It’s NXT time and we’re kicking off with a tag match featuring a bunch of people you’ve probably never heard of, but stick with me!
Match 1: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs Steve Cutler & Elias Simpson
So I guess the story here is that Jordan is the amateur superstar in a ring full of jobbers. In case you have difficulty telling the difference between the members of team jobber, Sampson is the one with the beard.
Jordan tells Gable to get out of the ring and starts off against Sampson, and takes him down to the mat with a waist lock. He keeps the hold locked as Sampson struggles his way to the ropes. Jordan breaks the hold as Gable begs for the tag.
Reluctantly, Jordan makes the tag and Gable enters the ring, grabbing a waist lock on Cutler and transitioning into a Greco-Roman rollup. To the uneducated, the next sequence looks a lot like two men rolling around cuddling each other, but I’m sure fans of classic mat wresting are excited.
Rollup on Cutler from Gable transitioned into a leglock. Gable pauses to play to the crowd, and he seems to be more popular than Jordan. Transition into a front facelock from Gable, but Cutler is able to fight his way to the corner and make the tag to Sampson.
Boots from Sampson and a big bodyslam gets two on Gable, and Sampson makes the tag to Cutler. Gable hits an armdrag reversal on a charging Cutler and makes the tag to Jordan, who hits a big clothesline on Cutler and knocks Sampson off the apron with a running forearm.
Jordan drives Cutler back into the corner and hits a shoulderblock, then makes the tag to Gable. Jordan lifts Cutler up for a high angle backbreaker and Gable takes over, hitting a side slam into a bridge for the pin and the three count.
Better match than I expected from Jordan and Gable.
Recap of the NXT Divas invasion of Raw. Awesome.
Match 2: Samoa Joe vs Axel Tischer
Tischer is from Germany and is apparently NXT’s newest recruit, so it seems fair that they put him up against a monster like Joe. Tischer tries for a lockup but Joe shrugs him off and grabs a wristlock and starts to work the arm. Axel eventually breaks free and hits a pair of elbows on Joe, forcing him into the corner.
Axel lays in the boots but Joe seems to be hardly feeling it, so Tisher lays in a hard one into Joe’s ribs at the end. Joe looks mildly annoyed and chops Axel, then throws him into the corner and hits a strike combination as the crowd chant his name. Snapmare on Tischer followed by a chop to the back, kick to the chest and running knee drop from Joe.
Tischer hits some strikes from his knees and Joe responds with a big elbow to the face. Chop in the corner from Joe, and he drags Tischer out to the middle of the ring, giving the German a chance to recover and hit a knee to Joe’s ample gut. Kicks and European uppercuts from Tischer, who then grabs Joe in a headlock and rakes his eyes along the top rope.
Tischer takes time to pose for the crowd, then runs straight into an atomic drop, big boot and running senton. Joe goes for a slow running boot in the corner and Tischer dodges out of the way, then hits a big boot on Joe. Tischer goes to the opposite corner to build up some speed, but Joe catches him and hits the one-armed spinebuster.
Joe picks up Tisher, lifts him onto the top turnbuckle and hits the muscle buster. Rather than pin him Joe locks in a rear naked choke, and Tischer passes out before he has the chance to tap.
Another solid match from Joe, although he had to slow down so Tischer could keep up a couple of times.
Baron Corbin video package. Not as good as the Finn Balor one, but that’s to be expected, as Baron Corbin sort of sucks. He doesn’t get paid in chips and hot dogs. Wait, what?
Eva Marie comes out to a chorus of boos, and I fast forward to the next match.
Match 3: Blake & Murphy (with Alexa Bliss) vs Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton
Dawkins and Fulton are working the same classic mat gimmick as Jordan and Gable (and to a lesser extent the Vaudvillains) which makes it difficult for them to stand out, and Blake has got rid of his ridiculous top-ponytail, which is probably a good thing.
Murphy starts out against Dawkins, who dodges a charge and hits a series of punches. Dawkins is a fairly big guy, but he’s pretty doughy. Standing dropkick from Dawkins takes Murphy down, and Blake hits the ring to help him and but bails as soon as Dawkins turns around.
