3/16/16 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters
American Alpha def. The Vaudevillains by pinfall to become the No. 1 Contenders to the Tag Team Championships
Jordan and Gable hit a double dropkick on English, followed by a double clothesline to Gotch. Jordan nailed both Gotch and English with dropkicks, then nailed belly-to-back suplexes on both men as well. Gable tagged back in and hit an amazing roll-through bridging German suplex.
Gable dropkicked Gotch out of the ring and into the arms of Jordan, who suplexed him onto the floor. In the ring, English recovered to hit a powerbomb, earning a near-fall. Jordan returned to the ring and launched English into the waiting arms of Gable, who bridged a side suplex for the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: American Alpha worked with such a high energy level throughout the match that it was no surprise that they won. They both wrestled with legitimate excitement, knowing their moment was right around the corner. A fun match that sends Gable and Jordan to a likely title victory at Takover Dallas, and leaves The Vaudevillains again twisting in the wind.
Shinsuke Nakamura challenges Sami Zayn
Zayn opened the show with a promo, saying that his goal of being the first two-time NXT Champion is unchanged following his loss to Samoa Joe. He said that his one gripe is that he doesn’t have a clear opponent for Takeover Dallas.
William Regal interrupted, saying that he was rewarding Zayn for his hard work with a match against one of the best in the world. Shinsuke Nakamura appeared on the video screen and cut a brief promo, which was almost entirely inaudible over the crowd’s mind-blown cheers.
Scott’s Thoughts: What a debut that will be for Nakamura. That match is a clear front-runner for match of the night at Takeover Dallas.
Bayley and Asuka def. Eva Marie and Nia Jax by pinfall; Regal announces Bayley vs. Asuka for Takeover Dallas
Jax hit Bayley with a Samoan drop, but Bayley responded with a side suplex on Eva. Nia tried to make the save, but accidentally hit Eva with a leg drop instead of Bayley. Bayley dropkicked Nia out of the ring, as Asuka took a cheap shot at Eva with the referee distracted. Bayley hit a Bayley-to-Belly to finish off Eva.
After the match, Regal entered and announced that Bayley and Asuka would face each other at Takeover Dallas.
Scott’s Thoughts: Corey Graves had a fabulous night on commentary, and his escalating fear for Eva’s safety during this match was hilarious. Bayley vs. Asuka is the most high-profile women’s match NXT can book right now, so it makes plenty of sense to do so at Takeover Dallas.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Jesse Sorenson by submission
Ciampa got off to a very aggressive start, hitting a dropkick and a running corner knee. Ciampa hit a spinning lariat, but Sorenson answered with a dropkick of his own. Ciampa responded with an armbar, earning the submission victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: Ciampa wrestled a much more heelish style than we’ve seen to this point in NXT, hinting at a possible new direction for his previously whitemeat babyface character.
Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) def. Deonna Purrazzo by submission
Emma and Dana trash-talked Purrazzo backstage before the match. Emma hit an Emma Sandwich crossbody, locked in a Dil-Emma rope-hung Boston crab, and tapped her out with an Emma Lock.
Scott’s Thoughts: This match was almost funny in its cookie-cutter efficiency. It’s like the booking agent simply said, “Hey Emma, go get your shit in,” because the entire match was signature, signature, finisher. I do love heel Emma though; she’s really grown into her character.
Hype Bros def. Angelo Dawkins and Kenneth Crawford by pinfall
Ryder hit Dawkins with a dropkick, and Mojo joined him for a HypeRyder on Crawford to finish the squash.
Scott’s Thoughts: The best part of this was easily Corey Graves on commentary saying, “It’s time for some celebratory bro-tein shakes!” Graves is excellent.
- Graves and Tom Phillips interviewed Austin Aries, who said that he’s spent his whole career dealing with guys like Baron Corbin. He said that Corbin is big, strong and insecure, and that Takeover Dallas will be “a great day to be great, and a bad day to be you.”