NXT Recap 6/3/2015: All The Heel Turns
In case you have spent the past week of your life in Sealab, allow me to recap things for you. John Cena died during the Elimination Chamber after Kevin Owens broke Cena's fucking back after two Pop-up Powerbombs and an Attitude Adjustment. Subsequently, Kevin Owens was awarded all currently active WWE titles as well as the long defunct European and Light Heavyweight title.
In reality, Kevin Owens did defeat John Cena clean in the center of the ring. With his quick ascent to the main roster, he would be absent from tonight's broadcast, likely due to travel and taping commitments. In his place, we would be treated to a promo heavy, action lacking broadcast. Its interesting to think that Owens has already reached the level of Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock. When the star has the night off, his absence is certainly felt.
Saddle up friends as we return to the sunny shores of Florida for another edition of NXT.
Tyler Breeze vs Adam Rose
Hearing Adam Rose's music hit always puts a fire in the belly. I've always felt that the Adam Rose character was something unique and exciting for NXT. However, due to mismanagement of the highest order on the main roster, we have the Adam Rose of today. Its hard for me to get excited for a man entering the ring wearing a bathrobe and Beetle juice pants when a mere month earlier he was escorted to the ring by a man in a hotdog costume.
Tyler Breeze hasn't fared much better with time. Despite a lengthy campaign against Hideo Itami, and various shots at the NXT title, or the number one contendership, Breeze appears relegated again to show opener status. I feel Breeze has made serious improvement in recent months, but that appears to have all been for nothing. At least in the short term, don't expect much from either competitor, particularly Rose. If a loud chant clamoring for the return of Leo Kruger is any indicator, I don't expect to see much more of the now Rosebudless Adam Rose.
The match, unfortunately, reflects this lack of direction both men find themselves in. We did see the standard fare from Rose, the best Spinebuster in the business, along side Rose's always impressive Snap Suplex. Rose would find himself on the end of a high spot after taking a hard fall to the entrance ramp. In the end though, Breeze would take home the win via Beauty Shot.
Eva Marie vs The NXT Universe
So... funny story, our new back stage interviewer, Greg Hamilton, was assigned the task of standing on the entrance ramp and cutting a promo with fan favorite Eva Marie. While not a match in any sense, what occurs on camera is worth mentioning, and is well worth watching.
Upon the mere mention of the first syllable of her name, the crowd erupts in a chorus of boos. This continues through her music and raises in volume upon her appearance on the entrance ramp. What is unique though, is that the boos and jeers continue as she begins talking. More and more of the audience join in, until Eva is forced to stop and acknowledge the heckling... only to draw more boos. This culminates in a loud and unified, “You cant wrestle,” chant.
Eventually, Marie manages to get her message across. 'NXT women are great,' and 'I want to wrestle the best women in NXT.' This of course earns her more boos as the interview comes to an awkward end. Both Greg Hamilton and the announcers refused to acknowledge the situation, save for the clearly repressed laughter from Greg Hamilton. It's an extremely funny interview to watch, and you should definitely take the time to view it. However, props must be given to Eva Marie for holding it together given the situation... its almost like she's had to deal with it before.
Carmella vs Alexa Bliss
An announcement by way of NXT commissioner, William Regal, had been teased from the show's onset. The news was broken that Kevin Owens would defend his NXT title against number one contender Finn Balor during the WWE Supercard event in Japan. The card for this event has since been released, and it appears to be very strong.
Post announcement, we see the progression of the Carmella/Bliss feud by way of their first contest since Bliss's heel turn. Despite being an accomplished wrestler, Bliss would find herself clearly restrained by the less experienced Carmella. It is a shame, considering the mind meltingly good match the women's division worked prior.
Bliss would take home the victory via a dirty pin in this forgettable contest. However, the match did it's job in the sense that it progressed a storyline between the two teams, albeit barely. The NXT universe has a real conundrum in front of it. They find themselves giddy at the mere mention of Enzo and Cass. However, upon sight of their manager, that excitement seems to wane. Its pretty clear that Enzo's popularity isn't going to be enough to save Carmella, at least in the short term. Her character didn't work as a heel, nor does it appear to be successful as a babyface. One wonders where we'll find Snookie Carmella this time next year.
The Vaudevillians vs Jason Jordan and Marcus Louis
Much like many of you dear readers, I was certain that Marcus Louis, and The Vaudevillians had been released. Last we saw Marcus Louis, he had lost a hair vs hair match to Enzo Amore. Though his hair wasn't shaved in ring, eventually he would lose it to the same bucket of Nair that Enzo had dumped on Carmella's poodle, causing her to lose her job at a pet salon. If that previous run-on sentence didn't give some insight as to why Carmella's character is dead to rights, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Where does the Marcus Louis character find himself these days? Apparently as a cross between Gillberg, Kane, and a serial rapist. Marcus Louis returns as a bald, crazy eyed maniac who, in between his guttural bellowing, would contort his face to the appearance of Jason Voorhees. Meanwhile, no explanation had been given for The Vaudevillians absence, save for the fact that they were very popular with the crowd, and would detract from the ascension of Enzo and Cass.
The two teams would go on to work a decent match, although it would be one that was dominated by Louis's antics in the ring. In retrospect, there's little to report regarding the content of the match, as it was pretty typical tag team fare. The Vaudevillains would take the victory by way of Aiden English over Louis, however Louis exits as the real champion in the contest. I've made no secret of my love of gimmick wrestlers and the fun they can bring to the product. However, the gimmick Louis is trying to get over, along with his performance, has been laughable.
Finn Balor vs Rhyno
What Rhyno has done for himself is nothing short of impressive. While, NXT is not short of star power, Rhyno has returned to the ring as a twenty year veteran, and has given us yet another reason to tune in to NXT each week. Sadly, he is being booked as a complete pussy. While he's come out on top over unnamed jobbers week after week, he's yet to take home a meaningful victory against a worthy opponent in a marque match. While a victory has come his way over the once menacing, Bull Dempsy, he has competed in losing efforts against both Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn.
Tonight though, he crossed paths with current NXT golden child, Finn Balor. If this sounds like a bit of a dream match, it's because it is. Balor is one of the hottest wrestlers around right now, and Rhyno is one of the Attitude Era's most memorable big men. I for one was sold on this match as soon as the bumper filled my television screen.
Rhyno would turn up the heel meter to 11 in this match. From mocking Balor's elaborate entrance, to literally spitting in to the crowd, Rhyno's return to form as a bad guy was exactly what I wanted to see. Rhyno's speed and power were on display in spades during the match, hitting several hard shoulder tackles and rolling in and out of the ring with impressive speed for a man of his carriage.
Conversely, Balor appeared to be missing a few steps in the match. Although Balor is an accomplished wrestler with a very decorated past, his high octane offense did little to compliment Rhyno's fast, but hard hitting style. Rhyno would sadly fall to Balor by way of a roll up after a sequence of missed fishers from both performers. However, what happened post match was far more exciting than anything that occurred in the ring.
Rather than end the show, the camera stayed focused on Balor as he made his way to the entrance ramp for his exit. Any long time wrestling fan would know that this is the cue that something is up. As time would drain from our broadcast, Rhyno would pounce from stage left, hitting a hard gore on Balor on the entrance ramp. Through the gasps in the audience, Rhyno held his hands high, his new role as heel firmly cemented.
For some time now NXT has been a hit or miss type show. While the misses are rarely main roster level misses, the frequency in which they occur has certainly increased. Despite a shocking heel turn by way of Rhyno, and a ball-busting Eva Marie promo, this week's NXT falls firmly at the bottom of the miss category.
NXT Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Gores