Date: July 8, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan
We have a new NXT Champion though we’re likely only going to hear about it in voiceovers as this is a taped show from a few weeks back. Finn Balor took the NXT Title from Kevin Owens in Tokyo on 4th of July and you know Owens is going to be gunning to get his title back. Other than that though, we have the Vaudevillains vs. Enzo/Cass for the #1 contendership. Let’s get to it.
Sasha Banks/??? vs. Dana Brooke/Emma
The new announcer introduces Dana and then throws in that she’s accompanied by her partner Emma. Dana laughs at Sasha for not having a partner so the fans chant Blue Pants. Sasha is ready to fight on her own but here’s someone to back her up.
Sasha Banks/Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke/Emma
Charlotte says she’ll be Sasha’s partner but Banks owes her one. Banks kicks Dana around to start but Brooke runs when it’s off to Charlotte. That means it’s off to Emma, who bails to the floor to avoid a knee drop. The heels finally take over but the fans are busy arguing over whether Dana is rachet or not. Emma bodyscissors Charlotte to slow it down but she fights up for the tag off to Sasha and the champ cleans house. A running knee in the corner and the Bank Statement makes Brooke tap at 4:39.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and it dragged the match down a lot. Dana tapping out is a bad sign for her but I don’t think anyone really bought her as the top star of the division or anything like that. Sasha vs. Charlotte again is going to be fine and Becky and Bayley returning will make things even better.
As you might guess, Charlotte’s payment will be a title shot next week, which Sasha is just fine with.
Bayley says she can’t wrestle at the moment because of a broken hand. She’ll be back for the NXT Title, but Emma is in for more than a hug.
Video on Finn Balor’s rise to the top of NXT and becoming #1 contender.
We get a clipped version of Balor vs. Owens for the title in Tokyo, but here’s the full match in case you haven’t read it yet.
NXT Title: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens
We get the Demon entrance and oh yes it’s still glorious. For a bonus, the camera changes to an arena shot at the crescendos of the music. To make it feel even more special, we get the full on flower presentation from geisha girls (Owens throws his into the crowd of course) and streamers for both guys. Get this through your head ROH: doing the same thing for every match doesn’t make it feel more special. Hideo Itami is shown in the front row and we’re ready to start. Balor has more paint than ever with his face, torso and left leg covered.
Balor charges at the bell and loads up the Coup de Grace in the first ten seconds. Owens rolls outside so Balor nails a big dive as the NXT chants start up. He tries to bail again and eats a baseball slide as Balor is all over him. Back in and Owens hammers away to take over for the first time. Owens: “AND THAT’S WHY I’M THE CHAMP!” We hear more of Balor’s accomplishments in New Japan as Owens takes some bows.
It’s off to Chinlock City before a forearm breaks up Balor’s springboard. The slow pace is working for Kevin here and it fits him very well. Finn beats the count back in but takes the backsplash for two. Back in and Owens snapmares him down and runs the ropes….before stopping for a chinlock. Owens: “Are you not impressed? I don’t care. I hate this country and all its stupid people!” Balor fights back again with a middle rope forearm for two so Owens does Cena’s finishing sequence, complete with an attempted AA.
Balor is afraid of a lawsuit over gimmick infringement (only Kurt Angle can steal that many finishers) and slips out twice in a row. Bloody Sunday is teased (and the fans gasp) but it’s a Pele Kick to put Owens down instead. Owens takes a big flip dive and a top rope double stomp to the back, followed by a reverse Bloody Sunday (not called that of course) for a VERY close two. The Coup de Grace misses though and Owens’ Cannonball gets two. The package piledriver slam gets the same but Balor hits a quick Sling Blade.
Another Coup de Grace is countered so Balor kicks him in the head and FINALLY connects with the stomp….for two. Dang I thought that was it. Owens can’t hit the swinging fisherman’s superplex so he settles for a middle rope Regal Roll for two. That looked great. Kevin’s Swanton hits knees and the real Bloody Sunday gets an even closer two. They’re trading bombs here and it’s getting awesome. Owens makes the eternal mistake of slapping a hero in the face and saying the hero can’t beat him. Balor dropkicks him into the corner, hits a running corner dropkick and a second Coup de Grace for the title at 19:30.
Rating: B+. Was there ever any doubt that this was going to be awesome? Owens is one of the best heels that I’ve seen in years and he does everything he can do to make you hate him. The fact that he can go as well as he does in the ring makes him even better, which is saying quite a bit as he’s that good as a character.
Tatsumi Fujinami congratulates Balor on his win.
Kevin Owens doesn’t have anything to say about the loss.
Chad Gable doesn’t know why Jason Jordan doesn’t want him as his partner other than he’s happy with losing. Jordan finally comes up and asks Gable to be his partner next week. Well it’s more saying they’ll be partners next week but it’s as polite as Jordan gets.
Solomon Crowe says he’s back to be the resident monster.
Marcus Louis vs. Solomon Crowe
Louis is back with no music but he’s still crazy. A chop puts him down and Crowe puts on a standing Crippler’s Crossface with his leg tied into Louis’ to crank on the shoulder. That’s a new one. Louis crotches him on top for a very aggressive two and puts on a kneeling abdominal stretch. Crowe fights up again and slaps on a Brock Lock, apparently called the Crowebar for the tap out at 3:18.
Rating: C-. Well Crowe looked better, but it’s still not fitting for him. I’m also never a fan of a crazy guy tapping out as it shows way too much logic and common sense to give up like that. The match wasn’t anything special but neither guy has anything going for them so seeing them on TV is a good sign.
The Vaudevillains say they’ll be the #1 contenders.
Clip of some guys congratulating Balor on winning, including John Cena. Balor says this couldn’t have gone any better.
Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady
English is rocking a MANLY beard. Enzo and Gotch get things going with Simon getting a rollup for two. Off to English for a headlock on the mat but he’s back out just a few seconds later. Cass shoves both of them to the floor and calls them S-A-W-F-T as we take a break. Back with Cass throwing Enzo into Aiden for two but Enzo charges into a boot in the corner, giving him one of the best eyes wide open stunned faces I’ve ever seen.
It’s Enzo playing the semi-human in peril (I’ve yet to see actual proof that he’s a person) in a chinlock followed by a legdrop before diving over for the tag to Colin. Everything breaks down and Aiden gets kicked in the face. The Rocket Launcher has to be changed into a cross body though and English rolls through for the pin and the title shot at 10:48.
Rating: C+. I liked this more than I thought I would but my goodness they’re really not going with Enzo and Cass getting the titles in Brooklyn? Are they just asking for the worst reaction in years? I know the Vaudevillains will be well received, but my goodness this is one of those layup ideas that they’re just missing. Granted there’s another month before we could get there so all hope isn’t lost.
Overall Rating: C+. This was another shot that set the stage for later more than a good stand alone episode. However, it’s setting up Takeover in Brooklyn and there’s no way that’s not going to be awesome due to the crowd reaction alone. Things will pick up when they can say Balor won the title instead of just having the commentary do it, but Sami will get a great reaction next week in the last show of the taping cycle.
Sasha Banks/Charlotte b. Dana Brooke/Emma – Bank Statement to Brooke
Solomon Crowe b. Marcus Louis – Crowebar
Vaudevillains b. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady – English rolled through a high cross body
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