WWE will be airing their developmental show, NXT, starting at 9pm EST on the WWE Network. We will have live coverage of the show as it airs.
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We're starting things off with a Divas match. We have Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, and Jason Albert, who is "formerly known as Tensai."
Paige vs. Sasha Banks
Before the Bell: NXT Divas champ Paige comes out first. Sacha Banks is joined by Charlotte. Banks looks ridiculous. She grabs a t-shirt from Paige and throws it at her.
The Match: Hair pulling begins this match. Actually, it's pretty much all hair pulling. Paige beats Sasha down in the corner, but Sasha gets catty in the corner. See what I did there? Anyhow, Sasha has control. She talks a lot of trash. Lots of character out of her, actually. I haven't seen much wrestling out of her yet, but she's got a lot of personality. She ties Paige up in the middle of the ring in a cross arm choke. Paige gets free and unloads some elbows. Paige locks in that vicious submission move, the Scorpion Cross Lock, and gets the tap.
After the Bell: Charlotte attacks Paige immediately.Out of nowhere, Natalya runs down to come to the aid of Paige. Sasha and Charlotte head back up the ramp.
What Worked: Not enough to really judge Sasha. I like the personality she shows, but I didn't get to see enough of her as a worker.
What Didn’t: Just too short of a match, but at least it was a match.
The Summary: Character establishing, but that's about it.
Brief recap of Cory Graves from last week, and his feud with Sami Zayn. Interview with Zayn after the match last week - Zayn feels like the issue with Graves is done.
Later tonight, Bo Dallas vs. Colin Cassady, and The Ascension will be in action next!
After a break, a quick recap of Mojo Rawley. Backstage, he's getting pumped up.
Time for some tag team action!
The Ascension (Connor & Victor) vs. Travis Tyler & Cal Bishop
Before the Bell: The Ascension come out. The other dudes are in the ring.
The Match: This is a squash match. Connor is the brute. Victor seems to have more "precision." Impressive jump kick off the top rope from Victor. These two work well together. Fall of Man and it's the end.
Winner: The Ascension
After the Bell: Highlights of the match. Strobe lights. Posing.
What Worked: This was a squash match. Good tandem moves from the champs.
What Didn’t: This was a squash match, so based on that alone you might hate it.
The Summary: A highlight reel for the tag champs.
Mason Ryan vs. Leslie Blake
Before the Bell: Ryan heads down to the ring. He looks more slender than he used to.
The Match: Ryan dominates here. Ryan locks Blake into armbar. Blake gets in a tiny bit of offense. Renee Young gushes about Mason Ryan's muscles. *swoon!* I looked away for a second and Ryan got the pin. Shots of the crowd, absolutely bored.
Winner: Mason Ryan
After the Bell: Ryan celebrates.
What Worked: Ryan looks better with this physique and look.
What Didn’t: A plodding match.
The Summary: Skip it.
Backstage, Bailey talks about the WWE Network. Sasha and Charlotte put her (and Bret Hart) down. Bailey goes crazy and pretends to be Summer Rae's head. Dumb segment.
Up next, Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev!
Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana)
Before the Bell: Woods comes out. He's not in a dancing mood. Before Rusev comes out, Tyler Breeze interrupts and comes out instead. He grabs a mic and says he and Woods aren't friends, but after what happened at ArRIVAL, when Rusev put his hands on his "gorgeous face," he's asking Woods to allow him to get his revenge. He wants Woods to leave. Lana interrupts, and introduces Alexander Rusev. Rusev heads out to the ring, but Tyler Breeze attacks Woods and ducks out. Woods is already down when Rusev walks into the ring. He does his thing in the middle of the ring while the ref checks on Woods. Rusev just waits.
The Match: The bell rings and Rusev attacks. Rusev hits a bunch of Muay Thai kicks. He picks Woods apart. Woods starts getting in some offense. Kicks and elbows and chops, oh my! Rusev tosses Woods up in the air and hits a sloppy Samoan Drop. Lana gives him the order, and Rusev slams Woods down. He locks in The Accolade, which is almost a Camel Clutch. Woods taps.
Winner: Alexander Rusev
After the Bell: Lana stands on the apron, clearly pleased. Rusev raises his arms above his head, very stoic.
What Worked: A good way to introduce Rusev to new NXT viewers. Also a good way to establish Tyler Breeze as a coward.
What Didn’t: Another squash. NXT is squashes.
The Summary: If you're curious about Rusev, worth checking out.
Adrian Neville is backstage before Bo Dallas interrupts. Dallas says he's sick of Neville. Neville slaps him. Their rematch is in two weeks.
Colin Cassady vs. Bo Dallas
Before the Bell: Cassady comes out first, gold chain around his neck. He's from Queens. That's his gimmick. The audience chants along his SAWFT thing. I don't get it yet, but that's ok. It gives him character. Bo Dallas comes out next.
The Match: The men lock up. Cassady yells SAWFT at Dallas. Cassady has the side advantage and he uses it. Cassady knocks Dallas out of the ring. It's a slow paced match so far. Dallas hangs Cassady up on the ropes as we come back from break, and we start seeing the sneaky streak of Dallas. Vicious elbow from Dallas. Dallas works the choke. Cassady starts to get some steam, but Dallas cuts him off. The fans start chanting Boring, but I'm guessing it's really Bo-ring. Cassady finally whips Dallas into the turnbuckle and gets a breath. Cassady gets some nice offense, and the audience is really into his SAWFT catch phrase. He needs more than that, but it's a start. Dallas uses the ropes to get the advantage, and he takes it. Double Underhook DDT and Dallas gets the pin.
Winner: Bo Dallas
After the Bell: Dallas celebrates int he ring as Cassady sells the DDT. The show comes to a close.
What Worked: Cassady showed a ton of charisma in the match, but so far he's got one catch phrase. It's a foot in the door, however. The match itself was the best match of the night, but the competition wasn't exactly stiff.
What Didn’t: A little too slow to start for my liking, but the entire show was slow.
The Summary: Reinforcing Dallas as the #1 contender, while positioning Cassady as a potential top player in the weeks to come.
This was the second week of regular NXT episodes since the WWE Network began. Both weeks have been mostly squash matches with a featured main event. I like that they're using squashes to establish these guys but for the level of hype the IWC has given NXT on Hulu, I'm a bit let down and disappointed thus far. ArRIVAL delivered, but the weekly show has failed to really follow up, in my opinion.
I would say this episode is skippable if necessary.
Thanks for watching folks, and I'll see you next week!