Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 5/25/16: Infinite Path To Victory

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 5/25/16)

Infinite Path To Victory 

– Even though they followed the epic saga that was Shinsuke Nakamura’s NXT debut match against Sami Zayn at TakeOver: Dallas, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka and Bayley kept the drained-out crowd mildly engaged, as Bayley had her toughest Title defense yet at the time, but eventually passed out in the Asuka Lock to lose her belt. Surely a surprise, we couldn’t imagine a Bayley loss to anybody else. We were even more stoked for the idea of a rematch, slated for TakeOver: The End, but the good news would end there, as evidenced from the opening segment where General Manager William Regal announced that Bayley wouldn’t be cleared to compete at TakeOver and thus, had to wait for her contractually obligated rematch (it’d be nice to see them acknowledge that on the main roster) so instead, we’d have a triple-threat #1 contender’s match with Nia Jax, Carmella and Alexa Bliss to determine who’d fight Asuka at TakeOver: The End. This had potential given the right winner. Not Jax, please not Jax. No, no.

– NXT’s Tag Team Division has risen to life with teams like Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa and even more added credibility of the TM61 team, who were more known for their stint in Pro Wrestling NOAH. We even got a pre-taped promo from the brash Australian newcomers, who came off similar to The Revival in a good way. From what we thought might initially be a glorified squash for Gargano/Ciampa turned more into an even-handed affair, as TM61 showed off some vicious chops, right up there with Ciampa’s. That’s a sure rarity. A nice little match with clever ring psychology. It winded down to the finish were Gargano/Ciampa isolated their opponents to win with double running kicks. At the same time, TM61 showcased a strong debut with a close near-fall as well. We’re intrigued to see what else comes from these guys.

– It was amazing to think that Finn Balor and NXT Champion Samoa Joe had feuded over the belt ever since late November, but they brought new life to it as Joe won the belt after two failed attempts. Balor’s anticipated rematch was set to take place at TakeOver: The End, but in a steel cage. This episode did a marvelous job with separate video packages, showing each guy’s perspective of that fateful night in Lowell, Massachusetts. For Joe, it was the start of a new chapter. For Balor, it started the period as what he deemed would be Joe’s end. We then had badass visuals as both men looked fierce in a steel cage with A Day To Remember’s “Paranoia” in the background. One of TakeOver: The End’s theme song, it was a perfect fit.

– The backstage segment with Bayley, Jax, Carmella and Bliss gave us some necessary main event hype while we also got to hear from Bayley herself, who used the logical reason that she wanted to be 100 percent for her rematch with Asuka, the only way to go. It made sense for Jax (who defeated Bayley recently) to take credit for her “being broken.” Carmella fit in here as she defended her bestie against Jax, as she got in her face. Also liked how Bliss walked right up to Jax, who then walked away, which left Bliss and Carmella to argue with one another. Personalities clash.

– Andrade “Cien” Almas was groomed from the get-go as a big deal for NXT and we liked the style of his debut hype video, which displayed the luchador watching ring footage on a film projector screen. He briefly took the mask off, but his face was never shown.

– The in-ring segment with Regal, Austin Aries and Nakamura did a great job as it established the next announced bout for TakeOver: The End. Since it carried off the last interaction where Aries/Nakamura teamed up and won, this featured them in a “friendly” quarrel, as Aries pointed out “others grabbing all the attention” and made his own claim to the NXT Championship and Nakamura, in all of his swag glory, simply said the belt was going to “King Of Strong Style.” Regal booked them as opponents, which was something everybody seen coming since they were paired together. Not a bad choice as the two should deliver.

– We had a great energetic backstage promo from NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha, who put over their TakeOver: The End opponents in The Revival as good fighters, but the Champs “owned the wrestling ring” and were eager to prove it. Chad Gable was particularly shining on the mic here.

– No Way Jose seems to gain a little momentum with every match, but it’s still hard to see longevity out of this gimmick, catchy theme song aside. That said, he easily put down Jonathan Ortagun and we liked how he showed a little anger in his mannerisms, so he didn’t come off completely one-dimensional. The only other memorable part of this whole segment was the post-match happenings, where NWJ got both members of the announce team on their groove, even Corey Graves. A sight in of itself.

– Asuka’s a lady of few words, but that’s fine as long as she flashes that killer grin. It says way more. Her backstage promo before the main event expressed the right amount of confidence.

– The NXT Women’s Championship #1 contender triple-threat main event between Carmella, Jax and Bliss was uniquely paced and entertaining enough to deliver the final minutes. Carmella was easily the favorite, while Jax was the beast and Bliss was the opportunistic heel. Funny spot early on where Bliss tried to sneak a top rope attack on Jax only to immediately retreat when she was caught. A big asset to the match were risky spots, some highlights of it were Carmella’s suicide dive and Jax’s double suplex. The finish was pretty flat, but we did like how it utilized both Carmella’s fighting spirit and Jax’s dominance. Carmella against Asuka would’ve been different, but we could see why they favored Jax as the choice, since it gives Asuka a “bigger” challenge. The post-match staredown between Jax and Asuka to close the show was at least decent.






Quick Results

  • Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa def. TM61 via pinfall
  • No Way Jose def. Jonathan Ortagun via pinfall 
  • NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Triple-Threat – Nia Jax def. Carmella and Alexa Bliss 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 June 9, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: