Inside Pulse A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 02:56:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse Magic Mike XXL, Channing Tatum And The Kings Of Tampa Up For One Last Grind – A Review Sat, 04 Jul 2015 02:56:53 +0000
Double XL sequel offers pelvic thrusts and frozen yogurt

Magic Mike XXL is the extra, EXTRA large sequel that men have been dreading ever since their wives and girlfriends had their fifty shades of whatever. But guys need not be scared of rock-hard abs and pectorals; if anything they should applaud the athleticism on display when it comes to male stripping.

Now hear me out. Guys have no problems marveling at other men chasing down loose balls or slapping each other on the ass after making a spectacular play. But that’s different. That’s sports. Alright. Both are commercial enterprises, though, it’s just that one entertainer gets paid in singles while the other gets a weekly check worth thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (that’s more than a dozen lap dances, easy). Probably not enough of an argument to sway the general male consensus. Those guys that can keep an open mind and go in understanding that this movie is skewed to females first may actually take something away from a story that does its best to celebrate women.

Three years after Magic Mike made quite the sizable impression during Fourth of July weekend, the Kings of Tampa are back. There’s a reason why the title added two x’s and not just one. Super-sized dance numbers. The sequel is all about promoting a fun atmosphere.

Six guys on a road trip traveling from Florida to Myrtle Beach for a–wait for it–
stripper convention.

Channing Tatum’s Mike Lane has been out of the game trying to keep his small furniture business afloat. Then he gets a call from his past and he’s back in the saddle. (Cue Ginuwine’s “Pony”.)

Sporting a one-last-ride theme, the cadre of male strippers, which also includes Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Barbie’s main squeeze Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), who dreams of opening his own Frozen Yogurt food truck, and Tarzan (Kevin Nash), takes to the road with Tobias (funny man Gabriel Iglesias) as their MC/driver. With no central conflict, the narrative rides on the coattails–
no, thongs is more appropriate–and the misadventures they have along the way.

There is no rival stripping group they have to worry about; the convention is not about bragging rights or a cash prize. The journey allows for little arcs and the individual characters to shine, something that happens rarely in summer blockbusters. The choreography of the dances is impressive, but just as impressive is getting to spend time with the guys with their clothes on.

Pigeonholed on the basis of its subject matter, the stripping is just a catalyst to play to the desires of women. Doused in dollar bills that are seemingly left on the dance floor, the Kings of Tampa are there to make the women feel desirable.

The stripper mystique is not only sexual fantasy. Strippers fulfill an emotional longing for those ladies who feel unimportant. Enter Donald Glover as Andre. His act sees him resort to improv lyricism to freestyle rap, lifting the spirits of the woman he’s selected to serenade, as he slowly works his way down into her lap. It’s a loving freestyle about beauty and being appreciated.

While male strippers paying attention to women may come across as an act, the interactions these Tampa strippers have on the road, outside of a club atmosphere, where they meet a group of bored Savannah housewives (led by Andie MacDowell) and talk to them as human beings–not objects.

Make them feel at ease.
(before performing fake simulated sexual acts)
Less about obtaining that cherished female gaze.
More about respecting the female form.

Steven Soderbergh, who occupied the director’s chair for Magic Mike, steps away, but he might as well receive co-director credit; he was on-set handling cinematography and served as editor. Gregory Jacobs, his long-time assistant director, takes the spotlight this time. His previous credits include Criminal (the American remake of the Argentinian con artist drama Nine Queens) and Wind Chill, a stranded in the middle of nowhere ghost story starring Emily Blunt.

Jacobs’s style doesn’t overplay the visuals as a means of distraction. Soderbergh’s photography and expertise in post-production help to elevate and look and mood of certain scenes. The stark darkness of when Mike has a meet-cute moment with Zoe (Amber Heard), an aspiring photographer, on a beach is noticeable, like a classy art film, as is the use of reds and blues when the Kings venture to Savannah.

It is in sultry Georgia where the best surprise is revealed. Jada Pinkett Smith. She plays Rome, the proprietor of Domina, a stripping establishment that has its own sets of rules when it comes to how her employees service the clientele. And her skills as an MC are perfect in promoting hype and sensuality. Both she and Tatum are neck and neck in vying for movie MVP, but I give the slight edge to Smith on account that her performance is more of a breakthrough. Smith has been away from the game for a while that’s it’s easy to forget that she’s quite the physical actor. I like this side of Smith and think her performance is one where if her career starts to take off we can look back and say this was the role that took her places. Much like what happened to Matthew McConaughey when he played Dallas in Magic Mike.

