NXT Recap: July 15th 2015

The women of NXT highlighted this episode from Full Sail University, with an excellent main event contest over the NXT Women’s Championship. Following the amazing reception they received upon debuting on RAW earlier in the week, Sasha Banks would battle her fiercest rival Charlotte over the coveted belt. These two have shared numerous classic encounters over the past year, both as teammates and as bitter enemies, but through every clash they have earned respect for each other’s accomplishments and ability. So, will the Boss continue to reign supreme, or can Charlotte strut her way back to the top?

Tag team wrestling also was prominently featured on this edition of NXT, as the Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy were in action against Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton. With the Vaudevillains cementing themselves as the next challengers for their belts, the champs would look to send a message in this encounter. From the cream of the tag team division to a new duo on the scene, as Jason Jordan finally agreed to Chad Gable’s request to team up, and they fought Steve Cutler and Elias Sampson.

Additionally on this night, Samoa Joe would compete against a newcomer to NXT, the German Axel Tischer. Also, Eva Marie announces her intentions to compete next week, and Sami Zayn receives a hero’s welcome as he discusses his injury status.

Quick Results

  • Jason Jordan & Chad Gable defeat Steve Cutler & Elias Sampson
  • Samoa Joe defeats Axel Tischer
  • Blake & Murphy defeat Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton
  • NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks defeats Charlotte

Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs Steve Cutler & Elias Sampson

For weeks, Jason Jordan has been searching for a tag team partner to reach his high standards and push him to the top. After dumping former long-term partner Tye Dillinger, replacements such as Marcus Louis and Sylvester Lefort proved bad matches. Thus, after numerous pleas from newcomer Chad Gable to join forces, Jordan has agreed to their alliance, as they fought Steve Cutler & Elias Sampson in their first outing.

Highlights

I enjoy Jordan’s immense self-confidence and use of his powerful amateur style

This might be a stretch, but Gable’s first minute of in-ring competition was some of the most fluid mat wrestling I have ever witnessed

That finishing double-team was extremely impressive

Crowd Reaction

The crowd were firmly in the corner of Gable and pleased to see his opportunity arrive

Low Points

Quite short due to other contests on the card, and Cutler didn’t get much of a look in

Finish

Jordan lifts Cutler up in a back drop, and throws him into a separate bridging back drop by Gable for the victory

That is how you make an immediate impression as a new team, as Jason Jordan and Chad Gable gave a showcase of their potential going forward. Their blend of amateur wrestling binds them as a unit, whilst they have a mix of speed and power through their individual assets. It will be interesting to see them improve going forward, and I can definitely see them as future Tag Team Champions. On the flip side, Elias Sampson strikes me as one to watch going forward after he’s paid his dues.

Rating – 2.5/5

Samoa Joe vs Axel Tischer

Samoa Joe has been boosting his reputation in NXT as a wrecking ball, with his physical style proving a match to all who he has opposed thus far. This week, he was challenged by another new face at the Performance Center, Axel Tischer. The first recruit from Germany, he has wrestled throughout Europe with a lot of independent plaudits. However, would he be capable of derailing an oncoming Samoan freight train?

Highlights

I’m in support of Tischer being more than just fodder for Joe, as he brought the fight to the famed wrestler

Joe’s quick strikes in the corner are always fun to witness and get the audience invested

The spot of Tischer charging with a boot to the face of Joe in the corner, but then caught in the STJoe at the second attempt was well worked

Crowd Reaction

The crowd was mainly subdued during this match, but behind Joe when they piped up

Low Points

The audience’s indifference hurt the contest to an extent, as did the limited time

Tischer really shouldn’t have tapped at the finish, would have made both look better if he passed out

Finish

Joe connects with the Muscle Buster and then applies the Rear-Naked Choke to force Tischer to submit

An okay match, certainly not one that will live long in the memory. Samoa Joe continues to impress with his presence, power and uncanny speed, but should be engaged in more meaningful feuds to support other members of the roster and improve his own standing. As for Axel Tischer, the fact that he wasn’t treated as a complete jobber means he has hope going forward. He could appeal to a large German market for WWE, and proved he can compete with the best in this brief contest.

Rating – 2/5

Blake & Murphy vs Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton

The NXT Tag Team Champions discovered who their next challengers will be last week, as the Vaudevillains overcame Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady to earn the number one contenders slot. However, Blake & Murphy have been atop the tag team division in NXT since January, and have grown in confidence since then, especially with Alexa Bliss in their corner. They were given the chance to tune up for their upcoming title defense when they clashed with Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton.

