NXT is in the books for another week. They’re building up to their quarterly event NXT Takeover: San Antonio. This episode saw the contract signing between Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship at Takeover. We also saw The Revival face off against TM-61 in a brutal match. We also saw an offer from Eric Young of Sanity to Tye Dillenger. How did this show hold up?
I have to say I am enjoying the Sanity stable led by former TNA star Eric Young. It’s a perfect use for him. Eric is not going to be someone who will go after a major championship in the WWE. That is not a knock against him by any means because not many people get the call to be the top guy. But what he is great at is being a teacher. He can be the veteran who leads a group of young stars, teaching them the ins and outs of the business. With Nikki Cross, Alexander Wolfe, and now a man that is built like a tank in Big Damo, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in NXT.
Early in the show, Nikki Cross has a match against a jobber that showcased how crazy she can be in the ring. She’s currently slated to face off against Asuka, Billy Kay, and Peyton Royce for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: San Antonio. While I haven’t seen too much of her in action, I’m really digging her vibe as a performer. She comes across as a modern day Luna Vachon, which for the character she’s portraying in Sanity is not a bad thing at all.
Eric Young had some great mic work with Tye Dillenger, setting up their match at NXT Takeover: San Antonio. I still don’t get Tye Dillenger. He’s not coming across like a big deal like they want him to be. The fans at Full Sail University love the guy yet I think he would be eaten alive on the main roster. He really comes across like an updated version of Adam Rose or Bo Dallas.
The tag match between The Revival and TM-61 was brutal. The match saw TM-61 get an upset win against the former NXT Tag Team Champions. After the match, Shane Thorne was attacked by The Revival. The reason for the attack is that off screen, Shane Thorne has a legitimate injury and they need to write him off television while he recovers. Yet having The Revival take him out like they did gives him a story to dive into when he’s ready to come back. The Revival reminds me of tag teams back in the 80’s that you would see in Jim Crockett Promotions. Just a couple of bad asses who don’t say much on the mic but go out and cause all kinds of havoc in the ring. The match they had against #DIY at NXT Takeover: Toronto is on my list of best matches for 2016. These guys put on a clinic every time they’re in the ring. It’s only a matter of time before they get called to the main roster and unleash a fury of fists against new opponents.
The show ended with the contract signing for Bobby Roode vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: San Antonio. As Bobby Roode promised when he first got on the mic, this signing did not involve the traditional fight you usually see at a setting like this. It involved mic work. Lots of it. Bobby Roode carried the segment and for the most part, did a wonderful job.
The problem with the segment was Shinsuke. When he moved to America last April, one part of his performance he’s been working on is his English. While he is getting better and will eventually get to a point where this is not a problem, as of now, I could barely understand him on the mic. For the amount of time they gave him to talk, the results we saw on the latest episode of NXT were disastrous. His work in the ring will definitely turn heads when he gets to the main roster. The guy just oozes charisma. But unlike a real sport that can do a simple interview with subtitles with an athlete that doesn't speak English, a large portion of of the vocal work in wrestling will occur live in front of an audience. They need to do a better job of hiding this weakness until he’s ready. As of now, he has a long way to go.
The show was pretty good. I’d definitely give it a watch on the WWE Network since a bad episode of NXT is better than most wrestling programs today. Yet I do feel there were some wasted opportunities to build up the NXT Takeover: San Antonio event that they failed to capitalize on. This show is not feeling as big as other Takeover events and that’s sad. One thing I did take note of was that long time NXT mainstay Samoa Joe was nowhere to be seen. Could this mean that at long last we’re going to see a Samoa Joe debut at the Royal Rumble? The WWE website has been planting some seeds lately with a recent article detailing the history Samoa Joe and John Cena have, starting their careers at the same wrestling school.