WWE NXT - September 7, 2016
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last week on NXT... Shinsuke Nakamura officially welcomed us to the Era of Strong Style™... The Revival made a statement by beating the piss out of Tomaso Ciampa... Tye Dillinger extended his winning streak to 2, defeating Buddy Murphy... No Way Jose and Bobby Roode awkwardly crossed paths... Austin Aries is complaining that Hideo Itami busted his ear drum and picked a fight with Andrade "Cien" Almas... Liv Morgan and Steve Cutler won unimpressive matches.
- Taped from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL, with Corey Graves and Tom Phillips calling the action unless otherwise noted. Tonight we are promised an interview with Asuka, as well as a one-on-one match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Steve Cutler.
TM61 vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari:
More use of the Cruiserweight Classic participants on NXT. Yes, Ariya Daivari is the brother of the WWE performer from the mid 00's of the same surname. Thorn and Nese start. They go through a series of counters and exchange forearms. Whip to the corner, Nese with an elbow. He does a swank move to avoid a clothesline and hits a series of kicks. Thorn comes back with a snap mare, followed by a basement dropkick. Miller and Daivari give it a go. Lockup into the corner and Daivari with a slap. Daivari with a jaw breaker. Whip to the ropes, Miller sends Daivari to the floor, and Nese follows out with a twisting plancha onto both men. Thorn follows with a somersault plancha that almost leaped over everyone. Miller with a back breaker and Thorn from the apron with a senton for two. Nese with a chop shot to the throat of Thorn. He drops Thorn across the top rope with a forward suplex and nails a knee to the head for two. Daivari with a pair of elbows for two. Thorn nails Daivari with a European uppercut, but Nese cuts off the tag. We return from a break with Thorn and Daivari exchanging blows. Thorn with an elbow to Nese and finally makes the tag to Miller. He unloads on Nese with forearms, followed by a series of slaps. Clothesline and a diving forearm gets a two count. Thorn and Miller with a pair of blows in the corner, followed by a high-and-low clothesline for a near fall. Daivari with a Super-Kick and Frog Splash for two. Miller sends Nese to the floor, and Daivari likewise to Miller. School boy on Thorn for two. Thorn with a big clothesline on Daivari, and Thunder Valley finishes at 8:02. **1/2 Perfectly acceptable wrestling. Miller and Thorn continue to struggle to generate fan interest, but they have the athleticism and ring ability to get over with the right push.
- "Earlier Today", Tom Phillips sat down for an interview with the NXT Women's Champion, Asuka. Asuka puts over Bayley's fighting spirit, but she fought harder and that's why she left Brooklyn, still the reigning Champion. Phillips runs down all the women in the division she's conquered. That really exposes how weak the roster is now, that Asuka is really miles ahead of anyone else that has recently been featured. I guess Ember Moon, by default, is probably next in line, but she's had a grand total of one match on TV. Whoever gets to dethrone Asuka will get a hell of a rub.
- Ember Moon is hanging around outside the Full Sail Campus.
- Steve Cutler Interview. What has Shinsuke sacrificed? He sacrificed 4 years of his life for his country. You don't have to like him, but you will have to respect him. Meh.
Ember Moon vs. Leah Von:
This is Ember Moon's debut on the weekly NXT programming. I don't think we've ever seen Leah Von before. Lockup and Moon grabs a wrist-lock. Leah does a cartwheel counter, but Ember quickly regains control with a side headlock. Whip to the ropes and she drops Leah with an elbow. Crisscross, Moon flips out of a hip throw and goes back to the headlock. Whip to the ropes and Moon springboards off the ropes with a body press for two. Leah Von with boots and a diving clothesline for barely a one count. Moon escapes a chin-lock with elbows. Leah does a slow motion cartwheel and gets rolled up for her effort. Moon with a hard kick to the midsection, followed by a butterfly suplex. Moon with a forward flip clothesline into the corner, and the twisting Stunner from the top rope finishes at 2:44. That finisher look pretty good again, but I have a bad feeling one bad botch will ruin it. No rating, but an impressive "first impression" for the Full Sail audience.
