WWE NXT Review 10.19.16: Roderick Strong Debuts
Location: Winter Park, Florida inside Full Sail University
This episode of WWE NXT starts off with a recap of the rampage that Samoa Joe has recently been on. While he waits for Shinsuke Nakamura to return, or (as Joe would prefer) for William Regal to strip Nakamura of the title, so he can become NXT champion once again. Make sure to read up on what happened last week, before proceeding.
Alright cool, so now that we’re all caught up, let’s move on to the rest of tonight’s action!
Can You Handle It?
Match #1: Rich Swann & No Way Jose vs Tony Neese & Drew Gulak (1st Round of Dusty Rhodes Classic)
Winners: Rich Swann & No Way Jose (pin fall after Cobra Clutch Slam)
In the pre-match promo, Neese and Gulak say they don’t need dance moves like Dusty Rhodes to win matches and they will rely on power and finesse win the classic. Swann and Gulak open the match and immediately showcase why the CWC was such a success. There was a very quick pace to the action while Swann, Neese, and Gulak were involved, but as No Way Jose tags in, it’s evident right away that as the only non-cruiserweight in the match, his size and strength are just too much to overcome as he fends off a two-on-one attack multiple times. As the match breaks down, Rich Swann tosses Tony Neese to the outside and delivers a Corkscrew Moonsault from the middle rope leaving No Way Jose to deliver the Cobra Clutch Slam to Drew Gulak and pick up the 1-2-3.
After the Match: No Way Jose and Rich Swann deliver a quick victory promo by calling out The Authors of Pain, who they will face in Round 2 of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. They exchange catchphrases with Swann asking, “Can you handle this?” to which Jose replies, “No Way Jose.”
While No Way Jose and Rich Swann have some chemistry when it comes to their persona, I’m not convinced of their chemistry as tag team partners in the ring, Round 2 vs the Authors of Pain looks to be a big challenge. 3 out of 5
Before the Austin Aries interview, Tye Dillinger is in the back being looked after by a WWE Performance Center physician as result of his beat down by SAnitY.
Tye says that he wants GM William Regal to put Bobby Roode in a match at NXT Takeover Toronto; a match that is quickly made official by the commentary team.
Aries’ Mystery Partner
After a quick commercial break, we return to a backstage interview with Austin Aries. Everybody wants to know who his mystery tag team partner will be for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Of course, we don’t get a straight answer, but we are given a little clue. “Only the Greatest and Strongest survive.” Hmm, I wonder what that could mean.
Match #2: Bobby Roode vs. Sean Maluta
Winner: Bobby Roode (pin fall after Lifted DDT)
Okay, so MARK OUT CONFESSION OF THE WEEK time! Every time Bobby Roode is on NXT, I just go nuts. I love everything about this GLORIOUS gimmick. On to the match though, as we find Sean Maluta already in the ring. At the onset, Maluta hits the pedal to the metal with a dropkick. He follows up with a head-scissors takedown, and a quick pin attempt. Bobby kicks out, and it’s all Roode from here on out. After a devastating spinebuster and a lifted DDT, it’s all over as the GLORIOUS one picks up the win inside of 3 minutes.
After the Match: Bobby gives a quick promo saying he is going to “take over Toronto.” He then follows up by explaining his actions last week when he walked out on Dillinger during their match with SAnitY by saying he only agreed to the tag team match because he felt sorry and wanted to bring Tye up to his GLORIOUS level. Tye Dillinger then makes a rush to the ring and a brawl ensues. Surprisingly enough, Tye actually gets the upper hand forcing Roode to retreat.
This was all about showcasing Roode’s view of himself as being “above” the competition. The match was a squash, but seeing Tye Dillinger elevated to the same level of Roode is a great sight to behold, especially since Dillinger has been around the WWE developmental scene for over a decade now and that’s why I give this segment… 4 out of 5
Liv Morgan gets beat up…again
After watching Liv’s loss last week to Billie Kay, she is asking backstage about her thoughts on the loss. She barely gets a sentence out about not making excuses when Billie Kay and Peyton Royce jump her from behind and drag Morgan onto the stage where Peyton delivers a running knee for the audience to witness. The two heels in heels (get it? Heels in heels? I thought it was funny) then grab the microphone proclaiming that the women’s division now belongs to them.
