WWE NXT – April 29th, 2015
The development roster out of Full Sail University brings the action to the screen as NXT lights it up on Wednesday night!
Tonight’s episode focuses on the tag team picture, as Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady get a shot to prove themselves against the champs Blake & Murphy in a non-title match. Two diva division matches are on the card as well (take that, main roster). In the championship picture, Kevin Owens addresses the brawl with former champ Sami Zayn, who takes on Alex Riley in the main event.
- Kevin Owens opens the show and challenges Sami Zayn to a fight. William Regal comes out, as does Zayn himself. Regal makes it official; Owens vs Zayn for NXT Championship at TakeOver on May 20th.
- Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake (c): Carmella distracts and allows Cassady and Amore to hit spike splash for the win.
- Dana Brooke vs Bayley: Emma distracts Bayley with stolen apparel and theme music, Brooke hits whiplash for the pin.
- William Regal announces triple threat match to determine #1 contender at NXT: TakeOver between Tyler Breeze, Hideo Itami & Finn Balor.
- Hideo Itami vs Adam Rose: Shotgun Kick lands, Hideo scores pinfall.
- Becky Lynch vs Sara Dawson: Lynch wins with armbar submission.
- Rhyno cuts promo on Baron Corbin.
- Alex Riley vs Sami Zayn: Riley controls action until Zayn gets head of steam. Owens attacks Zayn and powerbombs Riley onto ring apron to close show.
- The opening segment brought to mind the electricity that interactions between Owens and Zayn brought to the championship picture before they fought the first time. These two have chemistry wrought from years of work together, and WWE is reaping the benefits of their labour. Zayn working the angle of Owens living in his shadow was made only more over by the way Owens sold it, showing his usually apathetic and stoney character getting rattled for the first time. Zayn was on top form, and Regal’s job was easy. This segment wasn’t too long or too short, they really nailed it.
- Seriously, these two teams need to come up with names for themselves. If you dress the same and share a gimmick, you make up a team name – that’s what you do. This match was nothing special, and since it was supposed to build up excitement for the eventual match for the titles, that does not bode well. I suppose it did serve to put an end to the wooing of Carmella angle that’s been playing out for weeks, building off of a pre-match segment featuring the princess blowing them off backstage. The segment also involved Alexa Bliss getting slapped by Carmella and Blake and Murphy going to her afterward. This part did not play into the match at all, but I suppose it will. Bliss may start accompanying the champs to the ring, and fight with Carmella on the outside, perhaps inciting a mixed-six person tag match at some point.
- The match between Brooke and Bayley was the best match of the night, and it ended with a distraction finish. That tells you something. Brooke is showing real potential as a solid superstar, she seemed much more comfortable and poised than in her debut versus Blue Pants. She is embracing her heel role wholeheartedly, attacking aggressively and exhibiting disdain for anyone but her own biceps. The rising drama between Bayley and Emma hints at a real crossroads for the resident hugger. Emma is challenging Bayley’s resolve to remain positive, which is her whole deal. Will she turn to the dark side and allow the weight of the world to crush her spirit? This feud is full of heart and soul, and Bayley’s inner struggle makes it all the more captivating. Emma, by the way, is great as a heel. Who would have known?
- Adam Rose might be a joke on the main roster, and might be heading that way in the ranks of NXT as well, but he is still considered an established veteran in many respects. Feeding him to Hideo Itami makes a statement about the Asian superstar and what the company sees in him, and he is no doubt headed for the NXT Championship. The announcement of a triple threat match between he and Breeze and Balor is very telling, since just recently Breeze made it clear he has a bone to pick with Finn. So Balor and Breeze work their program while Itami wins the triple threat to become top contender. Seems like a plan (just wish they hadn’t made it so obvious).
- Becky Lynch squashed Dawson in a matter of minutes, but it was a nice showing from the new talent in any case. She had good speed, seemed comfortable in the ring, and even got a couple of pinning attempts on the number one contender. But this was a showcase for Lynch and a build towards her showdown with Banks for the championship. Hopefully in the coming weeks she will face more established divas so that there is no doubt of her credibility when she squares off for the title.
- I am glad that Rhyno is coming after Baron Corbin. The “lone wolf” needs a challenge, something that will amount to more than a two move squash match. If anyone can school him in how to squash, it’s Rhyno.
- The main event of the evening was hardly a match, and that was very disappointing. Kevin Owens sand-bagged everyone on the announce team until nobody knew what to say, which made the commentary awkward as hell. Even having him at the desk made it obvious he was going to interfere, which made the match itself feel like a segue. Having Riley get the better of Zayn for the majority of the action makes Zayn look very weak in comparison to Owens, who in turn dominated Riley on two separate occasions. Riley being used as an afterthought and a pawn in the plot, when he is obviously the most experienced and talented man in the mix, is a bit hard to swallow, but he did the job like a pro – as always. The Zayn vs Owens drama will no doubt continue to build in intensity over the weeks as TakeOver approaches.