NXT Review – Major Superstar Turns Heel


Finn Balor def. Rhyno by pinfall; Rhyno turns heel

Finn opened up the offense with a dropkick, but Rhyno leveled him with a shoulder tackle. Finn responded with a step-up enziguiri, knocking Rhyno from the ring. Finn hit him with a plancha, but Rhyno took control back in the ring with a powerslam for two.

Rhyno followed up with a clothesline and a military press slam for another near-fall. Rhyno hit a spinebuster, but Finn kicked out yet again. Finn rebounded with a Pele kick and a Sling Blade, hitting a running dropkick into the curner. Finn came up empty on Coup de Grace, but Rhyno also missed on a Gore. Finn rolled Rhyno up for the three-count.

After the match, Rhyno hit Finn with a very powerful Gore on the entrance stage, turning heel in the process.

Scott’s Thoughts: Solid — if unspectacular — main event. I certainly enjoyed the Rhyno heel turn at the end, and I’m looking forward to seeing him work as a heel in NXT.


Tyler Breeze def. Adam Rose by pinfall

After an early mat-based exchange, Breeze hit a springboard dropkick. Rose gained the advantage with repeated elbow drops, but Breeze answered with another dropkick. Breeze hit a hurricanrana, but Rose managed to land a clothesline and a dropkick of his own for two.

Rose planted Breeze with a spinebuster, and when Breeze tried to kick out, Rose held onto his legs and flipped him over into a Boston crab. Breeze found his way to the bottom rope and break the hold, but Rose immediately hit a guillotine legdrop, sending Breeze out of the ring.

Rose hit an apron elbow drop, then tossed Breeze back into the ring. Breeze caught Rose coming off the ropes with a Beauty Shot for the out-of-nowhere finish.

Scott’s Thoughts: A far better than expected match. Rose looked great controlling the pace, and Breeze is always completely entertaining. My only issue was that the finish basically no-sold a solid three minutes of non-stop offense from Rose.


Alexa Bliss (w/ Blake and Murphy) def. Carmella (w/ Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady) by pinfall

As soon as the bell rang, Carmella hit three consecutive Thesz presses, unloading on Alexa. Bliss hit a legsweep, but came up empty on the Glitz Flip. Carmella landed a series of shoulder tackles and kicks, followed by a sitout slam. Alexa rolled her up and the referee counted the pinfall as Alexa grabbed onto the ropes for leverage.

Scott’s Thoughts: Solid finishes weren’t exactly the order of the day on this show. It seemed like Alexa was supposed to grab the ropes much earlier, because the ref had practically already counted the pinfall by the time she gingerly grasped the rope. Not a bad match up until then, but sloppy finishes bother me.


The Vaudevillains def. Marcus Louis and Jason Jordan by pinfall

The Vaudevillains wore down Louis early, exchanging quick tags. Jordan tagged in blindly, hitting a side suplex on English. Jordan followed up with a belly-to-back slam, tagging in Louis, who just kind of grabbed English’s beard for a while. English nearly earned a pinfall with a small package, but Louis kicked out and continued grabbing English’s beard.

English hit a jawbreaker and reached Gotch for the hot tag. Gotch hit a running uppercut, tagging in English for their uppercut/neckbreaker combo finisher, The Whirling Dervish.

Scott’s Thoughts: Holy crap, they’re really making Louis keep the terrible gimmick he developed after Enzo Amore rubbed hair removal cream on his head and he completely lost any semblance of sanity due to the loss of his hair. For all the things NXT does right, Marcus Louis is a wonderful example of the fact that no company’s booking is perfect.


– William Regal announced that the July 4th WWE live event in Tokyo will be broadcast live on the WWE Network, featuring Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Title, as well as appearances from John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho. Wow. That is awesome news, and exactly the kind of thing the Network enables WWE to do, that they never would have previously capable of.

– Eva Marie cut a promo with not-Jeremy Borash, in which she was booed mercilessly. Eva tried to talk through the crowd, but they consistently shut her down. Things got a little better when she credited the NXT Women’s division, but the crowd again voiced their displeasure when she said she was looking forward to wrestling in NXT. This was admittedly hilarious.

– Solomon Crowe cut a backstage promo that was very hard to pay attention to, due to the fact that the camera was focused on the backdrop the entire time, leaving Crowe’s face out of focus. Why didn’t they reshoot this with competent camera work?

– A long promo package about Sami Zayn’s surgery aired, and I’m not really sure why. The doctor got way more screen time than Zayn did. And it was long.