NXT Recap 8/5/2015: No Sleep Till Brooklyn
We continue to approach NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, and with only two stops remaining until the big event, I find myself growing more and more disenchanted with the product and direction of NXT. Currently the Brooklyn card features only a handful of matches, yet we still just continue to see squash matches and unimpressive matches featuring NXT's established talents. I'm not entirely sure what the plans are for NXT, but I can still remember a time when the week to week show was phenomenal, and now we see the weekly product suffering in favor of the live shows. After the last few weeks of unimpressive shows, I can only push forward and hope for the best as I begin to watch the latest NXT offering.
Charlotte vs. Bayley
It's very strange to say that we're getting a pay-per-view quality match right out of the gate tonight. The early showing of the match had a good amount of chain wrestling and quickly turned into a very aggressive match. The two women continued in an incredible back and forth match, which both of them using not only their familiar signature maneuvers but even added some new moves to their repertoires. This was a truly amazing match, the fact that it was able to elicit not only a “This is Awesome” chant, but even a “This is Wrestling” chant, which is something we don't ofter hear during a WWE event, shows how excellent the work was. I can't say I envy whatever match has to follow this. Bayley vs. Charlotte not being featured as either a main event or a match during a TakeOver event seems like a disservice to both of these women. They put on a fantastic match, and they showed exactly what NXT has done for women's wrestling, and what WWE should be implementing in the women's division on the main roster.
Winner: Bayley via pinfall (Bayley to Belly off the second rope)
Kevin Owens Interview
Following the fantastic opening match, we jump to Micheal Cole and Kevin Owens talking about the upcoming rematch between Owens and Balor. We get a pretty typical interview with Owens walking out after being asked if he can beat Balor. This segment makes sense for Owens' character, but I can't help but wonder what the future holds for Owens. He was white hot just a few weeks ago, and is arguably one of the best talents on WWE's roster, but where does he go from here? He has a midcard feud with Cesaro on the main roster, but hasn't been seen much on NXT. I look forward to seeing what WWE has in store, this is a future superstar here, and WWE needs to consider actually letting a new star breakthrough, instead of burying them once again.
Baron Corbin vs. Steve Cutler
For the third week in a row, we must find ourselves “treated” to yet another Baron Corbin match. I've made my distaste of Corbin abundantly obvious over the past few weeks, and despite not having much to say last time, there is something that has been bothering me about Corbin. why does he have a shirt? No, seriously, why? I can recall a time where a superstar had to earn their merchandise, but it seems these days that any schmuck can get a t-shirt. Really think about it. What has Corbin done? Pin Rhyno? I didn't realize that all you had to do to get a t-shirt these days was win a match against a part time wrestler. Oh well, I've gone off topic enough, so lets move along.
Winner: Baron Corbin via pinfall (End of Days)
Tyler Breeze vs. Aaron Solow
Once again we are getting a squash match, with just two shows left until we reach TakeOver. I get that Tyler Breeze can beat the random guy from the back, in fact if you remember, he's a former contender for the NXT title, and even had a title match against Adrian Neville during his reign. This match goes pretty much as you'd expect, with Breeze maintaining control and easily winning without much effort.
The best part of this match didn't actually happen until afterward, when Steven Regal would make his way out. Regal revealed that he has scoured the globe in an attempt to find someone who would be worthy of Breeze, and he says that his opponent at TakeOver will be the Japanese legend, Jushin “Thunder” Liger. This is an interesting choice for an opponent, but the opportunity to see Liger in his first ever match in WWE is going to be amazing. Liger was one of my favorites during his run in WCW in the early 90s, and I can't wait to see how he'll match up against Breeze in just a couple of weeks.
Winner: Tyler Breeze via pinfall (Beauty Shot)
Finn Balor Interview
Much like earlier in the night, we now see Balor sitting down with Byron Saxton to discuss his upcoming match. The interview is standard babyface fair, with Saxton hyping Balor in the way that you would expect, and closing the interview by asking Balor if we would be seeing the demon in Brooklyn, to which Balor said that he didn't know. This interview didn't really make any headway, and it just felt tacked on because of the earlier interview with Owens. I don't feel this spot was necessary, but I guess we got a ladder match out of these two interviews, right?
Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder vs. The Hype Bros.
Last week Dawson and Wilder finally had their big break when they were earned a victory over the team of Enzo and Big Cass. Getting a victory against one of the most over teams in NXT is certainly no small feat, and it's something that some would consider the start of a push. Of course, coming off of that victory, we see them put against The Hype Bros.
The idea of seeing Mojo Rawley in the ring wasn't something that I was excited about, but getting to watch Zack Ryder perform is something that I am willing to put up with Mojo for. After a pretty solid match, Mojo and Ryder are able to take the victory over Dawson and Wilder, which is a bit of a disappointment, despite Ryder getting the pin. After the match, Dawson and Wilder decided to get their revenge in the form of a Shatter Machine. I'm not sure if they're going to go anywhere with this, but it was nice to see Dawson and Wilder kept strong, despite the loss. This was a fine match, and neither of these teams should be dissatisfied with their performances here.
Winner: The Hype Bros. Via pinfall (Top Rope Rough Ryder)
Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno
I can admit that I was not at all excited for this match when it was announced, don't get me wrong, I like Rhyno and Samoa Joe is okay, but this match didn't seem like it was going to be anything special. It was pretty obvious from the get go that Rhyno wasn't going to walk out of this with the win. Any long itme wrestling fan could look at this and see that Rhyno was simply here to make Joe look good. That said, this was an incredibly physical match. Rhyno and Samoa Joe truly beat the hell out of each other.
After a lot of back forth, a Gore, and finally a Muscle Buster, this one was finally in the books. Joe walked away with a win, just as anyone would have predicted, but the match was far better than I imagined. I literally expected this match to be two big idiots just fumbling around the ring in between power moves, but while it was hardly match of the year material, it was a lot better than I had anticipated.
Winner: Samoa Joe via pinfall (Muscle Buster)
We only have two shows remaining until we reach TakeOver, and while this show managed to fill a couple of gaps on the TakeOver card, it just doesn't feel like that card is full yet. The women's match at the start of the night was phenomenal, but the remainder the show wasn't able to maintain the momentum of that first match and it ended up causing the show to fall a little flat. Despite this, it ended up being much better than expected. However, if WWE wants this next TakeOver to truly be the biggest NXT event yet, we're going to need something a little more than a ladder match and Jushin “Thunder” Liger. I'll be interested to see how these next two shows play out, because we're in the red zone and WWE needs to do something big to score that touchdown.
NXT Rating: 1 out of 5 Japanese Legends