For the second week in a row, NXT was more about progressing storylines than showing us some great matches. The best match on the show was, once again, a women’s match. Charlotte and Emma had a highly competitive match to kick off from there. After that match finished, the wrestling quality dropped until the main event. It pitted Hideo Itami against Tyler Breeze. These two have never meshed well in the ring together, and the same was true here.
Emma vs Charlotte
I’ve only seen Emma in action against Bayley. That match was very poor. For a feud that was about making Bayley angry, the match was plain and boring. However, Emma was on the offensive for a great deal of the match. She targeted Charlotte’s knee after Charlotte took a tumble from the middle rope. Emma showed an aggression and a personality that I’d never seen before. Her offence was impressive. Charlotte struggled to pick up the victory. It was the epitome of making the loser look strong. Both women came off well. Post-match, Bayley came down to hug Emma. However, Bayley soon hit Emma with a Bayley-to-Belly Suplex. Charlotte pulled Bayley off Emma.
VERDICT:7/10. One expects a great match from Charlotte, but not from Emma. Let’s hope Emma keeps up her in-ring presence in her inevitable match against Bayley.
INTERVIEW: Michael Cole interviewed Kevin Owens in a gripping interview. Cole tried to coax Owens into admitting his swerve turn on Sami Zayn was personal. Owens countered Cole by saying that Cole had not even congratulated him on winning the NXT Championship. It’s all about family, according to Owens. Owens is possibly the best on the mike on NXT.
Bull Dempsey vs Rhyno
Dempsey mustered some punches before falling to the Gore. After easily defeating Dempsey, Rhyno got on the mike and challenged Baron Corbin to a match. My, that will be a match to look forward to…NOT!
VERDICT: 2/10. Bore. Bore. Bore.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs Enzo Amore and Butch Cassidy
Before the match started, Blake and Murphy attacked Amore and Cassidy backstage. At long last, their feud lit up for a few minutes. But it was the expense of a match.
INTERVIEW: Michael Cole interviewed Sami Zayn. This wasn’t as gripping as Cole’s interview with Owens. Zayn asked Owens to come out on the next episode of NXT and tell Sami face-to-face why Owens turned on him. Zayn’s good on the mike, but he pales in comparison to Owens.
CONTRACT SIGNING: William Regal oversaw the contract signing between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch for the NXT Women’s Championship. And, for a change, it didn’t end in violence…oh wait, it did! Banks threw the contract at Lynch and punched her int eh face. She bashed Lynch’s head on the table and stood on the table, one foot on Lynch’s head, holding the title high. However, Lynch got the upper hand as she locked in her armbar. They should have a great match at NXT: Takeover.
PROMO: Alex Riley appeared to be talking into his webcam. I feared he was going to do a striptease. However, in a refreshing twist, Riley referred to the chants of ‘thank you Owens’ after Owens had powerbombed Riley on the ring apron in last week’s NXT. After that, Riley said, he thought the risks weren’t worth it. He’s disappearing for surgery, but could we see a heel Riley return? Has to be better than babyface Riley!
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW: Dana Brooke was interviewed. I know she is supposed to be annoying, but I want to skip any segment that involves her. She professed to be better than Charlotte. Is it too soon to pair her with Charlotte? We need to see Brooke plough through some jobbers before wrestling with the stars.
Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze
Not much to say about this one. Itami and Breeze are great wrestlers, but they have never had a great match together. The culmination of their mini-feud, a 2/3 Falls Match a while ago, fell flat on its face. This match only served to highlight the Triple Threat No.1 Contender’s Match for the NXT Championship at NXT: Takeover. Towards the end of the match, Itami accidentally struck Finn Balor after Breeze moved out of the way. Itami won the match, but Breeze attacked him afterwards. Balor made the save and Breeze retreated. But Breeze snuck back into the ring and hit both wrestlers with the Beauty Shot.
VERDICT: 5/10. Average, average, average.
OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. NXT Episode 276 got off to a great start with the match between Emma and Charlotte, but the wrestling fell in quality from there. However, the build for NXT: Takeover is getting hotter and hotter.
(Click here for my review of WWE NXT Episode 275)