Tonight, the first NXT Women’s Champion will be determined in a bout between fan favorites Emma and Paige. Sheamus takes on The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper, to follow up on last week. Plus, Tyler Breeze catwalks into the NXT arena.
Match 1: Paige vs Emma, NXT Women’s Championship
Winner: Paige, new NXT Women’s Champion
Long tie up with Paige putting Emma in the corner, then a sweep from Paige and a snapmare from Emma for one counts. Paige shoulder blocks Emma and gets another one. Paige wants a scoop slam, but Emma reverses, reversed again by Paige. Emma hits a schoolgirl out of the corner for one, then dodges Paige as she rushes the corner and hits her Miz slide-in pin for two. Emma gives Paige an arm wringer all the way to the mat for a one count and then goes into a hammerlock. Paige pulls at her hair to escape but eventually rolls out and hits a headbutt to break it and gets a two. Paige tries for a backslide, but Emma fights her off and gets in the ropes to escape, turning it into the Dil-Emma (her Tarantula). After the rope break, Paige mule kicks her to the floor and leads to a commercial.
Back to action, Emma is in charge and dancing, then hits her low crossbody in the corner for two. Emma lifts Paige and whips her to the ropes, but Paige comes back with a sunset flip. Emma kneels down and dances, but Paige immediately reaches her legs up and gets a two count after rolling Emma over. Emma with a double axe handle and a stomp in response, then a chin lock. Paige can’t quite fight out as Emma locks it in tighter. Paige eventually stomps Emma’s foot, but runs into a back elbow and another two count. Emma goes into a rear waist lock and grounds Paige with it. Paige eventually fights to her feet and backs Emma into the corner for rapid back elbows, then catches a boot from Emma on her shoulder. Paige snapmares Emma by her foot and transitions to a loose Cloverleaf (no arms threaded, but the camera angle helps to hide it). Emma rolls out and kicks Paige away, then tries a small package but only gets two. Emma trips Paige and wants the Emma Lock, but Paige headbutts out and delivers knees from the apron. Paige heads to the top rope, but Emma intercepts her with a slap and meets her on the top floor to deliver a superplex. Emma can’t capitalize, but is first to move, crawling over for a nearfall. Paige fights up and hits a pair of kicks then the Paige Turner to clinch the title.
Paige’s fellow NXT Divas come out to congratulate her, followed soon after by HHH with a round of applause. HHH parades Paige around with her arm in the air and gives her a hug.
Match 2: Angelo Dawkins vs Tyler Breeze
Winner: Tyler Breeze via pinfall
Breeze does a bit of a catwalk up and down the ramp, then takes some iPhone selfies. He’s billed “making his seasonal residence in Milan, Italy”; ok, that’s pretty good. The ref and Dawkins are eager to start the match, but Breeze is using the camera on his phone to make sure his hair is coiffed perfectly. Breeze says “just one more” and Dawkins gets tired of, attacking from behind. Breeze immediately fires back with forearms to the back. Dawkins counters a whip and tries a couple of roll ups for near falls, but Breeze hits a back elbow and kicks away at Dawkins. Breeze grabs his phone for another selfie mid-match then hits a spinning heel kick for the win.
Match 3: The Ascension vs Mickey Keegan & Aiden English
Winners: The Ascension via pinfall
Preceded by The Ascension doing their intense talking bit.
O’Brian starts off by running over English with shoulders then tagging in Victor who strikes at English’s open midsection and chops him in the corner. Victor lifts and slams English, then tags O’Brian back in for a double team slam. O’Brian roars in the corner then delivers an avalanche to English and tags Victor back in, who knocks Keegan off the apron and hits English with a Gobstopper knee. O’Brian gets the tag and its a double hip toss catching slam now. Victor tags back in immediately and they roar at each other, then deliver a back elbow/rolling sweep Total Elimination for the easy win.
Match 4: Sheamus vs Luke Harper
Winner: Sheamus via pinfall
On the initial tie up, Harper shows he can hang with Sheamus strength-wise. Sheamus grabs a headlock, but Harper resists the take over and sends him to the ropes, shouldering the Irishman down. Knuckle lock, turned into an arm wringer by Sheamus and then another headlock. Harper bounces him off the ropes again, but this time is the one knocked to the mat. Harper bails to the floor and takes a lap, then Wyatt whispers something to him. Sheamus trips Harper and pounds him on the mat, then tries to run him into the corner. Harper releases and strikes at Sheamus, who answers in kind. Harper sends Sheamus to the corner, but he bounces out with a forearm. Sheamus drops his knee on the neck of Harper and puts some pressure on it. Harper continues to stand toe to toe, but takes a kick when he ducks too soon for a back drop. Sheamus clotheslines Harper to the apron and forearms his chest. When Rowan tries to interfere, he takes them instead. This gives Harper time to get back in the ring and surprise Sheamus with a back elbow, and Rowan hits a lariat while the ref’s back is turned. Sheamus is down on the floor as NXT goes to commercial.
