By Zack Zimmerman
NXT on WWE Network
Taped October 13 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University and on October 30 in Los Angeles, California at the Hollywood Palladium
The opening video played… Inside the Full Sail arena, the camera panned the crowd chanting “NXT” before a graphic hyped a contract signing between NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and his challenger at Takeover Toronto, Samoa Joe, later in the show… They sent things over to the WWEPC where Charlie Caruso was standing in front of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy. She noted that we’re down to the final four, and up next the Authors of Pain will face #DIY in the first semifinal match. She sent things over to The Palladium in Los Angeles, California…
A graphic in the corner noted that this was “previously recorded” as the #DIY duo of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa made their entrance to a good response from the crowd. The Authors of Pain were out next along with Paul Ellering, and commentator Corey Graves was giddy at the notion of #DIY being decimated. Tom Phillips recalled Paul Ellering getting involved in an Authors match for the first time in the previous round.
1. The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar w/ Paul Ellering) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal match. Just before the minute-mark, #DIY staggered Akam with a series of dropkicks, but they fell short of taking him off his feet. The Authors appeared to take control briefly, but after a brief dosey-do mid-ring, #DIY connected with ta superkick and high knee respectively and cleared the ring.
Gargano looked for a dive through the ropes, but the Authors caught him and when Ciampa tried to follow up with a dive of his own, they used Gargano as a human shield and both members of #DIY crashed. [C] Back from break, the Authors had Gargano isolated in their corner. Paul Ellering got involved when the referee was distracted before the Authors hit a sidewalk sidewalk slam and leaping stomp off the ropes.
Shortly after the five-minute mark, Gargano managed to slip out of a powerslam attempt and turn it into a high-impact DDT. Ciampa tagged in hot and wiped Akam off the apron with a knee strike. He teed off on Rezar in the ring relentlessly despite the big-man’s efforts to protect himself and fight back. Ciampa managed to slip behind and hit a huge German suplex for a good near-fall shortly after the seven-minute mark.
There was a very impressive spot where Rezar had Ciampa in position for a Samoan drop and caught Gargano in crossbody position before falling backwards with a Samoan drop and fallaway slam combo. The Authors looked for their powerbomb pancake, but #DIY slipped out with ‘ranas and the Authors collided. Things spilled to ringside where Ciampa flew off the ring apron with a knee strike and Gargano with a flipping senton to wipe out both Authors.
In the ring, #DIY connected with their tandem strike finisher, but Ellering jumped up on the apron to distract the referee from making the count. With the referee’s attention elsewhere, NXT tag champs The Revival appeared at ringside and spiked Gargano with a DDT before escaping through the crowd. Back in the ring, the Authors hit the Last Chapter and secured the pinfall.
The Authors of Pain beat #DIY in about 9:55 to advance to the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The bracket was updated and moved the Authors into the finals where they will face either TM61 or Sanity. In the ring, Ellering was motivating his team to close the segment… TM61 vs. Sanity was hyped up next…
Zim Says: Far and away the best match the Authors have ever had. There were the points where it was the Authors standing on their opponents and leaning against them while they were pressed against the ropes, but those points didn’t last too long and generally speaking the match was paced nicely and built really well. The Authors have some potential if they keep working longer matches with good teams like this, they just need to find ways to seem aggressive and competent when they’re not doing their big power spots. That said, the prospect of the Authors in the finals of the Dusty Classic instantly kills any buzz that I could feel about that match. The only hope is a match similar to this one where TM61 makes a lot of movement around these big guys.
The same vague return vignette aired from last week, but with the update that the return will take place next week… One of the Takeover Toronto themes was plugged…
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger was plugged for Takeover Toronto before an interview clip with Tye Dillinger from “earlier today” aired. He recalled briefly forming the team with Roode and then said that Roode betrayed Dusty by doing what he did. He said Roode’s rep in the business is for stabbing people in the back and he’s a liar. He said that in Toronto, there’s no back to stab and no lie to tell. He said that Toronto won’t be Bobby Roode’s hometown because it will be “Perfect 10 City…”
Back at the WWEPC, Charlie Caruso noted that we’d hear from Bobby Roode later in the show, but before that it’s back to action as TM61 face off with Sanity…
Back at The Palladium in LA, Sanity made their entrance. TM61 were out next. Before the bell, Sanity attacked the Aussies, sending Thorne crashing hard to ringside and Miller crashing hard into the ring steps. Things were being sorted as the show went to a brief break. [C] Back from break, Thorne had made it to his feet in the ring with help from the turnbuckle and nodded to the referee, who called for the bell.
2. Sanity (Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe w/ Eric Young and Nikki Cross) vs. TM61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal match. While Thorne had made it to his feet, Miller was still nowhere to be seen, Sanity went right after Thorne with a European uppercut Hart Attack for a two-count right out of the gate. Thorne tried to take some swings at Fulton, but the damage had been done as Fulton ran through him with a sliding headbutt in the corner. Wolfe tagged in and put a beating on Thorne in the corner before thrashing around the ring wildly.
