NXT Episode 282 was a rather mundane affair. Most of the matches were quick and lacked excitement. Few storylines were developed in and out of the ring. The highlight was the in-ring debut of Samoa Joe, but even that was a by-the-numbers match to show off Joe’s moveset.
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley vs Rollas and Sampson
When a WWE Superstar wrestles on NXT, you know something is wrong. Ryder, a once-popular wrestler, is barely featured in WWE programming at all. I’d forgotten he was employed until he showed up to answer John Cena’s U.S Title Open Challenge. ON NXT, he teamed with the hyperactive Mojo Rawley (seriously, who comes up with these names?!?!) against one of the many disposable NXT tag teams. It was a pleasant surprise to see Ryder in action, and Rawley brought as much excitement as Ryder. The winners were never in doubt, but it was a good opening bout to get the audience into the swing of things. Ryder and Rawley’s tag team finisher, a modified Rough Ryder, looked awesome as well!
WINNERS: Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley
VERDICT: 6/10. Exciting, but short and a little rushed. Will Ryder and Rawley tag again? Let’s hope so!
SEGMENT: Do the creative minds of NXT think we will forget about Dana Brooke if she isn’t promoted on every show? I wish I could forget her! She retweeted a tweet saying Dana Brooke is the rebirth of the NXT Women’s division. For one, the division doesn’t need a rebirth. Two, a rebirth involving Brooke would be horrific! Brooke acknowledged the ‘boos’ of the audience, but said that they drove her to succeed…
Emma vs Blue Pants
I like the new and aggressive Emma. It’s improved her in-ring ability, and she constantly looks disgusted with everything around her. Blue Pants got a ‘happy birthday’ chant from the audience, but we all knew the outcome. Blue Pants doesn’t come out to win. She comes out to lose. Emma dominated the match, with Blue Pants attempting to comeback with punches and spinning kicks. However, it was to no avail: Emma locked in the Emma Lock and Pants tapped out.
VERDICT: 6/10. I’ll say it again: This new Emma rocks! A one-sided match, but Emma involves you in the match.
INTERVIEW: The interviewer announces that Amore, Cassady and Carmella will face Blake, Murphy and Alexa Bliss in a 6-Person Tag Team match in next week’s episode of NXT. Amore, Cassady and Carmella all impressed with their promos.
Tyler Breeze vs Bull Dempsey
Dempsey controls the first few minutes of the match until Breeze rolls out of the ring. Dempsey chases Breeze until stopping with a stitch. After another round of chase, Dempsey is truly out of breath, so Breeze rolls him into the ring and hits the Beauty Shot for the victory. Really? In 2015, this is how a wrestling match finishes? Why didn’t Bull stay in the ring? Breeze would have to stop running around if he didn’t want to be counted out. Terrible. Just terrible. Let’s pick on fat people, shall we?
WINNER: Tyler Breeze
VERDICT: 2/10. Laughable. Barely even a match.
Becky Lynch vs Jessie McKay
A competitive and involving match, even if it was on the shorter side. Lynch, as always, proves thrilling in the ring. McKay managed to keep up with her. Of course, the end was never in doubt, but the two wrestlers did enough to ensure that didn’t matter. Anyway, coming after the Breeze vs Dempsey match, it looked like a masterpiece! It wasn’t, but it was an entertaining match.
WINNER: Becky Lynch
VERDICT: 6/10. Another entertaining match from the women wrestlers!
SEGMENT: Dempsey enters Regal’s office eating crisps. Regal takes the crisps off Dempsey and demands that he shape up. Oh, so maybe Regal should also tell Kevin Owens to shape up? Or Samoa Joe? Utterly belittling to Dempsey and the viewer.
SEGMENT: Chad Gable once again tries to persuade Jason Jordan to form a tag team with him. Jordan isn’t convinced, but Gable writes his name next to Jordon’s on a locker. Gable shows promise outside of the ring…but let’s see what he’s like in the ring!
Baron Corbin vs Angelo Dawkins
Dawkins didn’t stand a chance against Corbin. In all fairness, Dawkins lasted longer than most against Corbin, but eventually fell to the End of Days. Is it just me, or does Corbin fail to improve week to week? Will he be green forever? Or will he learn to stop looking terrified even making his ring entrance? In a roster packed full of great talent, why is the talentless Corbin given the ‘monster’ treatment? He doesn’t look dangerous in the slightest! Rant over.
WINNER: Baron Corbin
VERDICT: 3/10. Typical Corbin match.
Samoa Joe vs Scott Dawson
Samoa Joe’s debut comes against…Scott Dawson? Who?!?!? In the main event? The most entertaining aspect of the match came from Kevin Owens’ commentary. The match was Joe going through all of his moves in short order, before hitting the Muscle Buster finish Dawson off. Joe looked good here, but not great. I thought he may have added a few new moves to his repertoire to cement his move to the big league, but hey, I always expect too much! Also, his theme music needs changing. It doesn’t mesh well with Joe’s character, or even sounds half-decent.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
VERDICT: 5/10. Average all the way! Good to see Joe in a WWE/NXT ring, but he didn’t set the world on fire.
SEGMENT: After the match, Joe challenges Owens to a fight, right there and then. Owens retorts that he is a good guy, and wouldn’t want to embarrass Joe after his debut match (and, ironically, in response to Joe’s criticism that Owens always runs away, Owens says that he doesn’t run anywhere. But earlier on, Dempsey was humiliated because he couldn’t run! What kind of message are we supposed to take from this episode of NXT?). Regal enters and announces Joe vs Owens, non-title, for next week’s NXT! Will it happen, or will the big fight be saved for a later and better occasion? We shall see…
OVERALL VERDICT: 5/10. A middling episode of NXT. Three above-average matches and the debut of Samoa Joe, plus Owens on commentary, made the night. But the mixed messages about fat people almost made me knock a point off the score. Poor Bull Dempsey!
(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 281)