Tye Dillinger vs Oney Morgan (I think…)
The surprise of the night? I expected this to be a squash match, but not in the way it panned out! Morgan dominated Dillinger. ‘The Perfect 10’ got a few moves and shots in, but this was Morgan’s match all along. Morgan looked good out there. But why would Dillinger be sacrificed to a newcomer? Is he doomed to put newcomers over in the opening contest? Or will we have a storyline redemption for Dillinger?
WINNER: Oney Morgan
VERDICT: 5/10. An average bout that was a notch above the usual squash match. But it gave us a surprise ending!
INTERVIEW: Austin Aries said that he stills wants to be NXT Champion, regardless of his loss to Shinsuke Nakamura. According to him, greatness is not diminished by one loss. Aries oddly said that at NXT Takeover: The End, Nakamura had the homefield advantage! I don’t remember it being broadcast from Japan! Anyhow, No Way Jose interrupted and says that Aries needs to remember who he is…
No Way Jose vs Joss Woods
Another dull squash match from No Way Jose. Yes, we get it: he knows two dance moves. His finisher looks more awkward every time he does it. Yes, it’s better than the baseball swing punch that used to be his finishing move. But why not give him a finishing move more suited to his gimmick?
WINNER: No Way Jose
VERDICT: 2/10. Can No Way Jose compete in anything else but boring squash matches?
POST-MATCH: Aries came out and said that a career is defined by defeats. He thanked Jose for reminding him of fun, and who he used to be. Jose convinced Aries to dance in the ring. The dancing went on for so long that you knew something would happen. As they were dancing on the announce table, Aries elbowed Jose in the face! He then beat down Jose.
What a great heel turn! Yes, the crowd may have chanted ‘Austin Aries’ after the elbow, but it’s because they want to see Aries as a heel! We all do! Turning on an actual fan favourite may have reaped a more appropriate reaction. But Aries has subtly been playing the heel for a while now. It was about time he fully turned!
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Regal and Nakamura talked about Finn Balor. William Regal announced a match between Nakamura and Balor in three week’s time. Bobby Murphy interrupted and demanded a match. Nakamura said he should get ready to face the ‘King of Strong Style.’ Another squash match?
Deonna Purazza vs Bayley
Of course, Bayley’s triumphant return would be a squash match! Deonna didn’t stand a chance. It was good to see Bayley back, but her return didn’t do anything. Even if Nia Jax would have come out and starred Bayley out, that would have been something. As it was, we just saw Bayley squash a jobber.
VERDICT: 3/10. Good to see Bayley back, but it wasn’t much of a match, was it?
INTERVIEW: Carmella said that she wants to be the NXT Women’s Champion. Alexa Bliss interrupted and laughed at her. They have a shouting contest. To be honest, I can’t see either of these two women as NXT Women’s Champion. But likely contenders are thin on the ground…
Nia Jax vs Liv Morgan
Are Oney and Liv related? That’s one of the thoughts that managed to run through my head before this match was over. Morgan managed a dropkick and a headscissors takedown. But the rest of the squash match was all Jax. She hit a massive powerbomb to finish Morgan off. Jax is getting better in the ring. This was a commanding performance by her. But will she be lose to Bayley on Bayley’s road to a rematch with Asuka?
WINNER: Nia Jax
VERDICT: 4/10. Another squash match! Jax looked good and there’s potential in Morgan. But they were only given about five minutes.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby Murphy
We have a squash match as a main event? Thanks, NXT! Nakamura easily dispatches of Murphy. He didn’t even stand a chance. Of course, it’s always good to see Nakamura in action (even if I personally believe he shouldn’t be overexposed). His strikes bring a legitimacy to the ring. They look bloody painful! But the match we are all waiting for is Nakamura vs Balor. Maybe keep Nakamura out of the ring until then?
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura
VERDICT: 6/10. A glorified squash match, but Nakamura always put on an entertaining match
OVERALL VERDICT: 4/10. A poor episode of NXT, especially guided by the quality of the matches. Not one of them was especially worth watching. An episode full of squash matches? NXT can do better than that! The highlight of the programme was Aries’ heel turn. That was also the major story development. Much of the programme merely treaded water.
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Click here for my review of WWE NXT Episode 340 (22.6.2016)