Nakamura became the number one contender to the NXT title tonight, but I was more concerned with Bayley making her case for an NXT Women’s Title shot and the darker side of No Way José. There was something for everyone in this week’s episode of NXT!
Blake & Murphy
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy continue to squabble over their former tag-team with Blake facing Nakamura and Murphy facing Kota Ibushi (who put on a fantastic showing by the way). I’m not sure where this whole thing is going between these two, but hopefully they can find their footing as singles competitors. It would be a shame to see a solid tag-team broken up only for these two to lose their place amongst the wealth of talented singles stars in NXT. Then again, maybe they’ll pair back up. It remains to be seen at this time, but Blake and Murphy definitely have a lot left to offer NXT.
Nakamura is the #1 Contender to the NXT Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura was announced as the #1 contender for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II after defeating Wesley Blake. Nakamura has easily become one of the most popular NXT Superstars and he and Samoa Joe could easily have a match of the year candidate on their hands. It’s certainly an exciting time to be an NXT fan.
Billie Kay vs. Santana Garrett
Billie Kay actually made an appearance on SmackDown earlier in July against Dana Brooke so she’s had some recent major exposure. It was nice to see a match involving two up and coming stars in the NXT Women’s Division. With the promotion of Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella to the main roster, there is a lot of room for new women to make their presence know and these two ladies had a solid quick bout. I’m definitely looking to see more from these two as they could be a couple important pieces as the year rolls on.
Bayley Wants Another Shot at Asuka
Bayley went to NXT GM William Regal and told him that she wants another chance at the NXT Women’s Championship. This is no surprise, but I don’t know how I feel about this. Bayley has been in NXT a really long time. While I don’t feel the fans will ever turn on her, I do feel like the time is imminent for a call-up. She has never been more popular and she has proven everything she can in NXT. I believe that this championship rematch is the best possible scenario for NXT, however, I also believe that that should be her final match in NXT. This woman has been the face of the brand for so long and I know that she’ll be hard to replace down there, but the girl deserves her time to shine on the main roster. There is no better time to do that than sometime in the next couple months. Bayley’s reaction at Battleground tells you everything you need to know about her popularity.
TM61 and Tag Team Wrestling Renaissance
Shane Thorne and Nick Miller have been one of the best signings in recent memory for NXT. These two Australians are one of the best tag-teams I’ve seen in a long time. They were dominant over Rob Ryzin and Adrian Nails. These two have to be in the NXT Tag Title picture before long, they’re definitely too good not to be. It’s really been a renaissance of tag team wrestling in NXT over the past year with teams like The Revival, American Alpha, TM61, and Gargano and Ciampa rising up and putting forth some great tag matches. I’m a big tag team wrestling fan and seeing these teams creating new double-team maneuvers and bringing back what makes tag wrestling so great is such a fantastic thing to see. WWE has a lot to look forward to when these teams get brought up.
No Way José
I was wrong. I hated this gimmick when it first debuted. I didn’t hate the gimmick because it wasn’t a decent idea, I hated it because things like this have failed so many times before (Adam Rose). When a character is only known for dancing and a catchy theme song, they tend to get lost in the shuffle. Luckily enough, No Way José has shown that he is multi-dimensional and that he has another gear. He has definitely proven to me that he has what it takes to go to the next level and that makes me incredibly happy to see. No Way José is just scratching the surface of what he’s capable of and is definitely a star to watch over the next few months.
This was another solid show for NXT. There is so much depth on the NXT roster that every week you get to see a taste of something different. The booking style is so much more diverse than WWE and it really shows with a lot of the undercard having strong showings on this show. Bobby Roode makes his debut next week and I can’t wait for that!