As I said last week, the NXT women’s division is currently in a state of low tide at the moment. The talent just needs some time to grow before we begin to see anyone aside from Asuka or Ember Moon truly shine. And one last thought about this, I can’t be the only one who sees Liv Morgan as Carmella 2.0 am I?
Roderick Strong Debuts
Match #3: Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight vs Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (1st Round of Dusty Rhodes Classic)
Winners: Roderick Strong & Austin Aries (pin fall after Death by Roderick/Sick Kick Combo)
Yes…you read that right folks. The former Ring of Honor veteran and champion, Mr. ROH himself, Roderick Strong makes his NXT debut tonight! As the match starts, Aries quickly feels the strength of Otis and Tucker but as soon as Strong tags in, the pace quickens. The big boys however, show agility of their own and take apart both Strong and Aries early. Otis Dozovic goes to end it with a Banzai drop, but Aries saves the match!
Quite a bit of back and forth action in this match with the veteran knowledge and double team maneuvers from Strong and Aries going up against the shear size, strength, and unorthodox brawling style of Dozovic and Knight make this a fun match to watch. Near the end of the match, Strong delivers the running knee to Knight in the corner, lifts him onto his shoulders and delivers the Death by Roderick(double knee gut buster) followed up by the Sick Kick(running dropkick to pick up the victory.)
This match is why I love watching NXT. It’s Indy Wrestling with WWE production value. As great as it is that we get to see Roderick Strong in a WWE ring, it’s ever better because his first match isn’t a squash, it’s a challenging match that not only makes him look strong, but the newer talent that he’s facing. 4 out of 5
Andrade looking out for Andrade
In another short backstage interview, Andrade “Cien” Almas continues to cement his recent heel turn telling the NXT Universe that he no longer cares about respect, but that he only cares about what’s best for him.
SAnitY in the Women’s Division
Nikki Cross vs Danielle Kamela
Winner: Nikki Cross wins by pin fall, but Danielle Kamela is announced winner by DQ (referee reverses decision)
For the second week in a row we see SAnitY make their way on to NXT television! These guys are entertaining. This matchup pits Nikki Cross against the recently signed Danielle Kamela. This one was a very one-sided, and incredibly bizarre match up. Between the scratching, hair pulling, and biting…of herself I might point out, Nikki Cross dominates just about all 63 seconds of this match, and quickly ends it with a fisherman’s spinning neck breaker for the pin fall victory.
After the Match: The SAnitY faction joins Nikki inside the ring. Her presence indicates a very unstable mind, and she unleashes another attack on Kamela. Eric Young, leader of the faction pulls Nikki off, but then eats a forearm to the face as the wild woman returns to the assault on her opponent. The rest of the crew laughs it off. In a strange booking decision that occurs WELL AFTER the match ends, the announced says the referee has reversed the decision and announces Danielle Kamela the winner.
Okay, so everything that happened here was pretty entertaining. The women’s division needs someone like Nikki Cross to throw a monkey wrench into the pecking order; however, the ref reversing the decision well after a clean pin fall victory just doesn’t make sense at all. I rated the segment a 4, but that strange booking drops it down one. 3 out of 5
Sneaky Peak at next week!
There’s a preview of next week’s Round 1 matchups for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic:
#DIY(Gargano & Ciampa) vs Ho Ho Lun & Tian Bing
TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi vs Lince Dorado & Mustafa Ali
The Champ Stands Tall
To close out this week’s edition of NXT, Shinsuke Nakamura takes the stage. He informs Samoa Joe that if you want the NXT Championship, then he just needs to come and get it. Patrick Clark, of all people, interrupts to issue a challenge to the champion. Nakamura quickly dispatches of Clark with the Kinshasa.
Samoa Joe appears on the ramp; however, Shinsuke Nakamura sees him first and the show ends with a stare down.
Overall Thoughts: 8 out of 10. NXT continues to prove that if you keep the format simple, you can create a quality one hour wrestling program. The matchups and promos captured all the high points, and continued to build on storylines heading into NXT Takeover Toronto.
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