1. We kick off with a recap of the awesome Takeover: The End of The Beginning, and these events alone justify a subscription to the WWE network.
2. We’ve also got a new opening video with a lot of Nakamura and a single shot of Elias Sampson for some reason. And now it’s the Authors of Pain with Paul Ellering, and I still do not know or care who that is.
3. The still unnamed Authors are facing a pair of jobbers, and it’s a total squash match. While the Authors are not terrible in the ring, they do not look like they have ever read a book, let alone written one. They pick up the win with a clothesline / Russian leg sweep combo. Meh.
4. Next up Cien Almas is giving an interview and is interrupted by Tye Dillinger, who believes he deserves a rematch. Fair enough then. After the break the Authors of Pain ignore an interview request and Paul Ellering says they will reveal who they are in due time. Because I don’t like waiting and Google is a thing, I can tell you that they’re former Bellator fighter Gzim Selmani and Indian wrestler Sunny Dhinsa, who you might have spotted in an episode of Breaking Ground.
5. Now it’s time for Carmella to take on Tessa Blanchard. While Carmella continues to improve and Tessa definitely has some talent, there is so much space between these women and performers like Bayley and Asuka that NXT have some work to do building credible challengers.
6. Samoa Joe promo post his Takeover title defense, in which he talks about hunting a demon and the beginning of a new era. Intense. And now it’s Blake and Murphy, offering the exact opposite… They’re back together, for now. In case anyone cares.
7. Newly christened jobbers Blake and Murphy are facing the recently debuted Australian team of Shane Thorn and Nick Miller, formerly known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel (TMDK) but apparently now known as TM61. Solid match with Thorn selling like a champ to make B&M look good, and TM61 picking up the win with the tag press slam face buster called Thunder Valley.
8. The Perfect 10 Tye Dillinger is here, and he is facing Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Good match but maybe not quite as good as their encounter at Takeover, and the crowd don’t seem to know what to make of Cien, despite some nice flippy moves. Almas wins with the running wang to the head. What’s that? It’s meant to be a running double knee? Lol…
9. Finn Balor is in the ring with a mic, and he gives props to Enzo and Big Cass before talking about his NXT championship reign. Crowd chants ‘you deserve it’ and they’re right. Balor talks about his wars with Neville, Breeze, Owens and Samoa Joe, the last of which came up short. So what’s next for Finn Balor? Turns out it’s Shinsuke f’n Nakamura! Hell yeah.
10. After a cute exchange of taunts, Nakamura says that Balor may not be a champion, but he is still an icon, and to become champ he has to beat the icon. Now THAT is the way to kick off a new era of NXT!
Tags: JT on NXT, Samoa Joe, shinsuke nakamura