10/28 Zim's WWE NXT Coverage: Tyler Breeze vs. Samoa Joe, Gable and Jordan vs. Ciampa and Gargano steal the show, Emma vs. Shazza, Nia Jax in action, plus Finn Bálor, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Apollo Crews, and James Storm featured
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT on the WWE Network
Aired October 28, 2015
Taped October 8 at Full Sail University
The opening video aired... Inside Full Sail, the crowd chanted "NXT" before the commentators hyped several of tonight's matches including Enzo and Cass vs. Dash and Dawson, and Samoa Joe vs. Tyler Breeze.
Emma made her entrance accompanied by Dana Brooke. A recap from Takeover Respect showed Asuka forcing Dana to submit, and then Asuka staring a hole through Emma. Unfamiliar music played as Shazza (McKenzie) made her entrance.
1. Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Shazza. Shazza showed some spunk but quickly fell to a hard shoulder tackle from Emma. Shall continued to bounce around and tried a drop-down after sending Emma off the ropes, but Emma just stopped short and dropkicked Shazza in the face. Evil Emma stood on Shazza's hair and yanked her arms upwards and appeared to be firmly in control.
Shazza tried a schoolgirl rollup when Emma got too arrogant, but Emma escaped and continued her assault. Emma showed a new streak of aggressiveness. Shazza briefly slowed her momentum, but before long she ate an Emmamite Sandwich. Emma performed a surfboard curb stomp and then transitioned into the Emma lock for the submission win.
Emma forced Shazza to submit in about 4:20.
The commentators talked about how Emma had upped her game since Takeover Respect... The commentators: Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves engaged in some awkward banter before throwing to a recap of James Storm's NXT debut last week. A WWE.com clip of Tom Phillips interviewing Storm afterwards aired. Storm was pumped up. He said he's a moonshine sippin', deer skinnin', Johnny Cash listenin' S.O.B. from Tennessee (trademark Serg Salinas?). Storm pointed out the Susan G. Komen pin on Phillips and thanked god that his own mother had beaten the disease. He said that James Storm is here in NXT and to anyone who doesn't like that, "sorry about your damn luck."
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa was hyped for tonight...
Zim Says: Short, sweet, and effective promo from Storm there. Impressive showing from Emma too. It wasn't a great back-and-forth match, but it wasn't meant to be. It was meant to be four minutes of establishing the new and improved Evil Emma in the ring, and mission accomplished for this week.
Apollo Crews challenging Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship was hyped as the main event of next week's show... A great hype video for Finn Bálor aired. It was bits and pieces of the Finn Bálor special that aired around Beast in the East... Back in the arena, WWE's partnership with Susan G. Komen was plugged...
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan made their entrance. The crowd sang Gable's name to the tune of Kurt Angle's WWE music. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were out next. Graves continued to bury Ciampa on commentary by saying he looks like a hobo.
2. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. The crowd was behind Gable right out of the gate and they continued to sing Gable and Jordan's name to Angle's tune. Gable and Ciampa battled in a test of strength all the way down into simultaneous neck bridges and back to their feet. Gable then escaped an armlock with some tricky offense that delighted the crowd. Gable and Jordan used a high double arm drag and appeared to be in control.
Seconds later, Ciampa rocked Jordan with a forearm and tagged in Gargano. The indie warriors hit a neat combination which culminated in a double stomp and running knee. Before long, Jordan drove Gargano back into the corner and Gable re-entered. Jordan used a great armlock takeover on Gargano and politely handed the wrenched arm to Gable who responded "thank you" and continued the work.
Gargano looked for the Lawn Dart, but Gable reversed into his rope-hung armbar. Gable used a really neat rolling arm drag slam on Ciampa for two. Ciampa fired back with chops and tagged in Gargano, who after a misdirection play from Ciampa, hit a great looking slingshot spear on Gable. [C] Back in the ring, Ciampa and Gargano remained in control of Gable. Gargano and Ciampa shared an abdominal stretch before Gable took a running dropkick to the head from Gargano.
The crowd rallied for a tag to Jordan before Gable used a great judo throw and made the hot tag to Jordan. Jordan ran wild with high dropkicks before tossing Ciampa overhead with an impressive belly-to-belly. Jordan hit his spear in the corner and followed up with a wicked capture suplex for a near-fall that Gargano broke up. Ciampa managed to catch Jordan with a knee strike out of nowhere and then Gargano hit a nice slingshot DDT for a near-fall that Gable broke up.
Gargano and Ciampa set up for a double suplex, but Jordan flipped over and landed on his feet. He dumped Gargano to ringside and dropped Ciampa face-first into the mat with a flapjack. Gable tagged in and the duo hit Grand Amplitude for the win...
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan beat Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa in about 10:55.
Backstage, Devin Taylor was standing by with NXT Women's Champion Bayley and asked for her thoughts on Alexa Bliss's recent statements and actions. Bayley said that she doesn't know where Bliss is coming from with all of this. She said that she loves kids looking up to her and she's proud to be the champion, so for Bliss to come after her for that just isn't right. Bayley said she's remained true to herself and the Women's Championship, and that's not going to change...
Zim Says: That match was so much fun. Gable and Jordan continue to be incredibly impressive. It appears they're only at the beginning of their trajectory, but they're really starting to figure it all out and put the components of success in order. This team is going to be fun to watch rise, particularly against opponents who can not only hold up their end in the ring, but can deliver a level above in the way that Gargano and Ciampa did here. Excellent showing for everyone involved.
Nia Jax was hyped in action next... Another Eva Marie vacation video aired. She said her time in Paris was winding down and she wanted to let everyone know how much she misses everyone. She said the "Red Queen" of NXT would be back extremely soon and she looks forward to seeing everyone...
