So. Last week's show was bad. I'll admit that I was struggling to find positive things to say about a show that didn't live up to NXT's normally high standards. But that's the beauty of NXT. One week may not be so good, but you always know that next week there's a chance to bounce back. Which is what this week's show is all about. A shot at redemption, if you will. And thank goodness for redemption.
With all the hubub surrounding Night of Champions and the amount of times Daniel Bryan got beaten down getting there, it's great to get a break from the seriousness of the big shows with the little show that can, NXT.
If you feel so inclined, you can view the episode that I've reviewed right here on Hulu.
Let's get on with the show.
Match 1: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy vs Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev (w/Sylvester LaForte)
It looks like this week's show will start on a high note with the always amusing tag team of Enzo and Colin. I still find it hard to fathom that the team of Dawson and Rusev is actually a team because they're such an odd pairing, but as regular NXT viewers know, that's the beauty of this show. Nothing is predictable, and sometimes the oddest of pairings end up making the most sense.
In any event, as excited as I was to see this match, I was horribly let down by the disjointed and rather abrupt ending. I'm not the type to be joyful about wrestlers making mistakes or someone missing a cue, but I can only assume that someone messed up the finish. It didn't look too good. And if it was planned to be as disjointed and confusing as it was, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. NXT is supposed to be a perfect show, and I get upset when it doesn't always hit the mark.
Besides the finish, this was a standard tag team match. But if those booking are planning on making the feud long term, they should really rethink it. Both teams don't have any chemistry together and nobody comes out looking better or worse than the other when they combine. ABORT.
Move of the match: The ending. Because, dear lord.
Winners: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy
Meanwhile, on stage: Our NXT Champion, Bo Dallas, is out on stage and he's grabbing a microphone! (I'll do my best to describe what's going on, but Bo is being booed so loudly that it's sometimes difficult to make out what he's saying. That's not an exaggeration)
Bo says that he wants to thank all his BOlievers. He appreciates all the touts, tweets and support that he's been getting. He goes on to talk about Sami Zayn. He says that he and Sami are friends, and that he only came out last week during his match against Jack Swagger to cheer him on. Bo says that the wrestling business is tough, and that Sami needs a mentor. Which, according to Bo, is exactly what he's doing. Bo says that when he's finally cleared to wrestle, he'll have no problem giving Sami a match. Not a title match because Sami's not ready for that yet. In closing, Bo says that he loves getting tweets, touts and all around support and tells us all to not stop BOlieveing.
Shanna says: In my short time reviewing this show, this is the loudest and hardest I've heard Bo booed. We're talking cringeworthy levels of booing. To the point where you couldn't ignore it. The NXT universe clearly hates Bo, and I think the sooner the NXT Championship is off of him, the better for us all. Bo is strong enough to be the delusional fool without the belt, and I think taking it off of him is a idea that deserves some thought. I don't hate Bo as much as other long time NXT viewers do, but this shtick of making him a feel isn't working. Time to re-think Bo Dallas!
Meanwhile, backstage: The always delightful Renee Young is standing by with the man who personifies go away heat, CJ Parker. Renee mentions that there's been a lot of action between him and Tyler Breeze lately, and she'd like to get his thoughts on what's going on between them. CJ holds out his hand and says that Tyler is over there and fully in love with his outer self, while CJ P is right here (in his other hand) and totally in touch with his inner self. CJ says that Tyler wants to hoard his love like the beaver hoards sticks to build a dam, while CJ wants to spread his love across the world. What a clash, CJ says. CJ says that this whole thing started with some fun, a little picture goofing and LOL.
And mercifully for us all, CJ Parker is viciously attacked from behind by Tyler Breeze. Adding insult to injury, Tyler stops beating CJ long enough to get a gorgeous selfie with CJ's prone body. Renee calls for help for CJ, and that ends this backstage segment.
Match 2: Paige vs Sasha Banks NXT Women's Championship match While Diva matches on Raw and Smackdown are sporadic and usually boring, NXT women's wrestling features aggressive action from female personalities. In my opinion, the only Diva that is clearly defined on Raw is AJ Lee. She's "crazy' and the Diva's champion who'll manipulate or just flat out try to intimidate to get her way.
Characters are the people that we want to see get hurt (heels) or win matches (faces). NXT understands this and gives their women characters, definion, and the stories to match. Let's review what's been going on.
Summer Rae has been taunting Sasha with her 'I do whatever it takes" attitude, and Sasha has mostly been resistant to what Summer. Paige promised last week to wrestle at her best and she said she wouldn't take it easy on Sasha no matter what. With that little story, I was very interested to see if al that taunting actually made Sasha a stronger competitor or more vulnerable and intimidated.
As I expected, Paige beat Sasha from bell to bell. Paige was the aggressor, and Sasha had no answer for the Paige's suplexes or knees to the face. Paige locks in a tight small package and gets the victory, as Summer predicted. It was a clean match fought valiantly by Sasha, but Sasha's best wasn't enough. Paige tries to console Sasha post match and Paige offers to shake hands as equals, but Sasha eventually snaps and attacks Paige from behind.
It's funny how much I care about the Diva's when they aren't all luimped together in lumberjill matches or given 3 minute matches with a random Diva on commentary. THIS is how WWE women's wrestling should be done.
Move of the match Sasha Banks kicks Paige in the stomach, moves for a cover, knocking Paige's head directly into the bottom turnbuckle.
Meanwhile, backstage: Sasha is backstage playing on her phone when Summer Rae appears. Summer says that she knew Sasha had it in her, and asks how "it" felt. Sasha says that it felt...awesome. Sasha says that she can't believe she did it, and that she has Summer to thank for her new attitude. Sasha and Summer hug, but Summer can't help but smirk at her own brilliance.
Match 3: Leo Kruger vs Xavier Woods
There's something to be said about a match mainly focused on one man injuring another. Because that's the definition of Kruger vs Woods. Leo started out by injuring Wood's arm. Then, when Woods tried to fly, Leo cut off his wings. I don't find that boring to watch, but apparently the NXT crowd disagreed with me. A man who is smart enough to study his opponent and figure out his weaknesses is something that should be admired. In the world of "fake" wrestling, a match that focuses not on superhero's kicking out of Shooting Star presses, but the man who was made vulnerable getting back up and beating someone who tried to take him out is a lost art in a wrestling match.
Not everything can be Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro, but I think this match was as good as that, but in a totally different way. And, if last week's show is any indication, the crowd stayed engaged and loud, which is more than I can say for Rick Victor vs Corey Graves which was brutal in the BOO THIS MATCH sort of way.
Move of the match: Xavier Woods rolling from the corner, being caught in mid air by Leo and spine bustered in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Xavier Woods
Believe it or not, that's NXT for this week. Much better than last week, but this show surely needs more Tyler Breeze and Sami Zayn. Just kidding. Sort of.
Be sure to visit Ring-Rap next week because I'll be back with another NXT review. Despite the bumps in the road, this show is the Breaking Bad of WWE. You'd be a fool to miss it. Watch this show and find your view of WWE wrestling changed for the better.
See you next week!