Review and Results: WWE NXT Episode 318 (27.1.2016)

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The American Alpha vs Blake and Murphy

Can’t we just keep calling them Jordan and Gable? ‘The American Alpha’ doesn’t ring easily off the tongue. The crowd had difficulty chanting the new name! The brand new tag team name didn’t stop Jordan and Gable from being awesome, yet again! Gable especially continued to innovate and excite in equal measures. His leaping arm drags and stalling head scissors, in particular, were brilliant! Of course, it was only a sub-ten minute match, so there wasn’t much depth to proceedings. The bluff injury by Murphy meant little a few minutes after the incident. We all knew we’d see an AA victory. However, after the hot tag to Jordan, we did see Jordan belly to belly suplex Blake onto Murphy! The only way is up for Jordan and Gable…I envision them fighting for the tag team titles at the next NXT Takeover!

WINNERS: The American Alpha

VERDICT: 6/10. A short match, but made extremely entertaining by Jordan and Gable!

INTERVIEW: Emma and Dana Brooke mock Carmella, calling her simply lucky. Their words rang true…what else has Carmella done apart from winning a battle royale?

Nia Jax vs Liv Morgan

Was there much to write about this match? No! Typical dull Nia Jax bout, over in a matter of minutes. Nia Jax’s character took a metaphorical beating when Jax tapped out to Bayley in London. She should have challenged Bayley a lot later than she did. Now, like all monsters, her aura of invincibility is diminished. She battered Liv Morgan…so what?

WINNER: Nia Jax

VERDICT: 2/10. Dull squash match to remind us Nia Jax is still around!

SEGMENT: Carmella hit back at Brooke and Emma. Emma and Carmella will face off in the next episode of NXT. Big Cass and Amore then tore up the place with their promos! Amore’s, in particular, was thrilling. Vocally, these two are great. They just need to follow it up in the ring…

Bull Dempsey vs Alex Riley

A-Ri is back! But now he’s angry…he’s very angry because no one has replied to his texts. He told us that after the bout, but his aggression towards Dempsey told us all we needed to know. In the middle of battering Dempsey (who barely got a shot in), Riley shouted “is this what NXT has come to?” Did he mean making fun of fat people? Did he mean Dempsey? Or did he mean the product itself? The only part of the match that faltered was Riley’s finisher. The commentators described it as a knee to the face, but it looked more like a heel kick…who knows? Anyway, Riley looked pretty good in his return match. Heel Riley should be something to look forward to!

WINNER: Alex Riley

VERDICT: 5/10. Average match, but Riley rose to the role of his new aggressive personality.

SEGMENT: Riley, who appeared to be talking to someone offstage, said that no one from the WWE had answered his texts for four months. Maybe they had all changed their numbers? That’s what all my friends say to me…Anyway, the lack of replies has made Riley a very angry man! Both in the ring and promo-wise, Riley took on his new role very well. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get injured again.

Elias Samson vs John Skyler

This new ‘drifter’ character of Elias Samson is still failing to capture my attention. The point of having squash matches to introduce new characters is to showcase their best attributes in a few minutes. Samson is boring in the ring, especially with the nature of his new character. He doesn’t do enough in between the moves to sell his new character. Not only that, but he has a neckbreaker for a finisher. Seriously, in 2016? I probably said the same thing when Samson debuted his new persona in the ring, but I still can’t get over it! It’s too early to write Samson off, but if he doesn’t do something bloody spectacular soon, call ‘The Drifter’ a wasted gimmick.

WINNER: Elias Samson

VERDICT: 2/10. About as worthwhile as the Nia Jax match. Samson has nothing to show in the ring.

SEGMENT: To remind us The Hype Bros are still around, Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley loosely talk about their match again the newly evil Vaudevillains in the next episode of NXT. However, Rawly goes off on a tangent, talking about chicks and watching Ryder sleep. Well, at least Ryder is getting TV time!

Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin (Number 1 Contender’s Match for the NXT Championship)

An entertaining main event that took a while to get going. It was serviceable, but nothing we’ll be talking about in a few weeks’ time. Corbin, as ever, dragged the match down, but not as much as usual. Zayn and Joe are too good to let him cramp their styles. Like most other triple threat matches, for the majority of its duration it was a singles match between two of the three competitors. Zayn hit a tope onto Corbin and Joe, and Joe hit a senton on Zayn and Corbin, but apart from that, one competitor sold on the outside whilst the other two battled in the ring. However, at the end, we saw the classic ‘double tap out’ ending. Zayn had Corbin in the Sharpshooter, and Joe locked in the crossface on Corbin. Shortly after, Corbin tapped out. The referee didn’t know who had won the match, and neither did William Regal. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out the winner and number one contender…

WINNER: ????

VERDICT: 6/10. A good main event that never rose to a great one.

OVERALL VERDICT: 5/10. Apart from the opening and closing bouts, there wasn’t much of substance in the ring. Seeing Nia Jax and Elias Samson in squash matches is not my idea of quality wrestling! However, we saw the return of Alex Riley, who looked great with his new aggressive personality. And more than a few storylines were progressed on the show. As for the ending of the main event, we’ve seen the ‘double tap out’ before, but not for a while!

Leave your thoughts/comments below!

(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 317)

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