NXT Recap: June 4th 2015

With NXT Champion Kevin Owens making waves on the main shows this week, it was left to his current Number One Contender Finn Balor to be the focal point of the latest edition of NXT. The Irishman has been hugely popular among the audiences at Full Sail University and beyond, and will be looking to take every opportunity to build momentum considering the massive task that awaits him in the form of Owens. But, he had an entirely different beast to contend with on this episode, when he shared the main event with Rhyno.

Three other matches completed the card for this edition, with the opening contest pitting Tyler Breeze against Adam Rose. With the Exotic Express conductor not experiencing the greatest time on the main roster, it was likely a breath of fresh air to return to his old stomping grounds in NXT to battle one of developmental’s hottest prospects.

Also, Alexa Bliss and Carmella clashed following the contentious finish to the NXT Tag Team Championship match at Takeover: Unstoppable, with their tag teams in tow. And, speaking of tag teams, the Vaudevillains returned after a lengthy absence, facing the combination of James Jordan and Marcus Louis.

Quick Results

  • Tyler Breeze defeats Adam Rose
  • Alexa Bliss defeats Carmella
  • The Vaudevillains defeat James Jordan & Marcus Louis
  • Finn Balor defeats Rhyno

Tyler Breeze vs Adam Rose

Tyler Breeze returned to action this week in the opening contest against Adam Rose. Breeze was last seen at Takeover: Unstoppable, where he lost the chance to become Number One Contender for the NXT Championship with his defeat to Finn Balor. Rose on the other hand has been suffering a consistent low in 2015 on the main roster, so was relishing the opportunity to perform in front of the NXT audience that first bore witness to his talents.

Highlights

A springboard dropkick by Breeze knocking Rose off the apron

Nice spinning kick by Breeze to the back of the head of Rose after ducking a clothesline

Rose with a flurry of strikes, including a clothesline in the corner followed by a running kick

Beautiful spinning spinebuster by Rose, and when Breeze kicks out he seamlessly transitions into a Boston Crab

Rose connects with an elbow drop from the apron onto a prone Breeze at ringside

Crowd Reaction

The crowd start chanting for Leo Kruger, which indicates the Rose gimmick has overstayed its welcome

“That was gorgeous” when Breeze connects with a maneuver well

Low Points

This match was slow to get going with little crowd involvement, which hindered its overall success

Finish

Breeze connects with the Beauty Shot to an onrushing Rose to pick up the hard-fought victory.

This was a slow fuse of a match, as the pair were slow to get going but really picked up steam in the closing exchanges. Adam Rose looked strong, and appeared to take on a lot of aspects of his Leo Kruger character in this match which added to his intensity. But Tyler Breeze needs to remain a significant and strong part of NXT, especially when the main heel Kevin Owens is dividing his time between NXT and the main shows. 

Rating – 3/5

Eva Marie Promo

NXT interviewer Greg Hamilton takes place on the stage, where he conducts an interview with WWE Diva Eva Marie. Marie had been out of action for a long time due to a rupture in her breast implants, and has been training with Brian Kendrick at NXT’s Performance Center. This has been with a view of getting into the best ring shape possible before she embarks on her next step in her career, which is competing in NXT. Marie talked at length about the revolutionary talent within NXT’s highly-acclaimed women’s division, and was looking forward to testing herself against these excellent women.

However, this entire segment was very difficult to watch without cringing. WWE is clearly looking to bring her back as a sympathetic babyface, and someone who has a desire to learn and improve. But at this moment in time the NXT audience is not convinced, due mainly to her laughably poor performances on the main roster and perceived “Diva” attitude. She was booed thoroughly during this interview, and only received a smattering of applause at the end. I am hoping that the redhead proves the majority wrong, as it will continue to get tougher to convince them as time goes on.

Alexa Bliss vs Carmella

The impressive women of NXT were up next with regards to in-ring action, as Alexa Bliss and Carmella took their feud to the squared circle. Bliss turned heel at Takeover: Unstoppable by aligning with the NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy, and helped them retain their titles against Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady at the event. Thus, Carmella was desperate to pay Bliss back for her actions, and both teams were out in force to support their female companions.

