After last week’s great NXT show, this week the pace slows down somewhat. Although we do get the debut of Asuka and Eva Marie having a horrible match. It’s this week’s NXT report…
1. Eva Marie vs. Carmella
We’re kicking things off tonight with a chorus of boos. It’s kind of funny how the crowd goes from loud NXT chants to the most vociferous of boos. This is not good heat, this is ‘X-Pac heat’. They show a clip from three weeks ago where Eva forgot to kick out of a move – which they’ve managed to turn into a storyline. Marie cut an inset promo about the incident and thanked the ref for now bowing down to the bias crowd. Guess what – it was super robotic. Carmella takes it to Marie early on with shoulder tackles in the corner and she even throws her to the outside – complete with Moonwalk. The commentators again put over how hard Eva Marie is working. As soon as Marie gets on offense, the crowd turns on the match with a chorus of boos. Chants of ‘you can’t wrestle’ aimed at Marie. Gee, this is bad. Marie keeps shouting ‘how you doin’ at Carmella with the most annoying screeching tone. She thinks it’s creating heat – it is not. Carmella reverses a suplex attempt into the slowest small package you’ve ever seen. Because they hate Marie so much, this crowd is super into Carmella. If it feels like I’m talking more about the crowd than the match, it’s because there is nothing to say about the match. Carmella finally starts to make a comeback with a hurricanrana that nearly killed Eva and a couple of Lou Thez presses. Carmella hits a couple of shoulder tackles and a boot in the corner and goes for the pin. The ref counts two, but it was clearly meant to be a three. This is now officially a storyline where Eva Marie is given preferential treatment from the refs. I’m not sure the crowd fully get the storyline, as they just boo what’s happening. Eva Marie throws Carmella to the outside and collapses to the floor. The ref counts quickly to ten and Carmella is counted out. Guess what – the crowd boos. They show a replay that shows Eva had her foot on the rope during the pinfall, so is it not a storyline? This was not pretty and mostly horrible, but this Eva Marie bias storyline could be a winner.
We get a Nia Jax promo. She’s still coming soon. She’d better get here soon.
We then get a recap of the main event of last week where Sasha Banks challenged Bayley to a rematch. Bayley cuts a promo during the recap about how they want people to react to women’s wrestling differently than they have done before. Don’t force it down our throats guys, that’s when people turn on things (*cough* Roman Reigns *cough*).
2. Bull Dempsey vs. Tyler Breeze
This was set up last week and we get a recap of those events. Bull looks like he’s having the time of his life with this gimmick and you can’t wipe the smile from his face. Good for him. Simple action early on in the match, but there was a great spot where Bull messes up Breeze’s hair. Turn in the match came when Breeze pushed Bull off the apron and he was able to take over. Breeze uses very basic heel moves and tactics, which riles the crowd perfectly. Finally Bull starts to make a comeback and the crowd erupts. He hits some punches and belly attacks – yes you read that right. Bull heads to the top rope to hit his headbutt, but Breeze rolls out the ring. Undeterred, Bull rolls him back in and goes for the headbutt again, only this time Breeze pops up and throws him off the turnbuckle. He pins him with his foot on the ropes for the cheap win.
We get the same promo for Asuka from last week – she’ll be debuting next! We then get a promo for the NXT tour of Texas (which they didn’t get paid extra for by the way). This looked like a fun little tour.
Back in Full Sail and in the ring is William Regal. He is proud to announce the signing of KANA, who amazingly doesn’t come out to stereotypical Japanese music. It’s awesome stoner rock instead. This could be my new favourite entrance theme. Her screen graphic changes from KANA to Askua as she walks down to the ring. She is fired up to be here. Regal gives her the microphone and she cuts a broken English promo about being happy to be in NXT. I say she cuts a promo, she shouts her promo very excitedly. She should have kept it short as the longer she went, the less the crowd understood her. But as Regal is about to say it’s great to have her here, he is interrupted by Dana Brooke and Emma. Corey Graves says this was unexpected. Not really Corey, they said they would do this last week. Regal calls Brooke and Emma rude. That was awesome. The crowd fully behind Askua and chant ‘Askua’s gonna kill you’. Emma cuts a patronising promo about being the NXT welcome party. She was pretty great here. Dana Brooke claims that she and Emma ran Charlotte and Becky Lynch out of NXT. That was an AWESOME heel line. Dana asks Askua to leave, which she goes to do. She steps out of the ring with her head held low and the crowd chant ‘no’. She stars to walk out of the ring and the heels laugh at her. As she nears the top of the ramp, the crowd starts to go apeshit in chanting her name. She turns back to look at the heels with a smirking laugh on her face and Dana and Emma looked a bit scared. This was an odd way to debut someone, but I really like that they didn’t go for the obvious. Dana and Emma are in TROUBLE and it is going to be awesome when they get their comeuppance. A good segment.
Backstage, Breeze is approached by a cameraman to ask if he’s excited about his match at Takeover against Apollo Crews. Crews approaches Breeze and taunts him.
We cut to the ESPN-like recap of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. We get footage from Rhyno & Corbin beating Gargano & Ciampa from last week. The dude calls Gargano & Ciampa ‘rocket busters’. Hmm. We then get footage of Dash & Dawson getting a shock upset win over The Vaudevillains from the Teaxs tour to advance to the next round. Next week we’re getting Balor & Joe vs. Enzo & Cass. That should be a fun match. They hype that this weekend The Hype Bros will face Jordan & Gable and we get promos from each of the teams. I hope Gable kills these fools. Here’s a shocking fact: Chad & Gable cut a better promo than The Hype Bros.
3. Blake & Murphy vs. The Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Team Championships
The crowd are chanting for Blue Pants. I’ve got bad news for you guys. Gotch and Blake kicks things off and Bliss tried to interfere. Looks like I spoke too soon as Blue Pants ran down and took out Alexa Bliss, who runs for the hills. However, the heels still get the advantage from the distraction. They work over Aiden English who fights back with a nice double dropkick. He kips up from the dropkick and does his manly pose. Awesome. The heels grab the advantage again however as we come back from the break. Corey Graves and Byron Saxton bicker. As you can imagine, it was insufferable. English tries to make the hot tag, but Murphy attempts to stop him, so English responds with a wickedly LOUD palm strike. That sounded awesome. Hot tag to Gotch and he runs wild on Blake. Gotch tags in English and hits a rolling senton to set Aiden up for the Swanton Bomb. However Blake gets the shoulders up and he tags in Blake who hits some knees off the top rope for a great near fall. English tries to roll him up for another near fall. English dumps Murphy to the outside and Gotch tags himself in. They hit the Whirling Dirvish for the win. This was a fun little tag match.
Backstage, Enzo & Cass cut a fantastic promo on Balor & Joe. Enzo is a tremendous talent. He calls himself the Michael Jordon of jargon. Next up is Balor & Joe cutting a promo back. Balor is great, but Joe is better. Joe calls Balor ‘champ’ and slaps his belt, which Balor looks rather upset about. Further teasing of their title match down the road. Joe says that Enzo & Cass are the realest guys in the room, but they’re the baddest dogs in the yard – and you can’t teach that. This was great stuff, but a little weird to end the show on.
Another decent edition of NXT, but nothing to go out of your way to see. The tag team main event was fun, but the opener was sloppy and boring. We’ve seen Breeze and Dempsey before, and they didn’t bring much new to the table. However the Askua segment was awesome.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.