8/10 Zim’s NXT TV Live Review: Asuka vs. Bayley contract signing for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II


Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Zack Zimmerman

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NXT on WWE Network
Taped July 13 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

NXT GM William Regal and Bobby Roode walked out of his office shaking hands, before Regal left to attend to the contract signing. Rhode seemed very pleased with himself… The opening video played… Inside the arena, Tom Phillips hyped Takeover Brooklyn for a week from Saturday. Samoa Joe vs. Mojo Rawley was hyped for later in the show…

In the ring, NXT GM William Regal was stood with the set-up for a contract signing. He recapped that Asuka will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Bayley in Brooklyn before bringing the ladies out; challenger followed by champion. Bayley said that her whole career, she was looked at as the underdog. She said that all changed when her dream came true in Brooklyn last year. She said if Brooklyn was her dream, Dallas was her nightmare. She said she wasn’t prepared for Asuka that night, but she is ready now. She admitted that Asuka is the toughest woman she’s ever wrestled, but the mystique is gone and she’s going to be the first person to beat Asuka and the first-ever two-time NXT Women’s Champion. She then put pen to paper.

Asuka said that Bayley doesn’t have what it takes. She said that she crushed Bayley’s dreams, but she respects her. Asuka extended her hand, but Bayley recalled that last time she was in a contract signing (with Nia Jax), she ended up getting laid out. Bayley suggested that if she didn’t want a repeat of history, Asuka should just sign the contract and get out of the ring. The two got intense before Asuka also signed. She once again extended her hand, and Bayley slapped it away before nudging Asuka out of her way on the way out of the ring. Bayley reached the ramp before intensely re-entering the ring and the two had a lengthy face-to-face staredown to get all of those sweet video package shots. The commentators hyped the match…

The Authors of Pain were hyped up next… [C]

Zim Says: Fine contract signing. Nothing special or memorable, but appropriate in tone and intensity.

Back in the arena, The Authors of Pain made their entrance. Their opponents were already in the ring.

1. The Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Adrian Nails and Rob Ryzin. The Authors beat up both guys before powerbombing their opponents into each other and then down hard. They hit their Russian leg sweep and clothesline combo for the win.

The Authors of Pain squashed Nails and Ryzin in about 1:20.

The Authors were about to beat up the jobbers when TM61 hit the ring to make the save. They didn’t last long, however, as The Authors disposed of one and laid out the other with the boot and sidewalk slam. They stood tall in the ring as replays aired…

Zim Says: The Authors can look impressive in small doses but bear in mind that the Ascension could at one point too. I’ll be curious to see what kind of match the Aussies can get out of the Authors and how interacting with the Authors will impact the Aussies, who are still looking for a way to really connect.

Backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura was asked about Samoa Joe’s threat to take him out before Takeover. Nakamura said that he’s not hard to find, but Joe won’t have to find him. He’ll find Joe when he wants. He then mocked like he was going off in search of Joe…

Back in the arena, Andrade “Cien” Almas made his entrance. Angelo Dawkins was out next, looking and acting the same as he had literally for years art this point.

2. Andrade Almas vs. Angelo Dawkins. Almas used a ‘rana early before Dawkins halted his momentum with a right hand and twisting stinger splash. Alma began his comeback with a victory roll and picked up momentum with a springboard dropkick. Alma fired away with forearms in the corner and then charged with the running double knees. Andrade pulled Dawkins to his feet and hit a hammerlock DDT for the win.

Andrade Almas over Angelo Dawkins in about 2:30.

A replay of the finish aired. Alma was celebrating his win when the glorious music of Bobby Roode interrupted. Roode came out in a suit and applauded Almas on his way to the ring. Rhode congratulated Almas, but said that it’s not for the win, because that was just a win. Albeit maybe even a little sloppy. Roode said that he and William Regal spoke and agreed that Takeover Brooklyn needed to be a little bit more glorious, so they would have a match. Roode mocked Almas for not understanding English well and said that the 13,000 people who attend Takeover Brooklyn will be there for Roode. He declared that it will be glorious, and then he left… [C]

Zim Says: Can Trips honestly look at Almas at this point and stick to his guns that unmasking him right off the bat was the right approach? I mean, I’m fine with the Roode vs. Almas match, but Almas lost all steam almost instantly and the marquee value of this match is hurt as a result.

In his office, NXT GM William Regal was being annoyed by Austin Aries. Areas finally got to the point which was Brooklyn. He questioned how special the show could be without him. Regal agreed that someone of his stature should indeed have a match, so he can have one against No Way Jose. Aries said that Jose isn’t in his league and he’ll prove it in Brooklyn…

Back in the arena, Billie Kay made her entrance. Liv Morgan was out next.

3. Billie Kay vs. Liv Morgan. The crowd chanted for Liv at the bell, but Billie quickly took control with a fireman’s carry takeover. Morgan got the better of Kay on a shoulder tackle and then used a back handspring into a headscissors. She looked to be cruising until Billie cut her off  with a rolling forearm and put the boots to her. Billie hit a version of a suplex and settled into a grounded hold as the crowd rallied for Liv.

