American Alpha vs. Corey Hollis and John Skyler
This seems to be taped during the latter part of a NXT taping as the crowd didn’t seem as active as they usually are. AA have been super over lately and you couldn’t sense that here. Regardless, this was a solid match. Gable worked a lot of the match and looked tremendous in everything he did. He’s such a dynamic performer, and think how early he is in his career. Jordan really shows something when paired with him. They won with their drop into a bridge pin sequence.
The Revival looked mean at the TV they were watching in the back, because everyone in both NXT and WWE looks at television sets backstage very awkwardly.
Finn Balor promo. He’s listened to everything Samoa Joe has to say. Joe’s obsessed with all the wrong things. He’s obsessed with being the absolute best. His obsession is why he beat Kevin Owens. It’s why he beat Joe in London, and will do it again at Takeover, mentioning that there are only two days left. This is fine and all, but I think Balor just lacks something as a top face in terms of promos.
Baron Corbin vs. Mike Cuellari
Cuellari is also known as QT Marshall on the independent scene, doing stuff here and there for Ring of Honor. The announcers put over that Baron doesn’t like the independent scene and that’s why he attacked Austin Aries a few weeks ago. Makes sense as he’s faced a ton of guys they’ve signed over the past year including Joe and Crews. He pinned Cuellari quicky with the deep six, a spinning side slam.
Corbin gave him the End of Days after the match for good measure.
They ran another video on Shinsuke Nakamura, with guys like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, and people familiar with him saying nice things about him. Finn said the one piece of advice he’d give Nakamura is to be himself.
No Way Jose vignette aired again. Hey, the song is kind of catchy. I’m optimistic.
NXT Tag Champions The Revival (Dash and Dawson) vs. Steve Cutler and Tucker Knight
They aired a brief video on the champions before the match started. Both Dash and Dawson worked on Cutler until he made the hot tag to Knight. He’s a 300 pounder who moved pretty well, but kind of apparent he was still green in places. There’s something there, though. Dash got the win for his team, pinning Knight after Dawson launched him and Dash hit a double knee to the midsection.
They replayed the video of Samoa Joe destroying Bull Dempsey last week and taunting Balor. They aired a promo with Bull saying that Samoa Joe was a bully. He had good delivery and facials but some of the stuff was total cornball, saying Bull Fit was going to give Samoa Joe a cheat meal tonight and that at the end of the day, fit happens. It’s the kind of verbiage you’d look at on paper and roll your eyes over.
Apollo Crews vs. Alex Riley
This didn’t last long. Riley got some offense in, but Crews closed in quickly and pinned him with a toss powerbomb. Don’t know what you do with Riley at this point.
Speaking of people you don’t know what to do with, the Drifter then came out and played his guitar. He sang a song about Apollo, probably not talking about him in the most positive light. Apollo wanted him in the ring, but he backed out. There needs to be some retooling here as this character isn’t getting over in the least, unless you count “Drift away” chants as being over.
Corbin promo. Aries knows what happened to him last time is going to happen again at Takeover. He’ll lose, and he can go back to wrestling in crowds of 50 people and show his fighting spirit while he’ll be in one of the hottest promotions. He can take those pictures of Corbin standing over him and he can sit next to Virgil and beg for people to remember him. Not just anyone is going to end his career, but the Lone Wolf. This was great.
Another video package, this time on Bayley and Asuka. They put over that Bayley is a great role model for all ages and genders as she never gives up, but Asuka is dangerous and it might be Bayley’s biggest test to date.
Sami Zayn says it was great to get his hands on Kevin Owens on Raw, but isn’t ignoring Nakamura in the least bit. He wants to make a name for himself just like how he wanted to make a name for himself three years ago against Cesaro. He feels like he’s been a big part of NXT, and isn’t going to let Nakamura make a name for himself at his expense. He might face Nakamura again down the line, but you only get one chance to make a first impression. Let’s see if Nakamura has what it takes when the pressure’s on.
Samoa Joe vs. Bull Dempsey
This didn’t last long either. Bull started off strong but Joe quickly took him out with the kokina clutch and submitted him.
Joe wouldn’t let go of the submission after the match. Two trainee guys tried to stop him but quickly got rid of them. Regal came out to try and stop it but Joe glared at him, then put the kokina clutch back on Bull. Balor came out and started to beat up Joe, but Joe took him out of the ring and the two brawled all around the ring. They wound up near the announcers and Joe threw Balor right in front of them, taking out Graves. Balor got back up quickly, ran on top of the table and leaped at Joe, taking him down as they eventually got separated and the show ended with chants of “Let them fight”.
This was a good show. Not great, but it did a good job on building up for Friday’s big show. It is funny that both this show and Raw ended in virtually the same manner.