Back in the arena, Scotland's Kay Lee Ray made her entrance to an instrumental version of "Can't Hold Us." Nia Jax was out next.
3. Nia Jax vs. Kay Lee Ray. Nia immediately drove Ray back into the corner before releasing her just to show she could. Ray showed some fight with rapid forearms, but that ended when she looked for a springboard maneuver and Jax just swept her out of the air. Jax locked in a Canadian backbreaker rack before Ray managed to begin firing back with a series of dropkicks. Once again, her mistake was looking for a springboard move because Jax caught her and planted her with a spinebuster. Jax followed up with a leg drop for the win...
Nia Jax over Kay Lee Ray in about 2:30.
The commentators discussed last week's match between Enzo/Cass and Dash/Dawson, and replays aired of the finish and post-match attack. Back in the arena, Enzo, Cass, and Carmella began to make their entrance for the rematch. As Enzo began to deliver their intro promo, Dash and Dawson ambushed them from behind. They dumped Enzo off the stage and then isolated Cass in the ring. They targeted his knee with several attacks including a good looking stomp off the second rope from Dash while Dawson had Cass's knee stretched at an awkward angle. Cass sold it big; screaming in agony before a ringside doctor and referee tended to him. More referees ran out to help after Dash and Dawson were backing up the ramp...
Backstage, Tom Phillips was standing by with Alexa Bliss who was flanked by Blake and Murphy. Bliss told Phillips to stand there like the mic stand he is and let her handle this. She said she spoke with GM William Regal and he loved her idea of a six-person tag match. She challenged Bayley to find two losers to team with and face Bliss and her boys...
Zim Says: I'm starting to like the dynamic forming between Bliss, Blake, and Murphy. It seems more now than in the past that she's running the show and the guys are just her dim-witted but muscled-up backup. As for the tag team angle, I thought this was very nice followup from last week. I don't want to see Dash and Dawson bogged down in a lengthy feud with Enzo and Cass, but short-term it could be an effective stepping stone to propel them forward with some heat. Jax continues to be a mixed bag for me. She seems to have all the pieces, she just needs some time to put them together in a compelling way.
Apollo Crews vs. Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship was once again hyped for next week. Another hype video aired, this time for Apollo Crews. This one focused on his debut at Takeover Brooklyn from the Barclays Center. He said debuting for NXT in front of 13,000 people on his birthday was the greatest moment of his life. He said Finn Bálor is a friend, but next week he's going to take Bálor's title and become NXT Champion...
Back in the arena, Tyler Breeze made his entrance. Samoa Joe was out next.
4. Tyler Breeze vs. Samoa Joe. Breeze ducked out to ringside right out of the gate. He re-entered at the seven-count, but then went right back out and continued to stall. The third time Breeze tried, Joe pursued. However Breeze ran into the ring and ambushed Joe when Joe came after him. Breeze briefly got the better of Joe and then posed in the corner, but Joe rose up and beat the hell out of Breeze with rapid-fire shots in the corner. Breeze rolled to ringside, but Joe hit the ropes and wiped him out with the elbow suicida to the floor. [C]
Back in the ring, Joe hit his back-elbow and enzugiri spot in the corner. Joe followed up with the back chop, soccer kick, and knee drop for two. Joe looked to shoot Joe off the ropes, but Breeze hung on and caught him with several shots. Breeze followed up with his cut-throat backstabber, but Joe kicked out at one. Joe looked to fight back, but Breeze caught him with a dropkick for two.
Moments later, Joe caught Breeze with a big boot and followed up with a running senton for two. He followed up with a snap powerslam for another two-count. Joe planted Breeze with the one-armed slam out of the corner and then asked Breeze id this is what he wanted. Joe hooked for the Muscle Buster, but Breeze slipped out into a rollup for a near-fall.
Joe popped right back up, but Breeze rocked him with the Supermodel Kick for another good near-fall. The two squared off and traded yay-boo shots mid-ring. Breeze reversed a lariat attempt from Joe into an O'Connor roll, but Joe popped Breeze up and caught him in the Coquina Clutch to force the submission.
Samoa Joe defeated Tyler Breeze in about 8:30.
Replays aired and Joe backed up the ramp as Breeze clutched at his throat while still down in the ring... Backstage, Devin Taylor was standing by with Finn Bálor. Bálor said he's excited to face Apollo Crews next week. Bálor said Crews earned this title shot by winning the battle royal and he truly deserves it. Bálor said Crews will become NXT Champion someday, but he vowed that it will not be next week.
Zim Says: I like the go-home promos they've done this week and last to promote the main event of the next show. It's a little thing that goes a long way. As for the match, it was solid. After that tag match from earlier in the show, it's hard to get too complimentary, but this certainly met my expectations. I mentioned in coverage last week that I thought the in-ring dynamic between Breeze and Joe would be interesting to see and at least for me, that came true. The monster badass babyface vs. the chickenshit pretty boy (who can hold his own) makes for an entertaining pairing.
Overall, I liked this show a good bit. Emma was seemingly re-established in the matter of one match, the tag match was a show-stealer, the tag angle was effective and logical, the main event delivered, and the promos and hype videos between segments all carried their respective stories forward in a compelling way. I'm lukewarm on Nia Jax at this point, but I think after another taping or two I'll be able to form a more definitive and ardent opinion of her. We jump into a new set of tapings next week and with the main event title match set and built up this week, I'm certainly looking forward to it.
Be sure to check back for the DotNet NXT Audio Recap and Hitlist.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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