Joe Manganiello is also hard to not notice. The guy is built like a brick wall. But there’s something missing in his life. The One. Being labeled Big Dick is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It becomes a problem in finding a woman that can handle such an erected structure so he can go all the way. Allusions to Ritchie’s massive manhood being Cinderella’s glass slipper are lobbied and it is a fitting descriptor. He also has the highlight dance, in a mini-mart where the audience is an uninterested cashier.

For a record-setting summer that has banked its success on superheroes and nostalgia (welcome back to Jurassic Park), it’s remarkable that Magic Mike XXL is so unabashedly entertaining. It may be lighter in tone than Soderbergh’s original (which was inspired by Tatum’s brief career as a male stripper), but the change helps to push the notion that women matter. They should be called queens, as Rome identifies them. The message of celebrating women and their wants and desires is hidden in plain view, just crane your neck around the grinding and the pelvic thrusts and you’ll see.

Director: Gregory Jacobs
Writer(s): Reid Carolin, based on characters created by Reid Carolin
Notable Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amber Heard, Donald Glover, Andie MacDowell×120.jpg

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Brie Bella Comments On Daniel Bryan’s Injury Situation, “He Has Such A Fight In Him” Sat, 04 Jul 2015 00:12:34 +0000

– Speaking to BBC, WWE Diva and wife of Daniel Bryan, Brie Bella, talked about the future of Bryan’s wrestling career. Bryan is currently out due to injury, and his future has reportedly been in question. Bella is optimist Bryan will wrestle again because he’s “stronger than any man I have ever met.” Below are some highlights.

Bella on her feeling that Bryan will return to the ring: “He has such a fight in him so I feel you will see him back in that ring. I know my husband’s dreams. Granted, he’s done so much in the wrestling business – and it’s not over forever – but it’s not supposed to end this way.”

Bella on his recovery and desire to return: “”He needs a lot of prayers. We talk about this daily and he will get back in that ring. That is his goal and I believe in him. I really do.”×120.jpg

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Ethan Carter III Talks About TNA Title Win, Kurt Angle, Prestige of Winning Championship Fri, 03 Jul 2015 21:34:31 +0000

This Is Awesome Wrestling Show with host Glenn Moore, interviewed new TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III today about his win and other topics. EC3 talks about the title win, which is his first singles belt of his career. What will the future hold for EC3 and TNA? He discusses what’s going on with Global Force Wrestling. Also, he talks about his character progression, and how Wednesday’s win was a culmination of his work from the last two years.

On Becoming TNA World Champion:

“Everything I’ve ever been through, every stupid personal or professional hell I’ve ever had to overcome, it made it all worth it. I’m very fortunate. I hate using the word blessed, because people use #blessed way too much. But for one day, I can say I was #blessed.”

Being able to watch his win and experience it with everyone else:

“Watching it personally, I had a nice soiree. My girlfriend hooked us up with a party and a bunch of people came by. What was cool about it, as much as people who support either her or I, our friends, they not huge wrestling fans. They check it out from time to time. Kind of fans we need more of, which is mainstream people checking it out from time to time. You know, again, when we talk about smart fans and credibility, or messing with the finisher or outside interference. The hook, line, and sinker with every little thing we did and every part of that story we told, like, it was mostly clean, but I’m still kind of a dirt bag because I still need a little help — the stuff with Tyrus.

I guess, a guy whose never had a wrestling match in his life who can give out stars can say, ‘Hey, that’s typical TNA.’

When you watch the reaction of the people we try to get, and they are hooked, line and sinker, and they are buying into this and seeing it unfold, it was kind of an out of body experience.”

Impact of having Kurt Angle be the wrestler he wins belt from:

“He’s a Hall of Famer in every company he’s been in, let’s not forget that. But I mean, dude, whoa. Like, whoa.

Like you said, we grew up watching Kurt. It’s very, very rare you have the opportunity to have your dream match. And I think it’s even more rare that it happens to be for a world title. It’s surreal.

