June 3, 2015
Full Sail University
The big news coming out of tonight’s all new episode of NXT is that WWE is doing something really cool with the WWE Network in July. Announced for the first time on WWE television, and here on NXT of all places, WWE Network will be airing the July 4 live event taking place at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. It’ll be airing live, in the morning of July 4 for those in the US and Canada. Not only that, but there will be an NXT Championship match on the show. Kevin Owens will defend his title against Finn Bálor on the show, which begins at 6:30am EDT on July 4. It’s quite the announcement, as it’s a cool endeavor for WWE to be airing this live event on WWE Network. Brock Lesnar is on that same live event, and I’m sure WWE TV will highlight that fact in promoting the Network special. It’s quite cool, however, that NXT TV was the first to make this statement, and for an NXT Title match to be in a top spot on the special.
For NXT fans who also follow NJPW, it’s quite the three day period now. On July 3, NJPW World will air the Korakuen Hall “Road to DOMINION” event live. Then, on July 4, you have the live airing of this WWE live event from Tokyo. The following day, the big show of the weekend, NJPW DOMINION airs live on NJPW World featuring AJ Styles defending the IWGP Championship against Kazuchika Okada. It’s a three day stretch of live, morning (for those on this side of the world) shows airing live on NJPWW & WWE Network. There’s no official announcement of whether the entire live event will air on WWE Network, or just a portion specifically laid out for the Network airing. When announcing the event on tonight’s episode, William Regal certainly implied most, if not all, will be airing on the Network. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in the weeks to come.
You can watch the special, plus WWE Money In The Bank, NXT weekly, and more by signing up for WWE Network. This month is free. If you sign up now, you pay nothing for WWE Money In The Bank next Sunday!
As for this week’s actual NXT television happenings, it was an interesting show all the way around. There were ups, there were downs, but almost every segment had something there for people to sink their teeth into for the future. Or cringe for the future, whichever way you choose to look at it.
Adam Rose vs Tyler Breeze: The show began with a heated grudge match of epic proportions. Adam Rose, fresh off of getting blindsided by his tag team partner Tyler Breeze, took to the ring in a serious tone to get revenge for Breeze’s betrayal. Would he get it? LOL, of course not. Quit being silly. It’s Adam Rose, after all. This match, however, was fantastic. Jushin Liger vs Yohei Komatsu from NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors last week is nominated in May’s Voices of Wrestling Match of the Month poll, which you can check out here. That match was good, but this was better. Tyler and Rose went back and forth, with Rose pulling out stuff he hasn’t done since the Leo Kruger days, while acting in a far more serious role than he has for much of his Adam Rose tenure. Rose came off as a real pro, and Breeze was there every step of the way. It was one of the better non-Takeover NXT matches I’ve seen in a while, and hopefully will make the June Match of the Month voting here, even if it only went eight minutes.. ***3/4
Backstage, Solomon Crowe told Devin that “when I get back, I’ll be better than ever.” Dude, you just showed up. I suppose the line could mean he’ll just be back in a few weeks on TV. A break is probably a good thing, as he was quickly taking CJ Parker’s spot on the roster. That’s not a good career move.
DANA BROOKE IS SEXY AND STRONG AND SHE DOES FITNESS COMPETITIONS AND SHE SHOULD BE YOUR FAVORITE WRESTLER. She’s mine. By leaps and bounds. Both of which she can do, because she’s a super athlete.
Greg Hamilton, who is great as a live event host but absolutely abysmal as the NXT ring announcer (as is Jeremy Borash for TNA, oddly enough), introduced Eva Marie to the live crowd. Poor decision. This crowd gave her a ton of shit, mostly undeserved, and Eva did her best to deal with it. She was attempting to explain why she was at Takeover in May, and eventually got it out that she was here because the women of NXT are revolutionizing the business. Because of that, Eva wanted to come to NXT to be a part of it. That’s right, EVA IS COMING TO NXT!
Here’s where the William Regal – NXT in Japan announcement came in. To be clear, this will be a WWE event in Japan airing live on WWE Network, but obviously NXT TV will focus on the Owens vs Bálor match on the card.
