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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 5/11/16: The Day The Music Died

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 5/11/16)

The Day The Music Died 

– This show had purpose from the first second, as the opening video hyped Finn Balor’s first appearance since he lost his NXT Championship to Champion Samoa Joe at a live event in Lowell, Massachusetts. Oh snap.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 5/4/16: Guaranteed Change

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 5/4/16)

Guaranteed Change 

– Needless to say, this show’s natural exclamation point came on Eric Young’s NXT debut, as he crashed NXT Champion Samoa Joe’s Full Sail University homecoming promo. This was initially hyped as Joe’s first appearance live since beating Finn Balor for the belt at an NXT live event and that part didn’t disappoint. Joe had an extra swagger in his step and expressed that he was a man who stood by his word and now that he was Champ, it was now “The Era Of Joe” and anybody who disagreed would get beaten/choked out. Perfect cue for Young to walk out, unannounced upon underwhelming theme music. The crowd completely dug this for a mark-out moment. Even though his look and mannerisms felt like he crossed right over from TNA, his “World-Class Maniac” character was the best work of his career and thus, didn’t feel out of place here. We liked that Young directly established that both of them were already familiar with each other and his talk of “change,” pointing to Joe’s belt saying he “collects those.” For great heat, Joe immediately left the ring and said that EY didn’t belong in the same ring as him and next time, he’d kick his ass. We didn’t think it’d become the night’s main event, but for what it was, it was a great setup. By golly, it feels like we’re watching TNA circa 2015.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/30/16: Ready For A Takeover

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 3/30/16)

Ready For A Takeover

– The American Alpha-Corey Hollis/John Skyler was a logical squash for AA to hit their signature moves en route to their biggest match to date at TakeOver: Dallas when they’d fight for the NXT Tag Team Championship against Champions The Revival, who watched attentively backstage. Good energy from the Title challengers here.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 2/17/16: Back To The Drawing Board

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 2/17/16)

Back To The Drawing Board

– The opening video did a cool recap of the big NXT Championship #1 Contender’s match between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, with each man having a different reason to want to be NXT Champion. For Joe, it was about the “inevitable” while Zayn was eager to get back what once was his and become the first two-time NXT Champion.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 1/27/16: Remnants Of An Unclear Future

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 1/27/16)

Remnants Of An Unclear Future

– American Alpha (Jason Jordan/Chad Gable) continue to kill it right now and can easily be regarded as the NXT Tag Team Division’s hottest commodity. Their “onwards and upwards” push continued this week when they took on the former Tag Champs, Blake/Murphy in an opening contest that revolved around the quick-paced, excitable offense of AA, meshed with occasional dastardly doings by the heels to get ahead. The storyline reason for the match was AA eager to continue to prove themselves by showing that even though they weren’t in the category for “Best Tag Team Of 2015,” they could still beat one of those teams were nominated. Between Gable’s amateur background and innovative, flexible offense and Jordan’s suplex prowess, the sky’s the limit. We particularly liked how the hot tag quickly transitioned into their Grand Amplitude finisher.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 5/6/15: Stamp Of Approval

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

 

 

 

(Aired 5/6/15)

Stamp Of Approval 

– Good to see Emma trolling the crowd this time around, donning Bayley’s t-shirt and headband. The match between her and Charlotte was good for what it was. A lot of attention was focused on Emma’s newer aggressive style – more rough and gritty. Of course, that was all kind of done away as Charlotte finished her off with a Natural Selection, albeit on one leg. Bayley coming out to turn a hug for Emma into a Bayley-To-Belly was a nice change of pace, though it came off a bit heelish, but the crowd was fully behind her, so it was good.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 4/22/15: Still Just A Rat In A Cage

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/22/15)

Still Just A Rat In A Cage

– The Finn Balor-Tye Dillinger match was pretty much a squash in favor of Balor. Nothing groundbreaking. Had us wondering what was next for Balor. That’s where Tyler Breeze came in. His promo actually had some purpose and was bold, even for him. This is a good match just waiting to happen. Next week?

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 4/15/15: The Heart Of Zayn

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

 

 

 

(Aired 4/15/15)

The Heart Of Zayn

– Well, knowing that CJ Parker is no longer with the company, he couldn’t possibly win this match with Solomon Crowe or have any say in the future of NXT. He had a unique character, but just never had enough to progress further. Crowe had a decent entrance and the crowd chanting for him was a good sign. Crowe also put on some believable moves – the dive to the outside was impressive. Parker went out of NXT doing what he did best in it – putting others over. Crowe’s submission victory finished off a much more polished victory than his “TakeOver” debut. His finisher is convincing too.

