8/5/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters
Bayley def. Charlotte by pinfall
Charlotte and Bayley shook hands to begin the match. After a nice mat-based exchange to start things off, Charlotte locked in a headscissor and flung Bayley around the ring three times before releasing it. Charlotte said to Bayley, “You made me do this,” but Bayley was able to dump Charlotte from the ring.
Bayley hit a between-the-ropes dropkick on the outside, before tossing Charlotte back into the ring. Charlotte caught Bayley with a big boot for a two-count and tried for a figure-four, but Bayley rolled her up for two. Bayley hit a second-rope elbow drop, followed by a pumphandle suplex.
Bayley took Charlotte up top for a top-rope hurricanrana, earning another near-fall. Charlotte fought back with a neckbreaker and a spear, but Bayley managed to kick out. Charlotte locked in a figure-four, but couldn’t bridge it into the figure-eight.
Bayley reversed the figure-four, and Charlotte reached the ropes to break the hold. Bayley earned a two-count with a backslide, and Charlotte tried to reverse the momentum for a backslide of ther own. Bayley climbed the turnbuckle, flipping in front of Charlotte, and hit her with a Bayley-to-Belly.
Charlotte kicked out, and Bayley immediately followed with a German suplex for another near-fall. Charlotte fought back with a big boot and a schoolboy into the turnbuckle. Charlotte climbed up top, but Bayley caught her and hit a second-rope Bayley-to-Belly to earn the three-count.
Later in the show, Bayley entered William Regal’s office and asked him for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. Regal said that Bayley deserves a shot at the title, but that she’s not the only one who deserves it. Regal booked a #1 Contendership match between Bayley and Becky Lynch for next week’s show, with the winner facing Sasha Banks at Takeover Brooklyn.
Scott’s Thoughts: Wow, if you want to open up a show hot, that’s how you do it. Bayley and Charlotte put on a chemistry clinic in this one. It’s increasingly clear that Bayley is the heir apparent to the NXT Women’s Championship, and I expect her to win the title from Sasha at Takeover Brooklyn. Great match.
Samoa Joe def. Rhyno by pinfall
The show’s main event began with both men failing to knock each other down with shoulder tackles. Joe managed to toss Rhyno from the ring, then hit a dive between the ropes. Back in the ring, Joe hit an enziguiri, but Rhyno answered with a spinebuster for two.
Joe fought back with an STO, an atomic drop, a big boot and a senton for a two-count. Rhyno got Joe up for a Samoan drop, earning a near-fall. Joe climbed up top and hit a diving thrust kick, earning a two-count of his own.
Rhyno answered with a belly-to-belly suplex, but Joe countered a Gore with a big boot. Rhyno worked his way out of a rear naked choke and climbed up top, but Joe hit a step-up enziguiri. Joe hit Rhyno with a Musclebuster to earn the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: It was great to see Joe wrestle a real match after weeks of jobber squashes. I’m not usually a huge fan of brawler-vs-brawler matches, but this was very fun.
Michael Cole sits down with Kevin Owens
Regardless of your feelings about Cole as an announcer, his presence on NXT always feels important, because it’s so rare. Cole started off by questioning the sincerity of Owens’ apology for striking William Regal, and said that Regal had told him that he wants Balor to win at Takeover Brooklyn. Owens responded that Regal should have said that to his face, and said that it’s a dangerous moral position to have the NXT General Manager stating a preference as to the winner of a match.
Owens said that he needs the NXT title back because it reminds him of what he did to Sami Zayn. He said that he also misses the championship bonuses in his paycheck, and that he feels weird walking down the ramp without a title belt. Owens recalled that Regal was rather devious during his wrestling career, and questioned whether he’d actually changed his ways as the GM.
Owens said people in a position of power shouldn’t play favorites, and that he was afraid there would be another Montreal Screwjob. Owens said that he distrusts Regal, adding that Regal could easily hire a crooked referee to screw Owens over. Owens proposed a ladder match to make sure a referee couldn’t alter the outcome.
Cole asked Owens if he could really beat Finn Balor under any conditions, and Owens threw down his microphone and walked off without answering.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was all so freaking good. Owens’ promo hit so many great points. I loved how he called back to Regal’s heel wrestling persona to cast doubt upon Regal’s authority, as a means of exerting his influence over the match type at Takeover. It was a brilliant play because everything Owens said had at least a modicum of truth to it, and it was hard to disagree with his logic, despite his heelish delivery. Best thing Owens has done in weeks.
