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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (Aug. 10, 2016): Child’s play

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Okay, look. I kind of just want to go find Cedric Alexander and give him a hug right now, but I think we can get through this together. Let’s try anyway.


“Moments ago”, General Manager William Regal wrapped up a meeting with his newest signee, Bobby Roode. The former TNA World champ is pleased; Regal is heading to take care of the next piece of business on a packed schedule.

That would be the contract signing for TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn’s Women’s title match, a rematch of Dallas’ epic battle between Asuka and Bayley. Regal offers the Hugster the pen, but before she signs, Bayley runs down her history - listing the now-main roster women she’s faced and saying how she was always the underdog until Brooklyn last year. Last August was her dream, but being submitted by the Empress of Tomorrow in Dallas was her nightmare. On Aug. 20, she plans to destroy the “Asuka mystique”.

The champ replies that her opponent doesn’t have what it takes, but says Bayley does have her respect. Refusing a handshake, the former titleholder warns Asuka her last contract signing (against Nia Jax before The End...) resulted in her laying unconcious, so unless she wants a repeat of that, she should just sign.

Everyone puts pen to paper and, instead of taking the hand the champion offers again, Bayley slaps it away and bumps Asuka while leaving the ring. The Japanese woman just laughs, which leads to the Hugster jumping back in the ring to get in her face, but the scene ends without any overt violence.

Paul Ellering leads his team, the Authors of Pain, to the ring for a match against Rob Ryzin and Adrian Nails. Aside from a nifty tandem powerbomb spot, this is a squash with AoP picking up the win with their leg sweep/lariant combo in a little over a minute. After the pin, Ellering instructs his charges to author more pain, but TM61 charge in for the save. Nick Miller & Shane Thorne can’t do much more than slow AoP down, however, and end up laying on the floor with Ryzin & Nails.

Backstage, Andrea D’Marco asks Shinsuke Nakamura about Samoa Joe’s threats from last week. Swagsuke says he isn’t hard to find, and when he wants to find the champ, he’ll track Joe down himself.


  • Can’t believe Roode said his meeting with Regal was leading to something “great”. I guess they didn’t know how big the theme song was gonna hit (and they certainly didn’t know about this delightful nonsense), but still...

  • Haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure there have been some “Bayley’s a bad promo” takes on the opening segment. To which I say, “you’re missing the point”. A misused word or awkward phrase doesn’t ruin what was some phenomenal fire, another step in her character’s evolution and a hell of a way to sell a match.

  • Props to Asuka, too, but for me, her best stuff comes when she’s not speaking. Laughing off the Hugster’s big empowerment moment was ICE COLD.

  • Realized that one of the reasons I’m marking so hard for the current Women’s title build is it reminds me of my all-time favorite NXT feud. There are shades of Sami Zayn and Neville here, in that you can find reasons to root for or against either wrestler, and how the title has changed both competitors.

  • As long as the Authors keep coming up with interesting ways to destroy dudes - like essentially toasting Ryzin & Nails here before Powerbombing them - I guess I’m okay with not even officially knowing their names. Could we get Ellering to explain his wardrobe, though?

  • Full Sail’s muted reaction to TM61’s save doesn’t help with my anxiety that their launch has been poorly executed and/or Miller & Thorne aren’t connecting. I maintain the “WTF does that mean?” team name doesn’t help, but we’ll see.

  • Back to thinking Chad Gable & Jason Jordan are gone for good this week, and having them off the crowd’s mind might help fans embrace the former TMDK.


Andrade “Cien” Almas enters to a decent reception for his match with Angelo Dawkins, who Corey Graves & Tom Phillips talk up quite a bit during his slightly longer than two minute loss to the Mexican Superstar. A strike and 360 corner splash get Dawkins a chance to work a rest hold, but a second splash misses and leads to Almas running knees & a hammerlock DDT for the pin.

While Andrade celebrates, Roode’s music hits. He enters the ring to congratulate Almas - not on his win, which he says was okay if a little sloppy, but on the news that he gets to face Roode in Brooklyn. The luchador listens to NXT’s newest edition reiterate his plan to make the brand GLORIOUS and work in jab at his English skills, but seems excited for his second TakeOver bout.

In the GM’s office, Austin Aries is discussing his diet with a disinterested Regal. Shutting his boss’ laptop, A-Double gets to the point. A lot of people are on the TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn card, but not the Greatest Man That Ever Lived. Regal agrees to fix that by putting him in a match with No Way Jose. Aries doesn’t seem thrilled, but promised to teach his rival a lesson.

Billie Kay & Liv Morgan lock up in a peek at the future of the Women’s division. The Femme Fatale takes down the Jersey girl early on and works her arm, earning nearfalls on a suplex and da discus forearm, but Liv comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a bulldog. After a sloppy sequence with Morgan in control, Kay hits a big boot for the win after approximately three minutes.

