NXT Recap: July 1st 2015

With NXT set to invade Tokyo this week alongside the main WWE roster, this latest edition focuses on one of the marquee matches for the event. Kevin Owens and Finn Balor will battle over the NXT Championship in Japan, in a bout that will certainly be a standout on the tour. Owens has transitioned into a pivotal part of the main roster, and his feud with John Cena has become the hottest part of WWE, but he will not surrender his coveted title without a fight with the Irishman. They also headline this episode, as Owens teams with Rhyno to face Balor and Samoa Joe.

Also on the card was a match between Emma and Carmella. The Australian’s heel turn has been a great success, and she has taken her alliance with Dana Brooke in her stride. This was also a great chance for Carmella to test her in-ring technique against an accomplished performer like Emma. Additionally, the Vaudevillains are also in action in their bid to push for a Tag Team Championship shot, as they competed against Dash & Dawson.

Rounding off this packed card, Tyler Breeze went one-on-one with Tye Dillinger, and Baron Corbin looked to increase his list of victims when facing Tucker Knight.

Quick Results

  • The Vaudevillains defeat Dash & Dawson
  • Baron Corbin defeats Tucker Knight
  • Emma defeats Carmella
  • Tyler Breeze defeats Tye Dillinger
  • Finn Balor & Samoa Joe defeat Kevin Owens & Rhyno

The Vaudevillains vs Dash & Dawson

The dapper Vaudevillains made their triumphant return to NXT a few weeks ago, and have immediately set their sights on becoming the top tandem on the roster. Their latest challenge in reaching that status was the combination of Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, another team looking to make an impact in NXT. With Blake & Murphy awaiting their next competition, this was a chance for either team to cement themselves as the next challengers for the Tag Team Championships.

Highlights

Nice split-legged sunset flip from the corner by Simon Gotch

I appreciate the physicality of Dawson

Crowd Reaction

“Put your dukes up” – the challenging cry of the Vaudevillains’ fans

“That was manly”

Low Points

Very short match, which was unfortunate as both teams looked strong value

Finish

Gotch connects with an uppercut to the back of the head, followed by Aiden English’s swining neckbreaker on Wilder for a Vaudevillains victory

A solid match, hampered by the time restraints, but both teams clearly have potential for progression. The Vaudevillains are the far more established and popular team, and perform well as a unit in entertaining the crowd, so were deserved winners here. But Dash & Dawson have the capacity to reach that level eventually too, if they are given a chance to show some more character and range in the coming months.

Rating – 2.5/5

Baron Corbin vs Tucker Knight

Baron Corbin’s decimation of NXT’s jobbers and newcomers has shown no sign of slowing down anytime soon, much to the chagrin of many in the crowd. The enjoyment fans used to get from his rapid victories has come to a definitive end, and now Tucker Knight looks set to become another victim in his unpopular path of destruction.

Highlights

When a match has only four moves, picking out highlights becomes a tricky prospect

Crowd Reaction

“Corbin sucks” – becoming the regular background music for his matches

Low Points

Short, unmemorable, and bordering on pointless

Finish

Corbin connects with the End of Days to conquer another opponent

This is a familiar tale that holds very little interest these days, so Baron Corbin desperately needs to move on to be taken even remotely seriously. I will admit that the ease in which is lifted a man of Tucker Knight’s size into the End of Days was impressive, but nobody will really recall that due to the monotonous passing of each squash match he competes in. He needs a feud, otherwise the fans will be the ones showing Corbin the exit door.

Rating – 1/5

Emma vs Carmella

Attention shifted to the women of NXT for the next match of the night, as Emma took on Carmella. This new despicable version of Emma has been some of her best work since joining WWE. With an alliance with Dana Brooke, this new gimmick of an evil Australian is arrogant and self-assured about her status as the best Diva in the company. Carmella, who has most recently been involved in a rivalry with Alexa Bliss, got an opportunity here to test her skills against a very capable competitor.

Highlights

A good hurricanrana from Carmella out of the corner

Emma screaming and beating on Carmella when trapping her in a leg scissors around the waist

Carmella getting incredibly excited about performing a good move feeds well into her character

Crowd Reaction

Quite subdued throughout, which was a shame, but they supported both Divas when called upon

Low Points

Emma not given much time to marshal the match as a heel, as she could have gotten more heat on herself

Finish

With the Emma Lock applied, Carmella is given no option but to tap out

A decent match between these two, but still nothing that would catapult either into the elite on the roster. Carmella showed signs of improvement from a technical standpoint and move diversity, which is a big positive. It appears as though the training the ladies of NXT are receiving is certainly paying dividends. But Emma is clearly the superior performer at this moment in time, and should continue to build momentum as a major heel.

Rating – 2/5

Tyler Breeze vs Tye Dillinger

Tyler Breeze stepped out for competition next, as he would go up against Tye Dillinger. The Gorgeous One has been something of a utility player in recent weeks, dipping his toes into other angles whilst he awaits being placed in a feud of his own. However, there is no doubting that his win percentage continues to climb every time he steps into an NXT ring since Takeover: Unstoppable, and Dillinger would have to work hard to prevent himself from being the latest stepping stone.

Highlights

Dillinger mocking Breeze with some fake camera shots was a nice touch

Good hurricanrana by Breeze into some rapid punches

Crowd Reaction

The crowd seemed to be getting behind Dillinger early on, which is a good sign for his progression

Low Points

The ending was abrupt, and seemed to come at a point where both Breeze and Dillinger could have kicked on for momentum

Finish

Breeze ducks a clothesline attempt and lands the Beauty Shot to floor Dillinger

This was a bit underwhelming, as both Tyler Breeze and Tye Dillinger started this match well, established a good flow, and then it was over with the snap of one’s fingers. Obviously, the Beauty Shot can come out of nowhere to win contests, but this abrupt conclusion sullied what could have been an intriguing contest. Dillinger has something about him that makes me think he might make an impact in NXT over time, and Breeze needs some creative direction as he is too good to be wasted in unnecessary bouts.

Rating – 2/5

Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs Kevin Owens & Rhyno

A star-studded tag team battle was the main event for the evening, and it certainly had the potential to live up to that billing. Last week, Finn Balor maintained his momentum on course for his NXT Championship opportunity in Tokyo with a victory over Rhyno, but was left in a vulnerable position when Kevin Owens attacked him after the bell. Fortunately, the Irishman was backed up by the arrival of Samoa Joe from backstage, setting the stage for these four big names to form this tag team clash.

Highlights

A big enziguri in the corner from Joe onto Rhyno

An extremely cocky delayed suplex by Rhyno, squatting whilst holding Balor in place

Owens ripping off John Cena’s “Five Moves of Doom”

Great power by Owens hoisting Joe up for a Pop-Up Powerbomb

Superkick by Owens, followed by a Pele Kick from Balor

Crowd Reaction

“Owens sucks” – treating Owens as the major heel he is

“Better than Cena”

Low Points

Really excellent match, so no low points to speak of

Finish

Balor takes advantage of Rhyno’s miscued Gore on Owens to hit the champ with the Coup de Grace to pin him

This was an excellent match, and a significant moment heading into Tokyo. It was the first time Kevin Owens had been pinned in an NXT ring, and shows that he is not unbeatable, which is an obstacle Finn Balor had to overcome. All four participants in this match produced some very good work, demonstrating their upsides and building towards the NXT Championship match on July 4th. It is not one to be missed, that is for sure.

Rating – 4/5

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