Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 7/20/16: Fight Night

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 7/20/16)

Fight Night

– This episode was hyped in the opening video as “Fight Night” and rightfully so, because there were three noteworthy matches – NXT Champion Samoa Joe-Rhyno, American Alpha-Authors Of Pain and Bayley-Nia Jax. Should be an easy, fun episode.

– The Joe-Rhyno match had simple, yet effective build. Joe stood tall as the “Law Of The Jungle” as Champion and dared anybody to take him down. Rhyno returned as a force and got in Joe’s face the previous week to lay down the challenge. Even though it was ultimately a glorified squash in the end to keep Joe strong as Champ, it was done well. The match itself suffered from a slow pace but there were moments where strength was the prominent factor. Also liked how Rhyno was taken down with the Coquina Clutch, which made sense since he was an opponent more along Joe’s stature.

– NXT Women’s Champion Asuka surely had her eyes set on the Jax-Bayley match since they were both probably contenders for her belt, with Bayley being the definite one as per a contractual rematch. Her words were few, but impacted aplenty as she expressed that she’d fight either one of them, no matter who won this main event.

– We’re not sure why they didn’t cut to the room where all the NXT talent watched along with the live draft during the actual draft, as it would’ve made the moment in real time feel a lot bigger, but we at least commend the idea that there was a hype video which covered the six NXT draft picks, as Finn Balor was drafted to Raw and AA, Jax, Alexa Bliss, Mojo Rawley and Carmella were drafted to SmackDown. We had reactions from everybody involved, as they expressed their appreciation for the opportunity. Carmella on SmackDown should be especially interesting since her boys Enzo Amore/Big Cass were on Raw.

– The AA-AOP match had the agenda to continue the push for AOP as mysterious, unstoppable forces under the tutelage of a suit-clad Paul Ellering, who remained voiceless and only watched his men with nods of approval. These two guys are pretty much like two walking Matanzas, but they could actually sell. AA did a swell job in the bout, as they had an out for a loss with the unprovoked attack before the bell even rang, as the match was nearly called off, but AA marched back to the ring to continue, despite medical attention and even General Manager William Regal, who came to check on them. The blend of AOP’s muscled domination and AA’s full fighting spirit made this one a pleasant affair. The crowd even woke up for AA’s offense, as both Gable/Jordan pulled off suplexes of the two behemoths. Hell, Jordan even broke out a Tope Con Hilo, which helped tell the story that AA would pull out things never done before just to try to even the odds. Eventually, it was muscles that won out, as Gable had his head dragged into the apron’s electric screen and Jordan was thrown into the steel steps. Gable succumbed to their finisher, as AOP was put over rightfully. With AA headed to the main roster, they didn’t lose anything either. They should light SmackDown on fire.

– The next tag team feud was nicely set as we saw with the backstage segment between NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival and Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa. Revival spoke about how they’d already broken down AA for AOP and they came back down 1-0 to win the 2 Out Of 3 Falls match to retain their belts. They were confident there was nobody left for them, when Gargano/Ciampa swiftly reminded them that they’d beaten them before and it was only a matter of time before their shot. We’d guess this happens at TakeOver: Back To Brooklyn?

– A hype video for Hideo Itami’s return in two weeks had us hyped.

– The Austin Aries-No Way Jose feud saw nice progression, as we saw Aries boldly take down Patrick Clark (the former Tough Enough competitor in horrendous ring attire) in a logical squash. We especially loved Aries’ intensity on his face, as he refused to let go of the Last Chancery even after he won the match with it. Even better was the fact that NWJ came out to attack him and get revenge, not smiling once there, just all serious and angry. It was excellent, because we needed to see that side of him come out.

– The Jax-Bayley main event might’ve actually been Jax’s best effort to date, as we impressed by her. The match’s story was an excellent one, as it was all about how Jax dominated Bayley throughout, yet Bayley was resilient and kept coming back. On the other end, Jax tried other means to keep Bayley down, even as she put on a jackhammer suplex for a nice near-fall. There was also some nice utilization of the ring counts and the steel steps, as they kept it entertaining right to the smart finish where Bayley hit the Bayley-To-Belly off the top rope to get the win. With the longer term story of Bayley’s rise back to prominence in the NXT’s Women’s Division, this was the last one to tell.






Quick Results

  • Samoa Joe def. Rhyno via submission 
  • The Authors Of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) def. American Alpha via pinfall
  • Austin Aries def. Patrick Clark via submission 
  • Bayley def. Nia Jax 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 August 20, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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