SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NXT Report
February 24, 2016
Taped at UCF in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor
In general NXT news, the NXT tag champions Dash & Dawson will now be marketed as “The Revival.” Plus, Bull Dempsey asked for his release a few weeks ago and is now on the indy circuit as “Bull James” (no relation).
[Q1] No pre-credits video. NXT is still at CFE Arena. The show starts off right with American Alpha.
1 – AMERICAN ALPHA (JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE) vs. WESLEY BLAKE & BUDDY MURPHY (w/Alexa Bliss) – Tag Team match
Gable quickly grounds Murphy and easily controls him, then brings Jordan in. Another tag, but a big fist lets Murphy make a tag for his team. Blake takes a series of sick belly-to-back suplexes with huge airtime. Blake tries a belly-to-back of his own, but Gable lands on his feet. Gable shows a variety of lucha-like moves.
Murphy makes a tag, but scampers to his corner for a breather. Gable gets backed into the corner to be double-teamed, but he makes them hit each other and tags Jordan. American Alpha dominates the ring as the heel team recovers on the outside.
[ Break ]
NXT returns from break mid-cover, getting Jordan a two count. Double suplex into a cover draws a two count. Phillips brings up Dash & Dawson and implies that American Alpha is the big threat to them. Double-team work lets Murphy finally gain control of Gable, who has been in the ring for the majority of the match. The crowd immediately tries to rally Gable out of a side chinlock. Even Corey Graves has nothing but good things to say about Gable.
[Q2] Gable dodges a leaping move to make a tag. Jordan takes Blake to Suplex City, then catches Murphy mid-air and sends him out, too. Jordan takes Murphy out of the picture, spears Blake, and they hit their team finisher for the win.
WINNERS: American Alpha in 11:48. Nice to see American Alpha change the formula up a bit.
Tom Phillips and Corey Graves have all but declared American Alpha the #1 contender to the NXT Tag Team Titles, even though Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady already have a match booked for it.
Recap of last week’s double pin in the Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn #1 Contenter match.
Backstage, William Regal books Zayn vs. Joe in a 2/3 Falls match in two weeks. He announces a “huge new signing” to debut next week.
New Elias Samson package. Clips of him in-ring, plus him playing guitar and singing.
Apollo Crew is out, all smiles. He said a few weeks ago that the next time we saw him he would be a whole new man, I hope that does not mean a heel turn. He is facing the debuting Christopher Girard (Biff Busick on the indies).
2 – APOLLO CREWS vs. CHRISTOPHER GIRARD (Biff Busick)
Girard comes off as high-energy and slightly insane. Crews with a dropkick to take Girard down. Girard blocks a suplex then lands punches and kicks. Running spinning elbow get Girard one. Side chinlock controls Crews. Crews finally breaks free, but runs right into an elbow and gets grounded again.
Crews stands up, then falls on his back to shake Girard off. A pair of takedowns from Crews. Crews rallies strong with his usual flair. Enziguri knocks Girard down on the apron, Crews lifts off off the apron, over the rope, carries him mid-ring for the toss powerbomb.
WINNER: Apollo Crews in 5:17. I liked Girard, and he looks good for lasting over five minutes with Crews.
Recap of the end of Bayley’s NXT Women’s Title defense against Carmella two weeks ago, the post-match beating from Eva Marie and Nia Jax, and then the save from Asuka.
Alex Rayex interviews Bayley and Carmella. Bayley is glad she is teaming up with Carmella against Marie and Jax. Bayley puts over Carmella’s work in the title match. Rayez asks about Asuka. Bayley is happy that Asuka made the save, and acknowledges Asuka’s desire for a title shot.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bull Dempsey is advertised for tonight.
[Q3] “Earlier this week,” Enzo Amore was beat up by The Revival in the Performance Center parking lot, but Colin Cassady made the save. Amazing video quality for “security cameras.”
With Bull Dempsey on his way out, maybe Ciampa finally gets a win? Oddly enough, since he was released shortly after this taping, Dempsey has new music.
3 – TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. BULL DEMPSEY
Dempsey struggles to get his shirt off. The ref struggles to help him out of it. Ciampa looks annoyed. Dempsey does some jumping jacks, Ciampa claps, and then asks for a lock-up. Dempsey with more comedy until Ciampa wipes the smile off his face. A big right knocks Ciampa down, then hits a rolling senton. Ciampa is not in the mood for games.
Ciampa can’t roll Dempsey over, so Ciampa grinds away at Dempsey as Graves calls him a party pooper. Ciampa tries to pick Dempsey up, but Dempsey falls on him. Dempsey rallies with rights. Ciampa with a surprise armbar, and Dempsey taps.
WINNER: Tommaso Ciampa in 4:22. Good to see Ciampa finally get a win, too bad it was over the comedy act Bull Dempsey.
Backstage, the cameraman asks Samoa Joe about Regal’s announcement. He isn’t surprised, because he has had to jump through so many hoops already. Joe says it is a shame for Zayn, because it means he has to get beat twice.
Alex Rayez then asks Zayn about the upcoming match. Of course Zayn is ready. Zayn is focused on the title.
Lots of time on the clock for the main event of Bayley and Carmella against Nia Jax and Eva Marie. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will they give Marie much ring time? Carmella with a sour look on her way out. Phillips does a much better job at protesting heel actions than he did with the Alex Riley match recently.
4 – NXT Women’s champion BAYLEY & CARMELLA vs. EVA MARIE & NIA JAX
Marie to start against Carmella. Thesz Press then another then another from Carmella. Tag to Bayley.
[Q4] Double suplex gets a two count on Marie. Jax tags in against Bayley and immediately takes over the match. Jax tags Marie. Bayley immediately breaks Narie’s control and teamwork with Carmella has Marie in trouble.
[ Break ]
Carmella has Marie in a hold on the mat and Marie is screaming for Jax’s help. Jax gets a tag and overpowers Carmella. Carmella backs herself into the corner to escape Jax, but it won’t work. Jax tags Marie in. Marie showboats, so Carmella schoolgirls her for two. When will Jax learn to not tag Marie in? Jax tags in to finish the job. And… Jax tags Marie in again.
Jax is too strong for Carmella. Carmella dodges a charge from Jax, sending Jax through the ropes. Marie tags in, and so does Bayley. Marie graciously eats Bayley’s offense. Bayley-to-belly, Jax interferes, Carmella tags in and almost makes Marie tap, but Jax breaks it up.
Jax kicks Bayley out of the ring, then drags Marie to the corner so she can tag herself in. Carmella takes a big leg drop from Jax. Blind tag from Marie, who covers for the win.
WINNERS: Eva Marie and Nia Jax in 9:43. Fine match.
Backstage, Rich Brennan interviews William Regal and Finn Balor. He says that Balor is coming close to the all-time record, and says that there is debate who is the greatest NXT champion of all-time. Regal sets up Balor vs. Neville, who had a one-year reign where he went undefeated, since Balor has been undefeated in his championship run. Balor is pleased to have the match, which is set for next week.
[ J.J.’s Reax: That should be a great match. ]
— WWE (@WWE) February 25, 2016
Final Reax First flat NXT in a very long time. The Women’s Championship scene suddenly looks very muddled, with Eva Marie and Nia Jax re-asserting themselves. The same can be said for the Tag Team Championship. Are Amore and Cassady going to lose their title shot, or be handicapped because of the parking lot attack, sending American Alpha to the top of the heap?