NXT Review – Finn and Joe Battle Owens and Rhyno

7/1/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Finn Balor and Samoa Joe def. Kevin Owens and Rhyno by pinfall

Joe hit Rhyno with an enziguiri, and Finn followed up with a dropkick. Owens tagged in, but Finn rolled through a sunset flip to hit a basement dropkick. Rhyno tagged in and hit a delayed vertical suplex, doing squats with Finn up in the air until he finally completed the move.

Owens tagged in and hit a Five-Knuckle Shuffle, then set up for an AA, which Finn countered with a double stomp. Joe and Rhyno entered the match, with Joe hitting an inverted atomic drop, a big boot and a senton to earn a near-fall. Rhyno took advantage of an Owens distraction to hit a spinebuster, but Joe reached Finn for the tag.

Owens hit a pop-up powerbomb on Joe, followed by a superkick on Finn. Finn responded with a Pele kick, and Rhyno accidentally Gored Owens when Finn moved out of the way. Finn hit dropkicks on both Rhyno and Owens, following up with Coup de Grace on Owens for the pinfall, giving Owens his first NXT loss.

Scott’s Thoughts: A fun tag match to cap off the last NXT episode before Finn’s title match with Owens on Saturday. I was somewhat surprised by Joe’s lack of involvement, but this was well-done nonetheless.


Who is Finn Balor? Part Three of Three

Finn said that he draws much of his inspiration for his body paint from fan art. He added that he really didn’t know how much global reach his work in Europe and Japan had, and came into NXT prepared to be an unknown. He said that he based his new ring name on Irish folklore, saying that Finn McCool is an Irish folk hero, who fought a demon king named Balor.

Finn said that his father’s name is Finn, and that adds the perfect touch to his persona. Jason Albert said that Finn’s transition to WWE was more focused on playing to the camera setup than it was on changing his moveset. Finn said that he had recently visited Dublin, and that it had changed so much in the time he was away that he now considers NXT his home.

Finn commented that he’s a very introverted person, and that the body paint helps him get through that challenge, to reach the darker side of his personality. He said that returning to Japan to face Owens is a dream come true, and shots of him giving Too Sweets to Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows aired. Becky Lynch broke into tears when trying to describe how much Finn deserves this opportunity.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’ve been saying for months that Finn has no real gimmick or personality in NXT. This three-part series changed that entirely. Finn is now a very relatable babyface persona, who is completely prepared to win the NXT Championship.


The Vaudevillains def. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson by pinfall

Gotch earned an early two-count with a sunset flip on Dawson, but Dash and Dawson quickly turned the tide, exchanging quick tags on Gotch. Dawson used a leg drop and a knee drop for a near-fall, but English managed to tag in, hitting a back body drop on Dawson, followed by an atomic drop on Dash. The Vaudevillains hit their uppercut/neckbreaker combo finisher to earn the pinfall for Gotch.

Later in the show, William Regal told The Vaudevillains they would face Enzo and Cass for the number one contendership next week.

Scott’s Thoughts: It seems like it’s been a while since The Vaudevillains were relevant on NXT. Perhaps this represents an attempt to return them to a place of some prominence on the card.


Emma (w/ Dana Brooke) def. Carmella by submission

Emma debuted a new heel theme, which integrated more elements of her previous song. Good stuff, in my opinion. Carmella hit a second-rope hurricanrana, followed by a clothesline. Emma and Carmella exchanged unsuccessful pinning maneuvers, before Carmella unloaded with shoulder tackles and a Thesz press.

Carmella followed up with a series of kicks and a sitout reverse powerbomb. Emma caught her in the Emma Lock, forcing Carmella to tap.

Scott’s Thoughts: Thank god we didn’t have to see Dana wrestle this week. It was interesting to see Carmella handle her entrance without Enzo and Cass. As much as she’s gotten over with them, she still doesn’t get much of a response on her own. Regarding the match, it was pretty solid until the somewhat out of nowhere finish.


Tyler Breeze def. Tye Dillinger by pinfall

Dillinger hit a series of strikes and stomps on Breeze, followed by a gorilla press slam. Breeze gained the advantage with an inverted DDT and a hurricanrana, finishing Dillinger off with a Beauty Shot.

Scott’s Thoughts: It’s better to have Breeze on TV than not on TV, I suppose.


Baron Corbin def. Tucker Knight by pinfall

Baron hit a side facebuster, followed by End of Days.

Scott’s Thoughts: Tucker Knight is fat.


– Devin Taylor interviewed Becky Lynch, who said that she has a sprained hip flexor. She tried to work through it, but that only aggravated the injury. Becky said that she’ll need several weeks off. That’s a shame, seeing as she was really finding her footing as a babyface.

– Bull Dempsey tried to put a chair through the glass front of a vending machine. Regal caught him and told him to get a grip on himself. Damn. This whole “Bull can’t stop eating” story is the worst.

– Chad Gable made another attempt to get Jason Jordan to team up with him.