Mojo Rawley vs. Bull Dempsey
Bull Dempsey is really over with the NXT crowd. The warlike BULL! BULL! BULL! chants were going strong before Dempsey’s music even hit.
Mojo Rawley used to be over with the NXT crowd but now got squashed in a 44 seconds match. The Hyped One probably knew how much time the fight was going to get because he was in a hurry to attack Bull Dempsey before the bell even rang.
After the match Mojo Rawley’s departure clashed with Tyler Breeze’s entrance, which resulted with Mojo being squashed for a second time in less than 5 minutes, this time by the angry Prince Pretty.
Mojo Rawley must have fallen out of favor backstage and the future doesn’t look bright for him.
Baron Corbin Vignette
I could usually skip a vignette in a review but I’m quite interested in Baron Corbin new lone wolf gimmick. It was a cool looking video with a Sin City feel to it. Also, is it only me, or the NXT vignettes tend to be more surreal and exciting than those on the main roster?
Tyler Breeze vs. Justin Gabirel
The purpose of this match was to demonstrate the growth in Tyler Breeze’s character. The pretty boy gimmick is fading to the back with a much more vicious and aggressive side of Breeze surfacing to the top. It wasn’t only the pre-match attack on Mojo Rawley, it was his whole demeanor. Breeze’s face was radiating fury from the moment he appeared. This time around Prince Pretty wasn’t there to show off his looks. He didn’t seem to care about the BREEZE IS GORGEOUS chants. He was bitter, resentful and was looking for someone to pour his anger on. This someone just ended up being Justin Gabriel.
To be fair, Justin Gabriel did well in the match. He started off by going for numerous quick pins, which only annoyed Breeze even more. Then the South African Superstar gave us some of his highflying offence, bouncing of the ropes. Talking about “bouncing”, watching Justin Gabriel’s jumps, kicks and especially the way he squats on the top turnbuckle before he does his finisher makes me feel pretty much certain that he is, in fact, Adam Rose’s Bunny. Yes, here it is, I said it – my bet for the Bunny’s real identity is Justin Gabriel. Poor, poor guy! He’s so much better than this…
In the end, it was Gabriel’s love for tope rope maneuvers that cost him the match. He went for the 450 Splash but missed and got knocked out by the Beauty Shot.
Tyler Breeze left the ring as angry as he entered it. The win didn’t help disperse his frustration. I really like the look of Breeze’s dark side and I want to see where it will go in the future.
William Regal/ Natalya Segment
The new NXT GM was busy backstage when Natalya approached him. She asked him to give her husband – Tyson Kidd another shot at the NXT title. I don’t think that segments like this are helping the NATTIE’S HUSBAND chants go away.
Mr. Regal responded by saying “If Tyson Kidd can’t pin Adrian Neville, he’ll never face Adrian Neville as long as Adrian Neville is NXT champion”, thus granting Nattie’s request. Don’t you just love Mr. Regal’s wording? This man can make anything sound sophisticated.
Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss has a different style than most divas. The commentators pointed out a few times that she’s trained in lucha. Alex performed impressive head scissors, which earned her a high 5 from Bailey. However, I cannot stand her never-disappearing, wide smile! Honestly, it’s so distracting. Alexa Bliss just doesn’t get that massive, unnatural smile off her face throughout the match. Who looks like that when they are fighting?!
Bayley was sold in the ring. She was waiting for an opening and got it when Alexa missed the double knees. Bayley took the chance and won the match with Belly to Bayley.
After the match, Bayley called out Charlotte, saying that she feels as if her loss at NXT Takover makes her a disappointment, so Bayley asked the NXT Women’s champion for a rematch. Charlotte agreed to put the title on the line next week because Bayley had finally won her respect. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a title change next week.
