PWTorch contributor Justin James reviews this week’s NXT episode featuring “Takeover” fall-out, a #1 contender battle royal, Nia Jax’s debut, and more.
WWE NXT Report
October 14, 2015
Taped at Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Time to see what the post-Takeover: Respect fall-out is. Finn Balor and Samoa Joe won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Asuka broke Dana Brooke, Apollo Crews beat Tyler Breeze, and Bayley retained against Sasha Banks in an amazing match.
NXT starts with the typically great recap package.
Bayley kicks it off coming out to the ring. Big reception for the champion. “Match of the year” chant from the crowd.
Bayley says that NXT made history last week, and not just because of her match, but the whole “pay-per-view.” She acknowledges Sasha Banks, but the crowd tells her “you deserve it.” She says that they have extended the “Divas Revolution.” Bayley talks up the future of women’s wrestling thanks to NXT. Alexa Bliss comes out with Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy.
The crowd dumps all over Bliss. Bliss says that Bayley’s accomplishments were incredible and she was in awe. Bayley deserves to be champ. Bliss plays like she just wanted to congratulate Bayley, and Bayley kind of rolls her eyes. Bliss raises Bayley’s hand and snatches the championship. Blake and Murphy stop her from getting it back. Bliss runs Bayley over while hiding behind Blake and Murphy. Bliss wraps up and throws the championship back at Bayley. Bliss ducks out while the men continue to block for her.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Bliss seemed nervous at first, but it was part of her act in pretending to be nice. Bliss is still developing nicely as a heel. ]
Backstage “Last Week” – William Regal congratulates Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. Joe says that he has been proud to team with Balor, but he’s here for one reason – slaps Balor’s championship. He politely asks for a title shot. Balor agrees. Regal says that it doesn’t work that way, so he sets up a Battle Royale. Joe says that he’s waited, and he’s undefeated. Regal reiterates that there will be a Battle Royal. Joe and Balor part amicably.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Very grateful to see them going with “Joe earns the title shot” instead of “Joe turns on Finn Balor.” ]
Promo with Tye Dillenger vowing to win the Battle Royale. Then, Apollo Crews and Rhyno. Nice to see these guys get some quick talking time to put themselves over.
[Q2] Quick Susan G. Komen mention. The Vaudevillains are out to face Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton.
1 – NXT Tag Team champions THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH) vs. ANGELO DAWKINS & SAWYER FULTON – Non-Title Tag Team match
English has markedly shorter hair, while Fulton has bleached the center of his mohawk. His speed puts him on the offense against Dawkins. Double team eventually catches up with English. Second rope leg drop gets two for Fulton. A couple of dodges lets English reach Gotch, who takes Dawkins down with his unique offense. Whirling Dervish ends it.
WINNERS: The Vaudevillains in 3:20. Quick match to give the tag champs credibility.
Backstage, Devin Taylor raves about The Vaudevillains, but Dawson and Dash aren’t impressed, and reminds us that they beat The Vaudevillains in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They declare themselves not merely the #1 contenders, but the champs in reality. But, they need to prove it against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Dawson’s got some nice promo game here. ]
Nia Jax vignette. She’s up next.
Recap of Asuka vs. Dana Brooke.
Backstage “last week” a trainer is checking on Brooke. Asuka comes out and pats her head. Emma looks scared. Brooke suddenly realizes who it was and thinks she beat her.
A new woman is out, “Evie.” She’s from Auckland, New Zealand. The women’s division now has more women from overseas than the U.S. Why call her “Evie” when there is already “Eva Marie?” She’s facing Nia Jax. Good reaction for Jax.
2 – NIA JAX vs. EVIE
The crowd starts counting, giving Jax the early Baron Corbin treatment. Evie gets tossed hard on the lock-up. She then runs into Jax, who shrugs her off. Evie jumps into a bearhug. Jax jumps up and down while licking it in. Evie slides down, gets picked up, and is driven into the corner. “Nia’s gonna kill you.”
[Q3] Nia toys with Evie. Evie tries to break free with kicks, but then jumps right into Jax’s hands again. Slam, cover, pin.
WINNER: Nia Jax in 2:44. Quick squash to get Jax over. This is the first time we have actually seen her, she’s a larger woman and seems to be getting an Awesome Kong-like presentation.
Quick video on Bayley-Banks, with sound clips from Stephanie McMahon and Becky Lynch. Plus, tweet quotes from fans and WWE talking up the match. Stephanie admits to crying.
More Battle Royale videos – from Tyler Breeze and Baron Corbin.
