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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 12/2/15: Squash Olympics

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 12/2/15)

Squash Olympics

– In the first of many squash matches to build up key players for NXT TakeOver: London, we had Baron Corbin take on “Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger. For this show, we had a change of heart from Dillinger’s commentary fanboy, Corey Graves, who now claimed he doesn’t like him anymore and needs a new barber. Corbin was in usual destruction mode since he was gearing up for Apollo Crews at TakeOver: London, stemming back from getting attacked by Crews the week after he interfered in Crews’ NXT Championship shot. It all makes sense. It wasn’t a total loss for Dillinger, who worked in quick bursts of last-minute offense to salvage something, but the end result was as expected.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 9/23/15: Asuka Arrives

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 9/23/15)

Asuka Arrives 

– The Eva Marie-Carmella match was another squash for the red-headed up-and-comer who has been mostly all glam and no slam. The crowd continued to berate her justifiably, considering she forgot to kick out the last time she was out there. They made an effort to take that botch and use it as a way to get promo heat, as she thanked the referee for not “falling victim to the biased crowd.” It’d just be smarter to not acknowledge it, but too late for that. As for the idea of Carmella being her opponent – sigh, again? Carmella is improving herself, but she’s not on the level to carry Eva of all people. Their in-ring chemistry has bettered and Eva wasn’t terrible, but played it way too safe here and the pace suffered. The crowd was obviously amusing themselves with chants like “That’s a kickout!” and “All botch everything!” and it was building to something decent… until the lame countout finish. That did no favors for Eva and then it made Carmella look weak since she couldn’t answer a 10 count when all she did was fall out of the ring.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 9/2/15: A Dusty Start

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 9/2/15)

A Dusty Start 

– The opening video was pretty self-explanatory in explaining that a Tag Team Tournament was made in honor of Dusty Rhodes – the inaugural Dusty Classic. Classy move by WWE to pay tribute to the true mentor of mentors, with NXT the perfect platform for it, the environment he shared the most influence on, even in the weeks before his passing.

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WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn Reaction

Photo courtesy of Top Rope Press.

Photo courtesy of Top Rope Press.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


It speaks volumes when a brand like NXT can sell out Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The brand’s organic growth is uncanny, and a hot crowd provided a unique atmosphere that met even the highest of expectations headed in.

Better yet, on this show, we got some shifts in creative direction and it should make for interesting television in the near future.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 6/10/15: Joe Is Gonna Back Elbow You

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 6/10/15)

Joe Is Gonna Back Elbow You

– The opening video highlighted “the most anticipated debut in NXT history” with Samoa Joe’s first match and rightfully so. It would’ve felt like an even bigger occasion had not every match prior on the show been a predictable squash, being that we knew the main event would likely be one.

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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 2/18/15: New Era (No Problems)

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 2/18/15)

New Era (No Problems)

– Following NXT Rival sounded like a mission in itself and the opening video defined that in every way.

– The opening William Regal promo set the tone to the show – declaring it a “New Era in NXT” and rightfully so. Most of the show focused on the future aspects of storylines and new feuds. It also properly hyped the Kevin Owens-Adrian Neville main event, which already had storyline background to it. It also confirmed that Owens was NXT World Heavyweight Champion by victory of referee stoppage.

– You had to start the show off with Owens of course. He’s a heat magnet just from how he won the belt. It’s evident the crowd was split down the middle for him. This was a confident. strong promo from him as he made bold statements, mainly calling Sami Zayn “the past” and wanted to fight Finn Balor anytime. It’s like he’s a fighting champion with moments of selected cowardice. Owens pulls it off excellently.

– Random, but always pleasant to see Rhyno appear from nowhere. Crowd understandably went wild and this kept up the “anything can happen” atmosphere. Never let your guard down while watching NXT. Elias Sampson had a short night, but it didn’t matter anyway. Rhyno won with the gore.

– The Balor promo made him sound tough in response to Owens and the disruption by Rhyno who smirked was appropriate. Perhaps a match between them next week?

– The Vaudevillains-Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady (w/Carmella) was a subtle way to get Amore/Cassady over while reminding us The Vaudevillains still exist. It’s hard to not crack a smile with how over Amore/Cassady are with the crowd. The promo by Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy after the match set them back to being sleazy heels. Smart move, considering the popularity of Amore/Cassady.

– The Neville promo was decent as he set himself as a “hunter” and was focused on the personal side of his match with Owens later. He’s out with something to prove.

– The Bayley promo was short and sweet in how close she was to winning last week. She definitely has the crowd’s support.

– The Becky Lynch promo was also decent in that she expressed her disdain for Bayley and Charlotte. Odd that she wouldn’t be upset with Sasha Banks winning being she fought with her many times over the belt. The absence of Charlotte on the show was also obvious here at this point.

– CJ Parker taking the show “hostage” with police caution tape was an attention-grabber, but ultimately a great way to debut Solomon Crowe. Seems like Crowe will have some kind of cheesy, punkish character, but no complaints, as it fits his look.

– The Banks-Blue Pants match seemed like an odd way to kick off Banks’ reign as Champion. Blue Pants’ “Right Off The Clearance Rack” gimmick is oddly amusing right down to the “Da Da Da Da” Price Is Right theme music. Banks was clearly playing with Blue Pants and won by submission with the Banks Statement. Her promo was all Sasha confidence, being the “queen bee” and all.

– Showing the footage after “Rival” went off the air of Zayn being helped up after the match and word of his update from Dr. Chris Amann saying Zayn was ready to go soon was all good. His return promo should be something to watch.

– The Neville-Owens match was more of showcasing Owens’ brash style mixed with Neville’s aerial fighting spirit. This turned into a really good match as it went on. The 450 splash by Neville off the apron was impressive and the near falls were believable towards the end where it seemed that Neville could actually win. The story told was that Owens is a force to be reckoned with and things aren’t done yet with him and Zayn. With Balor also in line for a Title shot, NXT has some great main event matches set up for the near future.





Quick Results

– Rhyno def. Elias Sampson via pinfall

– Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady (w/Carmella) def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall

– Sasha Banks def. Blue Pants via submisison

– Kevin Owens def. Adrian Neville via pinfall