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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 8/12/15: There Ain’t No Stoppin’ Her Now

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 8/12/15)

There Ain’t No Stoppin’ Her Now

– General Manager William Regal’s backstage promo addressed Kevin Owen’s demands for a ladder match at TakeOver: Brooklyn for the NXT Championship against Champion Finn Balor, not wanting to give in, but factoring in Balor’s opinion to want the match as well. He put over the stipulation as a life-altering one and “the biggest NXT match yet.” Good start to make it all official. Love all the “hacker” graphics for the Brooklyn show. Gives it a unique feel.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 8/5/15: Upping The Ante

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 8/5/15)

Upping The Ante 

– The Charlotte-Bayley match had some good backstory to it, as Bayley wanted to fight Charlotte to sell her own credibility, also tying in their mutual respect. With that, they had some very good chemistry, with the momentum going back and forth throughout. Charlotte showed off some incredible athleticism with her rest holds, while Bayley resorted to some unorthodox moves aside from her general arsenal, like the Frankensteiner, which sold Charlotte as a threat. The Bayley-To-Belly near-fall was also well-done, and a good lead-in to the second rope version of the move, which was ultimately the finish. Bayley needed this win more than Charlotte so it made sense for it to go down the way it did. Very good match.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 7/29/15: Dominance Is Bliss

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 7/29/15)

Dominance Is Bliss

– NXT seemed to do a decent job in straying from the norm, at least in terms of how the tag team division is presented. Sure – they’ll always have the over teams like Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady to fall back on, but we’re beginning to see an emergence of other teams. This show saw matches and segments dedicated to Dash Wilder/Scott Dawson, Jason Jordan/Chad Gable and then the main event was a Tag team Championship match between The Vaudevillains and the Champions Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy. It’s a slow start, but if they stick by them enough, they can pull out something decent. For Blake and Murphy’s sake, they need some form of competition and they’ve been running strong as Champions for six months now. Has it really been that long now?  As far as the Amore/Cassady-Dawson/Wilder match, it had the look and feel of a Team SAWFT victory from how we got the full SAWFT routine treatment and they worked in their usual spots to the hot tag. Even if they hadn’t won the match, Dash/Dawson worked in a lot of offense and hard strikes to be past what we’d consider a lopsided victory. The fact that they got out of Cassady’s hot tag offense and overpowered Amore to get the win came off like a major upset and a full confirmation that the format was indeed being changed. Got a negative reaction but one nonetheless. You get the feeling there will be a rematch and with Enzo/Cass recently working main roster shows and Main Event tapings, will this be their last big “rivalry”? It’s still baffling that they never had a run with the Tag Titles, but that’s just us.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 7/1/15: That’s Finn Balor

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 7/1/15)

That’s Finn Balor 

– The opening video hyped the tag team main event of NXT Champion Kevin Owens/Rhyno against Samoa Joe/Finn Balor well as a clash of sorts, which in many ways, it was.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 6/24/15: Strong Style

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 6/24/15)

Strong Style 

– Very emotional opening with the onstage tribute to Dusty Rhodes, who had a very significant role in shaping the NXT talent as it is today. Triple H led the full charge here and it was rightfully so. This set of tapings was probably delivered with heavy hearts.

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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 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 3/4/15: The Boss Does It With Flair

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 3/4/15)

The Boss Does It With Flair

– The opening video highlighted Kevin Owens’ looking forward to the future against Finn Balor and how he threw Alex Riley over the announce table over comments he made during the main event. This set up everything on the show excellently. Also announced was the Balor-Owens match for the NXT World Heavyweight Championship on March 25. Could only mean good things.

– The backstage segment with William Regal and Riley made sense as a follow up but Riley saying he’s in “the prime of his career” was kind of laughable. At the same time, the intrigue of Regal making Riley have to choose between commentating and announcing was a good hook for later in the show.

– Adam Rose on NXT is a groan now. He actually let the Exotic Express catch him, so he was probably playing the face with his opponent as Tyler Breeze. The two had decent chemistry and Rose was definitely over with the NXT faithful. Smart way to get Breeze back on the winning trail as he hit the Beauty Shot to win. Him using the selfie stick as a shield to get through the Rosebuds was kind of funny.

– The Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady/Carmella backstage promo was their usual charismatic stuff. This is a great act and it was clear they were out for blood to get Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. What more could you want? Simple and straight forward.

– The Alexa Bliss interview promo made it clear she wanted Sasha Banks. Good time for her return as she could add some more fire to this already raging inferno that is the NXT Women’s Division.

– The Blake/Murphy-Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton match was clearly made to enhance Blake/Murphy as they won quickly and could use a squash win. Nothing memorable.

– The backstage segment between Bayley, Charlotte and Emma was interesting in showing how Emma was developing her new “mean streak” and maybe planted seeds of doubt in Bayley to get in her head. Where will it lead? Likely a match between the two.