Liv made a comeback and hit a big running bulldog. She hit an ugly looking monkey flip and then charged for a spinning kick, but Billie avoided it and hit a big boot for the win…

Billie Kay beat Liv Morgan in about 3:15.

CWC competitors Rich Swann, Jack Gallagher, and Noam Dar were shown watching at ringside… Rich Brennan and Corey Graves recapped the final match of the CWC’s opening round between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa as highlights aired. Of course, Gargano got the win and the two ended on good terms in the ring…

In his office, NXT GM William Regal commended Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa for their efforts last week. He wanted reassurance that their clash in CWC wouldn’t interfere with their partnership going into their tag title match against The Revival in Brooklyn. Gargano said that they debuted about a year ago and had come so far as a team since. Ciampa said that they didn’t have a choice of opponents in CWC, but they continue to choose each other as partners. They turned attention to Brooklyn and said that history will repeat as they beat the Revival again, this time for the NXT Tag Team Championships… [C]

Zim Says: Good stuff from Gargano and Ciampa there after a promo that I thought was a bit too cornball last week. I also like the crossover acknowledgement between NXT and CWC and not just acting like they’re completely separate universes. Billie has looked alright in these squash matches, but I want to see her have a competitive match and establish herself strongly. I’m also feeling like the NXT women’s side of things is really shallow on the TV side of things, so it’s urgently time to create some new female stars.

An Ember Moon vignette aired. She is the “prophecy of fire” and was shown wearing a hooded cloak and mask covering the lower half of her face, leaving only her eyes exposed. She was hyped for 8-20-2016 which is Takeover Brooklyn…

Back in the arena, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano made their entrance. Their opponents were already in the ring.

4. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Patrick Clark and Tucker Knight. The crowd chanted for “Johnny Wrestling” and “Psycho Killer” at the bell. Gargano and Ciampa were rolling until Ciampa looked to take out Knight on the apron and the momentary distraction allowed the team of Clark and Knight to briefly take control. Knight hit a high-impact running splash in the corner before missing a headbutt. Gargano took the hot tag and hit a series of kicks on Knight. Gargano cut him down with the slingshot spear and then the No. 1 Contenders hit tandem shots in the corner before the Superkick and Knee sandwich for the win.

Gargano and Ciampa defeated Clark and Knight in about 3:15.

Gargano and Ciampa motioned that one more win brings them the gold. Replays aired…

Hideo Itami’s return match from last week was recapped. He was hyped to be in action next week…

Backstage, a pacing Mojo Rawley was approached for his thoughts on his match against Samoa Joe. Mojo said that it’s the second time “some fat 900lbs heavyweight” has jumped him. He said tonight, he’s bringing the fight to Joe. He said it’s not about getting hyped tonight, it’s about getting even…

No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries at Takeover Brooklyn was plugged, as was Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas…

Back in the arena, Mojo Rawley made his entrance. NXT Champion Samoa Joe was out next, all business as usual.

5. Samoa Joe vs. Mojo Rawley. Mojo took the fight right to Joe at the bell and ran through him with a series of shoulder tackles. Mojo was showing some good tenacity as he brawled with Joe to ringside, but he got overzealous and sent himself crashing hard into the ringsteps. Joe went to work in the ring, though Mojo continued to show some fight. Joe hit the enzugiri in the corner and then teed off with a slap to the back, penalty kick, and elbow drop for two.

Joe looked for the Muscle Buster, but Mojo fought out and hit a diving clothesline. Joe tried to catch a charging Mojo in the choke, but Mojo countered into a full-nelson slam. Mojo began to roll with his series of stinger splashes, but Joe caught him and spiked him to the mat. Joe yelled “Nakamura!” before sinking in the choke and forcing Mojo to tap.

Samoa Joe submitted Mojo Rawley in about 4:45.

Joe released his hold to take possession of his title, but after a moment of thought, he looked into the camera and said Nakamura’s name again before locking the choke back in. Referees pleaded with Joe but he didn’t break until Nakamura’s music hit. He nonchalantly danced his way down the ramp and into the ring as security scrambled down to form a barrier between the two. All of the security restrained Joe while Nakamura danced in the ring. Nakamura did the “got your nose” bit and Joe seethed. Nakamura slapped him and Joe raged, but remained unable to retaliate as he was held back by about 10 security guards. The show closed with that scene in the ring…

Zim Says: Best Mojo Rawley match ever. That was a fun big-guy brawl while it lasted, and it lasted the perfect amount of time. The post-match angle was quintessential Nakamura and a great foil to Joe. Overall, another easy to watch episode of NXT with lots of things happening, moves being made, and progression towards Brooklyn taking place. The matches on the show were unspectacular, though hI enjoyed the final two for what they were. That said, there was enough happening on the show and it moved at a pace such that nothing dragged and everything held attention. Next week is go-home week, let’s see if they can pull off the final build in a way that feels big enough. Check back with me next week to find out, but for now head on over and check out my coverage of the first second-round matches of the CWC.

Members can check back tomorrow for the DotNet NXT Audio Recap, and Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist will be available to everyone.

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


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