Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 8/3/16: The Wait Is Finally Over

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 8/3/16)

The Wait Is Finally Over

– At the time Hideo Itami got injured, he was arguably in the running for an NXT Championship reign. A year and a half later, he was back from the shoulder injury and possessed a fury of self-justice and redemption. The opener between Itami and Sean Maluta was all about Itami’s return while at the same time let Maluta soak in the NXT spotlight, since he came over from the Cruiserweight Classic. Also liked that the camera panned to Zack Sabre Jr., Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in the crowd to hype the CWC, as they were each First Round victors. Maluta wasn’t a complete afterthought, as she showed off some fierce kicks, but the purpose was obvious from the get-go and Itami didn’t miss a beat. Commentary smartly brought up that his career pre-injury had mirrored Finn Balor’s and was on route to Championship contention before he was sidelined possibly by Kevin Owens. Itami’s signature running knee finisher ended it.

– The backstage segment with NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival, TM61 and Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa set up the night’s main event of TM61-Revival but in a way that showed that Revival took the match to avoid having to defend their belts against Gargano/Ciampa, as the tag indy darlings dangled their inevitable tag shot in the Champs’ faces. This was phase one of Gargano/Ciampa’s comedic chemistry, as they performed this “ticket” gesture bit that was witty. TM61 also looked tough in that they challenged Revival to their faces.

– “Operation: Samoa Joe Is An Angry NXT Champion” was off without a hoot, as he demolished a Mojo Rawley-Chris Adkins match before Rawley could get a pinfall win. This was a case of Joe taking out his aggression on the defenseless NXT roster because General Manager William Regal didn’t consult with him on the idea of Shinsuke Nakamura as his next challenger. It was great monster heel logic that made him come off like a true badass. You never knew when he was going to strike. We also liked that even though he ended up laid out in the Coquina Clutch on the ramp, Rawley didn’t lay down and take it, as he came at Joe several times. It also hyped the TakeOver main event as it gave Joe some momentum.

– Bayley’s backstage promo was a good platform for her to address her state of mind in that she was learning to adapt, as she mentioned she wasn’t the same person she was since she lost her NXT Women’s Championship to Asuka at TakeOver: Dallas. With her announcing the official rematch last week to take place at TakeOver: Brooklyn II, this was necessary. We also had a hook as Asuka crashed the promo to invite her out for the next match.

– The Aliyah-Asuka match was a great way to hype the Asuka-Bayley TakeOver bout with a sudden twist, as Asuka showed a darker personality and was more sadistic in the ring. Also liked that she put a chair in the ramp to move Bayley from commentary to a literal ringside view, to which Bayley threw the chair and stood. The goal was clear mind games from Asuka, as with nearly every move, she pointed at Bayley and compared her opponent to her. Aliyah showed some fight, but was put down with vicious kicks to the face. Asuka basically toyed with her and you knew she was more heel when she had a set three-count and purposefully raised Aliyah’s shoulders to stop the count and unleash more damage. She then made Aliyah tap out to the Asuka Lock, but kept the hold on for another 10 seconds after the bell. That forced Bayley to come into the ring and confront Asuka on why she acted that way. Simple, yet strong. Not a bad time for Asuka to move into a heel role and for this match with Bayley, it makes more sense. Hyped for next week was a contract signing segment. Sweetness.

– Oney Lorcan came off as a lucky jobber last time we saw him, but they attempted to go deeper with him, as it was explained via a backstage promo from a month ago that he “needed to get better” and wanted to “go back to where he started in his roots.” Of course, they didn’t explain where that was, but maybe when he comes back, he’ll have a better name.

– As far as what Ember Moon will bring to the table, we’ll have to see. As far as her hype video, she appeared to be something along the lines of a female Balor. It’s also hard not to think of Lucha Underground wrestler Kobra Moon.

– Bobby Roode’s debut promo was a smash-hit, right from his overdramatic-yet-catchy-as-hell “Glorious” theme song to his designer suit-clad nature. He played the crowd like a fiddle in that he soaked in the introductory cheers and spoke about how being in the crowd at TakeOver: Dallas was one of the best nights in life and that NXT was the place for him because it revolutionized the industry. His cockiness began to seep through his words, as he mentioned that “Everybody needed Roode” and he sought to take NXT to the global levels. The heel officially turned once he insulted the fans’ “oversized t-shirts” and that he only wanted to perform in front of presidents and CEOs, worthy of watching him in the ring. It was so well-done and they ate it up, as he was essentially “Good Guy NXT Triple H” but in an evil role. His emphatic facial expressions after the speech as he gestured to the crowd, “Everybody, out!” was priceless. We’re eager to see where he falls upon TakeOver time. Will they resist the urge to team up Austin Aries and Roode?

– The main event between Revival and TM61 was good, yet didn’t outstretch its limits. It was a way to get TM61 further with their upbeat offense and they even got a close near-fall with a spinebuster, but it was the Champs who suckered their opponents in to win with a DDT. The post-match angle that involved Revival and Gargano/Ciampa was insightful yet entertaining. Revival dropped names of past teams beaten and Gargano/Ciampa did a comedic bit where they “picked them up” and made a note that they weren’t ever beaten and of course there was a “Pokemon Go!” reference. The physicality to end the show was good, as it saw Gargano/Ciampa lay out the Champs with a mock pinfall to boot, while Revival tried to cheap-shot them and it backfired. It wasn’t officially announced, but we knew this would lead to the TakeOver Tag Title match. It’s been a fun feud so far.






Quick Results

  • Hideo Itami def. Sean Maluta via pinfall 
  • Mojo Rawley and Chris Adkins to a no-contest
  • Asuka def. Aliyah via submission
  • The Revival def. TM61 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 September 7, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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