Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WWE NXT Review - February 3rd, 2016

My viewing of NXT 2016 begins with the first show of February as I begin a game of catch up and what better way to start than with an episode headlined by an NXT Title match.

TONIGHT: Finn Balor defends the NXT Championship against Apollo Crews

1) The Vaudevillans (Simon Gotch & Aiden English) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley)
Pretty basic opening match between former NXT Tag Team Champions and the newly formed team of Ryder & Rawley. It's kinda depressing to think about Zack Ryder being placed back in NXT, but then again it's not because NXT has hype and it's given Ryder something consistent to work with instead of just floundering around and jobbing on the main roster. Ryder & Rawley flurry early with some team work before the Vaudevillains take control. They isolate Ryder which builds to him fighting back and getting the hot tag to Rawley. He cleans house and gets the crowd going before Gotch & English shut him down with an uppercut to the back followed by a neckbreaker. That's all she wrote. Vaudevillains score the win.

Match rating - **

Last week, Carmella won a battle royal to become the #1 Contender to the NXT Championship. Scott Dawson interviews her about that as well as her match next week where she challenges her close friend, Bayley, for the title.

The NXT Tag Team Champions Dash & Dawson are backstage to talk about their comments on Carmella, Enzo, & Cass. They offer them another title match even though they've already beaten them once because they're on the road to becoming the greatest NXT Tag Team Champions of all time.

2) Carmella vs. Emma (w/ Dana Brooke)

This is interesting! Emma has had a change of character since the last time I've seen her and I really dig it. It roots in something pretty real as she's tired of being overlooked after being one of the pioneers of the NXT Women's revolution. With Dana Brooke & Alexa Bliss on her side, Emma has ventured into a dark part of her character. Here, she tries to get revenge on Carmella following a submission loss she suffered to her last week. Much like the opener, it's nothing special, but a decent enough little match for the few minutes it lasts. Carmella pins Emma with a backslide.

Match rating - **

3) Enzo & Big Cass vs. Two Jobbers
So, they didn't even care enough to introduce their two opponents so I have no clue who they are, but they made this one hell of a squash match. Enzo and Cass, in particular, looked phenomenal as Cass threw one guy over the top rope and he sailed through the air onto the ramp. It was brutal. Dominant win for Enzo & Big Cass as they vye to get another shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles. They looked great here.

Match rating - **1/4

Backstage, William Regal announces his decision on the issue from last week where Corbin tapped out whilst in a double submission at the hands of Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe during a #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match. He announces a one on one rematch between Zayn & Joe to determine who faces Balor next.

4) Asuka vs. Santana Garrett
SANTANA <3 She and the former Kana being in the same ring is basically women's wrestling heaven for me so I was excited for this. It doesn't go long though and much like all the other matches on this show, it's just enhancer stuff to keep certain characters looking well. Santana got one or two nice offensive moves in, though. Asuka catches her in mid air with a cross arm breaker, Santana fights out, but gets caught in a choke hold and is forced to tap.

Match rating - **

5) Finn Balor (c) vs. Apollo Crews - NXT Championship Match
This match ends up being way different than I expected. The entire first half of is spent on the mat with Balor trying to wear down Crews and keep the bigger man grounded. They do a good job of portraying this story with Crews getting a flurry or two of fast paced offense only for Finn to cut him off and take it back to the ground. Things pick up in the final few minutes and you get the high impact exchange of moves you'd expect from these two. After a fun near fall or two, Finn nails the Coupe de Grace followed by the Bloody Sunday DDT to retain the title.

Match rating - ***

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