More CFE Arena! More holding patterns! Right here, on WWE NXT!
Tonight’s WWE NXT features a handful of entertaining matches, but mostly more of the same. With the promise of a major debut and huge main event next week, NXT promises to be on fire between now and Takeover: Dallas.
American Alpha vs. Blake and Murphy
No fooling around, guys. No intro segments, no talking time for Corey Graves and Tom Phillips, right into wrestling. American Alpha still look like they got one singlet from a generic early 90s tag team and did the best they could with it. Personally, I hope they have a series of loud, ridiculous matching singlets. The weirder the better. #WeirdestDressed.
Chad Gable spent the first five minutes of the match outwrestling both Blake and Murphy solo. Not only is he stupid-over, but he’s so smooth in the ring. It’s hard to believe that Gable has been on television for just over a year, and has been a featured player for just six months. He was miles ahead of the game when he started and his progress has been staggering.
Poor Jason Jordan, he came in for a synchronized dropkick just before the commercial and came back from commercial just in time to tag out; Jordan must be the star student in Marty Jannetty’s Tag Team Tactics course at the performance center.
This wasn’t the barnburner type of tag match that American Alpha have had before, but got a big chunk of TV time and it was a great vehicle to continue establishing American Alpha. Jordan got another opportunity to put his awesome hot tag skills on display once again after Gable’s luck ran out. Jordan catching Murphy jumping off the top rope and transitioning into an overhead belly-to-belly without Murphy fully landing was particularly impressive. American Alpha won with the Grand Amplitude which, apparently, no longer has a name. Grand Amplitude is a good name, they should keep it.
“Sir, with all due respect, I cannot answer that question for you.”
Graves and Phillips throw to a recap of last week’s main event draw between Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn, including referee Drake Wuertz’ great line from last week: “Sir, with all due respect, I cannot answer that question for you.”
Regal announces from his makeshift CFE Arena office that, in two weeks, Zayn and Joe will face off in a two-out-of-three falls match. It’s unfortunate that it appears this is coming on the heels of the United States Championship match with the same stipulation, but was filmed weeks ago. I’m guessing almost no one will particularly care, but still.
Additionally, Regal announces that a major signing will be debuting in NXT next week. The news, however, has been on WWE.com for weeks.
Apollo Crews vs. Christopher Girard (Biff Busick)
Christopher Girard, making his television debut, put on a solid performance in a formulaic Apollo Crews match. Girard showed off his excellent combination of speed and strength.
TENACITY on display from @_StarDESTROYER… #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/QKcmxcChfR
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 25, 2016
If you aren’t familiar with his indie work, Girard might remind you of Cesaro based on look, build and movement, but Girard displayed much more of a ground game in his TV debut.
Girard continued to look fantastic until Crews got his customary 30 seconds of offense in and won with his sit-out powerbomb. The Twitter video from the @WWENXT twitter account shows about 85 percent of Crews offense from the entire match:
You better watch your every move when you step in the ring with @ApolloCrews! #WWENXT https://t.co/FpRbXQ8BnO
— WWE (@WWE) February 25, 2016
A recap of last week’s so-so Carmella/Bayley match from last week leads into a backstage interview for tonight’s main event: Carmella and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Eva Marie. Unfortunately, Alex Reyes called the pair Baymella and threw the whole thing off.
Big Cass to the Rescue
WWE has proven to be a wholly unsafe workplace for the second time this week. Enzo Amore was jumped outside the WWE Performance Center by The Revival (formerly Dash and Dawson) before Colin Cassady ran out from inside to make the save. NXT seems pretty derivative this week, no?
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bull Dempsey
Fare thee well, Bull Dempsey, we hardly knew ye. I believe this to be the last TV match filmed before Dempsey was released on February 5.
Tommaso Ciampa gave him quite the parting gift. Ciampa worked the left arm from the outset and never let up on the Bull-Fit proprietor until Dempsey tapped out to a bridging armbar.
Bayley and Carmella vs. Nia Jax and Eva Marie
Eva Marie entered the CFE Arena to a huge boo which faded to silence by the time she got to the ring and, well, extended all the way through Carmella’s entrance. Bayley, wearing her NXT Takeover: London black and blues for another match against Nia Jax, led the early going. Carmella and Bayley took turns alternating taking the fight to Eva Marie and having the fight taken to them by Jax. Sidenote: will Nia Jax eventually be shortened to Nia? It seems that emerging women can only have a first name and emerging men can only have a last name in WWE with the exception of a select few. Nia isn’t a great name, so let’s hope not.
Overall, this match featured far too much Eva Marie. It isn’t even fun to pile on anymore, but she can’t even make offense look good. She works as a semi-self-aware personality in NXT where she can be a heat magnet, but she does the rest of the brand a disservice by being in the ring.
Speaking of heat magnet, following a lukewarm tag to Carmella, Eva Marie got a tag of her own which allowed Nia Jax to put Carmella down with three leg drops. Eva Marie tagged herself back in as Jax went for the third leg drop and weaseled her way into the pin.
One of the Greatest Matches in NXT History
William Regal, in his all-black office, tells Finn Balor that he’s getting close to becoming the longest reigning NXT Champion in history and creating a great debate about who the best NXT Champion has been. The end result is that Balor will take on the longest reigning NXT Champion, Neville, next week in what Regal called “one of the greatest matches in NXT history.” The match lives up to the billing, if taping reports are to be believed.
#WWENXT GM @RealKingRegal just made a HUGE main event for next week's @WWENXT! @wwebalor @WWENeville https://t.co/hkh4Wh2QGM
— WWE (@WWE) February 25, 2016