8/5 Zim's WWE NXT Coverage: Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno, Charlotte vs. Bayley, Tyler Breeze learns his opponent for Takeover Brooklyn, Finn Bálor and Kevin Owens interviews, Apollo Crews (f/k/a Uhaa Nation) vignette, and lots of Takeover Brooklyn announcements
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired August 5, 2015
Taped July 16 at Full Sail University
An "In Memory" graphic aired for Roddy Piper... The intro video played... In the arena, Charlotte made her entrance to kick things off. Bayley was out next, slightly more subdued than usual.
1. Charlotte vs. Bayley. The ladies opened with a mutually-respectful handshake before trading chain wrestling holds to a stalemate. Around the two-minute mark, Charlotte got the better of Bayley with the Figure-Four headlock facebusters. Bayley fought right back with a baseball slide dropkick from the floor to the perpendicular floor under the turnbuckles.
Back in the ring, Bayley fired up and set up her usual comeback spot, but after the big elbow in the corner, Charlotte charged out with a big boot and dropped Bayley. [C] Back from break, Bayley reversed a Figure-Eight setup into a small package for a quick two. She came off the second turnbuckle with a back-elbow and then hit her running back elbows in the corner. Bayley tossed Charlotte overhead with an exploder before the two battled to the top rope. Bayley hit a frankensteiner which the commentators called the Bayleycanrana for a near-fall.
Charlotte fought back with her neckbreaker and spear combo for two near-falls of her own. Charlotte applied the Figure-Four, but Bayley managed to reverse the pressure before Charlotte reached the ropes. The two battled over a backslide before Bayley kicked off the turnbuckles to flip over, reel Charlotte in, and plant her with the Bayley-to-Belly. Bayley made the cover, but Charlotte managed to kick out before three. Bayley looked like she was on the verge of crying, but followed up with a release German suplex. Once again, Charlotte kicked out.
Charlotte managed to get a boot up in the corner and then used a schoolgirl to drive Bayley into the bottom two turnbuckles. Charlotte looked to follow up with Diamond Dust, but Bayley fought back and hit a super Bayley-to-Belly to earn the win.
Bayley defeated Charlotte in about 8:30.
Replays aired and Bayley celebrated her win. She found her girl Izzy at ringside and gave her a big hug and her headband before heading back up the ramp. Charlotte smiled and gave Bayley the nod. The camera went back to Izzy who was literally sobbing and smiling at the same time in complete bliss...
Zim Says: Ok first of all, that bit with Izzy was super rad and proves that there is real money in Bayley if they get it right. I really, really enjoyed that match. The crowd might've gotten ahead of themselves with some of the chants, but that seems to be the trend. Nonetheless, I'd put that match up there with any other 8-9 minute matches in terms of quality, story, and entertainment value. Great showing from both ladies and a memorable (for the short-term) win for Bayley to have under her belt going forward in her hot comeback run.
Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves checked in on commentary and hyped Takeover Brooklyn on August 22. A graphic aired for Owens vs. Bálor for the NXT Championship... A clip aired of Michael Cole interviewing Kevin Owens in the ring, presumably before an episode of Raw or Smackdown. Cole recapped what occurred at the contract signing and Cole wondered if Owens's apology was sincere. Owens said of course it was and questioned why Cole would imply it wasnt. Cole said he knows the type of person Owens is, but moved on.
Cole asked for a response to Regal's statement that he can't wait for Owens to get beaten in Brooklyn. Owens mentioned that Regal waited until Owens had his back turned to make a comment like that, saying that's how "a real man's man" would handle something like that. Owens said that Regal runs NXT so for him to openly express the hope that Owens doesn't win is a problem. Owens said he needs the NXT Championship. He said it's a reminder of what he did to Sami Zayn and he likes having that with him. He said it means more money in his bank account. He said he doesn't enjoy walking down the ramp without a title over his shoulder.
Owens said that Regal hasn't been a stand-up guy all of his career, and Owens is all about that, but now that Regal is in a position of power, Regal may throw a crooked referee in the ring for a Montreal Screwjob on the Montreal boy. Owens said one way to ensure that won't happen is to hang the title belt above the ring, put a ladder between them, and see who can get it first. Owens said that he wants a ladder match at Takeover Brooklyn. Cole asked Owens if he can beat The Demon. Owens pondered and then removed his audio equipment and left the ring. Cole remained seated and watched Owens simply walk up the ramp to the back...
Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno was hyped in the main event...
Zim Says: Good stuff there. Owens is so effective in situations like this and the report that Cole is building with him is something that not only boosts the quality of their segments together, but is a fun thing to watch progress as its own background story.
