Episode Air Date: Sept. 9, 2015
This was an interesting episode of NXT. I guess they’re experimenting with filming more matches on the road, because the main event wasn’t shot at the Full Sail Arena. Rather, they taped it before a recent episode of SmackDown in Providence, Rhode Island. I get it.
The biggest problem with NXT is the size of the audience that they get their feedback from. Don’t get me wrong, a crowd of 400 is nothing to sneeze at, but it also pales in comparison to the numbers that a typical WWE show gets.
Carmella opened up NXT this week with a match opposite Peyton Royce. Peyton’s a new girl, so obviously she lost. However, she did get an entrance, which means that somebody, somewhere, must have faith in her.
She can put on an OK match, to be fair. Her and Carmella went back and forth, putting on some decent sequences. Then, because she’s f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s, Carmella cinched in her Figure Four Head Scissors, and made Ms. Royce tap out.
Was anybody else really disappointed by what followed? We had to watch Enzo Amore and Big Cas have their first round match for the Dusty Classic, via highlights.
It was the same for Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder.
Those are two teams that I greatly enjoy watching. They both won their matches, and advanced to the next round, but still, why couldn’t I see that? Get out of here with that clip package.
Again, was anyone else disappointed by the segment that followed a disappointing segment? Maybe I expected too much from Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, given everyone’s reaction to seeing them on NXT. With the way people talked about them, I figured I’d have my mind blown right from the jump.
Overall, there was nothing special about their match with Bull Dempsey and Tyler Breeze. They won, which was cool. The commentators tried to sell it as a “huge upset,” but it was kind of expected, so the whole thing came off pretty flat.
Then, after the bell rang, Tyler Breeze snapped and went after Bull, blaming him for the loss they just took. Good. Breeze needs to keep a nasty edge. He can’t have Bull Dempsey dragging him down to mid-card comedy hell.
After that, Dana Brooke cut a shockingly awful promo.
She then followed that up by wrestling a shockingly awful match.
Seriously, what is it going to take for someone to smarten up and see that she’s awful? I’m willing to admit that Eva Marie has potential, but not Dana. She’ll need to lose that unbearable accent before I even consider doing that.
As for the result of her match, all I know is that she won. The first time I watched, I slept through it. The second time, I accidentally tuned the whole thing out.
Once that finished, Apollo Crews got a moment to cut a promo. To be honest, it wasn’t very good. It wasn’t terrible, either, but I am not huge on the fact that he’s already named his fans. The dude has had two matches in NXT so far.
It’s a little early to be dubbing people “The Apollo Nation.”
Sure, he’s one of the brightest talents to ever debut in the promotion, but let’s give it some time.
Finally, we’ve made it to the main event of the evening: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. The Lucha Dragons. As I talked about in the beginning, this was shot in Rhode Island before a taping of SmackDown. It was very interesting to see them perform before a bigger audience.
It was also nice to get some variety on the commentary table. Instead of Rich Brennan and Corey Graves, the match was called by former WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Tom Phillips.
It’s always good when an actual wrestler gets on the headset. No offense to Corey Graves, of course, but he’s been training as a commentator for a while now. That’s how he comes off. Jimmy Uso comes off as a wrestler doing some commentary. He doesn’t choose sides. He’s not worried about heel or face alignment. He enjoys the match, and occasionally questions important things such as team chemistry.
In terms of the in-ring action, this was clearly the best match of the night. Balor and Samoa Joe had great team chemistry. Their offense was well timed, and their finish looked amazing. Joe hit The Muscle Buster, and then tagged in Finn, who climbed to the top and hit The Coup De Grace. It was beautiful. Samoa Joe hit his move perfectly, and then the NXT Champion did the same.
Speaking of the NXT Championship, early in the show, Finn and Joe had a backstage segment, where The Samoan Submission Machine paid suspiciously close attention to Balor’s title. It probably doesn’t mean anything, but, it could be a hint at things to come.
Balor doesn’t have a clear challenger right now. He could, however, if at some point during this tournament, Joe turns heel and attacks him.
Picture it: Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe for the title as the main event of the next NXT TakeOver.
Isn’t it glorious?