Curb Stomp: If this is a dream, don’t wake me up

Here’s what you missed on last week’s show: Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe squared off in an extremely competitive 2 out of 2 falls match to once and for all determine who would be named the #1 Contender for Finn Bálor’s NXT Championship. In a completely unexpected turn of events, the match “runs long”…  

wink wink

… thereby pushing everything else that was “planned” for last week’s show to tonight’s. Here we go!


Right off the bat, I am WAY MORE READY for NXT TakeOver: Dallas than WrestleMania, and for good reason. Did you see the show tonight?!? That card will be phenomenal, no offense to Mr. Styles.

This girl from the video package that runs later in the show… she gets it.

Credit: WWE

This WrestleMania Season, Sami Zayn is the prettiest girl at the prom and everyone wants a dance

Credit: WWE

Sooooo, talk about a banger of an opener?! Zayn recaps last week’s solid 2 out of 3 falls match and puts over Joe as strong competitor, but he’s not here to dwell on last week. He’s got his sights set on WrestleMania weekend and NXT TakeOver: Dallas. The main roster crowds might not appreciate this guy yet but we and the Full Sail loyal certainly still do. Sami knows that this TakeOver will probably steal the entire weekend (believe me, he’s not wrong), so naturally he wants to be part of the card.

Before you can say “Generico” here comes GM Regal. It appears he wholeheartedly agrees with Sami. Even better, he’s already found the perfect candidate for his opponent. Regal signals to the Tron.

We see static. Sami appears perplexed. Then the proverbial s*** hits the fan.

The man on the other end of the camera is Shinsuke Nakamura….

Sami’s opponent at NXT TakeOver Dallas will be none other than Shinsuke Nakamura.


Nakamura does his best Tyler Breeze, mugging for the cam and every second is glorious. I don’t know what he said. I’m not even sure Full Sail could tell you what he said, which is bound to happen when your arena is flooded with “Holy s**t!” chants.

They seriously could have stopped the show after this and I wouldn’t have complained one ska-flipping bit. In fairness though, no sane person stops NXT when Asuka and American Alpha are on the card.

I need a moment to process this excitement because BOY is there a lot of it!

Go with me here. Let’s pretend this match wasn’t leaked on the dirt sheets a few months ago, post Nakamura’s departure from NJPW. You imagining it? Good. Now, truly take a moment to savor what this all means. With Nakamura and Zayn now set to collide at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, along with Sami’s yet unannounced—albeit inevitable—brawl with Kevin Owens and GOODNESS KNOWS who else at WrestleMania, Sami Zayn just got handed one of the best Wrestlemania weekends a guy could want since Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30.

To borrow a phrase from the great white hype himself, Sheamus, which he borrowed from Gladiator…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to change my pants before continuing tonight’s show.

And speaking of “great white hype,” since we can’t get any more hype after that a Zayn-Nakamura announcment, we might as well stay hype


Credit: WWE

Quoth the Edge and Christian: “Testicle alert!


My heart soars for the love of all things LEGO

Credit: WWE

Sami Zayn and Finn Bálor dancing together. Not since the sweet, sweet “Dirty Dancing moment” have I been so in the bag for two WWE on-screen characters. Speaking of which, we need to get something straight. WWE will release the crush-worthy video of “best person ever” and NXT Women’s Champion Bayley mimicking Finn’s entrance as he watches. They’ll release the video where Finn returns the favor by mimicking Bayley, thus giving birth to a new swarm of Finn/Bayley shippers. They’ll even release the aforementioned Dirty Dancing video, which is so utterly charming that it if the video proposed to me right now, I’d probably marry it.

WWE releases all those house show videos, but not this one of Sami and Finn. WHY MUST THEY TOY WITH MY EMOTIONS SO!

I NEED to see this video! How can I watch it yesterday?!?!?!

Emma crush!


Poor, poor Deonna Purrazzo. The life of cannon fodder is tough.

I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Ciampa

Credit: WWE

What starts out like a squash turns into a decently competitive contest. Ciampa ultimately defeats Sorensen via submission.

Never smile at a crocodile

Credit: WWE

First, to quote Corey Graves: “How many times do I have to tell you Phillips, ‘Shut up!’

Second, I guess they’re calling Asuka the crocodile now. Fine. My love of Asuka knows no bounds, so I’ll roll with it.

Third, we learned who our new #1 Contender for the NXT Women’s championship will be and it’s Asuka. Now I’m torn. MY HERO, EMPRESS ASUKA, IS GONNA KILL THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION BAYLEY AT NXT TAKEOVER: DALLAS. I’m beyond excited for this match, maybe even more than I am for Zayn/Nakamura.

Jeez, WWE should seriously consider scraping the Mania matches with half-ass builds and merge it with TakeOver. #FreeWrestleMania from itself!

You’re big. You’re bad. And you’re… not going for the obvious line, huh?

Credit: WWE

Our announce team interviews Austin Aries following last week’s cheap attack by Baron Corbin. Either by accident or on purpose (I can’t decide which) Aries sidesteps the clear wolf joke that’s practically howling right in front of him.

The Alpha’s ascension is nearly complete


This was a great closer to a stellar show. What can I say about Jordan and Gable that hasn’t been said already. Their coronation at TakeOver will truly be glorious. Seriously, I fully expect the heavens to part as angels descend and take a knee before these two bucks.

I’m ready. I’m willing. And I’m Gable for your future NXT Tag Team Champions.

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