Harper is in control and has Sheamus reeling in the corner, hitting a running back elbow that drops him to his knees. Harper stands on Sheamus’ head, then rakes his face in the ropes. The ref admonishes Harper and Rowan gets in another cheap shot. Harper grabs a chinlock and keeps Sheamus grounded with it. Sheamus begins to fight up to his feet and exchanges shots with Harper, then hits the tilt a whirl slam to even things up. Forearms back and forth until Sheamus begins to hit his axe handles, then drills Harper into the corner and hits the knee lift. Sheamus wants the rolling fireman’s carry, but Harper fights down and hits a Bossman Slam (Dawson calls it a “tilt a whirl side slam” and that just bugs the HELL out of me, especially because Sheamus JUST did a tilt a whirl slam that he didn’t call). Sheamus kicks out at two. Harper hops to the second rope, but whiffs on a splash attempt. Sheamus hits his rolling fireman’s carry for two. Sheamus heads to the top, but Harper tries to put a stop to it, only to be beaten away from the corner. Harper ducks the battering ram shoulder block and the Brogue Kick, then hits a wild discus lariat for two. Wyatt is worried at ring side and Harper hits another corner avalanche. Sheamus gets his boot up on the next one and throws Harper into Rowan, then lands White Noise. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick and connects, winning the match. Wyatt has himself a laugh as Sheamus celebrates, then makes his way toward the ring. Wyatt gives a polite clap to Sheamus and helps to take Harper to the back.
Maybe a little resthold-heavy on Emma’s end, but that was a perfectly fine match. It’s always nice to see the girls not settle for the status quo and pull out some stops. The superplex is rare to see from them and it actually had real impact on the match, not just some throw away bump or spot. It was the legit turning point and led to the end in a logical fashion. Great stuff and I hope that Paige is allowed to shine in her remaining time in NXT and when she comes to WWE’s main roster. It will be a travesty if she gets lost in the Diva shuffle or is paraded around in a fashion that doesn’t showcase her real skill.
Ok, the camera bit went way too long, but in a good way. Easy heat, establish the gimmick. Fine stuff. He squashed a guy who has at least 30 pounds on him, so that makes Dawkins a forever-jobber. I’m a “moves guy”; a stickler for moves being important. Finishing with a spinning heel kick doesn’t do it for me. If it’s not a viable finish in WWE, it shouldn’t be used as one in NXT, because it makes for a bad foundation. But, that’s the only criticism I can offer and it’s really just a personal nit-pick. I have to give this a thumbs up, because I was convinced I’d hate this gimmick when I saw it last week and I’m sold on him being a decent “I freakin hate this guy” heel.
I always like Total Elimination/High-Low finishers, but O’Brian is so damn big that it seems like a waste having him do a rolling sweep. A chop block or anything else would be a much stronger visual. Not much else to say about a squash that’s meant to reintroduce The Ascension as a tag act. Does anyone else have a hard time keeping a straight face when Victor and O’Brian roar at each other?
Just what I wanted – These two beat the hell out of each other. Harper looked great in the ring with Sheamus; that match would have been perfectly at home on Raw, and I hope that’s something that happens in the near future. Aside from Rowan’s couple of cheap shots, Harper was shown to keep up with Sheamus as far as skill and strength, which is a huge nod in WWE. Harper is incredibly solid in the ring and has a great grasp on the mannerism and voice of his character. Even the way he smiles like a sicko as Bray whispers into his ear is stellar. Harper is another example of bringing in talented guys, giving them a simple but effective gimmick and letting them run with it. Please keep that up, WWE.
NXT Champion “No Mo'” Bo Dallas teams with Sami Zayn to take on Antonio Cesaro and Leo Kruger. 3/4’s of this matchup looks great. And Bo will be there too.
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: Bray Wyatt, conor o'brian, emma, Lance Storm, Luke Harper, NXT, Paige, sheamus, The Ascension, triple h, Tyler Breeze, WWE, wyatt family