The announced match for this week was No Way Jose versus SAnitY’s Eric Young. After Jose incurred the wrath of SAnitY last week, when he tried to save his friend (and Dusty Classic partner) Rich Swann from a beating, he demanded this match to settle the score. Given SAnitY’s established pattern of interference, it remains to be seen whether he gets a fair fight.
Asuka def Nicole Matthews
Eric Young (with SAnitY) def No Way Jose
Samoa Joe def Tye Dillinger
Asuka vs Nicole Matthews
Asuka kicked off tonight’s episode against Nicole Matthews. Matthews got in a kick and a few forearms early on, then Asuka’s expression changed and Matthews was subjected to a series of kicks and strikes which left her laying. She did get up and try again but Asuka had other ideas, submission ideas. Nicole Matthews fought hard (actually, she looks really good) trying for a number of reversals but Asuka was too strong. The Asuka lock finished this match as it has so many others.
Nice opening match. I’d like to see Nicole Matthews again; she looks like she has some quality to add to the division.
Next, was a look back to the events of last week which precipitated No Way Jose demanding tonight’s match with Eric Young.
Tye Dillinger interrupted Samoa Joe’s self-congratulatory speech about Shinsuke Nakamura not being on his level. He asked for a match and when Joe asked him for a reason why he should bother to get in the ring with him Dillinger slapped him across the face. Match on.
No Way Jose vs Eric Young
As expected, Eric Young did not come to the ring alone. No Way Jose started fast and hard, trying to take Eric Young down early. Young escaped to the outside and in amongst his stable. Despite the dominant start for No Way Jose, the numbers game was always going to be his biggest hurdle for. Alexander Wolfe distracted him from the outside and Young snapped Jose back against the top rope, sending him crashing to the floor and tipping the power balance of the match in Young’s favour.
From there he had Jose reeling for a while and demonstrated a vicious and creative style of offense. Jose turned the tables with a big clothesline. He then delivered a TKO punch to the interfering Wolfe, and to Eric Young, but didn’t get the three count because Nikki Cross was on the apron distracting the ref. As No Way Jose stood to dealt with the interference Eric Young got to his feet and delivered a brutal looking finisher for the three count.
After the match Sawyer Fulton picked Nikki Cross up to prevent her attacking Jose. But when SAnitY got part way up the ramp she ran back to the ring, climbed to the top turnbuckle and dropkicked No Way Jose in the face.
It was announced that next week Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will be appearing to talk about what’s next for #DIY after winning the tag team championship at NXT TakeOver Toronto.
Backstage, Asuka was interviewed and asked about her change of attitude. She replied ‘There is no change, I’m Asuka I’m the NXT women’s champion, I’m the best. I just want competition but I’m afraid there isn’t any left’.
Samoa Joe vs Tye Dillinger
As Samoa Joe made his entrance Dillinger was asked, backstage, if it was an emotional decision to ask for the match. He said it might have been but he needs to prove he belongs in NXT because if he can’t compete at the top level, maybe he doesn’t belong there.
As usual Tye Dillinger got a perfect 10 of a crowd reaction for his entrance, and throughout the match. He started really well, taking it to Samoa Joe enough that Joe felt the need for a break outside the ring. The early part of the match was all Dillinger.
Joe took control and worked Dillinger’s legs over hard, at times seeming to be toying with him. But Tye Dillinger has a lot to prove, if only to himself, and he wouldn’t quit. He broke a submission by getting to the ropes, and kicked out of a powerslam that looked like it should have put him through the mat.
Samoa Joe was taking his time, arrogantly playing with his prey, by this point. He made it clear he thought Dillinger was beneath him. A huge kick to the back of the head sent Dillinger crashing to the canvas.
Sorry but I’m going to whinge at this point. The main event tonight had four adverts, in two sections, interrupting it. Not good enough on a paid for network. I pay my money to watch the matches. I know there has to be advertising, but it’s too much.
A fired-up Dillinger had a good period where he got Joe down a few times. He pulled down the knee pad for the Tye-Breaker but was unable to get Joe up and got suplexed for his troubles. After failing to pin Samoa Joe off a superkick to the chest, a look of doubt crossed Dillinger’s face before resolve replaced it and he went again for the Tye-Breaker. He got Joe up but couldn’t get him over before Joe fought out.
The powerbomb didn’t finish Dillinger, neither did the Boston crab, or the crossface. But, eventually, he passed out in the Coquina Clutch.
After the match a distraught Tye Dillinger gave the crowd a small wave to acknowledge their chants as he left the ring.
I have made my opinion clear previously, Tye Dillinger is a superstar and should have been on the main roster by now. Sadly, it looks like he is going to go through a rebuild and redemption storyline first, at least I hope that’s the planned outcome. Whatever happens, he acquitted himself well tonight, the main event was very entertaining.
SAnitY look more and more like they are going to be difficult to stop. The numbers ame is on their side, and Nikki Cross appears to be completely unhinged. I really like her character, I think she’s going to bring something special to the women’s division and I hope they start using her properly soon. They need to do something drastic to build the women they have because Asuka is right, there is no-one close to her right now.
All in all another show at the level we’ve come to expect from NXT. Looking forward to hearing from Gargano and Ciampa next week.