Episode: NXT #220
Recorded: 13 October 2016
Aired: 02 November 2016
Match duration: 9:46 minutes (plus one commercial break)

Match analysis

Alexander Wolfe and Kota Ibushi started the match off against each other for their respective teams. Nikki Cross and Eric Young were standing at ring side for SAnitY. Alexander Wolfe commanding Sawyer Fulton to go out of the ring, while he threw fists around and Kota Ibushi looked confused. Kota Ibushi didn’t really want to start the match, so Alexander Wolfe went for him and got him into a headlock and brought him down to the mat. Adding to this, he was grimacing like a real madman.

Kota Ibushi tried to free himself out of the headlock but when Alexander Wolfe went for it again, he showed even more strength. But Kota Ibushi didn’t learn. He tried again but when he seemed to be successful second time, his face met with the fist of Alexander Wolfe. But now Alexander Wolfe was a little too arrogant in trash talking to Kota Ibushi, and the latter finally kicked Alexander Wolfe to the mat. Alexander Wolfe then avoided two attacks by Kota Ibushi but he was third time lucky with a dropkick.

Now Kota Ibushi prepared Alexander Wolfe for another highflying action by shoving him into the ropes but Alexander Wolfe got hold of the top rope, lost momentum and was able to kick Kota Ibushi into his chest. Alexander Wolfe got Kota Ibushi into the headlock again but TJ Perkins was able to tag himself in to help Kota Ibushi. But that strategy only ended with TJ Perkins getting caught by Alexander Wolfe but TJ Perkins was agile enough to go back to the mat himself. He got Alexander Wolfe with a running crossbody and even got a quick cover. Alexander Wolfe kicked out but was immediately caught into the kneebar. He was near to his team’s corner, so he quickly tagged in Sawyer Fulton.

But Sawyer Fulton was dumb enough to get himself into the kneebar after mere seconds of being the legal man. So, he had no choice but to tag in Alexander Wolfe again. But Alexander Wolfe missed with his latest attack and was shoved into the corner of the opposing team by TJ Perkins. Kota Ibushi was tagged in for double punishment and Alexander Wolfe got it with kicks and a dropkick. Alexander Wolfe rolled right into his team’s corner while TJ Perkins was posing to the crowd while we went to the commercial break.

After the break, TJ Perkins had just tagged Kota Ibushi back in with Sawyer Fulton getting served in their team’s corner. Sawyer Fulton got basically kicked into the turnbuckle by Kota Ibushi until TJ Perkins was tagged back in. Immediately he climbed on the ropes to make his fists rain down on Sawyer Fulton. Kota Ibushi tagged himself back in rather quickly for some punishment to Sawyer Fulton’s back and a few elbow strikes to his front. And TJ Perkins was tagged back in for some double team action. Sawyer Fulton was shoved into the ropes but his momentum only helped himself this time because he simply powered himself into both of his team’s opponents. But he got double dropkicked afterwards and rolled out of the ring.

Alexander Wolfe now made it into the ring to get revenge for his partner but was quickly dropkicked and rolled out of the ring either. And Kota Ibushi used that by doing his signature triangle moonsault on Alexander Wolfe from the apron. Using the momentary hype, TJ Perkins jumped over the top rope just onto Sawyer Fulton. But the man just caught him, and furthermore TJ Perkins was thrown onto the apron two times before he was rolled back into the ring.

Now it was Sayer Fulton who used his weight to make TJ Perkins suffer for the earlier punishment on him. In using the ropes, he put all his weight onto TJ Perkins for two times and got a two-count for it. He tagged in Alexander Wolfe for some double team action with TJ Perkins being thrown onto the lower legs of Alexander Wolfe. And he also got a two-count for it.

Alexander Wolfe now went for the left arm of TJ Perkins, first with an elbow strike, then with a hold and some hard bending, combined with some kind of a headlock. TJ Perkins was still able to make it to his feet again and hoped to tag in Kota Ibushi. But he was denied by a backbreaker onto Alexander Wolfe’s knee. But TJ Perkins was somehow able to break the following three-count.