A shot of Rich Swann, Noam Dar & Jack Gallagher in the crowd transitions into a video package on Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano’s first round match in last week’s Cruiserweight Classic (CWC). Those two have been called to the GM’s office, where Regal wants to make sure they’re still on the same page after Gargano’s victory over Ciampa in the CWC, because he’s booked them for a shot at The Revival’s tag belts in Brooklyn. Tommaso assures him their bond is stronger than family because they chose to be partners.

After another Ember Moon vignette, Ciampa & Gargano have a match against Patrick Clark & Tucker Knight. While Graves rants about how much he hates the #1 contenders, they control the action until Tommaso tries to knock Knight for the apron, which allows Clark to get the upper hand. Tucker - the largest man in the match - work him over, highlighted by a big splash, but Ciampa manages to tag Johnny Wrestling, who flies around to bring Knight down to the mat. The good guys employ some quick tags to keep him off balance and ensure Patrick can’t get involved, then hit their Superkick/Running Knee combo finisher at a little past the three minute mark to seal the deal.


  • The pop for Almas seemed decent, although I still haven’t been moved by one of his matches since The End... Given all the house show reports saying he won fans unfamiliar with La Sombra over with his ringwork, that remains really puzzling.

  • Speaking of puzzling - is Tye Dillinger hurt? Or is he being cooled off for getting over as a face while playing a heel? If it’s the latter, should we expect Roode to go missing soon? Because I don’t think he’s getting booed on Aug. 20.

  • It’s hard not to be impressed, though. The way Bobby’s mastered these speeches where you think he’s complimenting someone before he reveals he’s trashing them is almost as great as “Glorious Domination”.

  • Still a fan of Aries, especially in douche mode, but win or lose, it feels like his Back to Brooklyn match has to really deliver, no? From espousing the virtues of non-GMO grapefruit to correcting Regal that he hasn’t been avoiding Jose, he’s been ignoring him, heel A-Double is great. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get lost in the shuffle with another “okay” match on a card full of “OMG” in NYC.

  • Outside of Billie’s music, the women didn’t make much of an impression during their segment. Would have preferred this been more of a one-sided affair, as Kay looks to be the person they’re pushing. No offense to Liv, whose energy helps cover for where she is on the learning curve, but a potential top heel needs to be walking through people or in a feud. Some promo time to learn more about the Femme Fatale (have they even sold that nickname on screen, or is it a live event/social media thing only at this point?) would be nice, too.

  • Ciampa & Gargano continue to deliver on anything they’re given. And maybe it’s the scars from the end of R Evolution, but I can’t let my guard down around the Psycho Killer. I don’t feel this is unreasonable, given HIS FREAKING NICKNAME IS “THE PSYCHO KILLER”.

  • Patrick Clark is gonna be a star. He rewards you for watching him even when he’s not supposed to be the center of attention, and it’s not just his tights.


After finding out Hideo Itami is back in action next week, Charly Caruso catches up with Mojo Rawley to talk about last week’s events and how they lead to tonight’s main event. The Hype Bro is tired of “fat” guys messing with him, and says tonight isn’t about getting hyped, it’s about getting even.

In the match itself, Mojo brings the action right to Samoa Joe, sending the champ to the floor with a Pounce and trading headbutts with the Samoan (which impresses Corey). Though Joe controls the action, Rawley is able to fight out of a Muscle Buster and counter the Coquina Clutch, even getting a two count on what looked like a Full Nelson Slam. Mojo goes to the corner splash well once too often, however, and takes an enziguri en route to tapping to the champ’s finisher.

Joe taunts Nakamura throughout applying the Clutch to win, and when he locks it back in after the bell. Shinsuke’s music hits, and the challenger slowly dances his way to the ring. Security beats him there, and restrains the champ while Nak continues to tease him by shadow boxing and his other trademark antics. Grabbing Joe’s nose and slapping him only serves to enrage the Samoan further, and Swagsuke exits with a smile while Joe seethes.


  • Like Corey, I was impressed by Mojo throughout this episode. He may already be lost on Tuesday nights, but he’s really developed since coming back from his shoulder injury.

  • This was a smartly structured match and really made Rawley look as good as possible while still featuring how dangerous the champ is heading into the special. The headbutt stuff was a great example of this, and Graves’ call was another showcase moment for him. We often praise him for being funny or selling the story - we forget he sometimes does both at once.

  • Aside from being the personification of cool, the post-match angle with Nakamura really displayed a side of him with which New Japan fans are familiar. Swagsuke is kind of a dick. Even against a ruthless heel, I kind of felt bad for Joe here. And when the King of Strong Style eventually pulls this crap on a popular babyface (and he will - possibly as soon as the ink is dry on Kota Ibushi’s contract), faces will melt.

  • Seriously, Regal needs to talk to those guys who held the champ back while just letting Nak sway around and do whatever he damned well pleased. Wait, I’m being a Joe mark again, aren’t I? Sorry...

A necessary but not always scintillating episode. The singles titles got the best bits, while all around the right people looked strong heading into both TakeOver and whatever comes after it.

Next week may be Itami (who seems like he might get left off Brooklyn’s card) and a mix of clips and interviews. It will probably do the job, just as tonight’s show did.

Grade: B

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