Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 6/15/16: The Challenge

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 6/15/16)

The Challenge 

– Just like NXT does on the show that follows every TakeOver, they did the fancy “slow-motion highlight” video package to start the show as they glossed over everything “The End” would be renowned for – Andrade “Cien” Almas’ debut as he defeated Tye Dillinger, the shocking turnabout of events as American Alpha lost the NXT Tag Team Championships in their first defense in a thriller to The Revival for them to become the first-ever two-time Tag Champs, a burly team led by Paul Ellering laid out AA in their first appearance, Shinsuke Nakamura outlasted Austin Aries in the night’s best match (a battle for global supremacy, if you will), NXT Women’s Champion Asuka put down Nia Jax and lastly, NXT Champion Samoa Joe decisively defeated Finn Balor in an intense steel cage match. Yup, t’was a night that signaled anything but “The End.”

– We’re conflicted on The Authors Of Pain. On one hand, we dig the Shield-esque look, as these two guys are beasts and there’s also something badass about a suit-clad Paul Ellering leading the way. Almost looks like something out of Marvel. Where we have a problem is their goofy, 80’s name (sounds too close to Powers Of Pain) and their generic theme that sounds too similar to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” That said, their squash victory – a 90-second walloping of two unnamed local jobbers – was enough to get by on this night and establish their short, yet lethal repertoire. We wanted to see more and they knew what to show off and better yet, what to hold back.

– Does Almas only speak Spanish? That could be a problem down the road if they’re trying to get him over without the mask to fall back on now. We were fine with his backstage segment with Tye Dillinger, as it set up a reason for them to have a rematch. It’s well-known that Dillinger’s wildly popular with the Full Sail faithful, but on this night, he had a more heel-like presence to him and was brash as he sternly challenged the newcomer to do what he did at TakeOver once more and prove he wasn’t a fluke.

– Just when we wondered if they’d give AOP a voice, they opted the silent route, as they brushed off a backstage interviewer and Ellering only uttered the words, “In due time.” We can buy that.

– Since it was priorly hyped as “Carmella in action,” we assumed her match with Tessa Blanchard was a glorified squash from the get-go and we were somewhat right about that. Of course, Blanchard has shown a bit more charisma lately and she didn’t hold back as she openly mocked Carmella’s poses but that was about it from her. The fact that they’re establishing Carmella as a singles competitor with a flare for the submission dramatic makes us wonder if they’re setting her up for an easy name for Asuka to defeat before a trip to the main roster to join her boys in Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady. Time will tell though. That said, the Bronco Buster/Code Of Silence finisher combination looked badass.

– Joe’s backstage promo upon his defeat of Balor was all Joe – he was bold, confident and declared it was the beginning of his own era and that nobody had the sacrifice to take what was his. Given what he did, it was easy to believe that.

– With Blake/Murphy in hot water team-wise, it was easy to see what story they opted to tell when we saw they’d “give it one more shot” against TM61 next up. There was disagreement established between the two in the backstage promo whether it was Blake (as per Murphy) or Alexa Bliss (as per Blake) but it’d be cool to watch play out because you just knew the team wasn’t going to last and succumb to their crumbling tensions. Murphy was determined to get them back into the Tag Title picture. Oh, so naive.

– The TM61-Blake/Murphy match was smart in that it allowed the new TM61 (Shane Thorne/Nick Miller) to get over as athletic upstart babyfaces with their excitable offense while also telling the story of Blake/Murphy on a downward spiral. In fact, TM61 was quite smooth here and it led to several miscues from Blake/Murphy, which led to the finish of the bout. Good idea to get TM61 over and Blake/Murphy can assumedly feud now.

– The NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival’s backstage promo that followed their win went the usual way of a Revival promo – they told you what they were about (talk heavy, hit hard) and they had the right to brag that they were tough guys who did exactly what they said. Had to add a good old clink in there to end it.

– Bayley’s backstage promo followed footage of her last match against Jax where she lost decisively and got over that General Manager William Regal would let her back into the ring soon when he saw some noticeable improvement so she was eager to get better and heal up. It’s a good little underdog story as she chases Asuka for her contractually obligated rematch.

– The Almas-Dillinger match came off longer than their TakeOver bout and they established some chemistry towards the end, but the match’s mid-section was a little bit of a sleeper. We did like Dillinger’s vamped aggression throughout, while Almas got to show off a little more with his aerial offense. It was the expected victory for Almas, as he again beat Dillinger with his running knee finisher. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s received away from Full Sail down the road.

– There was great build for the final segment that focused on what was “next for Balor,” and boy, did we get our answer. The fact that Balor was able to lead a convincing promo on his own shows how much he has improved in NXT, almost leaps and bounds. He speaks with purpose and matches that intensity in the ring with his words on the mic. His story of how he watched NXT from Ireland and saw Enzo/Cass on his TV that made him want to be a part of it was perfect inspiration. In many ways, he has become synonymous with NXT’s success and could be the perfect launching pad to “pass the torch,” which set up the segment’s next part – Nakamura. The crowd went wild as the dream match would become a reality, with the reason that Nakamura also saw Balor become an icon within NXT from Japan and to be the next Champion, he needed to beat the icon. Simple, yet effective story. The crowd was super into this, as they emphatically chanted Nakamura’s theme song and reacted well to the respect between the competitors and general will to want to see this match. All in all, a killer segment.






Quick Results

  • The Authors Of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) def. Two Unnamed Jobbers via pinfall 
  • Carmella def. Tessa Blanchard via submission 
  • TM61 def. Blake/Murphy via pinfall 
  • Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Tye Dillinger 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 July 9, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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