10 Thoughts on NXT – March 23rd 2016 – Asuka, Finn Balor, Rich Swann

JT on NXT logo

  1. It’s NXT time and we’re kicking off with the man literally nobody came to see, Elias Sampson. For a drifter he sure seems to have a lot of money to buy bandannas. Sampson is facing Johnny Gargano, the superior wrestler but inferior hobo (I assume). Sampson’s offence is limited to say the least, and Gargano picks up the win with a rollup. The Drifter attacks Gargano from behind after the match, maybe because he’s on those bath salts that I hear are popular with homeless people.
  2. This Sampson beatdown is going on way too long, and Apollo Crews finally comes out to make the save. While I’m happy that Crews finally has a bit of direction in NXT, I’m not sure that a feud with Elias Sampson is going to do much to get him over.
  3. Finn Balor vs Rich Swann? Sounds like squash match time. Swann definitely has some charisma, and the crowd seems to like his entrance. It’s a shame that he’s been booked as a jobber to stars on the rise thus far…
  4. And just to prove me wrong, Swann puts on a good showing against Balor, and the crowd get a nice Swann chant going. I like the fact that Balor has added the Bloody Sunday to his finisher, and I’m looking forward to his match against Samoa Joe at Takeover: Texas.
  5. Slightly odd promo from Emma and Dana Brooke, with neither of them coming across as a viable threat to Asuka. Much better is the intro package for Shinsuke Nakamura, making him look like the superstar he is.
  6. Next up we’ve got Alexa Bliss (accompanied by the Dubstep Douchebags) vs Sarah Dobson, who hits some decent offence but seems to hurt herself on a cartwheel spot. Bliss picks up the win with the sparkle splash, and she’s still got a long way before she will be convincing facing someone like Bayley or Asuka.
  7. Hey, it’s Bull Dempsey, and I didn’t think he worked here anymore! And it seems he doesn’t as Samoa Joe mugs him on the way to the ring and chokes him out with the Kokina Clutch. He hits the ring and does the same thing to Danny Burch, saving us from a match that nobody really wants to see.
  8. Great American Alpha package setting up their tag title match at Takeover: Texas, and if they don’t walk away with the titles I will be very surprised.
  9. Our main event tonight is Asuka vs Emma (accompanied by Dana Brooke) and the Australian gets in more offense than I had expected, putting up a decent fight before having the crap kicked out of her. It’s nice to see the main event being given fair time to tell a story, and Emma used some old-school heel tactics to keep up with the superior wrestler.
  10. Not a terrible episode of NXT, but as a setup for Takeover: Texas this episode fell a little flat for me. I’m still looking forward to the event, particularly the tag title match and the debut of Nakamura, but it would be nice to have a little more buildup with the level of talent involved.

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