Highlights

Carmella landing three presses followed down by flying fists onto Bliss – not pretty, but effective

Crowd Reaction

“How you doin’?” – adopting the chant made famous by Enzo & Cass

Low Points

The moves just weren’t interesting or standout enough to really get the crowd invested

Finish

Bliss rolls-up Carmella, grabbing the bottom rope to help her get the three count

Nothing special in this match really, which is a shame to say of any women’s match in NXT. It just didn’t have anything special to it. I’m not expecting hurricanranas or Koji clutches, but something slightly less generic that shoulder tackles and hair pulls would be preferable. Clearly both Alexa Bliss and Carmella are still developing and will hopefully in time reach the standards of the top women on the roster.

Rating – 1.5/5

The Vaudevillains vs James Jordan & Marcus Louis

After a lengthy absence from television, the Vaudevillains made their highly-awaited return to NXT on this edition. They have certainly been missed, as their theatrical performances and unique look immediately resonated with fans upon their debut, and have been hugely popular in spite of their heel status. They were opposite a newly forged tandem, as James Jordan in his search for a more competent partner recruited Marcus Louis to his cause.

Highlights

Nice double punch to the gut and then to the face of Louis by the Vaudevillains with theatrics

Jordan making some basic wrestling moves look very strong on Aiden English

Louis’ anger and frustration is a little bizarre at times, but it is effective

Simon Gotch connecting with a very sweet spinning uppercut

Crowd Reaction

“Put your dukes up” – getting very traditional when the Vaudevillains compete

Gotch getting involved in crowd chants from the apron

Low Points

The story was told well and the wrestling was good – for what it was everything fit well

Finish

The Vaudevillains combine with the Whirling Dervish to pin Louis, leaving Jordan frustrated

For a tag team match with little build or rivalry, this was a very good contest. The Vaudevillains made a triumphant return, which was necessary to kick start their rise up the tag team ranks and a deserved run as the NXT Tag Team Champions. As for the story with James Jordan, I believe his pursuit of an ideal tag team partner will take a little while, and be an interesting side story in NXT for the coming months until it is fulfilled. I am becoming more of a fan of his every week he competes.

Rating – 2.5/5

Finn Balor vs Rhyno

The main event features the current Number One Contender for the NXT Championship, Finn Balor. Balor already has a significant challenge ahead of him when it comes to Kevin Owens, so a fight with a Man Beast seems like ideal preparation. Rhyno has looked dominant since arriving back in NXT, but has yet to score a convincing victory over one of NXT’s premier stars to show he can still challenge for the major prizes. A victory over Balor would certainly place him in consideration for a future title opportunity.

Highlights

Early contrast of styles with Balor looking more technical and Rhyno a physical aggressor

Balor diving over the top rope onto Rhyno after kicking him off the turnbuckle

Rhyno driving Balor back first into the turnbuckle followed by a powerslam

Great strength shown in the gorilla press slam by Rhyno

Nice Pele kick into the Slingblade combination by Balor

Crowd Reaction

ECW chants start things off as an homage to Rhyno’s success with that organization

“Feed the Rhyno” – a section of fans fully behind the Man Beast

Balor getting the majority of support throughout due to the heelish actions of Rhyno

Low Points

It was a very solid match, but possibly could have included some more counters and reversals to make the flow more unpredictable

Finish

Balor attempts the Coup de Grace, but misses, yet dodges the Gore and rolls Rhyno up to earn the victory. After the match Rhyno Gores Balor when on the stage

This was a very good match with a slightly unexpected ending. Rhyno had been displaying more heel tendencies throughout the match, mocking Finn Balor’s taunts and poses, but his post-match Gore was both brutal and came out of nowhere. It will likely be a distraction feud for Balor whilst Kevin Owens conducts his main roster duties, and set him up nicely for his eventual championship opportunity.

Rating – 3.5/5

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