American Alpha vs Blake and Murphy
The opening contest was easily the match of the night, but that isn’t necessarily a great accolade. Gable and Jordan are always entertaining and Blake and Murphy can put on a good match, given the right opponents. During this match, however, American Alpha was on the offensive for much of the match. Towards the end, Gable was beaten down for a short period to build up to the hot tag to Jordan. But because of the short period of the beat down, the hot tag failed to rouse much excitement. I must say that, whilst in offence, Gable and Jordan (especially Gable) looked better than ever. Gable is so smooth in linking his moves and reversals. He’s a natural. And we only watch Jordan for his explosive hot tags! This was the only worthy match of the entire hour, though…
WINNERS: American Alpha
VERDICT: 7/10. An atypical babyface vs heel clash, where the babyfaces produced much of the offence, but entertaining nonetheless!
Segment: William Regal announced a 2/3 Falls match between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe to finally decide the Number 1 Contender to the NXT Championship. If that ends in a draw, I will probably cry. Regal also announced a new employee, who will be introduced in the next episode. I wonder who that could be?!?!
Apollo Crews vs Christopher Girard
The newcomer Christopher Girard looked better than Apolls Crews in his debut match (at least I think it was!). Girard had the aggressive edge that served Crews so well during his feud with Corbin, but dropped soon afterwards. However, nothing really glued the match together apart from Girard’s aggression. Crews quickly finished him off with his Toss Powerbomb. Decent while it lasted, I guess!
WINNER: Apollo Crews
VERDICT: 5/10. Average match propelled by Girard’s aggression, but Crews looked a little apathetic out there.
SEGMENT: We were shown CCTV footage of Enzo Amore being attacked by Dash and Dawson in a car park. Big Cass made the save. Is yet another tag team match between the two teams on the cards? Amore and Cass have been beaten decisively twice by them…they need to let it go!
Tomassa Ciampa vs Bull Dempsey
A ridiculous match that Ciampa looked genuinely angry at being involved in. Before the bell rung, Dempsey struggled to take his shirt off…because he’s fat, presumably. Dempsey looked as if he took the match as a joke. Ciampa worked over his arm and locked in his armbar to submit Dempsey. Ciampa’s worst match thus far in NXT but it was all Dempsey’s fault.
VERDICT: 3/10. A dire performance by Bull Dempsey made a mockery of Ciampa’s efforts. Dempsey may as well not have shown up!
INTERVIEW: Samoa Joe said that he made NXT hot…and said that he would beat Sami Zayn in the 2/3 Falls match. Simples!
INTERVIEW: Sami Zayn said that he had tunnel vision and that all he was focusing on was being the first ever two-time NXT Champion. For some reason, I think he’s going to lose…
Bayley and Carmella vs Eva Marie and Nia Jax
Bayley is a magician in the ring, but with a mediocre wrestler on her team and two awful opponents, not even Gandalf could have made this tag match anything more than sub-par. At least there were only a few noticeable botches (such as: Carmella and Bayley executed a double vertical suplex on Marie, but Carmella’s left arm was out of position). But Bayley was the only one capable of telling a story in the ring. When she was on the sidelines, the match slowed to a halt. Anytime Marie or Jax are in the ring, they stink it up. Carmella is an average talent, but put her against either Marie or Jax, and she will stink the ring up. There was nothing to say about this match apart from bad things. And why did Eva Marie get the pin over Carmella? Let’s hope she doesn’t get another shot at the NXT Women’s Title…
VERDICT: 2/10. The worst main event on NXT for some time (possibly ever?). Bayley was outnumbered by lesser talent and failed to keep the match afloat.
SEGMENT: William Regal announced a match between Finn Balor and Neville on the next episode of NXT. I thought Balor had disappeared! He’s been overshadowed by other wrestlers as of late…now it’s time for him to have a blinding match and remind everyone why he is THE MAN in NXT.
OVERALL VERDICT: 3/10. The worst episode of NXT in a long time. Only the opening match was worthwhile, and even that was flawed. A dire main event compounded the quality. Even the storyline progressions felt like they were treading water…
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(Click here for my review of NXT Episode 321)