NXT Recap: May 27th 2015

Fresh off the heels of an excellent Takeover: Unstoppable, NXT is back in the swing of their weekly episodes that will look to build upon the success of their special event. Coming out of the show, Kevin Owens still stands tall as the NXT Champion, and temporarily rid of Sami Zayn when he was stretchered out of the arena. But, two new threats appear on the horizon: the distinctive Finn Balor and the newest addition to the NXT roster, the intimidating Samoa Joe. Owens was a focal point of this show therefore, and would battle Solomon Crowe in the main event.

Balor would also be in action on this edition. He became the new number one contender for the NXT Championship at Takeover when he bested Tyler Breeze. As he prepares for his second shot at Owens’ coveted belt, he will need every once of his talent and momentum to ensure he doesn’t become the Canadian’s latest victim. He faces Tye Dillinger in a bid to get some much needed wins on the board.

Also on the card, Emma and Bayley take their feud into the ring, with the Australian looking to bounce back after being pinned in the divas tag team match last week. And, after some unexpected interference saved their titles, NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy compete against Elias Sampson & Mike Rallis, with Alexa Bliss now firmly established in their corner.

Quick Results

  • Emma defeats Bayley
  • Blake & Murphy defeat Elias Sampson & Mike Rallis
  • Finn Balor defeats Tye Dillinger
  • Kevin Owens defeats Solomon Crowe

Kevin Owens Addresses Events of Takeover

Still the proud owner of the NXT Championship title, Kevin Owens strode out at the opening of the show to the music of his fallen rival Sami Zayn and adorned in a John Cena shirt. The prize fighter has not been looking to make friends since debuting six months ago, and stuck the proverbial middle finger up at his past opponent and the man he will face at Elimination Chamber. Owens comes out and claims he was going to offer an open challenge for his NXT Championship, but mocks Cena, claiming he isn’t so insecure that he feels compelled to defend his title every week, and gives opportunities only to those that earn it.

Owens is such a masterful talker, as he berates the crowd for cheering for Zayn, and also those cheering for Owens himself. He revels in the fact that he took out Zayn at Takeover with his powerbomb against the apron, but states he was merely doing what he promised he would do if his rival took part in the match. Owens then addresses the unexpected arrival of Samoa Joe to NXT, arguing that he let the fans be happy by fleeing from the ring rather than drop the Samoan where he stood.

This brought out General Manager William Regal, another who suffered the wrath of Owens at Takeover via a headbutt. Regal states that the only reason the champion is still in NXT is due to putting his hands on Owens first, but he is tired of the number of bodies carried out on stretchers at the hands of the Canadian. Of all people, Solomon Crowe makes an appearance, calling Owens scared over the fear of losing his title, and that he was nothing more than a lowlife for his assault of Zayn. So, Owens issued the challenge for a match in the main event, and promised to add another name to the injury list.

Emma vs Bayley

In a feud that has been fueled by jealousy and the significance of fan support, Emma and Bayley have become a compelling rivalry in recent months. Emma began this by advising Bayley that having the love of the crowd is no promise of superstardom in WWE, as she has experienced herself. The huggable diva’s refusal to heed those warnings has worn thin with the Aussie, who has made it a personal mission to beat Bayley until her crowd connection is irreparably shattered.

Highlights

Digging Emma’s evil new look and twist on her entrance music, really reflects the change in her nature

Bayley connecting with a drop toehold, following up with a flurry of punches to the face

Crowd Reaction

The fans are hugely into Balyey as per usual, whilst Emma was drawing a significant amount of heat considerng the positive she used to promote

Low Points

Very few standout moments and highlights to make this match live long in the memory

Finish

Emma hauls Bayley off the middle turnbuckle, and forces her to tap out to the Emma Lock. Her and Dana Brooke look to add to the punishment, but are cut short by the emergence of Charlotte for the save, until the Nature Girl is dropped by Brooke’s Samoan driver.

A decent opening contest for the night, but was a little underwhelming due to the intensity of this feud at presence.Emma won in short order, and Bayley wasn’t really able to get up into a higher gear due to the match concluding. The post-match growth into a battle between Charlotte and Dana Brooke is exciting, as both ladies strive to be the alpha-female in NXT.