You know, I’ve had that match a thousand times in my head. I remember doing German suplexes and then Angle Slams in my backyard, locking in the ankle lock. Next thing you know, I’ll take about eighteen of them…I don’t remember because they all hit me in the head. Withstand that, then defeat him with a wrestling hold. Ha! Pin! What? Out of control.”

Who hugged him first after win?

“John Gaburick.”

What did Angle say after the match?

“Later that day, he was sitting down talking to me, and I will not say what he said to me. But to hear those words come out of his mouth, was maybe even more important than actually winning the title.”

Joining the list of past TNA World Champions, like Sting, Jeff Hardy, Bull Ray, Samoa Joe, Mick Foley, Angle, and more:

“When you read it like that, that’s a pretty damn exclusive list. I guess that’s a great thing about TNA World Championship, they take a lot of slack for doing things wrestling fans hate for some reason. One thing they do very well is keep the integrity of the World Championship. And that’s pretty cool to be on that list.”×120.jpg

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WWE Thursday Night Smackdown 07/02/2015 Fallout (Ryback Humbled, Lana, Adam Rose/Rosa) PLUS Top 10 Smackdown Moments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:42:36 +0000

Check out some bonus videos of from Smackdown this week.

Plus The Top 10 Smackdown Moments

Top 10 SmackDown moments: WWE Top 10, July 2, 2015

A humbled Big Guy: SmackDown Fallout, July 2, 2015

Ready for the long haul: SmackDown Fallout, July 2, 2015

King Wassup proclaims: SmackDown Fallout, July 2, 2015

Lana ready for change: SmackDown Fallout, July 2, 2015

Kissy time: SmackDown Fallout, July 2, 2015×120.jpg

]]> 0 Brock Lesnar: The Beast in the East Live from Tokyo, on Saturday, July 4 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:05:00 +0000

WWE Network will air the WWE house show from Japan as Brock Lesnar: The Beast in the East Live from Tokyo, on Saturday, July 4.

Brock will face off against Kofi Kingston

Full media advisory:
STAMFORD, Conn., July 2, 2015 – The award-winning WWE Network will broadcast Brock Lesnar: The Beast in the East Live from Tokyo, on Saturday, July 4 at 5:30am EST from the iconic sumo stadium, Ryogoku Kokugikan. In his first match since WrestleMania®, WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar will return to action and NXT Champion Kevin Owens™ will defend his title against NXT Superstar Finn Bálor™.

Click here for the WWE Network promo.

WWE Network, which launched on February 24, 2014, is the fastest-growing digital subscription service with more than 1.3 million subscribers as of March 30, 2015. It is available in more than 175 countries, and was named Best Over-The-Top Content Service for 2015 at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards.

Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up for WWE Network online by going to and can watch WWE Network on their TVs through connected devices such as Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices as well as Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. WWE Network’s one-of-a-kind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more than 3,300 hours of video-on-demand programming.

For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.×1201.jpg

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WWE Thursday Night Smackdown 07/02/2015 Highlights (Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins) Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:45:46 +0000

Awesome videos of the best of Smackdown this week.

Brie Bella vs. Naomi: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

R-Truth vs. Adam Rose: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

Ryback vs. Mark Henry: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

An incensed Rusev makes his brutal intentions public: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

The Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt: SmackDown, July 2, 2015

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins: SmackDown, July 2, 2015×120.jpg

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Terminator: Genisys Might Be The Worst of The Terminator Sequels … and the Worst Film of 2015 – A Review Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:00:02 +0000
Avoid me if you want to live

Ever since James Cameron departed the director’s chair in the Terminator franchise the film series has struggled to try and find its vision. If Genisys, the latest sequel/reboot of the franchise, is any indication then Skydance Productions ought to hand Cameron a blank check and let him do the series properly. Why? Because in anyone else’s hands it’s become so obnoxiously bad that one genuinely hopes it doesn’t have the same box office that Jurassic World did. Genisys may not be the worst film of all-time … but it has a chance at being the worst film of 2015 when all is said and done.

Fairly complicated premise, even for a Terminator film.

