9/30/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters
Finn Balor and Samoa Joe def. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (w/ Carmella) by pinfall in the quarterfinals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Finn has a new intro for his entrance music, which fits very nicely. He also has a new “Balor Club” Titantron video and entered the ring in all black — leather jacket, trunks, knee pads and boots. The match began as a typical big-man brawl, with Joe and Cass struggling to get the upper hand on each other.
As the action spilled to the outside, Enzo and Finn hit suicide dives onto each other’s partners. Back in the ring, Enzo hit Finn with a leaping second-rope DDT and both men made hot tags. Big Cass picked up momentum quickly against Joe, until Finn hit him with a cheap-shot enziguiri when the referee wasn’t looking.
Joe hit an STO on Cass for a near-fall, but Cass fought back with big boots on both Joe and Finn. Cass hit an Empire Elbow, but Joe kicked out. Cass followed up with a big spinning side slam, tagging in Enzo for the assisted frog splash. Joe rolled through, picking up Enzo and tagging in Finn.
Joe hit a Musclebuster, and Finn followed with Coup de Grace to pin Enzo.
Scott’s Thoughts: I had been fully expecting a Joe or Finn heel turn to cost them the match, and set up a title match at Takeover Respect, but it would appear NXT is comfortable running Respect with no men’s title match. Also, I like the small tweaks to Finn’s entrance.
Tyler Breeze def. Tommaso Ciampa by pinfall
Ciampa started with a belly-to-back suplex and running knees in the corner for two. After an impressive mat-based exchange, Breeze answered with a neckbreaker and a leg drop for a near-fall of his own. Ciampa fought back with a big boot and a slingshot DDT, but Breeze kicked out.
Ciampa hit Breeze with stiff knee strikes and a discus lariat for another near-fall. Ciampa climbed up top, but dove right into a dropkick from Breeze. Ciampa managed to kick out, but Breeze followed up with an Unprettier for the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: Tyler Breeze using the Unprettier?! I love it. That fits so perfectly with his gimmick. This was a great match that made both men look like gold. Breeze picked up the big victory he needed to get his momentum back, and Ciampa showed that he’s already a main-event level wrestler himself.
Dana Brooke and Emma def. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay by pinfall
William Regal invited Dana and Emma into his office, where he told them that Dana will face Asuka one-on-one at Takeover. Dana was highly confident until Regal showed her and Emma a video of Asuka in the ring. Dana and Emma looked scared, and Emma simply said “Good luck with that…” and left.
They entered separately for their match, and Royce nearly pinned Dana three times with a variety of pinning maneuvers. Kay hit Emma with a hurricanrana and a delayed vertical suplex for a near-fall. Kay followed up with a big boot and both women made tags.
Royce hit two heel kicks and a dropkick, but then slipped off the ropes and fell flat on her face in the ring. Royce recovered with a dropkick, but Emma grabbed her leg and allowed Dana to hit her fireman’s carry sitout reverse powerbomb finisher.
Scott’s Thoughts: Poor Asuka has to make her debut against Dana, when Emma’s standing right there? Ugh. Also, I like Billie Kay, but Royce seems pretty green. Her offense is very awkward , and that rope botch was bad.
Apollo Crews def. Johnny Gargano by pinfall
Gargano and Crews put on an impressive series of mat-based counters and submissions, until Crews hit a dropkick. Gargano answered with a spear from the apron between the ropes for a near-fall. Gargano followed up with a roll-through kick, but Crews answered with a vertical suplex. Crews hit a leaping clothesline, a gorilla press, and a standing moonsault to earn the pinfall victory.
- Kyle Edwards opened the show with highlights from the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which saw Jason Jordan and Chad Gable defeat The Hype Bros by pinfall.
- After the Breeze/Ciampa main event match, NXT ran an excellent five-minute promo package that recapped the build for Sasha Banks vs. Bayley at Takeover Respect.