NXT Recap: July 29th 2015

Another week, another stacked card for NXT, where tag team wrestling was the focus of the show. Three tag team bouts filled this show, demonstrating that this division in developmental is in a far better place going forward than on the main roster at the moment. The main event was the most pivotal of these contests, as the NXT Tag Team Championships were defended by Blake & Murphy against the Vaudevillains. The champs have held the titles since the start of the year, and with Alexa Bliss in their corner, would be determined to continue their lengthy reign against the manly pairing.

In the other two tag team battles, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady are in action opposite The Mechanics Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder, and later on one of the newest alliances on the NXT roster, Jason Jordan & Chad Gable, look to build on their impressive first outing with a victory over Elias Sampson & Levis Valenzuela.

As for the remainder of the show, Kevin Owens competes in his first match at Full Sail University since losing the NXT Championship, as he is “challenged” by Martin Stone. Baron Corbin has another squash match on his hands against Jesse Sorensen, whilst Charlotte accepts the challenge of Dana Brooke from last week’s edition.

Quick Results

  • The Mechanics defeat Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
  • Baron Corbin defeats Jesse Sorensen
  • Jason Jordan & Chad Gable defeat Elias Sampson & Levis Valenzuela
  • Charlotte defeats Dana Brooke
  • Kevin Owens defeats Martin Stone
  • NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy defeat The Vaudevillains

The Mechanics vs Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady

After missing out on the opportunity to challenge Blake & Murphy for the NXT Tag Team Championship a few weeks ago, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady were forced to start from the ground up to earn another shot at the belts. However, the Mechanics of Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder have been becoming a more solid unit in the past couple of months, and definitely won’t be SAWFT as the Jersey tandem would like them to be.

Highlights

Great comedic moment when Big Cass confronts both Dawson and Wilder, whilst Enzo shouts taunts from behind his giant partner

Excellent hang time in the cross body from Enzo

Dawson and Wilder targeted the arm of Enzo effectively, including a Northern Lights Suplex onto that limb by Dawson

Big boot by Cass onto Wilder on the apron looked really realistic

Crowd Reaction

Great to see Cass get a strong crowd reaction when it’s usually preserved more for the plucky Enzo

The audience so loud in support of Enzo when under attack, and burst when the hot tag is finally made

Low Points

Not much wrong with this match at all, very solid encounter

Finish

The Mechanics combine with the Shatter Machine to pin Enzo.

Whenever Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady enter the arena for a match, the electricity in the crowd is tangible, and that is a quality many tag teams today lack. Whilst Enzo’s in-ring skills are still fairly limited, their charisma will shoot them to the top of WWE’s tag division one day. The Mechanics could easily find themselves there as well, as their work as a heel combination was impressive, as well as their Shatter Machine finisher which is visually fantastic.

Rating – 3/5

Baron Corbin vs Jesse Sorensen

It seems unnecessary to go through the rigmarole of separating the highlights and low points of this contest, as in a Baron Corbin match there is usually only one point altogether. The most interesting aspect of this bout was having Jesse Sorensen as the victim, as he was a former TNA X Division star that was cut down during his early push by an unfortunate broken neck. So it’s nice to see him still competing and fully recovered, but against Corbin you are simply there to wait for the End of Days, take your paycheck and head home. This has gone from boring to almost unwatchable now.

Rating – 0.5/5

Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs Elias Sampson & Levis Valenzuela

The newest tag team on the scene in NXT made a strong impression a couple of weeks ago in their first match together, as Jason Jordan has seemingly found his ideal partner in Chad Gable. Whether they hang out after the contests is a subject for another day, but when the bell rings they know how to get the job done. Their second test came in the forms of Elias Sampson and fellow newcomer Levis Valenzuela.

Highlights

I really dig the entrance music of Jordan & Gable, really has a strong atmosphere and beat

It was funny to see Valenzuela desperately try to stay away from the mat-based offense of Jordan early on

Watching Jordan and Gable critique each other and show-off to impress the other during matches is really entertaining

Huge forearm by Sampson that made a significant noise on impact

The explosiveness of Jordan off the hot tag was great to see

Crowd Reaction

Gable has become extremely popular among the NXT crowd, and after his first performance a few weeks prior I’m not surprised

Low Points

Again nothing particularly bad of note took place, another strong showing all-around

Finish

Jordan and Gable combine with the Grand Amplitude to take out Valenzuela

I’m already completely sold on this pairing of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. NXT creative could give them the NXT Tag Team Championships tomorrow and I’d be perfectly fine with it, because they just work. To see their bond grow over time from colleagues to friends will make an excellent story, and when it comes to in-ring ability they are among the best in developmental currently. Also, I’ll give credit where it’s due to Elias Sampson and Levis Valenzuela, as they played their part, and I especially enjoyed Valenzuela’s facial expressions when caught in the Grand Amplitude.

