NXT Review – Women’s Title Chaos and a Whole Bunch of Squash Matches

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2/10/16 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Bayley def. Carmella by pinfall to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

Carmella and Bayley both came up empty on simultaneous dropkick attempts to start the match, with Bayley earning the first two-count after an elbow drop. Carmella fought back with a second-rope hurricanrana, but Bayley answered with a spinning powerslam. Bayley climbed up top, but Carmella shoved her down to the floor.

Carmella took down Bayley with a flying crossbody between the top two ropes, then got back in the ring and hit another one between the bottom ropes. Carmella tossed Bayley back into the ring, but could only earn a two-count. Carmella hit a Bronco Buster and a side Russian legsweep, and both women exchanged unsuccessful pinning maneuvers, until Bayley reversed a sunset flip to earn the pinfall.

After the match, Nia Jax and Eva Marie attacked Carmella on the entrance ramp, then took out Bayley when she tried to make the save. Jax carried Carmella back to the ring and hit her with two leg drops, but Asuka stopped the beatdown when she entered the ring. Jax and Eva retreated, presumably because Asuka can wrestle and both of them cannot.

Bayley re-entered the ring, and Asuka focused her attention on her, repeatedly tapping Bayley’s title belt. Asuka walked back up the ramp, leaving Bayley and an unconscious Carmella alone in the ring.

Scott’s Thoughts: A solid match that wiped clean the bad memories of Bayley’s recent title defense against Nia Jax…until Nia Jax showed up. Carmella continues to show massive improvement, and while she’s not on Bayley’s level, she’s gotten good enough to at least hold her own in the ring with NXT’s top women.

The final sequence felt a bit overbooked, but it was still effective, mostly because fans so badly want to see Bayley vs. Asuka. This was a good main event, but it unfortunately capped off an hour of television that was otherwise instantaneously forgettable.

Baron Corbin def. Johnny Gargano by pinfall

Corbin kept Gargano grounded early, until Gargano hit a roll-through kick and a spear between the ropes from the apron. Corbin responded with a Deep Six spinning side slam, but Gargano earned a near-fall with a superkick. Corbin regrouped to hit End of Days to put Gargano away.

Scott’s Thoughts: Gargano currently occupies that sort of midcard spot that allows him to put on entertaining matches and enhance talent like Corbin, without being a total squash jobber. His goal here was to make Corbin look good, and he did exactly that. Still, it would be nice to see Gargano booked a little more competitively, like Tommaso Ciampa is.

Hype Bros def. Corey Hollis and John Skyler by pinfall

Zack Ryder hit an early dropkick on Skyler, following up with a double baseball slide, taking out both Skyler and Hollis at ringside. Ryder nailed a Broski Boot on Skyler, then teamed up with Mojo Rawley for a HypeRyder to finish Hollis.

Scott’s Thoughts: Nothing more than a pure squash to put the Hype Bros back on track following their recent loss. It worked for what it was.

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

Cameron hit a facebuster and a spinning neckbreaker, but Bliss kicked out of both. Bliss hit a Blitz Flip and a Sparkle Splash to leave Cameron staring at the lights.

Scott’s Thoughts: The entire first half of this episode of NXT consisted of nothing but squash matches.

Elias Samson def. Jesse Sorenson by pinfall

The crowd chanted “Drift away” at Samson, and I have to agree that this would be preferable to watching him on television. Samson hit an elbow drop and a spinning neckbreaker to mercifully end this extremely short encounter.

Scott’s Thoughts: Oh my god, another one?! I don’t think booking gets more yawn-inducing than four consecutive squashes.

  • Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable cut a backstage promo together, which made me want to see more of these four together. This was brief, but a great deal of fun, and had some great one-liners such as:
    • Gable: “I’m layered, you guys. I’m deep.”
    • Enzo: “Ooh, Mr. Tiramisu over here.”