Dawkins lines up a charge in the corner but Murphy manages to get his boots up and Dawkins eats some leather. Murphy picks up Dawkins and slams his head into the turnbuckle, then makes the tag to Blake and lays in some boots in the corner. Blake joins in the booting, the takes Dawkins down and grabs a rear chinlock.
After holding the chinlock for awhile Blake backs Dawkins into the corner and tags Murphy, and then it’s more tag team boots to Dawkins. Don’t they know if you keep hitting the same move you lose momentum? Murphy talks some trash to Dawkins and grabs a rear chinlock.
Dawkins tries to fight his way to the corner, but Murphy keeps the hold locked in and Blake takes out Fulton from behind, then makes it back to the corner for the tag. Running forearm from Murphy into a tag, then the running suplex / frog splash combo for the win.
Fairly dull match from the tag champs, while Dawkins and Fulton do not seem like a credible threat at this point. After the match Alexa Bliss orders a beatdown on Fulton, then hits a sparkle splash for the exclamation point.
Sami Zayn injury update. He’s getting better, but as Stone Cold once told him, those planchas will kill you, kid. He’s coming back soon and Kevin Owens is in his sights.
Footage from Regal’s Comicon appearance, announcing the rematch between Finn Balor and Kevin Owens at NXT Takeover Brooklyn, August 22nd.
Match 4: Charlotte vs Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks mini face turn last week has been retconned with her move to the main roster, and she heel-stalls to start. Charlotte eventually grabs her and they lock up, forcing Banks back into the corner.
Charlotte breaks clean and struts, so Sasha comes at her again. Lockup into a front facelock, and Sasha pulls Charlotte down to the mat and rolls, keeping the hold locked in. The two battle for control, exchanging brief rollup pins before finally breaking the hold.
Banks charges in but Charlotte counters with a big boot, then hits the ropes. Rope running spot with a leapfrog into a headscissors from Charlotte, then a kip up and a whoo. Sasha charges again but Charlotte rolls her up with a bridge for a one count, but Sasha knees her in the gut to take control.
Banks tries to slam Charlotte’s head into the turnbuckle but Charlotte reverses and hits a snapmare, then locks in a figure four around Sasha’s neck and rolls her around for a triple suplex type thing. Charlotte charges in the corner but gets hit with a European uppercut, then flips to the ring apron.
Forearm by Charlotte from the apron but Sasha reverses and drapes Charlotte across the middle ropes, then hits the double knee drop. Pin gets two, and Banks is in control. Back from the break and Banks is slowly wearing Charlotte down, hitting a boot choke in the corner leading to a Flair flop.
Mocking strut from Banks, but when she tries to pick up Charlotte she gets hit by a chinbreaker. Charlotte picks Sasha up for a powerslam but Banks wriggles out and hits a lungblower into a straightjacket. Banks yells abuse as she works the hold, then a reversal of a reversal into a figure four headlock from Banks.
Pin from Banks gets two, and the headlock is still locked in. Eventually, Charlotte is able to get to her feet, lift Banks up and hit a big powerbomb.
Both women are down, fighting their way to their feet and exchanging forearms and chops. Sasha charges and gets caught in a twisting neckbreaker, then a big spear from Charlotte for a pin and a two count. Suplex attempt from Charlotte but Banks slips out and hits a backslide pin for a two count, then a cravat neckbreaker for another two.
Banks shouts some more abuse and slaps Charlotte in the face, setting the Nature Girl off. Chops and strikes to Banks who cowers in the corner, then a big boot. Charlotte goes for the figure 8, but Banks reverses followed by a nice series of pins and reversals ending in a long two count for Banks.
As Sasha screams at the ref Charlotte lays on the mat, but comes alive when Sasha tries to lock in a submission. Charlotte locks in the figure four as Banks tears out a chunk of her hair, which the ref quietly kicks out of the ring. Charlotte keeps the figure four held as Banks makes the ropes, so Charlotte rolls to the outside and puts all her weight on Banks’ knee.
Back in the ring Charlotte goes after Sasha’s knee but gets rolled up for a two count, then rolls Banks up for a two count of her own. After another transition Banks hits another lungblower and transitions into the Bank statement. Charlotte tries to roll out but is eventually forced to tap out.
Your winner and still women’s champ, Sasha Banks.
Another great match from the NXT divas, the standout in an otherwise average show.