Gutteridge’s WWE NXT Hit List: Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin, American Alpha vs. Blake and Murphy, Alex Riley vs. Bull Dempsey, and Nia Jax vs. Liv Morgan

By Darren Gutteridge


Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin in an NXT Title No. 1 Contender Triple Threat: On the whole, this was an OK main event. It picked up when it needed to by the end, but the early parts didn’t do a good job of blending all three guys. In fact, Corbin was so absent that I occasionally forgot it was a triple threat. The ending with Corbin tapping to both Joe and Zayn was fun, but failed for me in execution. Why William Regal couldn’t have grabbed a mic to explain his actions I don’t know, but I like the Zayn vs. Joe match it sets up, so I’ll let it slide.

American Alpha vs. Blake and Murphy: A very nice showcase of Gable and Jordan. Jordan got his now expected great hot tag, but it was once again Gable who shone brightest, with an extended showreel of his unique offense. Thankfully they didn’t bury Blake and Murphy in the process too, which is nice for the health of the division. Side note: I preferred the name when I thought it was “The American Alphas”, but it’s still a good name for the team.

WWE NXT Misses

Nia Jax vs. Liv Morgan: This was just so awkward. Two inexperienced workers making it obvious for all that they haven’t found their groove in the ring yet. Not to mention the lack of chemistry between Eva Marie and Jax. And then the bad continued. . .

Alex Riley vs. Bull Dempsey: Alex Riley is an anomaly in that he was at his best when he was at his greenest. When he was playing the stereotypical jock, I brought it. He had great poise on the mic, and while he wasn’t good in the ring, I could be convinced back then that there may just be something to him. Now, he’s trying to be edgy. It isn’t working. The mic confidence is still there (I much preferred his promo to his match here), but everything else is still slacking, so I’m not all that interested in seeing Alex Riley Version 2.1. And why did he look like he had been in a wood chip smoker?

Elias Samson vs. John Skylar: Samson has crashed so hard on entry into NXT that even the commentators, mere weeks after his debut, sounded bored and distracted. They essentially filled for time by thinking out loud about the “Drifter” character, which actually harmed the character even more. Proof that NXT can still get things very, very wrong.

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