Tonight's show is all about the fallout from Unstoppable, so it's fitting that we open up with a quick recap of the show. That throws us to the show's opening, and when we come back from that, it's right down to business. Sami Zayn's music hits, but no, strike that, it's Kevin Owens. Of course it's Kevin Owens. Taunting is his whole deal. In fact, let's run it down. He comes out to Sami's music, he says that he will not issue an open challenge for his title (because he's not insecure like John Cena), and then he gets on the crowd's case for cheering him. See? His whole deal. Kevin Owens goes on to say that he's a good person. He doesn't even look like he believes that when he says it. He says he's not afraid of Joe, and that the next time Joe gets in his ring, he'll drop him. The only reason Owens spared him at Unstoppable was because he's such a good person that he wanted the crowd to have a nice moment after what Owens did to Zayn. This fucking guy! Anyhoo, it looks like I'm not the only one to have had enough of this - GM Regal's out to get in Owens face. Owens doesn't back down here, though, and says that he was fully justified in headbutting Regal because Regal put his hands on him first. Regal agrees, but is getting tired of Owens putting guys on stretchers. Owens denies attacking Itami, but says the other guys had it coming. Then, Solomon Crowe of all people comes out. He flat calls out Owens on his cowardice, and says Owens is scared that someone might take that NXT title away from him. He pushes Owens buttons enough that Owens asks Regal to make a match with Crowe for tonight's main event, and it is done.
Whew, what a segment. That was dense - Owens is carrying on feuds with at least four guys right now. In one of his more recent ECW 1997 recaps, cfgb detailed a Raven promo that he simultaneously cut against Dreamer, Funk, Sandman, and Richards. This wasn't quite that good, but it was damn, damn close. Full marks.
We get a quick update from Itami, post-surgery. Nothing new here, but don't expect him back any time soon. Maybe by (R)Evolution?
Zack Ryder was backstage at Unstoppable, hanging out with Mojo Rawley?! That's...not what I was hoping for when the segment started. I wouldn't mind Ryder getting the chance to restart his career down in NXT, though.
Bayley vs. Emma is our next match. Emma comes out with (ugh)Dana Brooke, new music, and new makeup. The makeup is really weirding me out - it makes it look like they got a new actress to play the part of Emma. It's effective, though, because it makes her look less cute and more dangerous. Anyhoo, this match is off to the races, as Emma is working surprisingly stiff here. Bayley answers back with some punches to the head that, judging by the way Bayley moves her hand around for the next minute or so, must have really connected. Emma goes back on offense, focusing on Bayley's side-ponytail of all things. Two snapmares and a choke later, Bayley's hair is looking pretty ragged. Bayley tries to go to the top rope, but Emma counters with a dragonscrew leg whip, and moves that straight into an Emma-lock for the pin. Match Rating: The Ladies Continue To Raise The Bar, Even In Short Matches. Afterwards, Emma and Dana continue to work over Bayley. The commentators ask why, but I assume it's to give Charlotte a reason to come out. I'm right! But Charlotte's no match for two women, and her attempted save is a bust. Emma and Dana stand tall.
We get a quick recap of the Rhyno/Corbin match from Unstoppable, and then some post match comments from Corbin. It's all generic blah blah, until Rhyno busts in and says he'd like to do it again some time. The whole thing gets a bit more intimate, ahem, than I think they were shooting for.
There's a package on Becky Lynch, mostly the same stuff from before Unstoppable, cut in with some footage from the match. If you haven't seen it yet, go, now, and watch it. It's probably a top ten match for the company's entire history. You have no excuses.
Some Jobbers are already in the ring, waiting for the arrival of our tag team champions. They arrive with Alexa Bliss in tow. Alexa is no longer some kind of real-life magical girl. She's sporting Blake and Murphy's colors, both in her clothes and in her hair. The jobbers get in some surprising offense to start, until a big clothesline cuts them off. After that, it's pretty standard squash stuff, except for a massive discus punch that one of the jobbers manages to land. It looks like it kills. The champs recover in short order though, and hit their brainbuster/frogsplash combo for the pin. Match Rating: Can We Please Get A Name For That Finisher? After the match, Alexa Bliss nails a jobber with the Sparkle Splash to cement how evil she is now.