– The Baron Corbin-Steve Cutler match was more enhancement for Corbin as he decisively finished him off with End Of Days. The crowding counting the seconds of the match also put over the quickness. Who will step up to take him on next? He appears to be more of a darker Goldberg, the way his matches are being built as quick squashes. The only problem we see is that his more enhanced matches haven’t been all that. Then again, they were against Bull Dempsey and let’s face it: your Mom could probably beat Dempsey in the ring. Good stuff though, but let’s hope it doesn’t run its course anytime soon.

– Sami Zayn’s promo on Rhyno had him sound convinced and ready for the match. He had a clear story headed in, eager to show the “rust” didn’t overcome his ambition to become Champion again.

– Nobody can work a crowd like Enzo Amore/Colin Cassidy. They always know how to switch things up in their promos and you can feel their words come alive practically. Keeping things fresh, the “Jordan Of Jargon” line was particularly funny. Their match against Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton was ultimately a squash to make them look good as they chase the Tag Team Champions, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy, who continue to chase Carmella, bringing her flowers. The story here is simple, yet effective, though it can be hard to determine if Blake/Murphy seek Carmella’s management or something more, but maybe that’s by design to capture the absurdity of it all.

– Alex Riley’s promo challenging Kevin Owens to meet him on the ring next week was a good “call out” promo, as he delivered his lines quite convincingly, but you have to wonder just how he will get ahead, if at all. This just seems like more of a way to put Owens over, but hey – better to squash Riley than someone else, right?

– The Blue Pants-Dana Brooke match showed that you obviously won’t see a jobber more over than Blue Pants. Brooke on the other hand, came off as a gothic muscle stripper, if that makes sense, from her entrance. She is definitely interesting, almost eager to shed her image of the generic blonde bombshell, which sort of worked. Her in-ring skills aren’t the most polished, but her finisher was enough to get our attention. Made us want to see more. That’s what counts.

– The triple threat NXT Divas Title Number One Contender’s match between Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte for next week sounds like a good matchup and gives us something to look forward to from the fierce women.

– The Zayn-Rhyno match – what more could you say about this? Plodding pace to start off, but this was all to set up the closing minutes, which was some really good action with near-falls and dueling chants, just how you’d imagine. The story here was the heart of Zayn and that overpowered the power of the Gore, at least for this week. Rhyno looked great in defeat and lost nothing here, he’ll easily bounce back. As mentioned by commentary, the thought of an Owens-Rhyno match is quite enticing and we have to imagine that’ll happen sometime soon.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Solomon Crowe def. CJ Parker via submission

– Baron Corbin def. Steve Cutler via pinfall

– Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady (w/Carmella) def. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton via pinfall

– Dana Brooke def. Blue Pants via pinfall

– Sami Zayn def. Rhyno via pinfall 

Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/18/15: Ohio Is For Wrestlers

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

 

 

 

(Aired 3/18/15)

Ohio Is For Wrestlers

– If we picked anything up from this episode, it’s that NXT is transitioning from “developmental territory” to “legitimate brand” and live touring helps to ease that. We’re used to the warmth and intimacy of Full Sail University for NXT shows, but taking it out of that setting and seeing it on the road provides a whole new experience for both talent and fans alike. If the reaction on this show revealed anything, it’s that Ohio couldn’t get enough of NXT. The opening video more or less highlighted this moment, as NXT came to the Arnold Sports Festival, and also hyped Alex Riley finally getting to face Kevin Owens and Ohio’s own Alexa Bliss taking on NXT Divas Champion Sasha Banks one-on-one.

– Already see Brock Lesnar guy in the crowd. Oh boy.

– The Kalisto-Tyler Breeze match first seemed like a throwaway in Breeze’s favor, but was given a lot of time, which changed the dynamic completely. Kalisto showed some great athleticism, flipping and flopping all over the place and making this an evenly matched affair. This also allowed the Ohio environment to set in, as the crowd was very much into things. Breeze was the right guy to go over. It still remains to be seen what his character will do next, as he seems to be in a holding pattern, but his in-ring skills sharpen with every week.

– The Owens-Riley feud hype video more or less did its job; showing how Owens’ got under Riley’s skin and antagonized him to his breaking point. Riley showed some fire last week, but had his work cut out for him here. Either way, the story here was a simple, yet good one.

– Bliss’ promo had her excited to be in her hometown and she set up her match well, calling out Banks.

– The Finn Balor-Riley backstage interaction was interesting, as Riley was set to destroy Owens, and Balor warned not to overlook Owens, which made sense on his part.