Byron Saxton interviews Finn Balor
Finn said that NXT is redefining what the wrestling industry is doing, and that to be the face of the promotion is a huge honor. Finn added that he’s known Kevin Owens for a year, and that he wasn’t surprised when Owens punched Regal. Finn said that Owens has no class or respect.
Saxton asked Finn how he felt about Owens’ claim that everything he does is to provide for his family. Finn answered that he doesn’t believe anything Owens says. Finn then said that he has spoken to Sami Zayn, and that Zayn has been helping him prepare for his rematch against Owens.
Finn said that it would be easy to seek revenge for the actions Owens took against Zayn, but that he needs to stay focused. Finn said that no matter the match stipulation, he will defeat Owens again.
Scott’s Thoughts: This wasn’t nearly as good as Owens’ segment with Cole, but that shouldn’t be expected. It was a well-played segment in its own right.
Tyler Breeze def. a local wrestler by pinfall; Jushin Thunder Liger to challenge Breeze at Takeover Brooklyn
Breeze was upset with his underwhelming opponent, shouting “This is what I get?” He quickly hit the Beauty Shot to earn the pinfall. After the match, Regal entered and said that he was pleased to announce that he had found an opponent worth of Breeze. He announced that Breeze’s opponent at Takeover Brooklyn will be Jushin Thunder Liger. An excellent promo package for Liger aired, with highlights from his illustrious career.
Scott’s Thoughts: How much fun is Breeze vs. Liger going to be?! If I was booking Takeover Brooklyn, I might put that in the opening slot to get the crowd fired up early.
Bull Dempsey decides it’s time to get Bull Fit
Bull Dempsey watched his own “Bull Fit” YouTube video, realizing that he needs to get fit to survive in WWE. Bull entered the weight room with a sense of wonder, intently watching the people working out, making it clear that he had never been in the weight room before. Eventually, everyone there started helping him out, and Bull began his first-ever workout.
Later in the show, an 80’s-esque Bull training montage aired. Bull managed to triumphantly flip over a huge tire, with Drake Weurtz cheering him on.
Scott’s Thoughts: I know many of you probably don’t like these segments, but I am a huge fan of “Bull Fit” so far. This is a comedy gimmick that’s working. Does it have a long shelf life? No, probably not. But it’s the best thing Bull Dempsey has ever done, by a mile.
The Hype Bros def. Dash and Dawson by pinfall
I got a huge laugh from Saxton on commentary, when he said, “Can you imagine if Mojo and Zack Ryder were your wingmen? You’re taking a girl out to Denny’s, with Zack Ryder and Mojo with you. You are guaranteed to get a second date.” That’s quote of the week material right there.
Ryder hit a flapjack on Dawson, as the crowd started to chant “Woo woo woo” to the “New Day sucks” beat. Dash tagged in and hit a backbreaker for two, and Dawson followed up with a slingshot suplex for a near-fall. Ryder reached Mojo with the hot tag, and Mojo hit a fireman’s carry facebuster.
Mojo tagged Ryder in for a tandem Rough-Ryder, earning Ryder the pinfall. Dash and Dawson attacked them after the match, picking apart Ryder and hitting him with a codebreaker from Dash.
Scott’s Thoughts: Is Mojo actually getting over? Is the Zack Ryder rub actually working? Maybe? Dash and Dawson aren’t a bad team, but they need an actual gimmick.
Baron Corbin def. Steve Cutler by pinfall
Corbin immediately hit End of Days.
Scott’s Thoughts: This had better start going somewhere quick.
– Uhaa Nation cut a quick promo, saying that he had arrived in NXT for one reason, to be champion. He then revealed his new ring name to be Apollo Crews, and said that his debut match will be at Takeover Brooklyn. I’m very much looking forward to that.
– Regal granted The Vaudevillains a rematch against Blake and Murphy for the NXT Tag Team Championship at Takeover Brooklyn. Regal advised them to find a way to counter Alexa Bliss, opening the door for The Vaudevillains to add a third member. I like it.