TJF’s Weekly Recap of the WWE Network Brands
Volume 1, Episode 4
NXT & CWC seen on the WWE network
Welcome to TJF’s Weekly Wednesday, a weekly recap of WWE’s NXT and CWC brands on the WWE Network.
NXT rarely Disappoints these days
Alright, tonight on NXT there was an announcement right of the top of the hour stating that Bobby Roode will be making his debut. The next announcement which led to the first match of the night was just as impressive, if not more, depending which wrestling circuits you keep up with. Tonight is the night the legendary, Hideo Itami, returned to NXT after a year long hiatus, with a gnarly new Scar I may add from recent shoulder surgery. Here’s the deal with Itami, he wrestled in NXT before the current NXT pop, and is considered to be a wrestling caliber the likes of Finn Balor, but due to his absense he has lost serious opportunities within the company. He has wrestled internationally, although primarily in Japan and is an Icon of the sport.
For his debut return he took on CWC‘s Sean Maluta from the WWE Samoan dynasty. The match went back and forth, each competitor had his high moments, but as soon as Itami hit that screwdriver it was obvious Maluta’s demise was near. Honestly, considering his opponent, Maluta performed valiantly and held his own throughout the entire match. I’d recommend checking it out, if for no other reason than to check out Itami’s screwdriver, that maneuver looks like it could be seriously painful.
Next up there was a pretty hilarious tag team promo, that ended in setting up a possible number one contenders position for the titles, held by The Revival, in the future between TM-61 and Johnny Gargano and Tammaso Ciampa. For tonight though we will have TM-61 and The Revival go head to head later in the program.
At that point Mojo Raley laced up for Chris Anderson, Rawley was getting the upper hand when Samoa Joe came out and mopped the ring with the two competitors. Joe then called out NXT GM Regal, and told him if Joe isn’t consulted on whom he gives titles matches to, Regal doesn’t need to be aware of when Joe will come out and make a fool of his roster. Rawley responded by attacking Joe, and failed in his attempt with Joe heading backstage after leveling Rawley, carrying the belt as he left. As you know Rawley was drafted to the Smack Down brand recently, is this the end of Rawley on NXT, will we see him again? Time will tell.
Shortly after, Bayley cut a promo revealing she has been growing in many ways since losing her NXT title in Dallas, and is looking forward to her title rematch in Brooklyn. That’s when Asuka interrupted her and invited her to come ring side for the match coming up with Alyah.
During Asuka’s match with Alyah, Asuka pretty much had the upper hand the entire time. Alyah tried to mount some kind of offense but it was quickly shot down time and time again by Asuka. After Alyah tapped to Asuka, the NXT Women’s Champion refused to release her lock and Bayley standing ringside jumped in to help Alyah.
The next major event worth reporting on was Bobby Roode, formerly of Impact Wrestling, making his introduction to the NXT universe. What started out as a speech of unification between superstars, fans and the brand, soon turned into a speech about how Glorious he is. He then went on to tell how NXT will soon be selling out, so to speak, and replacing all their current “loser” fans with Presidents and CEO’s, did I remember to mention it’s because he’s there now. After watching Roode for years and how his character has developed since his tag team days there is no surprise, he is officially the NXT heel to hate with Austin Aries.
The main event of the night was TM-61 facing off with 2 time NXT tag team champs, The Revival. The Revival pretty much kept the ring split in half the entire match, no matter which of the TM-61 members were in ring. At the end of the match there was a great distraction outside of the ring that lead into a really well executed DDT, and The Revival took the three count at that point.
Afterward Gargano and Ciampa came out and shamed The Revival after they claimed they have defeated anyone who matters. Shortly after, The Revival tried to go after Gargano and Ciampa but they made quick work of the champs, before Ciampo counted to three and the show was over.
