After last week’s show with title changes and a main event for the next Takeover special set, NXT seemed rather quiet this week. But the Women’s Championship is on the line in the main event of the show, and the build towards NXT Takeover: London continues…
1. Carmella vs. Nia Jax
Poor ol’ Carmella, this will likely suck for her. Carmella tries to get some offense, but Jax just kills her. Jax hits a nasty looking back breaker and then locks in her devastating bear hug, but Carmella escapes by locking in a choke hold of her own. Jax goes to kill her with a Samoan Drop, but Carmella escapes again and then mounts a comeback. Crowd finally pick up for Carmella’s comeback, but Jax cuts her off and hits her spinebuster than had Carmella land right on the small of her back. That had to suck. Jax then flattens her with the leg drop for the win.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss is with Blake and Murphy and is cutting a promo to camera. This is much better without Tom Philips asking inane questions. She says that her hand is fine after beating up Bayley and is looking forward to taking the title from her tonight. But she adds that her ears hurt because all she’s been hearing about is the Takeover match Bayley had with Sasha Banks. Bliss says that if she hears about the match one more time, she’s going to be “blissed off”. That was great. She says that Bayley is just like the fans: happy to be here. But Bliss is what girls strive to be and it’s time for a new face of women’s wrestling in NXT. Suddenly, a ref appears and tells her that Blake and Murphy are banned from ringside. Bliss says that’s fine, as she’s going to “Bliss Slap” Bayley and crush her dreams. This was a good promo, and Blake and Murphy were awesome behind her pulling faces like they were impressed with everything she had to say.
2. The Ascension vs. Chad Gable & Jason Jordan
Ascension come out to a hero’s welcome. They really should just stay here. Crowd chant ‘this is awesome’ before anyone even locks up. They told a very simple story early on, with Jordan & Gable gaining the advantage by using Olympic wrestling tactics before Konnor takes over with power moves. Konnor and Victor then work over Gable and use some pretty cool looking tag team moves, including Konnor throwing Gable into a jumping knee from Viktor. Gable finally breaks free of the heels and begins to make his way to the corner, but Viktor runs over to knock Jordan off the apron. Jordan, however, ducks and Gable hits an Judo throw on Viktor before making the hot tag. Crowd is noticeably more quiet for Jordan then they are for Gable. That doesn’t stop him hitting some sweet looking suplexs. Viktor gets a near fall following another flying knee and Gable wipes out Konnor on the outside with a flip dive. Then out of nowhere they hit their unnamed double team move for the win. I love that move. This was a fun little tag match.
We get a hype video for the Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss title match, which highlights women’s wrestling being respected and the main event Takeover match. This is then juxtaposed to Alexa Bliss, who just wants to be a champion and not respected. The saddest part of this video package was that Devin Taylor made an appearance. I miss Devin. This was an awesome package though, and a clear distinction behind why the women of NXT can be the natural main event of this show, but Charlotte and Paige being thrust into a main event segment on Raw feels forced.
Backstage, Bayley cuts a promo on Alexa Bliss. She says that being champion has put a target on her back, but she is going to give Bliss a lesson in wrestling tonight. She says that respect is earned, and while the other Four Horsewoman have left NXT, Bayley is here to represent women’s wrestling.
3. Emma vs. Mary Kate
While this looks like it’s going to be a squash match as Mary Kate didn’t even get an entrance, she actually gets a lot of offense early on. She’s a much taller girl than Emma, so she dominates the match early with big power moves. She looks like a Mortal Kombat character. Emma takes over the match and the crowd is deathly silent. Seriously pin dropping silent. Emma hits the corner splash and then struggles to apply the Emma Lock for the win. This was a very boring match. It only went five minutes, but it felt like longer.
We get highlights of Baron Corbin running in on the Finn Balor vs. Apollo Crews match from two weeks ago and highlights from Crews running in and attacking Baron Corbin before his match last week. We cut to a backstage interview from WWE.com last week where Corbin challenges Crews to a match at NXT Takeover: London.
