NXT Recap 7/29/2015: The Road to Mediocrity
It's that time of the week once again as we settle in for yet another episode of NXT on the WWE Network, or Hulu, or where ever it is you watch it. With just a few weeks left until NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, and by extension SummerSlam (or Slumber Slam as Editor-in-Chief, Chris Stachiw calls it), we have yet to have a Women's or Tag Team title match booked for the show and the under-card is basically nonexistent. There's little time left to book any proper feuds, so unless WWE wants to have the NXT event that they're touting as the biggest live event of NXT to be a complete bust, they need to get the ball rolling on filling out the card tonight.
Enzo & Big Cass (w/Carmella) vs Dawson & Wilder
It's usually not a good sign when the first thing I hear at the start of an NXT broadcast causes me to give an audible groan, but that's what happens when I hear Enzo & Big Cass' music start to play. As they make their way to the ring and give their usual spiel, I don't even care who their opponent's are, because I assume this will be a typical match where Enzo gets knocked around until he can make the hot tag to Cass, which allows them to set up for the Rocket Launcher, and ultimately give Enzo the pin for doing nothing but getting beat on for five minutes. My fears seems to be confirmed as their opponents, The Team Formerly Known as The Mechanics, make their way to the ring.
The match basically plays out exactly as I expected, with Enzo spending most of the match in the ring simply getting knocked around by Dawson and Wilder. The hot tag happens, just as predicted, and Enzo falls outside the ring as Cass cleans up inside. This prompts Carmella to pick Enzo up and give him a smack. He hops up, tags Cass and gets ready for the rocket launcher, but then their plan goes awry. Wilder managers to pull Cass out of the ring, and this gives him and Dawson the opportunity to hit their double team finisher and walk away with the win.
I have to say that I was legitimately surprised with the outcome of this match. I was expecting a win by the “Realest Guys in the Room”, but that isn't how this one worked out. I'm honestly curious what they're going to do with Enzo and Cass at this point, as the team has been on a losing streak the past few weeks. I can't imagine they'd split them up, as Enzo is dead in the water without Cass, but despite disliking this team, I do want to see how this plays out. It could be nothing, but having such an over team lose for no reason just doesn't seem like an opportunity that should be wasted, Though, given WWE's track record, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.
Winners: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder via pinfall
Jason Jordan & Chad Gable Interview
Fresh off of their first victory last week, we see NXT's newest team deliver their first promo together. They say that they may not see eye to eye, but they do get the job done. They also mention that they're a better team than both Enzo and Big Cass, and The Hype Bros. The great thing about these two is that not only can they perform in the ring, but they're both surprisingly good on the stick. I'm looking forward to seeing these two in action again. I would love to see them shoot up the ladder in the tag division before inevitably splitting and going on to successful singles careers.
Baron Corbin vs Jessie Sorensen
Oh great, another Baron Corbin match, that's just what I wanted to see today. Well, to keep this from just being me rambling about how much I dislike Corbin, I'll talk about his opponent instead. The match? Oh, well, Corbin hit Sorensen with a knee to the midsection followed by an End of Days and a pin. Yep, that's it.
So, Jesse Sorensen, when I saw him I thought he looked familiar, but I didn't catch his name, so I couldn't be sure. Upon finishing the show and doing some quick research, it turns out that Sorensen is a former Ring of Honor wrestler, and he also spent some time with TNA in their X Division. I can't find anything notable about his career, it's just interesting to see that this guy has made the rounds on the North American circuit. I think it should be obvious how I feel about this one, and the fact that it took me longer to write these two paragraphs than it did to watch the match doesn't help matters. Can we please just get over Corbin? I'm tired of seeing him, and it looks like the audience at Full Sail agrees.
Winner: Baron Corbin via pinfall
Tyler Breeze Requests a Match
In a continuation of a storyline that began last week, Tyler Breeze barged into Regal's office and demands that he make a match for him at TakeOver. Regal tells him that he's scoured the ends of the Earth and found the perfect opponent. As I mentioned last week, the opponent has already been known on the internet for a while, but for the sake of keeping these articles spoiler free, I won't be discussing his opponent until he's revealed in the coming weeks.
All in all, this was a solid segment. It makes sense that Breeze would be frustrated with not being on the card for TakeOver. Despite his character feeling incredibly played out at this point, it's still refreshing to see that they can actually write him well. I have to say that I am looking forward to this match, and I can't wait to have a chance to talk about his opponent when the revelation is made.
Samson & Valenzula Jr. vs Jordan & Gable
We've only seen these two in one match prior to this, but I really love this tag team already. Jason Jordan has been a talent that I've had my eye on for quite some time, as we had previously seen him tag with Tye Dillinger, and he has always seemed like he had that “it” factor. Chad Gable on the other hand, has only just recently begun to appear on NXT television, so outside of this storyline leading up to his tagging with Jordan, we haven't seen a lot of him.
The two have certainly shown that they know what they're doing, and they put on a great performance against this team of Elias Samson and random wrestler #19,324. The match wasn't too long, but was able to showcase what both of these men could do, and I hope to see them tossed into the NXT Tag Team title hunt soon. This new team would give the division a much needed breath of fresh air.
