Welcome to NXT! We’re kicking things off right tonight with a first round match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic that promises to be glorious!
Match 1: Bobby Roode & Tye Dillinger vs. Sanity
Roode and Dillinger come out first. The audience is chanting, “Glorious ten,” at them. Roode poses Ric Flair style which causes Dillinger to point to the 10 on the ass of his trunks before making it clap. The audience pops huge for this.
The lights then go off and and a bass riff that sounds like Primus’ “My Name is Mud” commences as Sanity make their long awaited debut. They come out in hoods and face masks looking more or less like crust punks. The crowd is loving it and chants “Holy shit!”
The bigger two of the four members of Sanity enter the ring and take off their masks. Corey Graves helpfully reminds us that the two men are former NXT jobbers Alexander Wolfe and Sawyer Fulton. The other two Sanity members are at ringside still masked up.
Wolfe and Dillinger start. Wolfe manhandles Dillinger from the moment the bell rings. Fulton gets tagged in and continues the beating. Roode still has his Ric Flair robe on. Tye Dillinger continues to get beat down.
Roode nearly comes in to make the save but thinks better of it and instead bails, leaving Dillinger alone to get beat down. The audience is crestfallen and chant “No!”
Dillinger looks sad and resigned to his fate. A second later Wolfe and Fulton hit some suplex/power slam double team maneuver for the win.
Post match the other two Sanity members come in. The smallest one jumps on Dillinger and continues beating him. They take off their mask revealing themselves to be lady jobber, Nikki Cross.
The last masked Sanity member stops her and then hits Dillinger with a crazy looking neckbreaker before removing his mask…”WHAT’S ERIC YOUNG DOING IN THE IMPACT ZONE?!”
Sanity has a cool look and seems like a decent stable. I like that they paired the debuting Eric Young with repackaged developmental people. This seems like a decent use of an established guy like Young and will probably help get the other three over somewhat.
A feud between Dillinger and Roode could be good, but it’s going to be hard to have Roode as the heel because people like his theme song too much.
Bilile Kay and Peyton Royce are getting interviewed. They mock Liv Morgan for getting her ass kicked by Asuka in less than a minute and talk about how shitty she dresses. Kay says that she’s going to take more than a minute when she fights Morgan because she wants to take her time and enjoy kicking Morgan’s ass.
Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…
Bobby Roode makes his way Backstage after his match and gets interviewed. He says that the loss is all Tye Dillinger’s fault. He says that Tye is a loser who begged Roode to team with him. Roode says that he’s not a tag team wrestler and it’s all Tye Dillinger’s fault.
Match 2: Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce) vs. Liv Morgan
One guy in the audience is excited about the fact that Liv Morgan is from New Jersey, a fact that Corey Graves mocks mercilessly.
Kay and Morgan lock up and Morgan sends Kay into the corner. Morgan gets Kay in a small package for one and then applies a headlock. Kay escapes and hits a fireman’s carry.
They go back and forth a bit more before Kay gets Morgan up in an awesome torture rack.
Morgan fights out of it and hits an STO. She gets Billie Kay down and then runs off the ropes but gets tripped up by Peyton Royce in clear sight of the ref.
Liv Morgan gets back up and runs directly into a big boot from Billie Kay who picks up the win.
Winner: Billie Kay
This was a pretty sloppy match and if this is what they’ve got to work with in the NXT Women’s Division I understand why they’re bringing in Mickie James to challenge Asuka. That being said I think Royce and Kay is a decent duo and their Mean Girls schtick works well.
This Is The Recap To Ignition Hot & Fresh Out The Kitchen…
They recap Andrade Almas attacking Cedric Alexander after they lost to the Revival last week.
We then get an interview with Almas from after the match. He says that he’s the best and asks who is Cedric Alexander. Most of his interview was in Spanish. Which made me wish they did the subtitle thing like Lucha Underground.
