After just a couple of weeks since his debut, Samoa Joe goes one-on-one with the NXT Champion Kevin Owens, we get an awesome Finn Balor promo video… and that’s about it. It’s this week’s NXT report…
The show opens with the Dusty Rhodes tribute video and it made me cry again. Knock it off WWE!
1. Enzo, Big Cass and Carmella vs. Blake, Murphy and Alexa Bliss
Our opening contest was a match that was announced last week and has been on the cards since Unstoppable, as the Tr-State area trio take on the NXT Tag Team Champions and the Evil Pixie Alexa Bliss. Your basic Enzo and Cass match to begin with as the heels work over the little guy. He finally gets a hot tag to Carmella who sloppily runs wild on Alexa Bliss. Rich Brennan says on commentary that Carmella has been waiting to get her hands on Alexa since Unstoppable. They had a match two weeks ago. Very rough from Carmella as always and then Alexa tags in Murphy which forces Carmella to arkwardly leave the ring. Big Cass runs in like a house of fire with big boots and corner splashes and he then tags in Enzo for the Rocket Launcher and the win. Possibly the quickest hot tag in the history of wrestling. Cass hit about four moves in the entire match.
Backstage, Samoa Joe hypes up his match with Kevin Owens. Good promo by Joe and it’s nice to see him in a promotion he cares about.
We then get an awesome video package for Finn Balor. This… this was so good. It told the story of his upbringing and had loads of footage of his time before NXT, including Wrestling Pro and Insane Championship Wrestling. They call him by his real name for the whole video and there were a lot of personal photos (including some old school Y2J and Tazz t-shirts). Balor comes off as a massive star in this. God this video was great. Becky Lynch was featured heavily in the video and she started crying when talking about how great Finn is. Talk about him opening up a wrestling school at 20 and how he was born to do this. This video just gets better and better. Next week we’ll get the second part of his story which will see him over in Japan. Remarkably, this was the best thing on the show.
2. Charlotte vs. Cassie
Charlotte comes out for a squash match with Cassie, who isn’t named until about a minute into the match. Cassie got more offense than you’d think and actually hit a really nice hurricanrana. But this was nothing more than a filler match and the crowd knew it. Apart from popping for a total Ric Flair move where Charlotte went for a high five and then brushed her hair back, they were dead silent. Charlotte wins with the Figure Eight. Did you know it was twice as good as her Dad’s? If you didn’t, the commentators will make sure you do by saying it about five times during the replay.
Backstage, Dana Brooke is with Devin and tells us that it’s great to be back. It never felt like she went away to be honest. She pushed her feud with Charlotte and said she was the Total Diva. She’s completely scripted, but this wasn’t terrible.
3. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe
This is clearly getting some time as there’s about 20 minutes left on this show. Joe’s music continues to be horrible and seemingly gets worse each week. Awesome opening with Owens bailing to the outside like he always does and Joe follows him and goes nose to nose. So great. Crowd chants “this is awesome” before the two do anything. I hate the NXT crowd. Owens shouts in Joe’s face which causes him to fire up and beat the hell out of him – that woke the crowd up! We’ve not seen an Owens match like this yet with the babyface beating the dog piss out of him, causing him to make a run for it to the outside. Back from the break and Owens is in charge and the match becomes Chinlock City. Crowd is 50/50 for both men, but it got a bit tiring when Owens was just laying there with Joe in a hold. Joe escapes and hits a running kick that Owens sells like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. He’s the best. They tease the powerbomb to the apron, but Joe fight out and the ref gets between them. This of course leads to the ref getting bumped and calling for the DQ. This was never going to be a clean finish. Joe and Owens continue to fight and referees and geeks try to break it up. Each man escapes a couple of times and continues the brawl. Pretty awesome and the crowd is on fire for it. Finally Owens is forced outside the ring and he clocks two of the geeks. Someone in the crowd shouts “punch me next”. Owens is on the ramp and holds his title shouting “the champ is here” as the show goes off the air.
This was an show that was built around one match and that one match delivered for the most part. The show is worth watching though for the Finn Balor video package.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.