June 26, 2015 by gorillapressonline
Wednesday is fast becoming the hottest night in pro-wrestling thanks to the consistently brilliant NXT. This week’s episode kicks off much like RAW did, quite sombre, as WWE COO Triple H stands at the head of Full Sail university to give a moving and heartwarming speech about the late Dusty Rhodes.
All around him, the NXT roster openly shed tears for The American Dream, as the bell tolls ten times in honour of the late, great wrestler. A family member is clearly being remembered here and it is truly humbling to see.
Dusty was NXT, and he will always live on in the minds and hearts of these young, talented wrestlers.
The show begins proper with Hideo Itami; the Japanese legend has been injured and will be out of action for a few months, but it shows faith instilled in him that NXT are keeping him at the forefront and in the minds of fans.
Itami addresses the NXT Universe, saying that even though he has three more months to go, he can’t wait to return to action. He also reveals that he will be there in Tokyo on July 4th and will challenge whoever wins the title.
This prompts Kevin Owens to come to the ring, and Itami smirks as the crowd boo the hell out of him. Owens mocks the Japanese superstar and the fact he can’t compete and that he doesn’t seem sure who will walk out champion and that he is delusional.
Owens shows a remarkable talent here as, when he stumbles slightly with his speech, he expertly recovers, explaining that he is almost speaking as bad as Itami with his own broken English.
Itami gets his turn to cut a promo and it’s a damn fine one, too. He says that Owens is a great champion but a terrible human being, which naturally infuriates the Canadian.
Kevin Owens has had enough as he walks to the ramp to break the good arm of Itami but Finn Balor rushes to the aid of his former tag team partner. Balor lays into the champ, climbing up the arena stage to double footstomp Owens, only to be assaulted by Rhyno in a sneak attack as the man beast kicks him clean off the stage, leaving the Irishman downed.
An excellent opening segment, with all parties involved furthering the angle and doing good work to ensure the mystery assailant who attacked Itami remains a secret.
Jason Jordan has been trying out new tag partners to find something that clicks, all the while Chad Gable is unsuccessfully trying to convince Jordan that he is the right choice. Until he realises this fact, Jordan is going to job each week until the inevitable pairing happens.
Big Cass gets a lot of the promo work this time around and fluidly links a number of Hollywood Blockbusters into his tirade, which has a nice ring to it and fits with their personas as they s-p-p-p-ell it out for us!
Enzo is the better wrestler of the two and, although Jason Jordan is a talented fighter, it’s never in doubt that he is going to lose this match and, as Lefort gets the upper hand and tags Jordan in, Enzo steals a victory with a quick roll up.
Enzo and Big Cass’ win was never in doubt, which took a little bit of the fun out of this match
Exclusive footage of Samoa Joe, after the intense brawl with Kevin Owens last week, is aired next. Joe simply reiterates the crowds’ chants of “Let them fight!” and this works perfectly.
The legend exudes intensity and, as he gauges the match saying he never gave Owens what he intended – a beating of his life – it’s clear he wants to destroy the NXT champ the next time he gets his hands on him.
NXT are pushing the hell out of Dana Brooke, but she isn’t connecting with the fans at all and they boo her with real malice as she enters. This is a crowd who know how to boo heels, but they simply just don’t like her.
Cassie lost her début match and, in the early stages of this bout, she woman-handles the Total Diva, trying her hardest to overpower the larger athlete. Dana quickly gets a grasp of the match, though, and easily dominates Cassie by scoring a succession of near falls.
Dana applies a submission as Cassie writhes in pain, yet refuses to tap out. She ultimately makes quick work of the challenger and gets another W on her quest for Charlotte Flair.
The outcome of the match doesn’t fare well for newcomer Cassie as already she has been reduced to talent enhancer even though she possesses a decent amount of wrestling ability.
Dana Booke continues to dominate the NXT Divas division, despite been greener than grass
The second part of the unmissable Finn Balor documentary airs next, following his illustrious NJPW tenure and some wonderful footage of the Irish loon talking to Sami Zayn and building Lego sets.
He remains energetic and humble throughout; a true role model.
Balor speaks extensively about his time with the Tokyo dojo and how this challenging and relentless training schedule helped shape his wrestling career. It’s brilliant to see some rare, behind-the-scenes photos and moments from this chapter in his life.
