Eva Marie vs Carmella
The best part of this match was the crowd chanting ‘Super Dragon,’ a la Botchamania. Carmella tried her best, but Marie still stunk the place up. It seems she gets worse every week! An exclamation point to the match was the ending. Due to the camera angle, it seemed like the referee had refused to count to three when Marie’s shoulders were on the mat. You know, what happened in Episode 297…however, the trickery was due to the camera angle. Marie’s foot was clearly on the ropes in the wider angle. Why draw attention to a botch from a previous match? After that, Marie threw Carmella out for a countout victory. Truly terrible!
WINNER: Eva Marie via countout
VERDICT: 2/10. Carmella looked decent, but Marie sucked all the energy out of the match. The ending was an added insult.
Tyler Breeze vs Bull Dempsey
For what it was, this was a decent match. Dempsey is trying hard to fit in with his new ‘Bullfit’ gimmick. In this match we saw him hang on to the ropes after being hurled over them by Breeze, in a laudable show of strength. Apart from that, though, Dempsey’s move set hasn’t changed. He still hit Breeze with the Belly Strike. Dempsey’s attempt to do a top rope move cost him the match, as Breeze threw him off the ropes and pinned up using the ropes. So that was the blow off to their feud? The one that started a few months ago when Breeze embarrassed Dempsey by nearly giving him a heart attack? Dempsey’s new gimmick is liked by the crowd, but he doesn’t seem to be getting any victories…
WINNER: Tyler Breeze
VERDICT: 5/10. Average match all over!
SEGMENT: William Regal brought Kana/Asuka to the ring to sign her NXT contract. Apparently, her name is pronounced ‘Aska,’ no U needed! Okay then…Dana Brooke and Emma came down to interrupt. They slow talked to Asuka, in a mockery of her understanding of English. They told Asuka to get out of the ring…and she did!!! She smiled on the ramp when she looked back at Brooke and Emma…but that’s all she did. We wanted to see Asuka kick ass! Not walk off like a coward. They give Eva Marie victory after victory, but make Asuka a coward in her contract signing? It makes no sense!
SEGMENT: Tyler Breeze bumps into Apollo Crews, his opponent at NXT Takeover: Respect. Crews blocks him from getting past, and laughs at Breeze. What a feud! Why isn’t Breeze facing Dempsey at NXT Takeover? That would make a lot more sense than this random pairing.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC UPDATE: We find out that Dash and Dawson defeated The Vaudevillains to advance in the tournament. I did not anticipate that! The tag team champions being defeated in the tournament…well I never! Unexpected, but we’ll see what happens.
The Vaudevillains (c) vs Blake and Murphy (Tag Team Championship Match)
Could the two teams match the quality of their match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn? Unfortunately, no. The first two-thirds of the match was a headlock-fest, interspersed with a few cool moves. It dragged and dragged. Just as the last third kicked into gear and became exciting, the Vaudevillains hit their finisher and won the match. It was no better or worse than their first match for the tag team titles a few months ago on NXT. A comedown from their very good match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.
VERDICT: 5/10. A rematch that failed to capture the magic of their clash at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. Boring for most of the match, and cut short just when it got exciting.
OVERALL VERDICT: 4/10. An hour of NXT that you could happily miss. Boring or terrible matches and very little storyline progression. The hype of the greatest Japanese woman wrestler came to nothing as she walked out of the ring, just because Brooke and Emma told her to get out.
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(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 297)