NXT Review – Eva Marie and Nia Jax Seek Revenge Against Bayley and Carmella

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2/24/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Eva Marie and Nia Jax def. Bayley and Carmella by pinfall

Carmella and Bayley hit a double-suplex on Eva, earning an early near-fall for Bayley. Nia and Eva worked over Carmella for a long time, until Nia came up empty on a spear, flying out of the ring. Carmella made the hot tag to Bayley, who hit a fisherman’s suplex and a Bayley-to-belly on Eva, but Nia pulled Bayley out of the cover.

Carmella tagged back in and locked in her headscissor submission finisher, with Nia again making the save. Nia dragged Eva to their corner, tagged in and hit three leg drops on Carmella. Eva tagged herself in and took the pinfall for herself.

Scott’s Thoughts: I can’t recall the last time I saw a main-event match with so little wrestling. This was rest-hold city. I did enjoy the finish, with Eva stealing the pin for herself after Nia did all the work. I still don’t completely understand the Eva/Nia team, because most good tag teams feature at least one decent worker…

American Alpha def. Blake and Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) by pinfall

Chad Gable hit Blake with two belly-to-back suplexes and a headscissor takedown, then bounced Blake’s head off Murphy’s. Gable and Jason Jordan hit tandem dropkicks on Blake and Murphy. They followed up with a double-German suplex to Blake, but Murphy tagged in blindly and took out Gable with a clothesline.

Blake and Murphy exchanged tags, wearing Gable down, until Murphy came up empty with a knee crop and allowed Gable to make the hot tag. Jordan hit a dropkick on Blake, then hit both Blake and Murphy with overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. Gable tagged back in and Jordan lifted Blake up for Gable’s bridging side suplex, earning the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Gable and Jordan unquestionably have ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ is. They’ve both come a long way both in the ring and on the mic, and they work tremendously well together. The sky’s the limit for these guys.

Tomasso Ciampa def. Bull Dempsey by pinfall

Bull struggled to take his too-small shirt off, eventually asking the referee for help. Tom Phillips joked on commentary that Bull nearly needed the jaws of life to remove his shirt, to which Corey Graves responded with one of his brilliantly condescending remarks: “Bull cultivated gainz with a z. Hashtag gainz. That’s what they talk about on Instagram, TOM. In the fitness world, TOM.”

Ciampa worked Bull’s left arm early, but when he tried to lift Bull up for a gorilla press, Bull reversed into a crossbody. Ciampa locked in a bridging armbar, forcing Bull to tap.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’m not sure if this was Bull’s last taped match as a member of the NXT roster, but I’d like to give him props for developing into an entertaining comedy wrestler. When Bull debuted, I didn’t see anything in him. While he still has a terrible look, he’s learned how to work a crowd and will do well for himself on the indy scene.

As for Ciampa, it’s always a delight to see him in NXT. I hope he can get involved in an actual feud sometime soon. Finally, Corey Graves is the best heel commentator in the industry today. He hits the perfect balance of being condescending, without crossing the line into mean-spiritedness.

Apollo Crews def. Christopher Gerard by pinfall

Crews caught Gerard with a dropkick, but Gerard answered with a running uppercut. Crews responded with an enziguiri and a powerbomb to polish Gerard off.

Scott’s Thoughts: It’s hard to make much of an impression in a squash match, but I liked what I saw from Gerard. He has a unique brand of intensity, and looked good in the ring.

Other notes:

  • William Regal announced that Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe will face each other again in a 2-out-of-3 falls match in two weeks, to determine a definitive No. 1 contender. Regal also said that a huge new talent will arrive in NXT next week. A 2-out-of-3 falls match is an appropriately decisive way to determine a No. 1 contender, and I don’t think anyone will complain about seeing another Zayn/Joe match.
  • Later in the show, Regal reminded Finn Balor that he’s nearing the record for longest-reigning NXT Champion, and will face Neville — the current record-holder — in next week’s main event. That should be an excellent match.
  • Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson assaulted Enzo Amore in the parking lot, until Colin Cassady made the save and fought them off. This was especially fun because of the clever ‘security cam footage’ angle. Good production choice.