Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 8/31/16: The Era Of Strong Style Begins

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 8/31/16)

The Era Of Strong Style Begins 

– With NXT back at home at Full Sail University, it was time to see some new feuds and stars develop as the next NXT TakeOver event looms in the coming months. We started off with a backstage segment with Samoa Joe, NXT General Manager William Regal and a medical trainer as Regal was told that due to numerous injuries caused to Joe at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, he wouldn’t be cleared to compete any time soon. Joe, who was uncrowned of the NXT Championship at Brooklyn by NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, was expectedly pissed and stormed away. Uh oh.

– We still wonder why the push for Tye Dillinger took so long to develop, but they’ve been patient enough to tell a “losing streak” story as he lost to Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT TakeOver: The End and was upset by Oney Lorcan a couple months back before he was deemed a “refocused individual.” Dillinger is immensely over and luckily he still has that, as he now is seemingly on the cusp of a major push. He defeated Wesley Blake in Brooklyn last week and now had his hand at the other half of the former NXT Tag Team Champions in Buddy Murphy. Corey Graves funnily told a story where the reason Murphy wasn’t featured on TakeOver: Brooklyn II was because he was locked out of his apartment and missed his flight. Murphy was on offense for the match’s first half, before Dillinger slowly built up a late comeback that culminated with the Tye Breaker. Best match ever? No, far from it, but the purpose is to push Dillinger up the ranks and we applaud that for sure. Hopefully it doesn’t get derailed.

– By far, one of the show’s highlights was the Tommaso Ciampa-NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival segment that stemmed from a Ciampa backstage interview where he provided an update on the leg injury of his partner Johnny Gargano before he was methodically ambushed by the Champs. Ciampa looked tough as nails the entire time, as he went from laid out on the floor while Revival cut a promo about how they were the “top guys” to crawling back to his feet and eventually laid out again with the Shatter Machine. Revival pushing themselves as “reality” certainly fits their gimmick and we’re intrigued to see what develops down the road in this feud. Seems like things have just gotten started on that regard.

– The Steve Cutler-Kenneth Crawford match was also another attempt to push a longtime NXT jobber in Cutler. It was established that Cutler was a military veteran a while back, but now he was an angry military man with mutton chops. That was essentially what they told us as he went toe-to-toe with Kenneth Crawford, who was also praised for his athletic ability. Crawford botched a spot where he was supposed to counter a back body drop from Cutler by landing on his feet, but that didn’t quite materialize. For better or worse, he got to rebound and showed off some skill before the purpose of the match went back to a Cutler push, as he won with the Michinoku Driver. At least they could attempt to push Crawford in the future too, but Cutler needs a lot of work on the mic and in the ring to be of any relevance here. Another case of “waited too long to push that guy.”

– Hideo Itami’s backstage promo did come off tad bit heelish as he talked about the Go To Sleep he hit on Aries back at Brooklyn and criticized Aries for being “a little baby” when he learned of Aries’ ruptured eardrum and stated that if he didn’t want to feel pain, then he’d need to leave his ring. A plus here though, was that Itami’s english really improved. You still had that “reading from a cue card” feeling, but he was well-spoken enough for it to get over. An Itami-Aries feud certainly hits the spot for us.

– Another Sanity hype video aired as they threw in some different footage, this time primarily of a hospital corridor. Interested to see where that all leads. Will it be one person or a group?

– The TM61 hype video portrayed the Australian tag team as mighty and athletic, but was over as quickly as it began. That wasn’t without the news that they’d appear on next week’s show.

– The No Way Jose-Angelo Dawkins match was an easy way for Jose to get back on the winning train after his Brooklyn loss to Aries. It was to show he hadn’t missed a beat, as the crowd was hot for him the whole time, right from his entrance. Dawkins continued to show a filtered charisma, as we hope they’ll get the ball rolling with him too before he gets future endeavored. All in all, a basic formula squash.

– The backstage segment with Almas and Aries seemed to be about starting a feud with those two, as Aries stormed an interview that went on with Almas about his loss at Brooklyn to complain that everybody stole his spotlight and targeted Almas for his lack of English. Almas’ response was pretty solid as far as that he stated it was his moment and Aries didn’t know anything and wanted to challenge him next week. Aries was hilarious as he made like he couldn’t hear it because he spoke “into his bad ear.” We’re waiting for the day that they team up Bobby Roode and Aries in NXT since they essentially play the same role. The world may not be ready for that.

– In an attempt to broaden the NXT Women’s Division in the absence of Bayley and the position of Asuka as the current NXT Women’s Champion, they tried to give us two relatively new girls in Liv Morgan and Aliyah and presented them as “the future.” If that’s true, then the future is truly a scary place. What a rough outing for both ladies. The only positives we could draw out of this was that Morgan was over with the crowd and that we liked the way Aliyah carried herself during her entrance as kind of a “pretty girl heel.” Other than that, these two need lots of work in the ring department. Luckily, Morgan went over to end it all. We would’ve made that call too, but it appears that nobody is ready to take on Asuka at the moment.

– The backstage segment with Jose and Roode confused us a bit. We know the main goal was to establish a backstage promo from Jose, as he spoke about getting his momentum back after it was halted in Brooklyn before we saw Roode condescendingly look Jose up and down and simply said, “Nice head.” Will this lead to a match or feud of some kind? Seems rather lazy for Roode and Aries to simply swap their Brooklyn opponents, but maybe they’ll make the most of it.

– Nakamura’s in-ring promo to close the show was at least well-hyped throughout the show as we saw key moments in Nakamura’s NXT career from his debut victory over Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver: Dallas to his defeat of Finn Balor on Jul. 13. Everything climaxed with his victory over Joe in Brooklyn and this was his “homecoming” of sorts. The crowd was heavily responsive to his entrance and although he seemed to struggle on the mic at first, he recovered enough to end the statement that Joe’s era was over and it was now the “Era Of Strong Style.” Sounds about right and was rather not newsworthy, but we’re holding our breaths to see what happens when Joe is cleared to compete again. He’ll have to get his rematch sooner or later.






Quick Results

  • Tye Dillinger def. Buddy Murphy via pinfall 
  • Steve Cutler def. Kenneth Crawford via pinfall 
  • No Way Jose def. Angelo Dawkins via pinfall 
  • Liv Morgan def. Aliyah 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 October 15, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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