It’s NXT time, and we kick off with a tag match featuring Zack Ryder teaming with the always-hyped Mojo Rawley!
Match 1: Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley vs Mike Rawlis and Elias Sampson
Ryder makes his way to the ring first for a nice pop, then he’s joined by the human Energizer bunny Mojo Rawley. I thought that Rawley showed potential on his first run but was hoping that he’d come back with a different gimmick – I find the stay hyped thing annoying.
Rawley starts out against Sampson, with Mojo bouncing around the ring and slamming Sampson before hitting a dancing fist drop. Tag to Ryder and a double team move on the arm, then Zack starts to work the shoulder.
Sampson makes the tag to Rawlis, who hits a shoulderblock in the corner, then runs into a double knee from Ryder followed by a second rope dropkick. Big splash in the corner then a broski boot, but Sampson distracts Ryder from the outside allowing Rawlis to hit a cheap shot and make the tag.
Some pedestrian offence from Sampson that Ryder sells like a champion. Rear chinlock from Sampson, but Ryder fights his way out and tags in Rawley. The hype machine tosses Sampson into the corner and hits a pair of running splashes, followed by a shot to Rawlis on the outside.
As Rawlis crumples to the floor Rawley hits a rebound tackle that I think Monty Brown used to call the pounce, and is probably a better finishing move than Rawley’s butt-drop. Tag to Ryder, then Rawley lifts up Sampson in the powerbomb position for Ryder to hit the Rough Ryder from the top rope for the pin and the three count.
Pretty much a squash match, but Ryder and Rawley have some good chemistry and the live crowd seems to like them.
Dana Brooke video package. She is the total diva, apparently.
Match 2: Emma vs Blue Pants
Emma comes to the ring to a chorus of boos, followed by Blue Pants to a riotous reception from the crowd. They chant happy birthday to BP as Emma looks sullen, then attacks BP as soon as her back was turned.
Emma throws Blue Pants across the ring by her hair and hits a low dropkick as she tries to get up. Pin gets a two count. Emma keeps working the hair, hitting a takeover and a kick to the back of the head. Pin gets another two, so Emma locks in a submission. As BP tries to fight her way out Emma hits a hard knee and takes BP down with a headlock.
Emma holds the headlock for a while and then throws Blue Pants face first into the mat. She climbs on top and lays in some punches, then slams her head into the mat. Blue Pants rolls Emma up from behind for a two count, then it’s back to the headlock from Emma.
Blue Pants eventually forces Emma back into the corner and breaks the hold, hitting an elbow before Emma kicks her in the back, then drops an elbow over the back of her neck. Fight back from BP with a trio of kicks to the head and then a swinging neckbreaker. She tries to kick Emma in the head but Emma reverses and locks in a bridge submission for the tap out victory.
Decent match from the NXT women, but Emma really didn’t look like she wanted to be there. If that’s her gimmick, good luck.
Interview with Enzo, Big Cass and Carmella. The usual.
Match 3: Tyler Breeze vs Bull Dempsey
Bull is a card carrying member of the concrete jungle, whatever the hell that means. Lockup to start and Bull forces Tyler back into the corner, then goes for a forearm bus misses. He forces Breeze back into the other corner and hits some strikes, then grabs a rear chinlock.
Chinlock is held for a while, with Breeze waiting for the ‘Let’s go Tyler’ chants to break out before fighting out. Bull hits a running hug and goes to the top rope, but Breeze rolls out of the ring.
Bull rolls out of the ring and Tyler runs away, making Bull chase him until he runs out of breath. The crowd chants cardio as Breeze hits him from behind, rolls him into the ring and hits the beauty shot for the pin and the three count.
Pretty much a joke match. Is Bull Dempsey a comedy wrestler now?
Recap of Becky Lynch’s unsuccessful (yet still awesome) title challenge against Sasha Banks.
