Editorial Note: With a little bit of free time before I head to bed and being on vacation from work tomorow, I’m bringing you notes regarding tonight’s NXT broadcast. It featured one match – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor, and it’s a match worth checking out.
NXT Weekly Broadcast, Taped June 24, 2016 at Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL.
They ran a hype video package to build to the match, dubbing it a “once in a lifetime” match. After the opening video package, they showed shots inside the arena where fans chanted “NXT.” Balor was shown backstage earlier in the day heading to the locker room. Shinsuke was shown working out with a heavy bag. Tom Philips and Corey Graves checked in for the call and hyped the match.
Samoa Joe headed to the ring to cut a promo. He said he was there to witness Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Joe said that he had a feeling that is why most were tuning in tonight. He said he can’t blame them, but the implications of the match are an insult to him as champion. He said that Finn and Shin think that the winner becomes a contender for his championship, but that’s a fantasy.
Joe said that some think that Finn will defeat Shinsuke and challenge him again. Joe said that he slayed the Demon inside a steel cage, and he is the undisputed NXT Champion. Joe talked about how others think Shinsuke will win and earn his first shot at the NXT Championship. He said that the reality is that Joe was the one who brought strong style to these shores, and if Nakamura thinks he is the king then Joe is the emperor. Joe said he would leave him broken on top of all of the others he has beaten. Joe called himself a man and a warrior, and that anyone who wants to be anything around there has to go through him.
Rhyno’s music hit and he came out. A “vote for Rhyno” chant got some traction (he is running for office in Michigan). Rhyno said that if Joe thinks anyone is on their way to the top has to go through him, then he will go right through Joe. They stared at each other, then Joe left. Off mic, Joe could be heard saying he would beat Rhyno on his terms. Joe posed with the belt and exited backstage.
Bill Says: Joe is ON right now. He looks in shape since arriving at NXT and this promo was strong. Good stuff. While I’m not a fan of seeing Joe vs. Rhyno, it’s a decent big man match. I think there are better people who could be in that position though.
They hyped the main event going to a break. Coming out of break, they hyped Bayley vs. Nia Jax as well as American Alpha vs. Authors of Pain. They added that Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno was made official for next week’s show.
They aired a lengthy video package to hype up Balor vs. Nakamura. Triple H gave a comment, admitting that both men were worldwide stars before they arrived. Tye Dillinger, Daniel Bryan and Neville also gave comments. They showed both men heading toward gorilla position.
Both men got their entrances. Nakamura got the better reaction, but both men were received well. Before the in-ring introductions the fans chanted “this is awesome,” then the dueling name chants got started as the match got underway.
Match #1 – Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura:
The two battled with a wrist lock early. Balor got Nakamura down in a headlock while the fans chanted “both these guys.” Balor cranked the hold in as Nakamura tried to get out. Nakamura broke it in the ropes, dangling his arms with his face at Balor’s stomach. Balor reversed with him and gave the “too sweet” sign to Nakamura’s forehead. Balor took him down with another headlock.
The fight moved to the apron, with Nakamura landing a kick followed with two stomps in the corner. Nakamura moved to ringside, hitting Balor with a running knee to Balor who was hung over the apron. He followed with another knee strike from the apron to send Balor out of the ring. The fight moved back inside, with Nakamura taking control. Balor clipped him low at the knee then targeted the leg with a leg lock.
Nakamura tried for a sunset flip but Balor rolled it through and hit another low drop kick to the face. Balor worked Nakamura over with chops in the corner. Nakamura tried getting his leg up, but Balor hung his leg up in the ropes and followed with a stomp. Balor tried for a surfboard, but he landed a double knee stomp when Nakamura countered it.
Balor locked in a heel hook that Graves sold big. Balor went for a follow-up only to eat a wheel kick from Nakamura. He continued with strikes and kicks, then throwing knee strikes and stomps in the corner. Nakamura hung Balor up on the ropes and hit another running knee to the midsection for a two count.
Nakamura got up on the middle rope, but Balor landed a high kick and Nakamura tumbled to ringside. Off the apron, Balor hit a penalty kick to Nakamura, who was standing at ringside. Balor was in clear control heading to a commercial.
Out of the break, Balor came off the ropes with a stomp for a near fall. Balor followed up with an arm scissor/leg lock hold that Nakamura sold, but managed to get into the ropes to break it. Balor turned it into a heel hook, but Nakamura again got the rope break. Balor picked the leg, but Nakamura hit a big kick then caught a charging Balor with a flying arm bar. When he couldn’t get the arm straightened out, he turned it into a triangle choke.
Nakamura hit a front suplex, but Balor dodged the follow-up charging knee shot and hit a reverse lifting DDT for a good near fall. Balor hit the Slingblade, but Nakamura came back with a jumping kick as Balor charged for a drop kick. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa for a great near fall. Nakamura tried for it a second time, but Balor jumped and sent Nakamura to the mat with a double stomp for another good near fall.
Both men struggled to their feet, then traded shots. Balor hit a superkick on the knee he had focused on, then hit a second Slingblade. Balor hit the shotgun drop kick and went top rope for Coup de Grace, but Nakamura rolled away. Nakamura came back with a diving knee strike of his own then followed up with the Kinshasa for the win.
Afterward, Nakamura helped Balor to his feet as the crowd chanted “thank you Finn.” The two men hugged then bowed to each other as the fans respectfully applauded. Balor gave way to Nakamura to celebrate in the ring. They ran replays of the big moments of the match, then ended the show with Nakamura celebrating.
Bill Says: This match was a whole lot of fun to watch. They didn’t do anything risky, and they didn’t need to. The offense made sense with Balor working the knee of Nakamura, and they built to a satisfying finish that gave fans a match to watch that they would expect to see from two really talented guys. I would love to see this match play out on the main roster some day, or even on a big pay per view. These guys aren’t done working together, that’s for sure.