Originally posted by Me, Last WeekIronically, next week's holiday episode will probably be the most timely recap I've posted in some time.
Ha, I'm a riot. Turns out, you need The Internet to watch NXT, much less recap it, and mine cut out on me literally 10 minutes before the show. Took hours before I was back up and running.
Originally posted by Me, Last WeekAlthough, I've almost certainly jinxed myself by saying that.
Anyhoo, we start the show with Michael Cole(?!) in the ring. If you haven't been following the news, Regal recently had a pretty serious neck surgery to repair some old damage. He's recovering fine, but it's kept him off TV for a while, and old MC will be filling in for him in this contract-signing segment. The first bit of news is that Regal had tried to stop the Eva Marie title match that's scheduled for tonight, but WWE corporate overruled him. Hmm, shadowy corporate backers are now in play. That adds a bit of spice. But the contract signing is what we're here for right now, and Michael Cole - no, wait, Finn Balor's entrance cuts him right off. Finn's pretty pissed about how Joe handled things, and he doesn't think that Joe's entitled to anything around here. He challenges Joe to come out and look him in the eyes. Cole responds by saying that he had planned to bring out the challenger first, but you know, whatever. Joe heads out, gets in the ring, and signs the contract without looking at Finn or saying a word. Then he leaves. Hasn't he seen a contract signing before? Oh, wait, he has. As Finn's leaving up the ramp, Joe blindsides him. Finn starts getting a few licks of his own in, until the refs separate them, which was just the opening Joe needed to lock in the Kokina Clutch. Finn sells the hell out of being choked out as Joe heads to the back.
After the break, they recap this segment. Look, I don't want to get too deep into it, but you do not need to recap a segment that happened less than a minute ago on a show which is available on-demand. Do not do this. Please.
Next is our first match of the night, the Vaudvillains rematch against Dash and Dawson. I hope against hope that the Vaudvillains can regain their titles. Gotch and Dawson start, and Gotch takes an early advantage with some European uppercuts, followed by their elbow drop/running boot combo. English shoots Dawson into the ropes, but Wilder catches his partner to keep him from bouncing, and then gets himself tagged in. He catches English with a single-arm DDT, and locks in an armbar. It's interesting that they choose to work the arm instead of the already injured leg, and commentary points this out. See, it's not hard to do a good job on commentary! Anyhoo, English spins out of another armbar, dumping Wilder to the outside, and tags Gotch back in. Gotch tries a couple of pin attempts, followed by a leg-hook belly to back suplex (which I'm pretty sure is the same move I've erroneously been calling a pumphandle suplex). D&D rally and go for the Shatter Machine, but English saves Gotch, and Gotch gets a roll-up for two. He tags in English, and they try for the Whirling Dervish, but that misses as well, and English hits another pin attempt, also for two. Meanwhile, poor Simon Gotch has been pulled to the floor, first getting his face bounced off the apron, so that when English gets set up for the Shatter Machine, there's not much he can do about it. The champs hit their move and retain. Match Rating: Booo Dash and Dawson, Booo! Afterwards, Enzo and Cass make their return, and the booking on this angle starts to make a lot more sense. Enzo and Cass mean business (Enzo's even dressed similar to a normal person), and they clean house in very short order.
Eva Marie, meanwhile, is in GM Regal's office, because she wanted some more space to spread out before her big match. Oooh, contemptuous. She tries to say something, but she is just awful on the mic. Just awful. The gist, as far as I can gather, is that she is very popular(?), is cashing in on her Total Divas fame(?), and has Nia Jax backing her up(!). The fix appears to be even more in at this point.
We get a quick recap of the Asuka/Dana Brooke feud, before going to their scheduled match. But in between, we also get a promo vignette for Elias Samson, the Drifter. We'll see how it translates in the ring, but I like what I'm seeing so far. Anyhoo, Asuka heads to the ring first, and then Dana gets on the mic. We know this is a ruse from last week, and sure enough Dana's just the distraction. Emma(w/hooodie) jumps Asuka from behind. Asuka almost manages to rally, but another distraction from Dana ensures that the EmmaLock is slapped on, and Asuka gets stretched out. Emma and Dana head out in victory, but Asuka looks like she's ready for more. No joke, I am super looking forward to Asuka and Emma's match, maybe even more than the Finn/Joe match.
Backstage, Bayley's here to remind us that she's a wrestler, and Eva Marie's not. Thanks Bayley, but I think we all already knew that.
Sami Zayne is returning, and there's a promo to prove it. No date announced though. While we're at it, I'm going to go ahead and predict a surprise Hideo Itami return at Takeover. They've been real quiet about that guy lately.
Apollo Crew has a match against Jesse Sorensen, who you might remember from TNA. Just kidding, no one remembers him from TNA. Heck, in about a month, no one's going to remember TNA. Anyhoo, this is a squash. AC hits a monster delayed vertical suplex (the crowd gets tired of counting how long Sorensen's up there for), followed by some big clotheslines, and an alley-oop sit-out powerbomb for the win. Match Rating: Seriously, Go Check Out That Powerbomb, It's Crazy. After, AC officially accepts Corbin's challenge.
