Better late than never right? Sorry about the delay in review this week’s episode of NXT but hey, at least I did better than Mr. Lanza who had a TRIPLE SHOT review of Superstars. Anyway, enough with the intro, let’s get to this episode.
Baron Corbin vs. Elias Sampson: “Baron is gonna kill you!” chants. And literally within 10 seconds Corbin hits an End of Days and that may be the shortest match I’ve ever seen. Sampson needs his buddy…Buddy Murphy next time. NR
Hype for the Carmella debut, The Legionnaires vs. Enzo/Cassady also tonight but right now it’s Sami Zayn time!
Alex Riley, from the school of WWE announcers saying “I don’t know why everyone is into him, he can’t win the big one!” Then again, this is pretty much the Zayn character, the perennial underdog but there has to be a different way to state it, right? “The fans expect him to choke” Thanks Alex, your babyfaces suck and the fans are stupid for cheering him.
Huge “OLE!” chants for Zayn who grabs the mic and starts talking about how he’s better than his recent losing streak indicates. “It’s time for Sami Zayn to refocus” and go after the NXT champion. This brings out Tyson Kidd, wearing Sami Zayn’s shirt.
Kidd says he doesn’t understand why all of a sudden Zayn is just going to turn it on and asks how today is going to be any different than the past few weeks. Zayn asks Tyson if Nattie gave him permission to come out here and tells him to go cry himself to sleep watching Total Divas replays. “I’d rather be on Total Divas than be a total loser like you!”
Despite Alex Riley’s terrible commentary, I love the build here and is perfect for Zayn, so long as at some point he proves himself which shouldn’t be long. Zayn tells Kidd to call home and see if it’s okay that they fight tonight. Kidd says he doesn’t need Nattie’s permission but is going to call home to check on the cats. This was pretty awesome, Kidd is the best.
NXT Tag Team Championship – Lucha Dragons vs. Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy: That little whore Buddy Murphy! He leaves his old partner Elias Sampson to get destroyed and now he’s teaming with Wesley Blake? You used to be cool Buddy (not really). They’ve also been teaming at house shows, so it’s not that big of a deal but I want a reason to mention Buddy Murphy a bunch of times so here we are. Anyway, match time! Alex Riley says he talked to Murphy and Blake pre-match and they are calling themselves “Team Thick”, Renee chimes in with “Yes, they have THICK bodies” Alllllrighty then. Decent amount of offense from Murphy and Blake. Murphy grabs Sin Cara off a springboard and hits a nice running delayed suplex. Hot tag to Kalisto who hits a springboard followed by a springboard corkscrew then, tags Sin Cara back in for some reason. Sin Cara hits a Sunset Bomb from the top rope and it’s all over. This was a lot of fun, made better by the fact that Blake and Murphy looked good. It was short but definitely one of the better Lucha Dragons NXT Tag Title matches. **1/4
Non-title Becky Lynch vs. NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte: Charlotte kicks it off with an arm bar and the two exchange some holds as they both tease arm drags. Becky grounds Charlotte and locks her into an armlock of her own. Charlotte tries to roll out of it but Becky gets her back into a hammerlock. Charlotte transitions THAT into an armbar and Becky grounds her again and hits a nice-looking leg twist. Series of arm drags from Lynch — good action so far! Charlotte slows it down with a big backbreaker, Becky gets back control and bounces out of the corner with a double clothesline. Becky gets up first and hits a series of clotheslines into a dropkick. Running leg drop and another…and ANOTHER! Dropkick from Becky and she’s been controlling the match, very impressive given how most Charlotte matches go down. Spoke too soon, Natural Selection and it’s over. Great showing by Lynch here, who’s finally proven on NXT that she can go. Charlotte worked from the bottom here and looked okay so this was a good match all-around for both. **1/2
Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. The Legionnaires: LeFort mistakenly pulls off the wig on Marcus Louis, Marcus is NOT pleased and he starts beating down on LeFort. The crowd isn’t reacting much but I believe we’ve seen the end of this team, or not, who knows. The bell never rang here so Cass gets on the mic and says they should get another match.
Cass calls out “Ms. Blue Pants” from backstage and out comes Leva Bates who is, yes, wearing a lot of blue. Enzo introduces the “fine one-of-a-kind” “ba-da-bing hottest girl in DA RING” Carmella. She comes out with what may be the worst theme music in NXT history but hey, Carmella is a babe so I’ll allow it.
Carmella vs. “Ole Blue Pants”: No seriously, they call her “Ole Blue Pants.” Bates doesn’t do much here because within the first minute, Carmella puts a leg choke on “Ole Blue Pants” and it’s over. NR
Backstage, Becky confronts Sasha Banks. Becky is probably best left in the ring but hey, she wasn’t too awful here and Banks was pretty good. Either way, can’t wait to see these two in the ring soon.
Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd: Nice back and forth to start off with Zayn showing some nice fire here. “Tyson Chicken!” chant because, of course. Sami is legit laughing about it. Beautiful arm drag series from Zayn that sends Kidd to the outside. Zayn with a suicide dive fake out into a backflip which gets the crowd going nuts with “OLE!” chants.
Back from commercial, Kidd has Zayn in a side headlock but Zayn quickly grabs the momentum back. Springboard crossbody from the top but Kidd kicks out at two. Zayn is looking great here. Suplex attempt by Zayn that Kidd reverses into a spinning neckbreaker. The crowd is really getting into this and this is already one of my favorite NXT main events in quite some time. Sharpshooter by Kidd but after a bit of struggle Zayn makes it to the ropes. Zayn with an Exploder Suplex into the corner, Helluva Kick and it’s all over! Wow, this was the best Sami Zayn match since his series with Cesaro. Awesome, awesome, awesome. ***1/2
Must-watch episode of NXT this week. Everything that had the potential to be bad but was kept very short and everything that was good went a prolonged amount of time. Very little filler on this match and even the 30 second (or 10 second) squash matches meant something. Hot crowd, good matches, Sami Zayn’s re-coming out party and meaningful storyline progression — don’t miss this one, folks.