By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped September 15 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The opening video played… Inside the Full Sail arena, the commentators hyped the continuation of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the first match was announced as a first-round tournament match. Bobby Roode’s music hit and he sparkled in the spotlight as he stood on his revolving platform. The crowd sang along with his music and the commentators recalled Roode calling on Tye Dillinger to be his partner. Dillinger was out next to another big response from the crowd, who chanted “10” for the Perfect 10 and the crowd chanted “Glorious 10.” They took turns hitting poses, including a close-up of Tye flexing his butt. Suddenly, the lights cut out and the sound of helicopters and radio chatter filled the arena.
The sounds led into a cover of Primus’s My Name is Mud as a spotlight hit the screen and illuminated the word “Sanity.” A group of four hooded and masked individuals hit the stage and slowly made their way to the ring lit only by the spotlight as smoke filled the arena. They were led by a shorter, relatively muscular man up front most identifiable by a small Canadian flag patch on his vest. Behind him was a smaller figure who appeared to be a woman, and behind here were two taller men; one of whom had the recognizable cross tattoo on his chest of Sawyer Fulton. The two taller men unmasked themselves in the ring and indeed revealed themselves to be Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe. The other two members remained hooded and masked at ringside.
1. Sanity (Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe w/ a masked man and masked woman) vs. Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match. Sanity went right after Dillinger and put a mugging-style beatdown on him in the corner. Wolfe assumed control at the onset and worked with Fulton to isolate Dillinger. Meanwhile, Corey Graves on commentary pondered the whole “Sanity” thing. Bobby Roode momentarily looked like he was going to enter the ring to help his partner, but confronted with Fulton and Wolfe, Roode opted to put his robe back on and walk out of the arena. Dillinger called for him and reached out, but Sanity picked him up and put him back down with a combination powerslam and suplex for the win.
Sanity beat Dillinger and Roode in about 2:00 to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The two masked members rejoined their teammates in the ring as they stood over Dillinger. Replays aired and the bracket was updated, revealing that Sanity will face the winner of the Hideo Itami and Kota Ibushi vs. Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali match. Back in the ring, the Sanity member who appeared to be a female jumped on Dillinger and began to beat him down. She took off her hood and mask to reveal that she’s Nikki Cross (formerly Nikki Storm/Glenncross). Then, the remaining masked member hit a wheelbarrow neckbreaker on Dillinger and folks in the crowd yelled “EY” before the nam removed is coverings to reveal that it was in-fact Eric Young. He screamed and once again the lights cut out and a sole spotlight scanned across the four individuals in the ring. Graves called them psychopaths…
Backstage, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were standing by with the interviewer lady. She couldn’t even get her question out before Kay and Royce were cracking up at the idea of Liv Morgan. They mocked the way she dresses and mocked her for getting squashed by Asuka. Kay laughed off the idea of Liv being a challenge. Liv Morgan vs. Billie Kay was hyped up next… [C]
Zim Says: Initially I thought that the idea of putting the two Ontario natives in the Dusty Classic finals in Toronto was a strong possibility, but as soon as I saw the brackets and their promo last week, it was very obvious that this team was not going to last. I like the idea of putting them in a match together to counter the potential crowd reaction interfering with other matches, but quite frankly these two are really going to need to put on their working boots if they’re going to have a match more memorable than the entrances. The Sanity reveal was something that was built up for so long that at this point I’m just glad they’re here and the vignettes are done. I’m certainly not blown away by the individuals involved, but it’s a way to get me more interested in those individuals than I would otherwise be. We’ll see what they bring from promo, character development, and in-ring work, and then judge further from there. Initial impression is that the look and especially the entrance are cool.
Backstage, Bobby Roode was heading away from Gorilla position in a hurry when he was approached by the interviewer. Roode said that Dillinger is “the perfect loser” and then claimed that he never even wanted to be in the Dusty Classic but Tye begged him. Roode said that an injuries Tye sustained are his own fault. He then stormed off as defensively as one could storm off…
Back in the arena, Billie Kay made her entrance with Peyton Royce alongside. Liv Morgan was out next.
2. Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce) vs. Liv Morgan. Morgan drove Kay back into the turnbuckles and got a very early two-count with a small package. Liv rolled on offense early with a low dropkick. The two battled over a backslide which allowed Billie to hit a gutbuster and take control. A short time later, Kay hoisted Liv up into a cut-throat torture rack before dumping her into the turnbuckles for a two-count. Kay talked some trash which enabled Liv to hit a STO and begin a comeback. Liv missed a dropkick as a part of her comeback but carried on until Peyton tripped her up from ringside. The brief distraction allowed Billie to hit a running boot for the win.
Billie Kay pinned Liv Morgan in about 3:30.
Replays aired and the two Australian ladies smiled in the ring… The commentators, Corey Graves and Tom Phillips, threw to a replay of Andrade Almas turning heel on Cedric Alexander last week. They then went to a video clip where a camera crew caught up with Almas outside of Full Sail after his turn last week. He cut a promo in broken English and mostly Spanish where he said that Cedric is nobody and Almas is the best. He called himself “El Idolo” (The Idol) and essentially said today is the start of a different Almas… [C]
Zim Says: I liked that promo. It was simple but solid. It’s early, but there’s renewed hope in Almas for me with this turn. As for the ladies match, I’ll echo what I said last week: Kay and Royce seem solid but have yet to have any breakout performance in any aspect on NXT TV.
Back in the arena, TM61 made their entrance. The duo of Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss were out next. They got an inset promo from the WWEPC where they said that they decided to stop competing against each other and start competing together, meanwhile they were bickering over who lifted more in the gym earlier.
3. TM61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) vs. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic first round match. The crowd chanted “Aussie – Oi” at the bell for TM61. Things were uneventful in the opening minute-plus as Miller and Moss started out. Thorne took the tag just shy of the two-minute mark and came in with a hilo senton before tagging back out with an uppercut and shoulder tackle combo. The crowd dueled with a “we want Tino – no we don’t” chant as Moss took a tandem standing moonsault and fist drop from Miller and Thorne respectively. Tino tried to run in, but he ate a high dropkick from Thorne. Thorne had momentum and looked to hit the ropes, but Tino dropped the top rope with the ref distracted and Thorne went toppling to ringside. [C]
Moss was in control of Thorne with a snap suplex in the ring. Sabbatelli tagged in to a surprising level of response considering his minimal exposure, but he didn’t do anything but throw a couple of punches and tag back out. Tino re-entered and threw another punch before settling into a top wristlock. He sat in the hold for a while before Thorne rallied and single-handedly took out both opponents, but when he looked for a springboard move back into the ring, Tino caught him and planted him with a powerslam for a two-count.
Thorne continued to show fight but remained isolated and on the defensive through the seven-minute mark. Thorne finally used a jawbreaker to stun Moss and then reached Miller for the hot tag, Miller knocked Tino off the apron and then connected with a sliding forearm on Moss. Miller hit a big delayed vertical suplex, but Tino ran in to break up the pinball attempt. Tino tagged himself in, but didn’t notice that Thorne had tagged in as well and ate a big spinning heel kick in the corner. TM61 took him to the middle of the ring and drove him down with Thunder Valley for the win.
TM61 over Moss and Sabbatelli in about 8:35 to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Replays aired and TM61 hit their pose in the ring. The bracket was updated and revealed that they will face the winner of the Team Aries vs. Bogojevic & Tucker Knight match…
Blake vs. Wesley was hyped up next as former tag team partners looking to settle their differences… [C]
Zim Says: That wasn’t very good at all. Tino was basically too green to be relied on for anything in the match and Moss tried but he still has a long way to go. TM61 may be a world-traveled team, but it’s clear they’re still figuring things out and putting the pieces together in this environment. Hopefully the later rounds of this tournament can be the showcases they need to put themselves on the map here. A Blake vs. Murphy main event? Oh boy.
