NXT Dublin – Review

NXT, 3 Arena, Dublin, June 13th.

There was probably around 2500/3000 there on a rough estimation, which was a pretty decent crowd.

Hugo Knox defeated Tye Dillinger

Knox is former English footballer Stuart Tomlinson. Dillinger was insanely over with the crowd, so naturally he was a heel and the British guy was the babyface. Dillinger cut a short promo to try and turn the crowd. People didn’t know who Knox was. Dillinger was great here and despite Knox being very green, Dillinger made him look pretty good. Knox won with a split legged moonsault.

Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Wesley Blake

Blake now has tassels on his boots and struts around like Jeff Jarrett. Andrade got a good reaction. This was a decent match. Blake was far more interesting than he ever was with Murphy. Andrade looked great and won with the corner knee strike.

American Alpha defeated Alexander Wolfe & Sawyer Fulton

Obviously, American Alpha got a huge pop when their music hit. Fulton & Wolfe were dressed like something from Metal Gear Solid. They were okay as a menacing tag team. AA are so good and so over. They are so entertaining live. They won after an explosive Jordan hot tag and Grand Amplitude. The crowd chanted for Jordan & Gable for the duration of the match.

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After the match The Revival came out and said they’d defend the tag titles against AA tonight. Dawson had the line of the night when he said The Revival were Irish because “ever since Takeover their title reigns had been Dublin”. They then changed their mind. Dash tried to attack AA, but was caught in a double lock. It was disappointing that this was The Revival’s only involvement in the show.

No Way Jose defeated Austin Aries

Jose’s music and entrance had the crowd singing along. Aries got a great reaction. The crowd were very split for this one, making it a lot of fun. Jose managed to convince Aries to have a dance off. Of course this led to Aries dropping Jose during the dance. Even though we could all see it coming, it got the pop of the show so far and huge “thank you Aries” and “No Way Aries” chants. Jose is very slow in the ring. He couldn’t keep up with Aries during a chain wrestling sequence at the start of the match.  Jose won with a quick roll up. This was a lot of fun.

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NXT Women’s Championship

Asuka defeated Peyton Royce

Not too many knew how Royce was, but she was really impressive. Asuka got a great reaction. This was a really good match. Asuka went all out with hip attacks, channelling the great Funky Weapon.  Royce was heckled with lines from Crocodile Dundee.  Asuka hit some really nasty looking kicks and won with a rolling armbar, before she transitioned into the Asuka Lock.

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Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Bobby Roode

Roode got a shock pop when he was introduced. Obviously a lot of people didn’t know he was going to be there. He got an incredible reaction and seemed a bit moved by it. Then Nakamura’s music hit and people absolutely lost their minds. I can’t remember the last time there was a wrestler that makes people lose it the way Nakamura does. His entrance is pretty special to experience live. When people realised they were getting a dream match, there were loud “holy shit” chants. The match was really good. They didn’t go all out, but they had a really good back and forth match, leaving people wanting more. Roode looked really solid and should be great in NXT. Nakamura won with the Kinshasa.

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Bayley & Carmella defeated Nia Jax & Alexa Bliss

Bayley got one of the biggest reactions of the night. The crowd sang and chanted for her for the majority of the match. Carmella was really over too. This was a pretty good match. Just a standard tag team match. There was one funny moment where the crowd chanted ten after a Bayley ten punch, so Bayley did cart wheel and the Tye Dillinger ten pose. Bayley got the pin on Jax after hitting the Bayley To Belly.

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NXT Championship

Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor

The crowd reaction for Balor here was unbelievable really. There was a sustained ovation when he stood in the ring waiting for Joe. Of course Joe was almost boo’d out of the building. The crowd were amazing during this match. They weren’t silent for a minute. They sand Field of Athenry, stood up in unison in support of Balor and sang lots of football songs. The atmosphere was amazing. Balor’s family were sitting beside me and it was great to see their reaction to all this. The match was very good. There were some near falls at the end that had the crowd buying that Balor might win. Joe was a machine and he seemed to love playing with the crowd. Joe stole the win with a handful of tight on a roll up. After the match Balor hit the Coupe De Grace and thanked the crowd to send them home happy. I hope some of this was filmed and ends up on the WWE Network in some form.

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This was a really fun show. There were no blow away matches, but the crowd added a lot to the show. The crowd was completely different from the usual crowd at WWE shows in the 3 Arena. This was mostly and adult crowd and were into everything, chanting like only Irish fans can. Main roster house shows are usually lifeless with a crowd full of kids. This was the exact opposite and it was nice to see that this sort of crowd existed in Ireland.

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Not a boxer but a pro wrestling fan. If there’s a ring I’ll watch it, so naturally I have a lot of opinions (complaints).

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