Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/9/16: To The End

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 3/9/16)

To the End 

– After almost two months of an unclear #1 contender to NXT Champion Finn Balor’s Title, this was the decisive bout between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, as they’d battle it out in a best-two-out-of-three-falls match. There was no going back from this and that fact was expressed in the opening video.

– We had some other news coming out of the show with General Manager William Regal announcing that Austin Aries-Baron Corbin would take place at TakeOver: Dallas as a result of Corbin’s actions and that Aries asked him not to take disciplinary action. Bam.

– Now for the first (and only) match – the best-two-out-of-three-falls bout between Joe and Zayn. We saw Joe come out after Regal left and thought maybe he’d cut a promo to hype the main event, but then commentary kicked it into high gear, making it apparent that the match was happening right there, promising other matches to come like American Alpha vs. The Vaudevillains and appearances from NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and Asuka. We were a bit taken aback, but settled into the idea that Joe-Zayn would dominate the episode’s first half and the second half would be dedicated to those other promises. We liked that they cut to shots of various crowd guests like Sasha Banks, Hideo Itami, Michael “P.S” Hayes, Mauro Ranallo, Larry Zbyszko and Adam Jones (Tool’s guitarist) making it feel like a nice occasion. The match’s first fall was all about each guy feeling each other out, working a slow pace, but was set up like a stablemate of sorts. Joe had his mix of short and stiff strikes, while Zayn weathered the storm to turn out his aerial moves whenever possible. The story here was that neither man could keep the other down for the count, making the fall last a long while. Eventually, Joe scored the first one with a decisive Muscle Buster, to the crowd’s dismay. You could tell they were fully invested in Zayn and with good reason. The second fall told a better story, as Joe tried to put Zayn away with high-impact moves, intense submissions and even good old-fashioned forearms, but Zayn wouldn’t stay down. Like a true underdog, he eventually wrestled the momentum back and locked in the Koji Clutch to make Joe tap out to tie it one fall apiece. This was with about 12 minutes left in the show, making it obvious those other matches wouldn’t happen now. The final fall was the best of it all, with each guy kicking out of each other’s signature moves. Really thought Zayn would get the nod since we already did Joe-Balor at TakeOver: London and Zayn-Balor would be cool in the moment they could really do it, but those plans vanquished once Joe had the Coquina Clutch locked in and Zayn was choked out. You could tell the crowd was shocked and “deflated” because they didn’t see what they wanted after 45 minutes. Still a great match in terms of quality and how it shook up the show’s traditional format and knocked it for a loop, but we question the long-term effectiveness of it. Will Joe actually get a run with the NXT Championship? Let’s also hope Zayn gets a serious push towards the WWE Intercontinental Championship now that he seems to be feeding with Champion Kevin Owens on the main roster. If you haven’t seen this match, do check it out, because it’s worth your time. Both guys went at it hard, but only one emerged victorious and that’s what this night was all about.






Quick Results

  • NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Best-Two-Out-Of-Three-Falls – Samoa Joe def. Sami Zayn two falls to one 

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 March 13, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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