4. Dash & Dawson vs. Corey Hollis and John Skyler
Even with their big win last week, Dash & Dawson don’t get a champion’s reaction, especially when compared to the likes of Enzo & Cass and Jordan & Gable. That doesn’t stop them being awesome in the ring however. They focus on Corey Hollis and ground him by focusing on the left leg. It’s classic tag team work, but I wonder if it just doesn’t work in front of a 2015 crowd. They work over Hollis for a long time with very little crowd reaction. The worst thing about this match, apart from the lack of crowd reaction, is Byron Saxton. He keeps talking about Dash & Dawson being bad people because they like to beat up their opponents. It’s wrestling you big tool, that’s what you’re supposed to do! Hollis finally gets the hot tag to Skyler who runs and immediately gets hit with Dash & Dawson’s double team move. That was hilarious. Dash & Dawson win. Dash tries to act cool by stepping over the body of Skyler and he nearly falls over in the process. They announce that The Vaudevillains will face Dash & Dawson in a remake next week.
Backstage, Asuka is with Tom Phillips who asks a stupid question about her masks. Before she can answer, Dana Brooke walks in and challenges her to a rematch from NXT Takeover: Respect. Askua takes off her mask and accepts the challenge. Brooke then pats Philips on the head and tells him to leave. Emma walks in and they giggle like heels that Asuka fell for their plan hook, line and sinker. That match will be next week.
They make it official that Finn Balor will defend his NXT Championship against Samoa Joe at NXT Takeover: London. We then cut to Samoa Joe, who has been banned from the NXT Arena because William Regal is worried that Balor might try and attack Joe. But Joe says that’s not banned for his protection, he’s banned for Balor’s. He says that after they sign the contract next week, he will defeat Balor at NXT Takeover: London and win the title. This was a good promo, and so much better than any scripted nonsense he’ll be given should he ever ascend to the main roster.
5. Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss for the NXT Women’s Champion
Bliss comes out to a remixed version of her old theme, and looks like a total badass in the process. They did the spotlight gimmick to introduce Bayley and Bliss, but neither of them stood in it so the room just looked dark. Very silly. The crowd have a new chant for Bayley that is very annoying. They have some good back and forth action early on with neither girl gaining the advantage, but Bayley has been getting slightly more than Bliss. However Bliss finally fights back by dropping Bayley on the ring apron as she was getting back in the ring. Back from the break and Alexa has taken control of the match in a classic NXT REST HOLD. The crowd are ruining this match. Their chants feel more like for them than Bayley and it overshadows the comeback the champ is trying to make. Bliss hits the Bliss Flip and goes for the Sparkle Splash, but Bayley gets her off the top rope and hits a body slam. Bayley hits some shoulders in the corner, but Bliss reverses into a sunset flip for a good near fall. NXT crowd do their annoying chant and miss part of Bayley’s comeback. Idiots. Bayley hits the Bayley-to-Belly for the win. This was a very basic TV championship match that was slightly ruined by the crowd. Bliss put in a good show, but this was nothing to go out of your way to see.
After the match was over, All Botch Everything came down to the ring to a chorus of boos. She starts to cut a promo, but the crowd drown her out with boos. To her credit, she lets them have it. But the persistency puts her off and she struggles to get her promo out. She keeps asking them to be quiet, but the crowd just boo more. Even Bayley is trying to get them to stop booing so she can cut her promo. She finally announces that next week, Bayley will defend her title against Eva Marie. The Red Robot was so horribly scripted, made all the more obvious that she had to start the promo three times over before she finished and repeated the same thing each time.
This was a rather average NXT show that really should have been better. The two marquee matches were very basic, and the crowd were very tired. Bayley vs. All Botch Everything is going to be all kinds of terrible next week, and the crowd are really against her being on top in the women’s division. At least if they get this match out of the way, we don’t have to see it at NXT Takeover: London. The worst of it is, Eva will be doing the same story gimmick as Alexa Bliss, only Bliss is better at it. You’ve got to wonder if they’re building towards a Bayley vs. Nia Jax match for the show instead. Or will their meeting from last week pay off into a bigger story?
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and a contributor on The Flickering Myth Movie Show. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.