Written by Tommy Tracy
WWE NXT Go-Home Episode Before Mania
-We’re so close to NXT Takeover: Dallas that all I can think about is the show and find it hard to focus on this week’s NXT solo show. Much like this week’s RAW, I feel the go home show will be a letdown. I was underwhelmed by the preview I read online and even the crowd seemed quiet.
-We start with American Alpha taking on Local Jobber 1 and 2 (John Skyler and Corey Hollis). These guys are actually solid in the ring but they aren’t going to take the (future) Tag Team Champs. And they don’t, of course. This match was strange because it didn’t follow the typical American Alpha structure, which was great. As great as Chad Gable is at selling, he didn’t do too much in this match and it was actually nice because it let these two show their tougher side. Gable’s Belly to Belly is brutal and Jason Jordan may be the best suplex machine in wrestling history. Yeah, I said it.
–Baron Corbin hits the ring and makes short work of Mike…DeLorean? Accordion? Kizarny? Whatever, the match was shorter than his introduction.
-Out next we see the Tag Champs taking on Jobber 3 & 4 (Tucker Knight and Steve Cutler). Seriously, is this all we’re getting tonight? Yes, I know Knight and Cutler are talented and will one day be something in NXT but where is the intrigue? I daresay, NXT is phoning it in more than RAW.
-Even in NXT, the mighty can sometimes fall. A few short months ago, Apollo Crews was one of the biggest signings, even earning a NXT Championship match after two months of work. Now, he’s having weak matches and forced into a feud with the worst thing NXT has ever created. Sad. He beats Alex Riley easily and…why? Sure, Crews looks strong but a newly rejuvenated Riley looks weak. Are the Raw writers now writing for NXT? To make matters worse, the douche nozzle, Elias Samson appears to sing a…well okay, it was a creative song. But too little too late my friend. Drift away.
-I don’t talk about video packages much but it’s no secret that the guys in the production truck put together the very BEST packages in the world. They did just that with Bayley and Asuka, setting the stage for an incredible showdown between two of the best women to ever wrestle in the WWE. Again, yeah, I said it.
–Samoa Joe’s entrance music kicks ass. And this, apparently, is Bull Dempsey’s last appearance, which I was so sure was about a month ago. Anyway, as much as I love Bull, he stood no chance and is finished off early. Then Joe goes crazy and puts an unconscious Dempsey in the Coquina Clutch until Balor comes to fight off Joe. I hate to say it but this is very reminiscent of how RAW went off the air.
-This is the first (and hopefully last) time I’ve said this: NXT kinda sucked today. One referee said, “Save it for Takeover” and that must be what they’re doing. Regardless, I’m hyped for Friday’s NXT: Takeover and of course, Sunday’s WrestleMania.
NXT Takeover: Dallas Predictions
–Austin Aries def. Baron Corbin and proves why he is the Greatest Man That Ever Lived.
–Asuka def. Bayley to become the new Women’s Champion. Bayley makes the jump to RAW within a month after she hugs everyone in NXT.
–Apollo Crews def. Elias Samson and Samson drifts away forever.
–Shinsuke Nakamura def. Sami Zayn in the greatest match in NXT history.
–The Revival retains their Tag Titles against American Alpha, only to lose them a month later.
–Samoa Joe def. Finn Balor to end his epic NXT Championship reign. Balor debuts on Raw the Monday after Mania.