Last week on NXT, Finn Balor’s NXT Championship was on the line against Apollo Crews. The two men had fought to a stalemate before Baron Corbin ended the match by attacking Crews. Samoa Joe made the save and neutralized Corbin, but he attacked Balor and has begun a heel turn.
Last night on NXT, Joe solidified his heel turn. Meanwhile, Bayley has to deal with multiple challengers coming after her and the NXT Women’s Championship. A lot of matches are set up for next week. Most importantly, Dash and Dawson challenge The Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Team Championship. A lot happened this week, so let’s get to it.
Here are the top 7 moments of this week’s edition of NXT:
7. What is Happening With Tye Dillinger?
I’m a big fan of Tye Dillinger. The guy just seems money to me. The “Perfect Ten” gimmick is fit for him, and his finisher is awesome. The fans are definitely behind Tye, and he’s got an “it factor” that fans will respond to, but he’s not in the best position to be pushed right now. Last night’s NXT is a perfect example of how NXT is misusing him.
Dillinger gets an entrance with new music. I loved the previous theme, but these things happen. Anyway, Tye was waiting for Baron Corbin in the ring. The match never started because Crews attacked Corbin and just like that Dillinger was gone. NXT is too crowded right now for Dillinger to be pushed properly. It’s unfortunate, but there is just too much talent with more momentum.
There will be an opportunity for Tye to emerge a star for NXT one day. There is just something there.
6. The Ascension vs. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan Next Week
It breaks my heart to see what The Ascension have become on the main roster. I try to write about these guys all the time, but they have no momentum on Raw or SmackDown and WWE fans that only watch those programs don’t “get” The Ascension. What’s funny is they aren’t complicated.
They are barbarians that destroy everything in their path. Their schtick is a little one dimensional because they need to be dominant to be effective, but there is a lot of talent in Connor and Viktor. It’s a great idea to bring them back to NXT where they are appreciated to elevate Gable and Jordan next week. That match is going to be a lot of fun.
5. Nia Jax Has Big Night
Nia Jax is starting to warm up in NXT. She’s been booked as a monster in the women’s division for over a month now. We get it. She’s not like other girls, and she doesn’t wrestle like one. Everything about her is different. Until this week, she was just getting dominant wins. Now, she’s getting involved in the NXT Women’s Championship hunt and possibly teaming with Eva Marie?
Personally, I like the idea of Eva teaming with Nia Jax. That adds a ton of heat for both women and makes Eva dangerous. NXT fans don’t believe in Eva Marie’s ability in the ring, so why not give her someone on the outside that makes her more of a threat. It’s smart booking. Their “talk” backstage during NXT could go nowhere, but it’s an interesting idea if they roll with it.
Tonight, Jax won a match in dominant fashion, but the most interesting part was later in another backstage segment. Alexa Bliss had stolen Bayley’s title and attacked her when Bayley finally got it back. Nia Jax surprisingly comes over, grabs the title and stares down Alexa. It’s a small moment. Depending on what happens next week, it could lead to Bayley vs. Nia Jax next month.
4. Apollo Crews Finally Gets Motivated
The night started off with the aftermath of last week’s NXT title match. The opening bout of the show was set to be Baron Corbin vs. Dillinger, but Apollo Crews attacked Corbin immediately and beat him down until Baron escaped. The motivation for Corbin attacking Crews last week is that he was eliminated by Apollo in the Battle Royal, so there is resentment there. Corbin is a heel. His motivation can be that simple. For Crews, this is the awakening of the star he is meant to become.
Finally, Apollo Crews is motivated. Since arriving in NXT, he’s been phenomenal in the ring, but he’s been missing that passion and drive to bring emotion into his character. Now, he’s got that. He’s got a lot of motivation to get to Corbin for taking away his chance to become a champion.
During his promo, Crews claimed,” When he gets his hands on Baron Corbin, he’s going to break him.” I believe him. That’s not an easy threat to make against a monster like Corbin. We’ve seen enough of Crews in the ring to know he’s serious and talented enough to break The Lone Wolf. I’m intrigued because I’ve been waiting for an impassioned Apollo Crews. I want to see what happens next between these two.
3. Bayley and Hype Bros vs. Alexa Bliss, Blake and Murphy
This match did what it needed to do to push the tag teams involved and Bayley vs. Bliss. The Hype Bros are fine. Blake and Murphy have been drastically underused since dropping the NXT Tag Team Championship. Their involvement in the match was to build around Bliss and Bayley with good tag team wrestling. They did that perfectly and gave the ladies the time to tell a story.
I like the match-up of Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley. I like both women, and they tell a good story of face vs. heel. The NXT fans adore Bayley, so anyone that challenges her reign is going to have to be an effective heel. Bliss stealing the title was a nice touch. By doing so, Bliss shows that she will take the NXT Women’s Championship from her when she’s not looking, and Bayley needs to take her seriously.
Next week, we’ll get Bayley vs. Bliss. I’m glad we’re getting this now because it’s still a long way to NXT TakeOver: London. With Nia Jax having her moment and Eva Marie making her case for the title clear, it’s a good time to settle the score between Bayley and Bliss.
2. Samoa Joe Explains His Actions
I initially wasn’t pleased with Balor and Joe winning the Dusty Rhodes Classic. I thought that should have gone to another team. Now, I realize it was just to create depth for Balor vs. Joe for the NXT Championship. Joe’s actions make a lot of sense. Finn gave Joe his word for a title match, but Joe was thrown in the battle royal despite having the biggest name in NXT.
It’s just good heel work from Joe to not only hype himself up to be better than Finn by saying he “carried” him through the tournament. The thing about Joe that’s different is he’s a serious threat in the ring. He’s not going to play head games like Kevin Owens or run like Seth Rollins. Joe is a freak of nature and a submission machine that will be a roaring bulldozer to anyone he targets. Now, he’s targeting Finn Balor and the NXT Championship.
The next few weeks of build-up are going to be extremely interesting. Balor vs. Joe is too big not to have in London next month. That leaves a lot of time for these two to make this feud even more personal and do the best work either of them has done in NXT to date.
1. Dash and Dawson Become the New NXT Tag Team Champions
I really like The Vaudevillains. I’ve been indifferent about Dash and Dawson since their arrival. They build their momentum by destroying Enzo and Big Cass and got a clean win over The Vaudevillains during the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. NXT has been pushing them fast for good reason. It didn’t occur to me until tonight, but how many heel tag teams are there in NXT?
Dash and Dawson are the only legit heel tag team under the brand right now. As much as I like The Vaudevillains and other teams in NXT, it makes a lot of sense to put the NXT Tag Team Championship on Dash and Dawson.
They are a good team. They feel like a team, and they’re strangely different by simplicity. Every team in NXT has a gimmick or is flashy in the ring. The new Tag Champs don’t do that. They’re relentless in the ring, and they’re straightforward. It works really well. There are so many teams for them to feud with in NXT. They’ll build more heat the longer their title reign goes.