NXT Reviews

NXT Review 2/3/16 – Stuck on Crews Control

Welcome ladies and gents, to our weekly coverage of NXT! This time on tap, we’ve got (hopefully) a decision on the less than satisifactory ending to last week’s number one contender’s match as well as the rematch of Finn Balor vs. Apollo Crews from a few months ago.

The Vaudevillians vs. Hype Bros**1/2

  • Upsides of this match: No more passive aggressive vignettes on my television involving the Vaudevillians
  • Downsides of this match: Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are on my television….

Guess we have to take the good with the bad, don’t we? The Vaudevillians return to Full Sail Arena as heels after having a rather unsuccessful face run, despite winning the NXT Tag Team Championship during that run at TakeOver: Brooklyn. I personally, and I know I’m in the minority, enjoy the Vaudevillians regardless of whether they’re heels or faces. That being said, the match was mostly all the Vaudevillians displaying a substantially more aggressive personality and working style. Ryder and Rawley are able to weather the storm long enough for Ryder to attempt, but miss, a Broski Boot. Simon Gotch takes advantage, and sets up Ryder for the Whirling Dervish, sealing the deal on the Vaudevillians and their return.

Not a bad start as English and Gotch look to rebound from a string of losses to not only Dash & Dawson, but American Alpha as well. Where will this heel turn take them? Time will tell, but I don’t think that the NXT Tag Team Championship is in the immediate future for the Vaudevillians. I could be wrong, as always, but I’m sticking with my gut on this one. We cut away to an interview with Carmella and Tom Phillips, in which Phillips hypes up the impending NXT Women’s Championship match on next week’s episode of NXT between Bayley and Carmella. They also decide to shed some light on the fact that Carmella’s dad wrestled for the WWE back in the ’90s, which I actually didn’t know myself. Overall, a nice way to enlighten people a bit on who Carmella is as a person and performer, which is not a bad thing. Following a commercial, Dash and Dawson are back stage, being asked how they respond to the comments last week of Enzo and Cass. Dash and Dawson oblige the request for another Tag Team Championship match by Enzo and Cass, but make it clear that they will walk out victorious


Carmella vs. Emma (w/ Dana Brooke)*3/4

After last week’s episode of NXT, we knew that Emma would be the final person to stand in Carmella’s way as she heads towards her NXT Women’s Championship match with Bayley. Emma has made it clear that she doesn’t take Carmella seriously at all, and in the opening moments of the match up, that becomes a detriment to Emma. Carmella has an early advantage on Emma, but the vicious Australian veteran takes control again, much to the enjoyment of Dana Brooke. Carmella pops up with a fire under her ass, nailing a series of takedowns, followed up by a Bronco Buster. Emma takes advantage with a rake to the eyes and slams Carmella’s head square against the mat. Emma goes for what appears to be a tiger suplex, but is rolled up by Carmella for the three count.

That’s the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, winning a match over one of the more established competitors in the women’s division, with a roll up. My only reaction? Eh. If you’re trying to build a contender, especially a face contender, you should probably try to make them at least long half way strong. Carmella got ragdolled around by Emma, and it almost feels like a fluke that she won. We get a short vignette on American Alpha, highlighting the impressive duo. I’m enamored with their progress as a team. Every time they cut a promo or wrestle a match, it seems like they just instantly become better and better.


Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. Enhancement Talent**1/2

This has absolutely nothing to do with the match, but I saw a guy wearing a SAWFT shirt at the gym earlier today. Enzo reiterates his TakeOver: London promo, this time not struggling for five to ten seconds with finding a pound in his pocket. I love these guys and when they end up on the main roster, any sort of engagement they have with New Day is going to be amazing. The banter those two teams could have would be incredible. Speaking of banter, Graves and Phillips are having some absolutely awesome back and forth at the broadcast table, and I’m glad that NXT decided to reunite these two. While we get no mention of who the enhancement talent that Enzo and Cass are facing, they’re put away in short order and get absolutely no offense in. Enzo and Cass show off some aggressiveness that seemed absent up until TakeOver: London.

It was a squash match by every definition. Enzo and Cass did what they needed to do here as they roll into their rematch against Dash and Dawson, and that was re-establish themselves of one of the shinning stars in the loaded tag team division. Backstage again, we find Apollo Crews who cuts and impassioned promo about how Baron Corbin took away his chance to prove to the NXT Universe what type of competitor he is and that he can get the job done without a doubt against Finn Balor tonight. William Regal has an announcement for us regarding what occurred last week during the Number One Contender’s matchup. Before he is able to render a decision, Baron Corbin storms in, only to be told by William Regal he is not in the rematch. Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe will have a rematch, since Corbin clearly tapped out, at a future date.


Asuka vs. Santana Garrett ***

Am I dreaming, or does a WWE program really have more than one women’s match-up on it? Well, rumor has it I’m not dreaming as Santana Garrett makes her NXT debut, going one on one with the silent killer of the division, Asuka. Garrett throws a few stiff hits to the face of Asuka, and she flashes a devilish grin and takes her down hard with a hip attack. Garrett is able to take Asuka down with a hard hitting russian leg sweep, but isn’t able to do much to keep Asuka down. Garrett succumbs to the Asuka Lock in the end. Garrett put up a good fight, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. Strong showing by both competitors, but I wish it went just a tiny bit longer.

Yet another interview segment, this time with our NXT Champion Finn Balor. Finn agrees with the decision rendered by William Regal, and says that Apollo Crews will find out that Finn Balor is the best in NXT. We don’t have to wait too long to find out whether that’s true or not, because that match is next!


Apollo Crews vs. Finn Balor**1/2

It almost seems like there’s nothing else for Finn Balor to do at this point in NXT. He’s starting to become incredibly stale for me, which is a shame. Talented guy, but he’s not really being given anyone or anything to work with at this point. When thrown a bone (see vs. Samoa Joe in London) he has incredible matches. Will this match reach that level? Probably not. Finn’s sporting some new gear here too, which I just noticed. After a show of respect at the beginning of the match, Crews and Balor trade rest holds, headlocks, armlocks, and more. Balor asserts dominance over Crews without question. Any time Crews has attempted to get some offense in, Balor has kept his opponent grounded. Crews breaks out of the headlock, only to be put back into one. After about six minutes of Balor headlocks, Crews finally fights out and hits a nice dropkick and a few other maneuvers, only to be taken into an armlock by Balor. Crews, once again, breaks out of advantage Balor and manages to take the champ off his feet, missing an outside moonsault in the process. Balor takes advantage, hits a huge outside dive, but isn’t able to hit the Coup De Grace. Balor hits a slingblade but runs into a huge boot by Crews, and falls victim to the gorilla press/moonsault combo. Balor recovers, hits another slingblade, and hits the Coup De Grace this time. Instead of going for the cover, Balor opts to hit Bloody Sunday for an exclamation point on his victory.

All things considered, a lackluster rematch. As pointed out by one of our staffers Skillcrane on Twitter, this main event would have made people lose their minds on any different type of show, but the endless parade of rest holds, headlocks, armlocks, and more wasn’t at all a good fit here. Post match, Crews and Balor show each other some respect to end things. Next week, we have Bayley vs. Carmella to look forward to, as well as the first of a string of shows that were taped at the CFE Arena. Thanks for reading our weekly NXT review folks, and don’t forget to check out the NXT Chapter Podcast for more NXT coverage!

About the author

Al McMahon

Al is the Co-Owner of Wrestling With Words alongside Trask. While he's predominantly a WWE fan, Al likes to branch out and cover New Japan and NXT as well. He recently discovered independent wrestling, and is also an avid music theory advocate.

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