NXT Women’s Division Champion, Asuka
About the only things I didn’t mention, an NXT Championship contract signing will take place with Asuka and Bayley next week for the Takeover Brooklyn event; as well, an arrival date has been set for an up and coming superstar to NXT’s Women’s Division by the name of Ember Moon. She is a Texan from the DFW area trained by Booker T, Lance Hoyt, who currently tag teams with Davey Boy Smith Jr in another promotion, Skandor Akbar, an oldtimer who actually picked up that ring name from the patriarch of the Von Erich Dynasty, and Rodney Mack who was trained by The Junkyard Dog himself.
Taking another level & leveling up
As far as CWC was concerned, if you haven’t noticed yet, it is definitely a different type of wrestling than what is normally seen in a WWE ring. The company has really made a point between in ring action and the commentators, so the difference can be seen in almost every match. This week ends round one and round two will begin next week.
The first match of the night was Rich Swann representing the United States defeating Jason Lee from Hong Kong, China. Both competitors have been billed as representing more of an aerialist style, but there were definite differences between the two. Lee intertwines a very fast paced Kung Fu background into his wrestling style, and holds himself very seriously and respectful. Swann showboated from the second he stepped foot on his way to the ring, as well as during his match, until after holding his hand high in the end with the fans eating it up.
The Second bout, kicking off round two of the Cruiserweight Classic, was Noam Dar representing Scotland as well as Israel with it being his birthplace, defeating Gurv Sihra representing India and one half of The Bollywood Boyz in Global Force Wrestling where they are the current tag team title holders. Noam Dar has also wrestled with Impact and ROH, along with many other independant promotions internationally, including various championship runs with ICW.
In the end, Sihra tapped when Dar executed a Fisherman’s Suplex into a KneeBar after working on Sihra’s right leg and knee throughout the match. The announcers made note of Dar wasting valuable time when he had execution opportunities, although very experienced, starting professional wrestling at 15 he is the the youngest competitor in the CWC at 22 years old.
The third bout of the night was something special. Jack ‘The Extrordinary Gentleman‘ Gallagher from England defeated Fabian Aichner, ‘The Italian that Speaks German‘. Both wrestlers trained in prestigious ways in the science and art of technical wrestling; this match was full of unexpected events, with the audience chanting “Thank You Both” at the end.
The match was held in much more of a British style, and both wrestlers had cards up their sleeves. I highly recommend you look this match up online if you haven’t seen it yet. Gallagher won with a headbutt to the jaw into a dropkick to the face, and Aichner stunned the audience a couple times as well. Once with a Double Springboard Moonsault and another time with a Suplex into a Senton Powerbomb, with an amazing feat of strength. Every step in the match had a reason to take place, with nothing wasted. Something special, indeed.
Next week begins CWC’s Round Two
For the headliner to end round one of the tournament, we saw the NXT tag team, and best friends who were singles competitors before joining the brand. Johnny Gargano aka ‘Johnny Wrestling’ defeat ‘The Psycho Killer’ Tommaso Ciampa, in an ending that really could have gone either way.
The match for the most part was back and forth, and Ciampa kept his word and put the hurt on Johnny Wrestling, working on his face and jaw the way a wrestler would normally work on the legs or shoulder of an opponent. At one point Ciampa actually chopped Johnny Wrestling in the jaw instead of the chest. Gargano took the victory in the end with a Rolling Crucifix that was completely unexpected, it almost seemed the match may actually end in a draw between the two towards the end.
If you’ve ever wanted to see someone Superkick another wrestler in the face, between his legs, while perched on a turnbuckle above, watch this match. The match ended with the two competitors and brothers sitting in the middle of the ring, embracing one another after an experience never witnessed in a WWE squared circle. Once again this tournament has taken it to another level rarely seen in the WWE. The future of these wrestlers could very well be similar to the feud that is going on right now between Zayn and Owens, but that has yet to be seen.
Next week will kick off round two in the CWC tournament, likely taking another level of wrestling to another level.
Did you all tune in to NXT or CWC? What were your highlights? How do you feel about Jack Gallagher? Do you think the Gargano Ciampa match may be a qualifier for a match of the year? Are you looking forward to a new NXT Women’s Division competitor in the form of Ember Moon?