NXT – July 27, 2016: And They’re Off

Date: July 27, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

Brooklyn is still on the horizon and it’s time to start setting up more of the card. The big story coming off last week is Bayley defeating Nia Jax again to presumably become #1 contender the Women’s Title. The other interesting thing should be seeing some of these people for the last time before they head up to the main roster. Let’s get to it.

New opening sequence.

Earlier today, Blake and Murphy got in another argument over who carried the team. I thought we were pretty clear that it was Bliss.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Wesley Blake

This is the new Blake, meaning Blake with tassels on his boots. The fans sing Nakamura’s song and Blake isn’t sure what to think. Blake blows a kiss to Nakamura, who catches it and stomps on it to go…..I guess bigger face? Good Vibrations has Blake in trouble but he comes back with a clothesline and we hit a chinlock. For some reason Blake tries Good Vibrations, earning himself a kick to the face. The reverse exploder sets up Kinshasa for the pin on Blake at 4:30.

Rating: C-. This would be in the “what else were you expecting” category with Nakamura allowing Blake to get in some offense before finishing him without breaking much of a sweat. I’m not sure why they’re waiting to announce Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe for Brooklyn because it’s not exactly a surprise anymore.

I spoke too soon as here’s William Regal to announce Nakamura vs. Joe for the title at Takeover.

Billie Kay vs. Santana Garrett

Feeling out process to start with Billie working on an armbar. A dropkick puts Billie down but she forearms Santana in the back to take over again. The announcers keep talking about Billie’s recent Smackdown appearance going to her head as Garrett starts her comeback. It’s not much of a comeback though as Billie kicks her in the face for the pin at 3:07.

Rating: D. Nothing match but I like the idea of them trying to make new stars. I know “she was on the main roster once and it’s gone to her head” isn’t much but it’s not like the division can be picky right now. Garrett probably isn’t sticking around but she’s good for one off jobs like this.

We look at Bayley appearing at Battleground.

Bayley asks Regal for a title shot in Brooklyn and her request is granted pending Asuka’s approval. Why does he need Asuka’s approval and not Joe’s?

We get a promo for someone sitting in the moonlight with a voice saying the universe is shifting.

TM61 vs. Rob Ryzin/Adrian Nails

Miller and Nails start things off with Adrian being sent to the mat so Thorn can jump on his back. A standing moonsault/jumping fist drop combo suggests that this isn’t going to go long. Ryzin comes in to punch Thorn down in the corner but he misses a charge in the corner, allowing the hot tag to Miller. Thunder Valley ends Nails at 3:07.

Rating: C-. Just a squash here which is becoming a recurring trend around here again. TM61 is probably getting the next title shot after Ciampa and Gargano, all of which should lead to some great matches with a lot of really solid action. TM61 has taken some time to grow on me but they’re getting better.

Handshakes all around post match.

We look back at Austin Aries turning full heel on No Way Jose, who attacked Aries two weeks back.

Hideo Itami returns next week.

No Way Jose vs. Steve Cutler

I want to cheer for Cutler for the facial hair alone. We start with a good old fashioned dancing wristlock but Cutler makes the mistake of hitting Jose in the face to fire him up. Some right hands and a hiptoss set up the Baseball Punch, followed by a cobra clutch slam to end Cutler at 1:52.

Post match Jose says he wants Aries because all he was trying to do was show Austin how to have fun. There won’t be any dancing next time because it’s time for a whipping.

Buddy Murphy vs. Kota Ibushi

This is Ibushi’s NXT debut. Some shoulders put Kota down to start but he gets in a nice dropkick and a kick to the chest to send Buddy outside. Back in and Murphy knees him in the back to set up a chinlock but the fans keep cheering away. Buddy gets a close two off some running knees (WAY too common of a move around here) but gets his head kicked into the fourth row.

A German suplex gives Ibushi two but he has to bail out of a moonsault. Murphy sends him face first into the middle buckle for two but makes the eternal mistake of putting a high flier on the top rope. Ibushi can’t quite get a sunset bomb so he settles for a sitout powerbomb and the pin at 5:21.

Rating: B-. Who thought this would actually be good? On top of that who thought Ibushi would win with a powerbomb of all things? Ibushi looked good here as I think everyone expected. Murphy was a very nice surprise here though as there’s actually potential there if they give him a gimmick and he gets a slightly better arsenal.

Joe feels disrespected about not being told of his title defense.

Bobby Roode debuts next week.

Here’s Joe for a chat to close the show. Apparently he was just told about the title defense when he got here. So he didn’t show up until about eight minutes left in the show? Champion’s privilege I guess. Joe will NOT be defending the title against an undeserving contender like Nakamura. This brings out Regal to say oh yes you will defend that title against who I say you will but Joe still isn’t happy.

Regal looks especially ticked off as Joe tells him that they can go to Regal’s office and determine an opponent of whom Joe approves. Regal says fight Nakamura of the title is forfeited. That’s enough for Joe and the match is on, assuming he doesn’t take out Nakamura before Brooklyn. Cue Nakamura to make a telescope with his hands (because he can) and stare down Joe as we go off the air.

