Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 2/1/17: End Of Graves

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.






(Aired 2/1/17)

End Of Graves 

– With NXT TakeOver: San Antonio officially done, it was time for another post-TakeOver edition. Ultimately, these are notorious with backstage reactions from winners and “dark” matches that were taped before the show, even though it’s supposed to be like they’re happening after TakeOver itself. Strange stuff, but in NXT, we’ll just roll with it and ask for more. There you go. The opening video wasn’t without its highlights, showcased in all of its epic slow-motion glory. To sum it up, Roderick Strong bested Andrade “Cien” Almas, Eric Young (and SAniTY) defeated Tye Dillinger, The Authors Of Pain added Championship gold under their perilous penmanship, Asuka remained on top after she defeated three other women and above all else, Bobby Roode was now NXT Champion and things were set to be more “Glorious.”

– Here comes Ember Moon, who’ll probably win whatever match this is. Oh, her opponent’s Aliyah. Yup, Ember’s definitely a winner here. We were fine with that, since Moon’s inevitably Asuka’s next challenger. It has to happen that way. There were growing “Ember” chants before the bell even rang. Moon showed off her technical prowess with some painful submission holds with stretching in places you don’t stretch and all that fun stuff. To her credit, Aliyah battled back with some stiff uppercuts and a northern lights suplex. That’d be it for Aliyah though, since Moon pulled off her middle-rope moonsault, a monster lariat and finally, the Eclipse. Moon retains her undefeated streak and we’re all happy.

– Backstage, Young along with Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe, spoke about his win over Dillinger and the theme of it all was “Take.” What will it take for them to get to the next level? Beats us.

– On the flip side, Dillinger addressed his TakeOver loss, but had better things to discuss since he was actually in the Royal Rumble match with the number 10 drawn. Couldn’t had worked any better. There wasn’t talk about how he lost, only that he was starstruck to be in record books along with pro wrestling’s biggest names. To say he was humble would be an understatement. This should’ve been treated like a big deal and thankfully, it was.

– What we love about Asuka is that her character can shift back and forth between face and heel in that you never know what you’ll get. She spoke backstage about her defeat over three ladies in a match she requested and called it tough. The newsmaker here was her failure to acknowledge Moon’s existence and asked if she worked there. Ha.

– They headed right to Moon for her reaction to Asuka’s denial and fair enough, she knocked it out of the park. For some reason, we can see #DethroneTheEmpress trending on Twitter eventually. Bold words and the stage was set for an eventual Moon-Asuka showdown. Please don’t throw it away for TV. It has to be done at a TakeOver.

– WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate was in the States for a taste of American competition and what better place than NXT? This guy made himself in two days as he won the United Kingdom Championship Tournament and we were eager to see how Oney Lorcan would fare against him. The former Biff Busick can definitely play to that stiff British style, while still make himself look good. Stiff Biff? Yes. The crowd popped decently when Bate came out, which was a good sign. Bate put in some harsh fists and showed some athleticism. Lorcan delivered some nice chops, but his momentum ended when he found himself in the airplane spin. Bate worked the crowd with ease as he slowed down, came to a complete sign as he feigned fatigue and spun in the other direction. Wasn’t long before he hit the Tyler Driver ’97. Nice stuff. Will Bate be a permanent fixture of NXT down the road? Awesome as he is, still think his theme song sounds too much like Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Take it for what it’s worth.

– Strong was backstage as he spoke about his defeat over ACA and how he wanted one thing mostly – the NXT Championship. As it should be. He made a mention of “Roddy Vs. The World” which was a light reference to what he did in Ring Of Honor and transferred it here to explain his mission. Straight forward stuff.

– Backstage, AOP/Ellering (only Ellering) spoke about how his boys were new Champions and called themselves “The New Law.” Don’t change the name so quickly. We can get used to this “Author’s Shift.” Short, but pleasant.

– They showed the highlights of the Roode-Nakamura match and how the downfall was Nakamura’s knee, which ultimately cost him the belt. We seen footage of Nakamura being walked through the curtains by various trainers, as onlookers like Trainer Matt Bloom and Kassius Ohno (yes, him) felt sorry. Ohno actually said, “Not that way” to Nakamura. Sort of a flat way to bring Ohno back onto television with relatively no mention of him otherwise. We can imagine a more “NXT” welcome in the near future.

– Roode did a backstage interview where it was very “NXT Roode” as he took offense to the claim that he won the belt because of Nakamura being injured. He again reminded us how he was going to change NXT and we got that once more. Better yet, they hyped a “Glorious Celebration” for next week. Yes, yes, yes.

– The No Way Jose-“Drifter” Elias Samson match (we just can’t call it a main event) was a “payoff” given they had these two interact a couple weeks back, but it was inconsequential. Like we’re supposed to care about any lyrics from a Samson song, but it was “The Dancing Man With No Soul” that angered Jose enough to warrant this. Instead of the focus being on the feud, a lot of it instead was put on Corey Graves’ last called NXT match. Beforehand, they showed us a great video package that chronicled Graves’ career from an upstart talent in Florida Championship Wrestling and NXT’s early days where he was Tag Team Champions with Neville (when he still had a first name) to the tragic announcement of his in-ring retirement because of numerous concussions. Graves evolved to become one of the brand’s trademark voices, so much so that they brought him onto Raw’s commentary team and 205 Live. Guess the workload was too much? Either way, with Nigel McGuiness set to replace Graves, he should fit right in. It’s hard to argue that Graves is great at what he does, particularly where he rips on other talent like he used to do to Enzo Amore and even Samson. Him being in this match made it work because we got some more jokes. It was awesome. They had Samson tease a pre-bell number but Jose’s music filled in his words. As far as the match itself, filler stuff. Jose dominated early on before Samson got on the offense, but by the end, it was Jose who danced tall with the pop-up right hand. Thus, we’ll call it the “End Of Graves.” How will NXT do at the booth without his voice? Guess next week’s as good as any a time to find out.






Quick Results

  • Ember Moon def. Aliyah via pinfall 
  • Tyler Bate def. Oney Lorcan via pinfall 
  • No Way Jose def. “The Drifter” Elias Samson 

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 23, 2017, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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