It’s NXT time, and we kick off with a recap of Kevin Owens’ awesome match with John Cena at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
Match 1: Tyler Breeze vs Adam Rose
Adam Rose makes his return to NXT, making his way to the ring solo and unaccompanied by the Rosebuds. Somewhat amusingly, Adam’s furry red hoodie matches Tyler’s furry red cape, and Breeze looks annoyed at the fashion faux pas.
Lockup to start, and Rose forces Breeze back into the corner with his hands in Tyler’s face. Rose breaks the hold at a four count and retreats to the centre of the ring, grinning a very Leo Kruger looking grin. Another lockup and Rose grabs the hair to force Breeze back into the corner again.
Boot to the gut followed by chops from Rose, then he slams Tyler’s head into the turnbuckle. Grounded side headlock from Rose, but Breeze rolls him over into a pin which Rose quickly reverses. Breeze eventually works his way out of the submission but gets taken down with a shoulderblock.
Run the ropes into a leapfrog from Breeze, then a spinning back kick reverses the momentum. Rose rolls to the ring apron to collect his wits and Breeze hits a springboard dropkick to send him crashing to the floor.
Breeze rolls Rose back into the ring and pins him for a one count. Irish whip from Breeze is reversed when Rose grabs the ropes and sends Breeze over the top to the outside. Posing in the ring from Rose, who seems to have dropped the party boy persona altogether.
Back from the break and Rose is in control, dropping a series of elbows on Breeze for a pin and a two count. Sleeper hold from Rose slows the match down, but Breeze eventually fights his way out. Clothesline from Rose into an Irish whip, but Breeze hits an enziguiri.
Punches and a standing headscissors from Breeze, rolled into mounted punches. Irish whip into the turnbuckle but Rose gets hit feet up as Breeze runs in for the clothesline. Rose hits a double palm strike to Breeze’s chest, then hits him with the slice in the corner. He hits a running kick which looks like a tribute to Hideo Itami, then goes to hit a backdrop but Breeze reverses.
Big spinebuster from Rose gets a two count, and he transitions into a Boston crab. Breeze finally fights his way to the ropes and Rose breaks the hold at four, then hits a leg drop on the ring apron. Elbow drop from the apron to the floor draws a Foley chant from the crowd, as Rose rolls Breeze back into the ring.
Rose yells and goes for another slice, but Breeze hits the beauty shot for the pin and the three count.
Great match from both competitors, with Rose seemingly between gimmicks and Breeze continuing to play the talented douchebag to perfection.
Interview with Solomon Crowe. He doesn’t regret a single thing. Well, maybe the haircut.
Some Total Divas thing which the crowd hates and I fast forward.
Back from the break and William Regal announces the July 4th event in Tokyo, Japan, where Finn Balor will be facing Kevin Owens for the NXT title.
Match 2: Carmella vs Alexa Bliss
Both divas are accompanied by their tag team cronies, with shenanigans sure to ensue. The boys are banished to the outside as Alexa taunts Carmella, and is rewarded by a Lou Thetz takedown and mounted punches as soon as the bell rings!
Alexa fights her way out and Carmella hits exactly the same move on the other side of the ring, and then again in the middle. Alexa finally gets bored of the repetition and hits a stiff forearm to the jaw, grabs the hair and then Irish whips Carmella into the corner. Bliss charges in but Carmella hits a back elbow, then dodges a clothesline but gets dumped face first on the top turnbuckle.
Hair throw takedown into a two count from Bliss, then into a neck vice submission. More hair work and another neck submission from Alexa, and this really isn’t a great match. Bliss dodges a clothesline and hits a sweep kick to take out Carmella’s legs, then goes for the standing moonsault knee drop, but Carmella rolls out of the way.
Alexa misses a charge in the corner and Carmella takes her down with a pair of shoulderblocks, then a kick to the gut and running knee to the jaw. Elbow thrusts in the corner from Carmella, but Bliss sends her face first into the turnbuckle and then rolls her up for the pin, grabbing the rope for the three count.
Not a great match from the divas, with Carmella in particular having a long way to go.
Interview with Rhino. He’s a psychotic man beast.
Sami Zayn package including an interview from his hospital bed.
