WWE NXT Live
August 5, 2016
Pensacola Bay Center
I traveled over to Pensacola last night to see WWE’s NXT roster (Watch NXT exclusively on the WWE Network… Only $9.99/month!) for some live house show action. I make sure I watch all of the NXT TakeOver specials on WWE Network but I’m only a casual watcher of the weekly show. I’ve been trying to remedy that lately as I’ve also made it a point to watch the weekly installments of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament.
Going in last night, I knew of a few names that were scheduled to be there but didn’t know which matches would be taking place. I purposely didn’t look up any recent NXT house shows because I didn’t want to spoil anything for myself. Although, someone tweeted a photo of the show’s fight card using the #NXTPensacola hashtag, and it was plastered all over the big screen in the arena since the live shows use a lot of social media, so that kinda ruined that.
The first “event” of the night was live event host Andrea D’Marco coming out and asking us to choose (through the use of hastags of course) which NXT classic match we’d like to watch. I honestly can’t remember the first two choices, but third one was Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from last year’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. Of course that won. I wasn’t expecting to watch TV at a house show, but oh well. Turns out it wasn’t the full match though. It was maybe 5 minutes of highlights throughout the match, including the finish. Still such a great match. Probably something I should return to and watch in full.
With that out of the way, here’s how the card played out:
– Mojo Rawley beat Buddy Murphy with the Hyper Drive. Murphy was always my favorite of the Blake & Murphy team. He has “it”. So smooth in the ring. I hope he gets a chance to shine as a top talent in NXT. Mojo was entertaining as well, I’d never care for him but I think I might be a fan now. Dude is huge, energetic and pretty funny. Lots of comedy in this match with Mojo giving Murphy multiple inverted atomic drops and slapping him on butt at various points. This caused Murphy to sell having a sore read-end for the entire match
– Andrade “Cien” Almas beat Riddick Moss with a corner knee smash. I have no clue who Riddick is, but he has great size & look and cut a good promo running down the NXT guys that got drafted and about how he deserves to be on Raw and will quit WWE if he isn’t called up by this time next year. This guy could be a star in the making. Fans were all over him for his hair with chants of “Kenny G” and “Michael Bolton”. Andrade has some cool moves, but I just don’t care about him.
– Billie Kay beat Daria with a big boot. Billie Kay is incredibly gorgeous and has great theme music. She kinda reminds me of Maryse back in the day with her persona, long slim body and attire. This wasn’t a very good match and no one seemed to care about either of them. Never heard of Daria. She had a MMA gimmick going.
– NXT Tag title match: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa beat The Revival by DQ when one of the Revival guys pulled the ref out of the ring when he was trying to make a count. This was a long and GREAT match. Definitely worthy of something you’d see on any WWE TV show or PPV. So much action and so many near falls it had me really thinking they were gonna do a house show title switch since WWE had a guy filming the show all night. Ciampa cut a promo afterwards challenging the Revival at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II. WWE has uploaded the video of that challenge to social media.
– Bobby Roode made Oney Lorcan (who?) submit to a full-nelson body scissor. Roode got a huge pop and I got to hear his new theme music in person. It was GLORIOUS. Oney turned out to be pretty good and had some fans but most of the crowd was behind Roode. Sometimes Roode would hit a good move and then pose and yell “GLORIOUS!” Pretty funny.
– NXT Women’s title match: Asuka beat Ember Moon with the Asuka Lock. I know Ember Moon is Athena, but I’ve never seen her wrestle before. She was very over with the crowd. Got a good pop when she came out and got a standing ovation and chants after losing. Match was decent. Ember got in some really good moves. Would like to see these two get more time.
– Samoa Joe & Austin Aries beat Shinsuke Nakamura & No Way Jose when Joe made Jose tap to the rear naked choke. Afterwards, Shinsuke hit the Kinshasa on Joe and Jose hit the cobra clutch slam on Aries. Naka & Jose had good chemistry as a team. Some good comedy bits in this match as well, but also a competitive match. No Way Jose was insanely over and closed the show by dancing and taking pictures with the fans as his music played while everyone else already went backstage. I’ve seen a report of last night’s show making the rounds at wrestling sites that Naka & Jose won, but that definitely did NOT happen.
Definitely a fun show. I’ve seen WWE, WCW and TNA house shows and, honestly, this is the best house show I’ve ever been to. Sure, you don’t get the star power that a Raw or Smackdown show would give you, but NXT always has some great talents and personalities.