I just want to point out that the NXT audience just makes every match feel more exciting. The BAILEY’S GONNA HUG YOU chants started before the bell rang. Creating a good wrestling entertainment product is a two way street. Yes, the superstars and the divas in the ring need to put on a great show to earn the fans’ respect. However, the engagement and the eagerness of the audience motivate the performers to give more and more. Bad storytelling is for the bigger part, not their fault.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass/ Carmella Segment
This segment showed Big Cass, Enzo Amore and Enzo’s “hairdresser” Carmella in the Performance Centre. Enzo brought Carmella there to train. He was explaining to Big Cass that it’s necessary to speak to women “like dirt”, so “they stick like mud”. Carmella though distracted Enzo with her erotic stretching, causing him to fall off the treadmill and embarrass himself.
It was a cheap and tasteless segment. Much like everything Enzo Amore does. I don’t find his gimmick funny. I actually think it’s quite annoying. I don’t get why he’s so over.
Enzo Amore vs. Marcus Luis
Before the match started Big Cass and Enzo Amore trash-talked the Legionnaires and got the crowd going. The fans responded well to Enzo’s HOW YOU DOIN’? I must be missing something here but I don’t get the SAWFT hype at all.
This whole match only really happened to show Marcus’ bald head. He came out wearing a wig and protective head gear. The audience was in it just to see Marcus’ bald head, which naturally led to BALD HEAD chants. I was surprised that the Frenchman got as much offence as he did before his wig got taken off and he was pinned off the distraction.
Jason Albert made a valid point – “It’s the second time Enzo snuck one out on the Legionnaires.” Forget about my dislike of Enzo Amore’s gimmick, he’s not that impressive in the ring either. Heel superstars are usually asked to tone down their move set to prevent people from cheering for them, still, both members of the Legionnaires, look better in the ring than Enzo Amore.
The one thing I can draw as a positive from this match is how imposing Big Cass is. At some point during the fight, Marcus Luis threw Enzo Amore outside the ring. Big Cass just stood over the much smaller Enzo, staring at Silvester Lefort. It was an image that made an impact.
Tyson Kidd Promo
This was an awkward looking promo. The angle of the shot and the direction Kidd was looking in, were strange. The way it was filmed, it looked as if Tyson Kidd was talking to a mystery person and I ended up feeling disappointed when the video ended without a big reveal.
Apart from that, it was a good promo. Tyson Kidd tried to convince the audience that he didn’t need his wife’s help, although Nattie was the one who arranged the title match for him. He also said something that couldn’t be denied – “Adrian Neville has lost 2 times this year. I’m the guy who beat him.”
I just hope that the whole “Nattie’s husband” skit doesn’t leave long-term negative effects.
The Lucha Dragons vs. The Ascension
This was a rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championship. The Lucha Dragons were on fire. Sin Cara and Kalisto are working quite well together for a team that has been together for less than two months. Their fast lucha libre style makes for beautiful spots. Kalisto does a wheelbarrow senton for a warm up.
However, the Luca Dragons didn’t get more than flashes of excellence in this match because the pace was too slow for their liking. That’s because the Ascension were dominating for the bigger part of the match. The Gatekeepers were laying one display of power on top of the other. The image of Konnor tossing Kalisto with ease all the way across the ring is still imprinted in my mind.
In the end it seemed like the Ascension were going to get their titles back. Viktor had single-handedly taken care of both of his opponents and having tossed Sin Cara outside the ring, he was about to finish off Kalisto. At that moment, Hideo Itami’s music played and he showed up on top of the ramp. Viktor got distracted, Kalisto hit the STS and the Ascension lost the match.
Konnor was furious and went after Itami but got kicked down. Viktor was unable to help because he was still in the ring, recovering from the STS. The segment finished abruptly and felt rushed, as if the show was running late and needed to finish off fast.
I still believe that a tag team vs. a singles competitor feud is not a great idea. The tag team is bound to look weak, while the singles competitor risks coming off too overpowered. We’ll see where this goes.
What did you think of this week’s NXT episode? Leave your comments in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!