NXT – Episode 299
September 30, 2015
Full Sail University
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Grave, and Byron Saxton
Kyle Edwards opens the show with some announcements about the Dusty Rhodes Classic, and shares that the Hype Bros lost to Jordan & Gable.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass (w/ Carmella) vs. Samoa Joe & Finn Balor
This one should be good.
Enzo comes out and cuts his intro promo, while talking about he he and class are classy men, so it’s only appropriate that they win the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Big Cass says that if you aren’t giving it all you got to honour Dusty Rhodes, your SAWFT.
Balor has his Balor Club entrance in this one. I like how they’re differentiating Balor’s entrances while he’s not coming out as The Demon. Same music, different look and feel. It makes the Demon entrance even more special.
Big Cass and Joe start this match, and Cass actually stands up to Joe’s size and knocks him down and outside of the ring. Balor enters the ring, looking like he’s going to go for a flip dive, but Enzo inturrupts it and dives on Joe himself. As Enzo is running Balor follows, as Enzo hits Joe, Balor hits Cass with his own flip dive. Awesome stuff.
Balor and Joe chop big Cass down with some heavy strikes, but Cass kills Joe with a big boot, followed with an Empire elbow. Cass stays in control with big slams as Joe tries to strike his way back into the match. They hit an Air Enzo on Joe and go for the pin, but Joe rolls through and picks Enzo up, backs to his corner where Finn makes a blind tag and hits Cass with a dropkick, while Joe hits Enzo with a Muscle Buster, and Finn hitting a Coup de Grace. Good lord, Enzo might be dead.
Fantastic match out of these two teams. It wasn’t very long, but they packed a lot of great action into it, and it still helped make Cass and Enzo look good in a loss. Joe & Balor are so good. It’s been said before, but you can’t get tired of it.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa talk about how they’re disappointed that they didn’t further in the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Gargano talks about he’s going to be fighting Crews later. Tyler Breeze interrupts and challenges Ciampa to a match.
A hype video airs for Asuka, and surprisingly, they show highlights of her ring work in Japan. Great stuff!
Johnny Gargano vs. Apollo Crews
This should be another good one. Two top notch wrestlers here.
This match is fast paced from the get go. Gargano throws everything he has at Crews, including a spear through the middle rope into the ring on Crews. After this Gargano begins working over the ribs of Apollo, which will cause pain every time Crews tries to move – so great work there.
Gargano and Crews share several amateur wreslting like moves in after that as well, which is quite great, but from the mat, Crews picks Gargano up and hits a vertical suplex. Awesome display of strength and speed.
Crews manages to hit a gorilla press followed by his standing moonsault for the pinfall.
Gargano had a good showing here. Maybe these matches will result in a WWE contract, as they must be impressed. Crews looks really good here. I’m excited to see what’s in store for him.
William Regal is backstage with Emma and Dana Brooke and he explains that they embarrassed him last week, and that Dana will be fighting Asuka at TakeOver: Respect. She laughs, and says she ran away last week. Regal decides to show her a video of Asuka in action. Dana’s and Emma’s smiles slowly turn to horror as they realize what Dana is getting herself into. Emma tells her, “Good luck with that.” This was great.
Another promo airs for Nia Jax.
Dana Brooke & Emma vs. Billie Kay & Peyton Royce
This match has heel written all over it as Emma and Dana work over the newcomers to NXT. Billie and Peyton do get some offense in, but alas, Emma and Dana overwhelm the, with their experience. Emma and Dana spend a few minutes isolating Billie from her corner, which shows great fundamental tag team wrestling, and it gives the fans time to get behind Billie. Every time Billie gets close to tagging, Emma drags her back to their side of the ring, but Emma makes the mistake of arrogantly slapping Billie.
Rich: I wonder what this next week is going to be like for Dana Brooke as she perhaps studies video and visualizes what might go down a week from tonight at TakeOver (when she faces Asuka).
Corey: I think she needs to spend equal parts time in the gym and the church.
Billie manages to kick Emma in the face and she crawls towards her corner. She gets the tag, and Royce comes in and begins to beat on Dana. She goes for a body splash from the middle rope, but she slips and crashes to the mat. Ouch. It didn’t look like a particularly dangerous botch (but you never know), but it must have been painful.
Dana takes advantage by beating her down further, but Royce manages to hit a dropkick on Dana, but Emma breaks it up and throws Billie Kay to the outside of the ring, while Dana Brook hits the Samoan Driver on Royce for the win.
Solid tag team match here. It shows that Royce and Kay have potential, but Emma and Dana were the right ones to win here.
Jordan and Gable were cutting a promo about the possibility that they’ll be wrestling Joe and Balor, and how it’s unlikely that they’ll face Dash & Dawson. Dash & Dawson interrupt and tell them that Corbin & Rhino will win.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tyler Breeze
It’s time for your main event of the evening!
Tyler Breeze tries to out wrestle Ciampa, and he takes him down to the mat and spins over his back. Ciampa goes up onto all fours and crawls around the ring with Breeze on his back, leaving Breeze looking confused. The confusion doesn’t last long, but Ciampa manages to take advantage of Breeze’s anger and turn it around. Soon thereafter, he hits a massive knee to Breeze in the corner. Unfortunately for Ciampa, his advantage doesn’t last long and Breeze takes control again.
Much of this match is back and forth, allowing the indy guy with no contract still get a ton of offense. Good on you NXT for allowing Ciampa to look good in this match.
Ciampa hits Breeze with a monstrous forearm smash, followed by a brutal knee while Breeze was on his knees, and then nailed him with a clothesline. Ciampa goes to the top rope and dives, but Breeze leaps into the air and dropkicks Ciampa in the face. Beautiful.
Breeze is angry now and takes a page out of Stone Cold Steve’s Austin book and stomps a mudhole on Ciampa. He follows this with an Impaler/Unprettier/Killswitch and gets the 3 for the win.
This was another really solid match, and it makes sense for Breeze to start using the Unprettier as a finisher. The name itself lends (the Unprettier version anyway), lends itself to his gimmick.
The show closes with the final hype video for Bayley vs. Sasha Banks – Oh my goodness, this is going to be good.
OVERAL RATING: 3/5
Another really solid show here. It’s not blow your mind amazing, but it’s just so good consistently. Nothing is terrible, and everything seems to have purpose and planning behind it.
Best Match: Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs. Enzo & Big Cass
Worst Match: Dana Brooke & Emma vs. Billie Kay & Peyton Royce
Highlights: Joe and Balor are just great. Seeing Dana and Emma’s reaction to Asuka beating up that punching bag was awesome. The hype for Bayley vs. Sasha – what a well built matchup.
Episode 300 (the next episode of NXT) is just a hype episode for TakeOver, so I won’t be reviewing that. Next up is TakeOver – Respect!
Questions to think about:
What do you think of Emma’s new gimmick? We’ve had a few months to see it, so do you think it’s working for her?
Do you think Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will get a WWE contract?