WWE NXT opens this week with the former NXT tag team champions, The Vaudevillians. Quite manly opening if I do say so myself.
The Vaudevillains vs The Hype Bros
Aiden English opens the evening against Mojo Rawley. Mojo attempts a quick roll up before Zack Ryder comes in and lands a neckbreaker. Simon Gotch enters on his own accord and gets tossed for his troubles, but this allowed English to take control. The villains take it in terms wearing down former US Champion Ryder. Ryder finally manages to drop some kicks of the Villains before Mojo is tagged back in. he hits one big splash in the corner but misses the second. Ryder re-enters, taking down English before delivering a dropkick to the legal Gotch. English manages to pull Gotch away from being on the receiving end of a Broski Boot. The Villains then manage to hit the Whirling Dervish on Ryder and English covers him for the victory.
Result – The Vaudevillains win
Analysis – Right decision. I still love the Vaudevillains, and genuinely do not like the Hype Bros. The match was good. It felt like a match that was genuinely about two teams out of the title picture but wanting to get back close. Vaudevillains still are over with the crowd, and to today I’m still disappointed they lost the tag titles so quickly and in such an underwhelming fashion.
Interview with Carmella, who is happy to be the number one contender to Bayley’s NXT Women’s Championship. She says that her and Bayley are great friends and will remain great friends after their match, no matter the outcome. She says she is ready to take on Emma and Dana Brooke tonight. She goes 1 on 1 with Emma. Okay interview but I’ve personally never been fond of the friendship rivalries. It always feel over the top.
Dash and Dawson are interviewed next. They claim Enzo and Cass are like Groundhogs, who are only song and dance and never win their matches. They claim they win their matches though, and say they are on the path to being the greatest the NXT tag champions ever. They say they will welcome another challenge by Enzo and Cass because the same fate will await them that met them in London: Dash and Dawson will beat them. Strong interview. These two are good at making their point and feel like proper fighters. I’m enjoying their run as tag team so far to be honest.
Carmella vs Emma
Both women begin the match attempting a head lock before Emma ground Carmella with a shoulder charge. Carmella responds with a running dropkick for a 1 count. Emma hits a clothesline out of the corner before laying some strikes. Emma stands on Carmella’s hair and lifts her up by her arms as she dominates. Emma stretches the body of Carmella for a few moments before rolling her up for a 2 count. Carmella turns the tide quickly though, with some running takedowns and a hurricanrana from the corner. A bronco buster by Carmella looks to have her in control, but Emma throws Carmella to the mat by her hair to reverse the momentum. Carmella manages to get in a backslide and picks up the victory with it.
Result – Carmella wins
Analysis – This match wasn’t great. I’m not convinced Carmella is going to have a great match with Bayley. Sure, it’s nice she is getting the chance, but Carmella, off this performance, is way off the rest of the crop in the division, including Emma, who continues to be lost despite always being consistent.
After Sami Zayn claims he was the winner in last week’s triple threat and Samoa Joe refuses to even talk, it is announced we will get William Regal’s announcement tonight on what will happen next. This is followed by a video package promoting the American Alpha. A push is absolutely already happening for them, and with this, it is only continuing.
Enzo and Cass vs Unknown Opponents
Enzo Amore speaks before the match, saying that they are once again standing after another beat down. They are taking on two unknown opponents this week, with the result surely inevitable. The long haired guy starts in the ring with Enzo and is dominated as Enzo even manages to perform a quick dance routine including the newly popularised Dab. Cass enters and continues the domination, landing a big boot before attacking the tag team partner. Cass absolutely launches the partner out of the ring before setting up Air Amore for the victory.
Result – Enzo and Cass win
Analysis – Result was inevitable and the unknown opponents didn’t get any offence in. Enzo is actually a really good dancer. The throw out of the ring by Cass looked nasty. Will be interesting to see where Enzo and Cass go from here. Maybe one more crack at the NXT tag titles await.
William Regal Announcement
The NXT General Manager announces there will be a rematch before Baron Corbin storms in demanding the rematch. Regal tells Corbin that he was the one that lost, and the rematch will not include Corbin. Regal sets up a number one contenders single match for the future: Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe. That will no doubt be an incredible match, but I am shocked that Corbin has been dropped from the whole story. I was certain he was on course for a title match coming away from TakeOver London.