Overall Rating: B. This was one of NXT’s specialties: moving a lot of things forward in a single night. In the span of fifty three minutes, we have three matches announced for Takeover and the debut of a big name. You really can tell when it’s time for a major show as NXT turns it up to twelve as only they can. Good show here and it flew by, making things even better.


Shinsuke Nakamura b. Wesley Blake – Kinshasa

Billie Kay b. Santana Garrett – Big Boot

TM61 b. Rob Ryzin/Adrian Nails – Thunder Valley to Nails

No Way Jose b. Steve Cutler – Cobra clutch slam

Kota Ibushi b. Buddy Murphy – Sitout powerbomb

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  1. Ghost of Remix says:

    KOTA IBUSHI!!! Remix’s ghost is very happy.

    Seriously he’s a marketing dream. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to know this guy is good looking and has some serious in ring talent. If they give him the proper platform he’s going to make WWE loads of cash.

    Greg Reply:

    Marketing dream? He can’t even speak English. He is only 5’11. His look isn’t that special. Lots of guys are good in the ring.

    The most special thing about him is his lack of English. Unfortunately for him, he is not tall enough to get away with being a silent monster. He isn’t a Jeff Hardy who got around lack of mic skills by pretty much killing himself in every match.

    I’m just not seeing it.

    Pi Reply:

    “Good looking” as in “Finally a hot Asian guy in the WWE”
    That’ll carry him over the bridge of first impressions for many fans, myself included.

    Rocko Reply:

    Honestly he looks like a normal Asian guy to me. I’m guessing you are overestimating his look appeal to the audience.

    How is Kota going to make us care about him when he can’t speak the same language as WWE’s main audience? He faces an uphill battle with the hill being Mt. Everest.

    Greg Reply:

    Idk why my name is Rocko in that last post but whatever.

    Bloodbuzz Bunk Reply:

    Because Japanese stars who have don’t speak English well don’t ever get over. They definitely don’t main event a 20,000 seat arena in America. Never happens.

    Kota is great in the ring and he has indie fans who will get behind him. He isn’t quite the the charismatic guy who overcomes the language barrier. But he is a monster in the ring a lot like Asuka is so he can get over.

    Greg Reply:

    I’m not saying he can’t get over. My view is if you are not the prototype WWE likes (tall, muscular and promo ability) then you have to have something that makes you special.

    Jeff Hardy is awful at promos. He got over by killing himself. The Great Khali got over (…sort of) by being ridiculously tall. Countless other exceptions. I don’t see that something special in Kota.

    The part that worries me is Kota is 5’11. Daniel Bryan was able to get around being small. But Bryan was aided by his promos. Kota has to do all of his talking in the ring. That is very hard to do especially when there are people like Brock Lesnar walking around. Asuka is helped by the divas not really having multiple Brock Lesnar types.

    The way you describe him makes me view him like a smaller Cesaro with only slightly less promo ability.

    Ted Reply:

    His height is irrelevant it’s not 1984. Personally speaking I don’t see any reason he can’t have a great career here in North America.

    Greg Reply:

    At 5’11, Kota cannot do the monster character. This is the point I’m trying to make. He’s too small to make that believable.

    ted Reply:

    Meh maybe. He could just do the insanely talented character that can out work most people. or he could be a striker type. The point is even if that character wouldn’t work. Their is no reason to believe he can’t get over as some other kind of character. Due to his skills in the ring. Your being worried has merit. I’m just saying I believe Kota can overcome his shortcomings.

  2. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Great debut for Ibushi tonight and Murphy deserves a bonus for going out there and busting his butt to make sure they both looked great.

    I’m personally not one to say I told you so( so you know what is coming next) but I told everyone that Jose is the TRUTH! He understands how to play it straight and loose which is the best way to be a consistently over face today.

    Overall good show and we pretty much have 4 of the Brooklyn matches figured out and guess what BOBBY ROODE IS HERE NEXT WEEK! This place just keeps rolling.

  3. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Since the replies ran out of the above just to continue. If Ibushi throws kicks and slams as hard and crisp as he does then yes he can definitely have a Cesaro like career and if he gets a little bit better booking luck he could have a short run as a champ. Like I don’t think Kota has Nakamura potential to main event but he can successful as any other non English speaker in American wrestling.

    Greg Reply:

    I’m guessing they signed Kota for the cruiserweight division. I don’t see him sniffing a world title. I need to see more before I think about a midcard title. His shortcomings can be overcome, but it’s going to be very hard.

    Ghouls r cool Reply:

    Just be willing to give him time. There’s rightful excitement surrounding him because even though he’s the best flippy guy in the business, he’s got a way above average skill set in other ring styles. The Cesaro comparison is weird to me since Cesaro is still rather bland most of the time he’s actually in a ring – he does cool stuff but has no character (outside of those few times he went god mode on pre shows). Ibushi has some character and you’ll see it eventually.

    For now just check out him v nakamura or AJ in new Japan’s wrestle kingdom.

  4. NightShiftLoser says:

    Murphy v Ibushi was far better than it deserved to be. Too early to tell how far Ibushi can go in WWE, but there’s some room for Murphy to become something credible in the midcard.

    Great show overall!