– The Rhyno hype video was solid and showcased his biggest career moments and they played Paul Heyman’s sound bites. Awesome.

– The Baron Corbin-Tony Briggs match continued the trend of squash matches with Corbin out on top. Having Kevin Owens appear behind Riley at the announce table taunting him and eventually pouring water on his head was also really good. They’re making Owens look like a big badass heel with his mannerisms. He barely uttered a word and garnered a strong reaction. Not many could do that.

– The Sami Zayn taped promo was strong in terms of storyline perspective, for Zayn to feel discouraged and walk the streets of Montreal on the 13th anniversary of his wrestling career. Everything here made you want to see him come back to the ring and eventually get payback on Owens.

– The segment with Regal, Riley and CJ Parker was a good way to show Riley’s confirmed return to the ring and also gave him an out to face Parker. Regal allowing Riley to face Owens when he feels he is ready also makes sense, for the logic of a manger allowing a commentator to come back to compete.

– The Bull Dempsey-Solomon Crowe match continued the streak of predictable matches, where it was almost obvious Crowe would win. Crowe has a unique look, style and gimmick to him but the dude looks like the recipient of a bad sunburn. Not the best outing, but we can only hope this leads to better things for him. How far can a “hacker” gimmick go though?

– It says a lot about the state of women’s wrestling in NXT when the ladies can main event a show and it doesn’t feel out of place. That’s something you will never see on the main roster and that’s a shame. The Charlotte-Banks match for the NXT Women’s Championship was everything it was hyped up to be. Very physical and technical match and both ladies looked good, even if Banks used the ropes to win. Charlotte particularly looked great in defeat, red in the face like a tomato and still carried on in the match. Will this be Charlotte’s official sendoff or will she stick around a little longer? Either way, Banks still has a lot of worthy opponents to go through, so there is definitely no drought in the division.





Quick Results

– Tyler Breeze def. Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express) via pinfall

– Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy def. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton via pinfall

– Baron Corbin def. Tony Briggs via pinfall

– Solomon Crowe def. Bull Dempsey via pinfall

– Women’s Championship – Sasha Banks (Champion) def. Charlotte via pinfall to retain

Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 2/25/15: Throwin’ Down

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 2/25/15)

Throwin’ Down

– The opening montage had some necessary updated additions to it.

– The Hideo Itami-Bull Dempsey match was decent while it lasted, having the “Cruiserweight Vs. Giant” dynamic. Itami stays hot and Dempsey remains the saddest man in a singlet. 0-4 in NXT competition in his last four matches. Tyler Breeze’s attack on Itami, Itami sneaking up on Breeze’s “selfie” and Breeze getting away before real damage could be done was a nice way to progress their feud.

– We have Sasha Banks defending her Divas Title against Charlotte to look forward to next week. Marquee matchup. Seriously.

– Nice to see “The” Brian Kendrick back in WWE and who better for him to face in his first match than Finn Balor? The hype video was necessary as he had a great ring presence as he found his niche, albeit on Smackdown.

– The Lucha Dragons-Tye Dillinger/Jason Jordan match was too short to be anything special, though the story told between Dillinger and Jordan was solid, despite us just getting to know these guys. Solomon Crowe’s “hacked” promo was good in that it showed he was here to become NXT Champion, and the fact the broadcast team never acknowledged it made the “hacking” more legit.

– Balor’s backstage promo was short and sweet, focused on his current opponent and not worried about NXT Champion Kevin Owens.

– Dillinger staying in the ring mad at Jordan was different than the usual. Baron Corbin coming out apparently made it an impromptu match. Corbin made ridiculously quick work and looked okay here, but three matches in 20 minutes kind of rushed the pace.

– Charlotte’s backstage promo was also short and sweet in that it hyped next week’s match by saying Banks never beat her one on one.

– Breeze’s backstage promo had his confidence on point.

– Sami Zayn’s NXT universe address has to be must-watch and showing his footage of him in Abu Dhabi made him look like a star. About as good as you could do here.

– The Bayley-Becky Lynch match was okay too, but it mainly showcased Lynch’s aggressiveness by injuring Bayley’s arm. Bayley looked good in defeat though. She embodies the “comeback spirit” the most out of the NXT Divas.

– Rhyno’s backstage promo solidly put over the other NXT competitors and explained his desire to make a statement and climb to the top. If only Paul Heyman were on commentary.

– Jordan’s promo gave us a glimpse into his cold, rough personality. He seems to have good mic skills. We haven’t seen him perform a single wrestling move in the ring yet, but he’s got potential everywhere else so far.