Match 4: Becky Lynch vs Jessie
Lynch’s shirt says Lass Kicker, which I guess is meant to imply Ass Kicker but could easily be misread as Ass Licker, which in my opinion may not be a good thing. Unless that’s her new gimmick, in WWE you just never know.
Jessie is Australian apparently, and she grabs a headlock on Lynch to start. Irish whip into a shoulderblock takes Becky down, but she matrixes out as Jessie goes for the pin. Armdrags and a dropkick from Lynch, and Jessie hides in the ropes and takes out Becky with a kick to the head.
Pin and a two count from Jessie, then a standing armbar and chinlock on Becky. Jessie throws Becky to the ground and mocks her hair whip taunt, then gets rolled up in a small package for a two count as a reward. Another headlock and clubbing blows to the back from Jessie, then another armbar.
Jessie goes for a clothesline but Becky rolls her up for a one count, then dodges another clothesline and hits one of her own. Armlock suplex from Lynch takes Jessie down, so Becky hits a trio of running leg drops, the last one with a twist. Pin gets two.
Lynch goes for a pumphandle something-or-other but Jessie reverses, only to be trapped in a reverse tarantula by Becky! Hard slam takes Jessie to the mat face first and Lynch transitions the tarantula into an armbar for the submission victory.
Good debut match from Jessie and another excellent performance from Becky Lynch.
William Regal announcement about Samoa Joe, interrupted by Bull Dempsey eating chips. Regal suggests he might have a problem.
Interview with Jason Jordan. He has a game plan.
Match 5: Baron Corbin vs Angelo Dawkins
Lockup and Corbin forces Dawkins back into the corner as the crowd is counting the seconds. Dawkins grabs a wristlock, then transitions into a headlock, as the crowd duel chants of Baron Corbin and Corbin sucks.
Clothesline in the corner from Corbin followed by a couple of lazy forearms, then another clothesline and a slam to the mat. Corbin slides to the outside and slaps Dawkins across the face, which isn’t exactly a very biker move in my opinion.
Back in the ring and Dawkins fights back with a couple of jabs, then goes for a running bulldog but gets taken out with a hard clothesline from Corbin. End of Days gets the pin and the three count.
Another squash match for Baron Corbin, but I still agree with the half of the crowd who think he sucks.
Match 6: Samoa Joe vs Scott Dawson
Samoa Joe comes out to some generic music and Dawson is waiting in the ring. Lockup and Joe forces Dawson back into the corner, then makes a clean break. Another lockup and Dawson grabs an armbar, but Joe reverses and chain wrestles into a wristlock.
Dawson rolls out of the wristlock and grabs a headlock, before Joe shoots him off and takes him down with a shoulderblock. Joe works the arm as Kevin Owens spouts gold on commentary, then Dawson fights back with a stiff elbow and some hard shots in the corner.
Dawson tries for a suplex but Joe shrugs him off and takes him down with a running back elbow. Punches across the ring and into the corner from Joe, finishing with a flurry of blows and a chop to the head. The ref warns him off but he tosses Dawson into the corner and hits a running back splash, then a jumping enziguiri to the head.
Dawson dodges a charge in the corner but Joe catches him and hits him with a one-arm spinebuster, then throws him back into the corner, lifts him up and hits the musclebuster for the pin and the three count.
Solid debut match from Samoa Joe with Dawson keeping up with the big man and Joe demonstrating about 15% of what he’s capable of.
After the match Joe calls out Kevin Owens, but Owens denies him a title match and calls him an NXT rookie. Regal comes out and agrees with Owens that Joe hasn’t earned a title shot, but they would have a non-title match next week.
Not a bad episode of NXT at the end of the taping cycle, with the NXT ladies putting on the best matches of the night. Good to finally see Samoa Joe in the ring, but the other men’s matches were stocked with C-listers who are unlikely to ever make the main roster.
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Tags: Blue Pants, emma, NXT, Samoa Joe