Baron Corbin vs Tye Dillinger
‘The Perfect 10’ tried his best in an inevitable loss against Baron Corbin. Dillinger had a few offensive moves, but this match was all about Corbin. In that sense, it was a cut above the usual Corbin squash match. I’m not sure why they couldn’t throw another jobber to Corbin, instead of Dillinger. His gimmick has connected with the crowd, but nothing has been done to capitalise on his popularity. Corbin looked strong, especially when he caught Dillinger leaping off the top rope and moved Tye into the End of Days.
WINNER: Baron Corbin
VERDICT: 4/10. A little bit more entertaining than the usual Corbin squash match!
INTERVIEW: Apollo Crews will tag with Finn Balor against Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin in the next episode of NXT. Crews said that he will eliminate Joe and Corbin so that he can take on Balor one more time…Crews’ lack of anger hindered his interview. He’s still a little wooden on the mike, and needs some heated emotion to draw the listener in!
INTERVIEW: Tommaso Ciampa commented that Samoa Joe has changed in the past couple of weeks. Oh, really?!? Concerning their match later in the episode, Ciampa said that he had nothing to lose, whereas Joe has an NXT Title match to think about…some good stuff here from Ciampa! Nothing brilliant, but he knows how to talk on the mike, effectively and efficiently.
Nia Jax vs Blue Pants
What puzzled me about this match was the announcers’ surprise at the return of Blue Pants, even though they had announced the match earlier on in the episode! Poor editing? Like the Corbin squash match, this was a cut above Jax’s other efforts. She looked a lot better and more confident than before. We didn’t see many new moves from her, but Jax is slowly understanding her role in a match. Blue Pants barely got a shot in before falling to a huge Samoan Drop and a huge leg drop.
WINNER: Nia Jax
VERDICT: 4/10. Nia Jax actually showed some potential here! Her best outing thus far.
INTERVIEW: Dash and Dawson said that they are moving on from the Vaudevillains and looking to the future. After the interviewer said that they would defend their NXT Tag Team Titles against Amore and Cassady at NXT Takeover: London, Dash and Dawson retorted that Amore and Cassady would be lucky to walk out at all after the match, while Double D would walk out still the Tag Team Champs! Their mike work is very much like their in-ring work: nothing spectacular or glamorous, just rough and straight to the point.
James Storm vs Adam Rose
Something of a disappointment, this one (a sentiment I will echo again later on). Adam Rose, when he’s given time, can wrestle a pretty good match. Here, however, he was fodder to James Storm. The usual manner of things for a debut in NXT is to feed the newcomers several jobbers before a proper competitive match. It’s all well and good, but those who know Storm’s previous work know he can go in the ring. Why not give Storm and Rose ten or fifteen minutes or ring time? What we got instead was another glorified squash match. Rose had an upperhand early on, but Storm came back with his familiar moves to finish with ‘The Last Call.’ Another superkick for a finisher? Let him use his other finisher? We are positively drowning in superkicks in NXT and WWE! Storm looked good, but he can do so much more! And so can Rose…
WINNER: James Storm
VERDICT: 4/10. A decent squash match, but we were robbed of a very good match.
SEGMENT: The Vaudevillains were being interviewed when Jason Jordan and Chad Gable interrupted them. It ended with a nice double handshake, however! Their match was coming up…
The Vaudevillains vs Jason Jordan and Chad Gable
Something of a disappointment, this one (I told you I’d use it again!). Two very good tag teams weren’t given enough time to work a very good match. I thought of Jordan and Gable against Ciampa and Gargano. That was given enough time, and turned into a very, very good match. Why couldn’t the Vaudevillains and Jordan/Gable be given a similar amount of time? The match started off very well, with a very-wrestling orientated few minutes. It consisted on single leg takedowns (expertly done by Gable) and focus on the knees of the Vaudevillains. However, after Gable was backdropped to the outside, events hurtled towards the finish. There was no build for a hot tag or any tension as Gable and Jordan easily finished off the Vaudevillains. They are former tag team champions! They should have fought back harder! However, after the match, the Vaudevillains refused the offered handshake and walked off. Heel turn?
WINNERS: Jordan and Gable
VERDICT: 5/10. Disappointing. A match with potential was given under ten minutes and no room to develop. Two words: Re-match!
Emma vs Liv Morgan
Another squash match? One, or two of the matches on this episode of NXT could have been scrapped. Emma battered the living daylights out of Morgan before giving her, for all intents and purposes, a Curb Stomp. She didn’t just up and stomp on Morgan’s head, but she did stomp her face into the mat. I thought the move was banned? Emma’s submission made Morgan tap out. Post-match, Asuka came on the Titantron and said “See you in London!”
VERDICT: 3/10. Simple squash match!
INTERVIEW: Bayley said that she welcomes a challenge from Nia Jax. She’s never fought anyone of her size, but she will defeat Jax. Jax interrupted, smiled, and walked off. Bayley really should have looked where Jax was going, because a moment later, Jax attacked Bayley and hurled her through a door. The match is on, then, I presume! Bayley struggled carrying Eva Marie…how will she cope with Nia Jax?
Samoa Joe vs Tomassa Ciampa
Another match that deserved more time. When it came down to it, they only received eight minutes. However, they made the most of it. Joe looked more dominant and frightening than he has done thus far in NXT. Ciampa managed some offence, but to no avail. Joe looked like a beast! Big punches, big slaps, and a kick to the head that looked stiff as hell, Joe brought his A game. He was so impressive that the NXT crowd started chanting his name! They wouldn’t chant for him when he was a face, but now he is a heel, they go wild for him? Typical! By no means was this a great match, but to see how effective a heel Samoa Joe can be, it was an interesting bout. After beating Ciampa, Joe shouted ‘Balor, I’m coming for you!’ Balor should be afraid, very afraid…Still, I would have liked to see a longer match between the two. They could have given us a great main event.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
VERDICT: 6/10. Nothing special, but we received a great showing by a heel Samoa Joe. He looked menacing and terrifying!
OVERALL VERDICT: 5/10. A night squandered by too many matches. We didn’t need a Nia Jax match, or even an Emma match, really. Take those two out, and the tag team match and the main event could have given us some great in-ring work. As it was, they were both disappointing. However, we got to see a heel Samoa Joe in the ring. He looked dominant! And, as usual, the storyline progressions felt natural and simple. That’s how it is done!
Leave your thoughts/comments below!
(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 307)