Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 11/25/15: Vintage Cole
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The contract signing segment with NXT Champion Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Michael Cole (of all people) provided a fiery beginning to the hour, giving us enough to whet our appetites for NXT TakeOver: London on Dec. 16 for its biggest program, appropriately so. For nostalgic purposes, the image of Cole standing in the Full Sail-bred NXT ring was a meme waiting to happen. His “Can I Have Your Attention Please?” opening line can only be met with one word: vintage. In short, he was put in charge of the night by General Manager William Regal, who had successful surgery. This was his only appearance on the show, so it wasn’t a theme by any means. He also gave the news that Regal initially turned down Eva Marie’s request for a NXT Women’s Championship match against Champion Bayley last week, but WWE Corporate insisted the match was official. Full Sail didn’t hold back and showered boos upon any Eva Marie mention. As for the actual contract signing portion, it was Joe who got the focus, which made sense since he needs to go into this match with momentum galore. Baylor also had the chance to speak his two cents, stirring up banter about “friendships and trust,” waiting to get his hands on Joe when the bell rings at TakeOver: London. Joe reached WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens-esque heat by simply coming down to the ring, signing the contract, not making eye contact with Balor and heading back up the ramp. That would’ve been good by itself, but the ramp attack made it even better, as it proved Joe was setting Balor up for a trap, ending with him laying Balor out cold via a Kojita Clutch. There was no denying that Joe was a badass here and the best part of it all – he needed no words, just action. This is how you book Joe to his fullest potential. Not so sure about the 18 instant replays of Joe signing the contract and leaving, but the desired effect was scored anyway. The announcement of Joe fighting Tommaso Ciampa next week was also a welcome one, since it allows Joe to stay hot.
– We were questioning why The Vaudevillains were getting their rematch so soon for the NXT Tag Team Championships against Champions Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder and not at TakeOver: London, but by the ending bell, it was clearer than crystal. The match got less time than deserved (short of the five minute mark) but it was more of a “fast-forward” pace and both teams got in ample offense in that time. An emphasis was placed on The Vaudevillains’ unique offense, compounded by Dash/Dawson’s old-fashioned “beat ’em up style.” Since Dash/Dawson were newly acquainted with gold, we doubted any result that would unseat their thrones, but despite that, the close near-falls for the faces were nicely done for some good teases. Did like how Dash/Dawson stood determined and got their finisher on the second attempt to put away The Vaudevillains, all to cue the return of Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady for a proper revenge angle. This looks to be the match for TakeOver: London, pending any changes. Let’s just hope The Vaudevillains don’t fade into obscurity at this point, as it actually feels like they’ve made leaps and bounds as characters and can engage the crowd, which they didn’t have earlier this year. Being manly never felt so trendy.
– Okay, so the theme of the hour was “Eva Marie is a spoiled princess who gets what she wants with WWE Corporate’s endorsement.” For what it was with that in mind, her backstage promo in Regal’s office was fair, since she’d see his office as a more “appropriate place” for her to prepare. The “Total Divas” gift bags on the side added a nice touch and her promo wasn’t bad, but the “hottest – literally – prospect” still needs improvement in that department. She still sounded like she was struggling with her lines. The big twist from this segment was that Nia Jax became her new best friend, which was supposed to make the viewer fear the main event’s outcome, as Eva Marie was looked at as the company’s favorite. Our one beef with this was that Jax’s theme song touts her as someone who’s “not like most girls, who just take what they’re given like a plastic little princess.” Isn’t this a blazing contradiction?
– The grainy, black-and-white singing, acoustic guitar-playing dude video was good for what it was, though no name was offered and beyond bandanas and long hair, we couldn’t gather much. It has been rumored to be a repackaging of Elias “The Drifter” Samson, but still not sure.
– The segment with Asuka, Dana Brooke and Emma was portrayed headed in as a “NXT TakeOver: Respect” rematch between Brooke and Asuka, but was designed more as a heel set-up alluded to last week, with a “master plan” in mind of some sort. In that regard, it worked, as now we can stretch this out to TakeOver: London, where we can see Asuka truly get her revenge, perhaps en route to an NXT Women’s Championship shot? How awesome would that be? We liked how “Evil” Emma struck Asuka from behind and got the advantage, putting on her vicious-looking submission, making it more obvious that the “match” was just a ruse to get Asuka alone in the ring.
– With the feeling growing through the hour of Eva Marie getting everything possible to get the advantage, Bayley’s words made her stay confident and reminded us of the organic babyface charm that makes everybody love her. Especially liked that she stated the one clear difference between her and Eva Marie was that she was the one who could wrestle.
– In a time where so many main roster stars are on the shelf (Seth Rollins, John Cena, Cesaro, Randy Orton, etc.), Sami Zayn is a returning name that can only do good, as we saw with the hype video that reminded us of his ultimate underdog climb to success, ending with the NXT Championship reign. We yearn for those days to come back.
– With Apollo Crews on an indefinite collision course with Baron Corbin, it was essential to see Crews keep his innovative, flashy offense as fresh as possible, which we saw in the buffer bout with Jesse Sorenson. Not sure why Sorenson’s appearance was mentioned by Rich Brennan as a surprise, when he’s appeared on the show before, but we’ll let that slide. Crews had the crowd on his side and his “alley-oop” sit-down powerbomb finisher was something new. Also liked Crews’ post-match promo, where he formally accepted Corbin’s challenge, proclaiming that he’d “lay Corbin down” at TakeOver: London.
– Awfully convenient that Corbin was around for an immediate backstage reaction, but his answer was short and sweet – he’d make Crews the answer to a trivia question because his career wouldn’t be long enough, and he’d be forever regarded as that “guy who did that one cool thing that one time.” How quest to make the “Apollo Nation” fall was also a catchy line.
– Now for the NXT Women’s Championship main event… oh boy. On top of a beastly best friend and “corporate support,” Eva Marie now had Charles Robinson, WWE’s senior official on the floor to “ensure no controversy.” They went above and beyond to protect Eva Marie, but it came off as an overbooked mess by the end. Bayley did her best with Eva Marie, but this wasn’t a glossy bout by any means. It was easy to give the Full Sail faithful many heart attacks with some decent near-falls because Eva Marie winning felt too real of an outcome, going off recent online news of Eva Marie getting a “hard push for the Title.” The story was Bayley overcoming everything to hold on to the gold, which was fine by the end, since she won with a Belly-To-Bayley off the top rope on a second attempt, knocking down Jax on the outside and just in time for the original official to count the pin after getting dragged out of the ring by Jax earlier. Maybe this was NXT Creative’s way of giving Eva Marie her spotlight moment and getting over it as quickly as possible by shedding the light on Jax, who attacked Bayley after the bell, hinting towards a Bayley-Jax Championship match at TakeOver: London. We’re all for it, even if Jax still feels green, anything’s better than Eva Marie at this point.
- NXT Tag Team Championships – Dash Wilder/Scott Dawson (Champions) def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall to retain
- Apollo Crews def. Jesse Sorenson via pinfall
- NXT Women’s Championship – Bayley (Champion) def. Eva Marie (w/Nia Jax) via pinfall to retain
Posted on November 29, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged Apollo Crews, Asuka, Baron Corbin, Bayley, Byron Saxton, Charles Robinson, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Dash Wilder, Emma, Eva Marie, Finn Balor, Jesse Sorenson, Michael Cole, Nia Jax, Rich Brennan, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Scott Dawson, TakeOver: London, The Vaudevillains, Tom Phillips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.