WWE NXT Episode 289 was an overall decent hour of wrestling entertainment. A few good matches and quite a lot of storyline progression were undermined by an average Women’s match and the risible Bull Dempsey ‘losing weight’ storyline…
Amore and Cassady vs Dash and Dawson
NXT got off to a good start with this tag team match. You know what you’re getting with both teams: Rough and ready from Dash and Dawson, scrappy and fast from Amore, and just brute strength from Cassady! They meshed together quite well, but weren’t given enough time to imprint their match on our minds. The finish was surprising, after Dash and Dawson hit the ‘Shatter Machine’ to Amore for the victory. Are Dash and Dawson the next tag team to reach the higher ranks of the tag team division? I think they still need a little bit of work before that…
WINNERS: Dash and Dawson
VERDICT: 6/10. A decent match that needed more time for things to come together. But the surprise outcome was worthwhile!
INTERVIEW: Gable and Jordon say that nobody compares to them. Using the words of another singer (well, he does sing as well as rap), they said that they were on to the next one…I’m sure they’ll have a few more easy victories before facing a ‘real’ tag team.
ADVERT: I don’t usually mention adverts, but the Terminator advert for the WWE2K16 game is brilliant! A perfect recreation of the bar scene out of Terminator 2, it had me entranced for a couple of days of so. ‘I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycles’ will be forever stamped on my mind! And Dean Ambrose is actually doing something worthwhile, for a change!
Baron Corbin vs Jesse Sorenson
End of Days…over…
WINNER: Baron Corbin
VERDICT: 1/10. Not even a match! One move and it’s over.
SEGMENT: Tyler Breeze bursts into Regal’s office. Regal’s response is: “Were you born in a barn?” Breeze complains that he needs a big moment at NXT Takevoer. I’m sure he does have one already!
Jordan and Gable vs Elias Sampson and Levis Valenzuela Jr
Another impressive showing from Jordan and Gable. Sampson and Levis were just fodder for J+G to defeat. But J+G did it with style! Both have their wrestling basics down to a T. Quick and effective, J+G soon used their newly named double finisher ‘Grand Amplitude’ (doesn’t really roll off the tongue!) to pick up the victory.
WINNERS: Jordan and Gable
VERDICT: 6/10. A short and sweet match from the very good team of Jordan and Gable. They have bundles of potential!
INTERVIEW: Dana Brooke threatens to serve Charlotte and eviction notice. Charlotte’s running scared, apparently, but they will fight one on one later on…
SEGMENT: The offensive and terrible storyline about Bull Dempsey attempting to lose weight continues. In brightly coloured spandex, he fails in the gym during some exercises. Jesus Christ…Dempsey says that he wants to get bull-fit. I say that the storyline is bulls**t.
Charlotte vs Dana Brooke
This is the match Brooke has been waiting for since she debuted in NXT. Charlotte is the woman to beat in NXT, even though she’s not the champion. Their personal rivalry has lasted for months, so I was surprised that this wasn’t saved for a main event. The match itself was merely average; even Charlotte had difficulty carrying Brooke to a decent match. Apart from with the aid of Emma’s interference, Brooke didn’t put up much of a fight either. Charlotte easily and quickly defeated Brooke. After all that build up, this was the result? Brooke looked weak in defeat, not strong. I thought the whole point of the Charlotte/Brooke storyline was to give Brooke a victory over Charlotte…but I was obviously wrong!
VERDICT: 4/10. A match that struggled to be average. Brooke is still learning the ropes, and it was over all too quickly.
SEGMENT: Samoa Joe said that he had come to NXT for the NXT Championship. So should we forget about his feud with Kevin Owens? Or is that still a thing?
SEGMENT: Kevin Owens “sincerely” apologizes to Regal for striking him during the contract signing at NXT Episode 288. Funny stuff to watch!
INTERVIEW: Eva Marie warns Sasha Banks to watch out because Marie is coming for the NXT Women’s Championship. Oh dear…
Kevin Owens vs Danny Birch
A short match that Owens dominated. But Owens can make a squash match entertaining, especially with his expert senton bomb on show as well. After getting the victory with the Pop Up Powerbomb, he comes back and powerbombs the poor lad on the apron. Owens proceeds to mock Balor’s top rope pose.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Blake and Murphy (c) vs The Vaudevillains-NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Not much to say about this match. It was solid, but that’s all I can say about it really. The Vaudevillains cannot have a great match due to their gimmick, which is a shame. They both worked very hard, harder than the actual tag team champions! Gotch was the more impressive of the two, getting the hot tag twice and raising the level of entertainment in the ring. However, it was all for nothing: Alexa Bliss stopped their double team finisher and Gotch got caught out by a roll-up.
WINNERS: Blake and Murphy
VERDICT: 6/10. Solid tag team match, but the tag team champions didn’t really seem bothered about it!
POST-MATCH: The Vaudevillains takes out Blake and Murphy and Bliss is left in the ring alone with the tag team she caused to lose. They open the ropes for her, but she slaps both of them and leaves. What a bitch!
OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. An episode that failed to come alive at several points. Charlotte vs Brooke was a letdown, and the main event was only ‘solid.’
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(Click here for my review of WWE NXT Episode 288)