Winners: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable via pinfall
Dana Brooke Interview
This is another segment we could have done without, because it's just more of the same. We continue to retread the same ground with Brooke claiming that Charlotte has been avoiding her. We get the typical unimpressive Brooke promo, with her saying that she's better than Charlotte, and how she's going to find her right in the middle of the ring tonight. None of these things are true, nor will they happen, making this interview mean little in the grand scheme of things.
I have two words for this segment and it is similar to the title, simply replace that “F” with an “Sh”. I've given my feelings on this storyline in my previous NXT recaps, but in case you missed it I'll give a brief history. When Dempsey first started appearing on NXT, he was packaged as a old school brawler, which made sense, as he had the build of some of the power wrestlers from the 70s and 80s. Flash forward a few months to when he was unceremoniously beaten by Baron Corbin. This started Dempsey's downward spiral, which ultimately lead to him being repacked as, for lack of a better term, a fat slob.
This whole thing is insulting. We've seen in the past that Dempsey isn't in bad shape. Sticking Dempsey with this comedy gimmick doesn't just belittle a man of his build, but also the intelligence of the NXT fans. I can only hope that this storyline is either scrapped or wrapped up quickly, so that Dempsey can get back to actually wrestling, and ditch this ridiculous nonsense.
Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke (w/Emma)
I'm getting tired of Dana Brooke and Emma already. Look, I get it, they're the obligatory heel Diva team, much in the vein of Team Bae and the BFFs before them. The problem with Brooke and Emma is that neither of them are nearly as talented or entertaining as the women in the previously mentioned teams. Going back on topic, this was a largely forgettable match. I'm not sure if we'll be seeing these two in action again, since Charlotte is transitioning to the main roster, but I consider this just a stepping stone on Charlotte's way to her match with Bayley, which I guarantee will be infinitely better than this contest.
Winner: Charlotte via pinfall (Natural Selection)
Samoa Joe Promo
Joe is poised to quickly become one of the top stars in NXT, especially since we will likely be losing Kevin Owens to the main roster sooner rather than later. There's a bit of a vacuum at the top of NXT right now, with Owens in transition, and Sami Zayn out injured for another four months or so. There isn't a lot of guys left that could run a program with Finn Balor. I can't imagine that we'll see Joe and Balor immediately, but Joe made it clear that he's only in NXT for that belt.
He also discussed his coming match with Rhyno, where he said he will end Rhyno's future. This is an interesting statement, seeing that he injured Tyson Kidd just a few weeks prior to this. Joe gave us a decent promo, and I'll look forward to seeing what WWE has in store for him after his match up with Rhyno.
Eva Marie Promo
There really isn't anything of interest to say about this brief interview with Eva. She simply said that she was coming after the NXT Women's Championship, and put Sasha Banks on notice. While I don't see Eva becoming a real threat in the NXT women's division in the immediate future, I am interested in seeing her in action against a more prominent opponent, so we can really see how well she can handle herself against the top performers in the women's division.
The Vaudevillains vs. Blake & Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) for the NXT Tag Team Championship
After the show dragged on for what felt like three hours, we have finally arrived at the main event, and sadly I went into this match with some pretty low expectations. While I mean no disrespect to either of these teams, they're all fine competitors, this match just had “dusty finish” written all over it. Despite this, we're must push forward and see where this goes.
The match actually gets off to a great start, and we have some great back and forth, which should come as no surprise given the participants in this contest, but the issue really comes toward the end when the Vaudevillains set up for the Whirling Dervish. The referee turned his back to Aiden English while he was doing his part of the move, which allowed Alexa Bliss to try to trip him up and led to the dreaded distraction pin. I understand that we can't have the heel team win clean, but there are other ways of retaining a title that don't involve a distraction pin, which has become far to overused in WWE.
In the aftermath of the match, we saw English and Gotch get their revenge in the form of an assault on the champions, after which they picked up the belts before turning their attention to Alexa. This was my favorite part of this entire match. Just watching the two of them circling Alexa, while she stood there with this look of sheer horror on her face was rewarding. Ultimately this didn't go anywhere, but it was still a great segment. Our show ended on a decent cliff hanger, and I'm certain that we'll see these two teams facing off once again in Brooklyn.
Winner: Black & Murphy via pinfall (Distraction Rollup)
I have to admit that the NXT product has begun wearing on my nerves these past few weeks. The shows are packed with filler matches and needless segments like this week's Bull-Fit vignette. The quality just continues to fall. NXT was once the best thing that WWE had going for it, but it seems that now, much like everything else WWE is involved in, they are content to just let it slide into mediocrity along with Smackdown and Raw. NXT seems to have gotten to the point where, much like it's older siblings, you can skip most of the weekly shows in favor of just watching the quarterly live shows, and still not miss much. It's a sad thing to realize, but gone are the days of regular five-star matches and random title changes, because it's all about selling the Network to WWE, and because of that NXT will continue to suffer.
Rating: 1 out of 5 Pointless Segments