Rich Swann and No Way Jose vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese in a Dusty Classic opening round match was hyped for next week…
Back in the arena, Buddy Murphy made his entrance. For what it’s worth, he kept the music and trippy camera effects in the breakup. Wesley Blake was out next to some weird music that kind-of resembled the Dr. House intro song.
4. Buddy Murphy vs. Wesley Blake. The two barely touched in the opening minute, and spent the next minute trading headlocks and headlock takeovers. They caught each other with simultaneous boots and then began to trade shots mid-ring. Blake got the better momentarily and talked some garbage before Murphy knocked him to ringside and then wiped him out with a huge flip dive over the ropes. He tossed Blake back into the ring, but as he went to re-enter, Samoa Joe ran down and attacked from behind.
The match went to a no-contest in about 3:12.
Joe sent Murphy crashing into the ring steps and then spiked Blake hard with a uranage slam. Joe slammed Murphy onto the ring apron and then entered the ring. “REGAL!!!” Joe screamed. He claimed that time was up: bring him Nakamura or bring him his championship. The camera showed referees rending to Murphy at ringside while Joe paced in the ring. [C]
Back from break, Joe was still raging out and yelling that nothing else happens until he gets his answer. Joe continued to pace in the ring when suddenly Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit and the NXT Champion made his way out onto NXT TV for the first time in about a month. He was wearing a neck brace, but removed it once he reached the top of the ramp. Nakamura was not jovial as usual, he had anger and malice in his eyes. Nakamura hit the ring as fast as you’ve ever seen him move and took the fight right to Joe. The two brawled and traded punches before being pulled apart by about a dozen security guys and referees.
They were separated from the ring to the ramp when Nakamura began taking out the security guys in the ring and charged up the ramp at Joe. Nakamura fired punches and knees at the restrained Joe before they were once again separated on the stage. The cameras showed Nakamura dragged to the Gorilla position, only to knock out the guards escorting him and charge back out onto the stage after Joe.
Nakamura was quickly restrained, at which point Joe opted to walk out of the arena next to the stage on the opposite side. Nakamura picked out a heavier security guard and gave him a Kinshasa just because. Nakamura fired up on the stage as the crowd cheered loudly and chanted his name. Nakamura continued to pace on the stage with a previously unseen fire in his eyes. Suddenly, Joe re-emerged from off-camera and the two were instantly brawling again.
This time unrestrained, the two brawled down into the ring where Nakamura got the better of Joe and connected on the Kinshasa to leave Joe laying. With that, Nakamura walked out of the arena with none of his usual pageantry. The closing shot was Joe sprawled like a starfish in the middle of the ring…
Zim Says: Predictable but fun closing segment. In hindsight, this whole Nakamura/Joe injury angle was really just a way to eat up a month of TV without burning the program out. I guess it added something to the story aspect of their feud and it appears to have unlocked a more intense Nakamura so it’s not particularly bad, it just really did no favors for the buzz-worthiness or quality of the shows in the past month. The Blake and Murphy match was nothing at all except for the big dive. They offer more together than separate so maybe it’ll get them back as a unit in the tag division where they’re a perfectly suitable pair of good hands.
The Sanity reveal was pretty newsworthy considering how long it’s been built, and the Dusty Classic matches are newsworthy insofar as the results go, but otherwise this show was another in a string that lacked as far as quality in-ring stuff goes. Even promos. This show really didn’t have much to offer. Next week kicks off a fresh set of tapings and will be the last taping going into Takeover Toronto, so I expect things to pick up. Tune in here next week to see what they deliver. Thanks for reading.
Check back tomorrow for an All-Access DotNet NXT Audio Recap, plus Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.