Statler: Last week’s NXT was one for the ages.

Waldorf: Yeah, the Middle Ages.

I’m sorry. That was a horrible joke that’s been stuck in my head all day as I thought about tonight’s NXT. I was so excited to take up the NXT cape and cowl and then my first episode as reviewer bit the big one. It was the first actively bad NXT episode in the WWE Network era and it came on the heels of three of the best developmental workers moving up to RAW.

Time to take off those shades, Pat MacDonald.

Let’s dive into tonight’s episode and hope to god that Sean Flynn doesn’t have it better than me reviewing RAW this week.

Enzo & Big Cass vs. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson

Well this week’s episode is already starting out better than the pinnacle of last week’s since we didn’t have Enzo at all, much less his “keep it 100” emoji pants.

Another plus: both teams get entrances!

Do Enzo and Cass actually need to get better in the ring before they get the call? Honest question, I don’t really know. Their intangibles are off the charts and, really, only matched by a select few on the main roster. Their matches, however, have always left a lot to be desired. I can’t remember one going over ten minutes, assuming you don’t count their entrance.

This match was surprisingly competent and competitive for one involving Dash and Dawson, and with reason. NXT pulled the old “Blake and Murphy” win for the newcomers. The match followed the generic Enzo and Cass formula: Enzo spends 7 minutes getting destroyed and Cass spends one minute cleaning it up, but Cass was distracted before he could throw Enzo into a frog splash for the win. Dash and Dawson hit a flapjack-con-Codebreaker finisher they called the Shatter Machine.

Jason Jordan and Chad Gable promo: I love Gable puns. That’s all you need to know about this promo. Chad Gable is microphone gold.

WWE 2K16 Terminator commercial: Is it the coolest or the lamest thing ever that The Terminator is going to be a playable character in a wrestling video game? I don’t think there’s a middle ground.

Baron Corbin vs. Jesse Sorenson

Corbin’s opponent didn’t get an entrance, but he did get his name announced, which is a promotion from Purple Jumpsuit last week.

The Corbin reboot continues (as if it ever started to get rebooted) in less time than it took for me to write these two paragraphs. Laaaaame.

Regal and Breeze Part Deux: Breeze asks for more answers about his opponent at Takeover (despite all us internet folk knowing the answer). Regal says he’s gone to the ends of the Earth searching for Breeze’s opponent, which is actually kind of true.

Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Elias Sampson & Levis Valenzuela Jr.

Sampson and Valenzuela Jr. don’t get an entrance, which doesn’t bode well for them, but Valenzuela Jr. immediately gets a semi-racist reference to his salsa dancing abilities and a semi-funny reference to his wrestling attire looking like nurse’s scrubs.

Gable has star written all over him and spends the early part of the match mat wrestling circles around Sampson. Jordan gets the hot tag and the two hit their toss suplex, er, Grand Altitude, for the win in the glorified squash.

Dana Brooke promo with Emma: Dana Brooke is the worst thing about NXT (she was in 3 segments in last week’s garbage fire). She’s the slowest talker in the entire company and her lack of ability shines even brighter against the immense women’s wrestling talent in NXT.

What a bunch of Bull-Fit

In the most indescribably absurdist, bizarre and wonderfully 80’s training montage, we got a recap of Bull Dempsey’s journey from fearsome force to jobber to comedy act. It seems the comedy act may be worth it. Halfway through the program and we have our first must-see segment.

Dana Brooke vs. Charlotte

Dana Brooke has switched her footwear to Chuck Taylors which, I recently learned, are a common shoe choice for weight lifters. So that’s both fitting for her character and something that can make her stand out a little bit. It’s also the first thing I enjoy about Brooke being on my screen.

This whole feud is based on Brooke being jealous of Charlotte’s Tapout commercial and hopefully it’s over now because Charlotte made decently quick work of Brooke and finished her off with the Natural Selection.

Samoa Joe and William Regal/Kevin Owens promos

We’re treated to a couple of quick hitters with Samoa Joe – hyping his match with Rhyno at Takeover – and Kevin Owens apologizing to Commissioner Regal for hitting him during last week’s contract signing, an apology that Regal doesn’t quite buy. Let’s have more Regal on the screen, but less hearing the match from the next taping in the background when we’re supposed to be watching a promo from last week. The wrestling is supposed to be developmental, not the production.

The Eva Marie Era: Eva Marie tells us she wants the NXT Women’s Championship.

Kevin Owens vs. Martin Stone

Martin Stone doesn’t get an entrance. We know how this ends.

We get a recap of what a turd Owens is and has been, thankfully the Rich Brennan and Co. are able to get through the history before Owens makes quick work of Stone. And trust me, he made quick work of him. Just a bit of character work for one of our favorite French Canadians tonight.

Troll Owens mode is fully engaged after the match. Owens hits the apron powerbomb on Stone and mocks Finn Balor’s top rope taunt. Troll Owens is peak Owens.

Rhyno hype video: I love me some Rhyno, but Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno seems like a match that actually happened in TNA. That’s not a great look, but the match might be really good. Rhyno has been on a pretty good run in NXT and Joe is, well, Joe, and Joe can go. I’m curious about this one.

NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Vaudvillains vs. Blake and Murphy

I gotta say, before Dasha announced it, I didn’t know this match was for the titles tonight. Not great hype, which immediately made me think this was more character work leading to a proper title shot at Takeover.

Byron Saxton firmly believes that Alexa Bliss helped Blake and Murphy win the titles despite not being associated with them at the time, but, for the first time since he went nuclear on Becky Lynch, Corey Graves’ caustic commentary style provided the voice of the viewer.

MAJOR PET PEEVE ALERT: This is the WWE’s programming on the WWE’s network and they insist on putting commercials in the middle of matches. I’m not against them adding commercials to NXT, but there’s no reason to cut from a match on your own damn network for a commercial FOR YOUR OWN COMPANY. There’s no good excuse for it.

Shortly after the atrocity of a commercial break, Alexa Bliss grabs Aiden English went for the Whirling Dervish. Either Blake or Murphy (do we know which one’s yet which?) got the roll-up on English, who was just tagged in, to retain the titles.

Afterwards, the Vaudvillains attacked Blake and Murphy and found themselves alone in the ring with Bliss. After a considerable amount of hemming and hawing, the Vaudvillains held the rope for Bliss to exit. Bliss slapped them both for their chivalry, left the ring sans assistance and closed the show.

Final Thoughts: A much better episode than last’s weeks septic tank of an episode, but there’s nothing you MUST SEE other than the Bull-Fit video.