Rating – 2.5/5

Charlotte vs Dana Brooke

Since making her debut in NXT earlier this year, Dana Brooke has made no secret of her intentions to dominate the NXT Women’s Division, packaging herself as the “Total Diva”. To this end, she has also made a target of former NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte, claiming the second-generation Diva is jealous of the threat that Brooke poses. Charlotte, in the face of this accusation, did not back down from a challenge by Brooke, and will be set to show the brash upstart why she is considered the measuring stick by many in the company.

Highlights

The strength of Charlotte is amazing, standing up after being trapped in a leg scissors by Brooke

Huge spear by Charlotte that almost knocks Brooke out of her boots

Crowd Reaction

The vast majority of the fans behind Charlotte, but a vocal section supporting Brooke

Very loud “Dana Sucks” chant – hopefully that’s just because she’s a heel

Low Points

I’m still not convinced by Brooke’s range of offense or the realism in her strikes

Finish

Charlotte hits Natural Selection to earn the win over Brooke

An okay match, but both its shortness and lack of standout moments meant that it wasn’t a match that will live long in the memory. I feel Dana Brooke has picked up the performance side of professional wrestling very quickly and is developing that strongly. Yet she is still very green, and has a limited move-set which hinders her quality overall. Both her and Charlotte didn’t exactly stretch themselves, and this resulted in a simple, standard contest.

Rating – 2/5

Kevin Owens vs Martin Stone

It has been a rough month for Kevin Owens, as the man who burst onto the scene by capturing the NXT Championship and then beat John Cena clean in his first WWE PPV match has not been able to buy a win. Fortunately, when his opponent was announced as Martin Stone (or Danny Burch according to the YouTube video of this clash), it was time for his winning ways to return.

This was not so much a match but a showcase of some of Owens best maneuvers and physicality. We saw a German suplex, a cannon ball in the bottom turnbuckle and a flying senton from the top rope. A Pop-Up Powerbomb seemed to put Stone out of his misery, as Owens picked up his first victory in a while. However, more punishment was to come, as the Canadian chose to send a message to Finn Balor by dropping his fallen opponent once more with his patented powerbomb against the ring apron.

Blake & Murphy vs The Vaudevillains (NXT Tag Team Championships)

The main event of the evening had championship implications, and concludes this tag team extravaganza with the current top two tandems in NXT. The Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy have been in possession of the belts since overcoming the Lucha Dragons way back in January, and have batted away every challenge since. The addition of Alexa Bliss to their unit has strengthened them further, her brains mixing with their brawn. Speaking of brawn, their challengers are the self-professed manliest team on the roster, the Vaudevillains, looking to claim their first reigns with the titles.

Highlights

Innovative leap up by Gotch, turning Blake over into cross arm-breaker

Brilliant by English, first mocking Blake’s arm wrench with some manly poses, then throwing both tag champions around with armdrags

English hoisting Murphy over the top rope, landing onto Blake at ringside

Crowd Reaction

“Oh My Gotch!” – a really simple but brilliant chant by the NXT fans, yet another for the Vaudevillains

“Come on Blakey, let’s go party” – chant of the night, that’s what you get for wearing pink tights

Low Points

Do Blake & Murphy have any other offense besides headlocks and their finisher?

Finish

Alexa Bliss trips English as he attempts the Whirling Dervish, allowing Murphy to roll him up to retain the titles. The Vaudevillains then send them out of the ring after hitting their finisher on Blake, but as they chivalrously open the ropes for Bliss to leave unharmed, she slaps both men in the face.

You know, not to long ago Alexa Bliss’ actions would get her a one-way ticket through a table. But this is a different time, and Blake & Murphy should be happy she’s around because it’s the only thing that makes their tandem interesting. They have had great matches in the past, but since becoming cowardly heel champions, it has all fizzled out. You can still cheat to win after having a decent performance prior to it. The Vaudevillains looked good, and hopefully the post-match events will earn them another chance at the gold.

Rating – 2.5/5

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