Hey, it’s WWE NXT! It’s that show that just put a sizzle into the WWE Divas division!
They ran a hype video for Sasha Banks versus Charlotte, for the NXT Women’s Championship, on tonight’s show. Such a different world down in Florida.
After the credits, the show started with Jason Jordan & Chad Gable coming down to the ring for the opening match. They were fighting Steve Cutler & Elias Samson, who did not get entrances, and they had a short, sweet match, with Gable looking good on Cutler early doors. Jordan tagged in and ran through Cutler, and they double-teamed him for the pin. Good showing from Gable, and Jordan looked stoked with his new partner.
They showed a flashback to Raw, when Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks all appeared to shake up the Divas division.
Hey, it’s Samoa Joe! He came out to his dreadful music to face Axel Tischer, who was already in the ring. I was distracted for the whole match by trying to work out what it said on Tischer’s tights, and if it really did say King Of The Kampf, in which case WTF? Tischer, by the way, has a face on his stomach, just like Baron Corbin.
So Joe & Tischer had a match and it was pretty much a squash although Tischer did get a tiny bit of heat somewhere in the middle. He didn’t look too bad, although given he’s been wrestling on the German indy scene for years he really shouldn’t. Joe got the win with a Musclebuster into a sleeper, with Tischer barely able to tap. Good little match.
They showed a vignette on Baron Corbin, who was getting tattooed somewhere. Well, he was getting tattooed on his leg, in a tattoo shop, but I don’t know where that tattoo shop was. So somewhere will have to do. Anyway, he talked about his history, winning all-conference rings and playing in the NFL, and being a tough man in wrestling & jiu-jitsu.
He said all the others in NXT were internet heroes, and had gotten paid in chips & hot dogs while he got big checks from football. He said he was the agent of change that decides their fate, and then it was revealed that was exactly what he’d gotten tattooed. Somewhere.
Hey, it’s Eva Marie! She came out onto the stage wearing all white. The Full Sail crowd were HORRIBLE to her, but I guess that’s the game now. She said she was looking forward to watching the NXT Women’s Championship match, and that she’d make her in-ring debut on NXT next week, so the fans better get their signs and horns ready.
The NXT Tag-Team champions, Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy, came down to the ring with their evil little pixie, Alexa Bliss. They were out to fight Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton, who were already in the ring. Continuing the theme, they had another short but decent match, and the tag-team champions got the win with their suplex-frog splash combo.
After the match, Bliss instructed her boys to beat on Dawkins some more, and then lay him out in the middle of the ring for her to do her Sparkle Splash on him, launching herself from their hands. It looked pretty harsh. I like evil Alexa Bliss.
Sami Zayn came out to give an update on his condition after the injury he received at the hands of Kevin Owens/John Cena/his own over-exuberance. He got a HUGE reaction and I realised I’ve really missed him. Really. He said 2014 had been the best year of his career but 2015 had been the worst, and it wouldn’t get any better because he’d be out until 2016.
BUT! he said he wasn’t doom & gloom Sami, he had goals. Like trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, being able to lift his arm more than ninety degrees, and getting his NXT title back. He said revenge was quite a good motivator.
He then told Kevin Owens not to think he was in the rear view mirror. He said the last twelve years had been about him & Owens and the next twelve years would be, too. He looked right in the camera and said he was coming for Owens. I got a bit choked at that point. Yay Sami!
They showed footage of the NXT panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, where William Regal announced the main event for the next NXT Takeover, which will take place in Brooklyn on August 22nd. Kevin Owens will get his re-match against Finn Bálor for the NXT title, and both men spoke a little, although it was really hard to hear them above the stink of the geeks in that room, one of whom walked RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA to FILM IT ON HIS PHONE. Christ.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Sasha Banks versus Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship! Charlotte came out first to the usual big reaction, and then Banks joined her in the ring, also to a great reaction from the crowd. These girls are kind of above face and heel now. Nominally, Charlotte is the babyface and Banks is the heel but no-one in this building – and most of the people watching at home – cares about that. Weird.
So these two had a GREAT match. I mean, it wasn’t up there with some of their earlier ones, or with Banks versus Becky Lynch from the last Takeover special, but it was still pretty good. My pal thinks that NXT fans are in a bit of a bubble, and we overrate matches that are probably no better than decent contests into something more. He might be right, and if he is I make no apology for it. This is enjoyable professional wrestling in 2015.
Anyway, they did a ton of stuff, and there was a really sweet spot when Charlotte had a Figure Four Leglock on and they were slapping the hell out of each other and Banks got to the ropes but Charlotte fell through the ropes to the floor, still maintaining the hold for the full five count. I liked that.
Banks got the win – and retained the title – with the Bank(s) Statement, but only after Charlotte had rolled an earlier attempt into a nearfall. After the match, both girls were in tears and Charlotte raised Banks’s hand and hugged her and that’s your show.
This was a Great Show. It was one of those weeks when everything connected. The matches, mostly short and near-faultless, built towards a great main event, and the vignettes and hype videos hit their mark. NXT is a pleasure to watch when it’s like this – it’s rarely a chore even when it’s not.