Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/16/16: The Arrival Of Strong Style

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 3/16/16)

The Arrival Of Strong Style 

– The opening video (as it should’ve) showed us highlights of the NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Best-Two-Out-Of-Three Falls between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, which opened that show and ended up taking the whole hour by the third fall, an even-handed bout where Joe emerged victorious two falls to one.

– The opening in-ring segment with Zayn and NXT General Manager William Regal was simple, direct and dropped the ultimate bombshell, making NXT TakeOver: Dallas already must-see material. Zayn’s character reminisced with the “war” with Joe the week prior and how he wasn’t the least bit shameful for losing, transitioning into Regal, who felt Zayn’s performance was deserving of a “high honor” come TakeOver since he couldn’t compete for the NXT Championship, so he introduced Shinsuke Namamura on the video screen, meeting the appropriate “Holy Shit!” chant.

– While The Hype Bros. are immensely over with the Full Sail University faithful, something about their entrance and theme scream “douchebaggery,” especially when the screens read, “Filter Me” and “Bro Me.” This is essentially the BroMans gimmick from TNA done the opposite. Their latest squash offering against Kenneth Crawford/Angelo Dawkins didn’t show us anything out of their formula and we wonder what they’re being built up for, if anything at all. We do still get a kick out of Corey Graves’ constant rips at The Hype Bros. Luckily, the Hype Ryder ended it quickly.

– The backstage segment with Emma, Dana Brooke and Deonna Purrazzo was okay for what it was (hyping their match to follow) and showed Purrazzo standing up for herself, as the one who’d stop the “Emma-Lution.” Brooke/Emma continue to impress with their mean girl act, bullying the newbies. We wonder if it’s building to a payoff of some sort where everyone they bully will humiliate them. Purrazzo’s mic skills still need a long way to go, but at least they tried. The lines felt forced.

– The Purrazzo-Emma bout was your latest glorified Emma squash and she’s got the “dominate and kick ass” part down-pat. The crowd was even feeling it for Emma. God, let this woman back on the main roster like this. Don’t screw this up. We thought maybe they’d tease a Purrazzo upset, but they stayed the course and Emma won with her Emma Lock.

– Over the recent weeks, we’ve seen Tommaso Ciampa craze it up while also racking up wins. It’s been a welcome pattern. His latest squash over Jesse Sorenson was actually pretty impressive. The highlight most definitely was the running knee strike to Sorenson in the corner, that even had the crowd gasp for a good moment. He was all about the aggressive strikes and had no regard for Sorenson, simply looking to end the match and he did so with a bridged armbar. Will he have anything to do around TakeOver time?

– The tag between NXT Women’s Champion Bayley/Asuka and Eva Marie/Nia Jax was okay in the way of advancing the little feud between the four, with the inner storyline of Asuka making it known she was coming for Bayley’s Title. As for their opponents, it’s still the same story – Jax is still incredibly green and Eva has shown signs of improvement but still can’t sell to save her life and carried great heat, used smartly here in the match. It felt longer than four minutes, but the finish was well-crafted, as Jax accidentally leg dropped Eva and then was kicked out of the ring by Bayley, who then hit Eva with the Belly-To-Bayley when Asuka kicked Eva in her direction. The post-match announcement by Regal confirming the Asuka-Bayley match for the NXT Women’s Championship is all the more reason TakeOver will simply be too hot to handle. We loved the final trade of facial expressions between Champion and challenger, as Asuka showed her sadistic grin while Bayley stood with a fearless posture but just enough fear in her eyes to know her forthcoming challenge.

– The interview segment with Austin Aries was well-done in having Aries establish himself the best way possible (on the mic) as a credible athlete, backing it up with the fact he was a Champion everywhere he went and made it known NXT was where he wanted to be, sending a message to Baron Corbin (who attacked him upon his debut) that he thought he was big, bad and insecure, as he had dealt with “people like him” all his life. Aries’ line particularly about how he made it to NXT not because of his size, but because he worked his ass off for a decade being the best at what he did was golden. It’s pretty much “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” gimmick without much touchups. It’s the best way to go with his character and we’re sure he can pull out a good effort from the burly Corbin at TakeOver.

– Ever since American Alpha came to be, they’ve done nothing but set the tag team division on fire, almost bringing out the best of other teams, turning one of NXT’s weak points into a strong highlight now. We knew the stage was setting up for either Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady or for AA to be the ones to uncrown current NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival. Since Enzo/Cass went down at Roadblock in a great match, our second guess was AA and it played out exactly how we thought. If there were any gripes about the main event #1 Contender’s match between AA and The Vaudevillains, it was that AA is still a bit dependent on their usual “hot tag” formula, but they did enough to change things up a bit to keep us satisfied. The highlights for us were Chad Gable’s rollover high-angle German suplex and the double-team of Gable’s dropkick of Simon Gotch off the apron, landing into Jason Jordan’s arms, which meant a belly-to-belly on the floor. A couple of tense near-falls by the heels did enough to sway the obvious, but Grand Amplitude sealed the deal. If TakeOver doesn’t sound like a good show by now, what are you smoking? There’s probably a reason WWE hasn’t mentioned TakeOver on Raw or SmackDown as part of WWE Network’s “WrestleMania Week” and it’s the notion that TakeOver will steal the weekend.






Quick Results

  • The Hype Bros. def. Kenneth Crawford/Angelo Dawkins via pinfall
  • Emma (w/Dana Brooke) def. Deonna Purrazzo via submission
  • Tommaso Ciampa def. Jesse Sorenson via submission
  • Bayley/Asuka def. Eva Marie/Nia Jax via pinfall
  • NXT Tag Team Championships #1 Contender’s Match – American Alpha def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall 

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 20, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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