This week’s episode of WWE NXT featured a contract signing for the upcoming championship match between Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Previously on WWE NXT, the tag team division was the star of the show. DIY, the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions, defeated The Revival in an early contender for Match of the Year. The celebration was short-lived, as DIY were attacked by their opponents at TakeOver: San Antonio – the Authors of Pain.
The championship picture in the Women’s Division also became a little clearer. Before the episode started, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce ambushed Asuka in the parking lot. However, the champion wouldn’t stay down for long, as she came down to attack Kay and Royce moments later. The numbers game proved too much, but Nikki Cross came down to even the odds – and then immediately attack Asuka herself. Now, Asuka wants a match against “all of them.”
Oh, and Bobby Roode is a world class jerk, as Shinsuke Nakamura found out.
This week, Roode and Nakamura will meet face to face in the ring. It won’t be a match, but they’ll sign the contract for their championship match at TakeOver: San Antonio. Cliche or not, contract signings in professional wrestling are always interesting.
With TakeOver just about a week and a half away, lots of things could happen tonight to help shape the card. Besides the three title matches, the show is very much up in the air. What is in store for the Lone Star State?
Nikki Cross (w/ Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe) vs. Kennadi Lewis
Result: Nikki Cross defeated Kennadi Lewis via pinfall
Rating: 2.0 out of 5 stars
This was a surprisingly straightforward segment. It’s all about showing that Cross is a) crazy, b) talented, and c) a force to be reckoned with.
Lewis gets absolutely no offense in, despite a significant size advantage. The whole point is that Cross is a whack job and isn’t intimidated by being an “underdog.” She doesn’t even know that she is the underdog, that’s my read. In a fatal four way match, she shows here she’s up for the challenge.
Of course, having SAnitY at ringside is a mighty fine confidence booster. The likelihood of Young and Wolfe getting involved in Cross’s matches is slim, but there. If your opponent (or opponents) have to have their heads on a swivel, it opens them up to attack.
Jose looks like an absolute star during this whole thing. Kona Reeves getting some mic time is great, as NXT continues to develop new characters to keep the train rolling. But the segment is Jose’s, and he shows that he can be a top player. Nothing forced, seems natural and relaxed – I like it.
6-star segment just for “the tilapia of NXT.” Long live The Revival. It’s a shame that the program between TM61 and The Revival will likely be put on hold due to Thorne’s injury, but at least we’ll get the match later tonight for now.
What I loved about the match was that it was just a decent wrestling match. There wasn’t any major, overarching story. Roddy is gearing up for a match with Andrade Almas, but that doesn’t really get mentioned until the match is over. I don’t say this enough, but I like NXT for being a wrestling show with wrestling matches.
Look, the Yankees don’t play the Red Sox every night. The Cowboys and Eagles play twice a year. Strong vs. Cutler was the equivalent of the Yankees playing the Rockies. No real history, it’s just a match on the schedule. Stories can still be told within these confines.
One of these two sounds like a human being. The other sounds like something out of a weird sci-fi movie. Strangely, the humanoid is the werewolf lady, and the Jersey Girl sounds like a robotic alien. Anyway, they’re gonna fight, because someone has to face the champion in Orlando.
Question: Did Eric Young realize no one wanted that jacket at first because the American flag was off-putting to the international superstars? The Irish Damo rejected it a few weeks back, and Dillinger is Canadian.
Anyway, Tye Dillinger is teasing retirement again, and SAnitY interrupts. Young tries to lure him to the dark side (they have cookies!), but he’s rebuffed. A more forceful plea is also rejected, and a brawl breaks out.
Dillinger gains the upper hand until Damo appears and lays him out with the One-Winged Angel. This answers the question, “Is Kenny Omega coming to WWE soon?” And SAnitY is once again a foursome as Damo accepts the jacket that once belonged to Sawyer Fulton.
I’m looking forward to Young and Dillinger getting a real match at TakeOver, since their fatal four way qualifier was a DQ-shortened affair. Also, I’m really looking forward to the inevitable moment when Tye Dillinger becomes NXT Champion.
And the match accomplished that. Backstage, TM61 said, “if you want a title match, get in line and fight for one.” What happened? They put their money where their mouth is, and pulled off an upset victory.
The Revival, though, are the greatest tag team on the planet. So you know that any time they take a defeat, they’ll come back more angry and ready to fight again.
Sadly, Shane Thorne – who took the knee destruction on camera – suffered a legitimate knee injury at this set of tapings, and he’ll be sidelined for several months after having surgery. So right now the table has been set, but no one’s allowed to sit down. Kinda like the couches wrapped in plastic at your Italian grandma’s house.
Hopefully Thorne heals up quickly, and these two can get something going before we lose The Revival to SmackDown Live forever.
In what I can only assume is a first, this contract signing ended with the challenger having a stroke because the champion said a specific word. That’s amazing.
The battle lines are pretty clearly drawn for this match. Roode is doing everything in his power to be the bad guy. “Nakamura looks stupid!” “Thriller!” “I am the top money draw!” “What’s the deal with your dance?”
Meanwhile, Nakamura is just laughing himself stupid, and calling Roode “Bobby-San.” He’s cooler than a cucumber on the other side of the pillow. Nothing phases him. At. All. Thriller jacket or not, don’t tell the King of Strong Style he’s got no style. Otherwise, he’ll call you a shiba inu.
So after Roode talks about how he’s inspiring all this change in NXT – better dressed wrestlers, better lives for the fans – he gets cut off before he can complete his glorious catchphrase. Nakamura says it himself, and Roode nearly strokes out.
At TakeOver: San Antonio, when these two finally get their hands on each other, it will be glorious. It’s a main event with two legitimate main eventers, and the style contrast from Joe-Nakamura will be a pleasant change of pace.