- No Way Jose Interview. He's not happy about being disrespected last week by Bobby Roode. Bobby Roode will find out you don't mess with No Way Jose.
- Tomaso Ciampa is being checked on as Johnny Gargano approaches. William Regal is going to give them a showcase next week on the LIVE Cruiserweight Classic Finale. Please don't split them up already.
Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Austin Aries:
Is anyone else sensing a complete repackaging for Almas soon, considering how quickly they gave up on his push? He doesn't even get his fancy suspenders and hat for his entrance. Aries' rivalry with Hideo Itami clearly points to him going over. Lockup and they trade wrist-locks. The crowd is so not-in-love with Almas that they duel chant exclusively for Aries. Aries escapes a head scissors and connects with a basement dropkick. Almas ducks under a clothesline and takes Aries over with a flying head scissors. Aries quickly goes to the floor for a breather, so Almas follows with a game of cat-and-mouse. Back in the ring, Aries with a boot to the chest, but trying to throw Almas to the floor leads to his signature posing laying across the rope. Almas tosses Aries back out and follows with a corkscrew plancha for two. Almas goes to the top, but Aries shoves him off. It looked like he hit his head on the apron on the way down. Ouch. We return from break with Aries doing some ground-and-pound. Whip to the corner and Aries with a shoulder to the midsection. Snap mare and Aries comes off the middle rope with an elbow across the back of the neck for two. Almas flips out of an atomic drop and hits the world's least impressive Super-Kick from the apron. He makes up for it with a sweet missile dropkick. He charges into the corner with a forearm and calls for the knees, but Aries meets him with a dropkick in the opposite corner for a two count. Almas fights Aries off the top rope and hits the double moonsault for a near fall. They trade blows in the center of the ring. Almas with a hip toss into the corner, but Aries avoids the running knees. Almas springs off the top but Aries catches him with a Powerbomb and the Last Chancery finishes at 8:50. **3/4 Really good for TV, but Almas still can't find a fine balance between looking great and looking like he's performing a few cool wrestling spots.
- Samoa Joe is HERE and on his way to ringside for a closer look at tonight's Main Event.
- Next Week: No Way Jose vs. Bobby Roode.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Steve Cutler:
Non-Title Match, since a victory over Kenneth Crawford isn't quite impressive enough of a victory to earn a title shot. If this goes longer than 3-minutes, I'll be surprised. Joe has joined "Todd" and Corey for commentary. They spend a lot of time focusing on Joe during Nakamura's entrance, so you know something big might happen. Nakamura casually keeps Cutler at bay with kicks to the thigh and side of the head. Lockup into the ropes and Nakamura is all about having fun. The crowd chant "take the count-out" at Cutler. Nakamura with good vibrations. Cutler sidesteps a charge and puts the boots to Nakamura. The offensive explosion doesn't last too long. Nakamura blocks a suplex with a knee to the face. He unloads with a series of strikes. Running knee to the midsection, Inverted Exploder, and KINSHASA~! finishes at 3:27. I was close. Just a quick showcase for Nakamura and remind fans that Shinsuke vs. Joe is definitely not over. I'm a bit surprised nothing physical took place after the match, considering all the on-screen focus for Joe.
Final Thoughts: Much better episode this week, with a couple of decent matches to fill out the show. Moving forward, we've clearly got a new rivalry between Itami and Aries to establish, but we're also (more likely than not) to get follow-up matches between Joe/Nakamura and the Revival/Gargano & Ciampa. Asuka's arrogant claims of being the unbeatable champion should lead to Ember Moon being her likely challenger, but that feels like it would be too soon to pull the trigger on. The roster still shows a bit of depth concerns, but it's a problem easily masked when you can fill an hour with careful planning and a couple of decent, competitive matches.
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