Date: June 10, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The big story tonight is the in ring debut of Samoa Joe, who debuted a few weeks back and has had some intense staredowns with NXT Champion Kevin Owens. It should be interesting to see who Joe's first victim is, because it's fairly clear that he's coming for Owens and the title. Right now though, Finn Balor is the #1 contender and will be facing Owens for the title in Tokyo on July 4. Let's get to it.
The opening video is all about Joe debuting in NXT and setting his sights on the title.
Zack Ryder/Mojo Rawley vs. Mike Rallis/Elias Samson
Ryder is WAY over here and the fans even seem happy to see Rawley. Mojo shoves Rallis down, slams Samson, but then stop, HAMMER TIME. Ryder comes in and takes some shoulders in the ribs, only to raise his knees in the corner to stop a charge. The middle rope dropkick sets up the Broski Boot but Samson offers a distraction to take over.
We hit the chinlock but a GET HYPED chant brings Ryder to his feet for the hot tag to Rawley. Mojo cleans house with some very fast paced offense, including a big running punch and capped off by a middle rope Hart Attack with the Rough Ryder instead of the clothesline for the pin on Samson at 3:55.
Rating: C. I've always liked Ryder and this was a good sign for him. A lot of guys could use a recharge down in NXT and Ryder is probably at the top of that list. He clearly still has a following as the fans were all over him. Rawley was doing exactly what he should have done all along here: cleaned house and never looked back. One of his biggest problems was getting beaten up until the last 45 seconds of the match for a big comeback. Guys like him should hardly ever be on defense and the reaction was a lot better as a result.
Finn Balor promo with his voice talking about how everyone has two sides. Shots of the demon paint keep appearing until “FINN BALOR ARRIVES – July 4 in Tokyo” comes on screen. Oh that's going to be amazing.
Dana Brooke video. She's the Total Diva.
Emma vs. Blue Pants
SHE'S BAAAAACK! Big Cass' Price Is Right entrance music got one of the loudest reactions in recent weeks. The fans are smart enough to know that it's Blue Pants' birthday. Emma jumps her to start, making her the most hated woman in the promotion. A dropkick gets two and we hit the bow and arrow on Blue Pants. Fans: “BLUE PANTS ROCKS!” Blue Pants gets some rollups for two but it's back to the chinlock. Emma drops an elbow to the back of the head for two more but Blue Pants comes back with some kicks to the head. Blue Pants gets going but Emma trips her down and the Emma Lock gets the submission at 4:40.
Rating: D+. Here's the key thing about Blue Pants: she isn't used that often. They could bring her in more often for some loud reactions, but they would eventually die down because Blue Pants is so beloved due to being a special attraction. If this were the main roster, she would be in five segments a night and people would get sick of her in two weeks. This common sense stuff is addictive.
Enzo, Cass and Carmella say that Blake/Murphy/Bliss wouldn't last one week in the Hunger Games and if they grew up where they're from, it would be time to go live with Uncle Phil. Six person tag next week.
Tyler Breeze vs. Bull Dempsey
Dempsey knees him in the head to start and we're quickly in a chinlock. Fans: “BULL IS GORGEOUS/NO HE'S NOT!” Back up and the standing splash sets up the top rope headbutt but Breeze rolls away before the jump. Breeze gets him in a chance around the ring and Bull keeps getting winded. Fans: “CARDIO! CARDIO!” Breeze laps Bull, throws him inside and gives him a Beauty Shot for the pin at 2:49. Tyler is basically a face now due to all of his hard work and string of good matches.
We look back at Becky Lynch's standing ovation after losing to Sasha Banks. Brennan's nickname for her: The Lass Kicker. As much as I hate myself for this, I kind of dig that name.
Becky Lynch vs. Jesse McKay
Becky has a very high energy entrance now, complete with smoke along the entrance. The fans are responding to it and it's easy to sey why. McKay used to wrestle in Shimmer under the same name. Jesse gets in a kick to the ribs to start, followed by another to the face. An armbar has Becky in some trouble but she comes back with a hammerlock suplex and some legdrops. “BETTER THAN HOGAN!” Let's not get crazy here. Something like a torture rack Samoan drop sets up the armbar (Rich: “The Disgoosted Armbar!” Graves: “The WHAT?”) for the submission at 4:16.
Rating: D+. I really wasn't feeling this one as Jesse got in way too much offense in what should have been a Becky showcase match. McKay was good enough in there though and could be something interesting if she's allowed to develop like the rest of the girls down here have done. This was too much like an old Mojo Rawley match though: awesome entrance, next to no offense until the very end.
Regal announces that Owens will be on commentary for Joe's match but Bull Dempsey comes in eating a bag of Doritos. He blames his loss on a lack of sleep. Regal gets serious and tells Dempsey to get his act together. The boss leaves so Dempsey pulls an open Snickers out of his singlet. Well they had to do something new with Dempsey so this works well enough.
Jason Jordan says he has another partner when Chad Gable comes in, saying it should be him. “I'm ready, willing and Gable. See what I did there?” Jason says no but Gable adds his name to Jordan's locker.
Baron Corbin vs. Angelo Dawkins
Corbin throws him around to start and walks him around the ring before a slam. A bulldog attempt is countered by a huge clothesline and End of Days gives Baron the pin at 2:29.
Samoa Joe vs. Scott Dawson
Owens is on commentary and Joe's music still sucks. He does however look a bit more toned. Fans: “PLEASE DON'T DIE!” How nice of them to be worried about Joe's safety. They trade armbars to start until Joe takes it up a notch with a back elbow to the face. Owens: “Wow a back elbow! I've got a mean back elbow.” The release Rock Bottom out of the corner sets up the Muscle Buster for the pin on Dawson at 3:45.
Rating: C. Total squash here and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. Owens is great on commentary as the guy trying to cut into Joe's hype and this was a very fun use of about five minutes. Joe's physique looked about as good as you can fairly expect. The guy is never going to look like John Cena and it's unfair to expect him to, but he looked fine here.
During the replays, Kevin offers to get Brennan a Joe shirt from the merchandise table. Owens goes to leave but Joe calls him to the ring. Kevin won't get in because he's a good man who won't drop Joe after his first match. Joe is a rookie here in NXT and one win isn't enough for an NXT Title match. Cue Regal who agrees with Owens. Joe hasn't earned a title shot, but he's earned the right to a non-title fight against Owens next week.
Overall Rating: B-. Matches made for the future, six matches, some amusing promos, two in ring debuts and a new character for Dempsey. How in the world can they get all that inside an hour and have almost no filler? This was the efficient NXT that flies by every week because it's very well put together. Couple that with an energetic crowd and you have one heck of a fun show.
Zack Ryder/Mojo Rawley b. Elias Samson/Mike Rallis – Middle rope Rough Ryder to Samson
Emma b. Blue Pants – Emma Lock
Tyler Breeze b. Bull Dempsey – Beauty Shot
Becky Lynch b. Jesse McKay – Disgoosted Armbar
Baron Corbin b. Angelo Dawkins – End of Days
Samoa Joe b. Scott Dawson – Muscle Buster
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