Hey, it’s WWE NXT! It’s the only show in the world that doesn’t need to GET HYPED because it STAYS HYPED!
The show started with a pre-credits trailer for Samoa Joe’s in-ring debut – tonight!
Hey, it’s Zack Ryder! He came down to the ring to tag with the returning MOJO RAWLEY! Rawley got a great response from fans who have chosen to forget how rotten he is. You can’t help but love his gimmick, though, and that’s the selling point here.
They’re fighting Area Jobbers in the shape of Mike Rallis & Elias Sampson, and they didn’t have a whole row of fans in STAY HYPED shirts, unlike Rawley. The names got most of the match, and Rawley hit a pounce and Ryder hit the Broski Boot, and it was a ton of fun. Ryder & Rawley got the win when Rawley herked Sampson into the air and Ryder hit the Rough Ryder.
After the match, Ryder & Rawley celebrated with the STAY HYPED section in the crowd and everybody was SMILING.
They showed a Finn Bálor promo, hyping his NXT championship match against Kevin Owens, live from Tokyo on the WWE Network. He was interesting here, and sold the match well, which is more than he usually does on promos.
Then they showed a far-too-long Dana Brooke package. One step forward…
Hey, it’s Emma! I like her new gimmick, the “I’m really bored and would rather not be here but since I am I’m not going to smile or be nice” look. She’s fighting Blue Pants, who gets her customary standing ovation. The fans chant “happy birthday!” at her, so I guess it was her birthday. I’m sharp like that.
So they have a good, fun match, and Blue Pants got more than her fair share of it. Emma really is a giver on NXT. Emma won, though, earning a submission with the Emma Lock.
Backstage, Devin Taylor spoke to Enzo Amore, Big Cass, and Carmella. They said some not very nice things about Blake & Murphy and Alexa Bliss, but that’s okay because those guys are jerks.
Next up was Tyler Breeze versus Bull Dempsey, in the battle of treading water versus sinking fast. Dempsey got the full treatment from the fans, inserting “Shit!” every time his theme music said “Bull!” Poor Bull.
Breeze won this, after letting Dempsey chase him around the ring until he was out of breath. Yes, really. Back in the ring, Breeze hit the Beauty Shot and that was that. Poor, poor Bull.
They showed the aftermatch of the Becky Lynch versus Sasha Banks match at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable, with the fans giving Lynch a standing ovation and singing her theme music back at her.
Hey, it’s Becky Lynch! She came down to the ring, with her new “steampunk-inspired” entrance, to fight Jessie McKay, who didn’t get an entrance because she is a brand new rookie. McKay looked good in what little she got but Lynch got the win with a submission from an armbar.
Backstage, William Regal was in his office, and he announced that Samoa Joe would make his debut on NXT tonight and that Kevin Owens would sit in on commentary for the match. He was about to say something else when Bull Dempsey walked in, eating a bag of crisps.
Regal told Dempsey he had a problem and Dempsey said if he was referring to him getting blown up it was because he was up all night training and was tired. Regal grabbed the crisps and said, “listen, flower, you need to get your act together.” He left and Dempsey shrugged and pulled a chocolate bar out of his singlet and started eating it. Poor, poor, poor Bull.
In the locker room, “Greg” spoke to Jason Jordan, who said he had a new partner. Chad Gable walked up and offered his services again but Jordan shrugged him off, and rejected another towel with GABLE written on it, asking, “where do you get these?” Jordan walked off and Gable added his name to Jordan’s on his locker.
Hey, it’s Baron Corbin! He’s fighting Angelo Dawkins and it’s quite the show for squash(ish) matches. The crowd started counting at the beginning, thinking it would be another quick Corbin squash, but turned on him when it became apparent that it wasn’t, even chanting “Corbin sucks!”
But Corbin has to learn to work longer matches and he’s doing fine, even if his tummy does have a face. He won with the End Of Days after shrugging off Dawkins’s amateur wrestling. I’ve seen worse.
After a break, Kevin Owens was at the announcers’ table, hugging an awkward-looking Byron Saxton. Intimidation through hugs, that’s a new one. He was out there to offer insight to Samoa Joe’s debut, against Scott Dawson, and he was a passive aggressive treat.
Joe and Dawson had a decent contest, and although you’d have expected Joe to take most of the match, Dawson got his licks in. It occurred to me that Dawson must be the new CJ Parker. I miss CJ. The crowd were really into Joe, chanting “Joe is gonna kill you” and “please don’t die” at Dawson.
Joe got the win with a Musclebuster, and then grabbed the mic’ after the match to call out Owens, who was walking up the ramp, having made a quick exit. He said that Owens had told him that if he stepped into his ring he’d knock him out, but he’d stepped into that ring and Owens had run away.
Joe said Owens should be a good man and give the fans what they wanted to see. Owens said he wouldn’t get in the ring for two reasons. First, he felt like hurting Joe after his debut match would be wrong and it’s because he’s a good man that he won’t do that. And, second, Joe is rookie and rookies can’t just walk in and get title shots, even though that’s exactly what Owens did.
He said Joe needed to earn his title shot so there’d be no match. William Regal came out and said that Owens was right, Joe hadn’t earned a title shot, but he had earned a match, and booked Joe versus Owens for next week’s show…
This was a Good Show. There was tons of room and time for the minor players to flesh out their characters, as well as a great main event angle. The next Takeover is a while away, and so there’s time to set things up yet, so I hope they carry on this character development for a few weeks yet.