NXT – June 29, 2016

Date: June 29, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re back to one of the things NXT does best as there’s a major match in a few weeks and a few things in between to tide us over. Tonight we have Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss, which has the potential to be something interesting and then be a bigger match down the line. The tag division is heating up again as well so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss

Bliss takes over early on with a running shoulder but Carmella snaps off a headscissors. A bad looking snapmare puts Bliss on the floor and the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for. Back in and Carmella takes her down with a headlock, only to get stomped on as we take a break.

We come back with Carmella fighting back with right hands and running clotheslines, followed by a superkick. The Bronco Buster connects but Alexa rolls out with a sunset flip for another near fall. They’re not exactly lighting up the offense here. The Sparkle Splash is broken up and a Stratusphere gets two. A choke shovedown sets up the Sparkle Splash, now called Twisted Bliss, for the pin on Carmella at 13:08.

Rating: C. You really can see the line between the two levels of female wrestlers in NXT. Bayley, Asuka and Nia (to a lesser degree) are just on a different plain than these women, though the important thing is that these two have gotten better. The match was fine and they didn’t screw up, but more importantly they have characters and there’s a lot more to them than their looks. In other words, they’re developing, like they’re supposed to.

We see Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura’s initial segment from two weeks back.

Nakamura talks about traveling the roads with Balor and being very happy for him becoming an NXT star. But now Nakamura is here and he needs something to move him up to the next level. Before becoming a champion, he has to face the icons, including Finn Balor. He promises something special when they get in the ring. Nakamura’s English was fine here

Bayley is ready to go after the Women’s Title again but Alexa comes in and says she should get the next shot. If Bayley wants the shot, she can go through Alexa.

Noah Potjes vs. Andrade Cien Almas

Potjes is a somewhat creepy guy who we’ve seen before. Almas hits a quick dropkick to start and teases a pair of dives but stays in the ring both times, kind of annoying the crowd. Back in and Noah kicks him in the ribs and puts on a chinlock. Almas gets in some kicks of his own though and the running knees in the corner give him the pin at 2:54. Still not much to see here.

Austin Aries doesn’t like the idea that he isn’t getting the respect he deserves around here. Someone like No Way Jose comes out here without ever having beaten anyone, dances a bit, and gets cheered. The fans chant Austin sucks? No, because they suck. From now on, the fans are getting what they deserve from Aries.

Balor talks about going to Japan when he was twenty four and Nakamura was the first person to really show him how things went over there. They’re friends outside the ring and Balor was happy to help show him the way in this country. There’s no animosity between them but now they’re having to face each other. The fans are in for something special.

Bayley vs. Bliss is set for next week.

Tommaso Ciampa/Johnny Gargano vs. Hype Bros

Rawley sends Gargano into the corner to start and hits a three point stance tackle before bringing in Ryder, who eats a dropkick. Ciampa comes in, drawing a PSYCHO KILLER chant, and grabs a cravate. Johnny sends Ryder to the floor and hits a big old dive, only to have Rawley get in a hard clothesline as we take a break.

We come back with Rawley in control as we have dueling JOHNNY WRESTLING/HE AIN’T HYPED chants. Ryder adds a missile dropkick but Gargano breaks up the Hype Ryder. Tommaso gives Ryder a discus lariat for two but Ryder powerbombs both of them off the top. The Elbro gets two on Ciampa and Gargano’s rollup gets the same on Ryder. Ciampa breaks up the Broski Boot and the running knee/kick to the head combo puts Ryder away at 11:17.

Rating: B. Well that was a surprise. Who knew the Hype Bros had something like that in them? Just having them as a basic power/speed team is a fine idea and I could easily see them as gatekeepers for the Tag Team Titles. Gargano and Ciampa get better every single week and I could really go for a match between the two of them and Revival.

Post match Gargano and Ciampa say they beat the Revival a few weeks back. That sounds like they deserve a title shot but here’s American Alpha to disagree. Gable says they’re the former champions so if Gargano and Ciampa want a shot, it can be against them. They’ll deal with the Authors of Pain later but right now it’s time to take the titles back.

Cue the Revival to say they’re driving the car and calling the shots. I love how Dawson holds the folded up belt in his hand. Dawson tells “Garganzalla and Chimpy” that they haven’t earned a shot and American Alpha are more like the betas around here. This brings out William Regal and you can feel the fans smiling. Ciampa and Gargano will be getting a title shot soon, but first of all we need to decide who the best team is around here. Therefore, next week, it’s American Alpha vs. Revival in a 2/3 falls match.

Gargano/Ciampa and Alpha shake hands and the former leave but the Authors of Pain run in to beat down Alpha. Gargano and Ciampa try to make the save but get beaten down as well, leaving Alpha to come back in. Jordan gets in a suplex but the other guy takes his head off with a clothesline. Gable takes that clothesline/Russian legsweep combo (sweet goodness that’s underwhelming for two guys that big) and Paul Ellering comes out to watch to end the show.

Overall Rating: B+. The last twenty minutes, or nearly forty percent, of this show was about the tag team division and I’m more interested in that 2/3 falls match than I was for anything at the last Takeover. Above all else, the reason I love NXT so much is how they can take a story so basic (former champions want a rematch, other team that beat the champions want a shot, third team is running around attacking people) and turn it into such compelling TV.

On top of that though, the matches have been excellent with the Hype Bros getting in a good performance tonight. The rest of the show was strong as well but I was totally into that last match and the following segment. As is always the case, NXT is able to build up anything to such high levels. Bayley vs. Sasha was the top story for a long time, then it was back to the NXT Title and now it’s the Tag Team Titles with Balor vs. Nakamura coming just a week after that. NXT is starting to find its groove again and that’s a great thing.


Alexa Bliss b. Carmella – Twisted Bliss

Andrade Cien Almas b. Noah Potjes – Running knees in the corner

Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa b. Hype Bros – Running knee/superkick combo to Ryder

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