Tag Team Title #1 contenders will be decided tonight. Plus, the Divas of NXT are in action, continuing the first round of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament. Will Emma dance her way to victory?..I’m so sorry for that.
Match 1: Big E Langston vs Aiden English
Winner: Big E Langston via pinfall
So for some reason, this cut to the match just about to start, no actual intro. Aiden gets cocky and gets bulldozed by Langston, who drops the straps and hits the Big Ending.
E hits another one for good measure, because he’s mad as hell. E obeys the crowd and delivers one more.
Emma is playing with a bubble gun, practicing popping them with her dance poke. Her aim is less than stellar, and says she’s ready for the interview that’s already occurring. Emma’s strategy for beating Aksana is “to win”. Renee Young is asked to hold Emma’s bubble gun and when she goes to pull the trigger, Emma scolds her. This is way more entertaining than it has any right to be.
Match 2: Aksana vs Emma, NXT Women’s Championship First Round
Winner: Emma via submission
I love how happy the crowd gets when Emma gets in the ring in one shot.
Emma dances at Aksana, who lashes out at her. Aksana chokes her in the ropes, then hits a side slam. Aksana does her sexycrawl and then kicks Emma in the face for a couple of near falls. Emma counters in the corner and does Miz’s “slide under the ropes for a pin” for two, and Aksana answers with a back elbow for a two of her own. Aksana stomps on Emma’s midsection then mounts Emma for pinfalls, which she fights out of. Emma rolls Aksana over and it’s catfight time. Aksana hits a clothesline and celebrates, then manages to whiff a body scissors and a head scissors. She gets the headscissors locked in and does the old “roll over and bash the person’s head into the mat” bit, but she lets the headscissors go, so she’s just sort of humping Emma’s head. Aksana with chops in the corner, and Emma boots her way out. Aksana gets a gut kick and Emma escapes a scoop slam, into the DilEmma (This was definitely the “Emmalock” a week ago) for the win.
A video for Leo Kruger plays, even though it’s the same character he was before, so I guess it’s just a “returning” video.
Match 3: Dante Dash vs Leo Kruger
Winner: Leo Kruger via submission
Kruger’s entrance is pretty simple, but the up-his-face video and the spotlight of him in a ready to hunt position is great. Simple goes a long way when it’s done well.
Dash backs Kruger into the corner, who answers with a knee and a toss to the turnbuckle. Kruger with a chop, a mongolian chop and two more chops. Kruger with a rolling arm snapmare takedown, which he transitions to a hammerlock. He drives knees to the back and then wrenches the opposite arm into a top wrist lock. Kruger continues to work the arm without breaking contact, ending up on their feet and draping the arm over his shoulder multiple times. Kruger throws Dash to the ring post, then into the opposite one. Kruger with…I don’t even know. A hammerlock head-and-arm suplex. I love innovative slams and suplexes, I really do – kudos to showing me one I haven’t seen before. Kruger follows with The Slice, a running open palm lariat. Kruger transitions to the GC3, his key lock clutch for the win.
Conor O’Brian has a vignette and says “we” will rise again…The return of The Ascension as a tag team perhaps?
Match 4: Mickey Keegan vs Bo Dallas (NXT Champion)
Winner: Bo Dallas via pinfall
Kruger is still crouched in the corner of the barricade to watch the new NXT Champion. At least somebody wants to see him, right?
Bo and Keegan exchange early on, but Bo gets a fireman’s carry, followed by a dropkick off the ropes. Keegan fights back with a belly to back after Bo grabs a headlock, but Bo fires back with running forearms, followed by the gut shot/boot combination and a rope running bulldog. Bo fires up for…an irish whip and hits the Hiptoss from Hell for the win. Bo is in a spotlight as he holds the NXT title over his head. Kruger comes in, smiles at Bo and hits the hammerlock suplex and the Slice on Keegan. Bo, being the upstanding babyface he is, looks on with a grimace on his face. Kruger slowly crouches and reaches in to touch the NXT title, then backs away.
Match 5: Kassius Ohno & Corey Graves vs Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan, NXT Tag Title #1 Contendship
Winners: Kassius Ohno & Corey Graves via pinfall
My audio has completely cut out since halfway through the Dallas match, so this is WAY less exciting.