– The Colin Cassady-Wesley Blake match started with the much over mic work with Amore and Big Cass, bringing a rise out of the Ohio crowd. The match was okay while it lasted, nothing special, but the finish was well-done, both letting Carmella be involved in the finish and having Blake beat Cassady by pulling on the tights, letting the feud progress further.

– Dana Brooke comes off as a muscle-bound, blonde bombshell who is honored to be in NXT. What will she bring? Guess we’ll have to see.

– The Bliss-Banks match was decent, but didn’t have enough time to develop into anything worthwhile. A countout win was the best they can give Bliss? Sort of weak, but hopefully a second match would be better. Guess we’ll also find out next week.

– Owens’ promo showed off his confident, straight-forward attitude as a Champion, selfish family man. He’s eager to eliminate everyone. His mic skills have even somewhat improved as he’s settled more into this character, which doesn’t stray far from his “classic” indie persona.

– The Banks-Bliss-Regal backstage interaction was necessary in setting up next week’s Divas Title match, though pretty predictable. You get a sense that the two ladies don’t like each other, but yet, it still feels as if something is missing between them.

– The Riley-Owens match was a good main event match that had strong crowd reaction throughout, very pro-Owens with some funny chants like “Rest Owens Rest” while he put on a rest hold. Riley brought the intensity from the get-go, but going up against Owens so soon, falling victim to his powerbomb sort of squashed whatever he gained in his brief buildup. There’s still room to improve though, and the interaction between Balor and Owens was solid – Balor saves the day and gets physical when Owens refuses to quit and Owens has just enough in him to run away, easily making their match next week something to watch.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Tyler Breeze def. Kalisto via pinfall

– Wesley Blake (w/Buddy Murphy) def. Colin Cassady (w/Enzo Amore, Carmella) via pinfall

– Alexa Bliss def. Sasha Banks via countout

– Kevin Owens def. Alex Riley via pinfall

Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 3/11/15: A-Ry Returns

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

 

 

 

(Aired 3/11/15)

A-Ry Returns

– The tag team of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady remain one of NXT’s most over acts currently and they should be making strides towards the tag titles. The Lucha Dragons are the perfect team that can make them look good, as their importance in the division has greatly lessened since they lost the tag titles. The number one contender’s match itself was short and sweet, as Cass pretty much helped Enzo out, but the finish was cool.

– The video hype video for Alex Riley was well-done, mainly showcasing footage from his short time on the main roster in 2010-2011 and some stills of his NXT stint in its original inception with the “Varsity Villain” jacket. It was also smart to show a Kevin Owens hype video and how it is “a new era” and show viewers just what Riley is looking to go up against.

– The Carmella-Alexa Bliss match was made to make Bliss victorious in her comeback match, as she clearly had eyes set on the NXT Divas Champion Sasha Banks. Carmella did look good in defeat, despite this. The quality in these NXT divas matches – even in a glorified squash – is much higher than what you see on the main roster and thus, both acts were helped here. There was a lot of this on the episode. The matches weren’t bad, but they were all about painting the bigger picture at hand and progressed feuds to set up matches we really want to see.

– Riley’s promo was quite effective, with his comparison to being in a cage for two years rang somewhat true. Riley has always had good mic skills; it’s what made him standout on NXT Season 2 and as Miz’s sidekick. This hyped his match very well. Could we call it Riley’s best promo work to date? Perhaps.

– Tyler Breeze’s “selfie” promo fit his overconfident gimmick and hyped the main event match well. A Hideo Itami hype video would’ve also been nice, but that’s nitpicking, we guess.

– The Riley-CJ Parker match was a great way to bring Riley back to the squared circle fold. For one, his theme music kicks ass, and even the word “Rage” displayed on the screen was a nice touch for where his character currently is. His mannerisms and facial expressions in the match showed true passion and that’s exactly what we needed to see. Owens’ confident, unimpressed post-match promo was simple yet quite strong. It makes you want to see the two go at it and they will, soon. Just not yet.

– The Hideo Itami-Breeze main event match was another example of their solid chemistry, except this seemed more geared in Breeze’s favor, though they were very evenly-matched. It definitely says a lot that this rivalry went from a seemingly throwaway tournament match to an intense feud. It must be a good thing being that this was their third match together in 2015. This was definitely great for both guys, as their matches almost elevate the two of them, making them bring their A-game to the ring. With Breeze the victor though, where do both guys go from here?

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Tag Team Championship Number One Contender’s Match – Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall

– Alexa Bliss def. Carmella via pinfall

– Alex Riley def. CJ Parker via pinfall

– Tyler Breeze def. Hideo Itami via pinfall