Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 12/7/16: Nakamura Comes Home
Posted by 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.
Nakamura Comes Home
– The opening video hyped the huge rematch in Osaka, Japan for the NXT Championship between Champion Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura. It promised to be a “hard-hitting affair” and why wouldn’t it be?
– The NXT Tag Team Champions #DIY/The Authors Of Pain/Paul Ellering/The Revival opening in-ring segment was set on the basis of #DIY’s “homecoming” to a crowd where they first made their name in NXT, so it was cool to see them milk it up as they ran around the crowd and celebrated. Not much in the way of words from the Champs though, but that was fine because their newest challenges were laid out in front of them. It didn’t take long for AOP/Ellering to come out, as Ellering brought up his boys were undefeated and winners of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament. Revival brought an interesting “pest heel” aspect to things, as they tip-toed around AOP and bragged to #DIY that they were where they were because they allowed it. In a weird way, it didn’t feel out of place to cheer for Revival, though that’s most likely not the intention. AOP’s shove of The Revival to the floor made sense before Ellering had the last word when he called his boys the next Tag Champs.
– The Percy Watson hype video was a warm welcome for the former NXT personality who called himself “Showtime.” Sure, it was hard to ignore the negative connotations that come with the “old” NXT, but he was a shining point of that era. We got a kick that the majority of his in-ring footage featured moves on past guys like Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris. Wonder what those guys are up to now. Wink, wink. Watson at the commentary booth isn’t a bad decision, but will take some warming up to surely.
– The No Way Jose/WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann-Eric Young/Alexander Wolfe match had a unique angle in that Sanity only had three members out, with Sawyer Fulton’s absence felt. A nice touch as we saw Young angrily toss Fulton’s jacket to the canvas and threw it onto the ramp. Maybe it was a tease that Fulton would be involved with the finish? Anyways, the in-ring action was stalled to begin, as the heels grounded Swann with sheer power and smarts. Swann eventually tagged in Jose and things picked up. Swann’s Phoenix Splash onto Wolfe on the outside was well-done. The finish brought a shock as we saw Damo (the former “Big Damo”) attack Jose outside the ring, who was victim for Young’s wheelbarrow neckbreaker finisher. Wolfe sold the action with a surprised expression. The biggest development here was to see if Damo was Sanity’s newest member, but instead of putting Fulton’s jacket on, he slammed it back onto the ramp and walked backstage. That raised more questions, but we liked it. Was Damo a part of Sanity? Did he take out Fulton in storyline? Was he out for only himself? A good debut appearance.
– The General Manager William Regal/Tye Dillinger backstage segment set forth some nice direction. Regal announced that Revival would get their NXT Tag Team Championship rematch on the Jan. 11 episode and the winners would defend against AOP at TakeOver: San Antonio. Dillinger’s portion was good, since we learned that Regal would put him in a tournament that’d decide four contenders for an NXT Championship #1 Contender’s match. Four qualifying matches were hyped for next week – Dillinger-Young, Elias Samson-Roderick Strong, Oney Lorcan-Bobby Roode and Andrade “Cien” Almas-Jose.
– The Young/Wolfe/Cross/NXT Women’s Champion Asuka backstage segment followed up what we saw earlier, as Sanity dodged questions about Damo. We also got progress, as Cross stared at Asuka’s Title on a stand before the Champ retrieved it. Their exchange of sinister grins almost wrote itself.
– The Ember Moon-Kimber Lee match was yet another showcase for Moon, as she remains the shiny spot on an otherwise “work in progress” women’s division. Decent action early on as we saw Moon unleash an army of kicks and enziguiris. Lee also put in some offense with technical maneuvers, but was tame compared to what we’ve seen from her on the indies. At the same time, Commentary smartly talked about Asuka’s undefeated status as a long-term Champion and discussed if Moon could be that one to be a contender. They’re certainly building to it. Anyways, after some brief selling, Moon hit her signature spots to build to her “Eclipse” finisher. That went over with the fans like it always does.
– The NXT Championship rematch from Osaka, Japan between Champion Joe and Nakamura had some international flavor since Nakamura was in his home country this time. He certainly came across like a big star, as the crowd even sang his theme song. Japanese wrestling crowds have a reputation of being silent and respectful, but we guess they picked up the American tradition. Liked the animosity to start, as the two came at each other before the introductions, as the Ref could barely contain them. After the traditional intros, Nakamura worked in some early mind games to upset the Champ. Some nice technical transitions as they got to the ropes on the other’s submission attempts. It was established that they had each other well-scouted. Nakamura hit a German Suplex and went for a Kinshasa, but was turned upside down with a powerslam for a near-fall. Joe geared up for a Muscle Buster, but Nakamura escaped it and again tried the Kinshasa, but Joe avoided it. The Champ locked in a Coquina Clutch, but the exhausted challenger got to the ropes. Nakamura used his stiff kicks to overpower Joe, but couldn’t cash in on it, because Joe’s weight was too much to handle when he picked him up. They got back in the ring, as Nakamura hit Joe with a top rope high knee to the back of his head and finally hit the Kinshasa to get the pin and regain the Championship. That was a bit flat, considering it took several Kinshasas last time on Joe for him to fall on the first one here. A physical, grueling affair with a different feel to it and we like the “hot potato” angle to an extent since it actually strengthens their feud, but how long can it last? We learned before episode’s end that the rematch would take place in a steel cage in Melbourne, Australia next week. What continent will they fight on after that? Stay tuned.
- Eric Young/Alexander Wolfe (w/Nikki Cross) def. No Way Jose/Rich Swann via pinfall
- Ember Moon def. Kimber Lee via pinfall
- NXT Championship – Shinsuke Nakamura def. Samoa Joe (Champion) via pinfall to regain Championship
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust 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, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on February 19, 2017, in NXT, WWE and tagged Alexander Wolfe, Asuka, Corey Graves, Damo, DIY, Ember Moon, Eric Young, Kimber Lee, Nikki Cross, No Way Jose, NXT, Paul Ellering, Percy Watson, Rich Swann, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Authors Of Pain, The Revival, Tom Phillips, Tye Dillinger, William Regal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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