We start out at the end of the great war between man and Skynet, as we find ourselves in the moments before the events of The Terminator. The humans have taken down Skynet … but not before the machines sent a terminator back in time to prevent the birth of John Connor (Jason Clarke). Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) volunteers to be sent back in time, to 1984, to be her protector and save her. But things are different as this Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is a badass warrior type raised from birth by a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and not the weak waitress played by Linda Hamilton from the original series. The timeline has been changed, as well, and the two team up to meet Schwarzenegger’s aging terminator in 2017 to stop Skynet from coming into existence. But there’s a wrinkle in the plans as John Connor himself has come back to the time period to prevent them from destroying Skynet, as well.

And that’s ultimately the problem as the film is so cluttered and complicated that it essentially takes what could be an easy film to make, of a new take on the 1984 original, and turns it into an ultra-violent but marginally cohesive episode of Dr. Who. To be fair the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, is around in a pivotal role.

The film’s main problem is that it doesn’t know what kind of Terminator film it wants to be. It’s not a proper sequel, as this film essentially wipes out the entire canon in the opening 10 minutes. It’s not a reboot because it alters the timeline in significant ways, as well. It’s trying to eliminate the entire franchise with the Star Trek style “alternative timeline” type of reboot/remake/sequel but it has so many callbacks and insider references to most of them that it gets bothersome after a while. The only thing that wasn’t explicitly referenced was “You could be mine” by Guns N’ Roses, it seems, as the franchise wants us to remember the good films and forget the non-Cameron sequels.

The other problem is that with a new timeline reboot comes an entirely new cast … one that doesn’t the sort of spark any of the prior ones did. One of the great things about rebooting a franchise is that you’re able to bring fresh faces and do interesting things with known characters. It’s interesting to see Sarah Connor thrust into a different role, of the person questioning her fate, than the damsel in distress she played in the first. It’s one that Nick Stahl, Edward Furlong and Christian Bale all played with their versions of John Connor and his mother always got short shrift. It’s a fairly brilliant take, of Sarah being the one trying to come to terms with her life being on a set path, but a film focusing on this like Rise of the Machines did with Stahl and that version of John Connor’s story would’ve been more interesting than what is presented.

There’s no spark between Courtney and Emilia Clarke, who look photogenic together but the sort of star crossed lovers they are supposed to be never comes though. There is no chemistry between them unlike Michael Biehn and Hamilton in the original; one of the unsung things about that film was that Biehn and Hamilton meshed so well in their interactions. Clarke and Courtney don’t and that end of the film, one that matters so profoundly and powerfully, doesn’t work. Courtney does a good job of bringing Reese the soldier into the mix but the film wants everyone to look good for the camera instead of grimy and muggy, like the original film series did. There’s too much glitz and glamour as everyone looks ready for a photo shoot; if you’re going to ape the original in spirit then going all the way. Jai Courtney looks like he’s getting ready to play soldier in the future, not a soldier sent from the future to save the past.

What we get overall from a story perspective is a sort of half mix of Sarah grasping her faith and a Michael Bay style action film. It’s visually impressive, including early on when CGI allows for an older Schwarzenegger to face off against his 1984 self, but there’s no heart to it. It’s a Transformers film with time travel, nothing more.

Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier based on characters created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd
Notable Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith

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Big Brother 17 Live Feed Spoilers: Daily Recap 07.02.2015 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:47:43 +0000

The insanity of Big Brother 17 continued last night. Here’s a recap of everything important that went down of the Big Brother Live Feeds from 8:00 AM BBT on July 2nd, all the way through 8:00 AM July 3rd.

WARNING: Spoilers below (duh).

Following the wake up call, Audrey tells John that if she wins HOH next week, he’ll be completely safe. She says she’s going after the person who threw her under the bus.

The feeds go off for live show and live show preparation. Due to the 4th of July, both the nomination ceremony and Battle of the Block will occur tonight, before the houseguests go to bed. For a recap of the live show, check out our recap here.

After the feeds return, John, Jeff, and James are discussing Audrey. They all wan’t Audrey out next, and also talk a bit about how Jace screwed up. Jeff tells Da’Vonne and James that Audrey hates him and she is going after him.

Da’Vonne is certain Audrey’s throwout vote, which had anyone else voted out Jackie would have been considerably more interesting, was just Austin with a sympathy vote.

