The show begins with a lengthy video recap of last week’s Finn Balor-Nakamura promo. A loud “NXT” chant rings out before Tye Dillinger comes out to a “10, 10, 10!” chant to face Oney Lorcan – which is the most strange name in wrestling since Braxton Sutter.
Oney Lorcan vs. Tye Dillinger
They exchange a bit of basic wrestling to start things off, leading to Lorcan getting an edge with a headlock before tackling him down. Lorcan tackles Tye and does the “10!” bit. Lorcan ducks down and eats a kick, but lands a basement European uppercut after Tye goes for an O’Connor roll and is shoved down.
Tye fights back off the apron with a punch and he smashes his face into the buckle before chopping away violently. He hits the Garvin stomp and lands a series of shortarm lariats before Lorcan recovers and hits one of his own. Lorcan hits a pair of heavy diving elbows in the corner, but a third is met with a superkick to the jaw for 2. Tye goes for a corner mount punch, but gets shoved down and hit with a running blockbuster for the win! This was an outstanding match and the commentary really helped this. Corey saying that this loss drops Tye to a 5 in his book, resulting in an amusing audible gasp by Tom.
We see Tom and Corey, in a ridiculous grey and white checkerboard suit talk about tonight’s events. Austin Aries is interviewed by Cathy and he says his mission remains to become NXT Champion and that he’s still great – you don’t get to be the greatest in one night, or lose that with one loss. Ali didn’t win every round and he was The Greatest too. No Way Jose tells Aries to stay positive. Aries smirks. We see Nia take out Bayley’s knee last month. Bayley is in her gear outside of Full Sail and says that she returns tonight – well, that’s a bit odd, but a good announcement. No Way Jose dances his way out and Corey says he chooses to not dance because he has no rhythm and he isn’t ashamed to admit it.
No Way Jose vs. Josh Woods
Corey buries Josh for having tons of tattoos and says he looks like he came from a crossfit gym. Tom points out how much ink Corey has and he is told to shut up. Corey and Tom have amazing chemistry together. Woods lands some elbows and stands out nicely in MMA-style shorts. Jose lands some punches an inverted atomic drop, and more punches. The full nelson slam ends it.
Jose dances, but Aries comes out to spoil his fun. Aries tells Jose that you’re not defined by your victories, but by your defeats – and while he was hurt going in and had injured ribs, he will absolutely not make an excuse. He says that Jose told him to learn something from him, and Aries says that he can learn something after seeing him – Jose reminded him that NXT is about having fun. They shake hands and Jose wants him to dance. I don’t predict this ending well for Jose. Aries slowly begins dancing, then goes full-blown goofball and dances really smoothly. They go to the floor and Aries dances with the fans before they dance on the announce table and Aries hits a discus elbow! He kicks his ass all over ringside while kids yell and scream at him. This was absolutely glorious! The crowd chanting for Aries at the end does kind of hurt this being a heel turn. Jose is locked into the Last Chancery while Aries swears a bit and isn’t bleeped.
Regal meets with Nakamura, in a glorious black, white, and red striped shirt. Regal says that he will make the match and they will face off in three weeks. Buddy Murphy tells Regal that he’s the only one of the three to hold a title in NXT. Regal says that he’s made him a singles star and the results have been disappointing. Murphy wants a match and Nakamura says he will grant his wish tonight – mate! Nakamura is great at every single thing he does.
We get a recap of the Aries-Jose beatdown. Corey says that he isn’t surprised by what happened because he knows what Aries is capable of. Deonna Purrazzo comes out to face Bayley in her return. Bayley of course gets a huge pop and dances. Izzy goes crazy for her and it’s amazing how special this whole act really is. She recaptures the magic that has been mostly lost in pro wrestling and shows how good wrestling can be.
Bayley vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna gets a headlock and shoves Bayley into the ropes. Bayley hits a leapfrog and they block hiptosses until Bayley lands a wacky cradle for 2. Bayley lands a pop-up armdrag before a hiptoss gets 2. Inverted neckbreaker over the second rope sends Deonna to the floor, but Deonna recovers and hits a lariat while we get an awkwardly-edited plug for WWE by Tom. Russian legsweep gets 2 for Purrazzo, who remains one of the most impressive NXT enhancement acts they’ve used. Bayley gets slammed into the buckle and Bayleys up before hitting a corner elbow and Bayley to belly to win! This was simple and fun.
Carmella is interviewed by Andrea and she says she wants to be the champion. Alexa says that’s adorable, but without Enzo and Cass, no one knows who they are. Alexa says she left her boys because she was the star, and she’ll be the next champion. Alexa points out that she didn’t get beat, and Carmella says she won’t let her get in the way of her goal. Nakamura vs. Buddy Murphy gets a graphic – they couldn’t have chosen a less-flattering photo of Murphy.
We get a hype video showing Samoa Joe speaking angrily and kicking tons of ass. They could show this on any Raw and make him a main roster star in a night if they wanted to. A highlight reel of Nia Jax vs. Asuka airs set to BABYMETAL. Nia comes down for a squash and we get an ad break after the entrance. American Alpha will return next week as per Corey and a graphic.
Nia Jax vs. Liv Morgan
Corey comes down and buries New Jersey, saying that it’s proven that people from Jersey being in other states can drive down property values. Liv goes for, you guessed it, a headlock to start the match. Nia tosses her off either using her power, or maybe she watches the show and knows that’s how every match on the show will start. Liv tries the power game with forearms, which fails. Nia hits a big knee to the stomach before locking on a cobra clutch. Nia should bring back Big Show’s cobra clutch toss – that would really show off her power. Liv gets a headscissors and sends her into the buckle and a dropkick stuns Nia. Nia hits the standing bodyblock and powerbombs her down to win.
Buddy Murphy comes down to the old BAMF theme and gear. Nakamura comes out to a huge ovation and the crowd singing his song – which may actually put it above his New Japan song because of how much emotion it elicits from the crowd. It’s amazing that we are able to see Nakamura’s rise in WWE in real-time because he stands out so much from every act not just in WWE, but around the world and it’s almost impossible for any company to screw him up.
Buddy Murphy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
I wouldn’t expect much in the way of moves here – this will likely be much like the Tye match was months ago. It will be a fine showcase for Nakamura’s biggest moves and a bigger showcase for all the little things he does that he can continue doing pretty much forever without having to take a single bump. Nakamura hits a kick to the leg resulting in a long recovery period. A knuckle lock leads to a kick to the head on Buddy. Murphy gets an edge by feigning a break and grabbing the arm. Nakamura recovers from an armbar and Nakamura lands A HEADLOCK before Murphy gets one of his own.
Nakamura avoids punches and lands a knee to the gut before hitting the jumping kneedrop. Good Vibrations gets an encore, but Murphy prevents a third and stomps a mudhole in him in the corner before hitting a running punch for 2. Murphy lands a series of forearm strikes and Nakamura wants more. A suplex is countered by a knee to the head and a right hook by Nakamura, and then a high kick. Murphy catches one leg and eats a kick off another before the corner knees hit, he flips and gets the inverted exploder before hitting the Kinshasa knee strike that folds Murphy in two and ends the match.
This was a pretty fun episode of the show. It wasn’t exactly a must-see, but still delivered an hour of solid wrestling that built to the future very nicely and made acts seem like big deals without actually seeing them in matches – a refreshing change of pace.
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Tags: Finn Balor, NXT, Samoa Joe, shinsuke nakamura, wiliam regal, wwe nxt