It’s December. We’re getting really close to NXT TakeOver: London. The event has been announced since Brooklyn, but we’re unwrapping this gift of an NXT special right before Christmas. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe has been announced for the event. It was revealed last night that Dash and Dawson will defend their NXT Tag Team Championship against Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Also on the card is Corbin vs. Crews and Asuka vs. Emma. The NXT TakeOver: London card is getting full.
On the latest edition of NXT, Nia Jax is taking over two weeks early, Asuka vs. Emma continues to build, Joe continues to make his stand in for Balor’s NXT Championship, and James Storm returns to NXT. A lot happened this week, and the build to London is heating up fast.
Here are the top five moments from this week’s edition of NXT:
5) Nia Jax Crushes Blue Pants and Bayley
NXT has pushed Nia Jax very quickly. Everyone was worried about Eva Marie taking the NXT Women’s Championship from Bayley, but no one was concerned about Jax. It hasn’t been officially announced, but Jax’s character development has been off the charts over the last few weeks. It was one thing for her to defeat her opponents in the ring, but now she’s moved on. Now, she’s being pushed as the top heel and unstoppable force that will destroy the NXT Universe’s favorites without hesitation.
Last night, it was Blue Pants that got in her way. Jax defeating Blue Pants in such dominant fashion was a good booking move. It shows that it doesn’t matter how popular you are, Nia Jax isn’t like other girls. She’ll end you. That makes her an enormous threat to Bayley.
Later in the show, Jax put Bayley through a door. I’d say she’s for real.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax is going to be really cool. My only fear is putting the title on Jax so quickly.
4) Emma vs. Liv Morgan
My hope is that you’re asking yourself, “Who is Liv Morgan?” She was previously known as Gionna Daddio. NXT is changing her name again and debuting another new character. She’s also been known under the ring name of Marley, but Liv Morgan is the third name and hopefully the last. Eventually, the name doesn’t even mean anything. A performer could get over with the name “Cheeseburger” if they’re good enough in the ring.
The real story here is Emma. Call her whatever you want, but Morgan’s job here was to put over Emma, which NXT has been doing for the last month. It’s all been about getting her ready for Asuka, and now the match has been announced. Asuka vs. Emma is going to be awesome. It’s a legit win for Asuka and gives Emma the heel run she deserves. I’m hoping that the feud lasts way longer than just NXT TakeOver: London. However, it’ll be awesome even if it’s only this once.
3) James Storm Returns to NXT
I don’t understand what’s happening with James Storm in NXT. First, he was signing a deal in NXT that has still not been signed on the dotted line as far as we know. Storm comes in, defeats Danny Burch, and is gone for weeks. Tonight, he returns to face Adam Rose as he debuts a new persona. Of course, Storm gets the win. My concern is what is next for him?
Obviously, I don’t know what the powers that be have planned for NXT’s Cowboy, but it’s confusing to me. Storm’s debut was blown on a squash win over Danny Burch. That’s the first issue I have with his use in NXT. I’m also not in support of Rose debuting a new character and then losing to James Storm. A guy that the NXT Universe knows very well, so why does he need to win easy matches at all? He already has an established name, why ruin Rose’s momentum?
In my mind, this has been pointless. If WWE knows they have Storm under contract, then why not make it a major moment? Let’s say Balor vs. Joe happens in London with Joe winning. Joe’s heel character becomes mega-dominant when he not only defeats Balor in the match but beats him within an inch of his life. Before he can finish the job, Storm debuts. Suddenly, it’s Joe vs. Storm in NXT. Balor is free to go to the main roster and Storm becomes a major face in NXT. Everyone wins.
2) Gable & Jordan vs. The Vaudevillains
You’ve got to love Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. Of course, they get the win here over The Vaudevillains. It’s unfortunate that the latter has fallen off so quickly after losing the NXT Tag Team Championships, but that’s how NXT works sometimes. It happened to The Ascension, the Lucha Dragons, even Blake and Murphy. Gable and Jordan are fresh. They’re on fire as a team, and they’re super over right now. I’m curious to see what they’ll do in London.
Gable and Jordan get the win, but what’s interesting is The Vaudevillains didn’t shake their hands after the changing of the guard. It seems this was the beginning of a heel turn for them, and it’s a nice direction for the team to go. I’m not sure they were meant to be faces in the first place, but the crowd turned them. Let’s see where English and Gotch take this angle.
1) Samoa Joe vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Joe looks really dominant. I’m thrilled because we never got to see Joe vs. Owens, at least not yet. It took awhile for The Samoan Submission Machine to get started in NXT. Now that he has, he’s looking unstoppable. He’s gotten the upper hand on Finn Balor every step of the way and his “heel turn” has given him so much life in NXT.
We use quotes for his heel turn because while he has the perception of being a heel because he attacked Balor, Joe has a really good point and a legit argument. On paper, he not only was a winner of the Dusty Rhodes Classic, but Joe was the rock of the team with Balor after his injury. Joe carried Balor through the tournament, but he didn’t make a big deal about it because that’s what a partner does.
As a reward, he requested an NXT Championship match from his partner. However, Joe was thrown into the Battle Royal with everyone else despite earning his shot. Not to mention the fact that he’s Samoa Joe. He was more than qualified to get a shot at the title outright, but Joe has had to take matters into his own hands. Personally, I want him to win. I think he’s the guy to push in NXT for the start of 2016. Balor can move up to the main roster, and we can get Crews vs. Joe, or even Joe vs. Zayn.