Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 4/8/15: Mr. Itami Goes To WrestleMania
Mr. Itami Goes To WrestleMania
– We wouldn’t necessarily label this episode a “throwaway” show by any means – it was very cool to see WWE finally acknowledge the accomplishments of Hideo Itami during WrestleMania Axxess weekend, chronicling his rise to getting to compete in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale and the matches he fought through to get there. The ending video package was appropriate and emotional – showing his two younger sons backstage and his interactions with Triple H, The Big Show, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan and more, as they all spoke quite highly of him. This made Itami look like the international superstar that he is, and this was excellent because it had seemed his accomplishments had slipped under the radar and swept under the rug by a Show KO punch. Only complaint about this was the timing of the show. Being that the great majority of us already seen WrestleMania and knew Itami would win the tournament, it took the unpredictability out of the matches. This show would’ve been most effective say, three days after Mania.
– The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Semifinal match between Hideo Itami and Adrian Neville was a good lengthy match with offense galore from both guys – from the ground up to the air. Crowd was favorable for Itami and Neville took the reaction and used it to his advantage, playing the crowd at times. This was telling, with Neville in likely his last legitimate NXT appearance, groomed for the main roster, looking as sharp as possible in the ring, not missing a step, providing the perfect foil for the uprising Itami. The ending sequence was incredibly good, with Neville close to winning, only for Itami to pull out his finisher almost out of desperation, which came off very well.
– The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Semifinals match between Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze was the clash you’d expect – not just of personalities but also in-ring styles, one almost complimenting the other. Balor was a good choice to advance, given his popularity rise and would increase fan interest in the tournament finals. One minor complaint might be that the match was sort of short, but it’s not completely unheard of for Balor to decisively beat Breeze at this point.
– Dana Brooke continues to come off as the confident muscular blonde bombshell. Her debut next week is something to look forward to.
– Cool to see the video package that highlighted the house show at the San Jose University Arena filled with a crowd of 5,000 crowd. It shows the magnitude of NXT and how “over” it is, with a crowd that size. Would’ve also been cooler if they legit didn’t use TNA’s old “Adrenaline Rush, Adrenaline Rush” theme music, but we’re slightly nitpicking here.
– The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Finals match between Itami and Balor was great – would you expect any less from these two? Itami had his shining moments here, coming closer than ever to his goal, eventually getting there, moving past the fight of a relentless Balor. The finish did feel a little “empty” and it would’ve been appropriate for Itami to advance using his GTS, but that’s not how it went down. However, they did highlight his first GTS in the ending video package and the effect it had on social media, getting Itami to trend on Twitter during Mania weekend. He finally got his moment and that’s what this episode was all about.
– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Semifinals – Hideo Itami def. Adrian Neville via pinfall to advance
– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Semifinals – Finn Balor def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall to advance
– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale Qualifying Tournament Finals – Hideo Itami def. Finn Balor via pinfall
Posted on April 10, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged Adrian Neville, Becky Lynch, Dana Brooke, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Rhyno, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, The Big Show, Triple H, Tyler Breeze. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.