NXT Recap: Episode 280


May 29, 2015 by gorillapressonline


The fallout from the superb NXT Takeover Unstoppable special will undoubtedly shape this episode, as it kicks off with a nice little promo recapping the event and the rivalries in a way that isn’t patronising to regular fans while simultaneously not alienating new fans. Samoa Joe ended Unstoppable by facing down current NXT champion Kevin Owens and this left many fans anticipating what capacity Joe will have at Full Sail.

The show opens proper with the upbeat theme of Sami Zayn to a raucous applause. However, fans are instead greeted by the champ, Kevin Owens. His smug stroll down to the ring, clad in Cena’s current US champion-branded shirt, receives mixed reactions – Owens is gold in this role, handling numerous feuds with ease and credibility.

As a relatively newly-signed Superstar, Kevin Owens has made such an impact in a short period of time, so much so that he has earned a non title match at Elimination Chamber against none other than John Cena (and just so happened to kick his ass on RAW. Twice).

Owens takes to the microphone to say that he was going to issue an NXT open challenge but, unlike Cena, he doesn’t feel the need to validate himself to the NXT universe and, more to the point, challengers should earn their title shots.

The NXT Universe applaud Owens with a “John Cena sucks” chant to which Owens complains they don’t chant “Sami Zayn sucks” even though he clearly does.

He then claims Sami Zayn‘s theme sucks, too, and that fans should be thankful that they never have to hear it again. Owens also backs up his actions against Zayn at Unstoppable, before proclaiming he is a good man because he let Samoa Joe have the applause but, in case anyone is wondering, he isn’t scared of the Samoan submission machine anyway.

NXT GM William Regal addresses the path of destruction that has befallen NXT since Owens came on the scene, blaming him for the Itami attack, which Owens claims he had nothing to do with. Owens also mentions that Zayn wasn’t his fault either and that the challenger “wanted this”.

Solomon Crowe interrupts the champ and GM, descending to the ring to challenge Kevin Owens and going as far as to call him “a piece of crap”, an insult Owens shrugs off nonchalantly – these nuances of character are wonderful to witness and prove how good Owens actually is.

He accepts the challenge and Regal sets up the Main Event on the spot, but not before Kevin Owens counts his accomplishments off on his fingers and promises to add Crowe to the list of casualties.

The footage of Hideo Itami being attacked before Unstoppable is aired next, before we immediately cut to a pre-recorded promo from Itami himself, at the hospital, with his shoulder bandaged up. The Japanese legend says that he doesn’t know who attacked him but that whoever it was took his opportunity for the title and when he returns there will be no stopping him.

Meanwhile, none other than Zack Ryder is talking to Renee Young backstage about being in attendance at the PPV before Mojo Rawley bursts into the scene, showing off his OTT persona in all its glory, with Ryder quipping “and people said I was over the top”.

Bayley Vs Emma
bayley emmaEmma wants to be taken seriously, and the happy-go-lucky Bayley has been in her cross-hairs for quite a long time. Former friends always make especially bitter enemies, while the new, aggressive side of Emma has worked well thus far, making this feud really good fun to watch.

This is another short match for NXT, but it’s also one of the better encounters these two talented women have had. Emma is becoming more relaxed in her heel persona, goading the fans as they boo her entrance and looking a lot more confident and comfortable overall.

The Total Diva Dana Brooke stands ringside throughout, and this will surely become a factor for Bayley during the match. Emma looks frustrated at her former friend as they square off, stomping her as she cowers in the corner.

It doesn’t take long for Bayley to launch some offence of her own, landing vicious punches to the Aussie, as Emma rebukes with a stiff kick, flooring her ex-BFF.

Emma controls most of this quick bout, countering any assault Bayley offers and she subsequently takes the win with an impressive submission manoeuvre.

As soon as the bell rings, however, Dana Brooke and Emma give Bayley a beat-down, forcing Charlotte Flair to come to the aid of Bayley. This doesn’t go to plan for the former champion, as the Total Diva makes short work of her, leaving the camera focused on the two exhausted babyfaces, laid out in the ring.

