I changed up my format in order to recap these shows a bit more cohesively, so this is the first NXT recap in this style.
As usual, I’m just a guy who watches wrestling so my opinions are just that, my opinions.
Now, it’s time for NXT 9/16/15 recap, wherein a champion returns and stakes are raised.
(If you’re a WWE Network subscriber you can watch this episode here)
NXT 9/16/15 Recap
Match #1 – Tyler Breeze vs. Adam Rose
Wow, Adam Rose just can’t catch a break. He gets saddled with the worst gimmicks, but kudos to the man for doing his best to try to get them over. Rose came out and declared himself “anti-fun” and kept saying he was going to “poop” on things. Like a bunch of times. Clearly this new gimmick is “stuffy guy with an accent that says ‘poop’ a lot”. Sigh. Rose is a guy I’d love to see succeed, especially after watching the ESPN E:60 documentary, because he seems like a great guy.
Anyway, he’s out to apparently wrestle Breeze, but Bull Dempsey interrupted the match before it could start. Dempsey wanted a match after the beat down he received from Breeze last week. Rose ends up slapping Bull and Bull dumped him out of the ring. Breeze escaped and no match happened.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Ugh. This felt like a RAW segment to me. I like all of the people involved, but this seemed needlessly drawn out to just set up a match for next week between Breeze and Dempsey. Points to Breeze for accepting Bull’s challenge by way of selfie stick recorded video instead of talking to the backstage interviewer. Also, I have no idea what they’re doing with Adam Rose, but I don’t like it.
Match #2 – Tye Dillinger vs. Danny Burch
The theme of the night was squash matches and that is what we got here. Burch did get one spot in where he mocked Dillinger’s new “10” gimmick, but this was an otherwise one-sided affair.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not the best match, but matches like these need to happen to build up new talent.
During the break, we got a promo announcing the debut of Asuka (aka – Kana) and I’m one hundred percent on board.
Match #3 – Apollo Crews vs. Solomon Crowe
Another match to showcase Apollo Crews, but giving him a slightly more challenging opponent to face in Solomon Crowe. This was essentially a squash match, but Crowe got a bit of offense in, including a spot where he covered Crews with the ring apron and hammered him a few times.
I also really noticed during this match that Byron Saxton is back on commentary. Not a huge fan of him on SmackDown or RAW, but I enjoy him on NXT because Corey Graves is awesome and takes shots at him all night long. My mind is still kind of blown that Saxton and Rich Brennan have both been called up to call matches on the main roster, but they’ve kept Graves on NXT. I get that Graves is still really new to commentary but he’s consistently been great and he’d be a much needed shot in the arm on either RAW or SmackDown. He has the serious makings of a Jesse Ventura styled color commenter if he keeps at it.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Decent for a squash match. I continue to be impressed with Crews and Crowe was a good opponent for him in this showcase match.
Up next was a backstage segment with Dana Brooke and Emma that seemed to exist purely for Dana to harass Devin Taylor by patting her on the head multiple times. I’m really hoping somewhere down the road this has some sort of payoff. Considering Devin Taylor has worked in the ring, I’d love to see her just snap one of these times and take Dana down.
We’re then sent to WWE HQ where we get another Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament update. I’d still like to see the entire bracket without having to search the internet, but they’re doing a bit better with covering the results from the other first round matches that happened at random house shows. Something like this would have nice a few weeks back.
Match #4 – Rhyno / Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano / Tommaso Ciampa
So, this is the first second round match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. These guys have a really strong and competitive match. I went into this assuming Gargano and Cimpa would be going over. I was quite shocked to see Corbin hit the “End of Days” for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Good match, but the ending kind of left me confused. They’ve been building up Gargano & Ciampa as the next big thing and then they lose to one of the random pairings of singles wrestlers in the tournament. Regardless, Gargano & Ciampa were able to really show what they’ve got in this match and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of them.
We then head backstage for an interview with The Vaudevillains, which is promptly interrupted by Alexa Bliss, with Blake and Murphy in tow. They’re invoking their rematch clause next week, and it’s implied that Blue Pants won’t be there to counter Alexa this time.
Match #5 – Bayley vs. Sarah Dobson (non-title match)
The match is a complete squash, but the important stuff happened before and after the match.
This was Bayley’s homecoming to Full Sail after winning the Women’s Championship at Takeover:Brooklyn. I was instantly reminded of the reception that the Full Sail crowd gave to Sami Zayn when he came out with the NXT Championship for the first time. Bayley made a few victory laps through the crowd and hugged a bunch of fans. Bayley then grabbed Izzy, her superfan, and took her into the ring to pose with her.
That moment was so very important, not just for women’s wrestling, but for the sport as whole. The kids that see that and connect with a Bayley, will be the ones that stick with pro wrestling through thick and thin. I know, because at one time I was that kid that had his favorite wrestlers and was able to connect with them on the “fan / superstar” level. It’s why even when I stopped watching WWE for years, I eventually came back. It’s why no matter how bad the finishes are on RAW or how many times the same, tired themes get recycled, I’m still watching. Because, when it comes to down to it all, I’m still that little kid seeing his first show and am in awe of the whole thing.
After the match, right as Bayley is about to address the Full Sail crowd, Sasha Banks’ music hit. Perfect.
These two are so off the charts awesome right now. Even though it seems to be a forgone conclusion that Bayley will retain the belt at the next Takeover event, I can’t wait to see what they’re going to put together to top their match in Brooklyn – assuming that match can even be topped. The chemistry between Bayley and Sasha is incredible and that seeps through during this segment. William Regal comes out to announce the match on October 7th, will be the main event of the show (!) and a 30 minute Iron Man match.
Wow. Having the Women’s Championship match headline a special event is monumental. I still felt they stole the show in Brooklyn, should have gone on last, and didn’t envy Kevin Owens and Finn Balor having to follow that match. Also, an Iron *Woman* match between these two should be incredible. I’m all in.
Verdict: Thumbs Way, Way Up – The match was merely an excuse to get Bayley out there. The moments between Bayley and the crowd were incredibly special and the set up for Takeover in October between her and Sasha was great.