Random Thoughts on NXT Live Las Vegas December 2016

Shinsuke Nakamura NXT Champion

WWE’s NXT Live tour hit Las Vegas on December 17, 2016 and put on a solid show. The card featured great wrestlers that are ready for the main roster now, some wrestlers that are still trying to figure out their characters, and a few greenies that have a long way to go. Overall, it was an enjoyable NXT Live card with several memorable moments. If there was one takeaway from the show, it was that Tye Dillinger’s “10” gimmick is incredibly over.

Below are the results from NXT Live Las Vegas and some random thoughts on the show. Also, there are a bunch of bad photos taken with my mediocre iPhone 6 Plus. (*sigh* I should have brought my real camera.)

No Way Jose vs. Andrade Cien Almas: No Way Jose was born to open the show. His character is fun and gets the crowd going. The audience enjoyed his dancing and chanting “No. Way. Jose!” Almas kind of looks like a Dothraki runt. While both guys put on a solid effort, the in-ring work was mostly forgettable. That said, I could see No Way Jose being a fun character on the main roster that sells a lot of merch to kids. No Way Jose won the match, but his entrance and chants were more interesting than the work.

Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss vs. Patrick Clark & Oney Lorcan: Patrick Clark’s gimmick is entertaining, but he needs to pick a direction. He has this effeminate Prince thing going on, but sometimes he’s a face and sometimes he’s a heel. I think he could succeed as a heel that infuriates the crowd. Sabbatelli is green, but has the type of body that Vince loves, as well as NFL cachet to exploit. Oney Lorcan…looks like a security guard or a groundskeeper. Moss and Sabbatelli got the win with a tag-team bulldog finisher. The ring work was okay, but I didn’t see anything special aside from Clark’s potential.

Liv Morgan vs. Aliyah: Both of these ladies are beautiful…and both need a lot of work. The action was sometimes loose and sometimes sloppy. I’m rooting for both of these ladies to find their way. I’ll never say no to increasing the amount of beautiful women on WWE programming. Hopefully they can figure it out on NXT Live shows. They certainly have potential, but both are long way from realizing it. Liv got the win and the crowd mildly enjoyed her post-victory celebration.

DIY vs. The Revival: DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) and The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) have had a lot of great matches, and the chemistry showed in this one. As far as pure wrestling goes, it was the best match of the night. I’ve been watching Ciampa and Gargano for a long time on the indie circuit, and it was nice to see them succeed on NXT Live. The Revival has become a solid tag team that has won over the crowd that used to pepper them with “Which one’s Dash?!?” and “Which one’s Dawson?!?” dueling chants. After some superior wrestling from both teams, DIY retained the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Intermission: My friend Barry bought me a Diet Coke. Win.

Tye Dillinger vs. Elias Samson: As I mentioned in the intro, Dillinger’s “10” gimmick is ridiculously over. The crowd loved it and forced “10” chants into every match. During his match, the audience turned up to “10” chants up to 11. Before the action kicked off, Samson blast the crowd through the gift of song. The in-ring action was solid, with Dillinger winning a relatively quick match.

Tye Dillinger vs. Wesley Blake: As Dillinger was celebrating his victory while donning Samson’s guitar, Blake interrupted. He busted out some old-school mic work. Some of the dirt sheets trashed it, but I thought it was outstanding. He called various things “garbage” — Las Vegas, the crowd, “10” chants, etc. It started off slow and intentionally grating, which annoyed the crowd. The audience let him have it, but he kept going with the “garbage” gimmick. Eventually, he won over a fair amount of smarks with his heelish antics. This resulted in an impromptu match that Dillinger quickly won with a superkick. Blake’s promo was one of my favorite parts of NXT Live Las Vegas.

Asuka vs. Ember Moon: I’m a mark for Asuka. She’s a great wrestler and a former videogame journalist. How can I not love her?!? Ember Moon is a strong worker too. The ladies put on my favorite match of NXT Live Las Vegas. It was the stiffest women’s match I’ve ever seen. The action was impactful and the moves were diverse. Both of these ladies are ready for prime time. I’d like to see Asuka move up soon, while Ember gets a chance to reign as NXT Women’s Champion. For now, Asuka still has the gold.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode: Prior to the match, Samoa Joe announced that he would be the special enforcer. (He couldn’t wrestle due to injury.) The crowd responded by changing the “Joe’s gonna kill you” chant to “Joe’s gonna watch you.” That was excellent.

This was a battle of the two hottest entrances in NXT. Nakamura is one of my favorites in the entire WWE. I was never a fan of Roode’s TNA work, but get a kick out of his “glorious” gimmick. The match was slightly above average. Nakamura’s striking was a pleasure to watch (and hear) live, but he’s still figuring out his chemistry with Roode.

For the most part, I enjoyed Nakamura’s work, while Roode’s was acceptable. It was interesting seeing “good vibrations” live. The move looks ridiculous on television, but works much better in person. In the end, Nakamura hit the Bomaye Kinshasa on Roode to win and send the crowd home happy.