Solomon Crowe def. CJ Parker
The crowd started the match firmly in Solomon Crowe’s corner but from LET’S GO CROWE the chants gradually moved onto LET’S GO CJ/ LET’S GO CROWE, to then end up being LET’S GO CJ/ CJ SUCKS. It’s not to say that the fans forgot Solomon by the end or that he did something wrong. It’s because CJ Parker was better in the ring than ever and it caught the audience by surprise.
It was one of those rare moments when you expect a squash match and suddenly the guy, who’s supposed to be a jobber explodes with breath-taking offense and makes you think “what the hell, he can actually wrestle!”. Knowing that CJ Parker quit the WWE and this is probably one of his last matches (if not the last) we’ll see on NXT, I think he just wanted to leave on a good note. No one wants to be remembered as a jobber.
Crowe still won and the submission he applied looked painful. I expect big things from Solomon. He’s the type of guy, who connects with the audience naturally. The hacker gimmick is a bit too tamed for his persona but we’ll have to give it a chance.
Baron Corbin def. Steve Cutler
I was starting to miss Baron Corbin’s 20 sec squash matches. He might be a bit out of shape. It took him entire 26 sec to finish the match. For Corbin, that’s long.
I know that the under 20s matches are part of Baron’s gimmick but I’m worried that the WWE doesn’t know how to handle him beyond that. He had one short feud with Bull Dempsey and that’s it. We had just started seeing Corbin wrestle real matches and he suddenly got reverted back to squashing random superstars. That’s not a good progression at all.
Sami Zayn said that he had let Kevin Owens use him to get to the top but he won’t let Rhyno do the same. It’s all good but my problem with this story is why does Sami Zayn need to wrestle anyone to get to Owens? Doesn’t Sami have a rematch clause?
Big Cass & Enzo Amore def. Sawyer Fulton & Angelo Dawkins
I’m seriously baffled by Big Cass’ patience. Enzo Amore is utterly useless as a partner. He talks a lot and gets the crowd going but in the ring he’s a real nuisance. Enzo talk too much trash and gets tossed around like a rag doll because of it. Big Cass has to save every match they wrestle as a team.
Fulton and Dawkins did well but nothing exceptional. Their offense was successful because of Enzo’s constant bragging and self-distracting. Also, the main focus wasn’t even on them. Blake and Murphy came out midmatch to give Carmella flowers. It didn’t affect the outcome but Carmella seemed to be very satisfied, which annoyed Big Cass and Enzo Amore afterwards.
The Carmella heel turn is probably coming, as we can all see. It will work for a match or two but in the long run it doesn’t make sense. She doesn’t fit with Blake and Murphy. If she goes with them, she’ll end up solo in the end of the feud.
Riley cut a passionate promo on Owens in the locker room. It gave off the same feeling that amateur promos do. I’m saying this in the most positive sense possible. The emotion was raw. It felt desperate and real. I loved that.
Dana Brooke def. Blue Pants
Dana Brooke made her WWE debut. Much like Carmella, she defeated Blue Pants with a painful submission hold to start her road in NXT. Unlike Carmella, however, Dana Brooke showed some wrestling skills in the match as well. She might be a frustrating character but her in-ring work seems to be on point.
As for Bule Pants, I think even if she gets rebranded, the fans will still chant BLUE PANTS at her. Once the NXT crowd’s onto something, it’s on.
Sami Zayn def. Rhyno
I wasn’t as impressed by this match as I should have been. Rhyno’s style isn’t my cup of tea. He’s a powerhouse and nothing else but with his age he’s become slower than before and I lose interest in his offense. Sami Zayn, on the other hand, kept me very much into the match.
The Blue Thunder Bomb to Rhyno was impressive, knowing the size difference between the two competitors. What kept my attention fixed on the action was Zayn’s speed. He came out of nowhere and punched Rhyno off the ropes to follow with a dive to the outside. This is the sort of game play that brings excitement to the table.
In the end, Sami evaded a Gore and planted a Helluva Kick for the win.
I’ll say this again. I still have no idea why Sami Zayn needs to prove anything before facing Owens. He hasn’t invoked his rematch clause yet but no one’s talking about it. Have I missed something?
Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!