Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/8/17: Don’t Steal Moves, Steal Moments

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 






(Aired 3/8/17)

Don’t Steal Moves, Steal Moments 

– The opening video hyped Shinsuke Nakamura’s well-awaited return to NXT after he was soundly defeated for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: San Antonio by Bobby Roode. In the thick of it all, he suffered a “knee injury” and was left off television for a few weeks to sell it. Well, he’s back now. Apparently he’s also got an awesome opponent in TJ Perkins. We like that they can just pluck random Cruiserweights into filler spots like these on NXT. Now, if only they were allowed to do that on the main roster. Let’s not get TOO progressive now. Insert thinking face emoji here.

– Out came “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger for the University Of Central Florida, one of the worst NXT crowds to date. This was episode one of three taped in front of them and if their flat reaction to the energetic Dillinger entrance was any indication, it’s going to be a long set of tapings. He was set to battle Eric Young of SAnitY, something built over the past few weeks. Decent storyline with the point to show Dillinger as his own man and Young sort of like CM Punk in the Straight Edge Society days. He rocks the numbers advantage with his group, so that’s where No Way Jose and Roderick Strong emerge as Dillinger’s allies. We all know where it will go. It seemed as if we would finally get that one-on-one encounter, as Young ushered his friends backstage. We were still skeptical they would stay back there the whole match. Sure enough, no less than two minutes later, a silence fell on the crowd as we saw Nikki Cross, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain drag out a battered Strong on the ramp. If one had to compare the way he sold, just imagine a man the morning after his bachelor party. We dig the way this was done though. The crowd’s silence worked to its advantage to let it “sink in” what happened. Swiftly, Jose joined the scene and him/Dillinger rushed the ring together after the checked on Strong. They were outnumbered, but had the advantage briefly. Of course, that ended fast. Dillinger suffered a double-team from Dain/Wolfe before Young’s Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker. Either we get a Six-Man Tag to main event a TV show or this goes on the TakeOver: Orlando card in some capacity.

– We got a handheld camera promo of Billie Kay/Peyton Royce in the WWE Performance Center in celebration mode of their Breakout Star Of The Year Award for 2016. They walked through the hallway with various plaques and posters and felt they deserved a tall statue like the late Dusty Rhodes. Towards the end, they came across Ember Moon, who trained behind glass in the next room. As you’d think, they taunted her and retreated when Moon took exception. She shouted at them from behind the doorway and had to be held back by a trainer. We actually like the way this was done because in the “Instagram”-style it was shot, this all felt legitimate. An ounce of realism makes for a heavily emotional product. Naturally, Moon was announced to battle Kay later on.

– A hype video aired chockfull of ominous candles, stained glass windows and tattoos. The voiceover dictated that he was “neither saint or sinner.” We also got a silhouette for our amusement. With the words “Fade To Black” as the end, we have an idea of who this could be for – Aleister Black aka the former Tommy End of United Kingdom Championship Tournament Fame.

– Ho Ho Lun emerged from whatever rock he resides under and was ready for his opponent – Andrade “Cien” Almas. This should at least be a decent glorified squash. Almas was extra arrogant, also pushed by commentary. A Hammerlock DDT quickly finished off Fun after a rather vicious lariat. Whatever works for Hispanic Marty Scurll.

– The Moon-Kay match had obvious ramifications for the NXT Women’s Championship picture. Based on Kay/Royce’s entrance filled with giggles/joined hands, we’ll just refer to them as the Aussties (Aussies + Besties) from now on. Moon also boasted a never pinned or submitted record,, so the odds were stacked her way. Royce served a brief distraction from outside, which Kay took advantage as she fell to the mat on her back and caught Moon’s face with her boot the whole way down. Moon sold that like The Rock used to sell the Stone Cold Stunner. The finish was a bit odd. Moon was on the top rope as Royce was on the apron. Instead of a strike to knock her to the floor, Moon simply glared Royce off the apron and delivered the Eclipse. It was like TakeOver: Brooklyn II all over again. Three count. The real question is if we will ever get that inevitable Moon-Asuka match for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver. Kay laid still in the ring after the bell as the medical team checked on her. After a couple of minutes, she managed to sit up and stand on her own. For the first time ever, we had a chance to sympathize with Kay. Should we? Maybe that was by design for a potential breakup angle.

– Backstage, Perkins spoke about his chance to face Nakamura. His absence was explained in how he “likes to be where the competition is.” We can see why. We also loved in how he shined light on his time in Japan where he and Nakamura were students together. The final line was where this came together nicely when he brought up how Nakamura accused him of armbar thievery. “I don’t steal moves, I steal moments.” Ouch.

– The Revival made their entrance for their match against The Ealy Brothers. From their sucky music and look (picture NXT Tag Team Champions Authors Of Pain as pushovers), we couldn’t take them seriously. Good thing we mentioned AOP, as they attacked the Ealys before they could make the ring. As the Champs made a beeline for the ring, Revival ducked out of there. With nobody left to cause chaos, The Last Chapter was executed on those Ealys. This worked because it showed how AOP/Paul Ellering had a plan headed in to get their hands on Revival.

– Backstage, General Manager William Regal stood with Moon. As we imagined, he announced that she would get her shot at Asuka at TakeOver: Orlando. Yes. Moon ended it as she promised the NXT Women’s Division would “enter a new phase.” #JustMoonThings.

– Commentator Tom Phillips sat down with Kassius Ohno earlier in the day to build up his shot at the NXT Championship next week against Champion Bobby Roode. This was the chance for us to really see what his goals were now that he was back. Ohno expressed how “surreal” it was for him, especially since he remembered when the Performance Center was just an empty warehouse upon his first run. He got over how things changed over the years and built himself as someone who works hard and earns his way up the card wherever he goes. They inserted the real-life aspect of how NXT was the first time he had doubts about his career and that wouldn’t go away until he had the belt. All good stuff here.

– On the other side, we got Roode “via satellite” from his house in Canada. He also was asked about the match and didn’t care what Ohno said. He had a framed picture of himself next to his belt on the nightstand behind him along with a plant. That is hilarious in of itself. He likened Ohno to a “1970’s long-haired hippie” and it conflicted with his plan to take NXT to the future and his vision. If you already knew Roode’s gimmick, he worked it in a way to make a great foil for Ohno. Either way, those two segments alone made next week feel bigger than it did headed in.

– The Perkins-Nakamura main event was certainly out of left field, but we were pumped to see how much time they’d give them and what they could do together. It was a given that Nakamura would win, but fun to watch regardless. Perkins smartly targeted the knee to start out while the crowd sang Nakamura’s theme, which seemed to be the loudest thing they did all episode. Perkins did a head scissors to wrap into a submission. He looked to come up short on a dropkick from the top rope to the floor, but they covered it up well. Perkins stretched out of a triangle chokehold for a pin attempt that was well-done. They switched back and forth between armbar and triangle attempts, with Nakamura even breaking out an armbar of his own. Perkins applied a variation of the Scorpion Death Lock. He then transitioned into the Kneebar. Nakamura escaped and began to use his injured knee solely for offense. That told us he was just fine now. A reverse exploder suplex followed by a Kinshasa marked the win for “The King Of Strong Style.” Fun bout.

– Backstage, Regal announced that the winner of Ohno-Roode would go on to defend at TakeOver: Orlando against Nakamura. Good development, though it severely hints a Roode win.






Quick Results

  • Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Ho Ho Lun via pinfall 
  • Ember Moon def. Billie Kay (w/Peyton Royce) via pinfall 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura def. TJ Perkins 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 February 24, 2018, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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