Date: July 1, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Rich Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the show before the big title match in Tokyo and we actually have a main event announced in advance. This week's big match is Samoa Joe/Finn Balor vs. Rhyno/Kevin Owens, which isn't exactly what the champ should be doing but it makes sense given the story. I can't imagine Owens is champion next week but I've been surprised before. Let's get to it.
The opening video is just a quick preview of the tag match.
Vaudevillains vs. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder
Gotch and Wilder start things off with Dash quickly shoving him into the corner for a tag off to Dawson. Well that was pointless. Simon gets a quick two out of the corner and it's off to English for a MANLY elbow. A back elbow and knee drop put Simon down and Dawson drives elbows into the face. The manliness starts running low though so it's off to English to squeeze the juice out of oranges and shave with broken glass. Or maybe for the Whirling Dervish from English for the pin at 3:07.
Rating: D+. This was basically a squash and a way for the Vaudevillains to say that they're here as faces. The fans are going to cheer for the MANLY stuff because it's goofy fun and the guys are good enough to make a pretty unique gimmick work. I like the team, but they need some better opponents than a pair of jobbers.
Becky Lynch has a hip flexor injury and will be out for a few weeks.
Baron Corbin vs. Tucker Knight
Knight looks a lot like Rusev. End of Days in 47 seconds.
The Vaudevillains and Enzo/Cass are in Regal's office. As you might expect, he snaps after about ten seconds of chattering. It's a #1 contenders match next week.
It's time for the last part of the Finn Balor documentary. Balor talks about loving how he spawns creativity from fans with their art. Some of the pictures are cool and I know I'm right because Sami Zayn agrees. We see the Finn Balor debut with Prince Devitt popping up on screen and how he knew the fans were accepting him.
The name is a combination of an Irish warrior named Finwick who went to war against the evil King Balor. The fact that his dad is named Finn didn't hurt either. Matt Bloom (Jason Albert, NXT trainer) says there wasn't much in ring stuff to teach him but he had to learn cameras. Balor says every entrance is a movie, which is an interesting way to look at it.
Quick talk about the Demon giving him more confidence before it's off to saying he's ready to take the title in Japan. A music video of him with some kids doing the Balor pose and everyone talking about how amazing Balor is ends this. These three parts are collected in an NXT special and I really, REALLY recommend you take the thirty minutes to watch it. These are some of the best documentaries WWE has ever done and they make me think Balor is ready for the WWE main event scene right now.
Eva Marie trained earlier today as Regal watched. That could be anywhere between a pleasant surprise to my mind exploding in shock to exactly the disaster a lot of people are expecting.
Emma vs. Carmella
The lack of caring for Carmella when Enzo and Cass aren't there is astounding. Feeling out process to start with Carmella taking her down in a headlock, followed by a hurricanrana out of the corner. Emma grabs the ropes (that's kind of lame) and puts on a bodyscissors for a bit. Carmella fights back and hits a running boot to the side of the head, only to be pulled down into the Emma Lock for the tap out at 4:12.
Rating: D+. This is more proof that there are two kinds of NXT Divas. Some of them are capable of having a classic match if they're given enough time and look as polished as any male wrestler. Then you have the lower level, who look about the same as most of the main roster Divas and do little for me. Guess which group these two are in.
Bull Dempsey tries to break open a vending machine when Regal shows up to yell at him. The chocolate on Dempsey's lips don't make things any better.
Jason Jordan is annoyed at losing again last week so Chad Gable comes up to offer his services again.
Tyler Breeze vs. Tye Dillinger
Dillinger charges into a boot to start but slugs Breeze down to take over. Tye mocks the photos and the fans give him a ten, which hasn't been explained on NXT so far. A hurricanrana and right hands (straight out of Shawn Michaels' playbook) set up the Beauty Shot for the pin at 2:50.
Emma and Dana Brooke interrupt a Sasha Banks interview to admire the Women's Title. A challenge is thrown down and Sasha says she'll find a partner.
Rhyno/Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe/Finn Balor
Joe is billed at 302lbs which sounds bigger than you would think, but it's nice to just admit that he's a bigger guy. Rhyno and Joe slug it out to start with Joe taking over and nailing the jumping kick in the corner. Off to Balor vs. Owens with Finn dropkicking him down but being sent to the floor for daring to try a suplex. Back from a break with the champ holding Balor in a chinlock. That's really dull stuff so it's back to Rhyno for a delayed vertical suplex with some squats thrown in.
Points to Rhyno for picking things up a bit. Owens puts on another chinlock but makes sure to stick out his tongue to the crowd because he makes chinlocks something special. Some of the time at least. We get the Cena finishing sequence but Balor escapes the AA and makes the hot tag to Joe. Rhyno plants him with a spinebuster and Owens adds something resembling a Pop Up Powerbomb. It's back to Balor for a Pele though and the Gore nails the champ by mistake, setting up the Coup de Grace for the pin on Owens (first time in NXT) at 12:40.
Rating: C. This was fine, but what does Joe actually add to NXT? He's just Joe at this point and hasn't done anything other than his first big showdown. Maybe now that Owens is going to be shifting to the main roster he might have a story coming soon, but there's nothing significant for him right now. I'd love to see him do something and it's WAY too early to write him off, but so far there's nothing special. There's nothing to talk about with the match as it's booking 101 to set up a title match.
Overall Rating: C. Much like the main event, this was fine but there's not much you need to see here. Balor continues to look like a million bucks and Breeze is actually an awesome face due to the amount of hard work he's put in over the last year or so. Overall though this feels like the doldrums that NXT hits when they're about to start getting ready for a big Takeover, which I believe is around Summerslam time. Totally watchable show that set up some future matches, but not much on its own.
Vaudevillains b. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder – Whirling Dervish to Dawson
Baron Corbin b. Tucker Knight – End of Days
Emma b. Carmella – Emma Lock
Tyler Breeze b. Tye Dillinger – Beauty Shot
Finn Balor/Samoa Joe b. Rhyno/Kevin Owens – Coup de Grace to Owens
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