WWE NXT - August 17, 2016
by Scrooge McSuck
- We're only days away from NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II, so we can expect some hard selling for the big weekend. Last week on NXT... Asuka and Bayley signed the contract and didn't come across as too friendly with each other... The Authors of Pain squashed a couple of goofs (and the JTTS team of Ryzin and Nails) and remain nameless... Andrade Almas defeated LeBron James Jr. and was informed he will face Bobby Roode at Takeover... Austin Aries pestered William Regal for a match and gets No Way Jose... Billie Kay's semi-push continued with a victory of Liv "Thinks YOLO is a Great Slogan" Morgan... Gargano and Ciampa won a squash and will face the Revival for the Tag Titles at Takeover... Samoa Joe beat the piss out of Mojo Rawley and then was embarrassed by Nakamura during an unusual pull-apart.
- Taped from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL, with Corey Graves and Tom Phillips calling the action unless otherwise noted.
Hideo Itami vs. Mustafa Ali:
Second time we're seeing Itami since returning from injury. He made his return two weeks ago with a victory over Cruiserweight Classic participant Sean Maluta. I feel like he could've been better used being held off on the return, since he feels like just another guy with so much stuff being hyped right now, both for Takeover and with the Cruiserweight Classic getting a lot of recognition on the weekly NXT product. I wonder if Mustafa Ali is another example of the Random Name Generator™. Lockup and Itami grabs a side headlock. Whip to the ropes and Ali pushes off Itami for a dropkick. He tries to play arrogant heel, so Itami drives a knee to the midsection and comes off the ropes with a big kick. Itami teases an exposed knee drop, but decides to brush him in the face. Ali avoids a pair of charges to the corner and bales to the floor. Itami surprises him with a baseball slide (SAFE!) out of nowhere. Back in the ring and Ali catches Itami with a swinging neck breaker for two. Ali with a high kick and another neck breaker for two. Ali calls him old news. Itami comes back with clotheslines and a dragon screw leg whip. Running boot into the corner by Itami, followed by a flurry of strikes. Itami with a running basement dropkick in the corner, and he finishes with the running high knee at 3:21. *1/2 Decent action, but way too short. Ali seemed a bit mechanic in his work, but looks like he has potential, and Itami seemed a bit more comfortable in the ring with him than he did with Maluta.
- Hype video for Bobby Roode. They show off a few pictures of him, courtesy Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and I'm pretty sure one was from an NWA-TNA show. He made his first appearance at Takeover: Dallas, but officially made his debut a few weeks ago with one of the most obnoxious promos in recent history. He gets to face Andrade "Cien" Almas (formerly La Sombra) in what should be a GLORIOUS in-ring debut.
- Hype video for the upcoming Championship encounter between Bayley and Asuka, a rematch from Takeover: Dallas where Asuka ended Bayley's dream run as the Women's Champion. It's easy to suggest Asuka is the heel of the match, but Bayley's behavior last week didn't indicate she's the clear-cut babyface of the match, either. I'm expecting a more aggressive match from Bayley and Asuka trying to get inside her head to maximum levels. Bayley's future seems to be destined for the main roster sooner than later, but I'm still not convinced she's going to lose this match.
- Hype video for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II. The official card...
- BREAKING NEWS! William Regal is in his office for a special announcement for Takeover: Brooklyn. Billie Kay interrupts and is upset about not being in a match. She's still bragging about being on Smackdown (in a losing effort to Dana Brooke), so Regal plugs her into the role as the designated punching bag for Ember Moon. How many times are they going with the "heel bothers Regal" trope to set up these matches?
- Samoa Joe defends the NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura
- Asuka defends the Women's Championship against Bayley
- The Revival defend the Tag Team Championship against Gargano & Ciampa
- No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
- Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Bobby Roode
- The Debut of Ember Moon
Carmella, Liv Morgan, and Nikki Glencross vs. Alexa Bliss, Mandy Rose, and Daria Berenato:
This is a "Showcase" Match for the newer faces of the Women's Division. Carmella and Alexa Bliss are probably having their NXT swan song here. We've seen Morgan on-and-off for the last year and Glencross (formerly Nikki Storm and Nikki Cross) has quite a bit of experience. Mandy Rose (a.k.a. Blonde Eva Marie) and Daria Berenato were both featured on the last season of Tough Enough. Glencross and Bliss start. Bliss with a hair pull to take control, but Glencross returns the favor. Glencross with a body press for two. Daria tags in and THE GLOVES ARE LITERALLY OFF... and break. We return with Morgan in control of Daria with a chin-lock. Morgan avoids interference from Alexa but gets NAILED with a short clothesline from Daria. Rose tags in for the first time, takes Morgan over with a snap mare and hooks a goofy chin-lock. She takes shots at Carmella and Nikki and nails Morgan with a knee for a one count. Daria with knee strikes and a roundhouse kick for two. She hooks a body scissors and she's a lot better working heel than as a face when I was first exposed to her at the recent NXT show in Venice. Corey with the line of the night: If everyone from Jersey was like Daria, I'd move there." Bliss in and she misses an elbow. Morgan with an enzuigiri and hot tag to Carmella. She hits Rose with some sad clotheslines, followed by an atomic drop and spinning head scissors. Standing side kick gets two as Bliss gets fierce. Glencross escapes her choke grasp and takes Alexa down. Daria in with a hard takedown on Glencross. Rose rolls up Carmella, but Carmella counters with Code of Silence for the tap out at 7:50. ** Surprisingly decent match, considering the level of inexperience. Rose didn't do much but wasn't an embarrassment, Morgan took a good beating, and Daria was quite good at what she showcased.
- Byron Saxton is backstage for a special interview with Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura. William Regal has instructed the security staff to jump in at the slightest possibility of anything that might jeopardize the match at Takeover. Regal has words for Joe, yet it was Nakamura who was a jerk last week. Joe is still complaining about how he had to fight everyone and jump through every hoop to get the Championship, while Nakamura has practically been handed a match. He also references Regal having the respect to ask Asuka about defending her title against Bayley, but didn't give him the same respect. Joe reminds us that they have history going back to their early days in the business. Nakamura with nothing but short answers and quips to get under his skin. Things break down and Byron BOLTS like he's running for an Olympic medal. Security hold back Joe while Regal calls for the interview to end and we fade out.
Final Thoughts: The hard-sell for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II is finally over, and I'm not going to lie... I'm really looking forward to this show. The Main Event has MOTY potential, the Women's Title Match could be an outstanding performance, the Revival vs. Gargano and Ciampa has sleeper potential to steal the show, and honestly, the only match that has little potential is Ember Moon having a quasi-squash of Billie Kay. There's a chance that Almas vs. Roode won't click, but I feel like they'll work a smart match that won't make Roode's debut underwhelming. As far as the wrestling content, Itami's return is starting to pick up a little steam for me, and they showcased some of their lesser-used female talent, and for the most part, it clicked. It is easier to hide flaws in 6-person tags rather than one-on-one situations, but it's all about building to the next step.
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