WWE NXT -August 26, 2015
by Samoa Rowe
-Highlight video from Takeover: Brooklyn gives the event Wrestlemania-worthy vibes. Seriously, I’m getting chills in ways I didn’t know I could (TMI?).
-From Brooklyn, NY, in front of the same 15,000 fans as Takeover: Brooklyn. Our hosts are Rich and Corey Graves. Byron Saxton is “on assignment.”
-Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady make their entrance to a HUGE pop. You’d think The Rock had just shown up by surprise. The fans are ready and eager to recite Enzo’s promo routine with him. Great moment for these guys.
Colin Cassady and Enzo Amore and The Hype Bros. (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley) vs. Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Jason Jordan, and Chad Gable
The Hype Bros. show off their team work by flustering Wilder with rapid fire attacks. Ryder scores a missile drop-kick while fans chant “We want Enzo.” Amore tags and almost gets trapped by Dawson. The match breaks down with an eight man brawl. The good guys clear the ring and Wilder foolishly tries to fight all four men at once. Cassady launches Enzo over the ropes onto the field. They take a commercial and somewhere during the break Enzo became the face in peril. Enzo takes a long beating before Cassady gets the hot tag. Cassady drops the Empire Elbow on Gable, but Jordan makes the save. The match breaks down again with guys storming in to hit finishers. It boils down to Enzo leaping off Cassady to splash Gable for the win at 11:10. This settled into a basic formula match after the hot start, but the crowd helped make this memorable, **¼.
Winners: Colin Cassady, Enzo Amore, Zack Ryder, and Mojo Rawley
-William Regal tries to talk about the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic when Neville interrupts. He politely asks for a spot in the tag tournament, and Regal is happy to oblige. Regal never gets to finish whatever it was he was about to say.
-NXT Champion Finn Balor is interviewed after his ladder match victory against Kevin Owens. He’s glad to have proved that his victory in Japan wasn’t a fluke and no one can argue that he’s a worthy NXT Champion. Finn declares this to just be the beginning for NXT, they’re going to move on to bigger and better things.
-Video package highlighting Emma! It chronicles her history as a plucky, likable diva who got over big-time with the Full Sail crowd. However, after things didn’t go her way on the main roster, she’s back in NXT and has morphed into EVIL EMMA.
-Devin Taylor interviews Charlotte and Becky Lynch about their fatal 4-way match later tonight. Charlotte dismisses Emma as Dana Brooke’s lap dog, which is a shame because Becky normally likes dogs.
-Remember that awesome, hilarious Terminator spoof ad for the video game? Yeah, after seeing it 20 times, it’s starting to feel as old and tired as Arnold himself. I apologize for that cheap shot.
-Hype video for Becky Lynch that’s been played several times on television.
Eva Marie vs. Carmella
Woof, they had a lot of nerve putting these two together on this card. This is Eva’s first match in a while and she’s been getting hand’s on training from Brian Kendrick, so this should be interesting. Carmella gets mildly over with her take on the Enzo Amore promo. They lock up while the fans chant “You can’t wrestle.” Carmella delivers a bad atomic drop and single leg drop-kick. Eva throws some elbows and awkwardly hits a back senton while a “We want Blue Pants” chant break out. Carmella hits a hurricanrana and Thesz press (or “Bronco Buster” as Rich Brennan puts it). Eva musters Sliced Bread #2 for the win at 4:07. Terrible, as expected. Rough reminder that NXT is still supposed to be a developmental league, DUD.
Winner: Eva Marie
-Selfie promo by Tyler Breeze, who feels that his good looks makes him the real winner against Jushin Liger, who must wear a mask. Looks like this feud must continue, and I welcome it!
-Emma and Dana Brooke are hanging out when Devin Taylor looks for an interview. They put themselves over as the best in the 4-way. Dana pats Devin on the head and they’re out.
-Hype video for Dana Brooke, who is quickly becoming a more complete character. She feels the fans’ booing of her is helping her rise to the top. Despite being hated, she’s the most driven diva on the roster. Good way to plant seeds for a future babyface role.
