NXT Recap 8/12/2015: It's Getting Better
Only one show remains on the road to NXT: TakeOver, and I have to be honest, I have no desire to watch either this show or TakeOver next Saturday. I understand that the WWE is high on NXT after the announcement that NXT has sold out the Barclays Center for the event, but the recent NXT product certainly doesn't feel like it reflects that. We continue on our journey, and open tonight's show, with Steven Regal confirming that we will be seeing Owens and Balor in a ladder match at NXT TakeOver. He reminds us that a ladder match is a very physical and career altering match. He goes on to talk about how this is the biggest main event in NXT history, but with all due respect Mr. Regal, I'm afraid I have to disagree. If they truly wanted to make this main event special, then why choose a ladder match? We have already seen a ladder match at the first NXT TakeOver last year. The mere fact that they've chosen to go this route once again makes me feel like this TakeOver wasn't nearly as big a priority as they've made it seem. WWE is clearly more invested in Summer Slam and feel that TakeOver is more of an afterthought.
Match 1: Solomon Crowe vs. “Perfect 10” Tye Dillenger
We open the show with NXT's resident little monster, Solomon Crowe, making his way to the ring. The first thought that popped into my head was that Crowe was going to win this match, no matter who his opponent would be. After Crowe hit the ring, we hear an unfamiliar song begin to play, and I'm surprised to see none other than Tye Dillenger making his way to the ring with his new gimmick, “Perfect 10”.
This is something I have been waiting to see for quite some time. I had heard murmurings of Tye Dillenger debuting a new gimmick, and its finally time for us to see it in action. Dillenger makes his way to the ring, sporting new ring gait and a new shirt. Well, enough of that we should get to the match so that I don't keep going on about Tye Dillenger. With the match underway we get a phenomenal performance out of both of these men. There are actually points in the match where I could see thing going either way, though the smark inside me knows Dillenger will likely get the win. Both Crowe and Dillenger put on an amazing show, but ultimately Dillenger did end up with the victory. This is the kind of match that I want to see more of on NXT, and I'm aware that not every match can be a winner, but NXT is meant to showcase the talent of the future, and this match is a great example of just that.
Winner: “Perfect 10” Tye Dillenger via pinfall (Knee to the face)
Match 2: Baron Corbin vs. Axel Tischer
It really is funny to think about how much WWE touted the signing of Axel Tischer as their first German recruit back in April of this year, and now this recruit is being fed to Baron Corbin's seemingly endless streak of victories. There isn't much to say about the match itself, it's the standard fare we've come to expect from one of Corbin's matches, however, the more interesting thing actually happened after the match.
Once the match had ended, Corbin attempted to cut a promo about how all of his matches are the same. I actually noticed that it was a little difficult to hear his promo because the crowd was booing so loudly. During his promo he was attacked by Steve Cutler, who he had beaten last week, but Corbin made short work of him once again. Afterward, the NXT fans continued to shower Corbin in boos as he attempted to continue his promo. He was once again interrupted by Samoa Joe, who challenged him to a fight. Corbin taunts Joe by telling him that he's only challenging him because Corbin already fought two guys tonight. Corbin then tries to fight Joe, but is quickly choked out by Joe's Coquina Clutch. Corbin is left lifeless in the ring as we close out the segment.
This whole segment with Baron Corbin is actually a welcome change of pace. Seeing Corbin actually get choked into submission is so much better than the way he's been booked lately. Corbin will need to receive some cracks in his armor eventually, and putting him against Joe is a fine way to do it. Corbin hasn't had much in the way of long matches in WWE, so it will be interesting to see if he is able to survive for any real length of time.
Winner: Baron Corbin via pinfall (End of Days)
Match 3: Marcus Louis vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor
Finn Balor finally makes his first appearance in an NXT match since his victory over Kevin Owens in Tokyo back in early July. Now, this would normally be something that I could be excited about, since I actually really enjoy Balor and his work, but upon seeing his opponent I lost all interest in this match. I mean no offense to Marcus Louis, but these two are night and day in terms of their in-ring styles, and they simply don't seem like they would gel at all in the ring. I'm not very surprised to see that I was right, and this match was very sloppy and ended up as easily the worst match of the night. Balor is a great performer, but like anyone, he can only do some much with an opponent like Louis. If nothing else, this match shows that Louis doesn't have any business wrestling in the main event. The poor guy has been saddled with two awful gimmicks, and now he's just lost in the shuffle. As I said above, this match was awful. It shouldn't have happened, and Balor's in-ring return should have been saved for Brooklyn.
Winner: Finn Balor via pinfall (Coup de Grace)
Main Event: #1 Contender's Match for the NXT Women's Championship Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
Once more we've come to the final match of the evening, and it's the one everyone should have been waiting for. These two women are the biggest reasons for watching this show in the first place. I know I'm repeating myself at this point, but it's worth mentioning that the women's division in NXT is the best thing going for WWE right now. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of talent in NXT, as well as a number of impressive athletes, but the women have really come into their own. Bayley has been sidelined for a couple of months, but it's good to see her back where she belongs, and Becky Lynch just received a Women's title match last month, but I would be more than happy to see her lock up with The Boss once again.
During the match, we are joined by Sasha Banks on commentary. Sadly, not much comes of her being out there. She just talks about being the boss and gets her ego stroked by Corey Graves. Back in the match, these two are giving us one hell of a performance. It's interesting to see that the women have really been pushing the envelope the last few weeks. First we saw a great match between Bayley and Charlotte, and now we're getting another A+ performance from Bayley and Lynch.
Yet another match of the year ends with Bayley achieving victory over Becky Lynch after reversing the Dis-arm-her into a roll up. Upon hearing the result of the match, Sasha Banks removes her headset and stands on the announce table with the belt in her hand, which prompts Bayley to climb the turn buckle, and we close the show with the two of them staring each other down. This was a great way to set the stage for their title match in Brooklyn. I'm happy to see these two face each other, and I honestly do hope that Bayley wins the belt, since that would be the best course for each of these women. With Bayley running the women's division in NXT, that would free Sasha up to focus on the Diva's Revolution over on Raw and Smackdown.
Winner: Bayley via pinfall (Roll up)
This week's NXT gave us a great opening bout and a fantastic closing match, with even some solid storyline advancement during the Baron Corbin segment. It's strange to say this after my rant in the opening of this article. I can happily say that this was actually a solid show, and I can admit that things are starting to look up for TakeOver. With the matches that were made tonight, there is a good chance that TakeOver could actually live up to the hype. We still have one more NXT before the big event, so let's hope that the WWE can go out with a bang and lead us into Brooklyn with its best foot forward.
Rating: 3 Number One Contenders out of 5