He talks fondly of his run as Prince Devitt, and how much of a risk signing with NXT was while he was still at the height of his NJPW fame.
Take the time to watch this fascinating insight into one of the most enigmatic superstars in NXT, especially as the final part will air next week, documenting his arrival at Full Sail University.
A bunch of photos from various social media outlets showcase the out of shape Bull Dempsey in a number of compromising situations. I can’t believe that NXT are running an angle like this, the only logical outcome is they are building him for a Rocky Balboa-style comeback, but this is silly stuff that feels utterly out of place.
Tag Team Match: The Hype Bros Vs Sawyer Fulton & Angelo Dawkins
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are now officially a tag team and they have named themselves The Hype Bros. The best thing to come out of this is some Zack Ryder airtime, as he’s often unfairly pushed aside on the main roster. Mojo Rawley and his hyperactive ADD persona is way over the top and comes across as annoying.
Dawkins and Fulton are two talented amateur wrestlers who need a steady paced match to really show off their move-sets; Rawley’s every movement is filled with a kinetic energy and this works in his favour, enhancing his character.
It’s great to see Ryder get some actual ring time and, although Mojo is the focus, hitting his ridiculous hammer time axe handle smash, it’s Ryder who steals the show here, landing impressive top rope dropkicks and a massive Broski Boot.
In fact, the best thing about Rawley and Ryder pairing up is the rough rider signature manoeuvre from the top rope.
The Hype Bros work well as a team, though, and over time could become a legitimate threat to the NXT tag titles, they just need to find the sweet spot so this doesn’t become a grinding and tiresome gimmick.
The Hype Bros outpace their rivals for the win
Finn Balor Vs Rhyno
Kevin Owens is once again taking a commentary position for this enticing Main Event. As always, Finn Balor exerts his animal magnetism on his walk to the ring, smoke surrounding him, as he times his movements to his chilling theme music. This is always a pleasure to witness.
There is no love lost between Rhyno and Balor, with the former wanting to make an example out of the latter and pulling no punches in his quest to do so. Owens is magnificent on the commentary team, as per usual, with his softly spoken sarcasm a perfect accompaniment to his heel persona.
Balor quickly takes it to Rhyno, showing a more aggressive side of the Irishman as he is obviously upset at the attack, unleashing a flurry of kicks to the man beast, pushing him from the apron and following it up with an over the top rope dive taking out the ECW alumnus.
Owens manages to get in both some hate towards the USA and a mention of the awesome Will Smith-starring Independence Day, keeping things relevant to the July 4th Tokyo Dome match while being thoroughly entertaining in this role.
Meanwhile Rhyno hits an outstanding spine buster on Balor, as he takes it to the #1 contender, tossing him around like a rag-doll and smashing him with huge shoulder tackles and bear hugs, squeezing the breath from his opponent.
The Irishman fights back with some high-impact running elbows, which Rhyno counters with a massive Suplex, in a thrilling back and fourth encounter.
Three Spears leave Balor crumpled on the mat as Rhyno gets a close two count. Then, as Rhyno pulls Balor in for a clothesline, he manages to duck under the lariat and connects with a Pele kick turning the tide of the match once again.
As Balor goes to the top rope for the Coup De Grace the NXT champ strolls over to ringside, distracting Balor who, unwisely, leaves the man beast and focuses his attention instead on Owens, hitting a devastating dropkick that knocks Owens out the picture yet ensures Rhyno can hit a crushing Belly To Belly Suplex on Balor in the process.
Going for the Gore, Finn Balor scopes the attack, getting a kick and a sling blade before once again climbing to the top and landing the Coup De Grace, scoring a pinfall.
Balor scores a well-earned win in this massively entertaining Main Event bout
Before Balor can even get to his feet, however, the NXT champ rushes into the ring and proceeds to pound the #1 contender with brutal punches to the skull, before Rhyno joins in on the action, which forces none other than Samoa Joe to rush to the aid of Balor, leaving the cowardly heels to exit sharply in an excellent finish to this episode.
What started out as a slow installment ended up delivering on all angles, from the wonderfully quaint and interesting documentary on Balor, to a fast paced tag match which was nicely rounded off with Finn Balor getting some retribution on his rival Rhyno, while simultaneously laying foundations for the July 4th Tokyo Dome event.
Even when it’s not 100% amazing, NXT is still unmissable.
Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network