Emma dominates the bubbly Bayley in an entertainingly, yet swift, bout

Mike Rallis & Elias Sampson Vs Blake & Murphy
blake murphy alexa blissAnother short match, with the ending never in doubt for the tag champs. Rallis and Sampson work well together as a team and the sprightly duo offer some decent offence in the early stages, but this isn’t enough for them to beat the champions.

Blake and Murphy are improving as a team week to week, and they are utilising a lot more double team moves as well as moving around the ring more fluidly, with a good team awareness.

Blake and Murphy retain the title belts easily

Alexa Bliss calls out Carmella after the match, in an interview segment during which the Staten island Princess refers to her as “garbage” and claims she only aligned herself with the champions because they are winners. This, too, could be setting up an interesting feud.

Tye Dillinger Vs Finn Balor
tye dillinger finn balorTye Dillinger is already in the ring as Balor enters, with the usual deafening levels of applause, sporting a cool half-bandana mask with the demon teeth printed on, and writhing to the ring – it never fails to produce goosebumps, even if it takes ages.

This match is intensely paced in the beginning, with both men working off each well in a series of lock-up and rolling combinations. Dillinger mocks Balor as he takes the advantage early on. He focussed and his new found aggression suits his frame and work style well, but we know he’s no match for the Irishman.

As expected, Finn Balor masterfully quickens the pace, controlling the match in a way that will better suit him and landing a sling blade before following up with his huge, world-ending dropkick and the devastating Coup De Grace to take the victory via pinfall.

Another short but entertaining bout sees Balor building even more momentum 

Solomon Crowe Vs Kevin Owens
kevin owens solomon crowe

Solomon Crowe bravely challenged Owens earlier in the show, and the champion methodically makes his way to the ring, shrugging his shoulders and looking uninterested at the crowd chanting his name. Crowe, on the other hand, gets a warm response from the fans and, if his indy wrestling past is anything to judge this by, they’re in for a treat tonight.

Owens immediately leaves the ring, utilising his usual head games well, but Crowe wastes no time in going after him, with Owens pummelling him mercilessly, showing no remorse as he knocks his opponent from the top rope to the outside.

Solomon Crowe looks really great against the champ, selling to him and making him look a million dollars as he writhes in pain on the mat, while Owens applies a tough headlock. The champ lifts Crowe and tosses him out the ring, forcing a close count-out as he crawls to the steps, refusing to give up.

As Crowe gets back into the ring, Owens just throws him straight back out screaming “Show me that you belong here”. Solomon Crowe mounts a valiant comeback in response to him, delivering a series of kicks and punches that leave the shocked champion furious.

It doesn’t take long for Kevin Owens to hit the senton and Pop Up Powerbomb, however, downing the hard-fought Crowe and winning by pin-fall.

Kevin Owens adds another casualty to his never-ending list

However, just as Owens throws his opponent to the outside, Samoa Joe’s music hits and as the crowd chant “Joe!” in unison, Owens stares him down in the ring. The TNA star looks imposing as he stands on the apron, staring down the NXT champ.

When he finally enters the ring, Kevin Owens wastes little time in leaving it once again, avoiding the confrontation by claiming what he did to Crowe was a warning and that Joe is next. As Owens stands at the top of the arena, he also shouts that the champ is here, a final mockery of John Cena in an excellent close to the show that whets our collective appetites for Sunday.

And that’s it for another brilliant show from Full Sail, with Kevin Owens once again stealing the spotlight and leaving the fans salivating at the fact that when he and Samoa Joe collide the face of NXT will change forever.

Kevin Owens faces John Cena at Elimination Chamber this Sunday and, although it is unlikely that he will take the belt from Cena, Samoa Joe will surely play a part in the outcome.

Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network

Elimination Chamber is broadcast this Sunday, May 31st at 8E / 5P

2 thoughts on “NXT Recap: Episode 280

  1. C says:

    Owens and Cena at E.C isn’t for the US Championship

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