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PWTorch contributor Justin James reviews the final hype for NXT Takeover: London on this week’s NXT episode featuring Samoa Joe & Baron Corbin against NXT champion Finn Balor & Apollo Crews.
WWE NXT Report
December 9, 2015
Taped at Full Sail University
Aired on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
WWE has one more week to set up “NXT Takeover: London.” We should see Nia Jax get a match against Bayley for the Women’s Championship.
[Q1] Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, and Carmella open the show. They come out with scowls on their faces. They are back to their usual gear, and for the first time maybe in forever, don’t have a pre-match promo.
1 – ENZO AMORE & COLIN CASSADY (w/Carmella) vs. HOLLIS & SKYLER (COREY HOLLIS & JOHN SKYLER) – Tag Team match
Cassady just shreds Skyler out of the bell – he is all business. “How you doin, huh!” in the corner and the ref needs to pry Cassady off Skyler. Amore eggs Cassady on from the outside. Skyler scampers away from the team finisher, then Amore hits a huge running cross-body. Amore jaws at Hollis while holding his face, then hits a dropkick. Cassady in, clears Skyler from the apron, East River Crossing, then Cassady press-slams Amore onto Hollis for the win.
WINNERS: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady in 2:41. Good squash for Amore and Cassady who looked really hot here.
Post-match, Amore says “that’s how we put food on the table,” and Amore says he’ll be damned if Dash & Dawson stand between him and putting food on the table. Amore points out that they are the oldest team in NXT. Also, Dash & Dawson jeopardized Cassady’s future, and Cassady is his family, so that hurts his future. Cassady reinforces the points. Lots of fire from Cassady. Cassady with the staccato pacing, and he’s shaking with rage as he finishes up.
[ J.J.’s Reax: If this is the new look and feel of Amore and Cassady going forwards, I’m a fan. They kept the catchphrases and fun rhymes, but put it into a serious package that makes them look like serious contenders. ]
Tom Philips was backstage for an interview with Dana Brooke and Emma. Brooke says she has calmed down and Emma says she is ready for Asuka. She wants to know why Asuka got such a warm welcome but they didn’t. The Emma-lution paved the way for Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte, and it was long before anyone heard of Asuka. Brooke says that they are in control. She puts her elbow on Philips, forces him to stoop so she can lean against him, and then pats his head.
Booked for later tonight is The Hype Bros. against Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy. The main event is Finn Balor & Apollo Crews against Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin in a Monday Night Raw PPV lead-in episode special (the close cousin of the Teddy Long Special).
Quick vignette for Tye Dillenger. Shots from live events make him seem like a big deal.
[Q2] Asuka is out for a match. She’s really developed a swagger and air of mystery to her entrance. She’s facing Deonna Purazzo, from New Jersey. I think we saw Purazzo a few weeks ago, perhaps under a different name.
2 – ASUKA vs. DEONNA PURAZZO
Asuka with a quick throw out of the lock-up. Another lock-up and they trade wristlocks. Asuka transitions to full control of the match on the mat. Really nice chain wrestling here. Cross arm-breaker, but Purazzo gets to the ropes. A series of Yes! kicks, but Purazzo gets to her feet and catches one.
Emma’s music hits, but the match is still on. Purazzo tries to take advantage but eats a monster roundhouse. Asuka turns her back to stare down the mean girls and the ref checks on Purazzo. The ref calls for the bell, and Purazzo is out.
WINNER: Asuka in 2:51. Taking from the end of the Rousey-Holm UFC fight made sense here to put Asuka over. I’m glad they didn’t do that at Takeover, though, as it would have felt cheesy. Asuka is amazing. Purazzo has some promise here.
The Hype Bros with a promo. Rawley says they are the kind of people who poop at the club. Ryder gets Rawley on track.
Blake and Murphy with a promo. Blake is wearing a sweater cut into a crop top, and he’s turned the sleeves into elbow-length gloves. Alexa Bliss is angry at Bliss and Murphy for losing the match after she handed the match to them. Murphy calls her “babe,” which gets her more angry. Blake and Murphy leave, and she congratulates herself for getting them fired up.
Another country singer promo. Tony Donofrio says it is Elias Samson, and on further reflection, he’s right. Whoever does the outfits for Blake, Murphy, and Bliss must laugh every time they get a request. It’s like an ugly Christmas Sweater party mixed with the “make everything sexy” Halloween costume trend.
3 – THE HYPE BROS. (ZACK RYDER & MOJO RAWLEY) vs. WESLEY BLAKE & BUDDY MURPHY (w/Alexa Bliss)
Rawley dances and Blake mouths off. They trade control. Murphy tags in, but a double shoulderblock sends them to the outside. Rawley hypes the crowd and tags Ryder, who lands a baseball slide through the ropes to take out both opponents. Missile dropkick and jumping elbow set up the Broski Boot, but Blake interferes. Ryder takes them both out – Broski Boot delivered.