Clay tells Austin that he’s seen Jeff whisper to Jason and Da’Vonne, and that he is getting weird vibes from him.

Audrey, making up more lies to try and screw herself over, complains to Jeff that someone is trying to set her up with that 1 vote, which at this point practically no one has discussed it. Clay enters, whats to make an alliance of Clay, Jeff, Shelli, and Audrey.

Becky agrees to try and get out Audrey this week, and will try and get Shelli on board.

After “Nomination Today” appears on the television in the living room, Shelli and Becky begin discussing nominations, but it entirely consists of what is the best way to get Audrey out.

Becky and Shelli choose Steve, Jason, Meg, and James as the have-nots for the week.

The plan is to get Audrey out, with Steve as a backup.

Upon Shelli revealing this plan to Clay, he offers a different idea: keep both Steve and Audrey safe for our alliance, and backdoor Da’Vonne.

Becky is putting up Steve but needs a pawn, Jason volunteers.

Clay is telling Shelli to put himself up against Da’Vonne and he will throw the Battle of the Block. She says she won’t do it.

Lots more pre-nomination scrambling.

As Becky informs Steve to assure him the target is Audrey, Shelli and Clay are scrambling downstairs to save her.

Shelli and Clay ask John to go up as a pawn against Da’Vonne to throw the BOTB. He agrees.

Quick side note: This is the best possible scenario for a BOTB I’ve ever seen. Both sides want people throwing things to get the other out, and no one agrees on who the target is.

Austin informs Audrey of the fact she is getting nominated, and tells Steve about Da’Vonne’s nomination.

Nomination Ceremony Time:

Becky has nominated Jason and Steve for eviction.

Shelli has nominated Da’Vonne and John for eviction.

Da’Vonne to Jason: “All those motherf*ckers knew!. Jason: “We’re their plan B, if they can’t get her out, it’s us!”

Battle of the Block Time! Drumroll please….

Steve and Jason have won the Battle of the Block! Shelli remains HOH, and this weeks nominees are John and Da’Vonne.

Very interesting start to BB17 week 2. The POV will be later today, which will be instrumental in how this week plays out. Be sure to check back for more recaps here on Inside Pulse.

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WWE House Show Results For July 3, 2015 Event in Japan (Chris Jericho vs. Finn Balor, John Cena vs. Kevin Owens) Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:39:30 +0000

Check out the results from the July 3, 2015 WWE event in Japan.

(1) Neville def. Kofi Kingston. A pretty solid high-flying opener. Lots of “New Day sucks” chants and a big pop for the Red Arrow finish.

(2) Cesaro def. King Barrett.

(3) The Lucha Dragons def. Los Matadores and the New Day in a triple threat tag team match.

(4) Dolph Ziggler def. Kane in a Tokyo Street Fight.

(5) Nikki Bella def. Tamina Snuka to retain the WWE Divas title.

(6) Finn Balor def. Chris Jericho in the hands-down best match of the show. So awesome to see Jericho back in the ring for nights like these, and even better when he puts over the future stars.

(7) U.S. Champion John Cena def. NXT Champion Kevin Owens via DQ. Owens hit him with the low blow after a 20-minute match and not being able to win it after numerous finisher attempts. Cena comes back and hits the AA to send the fans home happy.×120.jpg

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JT on NXT – July 1st 2015 – Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens & Rhyno Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:09:23 +0000 JT on NXT logo

It’s NXT time and we kick off with a promo package for the main event, then we’re heading into the ring with Aiden English and Simon Gotch!

Match 1: The Vaudvillains vs Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder

Apparently Dawson & Dash are throwbacks to the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, which is a reference that I’m guessing most people are going to miss. Wilder starts off against Gotch, who snatches a headlock but gets forced back into the corner as the tag is made to Dawson.

Dawson and Gotch face off, showing that Dawson is pretty short, then they lock up. Gotch is forced back into the corner again and Dawson breaks on three, but hits a cheap shot to the ribs. Irish whip into the corner from Dawson, but Simon uses some old-timey calisthenics to dodge a charge, then hits a sunset flip for a two count.

Arm wrench from Gotch and a tag to English, who goes to the second rope and hits a manly elbow to Dawson’s arm. Immediate tag back to Gotch, followed by some sweet team strikes and a strongman pose from Gotch. Dawson gets back to his feet and Gotch locks in an armlock, but Dawson grabs the hair to force him back into the corner and break the hold.

