NXT – Episode 296
September 9, 2015
Full Sail University/Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Winterpark, FL/Providence, RI
Commentators: Rich Brennan & Corey Graves/Tom Phillips & Jimmy Uso
Peyton Royce vs. Carmella
Carmela comes out cutting a promo like Enzo and Cass, but doesn’t quite get the same reaction. Given time, I hope it catches on for her. Peyton Royce follows her, and this is her NXT debut.
This match was a solid opener that the fans didn’t seem to be into too much. There was some really nice moves, but it’s apparent both ladies still need a little work. With that being said, everything was quite solid. Royce hit a really nice Fisherman’s Suplex part way through the match. Soon after that, Carmella dodged a strike by doing the moonwalk. I actually liked that quite a bit.
The end came when Carmella locked in a figure four headscissors, and it looked absolutely nasty. Great finish.
Samoa Joe is backstage with Finn Balor, and they discuss their upcoming match in the Dusty Rhodes Classic tournament. Joe tells Balor not to forget hit belt, as he hands it too him.
A highlight video airs showing the some of the first round matches of the Dusty Rhodes Classic that took place at some NXT house shows.
After an ad break for the Monday Night War Vol 2 (which looks great), a highlight video airs for Nia Jax. It’ll be interesting to see her when she debuts.
Tyler Breeze & Bull Dempsey vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
Corey Graves informs us that Bull Dempsey lost 3 pounds since we last saw him, indicating that he’s down to 301 pounds.
Gargano and Ciampa make their entrance. These two add a very interesting element to this match, as they’re not signed with the WWE. They’re indy wrestlers through and through (though with this kind of exposure, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually sign with the WWE).
Ciampa slaps the crap out of Tyler Breeze, and Breeze tags in Bull Dempsey. Corey Graves says that Bull Dempsey is gorgeous in his own way – like a unique snowflake! Hilarious. Ciampa keep control of the early portion of this match with quick tags back and forth, not giving Bull and Breeze a break. The match turns around temporarily for Breeze and Dempsey as Gargano tries to hit a body press on Dempsey, but he just collides with the unmovable Dempsey and he collapses. Gargano quickly recovers though with a massive enziguri. After a bit, they cut to a commercial break.
When they come back Ciampa and Dempsey are in the right, with Ciampa in control. Bull really seems to be struggling in this one, as he desperately needs to tag in Tyler Breeze. Unfortunately Breeze was drop kicked by Gargano, but Dempsey still manages to turn it around and hit Gargano with a little Dusty Rhodes style bionic elbows. He hits the ropes and as he does, he knocks Tyler Breeze, who just returned to the apron, off it to the floor. Ciampa manages to get a jackknife pin on Dempsey and gets the win!
This match wasn’t anything special, but it was definitely decent. The ending was a nice surprise with Gargano and Ciampa winning.
Breeze lays the boots to Dempsey after the match, turning Dempsey face in the process, I imagine. It’s hard not to feel sorry for him when Breeze was so violent. Good booking here in making Dempsey someone we can sympathize with.
Dana Brooke is interviewed. She’s the worst. I can’t stand her on the mic. She has potential though, and she’s in NXT so she can work on those things. She says she wants a match with Bayley.
Another commercial break, featuring WWE 2k16, and Stone Cold digging out his WWF Championship Belt from the ground. I’m not sure why it was buried, but it’s still cool.
A hype video airs for Tye Dillinger – The Perfect 10! Good to see him starting to get a push.
Billie Kay vs. Dana Brooke
Rich: Look how tall Billie Kay is; look at her long legs.
Corey: What a brilliant observation Rich.
This a match that is mostly dominated by Dana Brooke. Nothing bad in it, just very one sided.
Part way through the match, the fans are chanting in Billie’s name in an effort to help her come back.
Rich: You can hear the Bayley chants by the NXT Universe.
Corey: They are chanting for Billie, not Bayley. Billie Kay, the competitor in the ring, Rich.
Rich: I guess that makes sense.
Yes it does Rich, but in your defense, I’m pretty sure they were chanting Bayley too. Nonetheless, Corey Graves is awesome. He’s a classic heel announcer.
After quite a few minutes of domination, Billie Kay takes control with a series of high impact moves that ends wit ha massive boot the face. Alas, it did not last long as Dana hits a Samoan Driver for the pin.
This one was barely above a squash match.
Apollo Crews is interviewed, and he talks about who the NXT universe is getting behind him.
An ad airs for 12 Rounds 3 – Dean Ambrose is your hero!
A highlight video airs showing Bayley win the NXT Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks, and a young fan’s reaction to it on Twitter. The little girl, Izzy, got the welcome Bayley back at the WWE Performance Center. Izzy was given a tour and got to do Bayley’s entrance with her. I love seeing stuff like this. Heartwarming is an understatement.
The Lucha Dragons vs. Samoa Joe & Finn Balor
The change of venue to Providence, RI was a bit strange, but seemed smooth enough.
The Lucha Dragons enter first, to a decent reaction. Samoa Joe gets a good pop when he comes out, but the largest reaction is reserved for Finn Balor. Balor’s entrance, even without all the crazy smoke and the demon look, is an amazing sight on a full scale WWE production.
Balor and Sin Cara start the match with a handshake. Are we in ROH?! It doesn’t take long for the audience to start chanting NXT, and they haven’t even started wrestling yet.
Both men exchange holds in the early portion of this match with some solid, basic wrestling. Kalisto tries to jump into the ring, but Balor sends him flying. He follows it up with a Slingblade on Sin Cara, showing his NJPW roots. Balor then hits a flip dive over the top rope onto Sin Cara and Kalisto.
They go to a commercial break, and when they get back Joe and Balor is still in control. Once Joe tags Balor back in, the match starts to turn towards The Lucha Dragons, who show their tag team experience with several quick tags and fluid movements, including Sin Cara doing a monkey flip on Kalisto, who turns it into a 450 splash on Balor. Great stuff.
Balor struggles to get a tag to Joe, but manages to hit a paylay kick, and he gets the tag to Joe. Joe than proceeds to beat the crap out of both Sin Cara and Kalisto. However, somehow in the midst of strikes, Sin Cara manages to hit a tornado DDT on Joe. Joe goes for a Muscle Buster, but Sin Cara slips out and Kalisto blind tags him as Sin Cara flies outside the ring onto Balor. Kalisto sends Joe outside the ring, but Joe rushes back in before Kalisto can dive and hits him with an STJoe. Joe then hits a Muscle Buster on Kalisto and Balor hits the Coup de Grace for the finish.
The show ends with Balor and Joe giving each other the NWO Wolfpack/Bullet Club sign, and they celebrate their win together.
This was a very good tag match. There were some really great moments in this match, with the last few being the most exciting. Balor and Joe are just pure awesome.
OVERALL RATING: 2.75/5
Not a bad episode of NXT at all. Nothing stood out as being spectacular, but it was all very consistent, something NXT is becoming well known for now.
Best Match: Balor & Joe vs. The Lucha Dragons
Worst Match: Dana Brooke vs. Billie Kay
Highlights: Joe being the awesome wrestler that he is, Finn Balor’s entrance, and Bayley and her little fan. Those are the moments that stood out as best to me.
Questions to think about:
How is it that Sin Cara is so much better on the NXT roster? He’s obviously a decent talent (and probably more consistent than the original), but it seems like both he and Kalisto can’t catch a break.
The commentary in NXT is fantastic. We have a real heel commentator in Corey Graves, and guys who actually call the match. What do you think of the NXT commentary?
What did you think of this show overall? If you have your own review, please feel free to share it in the comments!