Bull Dempsey was sitting backstage watching last week's Bull-fit segment. His inner monologue said that his career depends on him getting in shape and it's time for him to take it seriously. Motivating music played as he walked down the hall with pictures of legends on the wall and fist-bumped Andre the Giant. Bull entered the gym where he observed the other WWEPC trainees working out. He boxed with a dummy and then decided it was time to bench. He lifted the weight but it dropped right down on his chest. His spotter, Drake Wuertz, yelled "Bull!" and it ended "To be continued..."
The official Takeover Brooklyn song was plugged... Back in the arena, Baron Corbin made his entrance. His opponent was already in the ring.
2. Baron Corbin vs. Steve Cutler. Cutler threw a punch, Corbin threw a punch, and Corbin hit End of Days for the win...
Baron Corbin over Steve Cutler in about 0:25.
William Regal was in his office when Bayley knocked on the door. He congratulated her on her win earlier and she said that's why she's there. She then went into "asking for your first raise" mode and said that she's been thinking, and she wanted to ask if maybe she could have an NXT Women's Championship match. Regal said that she does deserve a shot no doubt. However, he said she's not the only one and said that next week Bayley will face Becky Lynch with the winner getting a shot at Sasha Banks at Takeover Brooklyn. Bayley shot in for a hug, but they shook hands instead. Regal said that Bayley is his niece's favorite and wished her luck next week...
Back in the arena, Tyler Breeze made his entrance. His opponent was already in the ring.
3. Tyler Breeze vs. Aaron Solow. Breeze was disgusted at the caliber of his opponent He was apparently right because he hit the Beauty Shot shortly thereafter and got the pin.
Tyler Breeze sqashed Aaron Solow in about 0:55.
Post-match, William Regal's music hit and he said that Breeze has been badgering him for weeks about a match at Takeover Brooklyn. Regal said he's pleased to announce that the opponent he's found will truly put Breeze on the map. Regal announced that Tyler Breeze will face Jushin "Thunder" Liger at Takeover Brooklyn... A good video package aired introducing NXT viewers to Liger. He was shown with titles in NJPW and WCW, and there was a segment of the video dedicated to his surfboard hold. He was shown doing a bunch of cool moves as soundbites of various commentators putting him over...
The former Uhaa Nation was featured in a hype video. He said he cant expect everything to come to him, he has to go out and get it. He said he came to be a champion. He was shown hitting some of his moves in the ring including an impressively high dropkick, a squatting vertical suplex, and the press slam which usually leads into his finish. He hit the "Too Easy" pose and put the rest of the NXT roster on notice. He was shown hitting his trademark standing moonsault into a standing shooting star to wrap it up. He declared that his name is Apollo Crews and he'll be arriving at Takeover Brooklyn...
Earlier this week, Byron Saxton conducted an interview with NXT Champion Finn Bálor. Bálor said that it's been an emotional year at NXT. He said they're a team down there and they're all working towards a common goal. He said they're redefining what the industry is and is doing. He said to be champion of that movement is a huge honor for him. Saxton asked for a take on Owens's actions during the contract signing. Bálor said he's known Owens for a year now since they came into NXT together. He said in the beginning they were friends, but after seeing the way Owens has conducted himself repeatedly, he's not surprised Owens did what he did. He said Owens regularly defies authority, shows no class or respect, and no longer surprises anyone when Owens does things like strike Regal.
Bálor said he's a man of actions whereas Owens is a man of words. Bálor said he's been talking with Sami Zayn and Zayn has been very helpful in preparation for this match. He said the main thing Zayn is emphasizing is not to underestimate Owens and don't let your emotions overshadow the real game plan. Bálor said Owens is trying to up the ante with a ladder match, but regardless of what type of match they have, Bálor will prove that Tokyo was no fluke. Bálor was all smiles at the idea of defending his title in front of NXT's largest crowd at Takeover Brooklyn. Bálor warned to expect the unexpected and promised a renaissance. Acton asked if the Demon will appear, and Bálor responded that Owens will find out that night...
Zim Says: Good introductory/hype videos for Liger and Crews. Liger isn't the athlete he was during the clips they showed, but his outfit keeps him timeless and with age has come experience which allows him to put on quality matches while working smart not hard. Both Liger and Crews provide considerable boosts to the marquee value of Takeover Brooklyn. Bálor appears to be getting more comfortable with his words but I don't think he's at a level where he could go out and carry a promo on Raw the way they want the top guys to do.
Back in the arena, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder made their entrance. The Hype Bros were out next.
4. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder). Mojo worked over Dawson before Ryder came in for a turn. Ryder planted Dawson with a flapjack, but Dawson and Wilder took control a short time later. Wilder hit a backbreaker and then Dawson dropped Wilder into a big leg drop on Ryder. The crowd rallied for Ryder, but Dawson stayed in control with a slingshot suplex. Ryder escaped around the three-minute mark and made the hot tag to Mojo. Mojo came in and ran wild before planting with a fireman's carry into a front flapjack. Nice move. They followed up with the spinebuster/Rough Ryder combo for the win.
The Hype Bros beat Dawson and Wilder in about 3:30.
The Hype Bros celebrated their win before Dawson and Wilder attacked. They dumped Mojo to ringside and then hit the Shatter Machine on Ryder to leave him laying. A ref tended to Ryder and Mojo was still down at ringside as the segment closed with Dawson and Wilder standing tall...
In his office, William Regal was standing by with The Vaudevillains. Regal said he saw what happened in their tag title match last week. English was disturbed that Alexa Bliss slapped them when they would never harm a lady. Gotcha said "You do not exploit chivalry!" Regal said that he's got good news, at Takeover Brooklyn the Vaudevillains will get their NXT Tag Team Championship rematch against Blake and Murphy. He also recommended that they find a way to curtail Alexa Bliss. They all shook hands to close...
A tale of the tape graphic aired for Rhyno vs. Samoa Joe...
Zim Says: Forgettable tag match, but both teams looked fine. I'm really starting to like Dawson and Wilder so hopefully they're not just fodder to get other teams over. The Hype Bros are still intolerable to me, but they do have the crowd's full support. Also, that graphic noted that Joe has been wrestling 16 years to Rhyno's 20. Interestingly, Joe was listed as having held 20 championships in his career to Rhyno's 16. Interesting mainly because I presume they're including TNA championships in that number.
The second half of this week's Bull-fit video aired. It turns out he was able to bench that weight. He was shown swinging a kettle bell, lumbering through a step ladder, still boxing with the dummy, and doing hammer curls. Bull eyed up the big tire and decided he was ready. Other WWEPC trainees stopped in their tracks to watch Bull try to flip the tire. They gathered around, and with their encouragement, Bull managed to flip the tire. Bull stood atop the tire and hit the Rocky pose in victory as the shot froze to close...
Back in the arena, Samoa Joe made his entrance. The crowd still doesn't like his music, but they were able to chant "Joe" in time with it. Rhyno was out next.
5. Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno. The two traded headlocks before meeting with several shoulder tackles mid-ring with neither man going down. Wicked sound when they connected. Rhyno slapped Joe and Joe came right back with a hard shoulder tackle to drop Rhyno. Joe teed off with shots in the corner, but Rhyno took control shortly thereafter. Joe sent Rhyno to ringside and hit the elbow suicida. Back in the ring, Joe hit a running elbow in the corner and followed up with the twisting enzugiri to rock Rhyno. Moments later, however, Rhyno planted Joe with a spinebuster going into the final break of the show. [C]
Back in the ring, Joe used a standing STO to halt Rhyno's momentum and both men were down. They made it up at seven before Joe hit the atomic drop, boot, and senton for a two-count. Moments later, Rhyno hit a TKO for a two-count of his own. The two traded shots before Joe came off the second rope with a kick for another two-count. Joe looked for the Clutch, but Rhyno slipped out and hit the belly-to-belly before setting up the Gore. Joe managed to get a knee up and looked for the Clutch once again, but once again Rhyno fought out and dropped Joe with a hard clothesline.
Rhyno called for the Rhyno Driver and began to set up his super piledriver, but in doing so he put himself right into position for Joe. Joe rocked him with an enzugiri and then dropped him with the Muscle Buster for the win.
Samoa Joe beat Rhyno in about 7:50.
Replays aired and Joe was pacing in the ring looking directly into the hard cam. The visual was something like the tiger at the zoo that wants to break through the cage and maul everyone staring at it. And that was how the show closed...
Zim Says: Ultimately an unspectacular match. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything of note at all. In a sense though, I see it as a slight improvement in positioning for Joe who has been stuck in squash match purgatory for most of his run so far. Hopefully this was him breaking out of that. Overall though, I thought this was a really excellent show. It felt super newsworthy with everything they set up for Brooklyn, but it didn't feel so cluttered that anything really gets overshadowed. We got good hype for the (presumed) ladder match for the NXT title, the tag title announcement, the setup for the women's title match, Breeze vs. Liger, and Apollo Crews's debut. The week really got the ball rolling for Brooklyn and was the best show in the time since the last Takeover special in May.
Be sure to check back shortly for the Member-Exclusive DotNet NXT Audio Recap.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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