Tag to Dash Wilder and he lays into Gotch with some stiff strikes, then tags back to Dawson and holds Gotch while Dawson kicks him in the gut. Irish whip by Dawson followed by a back elbow, then a leg drop and knee drop for the pin and a two count. Nostril grab from Dawson, followed by a stiff elbow to the head, then a European uppercut and tag to Wilder.

Gotch manages to dodge a convoluted double team move and makes the hot tag to English, who takes down both Dawson & Wilder with a series of straight right hands. English whips Wilder into the corner, hits a big back body drop on Dawson and then an atomic drop on Wilder, finishing the sequence with a running kick to Wilder’s head.

Tag to Gotch, European uppercut to the back of the head, running neckbreaker combo from English and Gotch gets the pin and the three count. The recap suggests that this move is called the whirling dervish, which is as good a name as any I suppose.

Nice, hard hitting opening match. I enjoy the Vaudvillains schtick but I’m not sure I can see them breaking through on the main roster, while Dawson & Dash bring something a little different to the NXT tag scene, which is always a good thing.

Interview with Becky Lynch about an injury to her hip flexor, which means she has to take a few weeks off. Bummer. I like Becky Lynch.

Match 2: Baron Corbin vs Tucker Knight

They’re calling Corbin the Big Bad Wolf, and at least one of those words is accurate. Tucker Knight looks like Bull Dempsey in trunks, which does not bode well.

Lockup, then a break, and Corbin kicks Knight in the gut and smacks him in the head. Facebuster chokeslam from Corbin, followed by the end of days for the pin and the three count.

I want my two minutes back.

Back from the break we’re in Regal’s office with Enzo, Big Cass and the Vaudvillians, announcing their number one contenders match next week.

Next up is part 3 of Who is Finn Balor, showing off some of the awesome body paint he’s worn over the years. Another great video package about a humble man who has paid his dues.

Match 3: Emma vs Carmella

Emma is accompanied to the ring by Dana Brooke, and Carmella is working the fabulous gimmick. The crowd chant’s We Love Emma, which is pretty funny as she’s supposed to be the heel in this match.

Headlock takedown from Carmella but Emma reverses with a headscissors, keeping the hold locked until Carmella slips out. Back on their feet Emma grabs a headlock, but Carmella wrenches the arm and grabs a headlock of her own. A somewhat clumsy Irish whip spot ends with Carmella taking down Emma with another headlock.

Emma grabs Carmella’s hair to break the hold and whips her into the corner, but runs into a back elbow from Carmella. Second rope headscissors takedown from Carmella followed by a high clothesline. Emma tries to hide in the ropes but Carmella grabs her arm and pulls it over the top rope, only breaking when the ref gets to a four count.

Big kick to the gut from Emma, followed by a nasty hair pull slam, and I get the impression that Emma might be working a little stiff in response to the high clothesline. Pin with Emma’s knee across Carmella’s throat, but a kick out at two.

Emma locks in a bodyscissors submission, then lays in a couple of forearms to Carmella’s back for good measure. Carmella tries to roll her over into a pin but Emma reverses and goes batshit crazy, slapping and punching the back of Carmella’s head.

Dana Brooke yells encouragement as the crowd chants for Carmella to tap out, but Carmella hits a couple of back elbows to Emma’s jaw to break the submission. Shouldercharge from Emma in the corner, but Carmella gets her boot up on the second time around. Shoulderblocks and a Thetz press from Carmella, then a kick to the gut and running boot to the head.

Carmella goes for the Staten Island shuffle but Emma reverses with a drop toehold, locks in the Emmalock and Carmella quickly taps out.

Remarkably stiff match from Emma, with Carmella trying to keep up but giving a performance JR would call ‘bowling shoe ugly’.

Comedy segment with Bull Dempsey assaulting a candy machine. To say that he is slightly more entertaining out of the ring is not meant as a compliment.

Match 4: Tyler Breeze vs Tye Dillinger

Breeze stalls to start, quick lockup into an armdrag on Dillinger. As Tye collects his wits Breeze poses across the top ropes, drawing Dillinger in for the charge but cutting him off with a furry boot to the face. Elbow from Dillinger then some kicks in the corner, then a boot choke over the second rope.

