1. Regular readers of this column may have noticed that it’s been about as reliable as a Dolph Ziggler push lately – my sincere apologies. In the last month much has happened on NXT, including Shinsuke Nakamura regaining the NXT title from an enraged Samoa Joe in Osaka, Japan. Tonight, Joe and Nakamura face off inside a steel cage live from Melbourne, Australia, which is a bitch as I’m about 1,000 kilometers away in Sydney…
2. And we waste no time getting to the match, as Samoa Joe makes his entrance looking fit and focused. Well, fit for Joe, anyway. The Melbourne crowd loves Nakamura as hundreds of fans film two minutes of strobe lighting to share with their baffled friends. Some stiff chain wrestling to start, then Joe takes over and slams Nakamura into the cage, somehow managing to break a hole in the steel mesh.
3. Back from the break Shinsuke is in control with a series of strikes and a sweet German suplex, but Joe reverses the Kinchasa with a big power slam. Hard strikes are the order of the day as Nakamura tries to escape and Joe goes for the Super Muscle Buster, but Nak hits a powrbomb followed by a top rope Kinchasa. Rather than escaping through an open door Nakamura hits a Kinchasa, then another and pins Joe to retain the title. Five star match, and great to see the King of Strong Style retain.
4. Interview with the Aussie mean girls who say they are back on track after dumping Daria, who interrupts the interview and tells them to watch their backs. Quickest face turn ever.
5. Now it’s time for Tye Dillinger to take on Eric Young, accompanied by 2/3 of Sanity, as Sawyer Fulton is absent, possibly about to be replaced by someone slightly more talented. After about three fast paced minutes Nikki Cross hits a missile dropkick from behind for the DQ, then big Damo from Ireland hits the ring and destroys Dillinger with a Wasteland. Damo looks like a genuine badass, but he could probably lose the sweatpants…
6. Next up No Way Jose is facing Cien Almas, and this is part of the competition for the number one contender slot via fatal four way next week. Pretty decent match from Jose, with Cien playing the technically proficient heel, eventually picking up the win with the armlock DDT.
7. Our next qualifying match is Elias Sampson vs Roderick Strong, and the Melbourne crowd are smart enough to boo the Drifter before he even starts singing. Not a bad match considering Sampson is involved, and Strong works hard to make him look good before breaking out the heavy offense. Knees, elbows and a gutbuster lead to a running sick kick for the Roderick Strong victory.
8. Our pseudo-main event is the Glorious Bobby Roode taking on Oney Lorcan, who has already appeared on Raw but is probably only here to make up the numbers.
9. Lorcan gets in some decent offense (including a nice line in uppercuts) and Roode sells like a pro, but there is only one way that this match is going to end. Roode wins with the Glorious DDT, joining Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong and Cien Almas in next weeks Fatal Four Way.
10. A great episode of NXT to come back to, with some new faces in the title hunt and an excellent cage match. Happy holidays, everyone.
Tags: JT on NXT, Samoa Joe, steel cage