Highlights

The opening exchange with Dawkins was nice, getting the crowd excited early on

Blake & Murphy’s tandem offense might be simple, but it is worked effectively

Great moment when Murphy sneaked to the other corner from ringside to take out Fulton

Crowd Reaction

Blake & Murphy getting solid heat during the match, their heel nature paying off well

Massive reaction for the post-match attack and splash by Bliss

Low Points

Both Dawkins and Fulton were not given even a glimmer to shine in, and I’d like to see the champions’ offense extend beyond kicks and headlocks

Finish

Blake connects with the running suplex on Dawkins, followed by Murphy’s frog splash for the win. After the match, Bliss directs them to assault Fulton, finishing him off by throwing her onto him with the Sparkle Splash.

Blake & Murphy are clearly a strong unit that is getting better chemistry all the time, but the successful addition of Alexa Bliss really shone out tonight. Although this wasn’t a very memorable or quality encounter, the blonde asserted herself as the aggressive mastermind of the trio, a move that could really serve them well going forward. Their assisted Sparkle Splash following the match on Sawyer Fulton was excellent also.

Rating – 2/5

Sami Zayn Addresses His Current Status

Sami Zayn returns to NXT to a rapturous reception from the crowd, following his inactivity due to shoulder surgery. The former NXT Champion has always been one of the most popular stars on the developmental roster since his arrival, but still appeared genuinely moved by the initial response he received from his devoted fans. He was thankful for that support, but couldn’t hide his disappointment at being confined to the shelf due to this injury. Zayn talked about 2014 being the best year of his career as he climbed to the top of NXT, but that it has been a stark contrast this year, and he will likely remain inactive until 2016.

But, following this sad announcement, Zayn continued by stating that he is far from finished. He lightens the mood with a few jokes about his damaged arm, before a determined cry of intent to reclaim the NXT Championship when he returns to the ring. And, Zayn has no desire to end his rivalry with Kevin Owens, saying that they have been linked for the entirety of their careers, and that won’t change. So when he’s fully healed, he’s set on revenge on his former best friend. Whilst it sucks hugely to see Zayn out of action for an indefinite period of time, I’m optimistic he will return as good as ever before and will be cemented on the main roster by the end of next year.

Sasha Banks vs Charlotte (NXT Women’s Championship)

The main event of the evening witnessed the renewal of one of NXT’s greatest rivalries, as Sasha Banks and Charlotte once more contested the Women’s Championship. The Boss has held the gold since defeating Charlotte as part of a Fatal 4-Way at Takeover: Rival, and has held the belt with a swagger ever since. Nonetheless, the Nature Girl was also a dominant champion, and holds a better record against Banks in singles competition. They united last week as a tandem against Dana Brooke and Emma, but there would be no friends here. With both riding the high of their RAW debuts earlier in the week, this would a battle not to be missed.

Highlights

Charlotte controlling the opening exchanges with her usual flair, nipping up and employing her flipping headscissors

Double knee drop in the corner by Banks swings the momentum decisively in her favor

Charlotte using the legendary “Flair Flop” followed by Banks mocking her strut

Vicious strait-jacket hold by Banks pulling and twisting Charlotte – then using her own figure-four headlock

Huge powerbomb by Charlotte that has Banks bouncing off of the mat

Banks getting in the face of Charlotte saying she is the better wrestler, with Charlotte responding with a violent flurry of strikes and chops

Charlotte rolls through into the Figure-Four, with the pair intensely fighting in the hold both reaching the ropes and Charlotte falling to ringside whilst maintaining the pressure

Crowd Reaction

The crowd were definitely into the this match, as if they were conserving the energy the rest of the night for it

“Like a Boss”- a chant that follows Banks in every match she contests

“NXT” and “This is Awesome” at various moments

Low Points

Zero complaints, these women are amazing

Finish

Banks locks in her Bank Statement crossface, and Charlotte fights as long as she can, before succumbing and submitting, meaning the Boss is still the Best. Following this match, the both ladies embrace as the crowd applaud both their efforts.

That was a terrific match, and a superb close to this show and signal for the future of the Divas division now both Charlotte and Sasha Banks are a part of it. It wasn’t as great as their NXT: R Evolution classic, but it was still a tremendous effort by both athletes. The hug at the end was one of the most moving moments in NXT’s history, as it showed their respect for each other and it seemed they were rightly overcome with joy at the spectacle they produced. They are going to change the face of women’s wrestling in WWE for the long haul, and I can’t wait to see it.

Rating – 4.5/5

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