Rating – 2.5/5

Blake & Murphy vs Elias Sampson & Mike Rallis

One of the most unexpected moments of Takeover: Unstoppable took place in the NXT Tag Team Championship match, and maintained the current reign of Blake & Murphy. After months of mind games and attempting to woo Carmella way from Enzo Amore & Colin Casssady, they found a new ally in Alexa Bliss of all people. Her heel turn came out of the blue, but her presence could help breed new life into the champions as they have been rather stale of late. The first battle in their new era saw them tackle Elias Sampson & Mike Rallis.

Highlights

A nice scoop slam and hilo combination by Blake & Murphy

Sampson’s hot tag added some much-needed fire and energy to the bout while it lasted

Crowd Reaction

Rallis gets a decent pop from the crowd in the early going, which suggests he had family and friends to support him

Low Points

Far too safe, minimal moments to rave about as the champs were not pushing the boat out here

Blake & Murphy still not yet receiving any significant reactions from the NXT audience in either a positive or negative manner

Finish

Murphy connects with a running brainbuster on Sampson, followed by a Frog Splash by Blake. After the match Bliss performs a Sparkle Splash onto Sampson.

Very little exciting about this match, as the most compelling aspect didn’t take place until after the bell had rung. Alexa Bliss has potential to be a strong heel, and showed that with her callous post-match attack. But, Blake & Murphy need more of a wow factor to truly get over in the eyes of the crowd. Their maneuvers here were very sub-par, and I had practically forgotten everything that had taken place by the time the next segment began.

Rating – 2/5

Finn Balor vs Tye Dillinger

Finn Balor is back as the number one contender for the NXT Championship thanks to the events of Takeover, as he overcame Tyler Breeze to claim this prize. It is a critical step for the Irishman, as his popularity has continued to soar and he missed out the last time he challenged Kevin Owens for his precious belt. Balor has earned a second opportunity to claim the prize and reach the summit on the roster, and many in the audience would be delighted to see that happen. Now his aim is to build momentum with victories before he challenges, and Tye Dillinger is the first opponent lined up.

Highlights

Impressive quick start by both superstars that gets the crowd excited

A boot to the face by Dillinger, and then the mocks some of Balor’s famed theatrics

Balor’s chops to the chest of his opponent sounding particularly painful

Crowd Reaction

Hugely supportive of Balor, as has been the case week-after-week since his debut

Low Points

Still very short, but they made the most out of the time allotted them so it was fine

Finish

Balor pulls out the trio of the Slingblade, running dropkick and Coup de Grace to defeat Dillinger

Once again, this was a match that was very short and therefore limited in the spectacle it could provide the fans. However, unlike the previous match, both superstars looked to get the pace off to a quick start and maintain it throughout. Tye Dillinger had the approach of somebody looking to get noticed, and did very well as enhancement talent for Finn Balor,who needs to be treated as a threat by Kevin Owens.

Rating – 2.5/5

Kevin Owens vs Solomon Crowe

The main event of the evening has been one long in the waiting for many fans of the independent circuit, as Kevin Owens and Solomon Crowe butt heads in NXT. Crowe’s time in WWE has been quite stagnant, as it took him a long time to appear on television at all, and following a strong start he has fallen off the radar recently. It certainly looks a lot less impressive when compared to the meteoric rise of Owens to the top, but a strong showing here against the NXT’s best to offer could kick-start Crowe in the right direction.

Highlights

Owens shoving Crowe hard off the turnbuckle to the floor in a nasty spill

Owens proceeding to throw Crowe out of every side of the ring, toying with his hurt opponent

Huge running knee to the face by Crowe that rocks the champion

Crowd Reaction

“NXT! NXT! NXT!” – fans seem to be delighted at the fact this match has become possible in NXT

Despite everything he does to get a negative reaction, Owens is so good at it the crowd can’t help but like him

Low Points

It was a squash, but was designed that way to support the dominance of Owens

Finish

Following a one-sided contest, Owens seals the victory with a Pop-Up Powerbomb on Crowe. Then, he sets up to take his opponent out with a powerbomb against the ring apron, but is interrupted by the emergence of Samoa Joe. Owens urges Joe to step into the ring with him, but when he does the champion retreats up the ramp.

This was a solid end to a pretty unspectacular show, but Kevin Owens was the saving grace from the start to the finish. He utterly dominated this battle, showing his ferocious aggression mixed with his arrogance, as he toyed with Solomon Crowe in the closing stages. He is being booked as the most dominant force in NXT’s history, which is what he needs to be if fans are to consider him a threat against John Cena this Sunday. Samoa Joe will be an intriguing next step, and I can’t wait for these two to mix it up in the ring.

Rating – 3/5

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