It’s a packed edition of NXT this week following the match-long show last week with two huge tag team matches, The Hype Bros, Emma and Tamasso Ciampa in action, the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura and an interview with A Double. It’s this week’s NXT Recap & Review…
Show opens with highlights from the 2-out-of-3 Falls Match from last week. They did a lot of crowd sweetening to make it sound like they were more alive than they actually were.
Sami Zayn comes out to a huge reaction from the crowd. He says that he didn’t have a match last week, he had a war with a 300-pound Samoan. He reminds us all that doing so was not fun. He said the match nearly went an hour, and it could have gone either way. Due to being tapped months ago, Sami talks about his goal of being a 2x NXT Champion and doesn’t mention that he’s been on the main roster for a few weeks. He says that NXT Takeover: Dallas is coming up and it’s going to steal WrestleMania weekend. That’s not a bold claim. William Regal comes out and says that he agrees with Sami that he deserves a great match in Dallas. He says that he will face NXT’s newest signing. Now here’s what I think happened: at the tapings they just had the words Shinksuke Nakamura appear on the big screen, but what we got on the show was a super-imposed video of Nakamura cutting a low-key promo. The biggest problem here is that the audio for the video was so low and the crowd was so loud that we couldn’t hear a word he said. Sami looked quite happy about the match.
1. Hype Bros. vs. Kenneth Crawford & Angelo Dawkins
The crowd do that annoying “heeeeey we want some Bayley” chant but replace Bayley with Mojo. I hate the Full Sail crowd sometimes. You didn’t get excited for an hour’s worth of Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe but you’re pumped for Mojo Rawley? Get your priorities right. Hype Bros do some moves, Angelo Dawkins cuts Zack off, he gets a hot tag to Mojo 30 seconds later and then he runs wild. He does a discuss punch that looks like he missed by a country mile and the editing had to cover up for him. They hit the Hype Ryder and win. I hate this team.
We get highlights of NXT down at the Arnold Sports Classic. The highlight for me was Bayley holding up Tye Dillenger’s Perfect 10 sign and getting it more over than he’s ever done. Why they didn’t use this as a taping I’ll never know as they had Triple H and Arnold bloody Schwarzenegger there. Could made for a great TV moment.
Backstage, Emma and Dana Brooke walk into Deonna Purazzo. They mock her for losing to Asuka again and tell her that their match tonight will be even worse for her. Emma says the Emmalution is in full effect. Deonna cuts a horrific promo about stopping her. This was mic’d horribly as the crowd in the arena were louder than the people directly in front of the camera.
2. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Emma
Story of the match was that Emma was taking the challenge as a joke. Emma takes the match early on and is very stiff and ‘mean’ with Deonna. Purrazzo starts to mount a comeback, but Emma cuts her off with a clothesline. Crowd is fully behind Emma. Brooke is on the outside shouting at Emma to ‘break her’. Dana Brooke is the best. Emma hits her corner splash and goes for a ‘foot on the chest’ pin. Purrazzo begins a comeback and the crowd responds with silence. Purrazzo misses a corner splash and Emma locks her in the Tarantula. Emma applies the Emma Lock and gets the win. Crowd was very flat for the ending.
We get highlights of Enzo & Cass losing their match against The Revival from WWE Roadblock. Putting money on Enzo & Cass appearing on the Raw after Mania.
3. Tomasso Ciampa vs. Jesse Sorrenson
Dixie Carter’s “son” takes a massive beating from Ciampa right from the bell. He throws him into the corner, kicks him hard and then runs at him with a knee. Sorrenson attempts a comeback, but Ciampa hits him with a discus clothesline for a near fall. Who are the agents who booked two discus clothesline spots in three matches? Ciampa locks him in your NXT CHOKE HOLD OF THE WEEK, but Sorrenson takes the big man off his feet with a dropkick. He goes for a ten punch spot, but Ciampa reverses it and then starts throwing knees to his neck. Given Sorrenson’s history, this made me very uncomfortable. He gets in his armbar and gets the submission win.
4. Nia Jax & Eva Marie vs. Bayley & Asuka
This match should be tremendous. Just tremendous. Jax and Bayley start things off, but Eva tags in quickly and is treated to a huge amount of boos. Bayley gets back up however and tags in Asuka. She stares down Marie who hits a weak forearm. This only enrages Asuka who then batters her with stiff kicks and a hip attack. That was very rewarding. Jax gets a blind tag and then flattens Bayley with a Samoan Drop. Eva tags in and does the spot where you wrench someones arms back and put your knee in their back – only her knee was about a foot away from Bayley’s back. Eva Marie sucks at this. She walks over to Asuka and throws the slowest slap possible. There’s a confusion spot where Bayley hits a suplex and Jax accidentally kills Marie with a legdrop trying to break up the pin. From outside, Asuka kicks Marie in the back of the head and Bayley hits the Bayley to Belly for the win. It wasn’t pretty and rather sloppy in places, but good fun for those who don’t like Eva Marie. Asuka is awesome. As the ref hands the belt back to Bayley, Asuka gives it the most subtle glance. That was awesome.
Regal comes out again and congratulates them on their win. He says that Bayley is a great champion and Asuka has risen the standards of an already great division. He announces that at NXT Takeover: Dallas that Asuka will face Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka smiles at Bayley while she looks very, very nervous. Corey Graves compares having a match with Asuka to watching the video tape in The Ring – which is a great analogy.
We get highlights of Baron Corbin killing Austin Aries two weeks ago and we then get an interview with A Double, the Greatest Man That Ever Lived. He cuts this great promo about being attacked by Baron Corbin. He says that Corbin should have been asking him for advice because he’s been a champion everywhere he’s competed. He says that he wasn’t handed an NXT contract like Corbin, he earned it over 15 years. He says that at NXT Takeover: Dallas he’s going to teach Corbin a lesson and tells him it will be a great day to be great, and a bad day to be him. Awesome.
5. American Alpha vs. The Vaudevillains
Gable and Gotch do some great mat wrestling early on, but English tags in and is suplexed by Gable. American Alpha do some double teams and clear house. Back from the break and Gotch has Gable in a headlock. English tags in and also stops the momentum of Gable with a headlock. They tease a hot tag to Jordan, but The Vaudevillains lock Gable down again. Gable does this amazing spot where he does a sunset flip powerbomb reversal to Gotch that sends his head into the ropes. Jordan gets the hot tag and goes suplex mad. American Alpha go for Grand Amplitude, but Gotch breaks it up. English goes off the top with a Senton, but Gable rolls out of the way and then hits a sick Chaos Theory Suplex. That was stunning. Jordan takes Gotch to the outside and hits a fabulous overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor. Gable runs into a small package for another near fall, and the English hits a great powerbomb for yet another near fall. American Alpha then hit Grand Amplitude for the win. This was a great main event.
It’s about bloody time, but this was a fantastic episode of NXT. Aside from The Hype Bros. stinking up the joint, there wasn’t a bad match on the show. The women’s tag was fabulous, the main event was great and Ciampa had a good showing. We got a great interview with A Double and two big matches set up for NXT Takeover: Dallas. Fantastic. I’ve not been able to say this for a few weeks, but this is an episode of NXT to go out of your way to see.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the co-host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.