– Having Owens out on commentary was smart, as he showed good confidence in his blunt demeanor. The growing tension between Alex Riley and Owens was excellent and led to what we saw at the end. The Balor-Kendrick match was good for what it was despite not being the focus with Owens on commentary though he put over Balor, who was kept strong here. The standoff between Owens and Balor was appropriate. Owens grabbing Riley from his seat and throwing him over the table was absolutely badass. Owens continues to brilliantly blur that line between decent family man and remorseless badass heel.





Quick Results

– Hideo Itami def. Bull Dempsey via pinfall

– The Lucha Dragons def. Jason Jordan/Tye Dillinger via pinfall

– Becky Lynch def. Bayley via submission

– Finn Balor def. The Brian Kendrick via pinfall

WWE NXT TakeOver: RIVAL Reaction

WWE NXT TakeOver RIVALSay what you want, but NXT knows how to shake things up and with two Titles changing hands and an incredible match between Finn Balor and Adrian Neville in the #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals, “Rival” lived up to its namesake.

Every match brought something different to the table and delivered, par for the course for these NXT live specials.






The Breakdown: 

– The opening video put over the true excitement brought about by the past specials and it’s downright hard to deny. The video also succeeded in hyping the Divas and Kevin Owens-Sami Zayn matches, with background and insight from sound bites from its competitors.

– The Hideo Itami-Tyler Breeze match already had some simple storyline background to it with the attack on Itami in the locker room by Breeze. Being that these two had a great #1 Contender’s Tournament match a few weeks ago, there were no complaints to see them go at it again. This was more of the same evenly matched affair. These guys work well together. Great use of the ring post by Breeze and Itami can cook up an emotional comeback like no one else. Good opener as both guys had time to shine and Itami keeps his roll going. Breeze has lost a good amount lately, but hasn’t lost much. They need to get him back on the victory wagon soon though, while his “narcissistic novelty” still shines.

– The Bull Dempsey-Baron Corbin No Disqualification match retained the intensity of their feud right from the start, which was necessary given the stipulation. Dempsey being a Brooklynite was emphasized to make him sound tough, but lately, he’s just been a sad man in a singlet, having now lost three straight matches against Corbin. He should just switch to pants at this point. The two men didn’t break new ground in terms of in-ring action, but at least Corbin is looking good from it. The post-match action with Corbin sitting on the chair, kicking at Dempsey was a bit cocky, but fit for the “Lone Wolf” character. Let’s just hope these guys don’t have yet another match. Let’s move on.

– If we’re watching the WWE Network advertise subscribing to the Network on the Network, wouldn’t that mean we already subscribed?

– The Tag Team Championship match between The Lucha Dragons and Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy wasn’t without its sloppiness as it almost seemed both teams were going faster than they could keep up with, but they settled down towards the end and Murphy/Blake recovered and seem to be the recipients of a new push. Being Champions, it wouldn’t make sense to change hands now. Had to also love the Solomon Crowe hype signals for next week in there as well.

– The NXT Title #1 Contender’s Tournament match between Adrian Neville and Finn Balor was preceded by an excellent hype video that included sound bites from studio interviews. As usual, Balor’s “war paint” would be cool to be pulled out every bout, but picking it for “big battles” also makes the match itself feel more special. This was downright fantastic and arguably match of the night, if not one of the best of the year in wrestling to this point. The dropkick spot through the barricade was memorable and this match had some pure “omg” moments as each men kicked out of each other’s finishers and even more. The finishing exchange was downright awe-inspiring with the best near falls you could possibly see. If you didn’t watch this show, at least watch it for this. Balor had a career night here. Him going over was ultimately the smart move as he has grown immensely popular. Where does Neville go from here though? We know his character wanted the match bad.

– The 4-way divas championship match between Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte (Champion) made good use of the “fatal four” dynamic with some inventive spots and even had all women going to the top fearlessly. Bayley looked good in particular almost appearing to be the fan favorite at a point. That said, Banks was the smart choice to go over as Champion if it wouldn’t be Charlotte because this allows Bayley to chase her and also sparks a potential Bayley-Charlotte feud. Plus of course, Lynch will probably stand there and headbang. The post-match interaction between Charlotte and Banks was well-done as they teased a moment of embrace only to shove each other away.

– The NXT Championship match between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens definitely had some streak of controversy, but the actual storytelling of the match itself was great from Owens’ methodical dominance to Zayn’s comeback spirit. The story of Owens basically ignoring the medical concern of Zayn to get himself the NXT Title by Referee Stoppage made him look like an absolute beast. Zayn may had first appeared to be legitimately hurt from that steel ramp bump, but they took it and made it work towards the finish. Note that Zayn did lose without being pinned or submitted and the fallout from this should make great television.





Quick Results

– Hideo Itami def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall

– No Disqualification Match – Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall to retain 

– NXT World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals – Finn Balor def. Adrian Neville via pinfall to earn Title Shot 

– Divas Championship – Sasha Banks def. Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion

– NXT World Heavyweight Championship – Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn via referee stoppage to become new Champion