Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 10/14/15: Here To Be A Champion

WWE NXTBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 10/14/15)

Here To Be A Champion

– The opening video was your classic “slow-mo highlight reel” of NXT TakeOver: Respect, showcasing NXT Champion Finn Balor/Samoa Joe winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament and the impeccable 30-minute Iron Man match between Sasha Banks and NXT Women’s Champion Bayley. If you haven’t seen this show yet, do yourself a favor: watch it.

– The in-ring segment with Bayley, Blake, Murphy and Alexa Bliss did a few great things. Firstly, it put over Bayley’s big defense win by allowing her to be embraced by the Full Sail faithful, who rightfully chanted “Match of the year!” and it helped sell the moment. Bayley’s promo felt emotional when she said that the Iron Man match was a culmination of what her and Banks learned from Dusty Rhodes. who was an important part of their upbringings. She wasn’t lying when she said the NXT women’s division was setting the bar and that women’s wrestling was getting respected. We liked Bliss’ interruption, as she played up as if she was really impressed with Bayley and congratulated her. We loved that Bayley’s facial expression sold that she was skeptical of it, but just when Bliss appeared to turn a new leaf, we saw classic heel Bliss come out and physically yank the Championship away, suddenly spewing jealousy about Bayley and the idea that “people like her did things like this” and having Blake/Murphy act as bodyguards. This feels like the right time to propel Bliss as a challenger for Bayley and it gives us an instant new feud. This was a good first start.

– You have to wonder if NXT is taking the slow burn approach to having Joe turn heel to get what he wants. After all, he pretty much outright asked Balor for a Title shot, which was verbally agreed upon in front of General Manager William Regal backstage last week, only for Regal to claim it null and void, using it as an idea for the Number-One Contender Battle Royale main event. Joe seemed right in arguing the match taking place since he felt he was due a shot from being undefeated in NXT so far, but we liked that he was confident that “all he had to do was win a Battle Royale” to get a shot at Balor. This is what we want to see anyways, ultimately, so this made sense getting there. Or so we thought.

– The Battle Royale had a fair amount of hype from promos by buyable contenders like Tye Dillinger (okay maybe not him, but who could argue the Perfect 10?), Rhyno (we liked him using that he was the last Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship to sell his credibility), Apollo Crews (an underdog, but someone who could use the rub of a good performance), Tyler Breeze (a guy who’s definitely paid his dues and could’ve been a favorite to face Balor since the two had history) and Baron Corbin (he had been portrayed as unbeatable so we had to expect he’d go far in this too) and any of these guys could’ve won this and it would’ve made sense against a guy like Balor.

– The NXT Tag Team Champions Vaudevillains-Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins match was (you guessed it) an enhancement bout to keep the Champions hot. We think a feud with Dash Wilder/Scott Dawson is on the horizon, based on how they eliminated the Champs in the Dusty Classic. Vaudevillains work a unique, throwback style and we got to see some new stuff pulled out. This makes sense, since they have no immediate challengers. Seemingly.

– The Dash/Dawson post-match interview saw them act unimpressed and reminded us that they already pinned the Champions and considered themselves number one contenders. Dawson complained about having to face the likes of Enzo Amore/Big Cassady, which was all good since he can cut a good promo with a southern drawl. He’s almost like a young Steve Austin.

– Since they brushed up on Asuka’s decisive defeat of Dana Brooke last week, we liked the development, which saw her standing over Brooke as she laid down on a medical trainer’s table, mocking her and staring at Emma with a deathly grin. Like the idea of her continuing to “haunt” Emma before their impending match.

– The Nia Jax-Evie match was all about Jax’s debut, another new addition to the growing NXT Women’s roster, a sensible move considering three of the “Four Horsewomen” are on the main roster. Evie had a generic look to her that screamed “I’m going to get my ass kicked.” Jax had a cool entrance that meshed both glamour and aggression – she had a look that was all her own yet a throwback to Samoan innovators like Tamina and even The Rock’s “Rocky Maivia” color scheme in her ring attire. That said, she’s a big lady and her attire wasn’t flattering, but it added to the match since she used her body as a weapon several times. She sadistically dominated with a grin on her face the whole time. The match wasn’t much to gloss over, but it left us wanting more, which we guess is a good thing.

– Just when we heard that WWE was now looking for a non-wrestling role for Eva Marie, she appeared on the show after somewhat of an absence… except she was in France. Clearly she needed to stand in front of the Eiffel Tower to get this point across. Did anybody actually care that she was taking some “me time”? Whatever keeps her away from the ring we guess.

– The NXT Championship Number-One Contender Battle Royale match had its share of credible contenders, though we wish the “filler” contenders weren’t mainly tag team guys and jobbers who literally stood no chance. However, we liked how it dwindled down to the buyable guys and the tag teams/alliances. Apollo Crews stood out early on for a “dark house”-esque contender (little did we know what’d happen) and Breeze was especially over with the crowd here showing his resilience. At the same time, we saw Dillinger, Enzo and Bull Dempsey get their moments of glory. We also liked that Corbin “double-crossed” Rhyno for a shot at the NXT Championship, as Rhyno was utterly shocked by it. Will this reignite their old flame? The crowd was with Breeze to the point that they loudly booed Joe for eliminating him and actually chanted “Thank you, Tyler” when he angrily yanked Joe off the apron when it appeared that Joe would get back in the ring. This probably starts a Joe-Breeze feud of some form, though we’ve always hated the idea that an already eliminated contender can eliminate an ongoing contender. You’d think they’d make a rule that eliminations in that case would be thrown out, but that’s just us. Feels cheap is all. We really thought this was going to play out as Joe getting what he felt he was due, so we were especially shocked to see Breeze eliminate Joe in that way, leaving it to Corbin-Crews. With a top babyface like Balor, we assumed they’d keep Corbin strong with a win to be the next contender, but going with Crews was smart too, since it allows Corbin to brag about his strong performance and continues to build him up without feeding him to Balor. At the same time, fighting for the Title backs up what Crews said he was there to do and even if he loses the match, a breakout performance can do wonders for him. A fait turnabout of events all things considered. We’re intrigued to see where things go next week.






Quick Results

  • The Vaudevillains def. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton via pinfall 
  • Nia Jax def. Evie via pinfall
  • NXT Championship Number-One Contender Battle Royale – Apollo Crews Eliminates Baron Corbin to win 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on October 14, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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