Although being overshadowed by the long-awaited debut of the Cruiserweight Classic, NXT continues onwards and gives us a show based around a single match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor. Does it live up to the hype?
The episode was taped on the 24th of June, 2016 at Full Sail University, Florida. Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are your commentators.
Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!
No one makes an entrance quite like Shinsuke Nakamura!
I’ll get this out of the way now, I don’t think the Nakamura vs. Balor match lived up to the hype, Shinsuke’s matches with Zayn and Aries at the last two Takeover specials were far better. That being said, I’m not going to put it in the bad, because it was good… very good, in fact. Just not the blow away match it could have been. It had a great atmosphere and both are still fine performers, with Nakamura’s natural charisma still being off the charts and infectious. By all means watch and enjoy the match, just don’t expect Takeover-level quality.
It’s these close up shots that remind you just how HD the WWE footage is nowadays…
Samoa Joe’s promo about being the NXT champion and generally running down his top competitors was great. The line about “if Nakamura is the King of Strong Style, then I’m the Emperor” was great, because Joe’s style has always been influenced by Japan, and therefore he has been doing it long before Shinsuke got to NXT. The brief showdown with Rhyno was fine, and it set up a match for next week.
Balor looking for the Coup de Gras, both the move and the meaning!
Well… the above two paragraphs was the show, so… I will say that given WWE own the network it would be nice to not put adverts in the middle of the matches, especially since they’re just advertising things that are on the Network, which… you know… preaching to the choir and all that.
A split second away from a bad headache!
While I feel the big match didn’t live up to its potential, this was still a great way to spend 50 minutes, and worked well alongside the Cruiserweight Classic. These smaller, WWE Network only brands are still outshining the main roster at the moment, though given the WWE are about to have their second ever roster split next week, I imagine NXT will look a little lighter by the time I review the next episode…