SEGMENT: William Regal gives his blessing to the stipulation of the ladder match for the NXT Championship match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. Was it ever in doubt that he would confirm the ladder match?!?
Solomon Crowe vs Tye Dillinger
Tye Dillinger has a new gimmick! He’s now a ‘Perfect 10,’ in all aspects of life, apparently. He seems enthusiastic about his new gimmick, and put some hard work into this match. I’m loathing to say it, but so did Crowe. I think that Crowe’s in-ring work is so quirky that sometimes it doesn’t work, but on this instance it did. The two assembled an entertaining opening match. Crowe loses to Dillinger’s new finisher, a modified knee to the face. Good news for Dillinger and his new gimmick, but where now for Crowe? Will he end up like an Axel Titscher or another jobber?
WINNER: Tye Dillinger
VERDICT: 6/10. Well-worked but nothing special.
SEGMENT: Mojo Rawley has out-partied Zack Ryder! Ryder obviously can’t keep up with Rawley…so what happens to their tag team?
Baron Corbin vs Axel Tischer
What more is there to say about a Corbin match?
VERDICT: 1/10. Squash.
POST-MATCH: Corbin gets on the microphone and says there is no one who can compete with him. Corbin is as terrible on the microphone as he is in the ring. You can tell he’s trying to remember his lines, and is as wooden as they come. Steve Cutler comes out, but suffers the End of Days. Corbin gets on the mike again, but Samoa Joe comes out. They brawl, and Joe slaps on the Kokina Clutch and makes Corbin pass out. We will see Corbin vs Joe at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn in a match that neither competitor can lose. Joe needs the win a little more than Corbin. But as with all unstoppable wrestlers, once they’re stopped, their mystique is gone. See Ryback, circa 2012. So does Corbin pick up the win?!?!
SEGMENT: Bull Dempsey is hitting the gym again, this time with the slogan “Iron Sharpens Iron.” Along with Randy Orton’s ‘fat’ comment about Kevin Owens on this week’s Raw, the continued mockery of Dempsey’s weight makes all of the WWE’s anti-bullying campaigns seem laughable. Well, I guess they are!
SEGMENT: Tyler Breeze talks about his match against Jushin Liger at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. He’ll beat Liger and become the ‘Face of the Rising Sun!’ He also mentioned taking out Hideo Itami…it may have been a reference to his continued defeats of Itami, but was it a veiled admittance that he took out Itami a few months back?
Finn Balor vs Marcs Louis
I cannot take Louis seriously. He hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing in the ring, either. Balor made short work out of Louis in a match that served to remind us about the NXT Champion. Not much more to say about the match than that!
WINNER: Finn Balor
VERDICT: 3/10. A match only to remind us that Balor still wrestles. Pointless!
POST-MATCH: Kevin Owens attacks Balor from behind. Balor avoids the Apron Powerbomb, but receives the Pop-Up Powerbomb in the ring. Was it botched, or was it a failed reversal attempt by Balor? Something looked like it went wrong! Owens grabs the NXT Title and mocks Balor. Simple and to the point: Owens will go to any length to win back the NXT Championship.
SEGMENT: The Vaudevillains are slapped by Alexa Bliss. They have something or someone to neutralise Bliss for their match against Blake and Murphy at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. My only question is: who wants to see the two teams wrestle again? Their first match didn’t set the world on fire. I doubt the sequel will, either.
Bayley vs Becky Lynch (Match for Number 1 Contendership to the Women’s Championship)
Once again, the women put the men to shame. And the women main event! On the same level as the match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks a few weeks ago. Lynch goes after the arm of Bayley for most of the match, looking to finish Bayley off with her armlock finisher. Bayley, ever the babyface, took much of the punishment during the match. She looked even better here than she did against Charlotte. Her comebacks were well-placed among Lynch’s continued assault. Both women were as good as each other, and there could be no definitive finish. Bayley wins with the roll-up after both women try their finishers. A deserving victory! The only downer of the match was Sasha Banks’ commentary. It distracted from the match, and she seemed uneasy at the commentary table. Banks is usually decent promo-wise, so why the uneasiness on commentary?
VERDICT: 8/10. Another great women’s match! The standard is very high, and I can see Bayley and Banks giving Owens and Balor a run for their money.
OVERALL VERDICT: 7/10. The opening match was okay, and the main event was very good. Bayley and Lynch put the men to shame! The other matches were pointless, but the stories leading up to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn are simmering nicely.
Leave your thoughts/comments below!
(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 290)