Posted 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.
– At their first-ever encounter at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, Shinsuke Nakamura beat Samoa Joe to become the new NXT Champion. There had to be some intriguing way to set up a reason to want to see the guaranteed rematch. Boy, did it happen here. A lot of credit for the opening in-ring segment with Joe and Nakamura. Joe did his best to make like he had turned a new leaf and learnt from his mistakes as Champion while he dealt with hecklers and claimed their words were deserved. He called out Nakamura and told him he had respect for him, that he was a worthy Champion. It had ended with the news that as soon as Joe was medically cleared to compete, he wanted his rematch. He called for a handshake before he went to the back as Nakamura posed in the ring. The shocker came the moment Joe ambushed Nakamura on the ramp and let loose his true intentions all along – to sucker the Champ into a sick attack. Now, it wasn’t quite to the level that Mark Henry did in 2013 with his fake retirement speech, but the key was that Joe said and did enough for us to let our guard down, even if we slightly felt an attack coming. They alluded to an attitude change ever since the show after TakeOver and that made the attack all the more buyable. Joe culminated his attack with a Bookend onto the steel steps before medical trainers took over and put the Champ on a stretcher. A cool mini-swerve that came off even better as it was played up like a legitimate injury, as we saw the Referee throw up the “X” and even Corey Graves came down from the commentary booth to check on Nakamura as did NXT General Manager William Regal.