Alexa Bliss vs Carmella: BOOOOOOOOOOOO. Alexa Bliss got the Dubstep theme treatment. Poor “Glitter, glitz, sparkle, bliss!” I miss it so much already. Alexa Bliss has turned 180° in her new role with the Dubstep Cowboys. She is fantastic. If she can improve in the ring over the rest of this year, and cease looking like she’s gearing up for a pommel horse jump every time she sets up for a spot, she can turn into a highlight of the division in 2016. She spunky, has the personality already, and can turn on the intensity more easily than almost any woman on the roster at this point. I’ve turned from worried about Alexa’s future just four weeks ago, to very high on the possibilities.
As for the matchup, really the Carmella-Alexa feud is a backdrop to keep the Enzo & Cass – Dubsteppers feud fresh as it heads into another couple of months of action. Alexa won with an O’Connor Roll. With the referee having counted to two, Alexa grabbed the rope for leverage for that final count, getting the pinfall victory over Carmella. Alexa’s new catchphrase, if you will, is saying “My boys!” while gazing into the eyes of Murphy and Blake. She’s their queen, and the two need to keep their tag titles to keep her interested. At least, that is the story in my mind. *1/2
Backstage, Rhyno told Devin that he will GORE Finn Bálor, earning himself a shot at the NXT Championship. Where is Baron to stop this monster!… again.
Poor Sami Zayn. He’s out for a while, and a video package aired here of him receiving surgery for his shoulder injury. In the video, Sami explained how his injury happened in his entrance on Raw, right before the match with John Cena. But, I thought Owens gave him the injury!?!?!!?!?!?!??! #RealityEra
Vaudevillains vs Jason Jordan & Marcus Louis: The most anti-climactic return of all the time, Marcus Louis is back after that whole Sylvester LeFort thing that we really are just better off forgetting about. Oh, and there was that one week where Marcus was staring at Tyler Breeze from atop the Full Sail arena. Anyway, Jason Jordan is trying to find a new partner after Tye Dillinger proved to be a lost cause. Chad Gable desperately wanted the chance, but Jordan went a different way. He may be regretting it. Marcus Louis took the pinfall loss at the hands of Aiden English’s neckbreaker. Afterwards, Jordan berated Marcus for losing. It was the man’s first match back in what felt like two years, what’d you expect? Next, you’ll tell me that Jordan will go find a seamstress to be his tag partner or something… **
Sasha Banks is living her dreams. Screw Brock, let her main event Sumo Hall.
Finn Bálor is not overlooking Kevin Owens for one second, and he is hyped for his NXT Title match in Japan on July 4! Finn said Kevin will “meet the demon,” so the paint returns to Japan.
Rhyno vs Finn Bálor: I’ve been waiting patiently for this match ever since February 12 when I saw Rhyno and Bálor face off, in person, at Full Sail. On February 11, this match never seemed possible. It barely does now, even as the two are entering the ring.
How would you feel if you were an opponent of Bálor’s, and Finn didn’t wear the war paint for your match. Like, would you be offended? “Am I not a threat to you, enough, Finny?” If I were Rhyno, I would have been intent on showing this guy who was boss. I’m sure that was Rhyno’s intent, anyway, but it didn’t quite work out that way, at least as far as the match went. Rhyno successfully avoided Bálor’s Coup de Grace around the eight minute mark, but couldn’t hit the GORE to follow up. Instead, Bálor shifted out of the way of the GORE, before rolling up Rhyno for the win. **1/2
Rhyno was in shock. Losing to Baron was understandable, he was a monster like Rhyno. Finn Bálor, though? Rhyno was incensed. After seemingly leaving the arena in shock, Finn Bálor made his way up the ramp to make his own exit. BUT WAIT A MINUTE! From out of nowhere, Rhyno ran right at Finn, hitting a GORE to Bálor on the stage. Left laying was Bálor, while Corey Graves in some post-production magic pontificated on whether or not we may see Rhyno show up in Tokyo on July 4.
Seriously, I think they’re doing Rhyno vs Bálor for the NXT Title at August’s Takeover, or I could be out to lunch and fully bought in. Many things have to happen over the course of TV in the next months to get there, but that’d be my hunch right now.
That’s a wrap!
I feel like many will disagree, and I may have liked this show more than most because I can see where some will say it was dull… but this was a great episode. Finn is, again, in the title hunt while also a feud with Rhyno. Alexa Bliss continues to be the best performer in the NXT Tag Title scene. Think about that for a moment. Plus, we had a legitimate(ly early) Match of the Month candidate in Rose vs Breeze. This was a fun hour, and left me wanting more!