Tag Team Championships. The said the Aussies TM61 are the  first stepping stone…

Zim Says: Decent showing from the ladies. Tessa Blanchard is still really young and she’s getting good. Carmella is fine, but she’s not showing the marked improvements that I’d expect to be seeing from someone in the system as long as her. This is the time she needs to start clicking if she wants to establish herself as a tentpole of the division in this generation of ladies, so pressure is on.

Back in the arena, TM61 made their entrance, and apparently the Full Sail crowd did their Wiki research between this taping and last to learn who TM61 are because they reacted and clapped along with the music. Blake and Murphy were out next, of course sans Alexa Bliss.

3. TM61 (Shane Thorne and Nick Miller) vs. Blake and Murphy. The crowd chanted “where’s Alexa?” while Graves joked about family history in Australia between Thorne’s family and Murphy’s. Thorne and Blake traded head and armlocks while the commentators continued to goof around/ Thorne got the better of things with some fancy footwork and a high dropkick for each Blake and Murphy. TM61 split the wishbone on Blake and then used a back suplex and senton atomico combination for a two-count.

A short time later, TM61 hit a nice combo moonsault and falling fist drop, but with an assist from ringside, Blake and Murphy took control of Thorne. Murphy hit a sliding punch in the corner as his team was in firm control around the 4:00 mark. A short time later, Thorne swung one of his opponents’ legs into the other and rolled through to his corner where Miller took the hot tag. Miller cleared house with clotheslines before planting Blake with a spinebuster. TM61 lifted Blake high overhead before swinging him down and slamming him to the mat with a move they call Thunder Valley for the win.

TM61 over Blake and Murphy in about 5:30.

Replays aired and the commentators noted that this may have been the “break” in a “make or break” night for Blake and Murphy… The commentators recapped The Revival winning last week to become the first two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. A post-match interview from The Revival had them saying that they did exactly what they said they were going to do. They said that they proved they’re the greatest team on the planet. They said that being the first team to win the Tag Team Championships twice proves that…

Zim Says: Good tag team match here. The right team won and looked good doing so. I’m happy to see TM61 quickly picking up momentum and becoming players in a tag team division which is capable of producing show-stealing matches for perhaps the first time in NXT’s history.

Corey Graves hyped that we would hear from Finn Bálor later in the show… Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Tye Dillinger in a rematch from The End was hyped up next… Bobby Roode’s surprise appearance with NXT in the UK at DownloadFest was briefly teased…

Bayley’s loss to Nia Jax from last month was recapped through replays. In a brief backstage interview, Bayley said that she has a doctor’s appointment next week and if everything goes well, William Regal has promised that she can return to competition. She said she’ll let everyone know, and she can’t wait…

Back in the arena, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger made his entrance in his newly produced WWEShop shirt. The crowd went pretty wild with cheers and “10” chants. Andrade “Cien” Almas was out next to a decent applause, but the reaction was significantly more subdued that Dillinger’s.

4. Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade Almas. Dillinger grabbed an arm but Almas used fancy footwork and a handspring back elbow to get the better of Dillinger. Alma went out to the apron and used a high springboard cross body into the ring. After a brief fight around ringside, Dillinger took control for a short time. Back in the ring however, Almas got the better of him before feigning a dive to the outside with a springboard moonsault back into the ring. After a running headscissors, Almas, feigned another dive to the outside, but this time caught himself in the ropes and hit his signature pose. [C]

Back in the ring, Dillinger took control with a knee to the gut and a series of chops. Alma fought back and hopped onto Dillinger’s shoulders before shifting into a roll-up attempt. Dillinger tried a drop-down, but Almas slid right into him with a dropkick. Dillinger showed some fight with a series of forearms and a backbreaker, but Almas kicked out at one. Dillinger continued to wear Almas down with chops and boots in the corner.

Almas began to fight back with slaps to the chest and then picked up momentum following a springboard dropkick. Alma fired off a rapid series of forearms and knocked Dillinger to ringside before wiping him out with a twisting press. Back in the ring, Almas planted Dillinger with a wheelbarrow bulldog and then hit the running double knees in the corner for the win.

Andrade Almas over Tye Dillinger in about 7:15.

Graves put over that this was a more dominant showing from Almas as replays aired… An appearance from Finn Bálor was hyped up next… [C]

Zim Says: That was so obviously two separate segments spliced together. They taped a short match at this point of the tapings and then did a re-shoot later with no beginning or finish and recorded a bunch of spots which they plugged into this match. Again though, Almas is not getting over in front of this crowd. They’ve overexposed him and matched him up with the wrong guy. His spots look great though, the guy is very fun to watch.

Back in the arena, Finn Bálor made his entrance in regular clothes. He was welcomed very warmly by the Full Sail crowd with “thank you Finn” and “please don’t go” chants. Bálor recalled that he was sitting at home in Ireland when he stumbled across Enzo and Cass on his TV. He said that he knew he wanted to be a part of that, so he came there. He said he became a part of NXT and NXT became a part of him. He said he was NXT Champion for 292 days. He said he went to wars with Neville, Tyler Breeze, Kevin Owens, and Samoa Joe.

Finn said that yet, he still stands there not the champion. He said that everyone is wondering “what’s next for Finn Bálor?” He paused for the crowd to chant something, but they didnt. He repeated the question, and this time the crowd came up with “Bálor Club.” Bálor quipped “too sweet” and the crowd chanted it back. He repeated the question a third time, when the lights cut out. Those familiar chords hit and Shinsuke Nakamura entered the arena to the usual wild reaction. The crowd sang along with his music the whole way, and continued even once it stopped.

The two briefly shook hands in the ring and the crowd chanted “this is awesome” before the two did each other’s signature poses. The crowd chanted “Finnsuke.” Nakamura said that when he was in Japan, he sat and watched Finn become the icon of NXT. The crowd applauded. Nakamura said that even though Bálor isn’t the champion, he’s still the icon. Nakamura said “if I want to be the champion, I have to beat the icon.” the crowd popped big and chanted “yes!” Nakamura said that he had to beat *stalls exaggeratedly* “you.”

He pointed to Finn. The crowd chanted “match of the year.” Bálor said that answers his question of what’s next: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Bálor. The crowd popped again and the two shook hands and stood face-to-face. Bálor’s music hit before Nakamura took a bow and left the ring to the former champion. They stared each other down with smiles on their faces from the ring to the stage to close the show…

Zim Says: Fun closing segment which gives fans a glimpse at one of the most exciting matches that NXT can create right now. I wonder how the substance of their first match will hold up to to the buzz and expectations, but the potential on paper is very promising. Their interaction was fun here and the story of Nakamura going through the icon of NXT makes all the sense in the world. I wonder if this will be a TV program leading to the next challenger in Brooklyn or if the match itself will be held off until then, but I suppose we won’t know that until next week’s tapings. Speaking of which, I won’t be covering NXT because I”ll be back in Florida for the CWC and NXT tapings. Jason Powell should have you covered on this side of things next week, and I’ll have my reports on the first rounds of the CWC and the NXT tapings on the main page, so be sure to keep your eyes out for those!

This show didn’t exactly feel like the start of a new chapter as much I think they wanted it too, but I can see the cases they made with spotlights on TM61 and Almas, as well as new directions for Finn Bálor and Shinsuke Nakamura. When they go all-out touting “new chapter,” I expect to see progressive changes that reflect the newness, so we’ll see how the trend goes over the next few 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.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...


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