Baley cut a respectful promo on the NXT Takeover Respect show and it was so stereotypically face that it just begged for a heel to show up and crash the party.
Alexa Bliss took the opportunity. She tried to play nice for a minute or so and then she stole Bayley’s title while hiding behind Blake and Murphy.
Alexa’s entire character is based on being protected by her two male sidekicks and to be fair, it’s not a bad thing. We don’t have another diva that uses bodyguards like that. However, I think Bayley should have slapped these two to see the limits of what they’d do for Alexa.
The Vaudevillains def. Dawkins & Fulton
I had almost forgotten the Vaudevillains were champions. Takover Respect was an amazing PPV, no doubt but it put 2 out of 3 titles on the sidelines.
Gotch and English had no trouble dominating Dawkins and Fulton. Although some tag teams are feuding against each other, no one’s really on the Vaudevillains’case. They need to defeat a valid opponent to solidify their reign.
The commentators spent their time discussing what Dawson and Fulton could possibly lack to not have had a break through until now. The answer is character. They are way too generic. What made the Vaudevilains champions is their gimmick. Maybe a break up could give at least one of them some chance. Tye Dillinger’s Perfect 10 gimmick seems to be catchy and Jason Jordan’s found an amazing partner. Dawson and Fulton might benefit from separating too.
Nia Jax def. Evie
This was one unimpressive debut. With all the hype and the vignettes, I expected much more. Nia Jax was supposed to be a monster but came out to a plain, forgettable, generic diva theme, dressed in an outfit that could have hardly been less flattering. Then in a short match, in which the supposed jobber wrestled more than the debuting star, Nia Jax barely moved and was expected to impress with a single bear hug. I’ll need much more to be sold on this one.
Nia Jax is a plus size model and the Rock’s cousin. The way the scene is, she can’t really be criticized without someone bringing up the topic of weight and discrimination but she can’t really be defended because the family connections argument will be brought to the table. Nia is a nightmare for politically correct commentary.
Eva Marie did a short promo from Paris. I have three things to say about it. First, no one misses Eva. Second, Eva sucks at French and third, she sucks at promos in general. Why this girl is being pushed so hard is still a mystery to me.
#1 Contender Battle Royal
Blake and Murphy did quite well in the match. They lasted until the end and it was surprising, knowing that they are not the champions any more.
Samoa Joe was supposed to be the leading face favourite but it didn’t work out. The crowd was firmly behind Tyler Breeze. The fans wanted Prince Pretty to win and his elimination earned Samoa Joe some loud boos. The audience’ love for the Gorgeous One was so obvious that when he unlawfully eliminated Joe, despite not being in the match, the fans started chanting THANK YOU, TYLER! Tyler Breeze deserves the title run he never had.
Another guy, whose elimination caused anger in the fans was Johnny Gargano, who got tossed out by the soon-to-be-winner Apollo Crews. I’m always positively impressed with the NXT fans. They tend to know exactly who they need to support, despite booking and the intentions of the WWE.
Rhyno and Baron Corbin worked together throughout the match. Actually, it was Rhyno who kept bailing Corbin out until the Lone Wolf turned against him and eliminated him. The crowd hates Corbin, which is a good thing, him being a heel. This is why Apollo Crews got a pop for eliminating Corbin and winning the match.
I’m not particularly excited about Crews vs. Balor. I wouldn’t give the title to Apollo. The few guys who came in and got the title right off the bat managed to make an impression as characters from the moment they set foot in NXT. Crews is not like that. Yes, he’s incredibly talented and insanely athletic but he doesn’t have a compelling gimmick, if he has any at all.
What are your impressions from NXT? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!