Photo credit @JJWilliamsWON ~!
I was live at Full Sail University in Winter Park FL, alongside the usual sellout crowd of 450 in attendance for NXT TV.
Dark Match –
Manny Andrade beat Angelo Dawkins
Dawkins made his way to the ring first, stirring it up and jawjacking with no one in particular. Huge star reaction for Andrade, wearing his vato style fedora and pants with suspenders over his normal gear. Fast paced match for the most part, Manny teased one dive, then reset himself as a teaser, then on the center so he could face hard camera he did the Tranquilo lounging on the middle ropes to taunt Dawkins. The finish saw the running double knees while Angelo was set in the corner for Manny to pick up the win.
Dasha Fuentes welcomes us to the show and then we have a Samoa Joe in ring promo. He says his title win was inevitable and he did exactly what he said he would. Before Joe could continue, he was interrupted by the debuting Eric Young, wearing street clothes. He says that Joe knows him and what he’s about, and points to the title on Joe’s shoulder adding I collect those. Joe then leaves but says Young doesn’t belong in his ring and the next time he sees him in it, he will beat his ass.
Nia Jax beat Tessa Blanchard
What you’d expect as they are building Jax up for Asuka. She won after hitting a huge leg drop center of the ring for the win directed at the hard camera.
Austin Aries beat Tye Dillinger
Good reactions for both men, and this is the best match Aries has had thus far in NXT as well. Dillinger seemed a little taken aback by how strong of a reaction he had as there were dueling chants for both while they had a very good match. Dillinger hit the Goto style knee to the back that AJ Styles has been using lately for a convincing near fall. Tye then lowered the knee pad to attempt his usual finisher but Aries caught him with the rolling back elbow for the win.
Fuentes informs us that Mr. Regal has made Eric Young vs. Samoa Joe as tonight’s main event.
The Revival beat The Hype Bros
The Revival did an excellent job of controlling the ring and were able to get the win while not cheating, but still causing a distraction to their advantage. These two clearly study their classic tag team wrestling. Shatter machine for the strong win to get them back on track.
No Way Jose beat Noah
Big reaction for No Way Jose in Full Sail as you’d expect; he’s a fun personality with a lot of charm. The chants included “No Way, No Way, No Way Joseee” to the tune of the Sami Zayn “Ole'” chants and his song’s style “No Way Jose” chants as well. Salsa dance style offense and solid work before the big baseball pitch wind up punch and then a full nelson slam for the win. Post match, No Way Jose was able to convince referee Drake Wuertz to dance with him to a huge cheer. Some fancy footwork by Drake.
NXT Champion Samoa Joe beat Eric Young
They got over ten minutes here in our main event, hard hitting action with these as you’d expect. Joe was able to outlast Young in their battle, hit the muscle buster and instead of going for the pin Joe locks in the clutch for the choke out victory. Joe then wouldn’t release the hold for a very long time until officials were able to get the two separated.
In ring promo segment with Finn Balor who got great reaction, “Thank You, Finn” chants. He says he’s going to address the elephant in the room, Samoa Joe. He reminds us all that he beat Joe twice before and both matches could have gone either way. Then, we got The Drifter walking out singing a song about Finn, no words were comprehendable due to the loudest booing since Eva Marie challenging Bayley a few months back. Absolutely drowned out by booing here.
Finn never even moved as Samson made his way in to the ring and once Samson was directly behind himm, Balor hit a Pele kick to a huge cheer. Finn then picks up the guitar and looks at the hard camera before throwing it towards the entrance way where Elias was after rolling out of the ring. Samson made the catch, saving his precious acoustic guitar. Very fun segment here as Finn was in no mood for The Drifter’s nonsense.
NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha beat Corey Hollis and John Skyler
Great reaction including “You Deserve It” chants for the tag champs. There was excellent wrestling early by Chad Gable before the heels were able to use distractions and take advantage. They worked Gable over for a bit before the Jason Jordan hot tag, after running wild and bringing the straps down, The Revival made their way to the ramp to get a closer look at the champs, there would be no distraction though. Jordan even raised the straps back up so he could lower them again, hit a spear in the corner, tag in Gable for the Grand Amplitude assisted suplex for the win. The champs and former champs stared at each other before making their way to the back.
Shinsuke Nakamura beat Alex Riley
Huge ovation for Shinsuke Nakamura who got an absolute superstar pop as you’d expect. Riley tried to trade big shots with Nakamura and that didn’t end well, big running knee to midsection by Shinsuke while Riley was set over the top rope. Kinshasa for the win and a mighty YeaOh in the center of the ring as celebration.
