The Barclay Center
August 20, 2016
…Brooklyn we back on the map…
No Way Jose v. Austin Aries
I don’t know if Jose has enough charisma for the gimmick. However, I feel that he has a run in him as a serious heel. Something about him reminds me of Kofi Kingston in his early days. The conga line is corny. It’s a bad play on the Rose Buds.
I like Aries in the role of teacher.
Aries wins by submission.
The showdown between Aries and Hitami after the match was strong.
Winner: Austin Aries
Billie Kay v. Ember Moon
I’ve seen Moon many times while she was working the indie scene. She has a ton of charisma.
I like the red contacts. I’m not clear if her gimmick is supernatural or just a play off Finn Balor’s “Demon King” persona.
Moon locked in the Widow’s Peak gave me shivers. That girl is flexible as hell.
Winner: Ember Moon
Bobby Roode v. Andrade “Cien” Almas
I noticed pictures of Bobby Roode credited to Pro Wrestling Illustrated during the hype package. My, how times have changed.
The song and presentation of the entrance is killer. Not bad-mouthing Roode as a performer, but his take on it feels a bit “Mr. Kennedy.” The gimmick and song should have gone either to Austin Aries or, perhaps, a young talent.
Almas looks like a bozo in the gear they have him wearing.
Gorgeous springboard plancha, which he stuck by landing on his feet, by Almas. Dude has mad skills in the ring.
Winner: Bobby Roode
The “Sanity” teaser has my curiosity.
The segment with the guys from Orange County Choppers unveiling the Cruiser Weight Classic trophy was god awful. Paul Teutul Sr. clearly could have cared less. Generally, NXT feels hip, this segment was a bad call.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Johnny Gargano/Tomasso Ciampa v. The Revival (c)
I live just outside of Cleveland so I have been watching Gargano wrestle since he was 16-years old. This is a big moment for not only him but for the NE Ohio wrestling community.
“Johnny Wrestling” chants fill the arena.
The Revival are bruisers. The should never be broken up as they are definitely greater than the sum of their parts.
Ciampa dives for the tag as Scott Dawson pulls Gargano to the floor. Perfectly executed by all three.
Great tension as Ciampa is a finger-length away from Gargano for the tag.
Dash Wilder “falling” to distract the referee from seeing the tag was excellent.
The frustration on Gargano’s face after the spear/pin attempt was palpable.
“This is awesome” chant erupts. (The match actually is, BTW.)
Crowd biting huge on the submission/pin attempts.
Gargano and Ciampa appear to win but the heels have a foot on the rope. Referee waves off the finish. Gargano ends up tapping.
There is a standing ovation after the match.
The Revival are a tremendous tag team. The match contained a balanced mix of near-falls and highspots. Great tension. Ciampa and Gargano make themselves a team worth rooting for.
Winners: The Revival
Nxt Women’s Championship Match
Bayley v. Asuka (c)
Something about Asuka’s entrance reminds me of the entrance of “The” Brian Kendrick. That’s not a bad thing, just an observation.
Great storytelling early. Asuka has such a unique charisma.
I found Bayley calling for Asuka to “hit me in the face” to be odd. She got pummeled.
Bayley escaping the Asuka Lock and transitioning into the Bayley-to-Belly was awesome. Great emotion from Bayley after the kickout.
Bayley hulks the f#ck up, but is pinned.
There is a great shot of Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch sitting at ringside. Lynch is literally hanging over the barrier because she is so engrossed in the match.
This was an excellent match. It was very exciting. It was laced with good short- and long-term storytelling.
One thing, must EVERY high profile women’s match end in tears and hugging. It really worked when the division was being launched, now it’s beginning to wear out it’s welcome.
NXT Championship Match
Shinsuke Nakamura v. Samoa Joe (c)
Great video package to set the stage for the match, but the shitty new metal music HAS TO GO. It’s 2016.
Nakamura’s entrance was straight chills. The accompaniment by a live violinist was a perfect choice.
Nakamura’s charisma is nuclear. I first experienced it live when my buddy and I attended the ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds shows in Philadelphia in May 2015. He must be experienced live.
Joe exudes menace. He plays the prizefighter with no Fs to give, perfectly.
Joe is getting in a ton of offense.
This match has been shot almost in a cinematic style.
Nakamura looks like Superman after he kicks out of the Muscle Buster.
Nakamura wins the NXT title. The moment feels immense and important.
Winner and New NXT Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura
Despite roster changes and the pressure of competing with the much more high-profile SummerSlam the next evening, NXT delivers.
Ember Moon had a great debut. The diversity in NXT right now is incredibly refreshing.
Johnny Gargano is going to be a major star. He has been adopted by the NXT faithful.
I’m excited to see the “NXT” chapter in Shinsuke Nakamura’s story.