Murphy interferes again, though, after apparently a blind tag. Cheap shots from Blake and Murphy, and Ryder is the victim of frequent tags in the corner. Ryder gets knees up in the corner to fend off a double team, then he tags in Rawley.
Rawley with hot offense. He hypes Blake and Murphy. Wild punch drops Blake, and Murphy interferes. The ref is distracted, though, as Rawley gets hit in the eyes. Ryder breaks up a tag and the Hype Ryder seals the deal.
WINNERS: The Hype Bros. in 6:25. Fun match here. Blake and Murphy used their time as champs to polish their in-ring work. The Hype Bros. continue to be a good package.
[Q3] Backstage, Samoa Joe acknowledges that he and Baron Corbin have never agreed with each other, but tonight is about Apollo Crews and Finn Balor. Corbin dumps on Crews. Joe says that he wasn’t the betrayer. No, Balor was for not getting him the championship match. Corbin says that Balor and Crews will be lucky to get to London.
Short NXT Takeover: London package, comparing it to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.
Bayley is out to face Peyton Royce. Odds of her getting jumped by Nia Jax or Eva Marie between her entrance and getting out of the ring? High. The announcers confirm that Bayley is facing Nia Jax in London. Royce continues to work on standing out, with an entrance that sees her with a sultry walk and a flower.
4 – NXT Women’s campion BAYLEY vs. PEYTON ROYCE – non-title match
Rapid action to start, and an armdrag sends Bayley to the corner. Bayley with her usual offense, but Royce jumps over a suplex, clobbers Bayley with a forearm, and hits a nasty running knee. Cover, but Royce’s leg is under the ropes.
Royce grounds Bayley. Bayley trips Royce, then pounds her head. Roundhouse sends Bayley onto the mat for a two count. Bayley returns to the attack with a running bulldog to the kneeling Royce. Royce runs into the Bayley-to-Belly for the pin.
WINNER: Bayley in 3:56. Royce got way too much offense in against the champion a week before Bayley faces Jax.
Post-match, surprise surprise, here are Nia Jax and Eva Marie. Marie has the mic, which produces massive heat. Marie can’t believe Bayley won two weeks ago. Jax takes the mic: “I don’t need you to do the talking for me.” Jax says that Bayley is lucky she didn’t get to NXT sooner, because then Bayley wouldn’t be champion. They saunter off.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Good to see Jax snatch the mic from Marie, and show the she is calling the shots, not Marie. ]
Backstage, Crews checks on Finn Balor. Balor says he is ready. Crews says that he has been calling Balor all week with no response, and puts a finger in Balor’s chest. Balor says to not worry about him. Crews says that he still has unfinished business with Balor, takes the title off the railing, puts it on Balor’s shoulder, and slaps the belt. He says that he is still coming for it. Flashbacks to Joe’s behavior coming into Takeover: Respect. Balor looks suspicious.
Video Package on Sami Zayn, including a recap of him getting hurt facing John Cena on Raw in Montreal earlier this year.
[Q4] NXT champion FINN BALOR & APOLLO CREWS vs. SAMOA JOE & BARON CORBIN – Tag Team match
Balor and Joe to start. As soon as the bell rings, Joe tags Corbin. Balor is furious. Balor takes it to Corbin, then tries to cheap-shot Joe, but Joe drops off the apron. Corbin takes advantage, but Balors shrugs it off. Crews in. Corbin backs up, then tags Joe in. Crews controls Joe by the wrist. Joe breaks free and lands strikes. Dropkick sends Joe to the corner. Crews demands Corbin as Joe simmers.
[ Break ]
Corbin and Joe are picking Crews apart. Joe with dirty work from the outside behind the ref’s back. Corbin with his new flip into a punch sequence. Crews breaks free, but runs into Joe’s elbow and ends up in the corner again. Crews with a wild punch off the mat, but Corbin jumps out of the way. Corbin spears the ringpost, letting Crews make the tag. Joe in, too.
The camera can barely keep up with Balor as he takes out his aggression on Joe. Ten punches in the corner, but Joe turns him around and sets up the Musclebuster. Balor slides down, though, into a cover, which Corbin breaks up. Crews clears Corbin and follows to the outside. Crews wrecks Corbin out there.
Back in the ring, Balor trips and Joe takes advantage. Balor responds with the slingblade and hesitation dropkick. But, Corbin pushes Balor off the turnbuckle, Joe catches him and locks in the Kokita Clutch. Crews and Corbin are brawling to the outside as Balor passes out mid-ring.
WINNER: Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin in 6:55. Great match telling a great story, but there was far too much contact between Balor and Joe this close to London. Crews and Corbin look like a really hot feud still, and Joe and Balor will be epic based on what we saw.
NXT closes with a shot of Joe’s foot on Balor while holding the NXT Championship.
Final Reax: NXT knows how to do a good Takeover lead-in show, though I disliked the use of the Monday Night Raw tag team match formula. It just gives away too much of the match-ups. Good wrestling all around, though. Blake, Murphy, and Bliss continue to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Amore and Cassady made me a believer that they could be WWE Tag Team Champions and not just a comedy act.