Match 3: The Vaudevillians vs Jason Jordan & Marcus Louis
Marcus is still rocking the skinny Kane look, and seems to be playing a semi-retarded character a-la Festus. Gotch starts things off against Louis, locking up and snatching a headlock. Louis forces Gotch into the corner and breaks the hold with a punch to the gut, but Gotch reverses an ear grab into an armbar.
Tag to Aiden English and a double team punch gets a one count, and English whips Louis into his own corner allowing him to tag in Jordan. English continues to assault the mad Frenchman allowing Jordan to hit him from behind, slamming him to the mat with a front suplex for a pin and a two count.
Jordan shouts some advice at Louis and picks up English for another slam, then locks in a rear chinlock with his knee in English’s back. Jordan works the chinlock for the longest time, but English eventually forces him back into the corner where Louis tags himself in.
Clubbing blows from Louis followed by some random screaming, then a mandible lock on English, which authentically looks like it hurts. English reverses Louis with a small package, but Louis kicks out at two and English crawls towards his corner. Louis lays in some ineffecutual looking offence and then goes back to the mandible lock.
Finally English gets the hot tag to Simon Gotch, and he hits the ring like a strongman afire. Running forearm takes out Louis and a knee knocks Jordan off the apron, then Gotch hits a running forearm into a European uppercut on Louis.
Gotch drops the strap, flexes, then grabs Louis and tags in English. Uppercut to the back of the head from Gotch into a neckbreaker from English get the pin and the three count for the Vaudevillians.
Servicable tag match, continuing the rather dull story of Jason Jordan looking for a worthy partner.
Sasha Banks package. She seems to be good at posing.
Promo from Finn Balor about his time in Japan. He’s looking forward to his match against Kevin Owens. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Bullet Club came out and helped Balor get the win?
Match 4: Rhino vs Finn Balor
Wary circling to start into a lockup, and Rhyno shoves Balor to the mat. Lockup into an armbar from Rhino, Balor rolls out but gets caught in a wristlock. Kip up and Balor tries to break the hold, but Rhino hammers him down with a clubbing blow.
Punch to the face and a headlock from Rhino, but Balor whips him into the ropes and hits a leapfrog into a dropkick. Rhyno rolls to the outside, then straight back in and takes out Balor with a shoulderblock as he goes for the tope con hilo. Chops in the corner from Rhino and a knee to the gut, followed by a shoulder charge to the ribs.
Irish whip into the corner but Balor floats over the charge and hits Rhino with some stiff elbows before getting shoved down to the mat. Back elbow from Rhino and a climb to the top rope, but Balor hits a jumping enziguiri and knocks Rhino from the top to the floor.
Rhino is on his knees as Balor lines up the tope con hilo, then hits the dive over the top rope. As he rolls back into the ring Rhino takes control, slamming him into the turnbuckle and then hitting a big powerslam. Hook of the leg gets a two count, so Rhyno goes back on the offensive and hits a snapmare into a leg vice.
A series of one counts as Balor tries to fight his way out of the hold, which he eventually achieves with elbows to the knee. He tries to build momentum but gets cut off with a back elbow from Rhino, followed by a pin and a two count.
Short arm clothesline from Rhino, followed by some posing for the crowd. Balor tries to fight back with elbow strikes but Rhino hits a nice military press slam which gets a two count. Rear chinlock from Rhino, but Finn fights his way out and makes a comeback.
Rear elbow and chops in the corner from Balor, followed by a flying forearm from the second rope for a pin and a two count. Balor tries to go for the reverse Bloody Sunday but Rhino shoves him off and hits a spinebuster. Pin and a long two count for Rhino, and both men are out on their feet as Balor hits a Pele kick.
Sling Blade from Balor, setting up the shotgun dropkick in the corner. Coupe de grace misses as Rhino rolls out of the way, setting the man beast up for the gore! Rhyno charges in but Balor dodges out of the way and rolls him up from behind, getting the pin and the three count!
An excellent match from a veteran and a rising star, with Rhino looking like a credible threat throughout the match.
Overall an above average episode of NXT, with two standout matches and some fun stuff from the Vaudevillians.
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Tags: Finn Balor, JT on NXT, Rhino, Tyler Breeze