Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 5/11/16: The Day The Music Died
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
The Day The Music Died
– This show had purpose from the first second, as the opening video hyped Finn Balor’s first appearance since he lost his NXT Championship to Champion Samoa Joe at a live event in Lowell, Massachusetts. Oh snap.
– The opening segment with Balor and Elias Samson allowed Balor to have a moment with the fans, as they were hot for his entrance and showered him with “Bullet Club” chants and whatnot. Balor acknowledged that he and Joe had been at war for a long time and all their matches could’ve gone either way. Perhaps Samson was designed to be the “buzzkill,” which worked if it was, but it didn’t feel like he was on Balor’s level. That said, the guitar/song bit was a decent annoying heel tactic that got him some heat. We liked how Balor kicked Samson and tossed his guitar freely out of the ring for him to barely catch. When you tell Balor that he’s nothing without the Title, is daring behavior. To his credit, Balor looked darker in personality here.
– Eric Young had a fine debut last week, as he went toe-to-toe with Joe and ultimately lost in the main event. His WWE.com interview promo was good for what it was, as he basically said he was at the place where the best competition was and put himself over as the “world-class man, athlete and maniac.” Glad that they’ve stuck to his recent TNA character, but the babyface version of it may lose some fire over time.
– Dark Balor continued his rage backstage as he mentioned he’d finish his message to Joe after he kicked Samson’s ass later. Main event?
– NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha had a good showcase squash victory over John Skyler/Corey Hollis. They’re premier amateur athletes, so even these kinds of matches always benefit them. They make tag wrestling look so fluid and pretty. Their “over-ness” with the fans always helps too. Also liked that we got some subtle progression between former Champs The Revival and AA, as the heels stood onstage for a moment to distract the Champs, but AA went on to win anyways. Post-match showed AA laying down the belts and motioning their soon-to-be opponents to fight them, but the heels did their thing by choosing to fight on their own terms.
– Shinsuke Nakamura’s backstage promo was four words and it was pretty epic. The guy will always ooze charisma. So glad he can shine in NXT now.
– The Nakamura-Riley match was every bit the squash bout as advertised, as the end of rage was upon us thanks to some swift kicks to the gut. A Kinshasa later and it was bye-bye Riley. Nakamura stays strong for whatever may face him at TakeOver.
– The backstage segment with Austin Aries, General Manager William Regal, Blake, Murphy and Alexa Bliss was a good preview for what’s to come next week. Aries took time to tell Regal he was there to be an impact player, until he was interrupted by Blake/Murphy, who complained of disrespect. Aries’ lines about Bliss not being there at first were funny. Regal booking the expected Blake/Murphy-Aries/Mystery Partner match for next week set the stage for what we anticipate to be Bobby Roode’s NXT debut. Will the Dirty Heels reunite? Seems obvious, yet we appreciate how they opened it up to anybody.
– Bliss stayed strong as far as in-ring competition, as she made quick work of the debuting Rachael Ellering, the daughter of Paul Ellering, the Road Warriors’ manager back in the day. Not a good match, but it was over quickly enough with the Sparkle Splash and we’ll wonder where Bliss goes from here.
– The backstage promo with Bayley and Nia Jax was okay, as it set the stage for their match to take place the next week. Bayley is on an inevitable road to fighting NXT Women’s Champion Asuka again, so it makes sense to build her up by going through relentless battles. On the other side, Jax has floundered and maybe a good effort with Bayley can elevate her somewhat. Their encounter at TakeOver: London still remains Jax’s career highlight thus far. Maybe she’ll find that spark once more.
– The Balor-Samson main event was also the expected squash, providing zero substance, but that was by design. It wasn’t supposed to be pretty. Balor was enraged with Samson and took his aggression out on him, ending things quickly. Where things got stronger was with the post-match developments when Balor took the mic and declared he wanted his rematch against Joe. The Champ came out screaming that he went to war for his shot and Balor deserved nothing, as Regal came out to control damage. We got the announcement that the rematch would go down at the next TakeOver special on June 8 at Full Sail. The show ended on an emphatic exclamation point when Balor dove over the top rope onto the Champion, leaving him laying. Message sent. Not a good show on the matches side, but still entertaining in terms of overall storyline direction.
- American Alpha def. Corey Hollis/John Skyler via pinfall
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. Alex Riley via pinfall
- Alexa Bliss def. Rachael Ellering via pinfall
- Finn Balor def. Elias Samson via pinfall
Posted on May 21, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged Alex Riley, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Austin Aries, Bayley, Blake, Corey Graves, Corey Hollis, Elias Samson, Eric Young, Finn Balor, John Skyler, Murphy, Nia Jax, Rachael Ellering, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Revival, Tom Phillips, William Regal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.