Backstage, Bliss explains that she's with Blake and Murphy because they're winners, just like her. Carmella, Enzo, and Cass, however, are trash, and next week Alexa vows to send Carmella back to the trashheap. Simple, but reasonable booking, I think.
Tye Dillinger's got a match with Finn Balor here. I could spend some time writing this one up, but let's get honest here, we all know how this one goes. To be fair, it's actually a pretty good match. Both guys are on point, and there's nothing to dislike here. Match Rating: Crisp, Like A Beautiful Autumn Afternoon.
Backstage, Jason Jordan gets asked about his new tag partner. Gable (Remember him? No? Okay then.) thinks he should be the guy, but Jordan says he's already got a guy. Gable seems put out here. I feel like this needed more time, or another segment in a previous week. It kind of comes out of nowhere.
Our main event is Kevin Owens vs. Solomon Crowe. Champ enters first, because screw tradition. Kevin Owens starts the match by leaving the ring, because that's how he rolls. Solomon Crowe feels that wrestling matches should probably involve wrestling, and heads out after him. Owens cuts him off, because he feels that wrestling matches should involve beating the ever-loving shit out of Solomon Crowe. I think they're both right. Crowe gets a couple hope spots here, but Owens continually grounds him. I'd like to take a moment to compliment Owens' chinlock. You don't normally talk about rest holds, but Owens manages to make his look like they really take a lot out of a guy. Crowe's turning beat red here. It makes the move seem like it's really hurting the guy, instead of letting him have a relaxing nap RANDY ORTON. Anyhoo, Owens cuts off Crowe's last rally with a big elbow, nails a senton, and then puts out the lights with a Pop-Up Powerbomb. Match Rating: Actually Probably The Third Best Match On This Show. Afterwards, Owens is going to continue his assault, but man does he have bad luck with these things. He can't continue a beating on anyone without somebody stopping him, and this time it's Joe again. Owens makes like he's ready to fight Joe, just like he said at the top of the show, but as soon as Joe gets on the apron, Owens is gone. He's running his mouth the whole time. It's a warning(?) evidently. I don't think KO knows how warnings work.
Seriously, I absolutely love how much of a coward Kevin Owens is! We had a big argument about this before, but I want to be clear that I don't think it's a bad thing. It's great character work. Run, Owens, Run!
There is no better heel in wrestling right now than Kevin Owens. Rollins would come the closest if he wasn't so busy running through recycled heel authority figure angles, but Owens' work is just out of this world. He's got the potential to be something really special, which is why it's going to be extra tragic if Sunday just ends up being another John Cena "Rise Above Hate" special.
Originally posted by It's FalseThere is no better heel in wrestling right now than Kevin Owens. Rollins would come the closest if he wasn't so busy running through recycled heel authority figure angles, but Owens' work is just out of this world. He's got the potential to be something really special, which is why it's going to be extra tragic if Sunday just ends up being another John Cena "Rise Above Hate" special.
I don't know - I'm kind of looking forward to whatever Owens will say if he loses. Don't tell me it wouldn't be golden.
I really can't stand Blake and Murphy. They are decent wrestlers but they are just so damned generic. I honestly get a weird sort of Well Dunn vibe from 1990s WWF - it's just hard to give a single shit about them.
Originally posted by Parts UnknownI honestly get a weird sort of Well Dunn vibe from 1990s WWF - it's just hard to give a single shit about them.
Well Dunn were GREAT and I will not have any Well Dunn bashing on this board or any other. Such polite young gentlemen!
Originally posted by SchippeWreckDana Brooke suuuuuuuucks.
NXT is a weird sort of deal because it's supposed to be a training ground for people who kind of suck, but they stacked it with 15-year veterans who are recognized as some of the best wrestlers around. Which is awesome! But it also skews people's expectations. Really, a true developmental territory should have a lot more Dana Brookes and no Kevin Owenses. And it should probably suck a lot of the time.