Since the takeover special isn’t until late August, it’s fair to say NXT can have an episode that involves no significance. Even though Balor-Owens was the only ongoing feud to be showcased, I felt the show had a smooth pace. It went by quick, meaning I was having fun watching this episode.
After 2 weeks of waiting, we finally got Finn Balor back on NXT, but as the champion. I’ll be the first to admit that not seeing him compete for this long made his return special. Finn’s interview was rather simple and so was the substance, but it sounded genuine. I felt that his promo was a sincere reaction to winning the NXT title, and not something he prepared. Everything went smooth in this segment until the audience tried chanting “John Cena sucks”. It’s funny when Cena is actually there, but not when his name is mentioned. Also, it was disrupting a good promo from the champ. That crowd truly is a hit or miss.
Eva Marie vs Cassie
Hate or love her, I’m sure most fans have been highly anticipating this match, but not in a positive sense. I actually liked how Eva kept her move set simple, and it was great to see that she now has a move set. It was smart that she didn’t try anything too complicated. With that being said, she has a long way to go. In fact, Cassie made her look pretty good, as Eva still looked slow at moments. Also, I didn’t feel any intensity from her .If the WWE is insistent on pushing Eva, they should let her stick around in NXT for much longer, because I would hate to see her on the main roster within this year.
Baron Corbin vs Jobber
Did they even announce the Corbin’s opponent’s name? He stood out more than most jobbers, but in a funny way. There wasn’t much to say about this match because it only last 2 seconds. Although, great follow up to Corbin’s video package from last week.
After some minimal research, I found out that Baron Corbin’s opponent is an independent wrestler by the name of Mr. 450. By looking at him and his twitter account, he’s a big Dragon Ball Z fan.
Samoa Joe vs Mike Rolas
Tonight was the night for them to showcase jobbers that occupy spots on the roster. I can’t remember the last time we’ve seen so many compete in one night, and consecutively. I’m glad they changed Joe’s theme, it’s much more intimidating, and suits him well. Ever since his match against Owens, Joe hasn’t really done much but squash matches, but it was wise for them to change that for next week. A match against Rhyno will hopefully make him more relevant on the show.
Emma vs Bayley
I’m aware Emma’s had a different theme for a few weeks, but it wasn’t until last night that I found it catchy. This match got me really pumped, because the competitors were selling their hatred for one another. The spot of the contest was Bayley’s “Hulk up” by the turnbuckle, it really gave us a different perspective of her character’s wrestling style. I found it difficult to cheer against the hugger, as she brought a lot of energy to this bout, and it was evident in her wrestling. Overall, this was a very fun match. They might not have put on a technical masterpiece, but they found a way to make it entertaining. The crowd once again tried to get themselves over when Bayley tried cutting her promo. I know it’s a fun environment to be in, but at least let these performers do their job.
The Vaudevillians vs Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton
We now know the Vaudevillians are being positioned as babyfaces. Since their return, I feel like they haven’t specified which role they’ll be playing in this division. I’m glad the number one contenders are being fed jobber tag teams, because it’s rebuilding their credibility. Although on a show filled with squash matches, there wasn’t anything special about this.
At the end of the day, all contract signings feel repetitive. In today’s wrestling world, it’s up to the wrestlers to make this feel worth watching. Owens definitely captivated this audience with the cheap shots to the crowd, and voicing his desire to win. The substance wasn’t deep, but he found a way to make this promo click. The best moment of this segment was Owens attacking Regal as a brawl ensued. It showed that his character only cares about one thing, and that’s getting his hands on the title. Overall, this was definitely the most interesting part to this show.
This was truly a show for the jobbers of NXT. There was only one match in the show that didn’t include jobbers, and that was Emma vs Bayley. I enjoyed how fast this episode went, meaning they were consistently putting on action. There was just no significance to anything but Balor and Owens. The low point of the show was the Eva-Cassie match, while the high point was the contract signing. Overall, I give this show a 7.1/10.