Still with me? Thought so. The show opens with a graphic of what WWE is apparently now calling Mayhem in Massachusetts, letting everyone know that Joe is the new NXT Champion.
While the show comes at us from…Houston. Host city of WM32. From a month ago. Never fails to make me chuckle. But on that note, we get things rolling with Asuka!
Best Match of the night:
I rather enjoyed most of the matches this evening, but for me the match of matches was Nakamura versus The Drifter, and this was strictly because of how fun it is to watch the King of Strongstyle. Just fun to watch.
Worst match of the night:
Carmella versus Aliyah didn’t do a whole lot for me, though the women look like they could be solid long term. Almost wondering if Carmella would be better off toning down or dialing back the over-the-top and way too fake Staten Island gimmick…I get it, she was part of Enzo and Cass…but Enzo was from North Jersey (the NYC suburb) and Cass is from Queens. Carmella? She’s from Worcester. As in Wooster. Just seems like she’s trying to be too much like Snooki.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Asuka’s gonna kill you
You can’t wrestle
Let’s go Eva/Eva sucks
You still suck
thank you Asuka
Let’s go Ryder
King of Strongstyle
Star of the Night
Liked Asuka in the opener, and Shinsuke in the main event. Take your pick, you can’t go wrong with either tonight.
Spot of the Night:
Really liked Dash and Dawson’s emulation of the Doomsday Device.
And, I really liked Carmella’s version of the triangle choke.
Jobber of the Night:
Lee and Parker. They absolutely should not have skipped leg day. Maybe then, Graves would not have called them Jamoke numbers one and two.
Upset of the Night:
Not that it happened tonight, but I have to sort of see Joe knocking off Balor as my upset of the night. Not that Joe winning is really to be considered an upset-Joe is obviously the bigger guy, and a very accomplished performer. Mostly just shocked that they did this at a house show, relatively recent after TakeOver. But, as I’ve said elsewhere, I wonder if this is a way to free Balor up for a rapid (as in Payback) debut on the main roster.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Dash and Dawson attacking the Hype Bros post match. These guys sure are upset about having lost their tag team titles.
Botch of the night:
During the opening match, either it’s Eva screwing up or the ref, but when she went to bounce off the ropes, ref was between her and the ropes. Knowing how the NXT faithful feel about Eva, I’d imagine most would give credit to the Red Queen.
Commentary of the night:
On Eva Marie’s entrance: “Oh my God Tom, it’s all going to change”…”Yep, sure it will”.
This is like the gator from Lake Placid going after Bambi
That kick could change the face of Total Divas
It appears they skipped leg day
You know why I liked her tonight? She reminded me of my childhood, like Cheetara. Thundercats.
There’s a whole can of worms there.
LOL Moment of the night:
Dawson told one of the jobbers to come in the ring while his partner was being beaten down. Which had him respond “I’m respecting the rules”. Too funny, and that might end up being the peak of his career.
Not really from this night, per se, but it did get airtime. Joe beating Finn Balor to claim his first NXT title in Lowell, MA. Knew it was coming, but it still deserves some recognition, no?
Honestly, that they were still in Houston. Some of the shots (not many, but a few) showed the open convention center. But if that’s what I call a lowlight? Then we are getting a good show. I mean, for my RAW Nutshells, the lowlights could be matches, segments, commentary, the whole show….
Solid, if unspectacular lineup tonight. The choices for match of the night were good, but not great. Which is OK, because now that we are well past TakeOver, things have to start percolating for the next big encounter, which is what this card was all about. Build new feuds up, give some talent good airtime, and above all, continue to entertain.
After the final bell:
Even if Joe’s winning the belt wasn’t covered on the show (or, had not happened), tonight’s card was a good one. There are sadly way too many RAW shows that would kill to have matches that were at this level, and, more important, a crowd that was this into it. That is something, each and every time I watch NXT, that makes it so enjoyable: the crowd, being into it, tons of chants-and smart ones, too. If you put on the best wrestling match in history, but you dropped the ring in the middle of the worst crowd ever? It would very likely kill the match, ruining it for everyone. A good crowd makes things better.
Asuka defeats Eva Marie
Revival over Lee and Parker
Hype Bros knock off Blake and Murphy
Carmella takes care of Aliyah
Nakamura dispatches Elias Samson