Squash matches galore! Kevin Owens and Finn Balor make their rematch official and Eva Marie makes her NXT debut – it’s this week’s NXT Report…
Show opens with a video package highlighting Finn Balor’s win over Kevin Owens in Tokyo. This win was from three weeks ago, which shows how much this show has been treading water while they waited for a new set of tapings.
Finn Balor comes out with the NXT title to put over his win at Beast in the East and hypes his match with Kevin Owens at Takeover: Brooklyn. Finn did well here and the crowd lapped up every word he had to say. He said that Owens had accomplished a lot in his time in WWE, including injuring Sami Zayn and Neville, beating Cesaro and Rusev and even beating John Cena. He also mentioned that he’d injured Hideo Itami, which still isn’t proven. No mention of Alex Riley, so it sucks to be him. They announced that later on tonight, there would be a contract signing between Balor and Owens.
Backstage, Eva Marie was hyping up debut match. Have you ever noticed how WWE performers never look at the camera or the person who’s interviewing them? They just stare off into the middle distance? Well it’s super creepy when Eva Marie does it. She gave a scripted promo and there wasn’t much to it.
1. Eva Marie vs. Cassie
Poor old Cassie. She’s the best jobber this company has. Eva comes out and looks… well… remember that conversation Dave Meltzer had on Wrestling Observer Radio about women’s attire turning them into sex objects? Well, Eva basically looks like an extra from Golden Axe. Anyhoo, she was surprisingly fine for someone in developmental. Lots of ‘Let’s go Eva/Eva sucks’ chants. Cassie sold for most of the match, but did hit some awesome spin kicks. Eva hit the funniest running senton splash I have ever seen. I’m not sure she actually left her feet. Eva’s offense is clunky, but not overly horrible. You can tell she’s been learning from Brian Kendrick as she won with the Sliced Bread #2. And it looked AWFUL. She’s so slow and robotic that the move looks like it has no impact. The commentators put this over like it was something impressive. It was not.
Backstage, William Regal was on the phone but was surprised to see Tyler Breeze posing in his office. Breeze congratulates him on booking Balor and Owens for the title, but then asks if that means Regal has something even better for him. Regal says he’s thinking about it and Breeze walks off. Perhaps the debut of Uhaa Nation?
2. Baron Corbin vs. Some Dude
Corbin had a long and competitive match. Just kidding, he won in literally six seconds. He hit The End of Days and won. This was a real shame after that awesome promo from last week. The dude he faced was dressed like a purple Hurricane Helms and was not named.
3. Samoa Joe vs. Mike Rawlis
Samoa Joe came out to NEW MUSIC. It wasn’t great, but it was a vast improvement. Rawlis tried some offense, but Joe killed him with punches and chops. Joe hits all his trademark spots and they announced that Joe would take on Rhyno in two weeks. Joe wins with the Muscle Buster. Not much of a match. Like Corbin, they need to be doing something more with Joe.
Backstage, Emma and Dana Brooke to hype her match with Bailey. Emma laughed about breaking Bailey’s hand and then said tonight she would break her childish spirit. Dana then joked about giving her a hug to make her feel better. Emma also laughed, but then asked for a hug because it makes her feel better. This was wacky.
4. Emma vs. Bailey
We get a recap of their match from a few weeks ago where Emma beat Bailey and attacked her after the match. Bailey looked so happy to be back in the ring. Emma starts off the match by attacking Bailey with the slap bracelets you can buy at the merch stall. Emma smashes Bailey’s head into the turnbuckle, but that only fired her up and she ran wild. As Emma rolls to the outside, Bailey gets her hand wrapped around the ring post for the heat. Bailey makes her comeback though and wakes the crowd up. They do a double down and this leads to Dana trying to attack Bailey’s hand in front of the ref, who then sends her to the back. Then Bailey hits the Bailey to Belly out of nowhere for the win. After the match, Bailey cut a promo to ‘welcome back’ chants from the crowd. With Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks heading to Raw, it looks like Bailey is going to lead this NXT Women’s division. She says that she wants to be the NXT Women’s Champion, but to do she needs to beat the best. The crowd expected her to challenge Sasha, but instead she challenged Charlotte, which quieted the crowd as they didn’t get what she meant.
Backstage, Charlotte was backstage and talked about making a revolution on Raw and wants to take the NXT Women’s Championship to the main shows. No mention of Stephanie in this promo. Dana Brooke interrupts and makes the great point that Charlotte has had plenty of chances and failed, but Dana hasn’t had one yet. So Charlotte accepts a match for next week.
5. The Vaudevillains vs. Saywer Falton & Angelo Dawkins
They announce that The Vaudevillains will take on Blake & Murphy next week on NXT for the tag titles. Simon Gotch runs wild early, but is cut off by Falton. The heels get the heat momentarily, but Gotch escapes by lifting up his own foot and kicking Dawkins in the head. That sounds weird, but it was kind of awesome. Aiden English gets the hot tag and runs wild amazingly. They hit the Wirling Dirvish for the win.
Backstage, Blake & Murphy are making fun of The Vaudevillains and can’t believe they’re from “1999” which, they claim, “was so long ago”. Alexa makes them stop acting like morons and cuts a simple but effective promo about how they will win next week. Alexa Bliss is awesome.
The main event of the show saw William Regal in the ring. He hyped up the show in Brooklyn which got massive boos because Full Sail aren’t getting their precious NXT show. TNA had the same issue when they started doing shows outside of the Impact Zone. It feels as though the boos got too much, as his promo was cut short with an awkward edit of Kevin Owens coming out. Regal then introduces Balor, further proving the edit theory. Owens cuts a promo on Balor and puts over the match, making special mention that the match will be in Brooklyn. The crowd hated this, but Owens laughed it up. He agreed with everything Balor said in the promo at the start of the show, but didn’t deny injuring Itami. Interesting. Balor is a man of few words, but says he will take Owens’ words and will push them down his throat. He signs the contract and passes it to Owens. Kevin looks over the contract for a while and then signs. Regal announces the match for Brooklyn to more boos. Owens then throws the contract at Balor and turns the table over. He punches Regal and goes to attck Balor. This wasn’t as smooth as you’d think. Balor fights him off and sends him packing. Owens tries to run in again, but Balor sends him packing once again. This was an awesome closing segment.
Some fun squash matches and a simply-told angle made this a very watchable show of NXT. Charlotte taking on Dana next week should be good and The Vaudevillains battling Blake & Murphy for the belts will be tremendous if given some time.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.