After, Corbin officially accepts AC accepting Corbin's challenge. Actually, there is a truly hilarious bit where Corbin says that AC is going to be the answer to a trivia question because his career won't last very long. Watch it, it will be about the funniest thing you hear all day.
Finally, it's time for out main...no, wait, Charles Robinson is out! Corporate has sent in a second ref, to "make sure there is no controversy." Oh no, the fix is now completely in! Eva Marie makes her entrance with Jax in tow, followed by a very confident looking Bayley. They start with some headlocks, and some headlock takeovers, and Bayley is just throwing Eva Marie around in there. Eva Marie takes control with a couple forearm shots, and hits her suplex. That doesn't do much to stun Bayley, though, and she pops up and hits the Belly to Bayley! This match is done...or it would be, if Jax didn't pull the ref out of the ring at two. Bayley heads over to see what's going on, and Eva Marie rolls her up. Robinson jumps in the ring and count a quick..two! Bayley survives! Bayley gets in Robinson's face about not calling for the DQ, but Robinson tells her to keep wrestling. Meanwhile, he goes to check on the fallen ref, which means he doesn't see when Jax grabs Bayley and headbutts the shit out of her. Eva Marie hits (read: completely misses) a senton splash, and gets another two count. Eva Marie then goes for a really bad looking rope choke, and let me be honest for a second here - I'm still being really hard on her, but this is no doubt Eva Marie's best match, and a lot of what she's doing in here finally looks competent. When Eva Marie lets Bayley out of the ropes, Bayley goes for a quick roll-up, which only gets two, but it buys her enough separation to hit a big clothesline. She nails a suplex and goes for her corner elbows, but Robinson blocks her. Technically, he's right. She's supposed to allow a clean break in the corner. Robinson's distraction allows Eva Marie to hit Sliced Bread #2, and for once it looks like she's actually doing the move, not being back suplexed by her opponent. Anyhoo, it looks real bad for Bayley here, but the SB only gets a two count! Eva Marie decides to go for another one, but Bayley pushes out of the setup, sending Eva Marie crashing into the ref! With him down, Bayley sets up for a Belly to Bayley off the top turnbuckle, but we know Eva Marie's not taking that one, and sure enough, here comes Jax again. But wait! Jax eats a boot and takes a nasty apron bump, and Bayley nails the atomic Belly to Bayley on Eva Marie! The original ref's back in the ring, and one, two, three - Bayley retains! Match Rating:
Originally posted by Me, Last WeekIt's Going To Take A Thanksgiving Miracle To Save Us, Guys.
Thanksgiving Miracle! Afterwards, though, Jax isn't done. She gets in the ring and absolutely demolishes the champ, closing with two big legdrops. Bayley keeps her title tonight, but Jax is the one standing tall.
No joke guys - this was a great match. The actual wrestling wasn't much to see, but the storytelling here was just above reproach. They did everything right here. It was the best possible use of Eva Marie, who wrestled better than we've ever seen (credit to that is probably due to Bayley, but let's be fair to Eva Marie here too), and she took two absolutely huge bumps. Meanwhile, the rest of the show did a great job setting up the matches for Takeover in three weeks. Fantastic show all around, even if my beloved Vaudvillains appear to be out of the title scene for now. Maybe they could wrestle Jordan and Gable - I wouldn't even care who won that one.
So, credit for them not running the NXT Women's Division into a tree with a Eva Marie run. I do think if they are smart, Bayley vs. Asuka for the Mania PPV. Joe looking strong is a good bet, Finn is going to demolish him.
Originally posted by lotjxSo, credit for them not running the NXT Women's Division into a tree with a Eva Marie run. I do think if they are smart, Bayley vs. Asuka for the Mania PPV. Joe looking strong is a good bet, Finn is going to demolish him.
Yeah, I figure Bayley holds it until then, drops to Asuka around Mania and then we get to see how she flies on the main roster. Probably around the same time they put the Divas belt on Sasha, I'm guessing, so they can try to recapture magic on the main roster.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
I genuinely don't know where they are headed with the womens division, which is a good thing. Part of me thinks we are getting Bayley/Asuka, part of me thinks Bayley ends up in some kind of handicapped match with Eva/Nia where she loses the title on her way out via hijinx. I do feel like we are headed to Sasha winning at WrestleMania and Bayley finally hitting the main roster the next night though.
The womens match tonight was well done. While the "corporate influence" storyline worked well for the Eva match, I don't want to see it become a usual thing.
Enzo & Cass have to finally be getting the belts, right?
Asking for this company not to book itself is like asking the sun not be hot. This corporate storyline is going to be part of this and eventually in other feuds too. Its an interesting idea since anyone with a clue realize Eva is awful, just fucking awful. I am sure they spent her time away working on this match only.
I am also not sold on Nia, the bodyguard, getting the belt. It didn't help Diesel, won't help her. If they do give those two the belt, God help us, because those Full Sail fans will bury every second they are on stage. I am not sure the women's division can survive it especially if it becomes the annoying months on end of heels cheat and are never fully defeated. A storyline they seem obsessed with of late.
Yeah.. and they're honestly heavy enough that while I am among the biggest Perfect marks to ever live, I can understand _why_ he might be off TV until the split.. though I think they ought to just have snipers shoot Steph and give her time to him.