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WWE NXT - August 31, 2016

by Scrooge McSuck


- Taped from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL, with Tom Phillips and Corey Graves calling the action, unless otherwise noted. With Brooklyn in the rear-view mirror, we move forward...

- "Earlier Today", a WWE physician stumbles over his lines, declaring Samoa Joe unfit to compete for the foreseeable future, including but not limited to a "dislocated jaw." Joe doesn't look happy as he storms off.

Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy:

The Perfect 10 scored a victory over Wesley Blake at the taping on Brooklyn, so it only makes sense that next on his to-do list is Blake's former partner, Murphy. Lockup, Dillinger works out of a waist-lock to grab a hammer-lock. Murphy counters with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Crisscross, Murphy with a snap mare and some mockery. Crisscross part two, Dillinger catches Murphy with an inverted atomic drop. He takes Murphy over with a snap mare, does an awful cartwheel and flashes "10." Murphy gets sent to the apron, but he rebounds, slamming Dillinger from behind. Whip to the ropes and Dillinger gets dumped over the top rope, to the floor. Murphy from the top rope with double knees for a near fall. We return from a break, with Murphy still in control. Dillinger nails him coming off the top rope with a fist to the midsection. Whip to the corner and he takes Murphy over with a back drop. Dillinger stomps a "10" in Murphy and pulls the knee pad down. He ducks under a clothesline and turns Murphy inside out with his own. Tye-Breaker finishes at 6:18. ** Perfectly acceptable undercard match. Dillinger's win streak reaches two, a season high.

- Highlights of the Revival injuring Johnny Gargano's leg, and the effect it had on his performance in the Quarter-Finals of the Cruiserweight Classic. Charley Caruso interviews Tomaso Ciampa, but it's quickly interrupted by the presence of the Revival, and it doesn't take long to realize why they're down: it's an old school beat-down, with an exclamation mark being the Shatter Machine in the center of the ring when Ciampa refused to stay down. The Revival to Ciampa and Gargano: "this is reality."

Kenneth Crawford vs. Steve Cutler:

I guess we've got to start pushing some new people, right? We're constantly reminded that Cutler formerly served in the Marine Corps, and Crawford... he's a nice guy with a lot of potential. That's the gimmick. Cutler cut a pre-match promo, and damn if that camera angle doesn't make him look like he has a too-big-for-his-head jaw. Lockup and Cutler quickly goes to the arm. Whip to the ropes, Crawford botches a "land on your feet" spot, and takes Cutler over into an arm-bar. Cutler quickly escapes with a forearm and pounds away in the corner. Cutler sends Crawford chest-first to the corner for only a one count. We hit the chin-lock spot as they advertise the Performance Center. Come see how a WWE Superstar is made, as if they're manufactured on a production line. Crawford comes back with strikes and a pair of clotheslines. Standing SSP for a near fall. Cutler stomps Crawford down on a charge and finishes with a Fisherman Driver at 3:30. ½* There's a long way to go forh both of these guys.

- Hideo Itami interview. He calls out Austin Aries for being a wimp. If he doesn't want to get hurt, stay out of the ring, or he's going to make Aries "go to sleep" again.

- The "Sanity" teaser video. Still no new information.

- Hype video for TM-61. They need to do something with the guys to get them over. Just being athletic isn't enough, especially when you're already doing more jobs than winning.

No Way Jose vs. Angelo Dawkins:

Jose is looking to rebound from his loss to Austin Aries in Brooklyn, and Dawkins is still stirring it up. What is he stirring? IT. What, that's more creative direction I've given him than whoever is in charge for real. Jose dances before locking up. They take it to the corner and Jose backs off with more dancing. Crisscross: The Extended Cut, and Jose with a shoulder tackle. He pulls Dawkins in for a side headlock, and takes him over with an arm drag and snap mare. Dawkins with a snap mare into a chin-lock as the crowd tries to give him a dueling chant. It's only about three people, but it counts. Jose comes back with a series of strikes. He drops Dawkins with a short-arm clothesline, the wind-up punch, and the Cobra Clutch Slam finishes at 2:41. Just a showcase for Jose. Wouldn't be surprised if he's moved to the main roster sooner than later.

- Austin Aries interrupts Andrade "Cien" Almas' interview, complaining about someone always stealing his spotlight and Hideo Itami rupturing his ear drum. Bottom line, they'll have a match on NXT next week.

Liv Morgan vs. Aliyah:

We're scraping the bottom of the barrel right now for talent to push, regardless of gender. At least it gives Graves a chance to make fun of Jersey. Had Aliyah punted Morgan's hat on her way into the ring, she would've been a new favorite, but WWE discourages improvising from the script, so no luck. Aliyah gets a one count off an elbow. Whip to the corner and Morgan surprises Aliyah with a head scissors. Morgan with a drop toe hold and rolling cradle for two. Whip to the corner and Aliyah with a weird body press. She pounds away from the apron and hangs Liv up across the middle rope. Aliyah with a reverse cross arm-bar, but the move means nothing when you're not established and haven't built to it. Morgan comes back with a dropkick, a pair of dropkicks, and a bulldog. So her gimmick is Knockoff Carmella? She hits a standing heel kick, and that's it for three at 3:27. ¼* Yeah... No.

- No Way Jose Interview. Bobby Roode interrupts and "compliments" Jose on his head.

- Shinsuke Nakamura comes out for his first appearance since winning the NXT Championship in Brooklyn. It's just a quick celebratory promo, and doesn't have any surprise interruptions. Just the announcement that the Era of Strong Style is here. Well, that was a bit of a disappointment for the "main event" slot of the show.

Final Thoughts: Even with an experienced roster for the top of the card at their disposal, this was more about pushing new faces and the undercard acts. I know you've got to start somewhere, but Steve Cutler seems too boring and limited to be pushed as anything meaningful unless he develops some kind of personality, and if Liv Morgan is now considered one of the established faces of the roster, they need to import some more experienced female talent, ASAP. The show wasn't a complete waste, but other than the angle with the Revival and Ciampa, nothing took place that is anything close to must-see television.

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