Match 3: TM61 vs. Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli
Moss and Sabbatelli are cocky former football dudes. They’re apparently always competing against each other in the weight room to see who’s the best but decided that this time instead of competing against each other they should compete with each other. I think they have stupid hair and want the team named after a Pokémon item to beat them.
Moss and Miller start it up. Miller works a wristlock into a headlock and then tags in Thorne who hits a senton before tagging Miller back in.
Half the crowd begins chanting, “WE WANT TINO!” to which the other half chants back, “NO WE DON’T!”
Thorne and Miller a double team maneuver on Moss which brings Tino in. He gets hit with a dropkick for his troubles. Thorne then runs the ropes for a dive to the outside but Tino is a dick and pulls the ropes down on him causing Thorne to fall out of the ring. Tape machines are rollings as we go to a commercial break.
We come back from commercials with Moss suplexing Thorne. I guess the Gridiron Greats or whatever this team is called controlled the action during the break. Moss tags in Sabbatelli and the duo hit some quick double team moves and bellow about “REAL ATHLETES BAYBAY!”
Corey Graves does his best Jim Ross Talking About Dr. Death Steve Williams impression and talks up the football success of Moss and Sabbatelli, how they’re millionaires and drive nice cars, but then he reminds me why I think he’s one of the best announcers the WWE has at present when he drops the line, “Look at him (Sabbatelli) he has abs like an action figure!”
Thorne’s in a bad way, but fights his way out of trouble. HOT TAG TO MILLER! Miller hits a stalling suplex on Moss that lasts for 53 years and goes for the pin but Action Figure Abs comes in to break it up and knock Thorne off the apron.
Moss tags in Sabbatelli but Miller slips free of his grasp and makes the tag to Thorne. Thorne hits a running kick and then He and Miller nail Thunder Valley to win.
Way too much Sabbatelli and Moss. I get that they wanted to make those dudes look credible, but the way they did it ended up making TM61 look like chumps throughout the bulk of the match.
Coming Up Next Week!
We have No Way Jose and Rich Swann teaming up to take on Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Match 4: Wesley Blake vs. Buddy Murphy
These former tag team partners have had bad blood between them for weeks now and tonight they’re going to settle the score once and for all.
Blake and Murphy are pretty evenly matched in the early going of the match going move for move with each other.
Blake eventually gets a brief advantage and lays in some heavy blows and shouts that he’s better, but Murphy nails him with an elbow that sends Blake to the outside.
Murphy runs and dives over the top rope and hits Blake with a sweet tope con hilo. He then rolls Blake back into the ring, but before he can get back in the ring himself, Samoa Joe rushes out and wrecks Murphy’s shit.
Blake dives over the top rope onto Samoa Joe to make the save but Joe catches him and wrecks his shit too.
Joe then gets in the ring and yells that he isn’t going anywhere until William Regal gives him Nakamura or the NXT championship.
Winner: Murphy (via DQ)
I like that for all their differences Murphy and Blake still love each other. Blake had no other reason to try and attack Samoa Joe but he did…because he loves Murphy.
Monday Night Wars Era Closing Segment
We come back from commercial break with Samoa Joe still in the ring demanding Nakamura or his title. Nakamura’s music suddenly hits and the champ appears on the stage wearing a neckbrace. Nakamura silently removes his neckbrace and drops his belt and hauls ass down to the ring. Joe and Nakamura brawl in the ring until security shows up to separate them.
Security has a hell of a time keeping them apart though. Eventually Joe bails and heads toward the back, but Nakamura follows after him and ends up laying out the security guards trying to keep him and Joe apart, going so far as to nail one dude with the Kinshasa.
Joe shows up again and since all of the security guards are now knocked the fuck out he and Nakamura fight their way down to the ring where Nakamura lays Joe out with the Kinshasa to close the show.
I thought this was a pretty decent episode in no small part because of the Tag Team Classic. I love tournaments and think from a booking stand point they are a fantastic way to naturally set up a bunch of feuds.
The Joe/Nakamura stuff was pretty great too. I’m pretty keen on pull apart brawls leading up to a title match and thought this one was pretty well done.