I should begin by saying I watched this “live”, but had a few problems getting the show to start. The past few weeks, right at 5pm here on the West Coast, I’d open the Network app on my Playstation and start watching NXT. Tonight, when trying to stream live, instead the network showed me a Triple H documentary that still allegedly had twelve minutes of run time left. I quit out of the app and restarted a few times and finally got the NXT show from the beginning. But, the show was running as a continuous stream so I have no idea how long this episode was, but it seemed longer than the typical 59 minutes and change.
NXT 8/26/15, aka – the matches taped before TakeOver Brooklyn.
You can watch this episode on the WWE Network if you are a subscriber.
3 Things I Liked About NXT 8/26/15
1. The Open With Enzo & Big Cass
Definitely a wise move to open this show with the eight man tag match featuring Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. Logic dictates this opened the show for the live crowd in attendance for Takeover: Brooklyn, and that was indeed a wise booking decision. Enzo was hugely over with the Barclay’s Center crowd, to the point there were a bunch of “Enzo Section” signs in the crowd, ala the “Cesaro Section” signs that have been popping up lately on Raw and Smackdown.
I’m not typically a fan of eight man tag matches, but this one was not bad. I’m growing to like Dawson & Wilder, even if I think their team name sounds like a law firm. They put in good work here, as did the team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. I’m not huge on the Hype Bros. team, but, Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley were at least tolerable in this match. I’ll also never get tired of seeing Big Cass use Enzo’s body as a weapon.
Also, the NXT tag division is starting to slowly form into something interesting again. Of course, just in time for the upcoming Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament that begins next week.
2. Bull Dempsey Goes Over in Front of His Hometown Crowd
Bull Dempsey is another one of the cases in NXT, where they thrust a guy out there with a gimmick that doesn’t work, so they go back to the drawing board. Bull debuted as a lesser version of Baron Corbin but after their brief feud over who was the “most dominant” in NXT or whatever they were going for, Bull just sort of floundered for a bit. I’m not typically into comedic wrestling bits, but the “Bull-Fit!” thing has turned a faceless big guy into a more likable character.
Seeing as he is from Brooklyn, it was nice seeing him go over here much like they did for Enzo & Cass in the opening match.
Also, kudos to NXT for debuting Elias Samson’s new character, which is essentially the Lonesome Drifter character from Fallout: New Vegas.
3. The Fatal Four Way Main Event
Any time you’ve got Charlotte and Becky Lynch in a main event, you’ve got my attention. I’m slowly warming up to Dana Brooke and “evil” Emma is pretty good, but the best moments of this match were still when it was Charlotte vs. Becky. It was good to see these women get a nice chunk of time in the headline slot for this NXT taping. It’s been fun to watch Dana Brooke gradually progress into a better and better heel each time she’s on the show. All in all, this was a decent main event to end the weekly NXT show – except for the finish…
3 Things I Didn’t Like About NXT
1. The Finish of the Fatal Four Way Main Event
The finish to the match consisted of Emma pinning Becky Lynch and everyone involved in the match looking shocked. Never a good sign. I couldn’t help but think Charlotte improvising after the match by hitting Emma with “Natural Selection” and then “pinning” her was the actual planned finish of the match.
I’m likely more annoyed by this after the screwy finishes to the Cena / Rollins and Lesnar / Taker matches from Summerslam, but, something like this really takes me out of the show, whether it is planned or not.
2. So Many Video Packages
So, looking back on the Network, this show ran for 1 hour and 24 minutes. A HUGE chunk of that run time is comprised of video packages. I’m surprised even the video packages didn’t end up getting their own video packages.
Many of them were showing highlights from Takeover: Brooklyn and then end capped with a brief interview with the wrestlers involved. I enjoyed the interview with Bayley and her family, and also liked that the Kevin Owens one ended with seemingly symbolically leaving NXT by walking through a door and having it close behind him. Otherwise, it felt like we were being bombarded with video clips and backstage segments this week. Each competitor in the main event Fatal Four Way got their own video package as well that ran throughout the show.
I do appreciate the video packages, because, for the most part, they do a really good job in explaining the motivations of the various characters. The Becky Lynch even one mentions her wanting to go after Nikki Bella’s Diva Championship, which is the first mention I think I’ve heard from any of the NXT call ups of going after her title.
But, seriously, when your show runs over by nearly 25 minutes and it’s all because of pre-recorded video segments it comes across as a bit much.
3. Eva Marie vs. Carmella
I just was not into this match at all. I never saw the first incarnation of Eva Marie and I’m so far not very impressed with this new version. It’s possible that seeing the incredible matches from Bayley, Sasha, Becky, and Charlotte week in and week out has spoiled me. But, this match was easily the weakest on this episode of NXT and it is hard to believe this was part of the same show that featured the epic Bayley / Sasha match. Eva attempting to “taunt” Carmella using the Enzo / Cass catchphrases was cringe-worthy. Sasha Banks typically will mock an opponent during a match and it works. This, just… did not work for me.
Interestingly enough, there is no video clip of this match up on YouTube as of yet either.