Alexander Wolfe then tagged in Sawyer Fulton for another double team action. This time a knee strike / Thesz press combination. But still TJ Perkins kicked out of the following cover. In his hope to further wear his opponent down, Sawyer Fulton used his weight to weaken TJ Perkins’ right leg and lower back. Sawyer Fulton then got TJ Perkins up and he appeared to somehow press all of his air out of the poor lad. Finally, TJ Perkins used a few elbow strikes to try to break free. But he was only shoved into the ring corner as further punishment for his actions.

Alexander Wolfe tagged himself back in and immediately went down on his back to position himself for their first shown double team action. But TJ Perkins was able to get free this time and instead of him, Sawyer Fulton made it onto Alexander Wolfe’s lower legs head first. And now, TJ Perkins was also able to tag in Kota Ibushi.

And Kota Ibushi went rampant now with three hard strikes to Alexander Wolfe. And after a standing moonsault, he got a near fall on Alexander Wolfe that was only broke by Sawyer Fulton. TJ Perkins went inside the ring as well, dropkicked Sawyer Fulton out of the ring and rolled out quickly, too.

Kota Ibushi then hit his Golden Star Powerbomb on Alexander Wolfe but Eric Young and Nikki Cross distracted the referee from ringside, so he wasn’t able to do the three-count. Sawyer Fulton still came in to kick Kota Ibushi off Alexander Wolfe, so he bought him time to recover. Shortly after, Sawyer Fulton was tagged in for SAnitY’s finishing move. And this time the referee was ready to do the three-count to finish that match.

Winner: SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Sawyer Fulton)

I’ve got several reasons to add this match to my collection of Best Matches of NXT in 2016. One of them is Alexander Wolfe a.k.a Axel Tischer. He was born in the city I was born in, so I kind of feel the need to be interested in him. I didn’t know him before he came to NXT / WWE but I’ve read and saw a bit of him on the Independent Circuit. He definitely stands out and is quite unique. He knows what he’s doing in the ring with twelve years of wrestling experience. I like his facials and all around intimidating character.

And I’d like to compare him with another German guy who tried to become a wrestler recently. Actually, there’s nothing similar between Alexander Wolfe and Tim Wiese, who went by the name “The Machine” for his one wrestling match at a live event in Germany in November. Despite the fact, that both of them are German. But Axel Tischer was born in ex-GDR while Tim Wiese was born in Western Germany. So, there’s not even this.

But, there are some people who want to build Tim Wiese as the German ambassador for WWE, so the wrestling (WWE) business is able to grow in Germany. And WWE is using the old motto: you can’t look away from a freak accident. Because this is how I see Tim Wiese while Axel Tischer is a serious wrestler who does this his whole life and now wants to make a name for himself and his team SAnitY (for now).

What I also like about the whole team of SAnitY is that Eric Young isn’t given a full wrestling job. He’s just there to play the leader and look intimidating. NXT still is developmental territory after all. And I like that the people in the back go for interesting gimmicks and tag teams to try something fresh. It’s also good for someone like Sawyer Fulton to learn within a group of great wrestlers. Because let’s face it: Sawyer Fulton is the weak link of this group, he’s green as hell and he didn’t contribute much so far. But he’s there to learn and maybe he’ll grow by this.

The only thing I don’t like about SAnitY so far is the role of Nikki Cross. She’s been wrestling for eight years now and I doubt that her part in SAnitY does her any justice. She’s not a serious competitor if she doesn’t care if she wins or loses matches and only cares about beating up people. She also over-acts the crazy bit of SAnitY and I hope she’ll ever make her singles career in NXT / WWE. All in all, I wish NXT would have gone for a newer, home-grown girl that still needs to learn a lot. Or added another female wrestler to SAnitY. They can still do that though.

What I liked about this very match was that it further built the character of SAnitY, showed off the wrestling style of Alexander Wolfe and made for an interesting clash of different wrestling styles, too. It also used the usual heel tactic of playing the numbers game to distract the referee. But all in all, it simply was fun to watch and well worth to watch a second time – always a main factor when you choose matches for a Best Of-series.

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