The commentators painted Eric Young as the one who controls the chaos of Sanity. Miller finally managed to make it up onto the ring apron around the four-minute mark, but as soon as he did, Wolfe knocked him right back off and Sanity continued to isolate Thorne. They went back to the well on the uppercut Hart Attack, but Thorne slipped out and the uppercut connected to the back of Fulton. Miller finally took the hot tag and came in rolling on both members of Sanity.
Things broke down a bit with the numbers game getting the better of Miller, but when they looked to hit their finisher, Thorne made the save with a dropkick and Miller slipped under with a jackknife pin for the surprise win.
TM61 defeated Sanity in about 5:45 to advance to the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The graphic for the bracket was updated and revealed the finals of TM61 vs. The Authors of Pain which was advertised for Takeover Toronto… In his office, NXT GM William Regal announced that due to their interference in #DIY’s Dusty Classic match, NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival will defend their titles against #DIY at Takeover Toronto… Ember Moon was advertised up next… [C]
Zim Says: Not as good as the opener, but I at least give them credit for giving a storyline reason for an important match like this being so brief. It certainly doesn’t do anything to change the fact that this tournament has been a real let-down in terms of quality though.
The commentators ran through graphics for matches at Takeover Toronto including The Revival vs. #DIY for the NXT Tag Team Championships and Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger…In his rebuttal from Tye Dillinger’s earlier promo, Bobby Roode said that it was Tye’s fault that he let Dusty down. He said Tye isn’t close to a 10 and in Toronto everyone will see that. He closed by noting that he’ll be there to make Takeover Toronto Glorious…
Back in the arena, Rachael Evers (Ellering) made her entrance. A graphic was shown to promote Asuka vs. Mickie James for the NXT Women’s championship in Toronto. Ember Moon was out next.
3. Ember Moon vs. Rachael Evers. The two went back-and-forth early with Ember using some nice matwork into a crucifix rollup attempt for an early pin attempt. Moon was rolling until Evers evaded a springboard crossbody atompt and Moon crashed to the mat. Evers went to work from there, mostly keeping Moon grounded in a surfboard stretch. Ellering allowed Ember to her feet and disrespected her, which proved to be a costly mistake as Moon teed off and then dropped Evers with a sliding kick. Moon hit her handspring corner splash and then came off the top rope with the Eclipse diving stunner for the win.
Ember Moon over Rachael Evers in about 3:10.
Moon celebrated her win and replays showed the finishing kick, splash, and Eclipse. The commentators closed out by wondering if Moon would be able to make an impact in Toronto…
A graphic advertised the contract signing between Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura up next… [C]
Zim Says: More of the same for Moon, which means she comes across well but it just doesn’t feel like she’s made any progress in storyline despite how shallow the division is. At least they’re beginning to talk about her like she’s a contender and a bright spot in an otherwise generally limited group of ladies.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Cedric Alexander was advertised as next week’s main event…
Back in the arena, NXT GM William Regal had made his way to the ring to preside over the contract signing for the main event of Takeover Toronto. The camera shot widened to show that the ring was completely filled with security guards. Without further ado, Regal welcomed out NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura first. He then asked Samoa Joe to come out. Joe’s music hit and he made his way onto the stage, but promptly did an about-face and went right back through the curtain. He re-emerged a few moments later with a table and chair of his own.
Joe said that he wasn’t going to join the circus in the ring, he’s going to conduct his business from right there, although he made it seem like he was doing it in the interest of Nakamura’s safety. Joe said he understand’s why Nakamura is upset, considering he was the ace in Japan and yet he arrives in NXT and Joe can have him stretchered out at will. Joe said that Nakamura will get his shot at revenge, but not in front of the mouth-breathers at Full Sail. He said the opportunity will come at Takeover Toronto.
Joe then told Regal to “make himself useful” and bring Joe the contract to sign. Regal spoke up, but Joe cut him off and demanded that Regal bring it to him. Joe mocked his accent and told him to hurry up, while he sat back with his feet kicked up on the table. Regal showed frustration, but acquiesced. After signing the contract, Joe extended his hand, but Regal simply took the contract and strolled back to the ring.
Nakamura had the contract in-hand, but he dropped it rather than signing it. He then began to attack the security in the ring and laid them all out. He cleared the ring of all but one, who he elected to powerbomb through the table in the ring. With that, Nakamura calmly picked up the contract, signed it, and dropped it across the broken body laying through the broken table. The two bickered back and forth between the ring and stage and the commentators hyped their clash for one week from this Saturday to close the show…
Zim Says: I enjoyed that. It was done differently enough from a typical contract signing and the way Joe played it is pitch-perfect for his character right now. Admittedly with the feud having run this long and seeing the match as many times as we have, I can’t really say that any of this stuff is building my interest in another match, but the storyline is competent and the guys involved are doing a good job. I enjoyed this show more than I have many recent episodes, but without getting back into all of it, I’m still let down by this year’s Dusty Classic. Hopefully the matches in Toronto coming out of it will be several levels above what the build has provided. Next week’s main event should be a lot of fun, and then only a few days after that it’s Takeover time which almost always mean a top-quality show. I’m looking forward to it. Until next time, thanks for reading!
Check back tomorrow for the Member-Exclusive DotNet NXT Audio Recap, plus Darren Gutteridge’s NXT Hitlist which will be available to everyone.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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