Alexa Bliss beat Rachael Ellering
Good showing by SWA’s own Rachael Ellering here, Alexa Bliss worked her match and won it with the splash off the top rope.
Finn Balor beat Elias Samson
The best match I’ve seen from The Drifter, a lot of fun seeing him mix it up with the top stars lately as the crowd absolutely hates him. Finn had his shoulder taped still yet was working an extra vicious style, a lot of action in between Samson headlocks, big dropkick through the ropes by Finn, strong kicks and finally hits the 1916 DDT for the win as he sits on Elias Samson and stares in to the hard camera wanting this to be Samoa Joe.
Post match Finn continues his promo from earlier as he wants his rematch with Samoa Joe, as Joe comes out Mr. Regal runs to get between them, and standing on the ring apron with Finn still in the ring. Finn runs and dives over Mr. Regal on to Samoa Joe, then holds the NXT Championship in his hands before setting it on Joe who is laid out on the ground. William Regal then makes it official that at NXT Takeover June 8th we will in fact have NXT Champion Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor for the title.
NXT Women’s Champion Asuka beat Adrien Reese
Dueling chants as both are fan favorites to the Florida NXT fans, Asuka has some who have turned on her after dethroning Bayley so there was a light mixed reaction. Not too much but noticable. Excellent work by these two, Reese is an incredible athlete and Asuka thrives on facing great talents. Reese went for a move off the top rope but Asuka caught her arm and transitioned it in to the Asuka Lock for the win.
Dasha Fuentes told us that Blake and Murphy would be facing Austin Aries and a partner of his choosing next, I’d expect this to be built up with backstage promos.
Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura beat Blake and Murphy w/ Alexa Bliss
As expected, another huge superstar reaction for Nakamura. When he wrestles, everything seems like a blur because the crowd is so in to him. Aries did a lot of work with Blake and Murphy before Shinsuke got the tag and set up for the Kinshasa. Aries however had his hand out for the tag which Shinsuke did not give before hitting the move and scoring the pin. The referee raised Aries and Nakamura’s hands the victor yet Aries was still subtly talking to Nakamura as if he wanted that tag. Also after this match Alexa Bliss walked away angrily leaving her team, then Blake looked back at Murphy and left him as well. We may have seen the last of BAMF.
Carmella beat Peyton Royce
Carmella introduced herself as only she can and now she allows the crowd to finish her promo for her by raising the mic as everyone else says “Hottest Chick In The Ring” how you doin? Nice touch as she’s quite over. This is Peyton’s first singles match under her new Poison Ivy type persona, holding a flower, maneuvering herself through the ropes, very fluid motions. At one point Peyton hit two vertical suplexes and a third with a bridge for a near fall, Carmella then fired up for her comeback which is now a superkick, bronco buster, face first drop and her leglock submission for the win.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano beat Danny Birch and Rob Rizin
Showcase match for Ciampa and Gargano, yet some very fun strong exchanges by Danny Birch who goes by Martin Stone on the indie scene these days, laying in strikes with the always ferocious Tommaso Ciampa. Finish was Gargano and Ciampa hitting double superkicks on Rizin who was on his knees in the center of the ring.
Nia Jax beat Bayley
This match went about fifteen minutes, Nia was destroying Bayley at every turn. We had enough hope spots to keep us believing that Bayley could get this win like she did in London yet that was not the case. Jax would stomp on the arm of Bayley, then Bayley would try to lock in the submission that beat Nia once before, Nia would then slam her down again, Bayley mustered up the strength to make it to the top yet it was Nia’s evening.
Towards the end of the match, Nia stomped on Bayley’s leg and after making it to her feet and fighting back some, Bayley then in the corner buckled her leg and collapsed for a moment before Jax was able to set her in the center of the ring, drop a big leg on the back of Bayley’s head, roll her over and score the convincing win. Post match the referee and two men in black shirts checked on Bayley, after a while they helped her to the back with her keeping all weight off her leg.
NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha beat The Revival
This was a non title match yet Revival needed this one if they had any hope of getting the titles back. Excellent work as you’d expect, yet the crowd was clearly drained by Bayley losing and being helped to the back just prior to this match. Great wrestling by four of the best tag team workers we have seen in NXT, with a new finish for the team Alpha locked in stereo Ankle Locks for the double tap out submission on both men. This was a definitive victory by American Alpha who now await their next challengers.
This concludes three weeks of TV NXT will be back at Full Sail University on May 19th to get us to the June 8th NXT Takeover live special.