NXT Recap: June 10th 2015

In the wake of the tragic passing of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, it is an honor to write a review about a show that he had such a heavy influence over, from the production to working with the talent. NXT owes a great deal to Rhodes and his creative vision, and that is clear when the performers step out every week and put on a show for the fans in a bid to get noticed. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on, especially among the talented men and women on this roster.

On this edition, Samoa Joe competed for the very first time at Full Sail University, facing Scott Dawson with the NXT Champion Kevin Owens looking on from commentary. Joe has always been a big name for the passionate wrestling fan due to his time on the independent scene, and this moment will be a fantasy come to life for some. With his rivalry with Owens already brewing, the Samoan Submission Machine was looking to make an immediate impact.

That was only one match on a packed card of six bouts. As well as Joe’s debut, a number of returns add some intrigue to this week’s line-up. Mojo Rawley returns from injury, teaming with Zack Ryder to battle Mike Rallis and Elias Samson. Bull Dempsey is also back, as he matches up against Prince Pretty himself, Tyler Breeze. Also, back by popular demand, is Blue Pants, who wrestles Emma.

The other two matches feature performers not seen since Takeover: Unstoppable. The heroic Becky Lynch charges back into action opposite newcomer Jessie, and Baron Corbin looks to add another victim to his ever-growing list in the form of Angelo Dawkins.

Quick Results

  • Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley defeat Mike Rallis & Elias Samson
  • Emma defeats Blue Pants
  • Tyler Breeze defeats Bull Dempsey
  • Becky Lynch defeats Jessie
  • Baron Corbin defeats Angelo Dawkins
  • Samoa Joe defeats Scott Dawson

Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley vs Mike Rallis & Elias Samson

NXT was treated to a little Long Island Iced Z, as Zack Ryder made a foray into developmental. After the wonders the territory did for Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, it was great to see Ryder become the next veteran to work along the fresh blood of WWE. But, he did not come alone, as he brought a superstar that had been out of action for months. Mojo Rawley returned fresh and to great cheer from the NXT faithful, and would be hoping to return strongly after being booed out of the building most nights prior to his injury. They would team for the very first time against Mike Rallis and Elias Samson.

Highlights

Already I enjoyed Rawley’s new spin on his get hyped gimmick, it is more cocky and wacky

Hammer time – enough said

Excellent height on a missile dropkick from Ryder

Huge discus punch by Rawley on Rallis

Crowd Reaction

The crowd chant “Mojo” from the second he charges to the ring, giving him an excellent return

“Let’s go Bro” – getting behind the original Broski

Low Points

Obviously it was pretty short, but that will be an issue that comes up plenty this episode

Finish

Ryder and Rawley combine with a mixture of a Rough Ryder & Powerbomb on Samson to win

This was a fun reintroduction of Mojo Rawley, and the birth of an intriguing new tag team. They might be a little bizarre and kooky, but this combination could actually prove great value. Rawley got a fantastic reception from the NXT fans, a complete reverse of a few months ago, and Zack Ryder as an ever-popular veteran underdog will be sure to get the fans behind them if they keep up this momentum. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m looking forward to following Rawley further.

Rating – 2.5/5

Emma vs Blue Pants

Emma’s change in attitude over the past few months has brought a fresh perspective onto her character, and she has rocked it as a heel. The Aussie has looked fierce and brash in every move she’s made, win or lose. And this week she was bound to be the bad girl no matter what, as she was placed opposite a returning Blue Pants. One of the most popular competitors in NXT today, male or female, she has become a cult figure for her odd attire and personality, and the fans would have loved to see her victorious against the established Emma.

Highlights

Emma smashing Blue Pants to the mat and saying “Happy Birthday” was hilarious

Emma centering some of her new offense on pulling the hair of her opponent is heelish and effective

Some nice kicks to the head of Emma by Blue Pants

Crowd Reaction

When Blue Pants made her entrance, that was one of the biggest pops I’ve heard in NXT ever

“Happy birthday” – showing some more love to Blue Pants on her 32nd birthday

“It’s over 9000” – some Dragon Ball Z fans in attendance

Low Points

Although not technically outstanding in some areas, this match was very fun and enjoyable overall

Finish

Emma forces Blue Pants to submit when trapped in the Emma Lock

Some matches don’t have to be five-star classics, and can just be fun little distractions. This definitely falls into the latter, but the reaction that Blue Pants receives every time she competes borders on pandemonium. Although she is never really going to step up beyond being a jobber, her presence is always welcome and makes her matches consistently entertaining. As for Emma, her heel attitude is continuing to impress, and she’s another experiencing an NXT renaissance.

Rating – 2.5/5

Tyler Breeze vs Bull Dempsey

Tyler Breeze returned to winning ways last week following the disappointment of missing out on becoming number one contender at Takeover: Unstoppable, and would hope to continue that when he battled a returning Bull Dempsey. The huge brawler had lost a lot of steam in the past few months, and he would have looked at this as a chance at redemption. But Breeze is always a tough prospect on any occasion.

