Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 12/2/15: Squash Olympics

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 12/2/15)

Squash Olympics

– In the first of many squash matches to build up key players for NXT TakeOver: London, we had Baron Corbin take on “Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger. For this show, we had a change of heart from Dillinger’s commentary fanboy, Corey Graves, who now claimed he doesn’t like him anymore and needs a new barber. Corbin was in usual destruction mode since he was gearing up for Apollo Crews at TakeOver: London, stemming back from getting attacked by Crews the week after he interfered in Crews’ NXT Championship shot. It all makes sense. It wasn’t a total loss for Dillinger, who worked in quick bursts of last-minute offense to salvage something, but the end result was as expected.

– Crews’ backstage interview was more about hyping next week’s big tag main event – Samoa Joe/Corbin vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor/himself, to help see who the “man” was in NXT. He also made it known he was out to take Corbin down. The good thing about this kind of feud is we’re not quite sure who’ll go over, but it’s a good thing for both guys involved.

– In his NXT time, Tommaso Ciampa had emerged with Johnny Gargano as a fiercely competitive upstart tag team, but was overshadowed by his friend’s bigger personality. This was a good time to showcase what we all know Ciampa can do as a badass. He got to display some of that fire on the mic, putting himself over as somebody who had nothing to lose while also saying his opponent Samoa Joe had always been a dangerous loner but with an attitude change in his eyes, something changed.

– So, Blue Pants was back with new, remixed music and fanfare, but the fun stopped there when we realized her opponent was Nia Jax, who seemed to be on a fast-track to an NXT Women’s Championship shot against Champion Bayley. The timing was right for a squash bout, as she violently threw around Blue Pants like unwanted apparel in the fitting room. Clothing jokes aside, the result was obvious, as commentary speculated Jax’s relationship with Eva Marie and where it was headed. A Samoan Drop/Leg Drop later, we possibly saw Blue Pants’ unceremonious NXT exit.

– The interview segment with NXT Tag Team Champions Dash Wilder/Scott Dawson was fine in terms of the actual content, but it felt misplaced with what happened last week when Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady returned to give them an ass-whooping for what they did to put them on the sidelines some weeks before. Dash/Dawson came off like their characters should – cold, callous, opportunistic people who simply hurt their opponents. The big announcement here was that we learned Enzo/Cass would get a Championship shot at TakeOver: London, which Dash/Dawson disagreed with since they never earned a #1 Contender’s spot or beat them to earn one. Hard to disagree with that argument, but nevertheless, our Tag Title match is locked up for London as we predicted. Good stuff. Even liked Dawson’s travel-related threats to breaking Cassady’s other leg.

– So, Adam Rose doesn’t like to party anymore and James Storm’s a regular cowboy. That’s what we gathered from his latest squash bout. The end result was never in question, but at least they found a creative way for Rose to get some heat from the Full Sail faithful, who usually favor him. Given that it was more than a month since we’d seen Storm battle in an NXT ring, it made sense to refresh our minds with what he can bring. The action was okay while it lasted, with Rose using underhanded tactics to get ahead, but eventually getting caught in a neck breaker, leading to a Last Call Superkick. Interesting that he gets to keep all his original move names.

– The backstage segment with The Vaudevillains and Jason Jordan/Chad Gable was a preview for the match that followed soon after, with mutual respect being shown between the two teams and it was all for the fans’ enjoyment. Vaudevillains also expressed their disappointment from not getting the gold back, but they were on to better things, while Gable/Jordan made it well-known they were working to get to where the Vaudevillains were, as Tag Team Title #1 Contender’s.

– When you think of Sami Zayn in NXT, you probably think of his big NXT Championship win over Neville at TakeOver: R-Evolution, so it was smart to remind us of his biggest accomplishment to date in lieu of his hyped return video. After seeing the crowd’s awed reaction, the idea of his return sounds epic at this point.

– The Vaudevillains-Gable/Jordan match was much short, but featured big spurts of keen athleticism and great use of in-ring psychology between both teams that got the crowd to chant “This is wrestling!” among others. Mutual respect was still the looming theme and that was expressed through the match. The World’s Greatest Tag Team 2.0 seem to be catching fire at the best time and they couldn’t be any more over than they currently are. It was the smarter move to give the win to Jordan/Gable since it puts them in better positioning for a Tag Team Title shot, especially when they just beat former Champions. While it feels like The Vaudevillains are falling deep on the relevance scale since dropping the gold, they were building to something with it by having them refuse to shake hands post-match. Vaudevillains seem to have more “over-ness” by being faces, but with Jordan/Gable and Enzo/Cass around, we have enough faces to keep the Tag Team division going strong.

– The Emma/Dana Brooke backstage promo segment put over their successful plan last week in ambushing Asuka, making it look like a challenge for a match only to get her all alone in the ring. Brooke showed good fire in being hot-tempered where Emma had to calm her down, while Emma looked good by saying last week was only a warning.

– Another Elias Samson “drifter” (we think?) vignette aired where he sang a song that called for liberators and the world needed what he was. Grainy black and white footage dominated the shots and we’re still intrigued to see where it all goes.

– The Emma-Liv Morgan match was an obvious squash as Evil Emma took on a hip-hop football cheerleader, telling from Morgan’s jersey outfit. Emma was full-on vicious again. She sure makes some entertaining squashes. We’re not sure who was being built up for Asuka though – Emma or Brooke? We thought maybe a tag match would go down at TakeOver: London until after the submission victory, when Emma saw a TitanTron message from Asuka and kicks to a punching bag that revealed they’d do battle in London. Nice.

– The Bayley-Jax backstage segment did just what it had to do to push the TakeOver: London match that has been  teased thus far. Bayley sells the underdog role like no other and Jax needed some momentum, so what better way to showcase that than by throwing the Champion through a freaking door? Love it. At the same time, Bayley expressed that she wasn’t afraid to take on the best and would accept any challenge head-on. How ironic that the NXT Women’s Championship sounds more prestigious than the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at this point?

– The Joe-Ciampa main event looked like a lopsided squash on paper, so we already knew that coming in, but this was also a good opportunity for Ciampa to put in a memorable showing. This had touches of indy greatness with an awesome slap exchange that got the crowd on its feet, but we were kidding ourselves that Ciampa actually stood a chance against Joe when Joe put an end to that with a swift roundhouse kick that eventually led to the Muscle Buster/Coquina Clutch combo that ended the match. Joe’s angry mannerisms and facial expressions were bold and brilliant here. He looks like the biggest threat to Balor’s Championship thus far and that’s a great thing.






Quick Results

  • Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger via pinfall
  • Nia Jax def. Blue Pants via pinfall
  • James Storm def. Adam Rose via pinfall
  • Jason Jordan/Chad Gable def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall
  • Emma def. Liv Morgan via submission
  • Samoa Joe def. Tommaso Ciampa via submission

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 December 6, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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