Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement…
Tonight was of course NXT Takeover: The End and I’m already wondering how many folks I’m going to tick off with my opinions on this event. The show did get off to a great start… with Renee Young and Lita’s outfits on the pre-show. Hey Renee is always a highlight and Lita is just a bonus.
Okay down to business… the opening package to try and justified the name ‘The End’ for this special was to be the ‘End of the Beginning’ as if they are going to bury the entire first few years of NXT… which I personally thought they did when they switched from actually trying to develop male stars to being a ‘Super Indy’ signing every message board hero possible
The first match of the night was Tye Dillinger facing the debuting Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, who looked like the illegitimate son of Savio Vega in his entrance gear. The match itself was solid, on a grade scale I’d give it a C, it was to really showcase Almas with Tye showing why he’s a ‘Perfect 10’ in being very crisp with his own moves and feeding into Alams offense. What I didn’t like here was Almas clearly having a lucha based offense, but came across as being very half-speed and I didn’t really buy into him as much, the Full Sail audience seemed to have the same vibe. I’m not too sure about his finish being a pair of running knees to the face, with the opponent sitting in the corner cause it’s just like Zack Ryder’s broski boot, it seems like it would be a good ‘setup up’ move for something else.
Second match of the night was The American Alpha defending the Tag Team titles against The Revival… this match started off a bit… weird for my tastes, and didn’t felt like it got started until a classic do-si-do spot, but even then, it seemed like the AA were a bit too in-control of this match until Gable got hung up with a 3D-type spot over the ring ropes to allow Dash and Dawson to get some heat with Gable playing the role of Ricky Morton and Jordan playing Robert Gibson for the hot tag and then the story progressing towards the finish that saw The Revivial out-thinking Jordan and Gable to hit their double-team finish to become the New Tag Team Champions. Grade wise… I’ll give this a solid B, all the notes were hit perfectly once the match found its grove, but the opening portion just gave this match a rough feeling.
After the match, Jordan and Gable were attack by a couple of swollen jamokes and the return to the WWE of the legendary Paul Ellering, the manager of the Road Warriors. Certainly appears he has found his new Legion of Doom. However the crowd chanting who are you at Ellering means they get a new nick name ‘Full Of It’ Sail. Anyway, the duo is called ‘The Authors of Pain’ and are Sunny Dhinsa and Gzim Selmani
In the match between Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura… eh… I’ll say something nice about this match first: Twitter loved it… and I’ll give it a B for what it was.
Now here’s where the shoe drops and where I’ll be ticking a lot of you off: everything about Nakamura’s presentation just bothers me, from his mannerisms to how he wrestles just bothers me, it’s always comes across as a ‘joke’… and it’s quite clear being stoned has to be a requirement to enjoy Nakamura if the Full Sail crowd is anything to go by. On top of that, with Austin Aries having a taped up midsection, the story of the match and lack of control of the audience had everything feeling backward. Logic dictates Nakamura works the midsection of Aries and have him be the one to make the comeback. Then there’s this stupidity, Austin Aries doing a Death Valley Driver styled move onto Nakamura on the hard edge of the ring which should result in a count out, then him doing a dive a missing crashing into ring barrier… which allows Nakamura to do his three move finish sequence. This did not make any sense what so ever.
So… that said, we then got the TRUE Main Event, with Nia Jax facing Asuka for the NXT Women’s Title. This match, unlike the one that preceeded it MADE SENSE, with Nia being bigger and stronger dominating and Asuka having to use her speed and submission experience to work. This was perfection on what a WRESTLING match should be! When Asuka got the tide turned in her favor it felt natural, and everything progress perfectly, with it being clear that Asuka’s Fighting Spirit would not be denied. This match gets a A plus from me!
In a backstage segment, we saw that Bobby Roode arrived and walked into William Regal’s office when he was being interviewed. That was just rude.
The final match of the night night was Samoa Joe defending the NXT Title against Finn Balor in a steel cage… and something about the cage didn’t feel right, I know because Full Sail has a low ceiling they had to fold it down, but the gaps in the four corners between each segment just stuck out like a sore thumb. Someday it will be brought back. Neville was shown in the crowd sporting a beard...like the WWE needs another bearded guy. The story of the match here was clear, this being Finn’s first cage match and in demon mode, Joe being a big slow plodding guy with experience in cage matches… basically cage matches are hard to screw up, if you treated like a ‘fight’ with none of the cute spots seen in normal matches, they are more often than not awesome. What we got here was an okay cage match, with Finn making a mistake going for a pinfall victory instead of escaping the cage, and the match eventually ending with Joe hitting a muscle buster from the second rope on Finn for a pinfall win. I’ll give this a C, it wasn’t anything special with nothing that really stood out for me.
So overall we got a pair C’s, two B’s and an A and that A is course the Women’s Title Match. It was a good show, but not spectacular in my view.