Ohno locks up with Dawson, exchanging arm wrenches. Ohno wins the exchange and tags in Graves who continues working the arm, then it’s Ohno’s turn again. He grounds Dawson and works the arm, then tags Graves again who keeps the pressure on. Dawson tries a hip toss, but Graves hits an arm drag out of it, then a Japanese arm drag. Graves is sent to the ropes and takes a shot in the gut. Dawson tags in Dylan, who clubs away at Graves. Dawson is quickly tagged back in to boot away at him in the corner. Dylan back in now for a neck breaker and a two count.
Back from a break, Dawson drops a leg and an elbow on Graves. Dylan tags in and continues to club away on Graves. Yes, the match is as repetitive as the summary. Dylan with a chin lock on Graves, then he drags him into the corner so Dawson can hit an uppercut for a two count. Graves fights out of another chinlock with a jaw breaker and tags in Ohno, who lays into Dawson with right fists, a scoop slam and a jumping senton. Ohno hits a low dropkick, then a Crash Landing (that’s a throwback). Ohno wants a cravate, but Dawson escapes, hits a spinebuster and tags in Dylan for his axe handle half of their finish. Graves quickly breaks it up and Dylan beats on Ohno out of frustration. Dawson is tagged back in and boots him in the ribs, then drops an elbow for a two count. Dawson follows with a short arm clothesline for another two. Dylan is back in and boots away, then straps on a neck wrench. Ohno fights out and gets cut short on the hot tag. Dylan fumbles with his boots but stops the tag again, only to take a huge right hand from Ohno. Ohno blocks a whip to the ropes and fights back again. Ohno counters a back body drop into a sunset flip and Dylan fights for a tag. Ohno uses this to try and make one of his own, but gets cut off again. Dylan throws his foot down for some reason, then gets elbowed in the mouth. Graves finally tags in and fires away at Dylan with rights and backfists. Graves follows this with…more rights and a jumping knee. Graves sends Dylan to the corner and blocks a boot, using the ropes to figure four Dylan’s feet in the corner and unload on him with more rights. Graves with a fireman’s carry and dropping Dylan neck first on his knee. Ohno blasts Dawson to the floor, then Graves clips the knee of Dylan and locks in Lucky 13 for the win.
The Wyatt Family immediately hits the ring and takes it to the new number one contenders. They fight back valiantly, but the numbers get the best of them. Adrian Neville hits the ring to make the save, knocking all three of them out of the way. Graves hits a high kick on the apron and wants the corkscrew SSP, but Dawson drops him on the top turnbuckle. Regal leaves the commentary booth to go even the odds, but gets dog-piled. Dawson, Dylan and the Wyatt Family end up isolating Regal in the corner for a Bray Wyatt avalanche.
That…was weird. The intro, not the match. Big E is mad that his title was taken from him and he dominated English in about 30 seconds flat. Perfectly serviceable squash.
Emma seems to have Joe Park syndrome – She gets an ass whooping, something triggers in her and she turns vicious. This is not a complaint, mind you. I’m digging Emma, if only because she’s a bit different than a standard Diva. Solid match from Emma’s side; the best you’d expect from Aksana.
I’d very much like to know the meaning behind the name “GC3”, but I dig the move regardless…likely because it’s basically the London Dungeon and who doesn’t love Nigel McGuinness? Kruger with a squash to reestablish his very interesting repertoire. I’m a fan of Kruger, I really am. He’s interesting to watch wrestle, he’s interesting when making his entrance, he’s interesting when he speaks. Kruger could do well on the main roster, given the proper prey to hunt (yes, I went there).
Bo, I hate your finisher, I hate your hair, I hate your face. Even in your own match, Kruger outshined you. The only way Bo will work in any feasible way is if he ends up a heel champion that doesn’t recognize he’s a heel. Otherwise, he’s just a babyface that everyone either dislikes or just doesn’t care about in general. That’s bad no matter what.
I’ll be honest, the tag match was a little bit on the ho-hum side. The action after the match, however was quite entertaining. Regal seems to be the last stepping stone before people leave NXT. I don’t mind this as a tradition, but there comes a point where destroying Regal will lose some effect as it repeats. Someone like Wyatt can get away with it, I feel. Still don’t buy Graves as a tough guy, but the focus here was entirely on Wyatt and company. I can only assume that the next few weeks of NXT will build to Wyatt springboarding off of the beaten Regal to Raw. And that’s a good thing.
As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom. I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
Tags: aksana, big e langston, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, emma, Kassius Ohno, Leo Kruger, NXT, William Regal, WWE