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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (Aug. 24, 2016): Can’t let go

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Y’all are just lucky they didn’t release the Bayley montage on YouTube or it’d be playing on repeat while I lay curled up in the fetal position in a pool of my own tears.


A very cool compilation of clips from Saturday, Aug. 20’s TakeOver: Brooklyn II special set to Banks & Steele’s “Giant” takes us into the credits.

The in-ring action we get on this episode was taped before that special began streaming live on WWE Network. First up is the mega-over Tye Dillinger, wearing a super-villain collar which is supposed to look like either a disco ball, solar panels or both. As Tye hears “TEN” from the New York crowd, his opponent, Wesley Blake, receives “Less Than Zero” chants.

After the initial tie-up, Blake refuses a clean break. He yanks Dillinger in for a headlock, but Tye snapmares him down, does a cartwheel and hits him with the “ten” hand gesture. They lock up again, and Wesley puts his thumb in his opponent’s eye to take control as we head to commercial. After WWE sells us on the Network we’re already watching, Blake slows things down until the crowd motivates Tye to power out of a rest hold and things pick up.

Following a nearfall on a small package and a corner elbow, Blake goes back on offense with a nasty looking backstabber off the ropes which gets two. Wesley eventually miscalculates on a senton, allowing Tye to stomp him with ten (get it?) kicks in the corner and eventually hit his finisher, now called the Tye Breaker, for a win after nine minutes of action.

Recap videos air for both Bobby Roode’s entrance & subsequent win over Andrade “Cien” Almas and Austin Aries’ over No Way Jose, along with Hideo Itami beating down A-Double afterwards. Roode and Aries’ YouTube fallout videos are played, respectively, after each.


  • Seemed like they’ve given up and decided to let Tye be a babyface. And that’s not a decision the wrestlers audibled to because Brooklyn was in love with him (but they really, really were). He was working against a clear heel and Corey Graves said negative things about him on commentary - he was booked to be the técnico.

  • Would have been nice to get a backstage vignette explaining it at some point, but I guess Dillinger’s despondent look as he left the last time Almas defeated him will have to do for now.

  • Match-wise, I bet this was a blast for the live audience. For us at home, it didn’t make much of an impression one way or the other.

  • Of the two Brooklyn II interviews, Aries impressed me a lot more. He’s ready to slot right into that heel who thinks General Manager William Regal is screwing with him (because Regal kind of is) role Tyler Breeze perfected and Samoa Joe’s been playing so well for the past few months.

  • Roode’s night really peaked with the entrance. He was outshined by Almas in their bout, and this wasn’t his best promo work. I don’t think there’s anything to be alarmed about - even a veteran can have nerves working his first big live, televised arena show for WWE. Bobby’s launch has been phenomenal, but his opening night at TakeOver wasn’t a complete home run.


The Women’s title recap video includes a little more of the build than any of the others, and it’s clear why when after Asuka’s latest victory has been chronicled, it becomes a tribute to Bayley’s entire run with NXT. Starting with an image before she even debuted her character (back before Dusty Rhodes told her to always wear her hair in a pony tail for matches so she could cinch it up for her comebacks), we were taken through the major milestones of her nearly four year run - narrated by her reading of her high school essay about why she wanted to be a wrestler. Her gesturing to the NXT logo as the Brooklyn crowd chanted “Thank you, Bayley” is the last thing we see.

Ember Moon’s somewhat awkward post-show meeting with B airs. Tom Phillips & Corey Graves talk about the Hugster’s debut on Raw, and then highlights from The Revival’s successful title defense against Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano run, followed by Dash & Dawson’s interview.

New champion Shinsuke Nakamura’s win over Samoa Joe is recapped, but we don’t get the interview with Swagsuke they posted on YouTube. Instead, we’re told he’ll be on NXT to address the audience next week. After an update on Joe’s dislocated jaw, Graves says he’ll reply to what the NXT champ has to say, as well.


  • That freaking video package killed me, dudes and dudettes. There’s been plenty written about what the Hugster means to this brand and its fans, so I’m not going to revisit all that. This was fitting tribute to a performer and character who came along exactly when a promotion needed her, and vice versa. Without NXT there’d have been no Bayley; without Bayley, NXT wouldn’t be what it is. It was a special run to have been a part of, and this was an appropriate way to remember it.

  • Damn it, I’m misty-eyed again.

  • How ‘bout that tag title match, huh?

  • No hints about the next steps in the tag scene, at the top guy level, anyway, but it’s interesting they’re teasing Joe for next week. Looks like he’ll definitely perform the ceremonial rematch duties before getting called up, but we should watch how quickly they book said rematch for clues of when he might show up on SmackDown Live (or Raw, I guess, but Tuesdays seem to need more depth - and old TNA frenemy AJ Styles is there).


After another “Sanity” teaser, it’s time for our main event. TM61 are still hot from the beating they caught from the Authors of Pain a few weeks back at Full Sail, and attack Paul Ellering’s men before the bell. Nick Miller & Shane Thorne overwhelm the bigger men with their speed, and hit a pair of dives after forcing them to the floor. Ellering tells his charges to “stick to the plan”.

Thorne absorbs some offense, but gives as good as he gets until a distraction by the legal Author lets his partner ram the Australian viciously into the ring post shoulder-first. That kicks us to commercial, and when we return, the two men Phillips tells us are called Akam and Rezar are in control.

Eventually, Shane escapes to bring in his partner, and Miller does manage to fell an Author with strikes and actually get a two-count on a crossbody. Thorne recovers enough for TM61 to hit their stereo corner elbows and leg sweep/clothesline combination, but Akam & Rezar come back. After their tandem powerbomb spot, Nick is left alone to take the side leg sweep & lariat finisher, and the pin, at approximately seven minutes.


  • Though I was still underwhelmed by their entrance, the early portions of this match are the most impressed I’ve been with the former TMDK. Their pre-match attack and the insane leap Thorne hit in particular made it easy to root for them the rest of the match.

  • Then the ringpost spot happened. From there, it was the Author’s show (despite the brief flurry by Miller which was most notable for how well the announcers sold the import of the nearfall)... and they remain terrifying.

  • Graves was on fire here, first responding to Tom revealing of AoP’s names (more on those in a second) with "As if these guys weren't scary enough... even their names scare me, Phillips!” Then, right before the finish, after his partner declared TM61 were “trying to find a way to stick around here”, Corey didn’t miss a beat with “that’s not the way” when Thorne’s dive was met with an elbow to the head.

  • So, these guys are named, more or less, Occam and Razor? I guess when deciding what to name them, Creative decided the simplest explanation was the best.

This was your standard post-TakeOver episode. The tag match was fun, and will likely have storyline ramifications going forward, but the Bayley video is the only can’t miss part of the episode.

Grade: H

Can I get a hug?

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