Jumping boot from Dillinger, then another which gets a pin and a one count. Multiple cover attempts from Dillinger, but Breeze kicks out before the ref has a chance to count to one. Chop in the corner and a headbutt to the back from Dillinger, followed by a finger stomp and a powerslam.

Irish whip into a jumping reversal from Breeze, followed by a reverse DDT. Strikes from Breeze into a hurricurana, then a short reversal sequence before Breeze hits the beauty shot for the pin and the three count.

Nothing remarkable from Breeze, although Dillinger got more offence than usual, which is nice for him I suppose. I’d have been more than happy to drop this match and give the main event more time.

Locker room confrontation between Sasha Banks and Emma & Dana. The boss challenges them to a match, then realises that she needs a partner. Ooh, drama.

Match 5: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs Kevin Owens & Rhyno

Rhyno starts out against Joe, and cuts off the lockup with a kick to the gut and forearm to the back of the head. Rhyno throws a punch, but Joe responds with a flurry blows, forcing Rhyno back into the corner. For some reason Joe decides this is a good time to attack Kevin Owens, but KO dodges the attack and Rhyno hits Joe from behind.

Irish whip reversal sends Rhyno into the corner, and Joe hits the running back spash/enziguiri combo. Tag to Balor, who hits Rhyno with a chop, Irish whip and a dropkick, then covers him for a one count. Balor grabs a headlock but Rhyno lays punches into his ribs, then forces him back into the corner and tags in Owens.

Rhyno holds Balor in the corner as Owens lays in some shots, then they hit a nice sequence of reversals into an Owens sunset flip/seated dropkick from Balor. Back on their feet Balor tries to hit a suplex, but he can’t get Owens off his feet, and the big man hits him in the ribs to break the hold.

Owens lays in some more strikes and kicks in the ring, then tosses Balor to the outside and taunts Joe. While the ref is distracted getting Joe out of the ring Rhyno gets in some cheap shots on the floor, then we’re off to an ad break as Rhyno rolls Balor back into the ring.

Back from the break and Owens is still working over Balor, taking him down with a hard back elbow for a two count. Tag to Rhyno and some more clubbing offence, followed by a nice delayed vertical suplex and some squats into a slam. Pin gets two, then Owens hits a snapmare into a chinlock, wearing Balor down.

Balor tries to fire up but Owens hits a couple of big shoulderblocks and then a blue thunder bomb and a five knuckle shuffle. He picks Balor up in the attitude adjustment position, but Balor fights his way out and hits a double stomp to Owens chest. As Owens crawls over to Rhyno, Balor makes the tag to Samoa Joe!

Rhyno hits the rings and gets taken down wit some stiff clotheslines, an inverted atomic drop and a running kick to the head from Joe. Running senton gets two and Joe lays in some straight shots to Rhyno’s head. He hits the ropes but Owens takes a shot at his back, so Joe turns around and punches him in the face.

As Joe turns back around Rhyno hits a spinebuster for a pin and a two count, then makes the tag to Owens. KO charges at Joe but gets taken down with a single-arm slam, then Joe makes the tag to Balor.

The Irishman goes to the top rope as Joe sets up Owens for the muscle buster in the opposite corner, but Rhyno spoils the fun but jumping up and pushing Balor off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Joe levels Rhyno with a clothesline but turns around and walks into a pop up powerbomb from Owens.

Balor hits the ring and goes for the sling blade on Owens, but he reverses and hits a superkick. Balor is staggered but hits the Pele kick and takes Owens down. As Finn and Owens struggle to their feet, Rhyno lines up for the gore, but Balor dodges out of the way and Rhyno hits Owens!

Shotgun dropkick from Balor sends Rhyno crashing into Owens in the corner, then out of the ring. Hesitation dropkick on Owens in the corner sets up the coup de grace, and Finn Balor gets the pin and the three count on Kevin Owens.

Solid match from all four men, with Samoa Joe looking dominant even though he didn’t really have a lot to do. This match would have benefitted from more time (like, the whole episode) but I get that they need to keep something in the bag.

Better than average episode of NXT, with two good tag bouts and a fun diva beatdown.×120.jpg

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