Highlights

Liking the intensity of Bull early on beating down Breeze

The chase around the ring kept the funniness of this episode at a high

Crowd Reaction

“Bull is gorgeous” – some people in the NXT crowd have very generous standards

“Cardio” – aimed at Dempsey when he gets winded chasing Breeze

Low Points

It was short, and Breeze didn’t get any kind of offense in the early going, but I guess that was intended

Finish

With Dempsey worn out, Breeze takes advantage with the Beauty Shot to pick up the victory

This seems to be heading into a laugh-a-minute episode of NXT, and I’m not complaining. However, I have a few concerns over this new gimmick of Bull Dempsey, as although it has started off in good spirits, it could quickly become a little offensive and damaging to his career if not handled properly. Only time will tell, but this was a short and fun match, and hopefully Tyler Breeze continues to earn victories on a path back to the main event.

Rating – 2/5

Becky Lynch vs Jessie

At Takeover: Unstoppable, fans got to witness the arrival of Becky Lynch as a force to be reckoned with in NXT’s outstanding women’s division. Often viewed as the outsider or odd piece of their Four Horsewomen, she is now set in stone among the elite and belongs. Her new Steam Punk attire has given Lynch more character and uniqueness, and fed her more fire to improve and establish herself further. Tonight she faces someone who will be looking to reach Lynch’s status in the future, as Jessie makes her in-ring debut.

Highlights

Love the spot where Lynch slides out of a pin onto her feet in one fluid motion

Huge kick to the face by Jessie that rocks the Irishwoman

Great sequence leading to a suplex onto the arm of Jesse by Lynch

Crowd Reaction

The audience getting firmly behind Lynch from the outset

“Better than Hogan” – some of the crowd make the comparison after Lynch’s leg drops

Low Points

Again it was a tad short and a few spots could have been a little crisper, but other than those minor issues it was solid

Finish

Following a unique leg hook slam, Lynch locks in her Discoostin Armbar to force Jessie to tap out

Becky Lynch stepped into the spotlight at Takeover and doesn’t look set to let it go anytime soon. I will give props to Jessie as she clearly has potential to make a name for herself in NXT if given her own chance in the coming months. But this is currently Lynch’s time, and she now has the look, moves and following to push herself to the top of NXT’s women division one day.

Rating – 2.5/5

Baron Corbin vs Angelo Dawkins

A victor at Takeover: Unstoppable, that is a fitting description for Baron Corbin’s run in NXT. He has swept aside virtually every challenger that has stood in his way with consummate ease, and would not be ready to let up against Angelo Dawkins. However, what has changed over time is the crowd’s opinion of him, as where they once used to revel in his crushing wins and lone wolf persona, they now revile him, and that has brought about a new vicious streak to Corbin.

Highlights

I liked Corbin’s punch when Dawkins was reeling across the bottom rope

A wicked clothesline by Corbin after Dawkins attempted a running bulldog

Crowd Reaction

“Corbin sucks” – not wasting any time to get their views on the Lone Wolf out in the open

Low Points

Very short, the moves were very basic, Corbin needs to start showing more to impress people

Finish

Corbin drops Dawkins with the End of Days to add another victim to his resume

Baron Corbin’s matches have become very formulaic when matched up with jobbers and lower-card competitors. His intensity, strength and strikes do impress me, but he needs to find more of a range because there’s only so far he can get with performances like this. Fans won’t buy Corbin stepping up into the main event setting, and without that backing he will get lost in the shuffle in NXT if he doesn’t become a more varied performer.

Rating – 1.5/5

Samoa Joe vs Scott Dawson

The main event bears witness to a moment that many wrestling fans had waited years for, as Samoa Joe competed in his first ever NXT match. Joe immediately made his presence felt at Takeover: Unstoppable when he stared down NXT Champion Kevin Owens, and the champ was at ringside to bear witness to the Samoan’s first outing against Scott Dawson. Joe was keen to send a statement of intent to the brash champion.

Highlights

Some great chain wrestling to start off the contest, from both Joe and Dawson

Joe unleashing a flurry of punches onto Dawson in the corner to establish a dominant position

As a side note, Owens on commentary is a remarkable thing to listen to, reminds me of CM Punk’s time on the announce table

Crowd Reaction

“Joe is gonna kill you” – the traditional warning chant aimed at Joe’s opponents, followed by “Please don’t die”

Low Points

Very short, but this was always going to be a squash so it’s forgivable

Finish

Joe hits the Muscle Buster on Dawson to earn a debut win on NXT. Afterwards Joe challenges Owens to step into the ring with him, and Owens declines, saying he hasn’t earned a title opportunity. NXT General Manager William Regal enters the fray, saying that whilst Joe hasn’t yet deserved a title shot, he does have the right to face Owens next week in a non-title match

It was never in doubt that this was going to be a one-sided affair, but there was still some good early back and forth between the pair, and Scott Dawson could be an impressive talent one day. But for now the buzz is on Samoa Joe, and he showed how dominant he can be in this contest, shrugging off most of Dawson’s offense before assuming full control of proceedings. The meeting of Joe and Kevin Owens this early is an enticing prospect, but I believe their animosity towards one another will only see it’s beginnings next week.

Rating – 2.5/5

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