Asuka vs Santana Garrett
This is interesting already. For those who are unaware, Santana Garrett sent a cryptic tweet out not so long ago with a sheep mask, announcing her imminent arrival. Social media exploded with rumors that she could be coming in as the Sister Abigail of the Wyatt Family. Seems like they were just rumors, but it is still interesting to see her in the ring, even if she is being fed to Asuka. Garrett lands some stiff strikes to start, but Asuka is laughing at her. Garrett slaps her hard, but still Asuka is laughing. Asuka hits a running hip attack into the ropes before going on an attack with kicks. One gets caught, and Asuka goes for a roundhouse kick, but misses. She does land a forearm strike, but is rolled up for a two count. Garrett applies a unique looking arm submission, but Asuka quickly counters out and looks for a German Suplex. Garrett avoids it though, but Asuka quickly locks in an arm bar. Garrett again manages to escape, but Asuka next locks in the Asuka Lock and Garrett quickly taps out.
Result – Asuka wins by submission
Analysis – Great match of quick counters. Garrett was given room to shine against an exceptional opponent, and she took that opportunity. More than just a squash match. As for Asuka, she just continues to impress me with such quick movements and a range of submission moves and strikes. Another female wrestler with potential enters NXT.
Next week on NXT: Bayley vs Carmella for the NXT Women’s Championship
Apollo Crews vs NXT Champion Finn Balor in a non-title match
After an exceptional first encounter, Crews and Balor met for the second time with great expectation. This is also the first time Balor is in action since London. They start with a handshake out of respect. A bit of mat wrestling and arm submissions get this main event underway. Balor locks in a headlock and goes straight back to if after Crews worms his way out not once but twice. Crews again tries to break free but Balor refuses to let go. Crews manages to get to the corner so the ref had to break it, but it only ends with Balor firstly trapping Crews by the head with his legs before another headlock. Crews finally escapes fully and lands a dropkick after a leap and duck to get a breather. Roles are reversed as we return from break as Crews now has Balor trapped in a headlock. Balor rolls it through into an armbar on the ground, and as they get to their feet, Balor chases Crews around with chops to the chest. Again Balor grounds Crews, this time stretching the arm back and pushing down on the shoulder. Crews manages to gain momentum with a clothesline out of the corner and a big splash into the corner. Balor tries to land a kick from the apron but instead walks straight into a jumping clothesline by Crews and hits the apron hard. Crews attempts a moonsault from the apron but misses and Balor goes into the ring and flies over the top onto Crews. Balor hits an apparent Coup De Grace from the top rope, but onto Crews’ head, for a two count. Crews using his power to hoist Balor up and land a Samoan Drop for a two count of his own. Apollo misses with an Enziguri and walks straight into a Slingblade, but avoids the dropkick into the corner with a big boot. Crews hits the Gorilla Press followed by the Standing Moonsault, his finishing combo, but only gets a two count as the champion remains in it. Crews looks for the toss powerbomb but Balor avoids it and lands an Enziguri. The dropkick into the corner and the Coup De Grace looked to have won the match for Balor, but he doesn’t go for the pin. He instead went back to his independent scene roots and hit a move known as Bloody Sunday to pick up the victory. He helps Crews up after the match and gets the crowd to applaud Crews for his attempts. One more handshake and a hug before Balor poses with the title to close the show.
Result – Finn Balor wins
Analysis – Not quite on the standard of their title match but these two have incredible chemistry and it was another great match. Both are great in the ring and will have many classic matches in their WWE careers. It was a real face vs face match that reeked of respect between the two men. Well worth a watch. And I speak for many when I say it was awesome seeing Balor use the Bloody Sunday. It is brilliant to see him add a new finisher, and many will be ecstatic to see that move be his Bloody Sunday. Whether it will be called that is a different question as the commentary team didn’t name it at any point, but the move itself is awesome.
Analysis – Another good showing for NXT. The opening tag match was good, Asuka and Garrett was a good match for what appeared to be a squash match, and the main event was well worth a watch. No stories were really heightened in the ring this week, but the wrestling that took place made up for that.
Next Week on NXT
Bayley vs Carmella for the NXT Women’s Championship
Did you watch this week’s NXT? What did you think? And will Carmella dethrone Bayley next week and become the new NXT Women’s Championship? Let me know by commenting below or on twitter @carlo_george