-NXT Women’s Champion Bayley is interviewed after her title victory. She dreamt about this moment for so long that she still doesn’t feel that she’s quite ready for it. Bayley’s mother joins the interview, donning her daughter’s shirt and putting over her effort. Her boyfriend and sister (?) join the moment and this is just an overload of sweetness.
-Baron Corbin tells Regal that he doesn’t play well with others but wants in on the Dusty tournament. Regal orders Baron to team with Rhyno and face the Ascension in the opening round. Ugh, that match should be something to behold.
-Kevin Owens refuses to talk about his loss to Finn Balor, only stating that he’ll break Cesaro at Summerslam.
Elias Samson vs. The New and Improved Bull Dempsey
Samson is sporting a new “drifter” gimmick and brings a guitar to the ring. Dempsey removes a robe to reveal that he has lost some weight. There’s a nice “Bull-Fit” chant at the opening bell. Dempsey cheerfully controls the action, countering an arm drag into a headlock takedown. Samson goes for a headlock but Bull toys with him. Samson manages a mule kick but Bull comes right back with a back body drop. Samson attacks the midsection and administers a long chinlock. Dempsey “bulls up” and debuts what I expect is a new babyface comeback routine. Dempsey finishes with a top rope seated senton for the win at 4:34. Nice try, but this cheeky new babyface persona is only going to get Dempsey so far, *½.
Winner: Bull Dempsey
-Samoa Joe is interviewed after his victory against Baron Corbin. Joe puts over the Brooklyn fans. Joe says he just beat up one of the biggest, baddest animals in NXT and he’s going to keep doing that until he gets the championship. I still can’t believe Joe is getting this opportunity to be the best version of himself in WWE.
-Nia Jax: still coming soon, still scary.
-Devin Taylor tries to interview Blake and Murphy about their title loss to the Vaudevillians. Alexa Bliss dominates the interview, ranting about Blue Pants not belonging in NXT. She vows to send Blue Pants back to the clearance rack when they face off next week.
-The same hype video for Charlotte that’s been playing on Raw and Smackdown airs. I like the part where she aspires to main event Wrestlemania.
Evil Emma vs. Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Looks like all four women are going to wrestle at the same time. Becky and Charlotte back Emma and Dana into each other and clear them out. Becky and Charlotte are determined to face each other for love of the sport. Charlotte thrashes Becky around in a head scissors. Emma and Dana storm the ring to break up the love fest. The evil duo gang up on Charlotte, smashing her into the barricade. CUE THE COMMERCIAL! Back from break, Emma and Dana are beating up Becky while Charlotte is still down and out. As per usual, Emma and Dana cannot decide on who should pin Becky and their union dissolves. Becky capitalizes with a roll-up on Emma, and Dana thinks Emma should be grateful for her save. Dana offers a truce but then blindsides Emma with an enziguri. Charlotte sneaks back in and lights Dana up with chops. Charlotte nails a double DDT on Emma and Dana, but can’t pin either of them. Lynch returns with a missile drop-kick but hits Charlotte by accident. Lynch has a flurry of offense, nailing an exploder on Dana. Emma breaks the cover and splashes Charlotte and Becky in opposite turnbuckles. Emma makes a cover on Becky, who must have forgotten to kick out because Emma looks surprised to win at 9:33. I’d nitpick the botched finish except I’m pleased that Emma actually won a high profile match. Match was pretty good, though cut off early, **½.
Winner: Evil Emma
-Emma begins gloating and it earns her a spear and Natural Selection from Charlotte. She pins Emma while the crowd counts to 3 and I’m guessing that was the planned finish. Becky puts Dana down with a suplex. Charlotte puts Dana in the Figure 8 while Becky applies the Disarmer on Becky. They’re going to get their spots in, dammit! Charlotte and Becky celebrate on the ramp, and Becky has the look of someone who’s about to get chewed out the second she gets backstage.
Final Thoughts: Take away the Brooklyn crowd and you’d be left with a rather lackluster edition of NXT. This was fine as a way to give more talent a chance to shine (or in Eva Marie’s case, flop) in front of a big crowd and bridge the gap to the next set of TV tapings. Mild thumbs down.
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