Time for this week’s NXT recap, wherein Project Eva Marie continues to baffle me, Tyler goes heel, and we see a tag team championship rematch. Oh, and Kana debuted and it was awesome.
You can watch this week’s episode here if you are WWE Network subscriber.
And gentle reminder that I’m just some guy on the internet who does this for fun. Feel free to disagree with me.
Without further ado, it is the NXT 9/23/15 Recap!
NXT 9/23/15 Recap
Match #1 – Eva Marie vs. Carmella
Carmella does her best to make this a good match. Let that sink in. One of the greenest ladies on the roster is stuck trying to carry this hot garbage of a match. Eva Marie is the anti-Sasha Banks. I mean, obviously, she is a polar opposite on the “ability to work” spectrum. But, Sasha likes to do this spot where she mocks her opponent by doing their catch phrase sarcastically. Like, she’ll do Charlotte’s “Woo” or scream “This is *my* house” when taunting Paige in a sarcastic way. Eva Marie tries to do that with Carmella… by yelling “How You Doing?” over. And over. And over. In a monotone yell. This does not work. At all. It’s like someone is playing a video game and just spamming the taunt button. Besides being “hot” this is the entirety of Eva Marie’s personality. It’s almost like someone said, “Mock your opponent by using their catchphrase” and she just repeats this during any downtime in the match.
They’re trying to spin (?) Eva’s inability to kick out of a pinfall attempt a few weeks back as her having some unholy alliance with one of the referees. We see a repeat of that spot here and it comes off a little less awkward since they’re clearly running with this for some reason. Carmella gets dumped out of the ring and Eva Marie gets a count out victory. Yay.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Eva has done nothing so far but convince me she is everything that was/is wrong with the main roster Diva division in one package. No thanks. I’d show you how awful this was, but again, WWE manages to bury this “salvage Eva Marie” thing by not even including a clip on YouTube.
Up next is an awesome video package hyping the Bayley vs. Sasha Banks “Iron Man” match at Takeover: Respect in two weeks.
Match #2 – Bull Dempsey vs. Tyler Breeze
An average NXT-style match between these two. Nothing too flashy but the finish has Breeze going over by using the ropes to get leverage on the pin attempt. Notable because the match had an actual decisive finish, even though a count out was teased earlier, and the heel cheated to win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – This match wasn’t much but coming after the Eva Marie debacle this looked like a five-star match to me.
We then cut to a promo showing how the NXT trip to Texas went down.
Kana (Asuka) debut contract signing with William Regal
Like others before her, Kana comes out and then her TitanTron changes to her new “NXT name” which is Asuka. She gives a brief promo and then is promptly interrupted by Dana Brooke and Emma. Which is the best possible outcome. While I immediately hoped that Bayley would come to her aid, there is still time for that later on down the line when the numbers game becomes a problem. Dana and Emma condescend to her a bit and then tell her to get out of their ring. Asuka looks dejected and slowly leaves the ring and walks up the ramp. Then turns around and gives a smile and stares them down with the smile as she exits stage left. Something tells me that Dana and Emma dun goofed and I can’t wait to see it.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – As good as when KENTA debuted and they made him look like the ultimate bad ass against The Ascension. I’m looking forward to where this goes. Much more effective than having Asuka debut by squashing one of the new ladies or something.
Tyler Breeze is backstage walking and we learn he has a match at Takeover: Respect against Apollo Crews. Breeze is not amused and then Crews appears and blocks his path “just messing with him”. Considering Breeze’s track record and Crews’s showings so far, this should be an awesome match in a few weeks.
We then get another Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament update. Dawson and Wilder upset the Tag Team Champions, The Vaudevillains, and again, we’re not shown this match for reasons. WWE owns the Network and obviously filmed these matches at house shows. Throw us a bone for those of us who care about such things and have these matches as Network exclusives. At the very least, when the thing is all said and done, put the earlier rounds up in their entirety so we can see how this all went down. Instead we get highlights and are told what happens. We learn that the tournament continues with The Hype Bros vs. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable… at a Florida house show. But at least we get to see the Enzo / Big Cass vs. Samoa Joe / Finn Balor match on next week’s NXT. I’m surprised they didn’t just have that match before SmackDown this week or something and give us a 20 second highlight clip on YouTube.
Match #3 – The Vaudevillains vs. Blake & Murphy (Tag Team Championship rematch)
Blake & Murphy invoke their rematch clause. The Vaudevillains come out wearing blue pants and lo and behold a wild Blue Pants appears. Not long into the match after Alexa Bliss interferes, Blue Pants tackles her and then chases her into the back. What follows is a strong tag team match between two of the best tag teams that NXT has had to offer. At one point it looks like the Dubstep Cowboys are going to win the belts back, but The Vaudevillains pull out the victory and retain.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Solid tag match between two of the best teams to work in the division since I’ve been watching NXT. My speculation is that whoever wins the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will likely be the number one contenders to the tag titles and will be the next big feud for the belts. We shall see.
NXT closes out in odd fashion this week with a pair of promos from Enzo & Big Cass and then Samoa Joe and Finn Balor hyping up next week’s tag match. Odd choice, but at least it’s not as predictable as RAW and SmackDown can be.