Eva Marie with video from France. She’s sad that she isn’t with us, but she needed some “me time” after her “grueling matches” lately.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Every time I think she’s improving on the mic, she takes a step backwards with a faltering promo like this. ]
The only people to get intros for the Battle Royale are Rhyno, Baron Corbin, and Samoa Joe. They made you believe Joe is winning this.
3 – BATTLE ROYALE – #1 Contender match
Hot start to the match, with Rhyno, Corbin, Wilder, and Dawson piling up on Joe in one corner, and the rest of the ring separating into a massive brawl. Rhyno is directing the traffic. Joe on the apron from he hangs into the ropes. Joe fights off the four-on-one to get back in the ring. Johnny Gargano and Tomassa Ciampa are in the match, notably. Graves: “If Bull-Fit is working, why is Bull Dempsey in a t-shirt?” Saxton: “Maybe it’s merchandising?” These two have finally started clicking with each other.
Steve Cutler is the first elimination from Apollo Crews, then Crews dumps Danny Burch and Elias Samson. Crews and Gargano go at it, Crews press slams Gargano onto the crowd and gets booed. Who made that booking call? Why is Gargano constantly being a chump, and why set up Crews to be booed?
[ Break ]
No one is named as eliminated during the break. Murphy almost eliminates Amore. Murphy skins the cat as Amore makes the main roster classic mistake of turning away after a body drop. Joe can’t eliminate Blake. Dempsey is torquing Breeze’s head. Amore stays in it again. Dash, Wilder, Blake, and Murphy can’t get Ryder out of the ring.
[Q4] Dillenger is crushing Breeze with his foot. Cassady with an elimination to an unknown person. Cassady is out, Wilder is out, Amore is out, and Dillenger is out as each person eliminates each other in turn. Corbin and Dempsey trade blows, but Rhyno makes the save and teams up with Corbin to get rid of Dempsey. Corbin ends Rawley’s run. Ryder unloads on Corbin, then Muphy and Blake gang up on Breeze.
Ciampa knees Crews in the face repeatedly. Breeze almost gets rid of Murphy, but the former tag team champs can’t quite get rid of him. Lots of crowd support for Breeze. Corbin eventually gets rid of Ryder. Ciampa is workin gon Joe and Crews is risking elimination via Blake and Murphy. Corbin turns on Rhyno and eliminates him. Rhyno looks more hurt emotionally than physically.
[ Break ]
Out of the break it is down to Crews, Breeze, Blake, Murphy, Joe, and Corbin. Joe eliminated Ciampa during the break. The crowd boos and Corbin nearly eliminates Breeze. Joe eliminates Blake and Murphy at the same time. Joe eats a Supermodel Kick, but Breeze is too worn out to do anything about it. Breeze can’t move Joe. Joe catches a second Supermodel Kick, then unloads on Breeze. Running Big Boot sends Breeze over the top, and the crowd is furious.
Crews, Corbin, and Joe are left. Musclebuster attempt, Corbin slips out and puts Joe on the apron. Joe with an enziguri, but Breeze rips Joe off the apron. “Thank you, Tyler!” from the crowd. Corbin and Crews are slow to recover. Corbin picks up Crews and rams him into the corner. Crews does the same. Big rights from Crews, but Corbin turns it around and beats Crews into the mat. Corbin tosses Crews, but Crews lands on the apron. The crowd demands Breeze.
Corbin still hasn’t figured out that you need to watch your opponent hit the crowd instead of turning away. Crews comes to life with lariats, then a corner splash. Jumping clothesline, standing moonsault but Corbin gets knees up. ends of Days attempt but Crews escapes. A trio of enziguris stuns Corbin enough to let Crews eliminate him.
WINNER: Apollo Crews in 19:30. Pretty good Battle Royale in terms of in-ring execution. I don’t say this often, but NXT’s booking was “head-scratching” to say the least. The heel Breeze got cheered against monster babyface Samoa Joe, in no small part because he played the “determined underdog” in this match, and he is a perennial fan favorite. No doubt, Joe eliminating Ciampa had a part in that, too. Corbin looked like a complete schmuck for all the times he pushed someone over the ropes and turned away only to have them land on the apron, especially in the final face off with Crews. Crews got booed for eliminating Gargano. Unless this leads to a heel turn for Joe (which may make sense, there is a lack of credible heels since Breeze hasn’t won a real match in months and Owens is out) and maybe a face turn for Breeze, I’m confused.
Final Reax: Crews winning was a true surprise here. I really had Joe pegged as next in line for a title shot. I’m going to trust NXT to take this in a sensible direction based on the history, and to be fair, it is nice to not know exactly where the road is leading. Which means that it is about time for Greg Parks to accidentally drop a half-month of spoilers on me.