NXT 8/3/2016 Review
Match 1: Hideo Itami def. Sean Maluta
Very cool to see Itami finally make his NXT TV return after being out of action for over a year and very cool to see that Maluta got some NXT work after a strong showing in the CWC. Pretty standard fare from Itami in his return as he battled the upstart from the CWC. Maluta got a few licks in, but ultimately, Itami put him away with the hesitation drop kick that led into the running knee for the win.
Itami’s return comes at an odd time as he will seemingly be left off the NXT Takeover Brooklyn II card, but maybe he’ll be included in the NXT TV taping I presume they’ll do before Takeover goes live on the WWE Network that night like they did last year and have done at most all of their “non-Full Sail” Takeover events.
Interview: The Revival
The Revival are backstage, talking up how they’re top guys and the greatest tag team in NXT history when they get joined by TM-61, who wants a shot at The Revival. Revival basically says no to the request, which brings in Gargano and Ciampa, who want a shot and stake the claim that they beat The Revival and deserve a title shot. The Revival backpeddle and say that they already promised a match to TM-61, so they can figure things out while the top guys (The Revival) leave. Gargano & Ciampa and TM-61 engage in a friendly stare-off to end the segment.
Match 2: Mojo Rawley vs. Chris Atkins
This one lasts what feels like seconds before Samoa Joe rushes the ring and attacks both men viciously before proclaiming that since Regal won’t run things by Joe such as his next challengers, Joe won’t run things by Regal, such as destroying the NXT roster and more importantly, Shinsuke Nakamura. Mojo Rawley attempts to attack Samoa Joe as Joe leaves, but Rawley ends up choked out on the ramp to end the segment.
Bayley talks about preparing for her title match with Asuka at Takeover Brooklyn and says she’s ready. Asuka comes on the screen and simply says, “Think you’re ready? Come watch.”
Match 3: Asuka def. Aliyah (Non-Title Match)
Before the match begins, Bayley comes out to commentary, but Asuka didn’t have that in mind as the place for her to watch from, so she sets up a chair at ringside and points Bayley to come sit in that seat. Bayley obliges and comes to ringside, but throws the chair aside and stands to watch the match. The match itself shows a different side of Asuka as she’s coming off as arrogant and defiant in the face of Bayley, seemingly taunting Bayley with her every move during the match. In the end, Asuka locks on the Asuka Lock for the submission win, but she refuses to let the hold go at first until Bayley comes in the ring. From there, the non-verbal taunts of Asuka continues, adding a more competitive layer to their rematch scheduled for Brooklyn. The first time around, it was more respect based and the respect is still there, but for Bayley, she’s out for redemption and for Asuka, she’s out for validation that she is the top female in NXT.
Promo: Oney Lorcan
Oney Lorcan (the former Biff Busick) cuts a quick promo about how he needs to go back to his roots in order to continue growing in NXT after getting a victory over Tye Dillinger on a previous episode of NXT. I’ve heard Busick’s name plenty before NXT, but I look forward to seeing him continue to grow in NXT as the months roll on. I could see him becoming a top player on a roster that is going through a small transition after losing the likes of Finn Balor and American Alpha to the main roster.
In-Ring Segment: Bobby Roode’s NXT TV debut
Bobby Roode has appeared on NXT TV before in the crowd, he’s worked non-televised live events, but this is his first official, in-ring appearance on NXT TV. Roode enters to a huge pop from the audience and he soaks it up for a moment before turning the tables on the crowd and basically saying that the NXT audience is low-class and that with Bobby Roode in NXT, he will turn it high-class and turn the audience from containing a bunch of vacationing slobs to containing a slew of Presidents and CEO’s. Bobby Roode concludes by saying he is the star that NXT needs and his presence in NXT will be glorious. Speaking of Glorious, how about that theme song? I couldn’t download that theme quick enough.
NEXT WEEK ON NXT: Bayley and Asuka sign the contract for their title match at NXT Takeover Brooklyn
Match 4: The Revival def. TM-61 (Non-Title Match)
I’m really high on TM-61 and The Revival are just tag team geniuses, so it comes as no surprise to me that this was a killer tag team main event to close out the 8/3 edition of NXT. TM-61 gets an early advantage, but in the standard (and classic) tag team formula, The Revival picks a body part and begins working the heat on TM-61. TM-61 eventually fires up and it looks like they may be heading for an upset victory over the champions when the champions do what they do best and that’s play dirty. The ending of the match sees Nick Miller giving chase to Dash Wilder after Wilder pulled Shane Thorne off the apron when Miller was going for a tag. This run around the ring leads Miller back into the ring where he eats a strong DDT from Scott Dawson to give The Revival the pinfall victory. First off, it was a great match, even though it was under 10 minutes. Secondly, somewhere, Jake “The Snake” Roberts was smiling to see the DDT used as a finish and not as a false finish where someone kicks out.
Post-match, The Revival talk about all the tag teams they’ve beaten and how there is no one left for them, which brings out Gargano & Ciampa again, who continue to push home the point that they’re owed a title shot for beating the champions previously. They even mock some of the names The Revival have beaten, using names such as The Hollywood Blondes and even Kermit The Frog & Miss Piggy. After the fun & games, Gargano & Ciampa get physical with the champions and leave the champions laid out after their running knee/superkick combo finish. Gargano & Ciampa stand tall with the NXT Tag Team Championships to close this edition of NXT.
NXT Rating for 8/3/2016: 9 out of 10
Why? The only thing that kept this from being a 10 out of 10 show, in my book, was the Samoa Joe/Mojo Rawley/Chris Atkins segment. I don’t think we needed the enhancement worker for this angle to work, especially since the end game led to a Samoa Joe vs. Mojo Rawley match being signed for the 8/10 edition of NXT. While it makes perfect sense for Joe to be pissed off about Nakamura being his next challenger, I think the verbage of him complaining that Regal didn’t clear the challenger with him makes Joe look a little weak. Not damaging weak, just a little bit of a whiner, which Joe has never really been. Hey, to each their own, you can’t please every viewer and I think I just would have booked that segment a little differently. Otherwise, I loved so much about the show. Hideo Itami returns, Sean Maluta showed his talents again, Bobby Roode debuts as an arrogant bastard, Asuka shows a different side of her to advance the feud with Bayley, TM-61 got some spotlight in a losing effort to The Revival, and the feud between The Revival and Gargano/Ciampa also got some advancement. NXT rarely does anything bad with their weekly TV and this week was no different, aside from my gripes about the Samoa Joe segment.