WWE NXT – June 24th 2015
Full Sail University: Winter Park, FL.
For the second week in a row the show opened with the tribute to Dusty Rhodes and all the NXT guys on the stage while Triple H talked about how much NXT meant to the Dream.
Hideo Itami came out with his arm in a sling and they showed the “fan cam” footage of him laid out in the parking lot before Takeover. Chumpstain Greg interviewed him and he said it would be 3 or 4 months before he would be back. Itami said NXT was very popular in Japan and added he would be at the July 4th show in Japan and he would challenge the winner of Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor. Kevin Owens came out and stumbled over his words, so he paused and said he “sounded like Hideo trying to speak English”. It was a really great adlib by Owens and the crowd loved it. He told Itami that there was no way he was leaving Tokyo without the NXT title then claimed he had nothing to do with Itami’s injury because if Owens had attacked him he wouldn’t be standing in the ring. Owens demanded an apology from Itami for calling him a “bad person” and Itami replied that he was a great champion but a terrible human being. Owens said if he was going to be blamed for Itami’s injury he might as well make it worth it and he headed down to the ring. Finn Balor ran down to make the save and he brawled with Owens at ringside. Balor went for a dive off the stage but Rhyno showed up and kicked him off the stage. – Pretty good little segment setting up a potential Itami/Owens match down the road and the Owens/Balor match in Tokyo.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady w/ Carmella vs. Jason Jordan & Sylvester LeFort. – Enzo & Cass over in 2:39. They showed all the geeks in the crowd singing along word-for-word with Enzo; I’ve watched every single episode of NXT since the re-launch in 2012 and even I don’t know their spiel by heart. The faces beat up LeFort for a while then the idiot Jordan, who chose Frenchie as his partner instead of OLYMPIC WRESTLER Chad Gable, came in a tossed Enzo around. Big Cass didn’t even get to make his comeback, as Enzo dumped LeFort to the outside and rolled up Jordan as he was yelling at Frenchie. Jordan shouted at LeFort again after the match and the New Yorkers celebrated in the ring. – Since the story is supposed to be Jordan picking incompetent partners then surely LeFort should have taken the fall here. This storyline gets stupider every week.
Samoa Joe was backstage after the pull-apart with Kevin Owens last week. Joe ranted and raved about not getting the fight he wanted because Owens was still walking around and he still owed him a beating of a lifetime. It was better than his promo last week.
Dana Brooke w/Emma vs. Cassie. –Brooke in 3:40. Brooke necked Cassie on the ropes to get the heat then worked a tortuously long blow-and-arrow type hold. Cassie actually made a comeback but Brooke cut her off and won with her Cradle Shock move. – Brooke is getting better but she is still a long way off being a confident, polished performer.
Charlotte was with Devin in the back. She cut a short, but very believable promo about Dana Brooke and said she would kick her ass. The announcers hyped the “Brock Lesnar, Beast in the East” special on July 4th then threw to the second part of the special Finn Balor video.
It started with Sami Zayn coming over to Balor’s apartment and they sat around playing with Lego! Matt Bloom talked about meeting Balor in Japan in 2006 then Balor talked about Bloom taking him under his wing. Bloom explained what “Young Boys” were expected to do while living in the Dojo and Balor said 6 weeks somehow turned into 8 years. They had a bunch of photos like Devitt with Karl Anderson, Nagata, TAKA, Tanahashi, Okada and the RISE stable with Nakamura, Bernard, Milano, Goto and Minoru then showed a few clips of Devitt working guys like Taguchi and Ibushi. There were also a few shots of Devitt with Bullet Club merch but they managed to never actually mention the group by name. Bloom and Becky Lynch talked about Devitt signing with WWE and Devitt said without the Japanese fans he wouldn’t have lasted 8 years over there. It ended with Devitt saying he arrived in Japan a 24 year old kid and left a 33 year old man ready to face his next challenge. Part 3 next week! – They NEED to air this stuff on RAW when Balor is called up, but knowing WWE I suspect they won’t.
We got some shots of Bull Dempsey being a fat slob with Corey Graves blatantly reading from a script, talking about how out of shape he is. Comedy!
The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) vs. Sawyler Fulton & Angelo Dawkins. – Ryder & Rawley over at 4:20. Very basic tag match. Mojo & Ryder dominated early then Mojo did his idiotic dance again, which drew “Mojo sucks” chants from the crowd. Fulton & Dawkins did the old WGTT leapfrog spot and got some heat on Mojo. Ryder ran wild and Mojo pinned Dawkins after a double team Ruff Ryder. – I hate this Ryder & Rawley team, or more specifically, Rawley. I have no idea why he is still even under contract other than he is friends with some NFL players that come to watch him wrestle.
William Regal was in his office and Eva Marie showed up to ask for a match in NXT. Regal told her she had to prove she belonged in the hottest women’s division in the world and Eva said that is exactly what she would do. – Eva showed ZERO personality here.
Finn Balor vs. Rhyno. – Balor over in 8:40. Kevin Owens was on commentary and once again was a tremendous jerk. Match was fine, but very similar to their first encounter. Balor started off aggressive and landed a bunch of strikes then he flew over the top with a big tope-con-hilo. Rhyno cut him off with a spinebuster and worked some bearhugs for the heat. Rich Brennan asked Owens about his time in Japan and Owens said, “I hated it! I never wanted to go back.” Balor sold some more and Rhyno worked over the ribs he injured earlier with the boot off the stage. Balor landed the Pele then went up for the double stomp, but Owens walked down to ringside for the distraction. Balor gave Owens a dropkick off the apron but Rhyno took advantage with a belly-to-belly and went for the gore. Balor countered and hit the slingblade then followed up with the double stomp for the win. Owens jumped Balor immediately after the bell and Rhyno joined in the beat-down. Samoa Joe stormed the ring to make the save and the heels ran away.
Another solid, but unspectacular episode of NXT and of all the wrestling shows on Wednesday nights this was probably in third place behind Lucha Underground and an outstanding episode of ROH. Hey, at least they are still better than TNA. It may be a rough couple of weeks, what with this set of tapings being the first after the passing of Dusty Rhodes and considering how big a role Dusty had in NXT, you can’t really blame the guys and girls if they were not 100% mentally there during the tapings. The Devitt video was once again the highlight of a show that you don’t really need to go out of your way to see.