Episode 275 of NXT was a mini-version of Raw. The focus was on promos on backstage segments rather than wrestling. And considering there wasn’t a match until the 16/17 minute mark, and there were five matches, each match was short. The most entertaining match pitted Dana Brooke vs Bayley, which should tell you all you need to know about the other matches! Alex Riley was in the main event once again. However, a few feuds were progressed, and the segments involving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were enthralling.
SEGMENT: NXT started off with Kevin Owens marching down to the ring. Angry about Sami Zayn’s interference in Episode 274, Owens called Zayn out. William Regal came out instead, and told Owens that he couldn’t get his own way all the time (well, Regal hasn’t exactly kept a leash on Owens, has he? Owens has run roughshod over NXT while Regal has done nothing!). Owens casually gave Regal some backchat until Zayn came out. Regal made a match between the two at NXT Takeover. Initially, Owens refused to put the NXT Championship on the line. But Zayn used Owens’ methods to persuade Owens to make it a championship match. The segment did drag a little, but the twist of Zayn using Owens’ strategy was brilliant. And we get a rematch between the two!
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Amore and Cassidy talked with Carmella before leaving her alone. Blake and Murphy entered the scene and continued their flirtation with Carmella. It was similar to their previous encounters. Nothing was achieved here.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Sami Zayn signed the contract for the rematch. Alex Riley burst in, demanding from Regal ANOTHER match against Owens. Third time lucky, perhaps? He never put up a fight in the previous two bouts. Why would he now? Zayn challenged Riley to a match. Riley accepted.
Enzo Amore and Butch Cassidy vs Blake and Murphy
This non-title match was lacklustre. When they meet for the Tag Team Championships, both teams had better up their game. It was over in five minutes or so. Easily forgettable. Amore and Cassidy won without much of a fight from Blake and Murphy, even considering the distraction by Carmella.
VERDICT: 3/10. Pointless. Let’s hope their Tag Team Championship match is much, much better.
BACKSTAGE PROMO: Becky Lynch reeled off a decent spiel about her travels from East London to Japan to become a wrestler. Bayley walked past in a bit of state. She couldn’t find her handbands or bracelets…
Dana Brooke vs Bayley
Shouldn’t Dana Brooke be squashing random jobbers. She shouldn’t be facing one of the top women wrestlers in NXT. Regardless, Bayley dragged out an exciting match from Brooke. It was short but sweet. Brooke took the offensive for most of the match, building up to Bayley’s babyface comebacks. Brooke still looks green, but Bayley made sure the bout ran smoothly. However, interference again tipped the balance. Emma came to ringside, showing off Bayleys bracelets. Brooke hit her finisher after Emma’s distraction. Hmmm…the feud between Bayley and Emma didn’t achieve much in their first match together. Will Bayley finally show some ruthless aggression?
VERDICT: 6/10. An average match in a sea of poor matches. Match of the night, although that isn’t saying much.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Regal announced that a triple threat match will take place at NXT Takeover. Finn Balor, Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami will face-off to be the Number One contender for the NXT Championship. That will be one to watch.
Hideo Itami vs Adam Rose
Here we see the fall of Adam Rose. His gimmick has failed. He was beaten by Itami with the greatest of ease. That’s all I have to say about this match.
VERDICT: 3/10. It’s always good to see Itami kick the living daylights out of somebody. Even better when it’s Adam Rose.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Bayley looked for Emma in a rage…
Becky Lynch vs Sarah Dobson
The local jobber did the job for a dominant Lynch. Local jobber didn’t stand a chance. Lynch’s armbar looks incredibly painful. That is all.
VERDICT: 2/10. Squash match.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Rhyno called out Baron Corbin. Rhyno said he was the past, present and future. Let’s hope he isn’t the latter. Rhyno vs Corbin will be a terrible match.
Sami Zayn vs Alex Riley
Riley actually controlled most of this match! Zayn is the guy to take lots of punishment and make a comeback. He did so, but the match was called to a stop when Kevin Owens came off commentary (he was there as a special guest) and attacked both competitors. With Zayn down, Owens finally hit the apron powerbomb on Riley. The crowd loved it, chanting ‘Thank You Owens!’ And so did I. The match (again) was short, but the end was something to remember. The apron powerbomb gets more and more brutal each time Owens executes it.
VERDICT: 5/10. Perfectly average match. Riley needs to go back to commentary. He’s proved nothing since he returned. And I think I wrote that last week!
OVERALL VERDICT: 5/10. A show more about progressing feuds than showcasing NXT wrestling. When Dana Brooke is in the most entertaining match of the night, you know something is wrong. The feud between Amore/Cassidy and Blake/Murphy has gone on for an eternity, with little progression. Emma reignited her feud with Bayley. Maybe it will achieve something this time. But the Owens/Zayn feud is reaching boiling point. We will see them clash in three weeks. And I cannot wait!
(Click here for my review of WWE NXT Episode 274 )