June 19, 2015 by gorillapressonline
Kevin Owens is yet again having another dream match for fans, this time the Samoan submission machine Samoa Joe gets a shot at the cocky heel after tensions rose at the culmination of the last episode.
The show opens with a heartfelt and loving tribute to the late Dusty Rhodes; the American Dream was hugely influential with the current crop of NXT superstars and footage with Dusty and the likes of Seth Rollins is wonderful to see.
The American Dream was a legend that gave so much to this business and this particular VT was crafted with so much love that it pours out of every second. It’s a wonderful tribute to a man who has given tenfold to the wrestling world and a nice opener to the show.
Enzo Amore, Big Cass & Carmella Vs Wesley Blake, Buddy Murphy & Alexa Bliss
After that sombre opening, everything gets a little more upbeat with Enzo Amore, Big Cass and Carmella taking on Blake, Murphy and Alexa Bliss.
Enzo and Cass enter the ring to their usual fanfare with the crowd eating out of their hands, reciting the promo verbatim. Blake and Murphy disrespect the challengers by interrupting, to raucous boos.
Wesley Blake is giving Sheamus a run for his money in the stupid hair division, rocking some braided male pigtails tonight. He looks slightly ridiculous and is a little distracting, but nevertheless he kicks off the match with Enzo at a solid pace.
These two teams are having an excellent feud and it’s testament to how well they are working together as the rivalry and hatred the teams harbour for each other seems legitimate.
Enzo and Blake work most of the match, until chaos unfolds and the ring is invaded by all six competitors. Big double clotheslines leave Cass and Enzo the only two standing in the ring as the match continues.
Enzo hits some great punches and tries to capitalise on them, but the ring awareness of Blake allows Murphy to sneak an attack in and allow the champs some respite as they wear down Enzo and keep him from his partner – an excellent use of classic tag wrestling to keep fans invested.
Blake applies a grounded headlock, isolating Enzo and wearing him down, and even Alexa puts the boot in on Enzo in a subtle heel move which is a nice touch. Enzo tags in Carmella and she and Bliss face off.
Carmella hits her opponent with some great kicks and pushes her into Murphy but manages to tag in Blake. Big Cass enters and runs through Blake like a steamroller. Cass follows it up with a sideslam and tags in Enzo, who climbs to the top rope to steal the victory.
Really good opening match, which planted some seeds for the future with Alexa Bliss effectively costing the tag champs the match and Carmella getting some more ring time as she is constantly improving.
The destructive Long Island Trio steal the win opposite the tag champs
Backstage, Devin is speaking to the legendary Samoa Joe. He discusses always being at the forefront of cutting edge product and concedes that NXT ticked all the criteria for his arrival.
When addressing his upcoming opponent Kevin Owens, Joe does a great job of hyping the match and adding to Owens and himself, proclaiming that intimidation is a tool of the weak and that he will decimate the powerhouse simply because he doesn’t like Owens. It’s enticing stuff and speaks to Joe’s legendary status.
The aforementioned segment of the Finn Balor documentary is next up and, from the get go, the Irish superstar’s energy is infectious. His wide smile beams as he answers questions about himself and his upbringing, talking animatedly about watching WWF Superstars on a Saturday morning and how he always wanted to be a wrestler.
This is essential viewing, especially with Becky Lynch talking about how Fergal Devitt (Finn Balor) changed her life and helped her get into the business as well, through his school in his hometown of Bray, Co. Wicklow. She, too, comes across as a personable and energetic talker. Balor speaks highly of his fellow countrywoman and vice versa, while later on a lot of England-based wrestling from his early career is shown, showcasing his innate natural ability.
His tenure at NJPW comes highly recommended and it will be featured in the second part of this wondrous documentary next week on NXT (we already can’t wait).
The débutante Cassie has a mammoth task ahead of her against the former NXT Divas champion Charlotte Flair.
The newcomer throws everything she’s got at Flair in the early stages of the match, reversing a headlock take-down, which she follows up with a decent flip over roll up for a close call.
Good to see the new recruit getting a little offence against the much more dominant Flair, and the sprightly Cassie certainly has some innovative manoeuvres in her arsenal.
She goes for a monkey flip in the final stages but, in a remarkable feat of strength, Charlotte catches her by the legs and evades the assault, following it up with a big boot to the skull.
Charlotte works the rookie in a harsh-looking headlock, but Cassie wholeheartedly fights back. However, Flair hits a spear and quickly bridges in her figure-8 submission for the win.
A short but entertaining bout which sees Charlotte win with flair once again
Dana Brooke is given yet more airtime backstage with Devin next. Her scripted promo seems a little robotic and forced, as she sets her sights on Charlotte Flair who frankly way outclasses her.
One of the most pressing issues is with Dana over-emphasising certain words, which make this promo a bit jarring instead of overpowering. Dana Brooke is having a hard time relating to the audience and hopefully, given time, she can improve and become more relaxed in her delivery.
Kevin Owens Vs Samoa Joe
The moment we have all been waiting for is finally upon us. Kevin Owens is fast becoming the hottest thing in WWE; whether destroying John Cena in gruelling main roster/PPV matches, putting his best friend Sami Zayn out of action or even powerbombing obnoxious guest stars on Monday night Raw, he is always nothing short of unmissable.
Samoa Joe is the definition of a powerhouse and, after his crushing début last week, NXT GM Willam Regal made this fight for tonight. True to form, Owens quickly withdraws from the ring, playing familiar mind games with the Samoan submission machine.
Joe wastes no time in hopping out of the ring and getting in the face of Owens. It’s clear from the outset that he’s not gonna back down, and Owens has nowhere to hide.
As the two behemoths finally lock up, Joe powers Owens into the corner as he mockingly shouts “The champ is here!” and rallies a comeback à la his opponent’s current nemesis John Cena. An extremely fast combination of punches to the midsection of Joe down Kevin Owens, leaving him crumpled on the mat.
Samoa Joe belts Owens with an enziguiri, which is impressive from a man of his size, and it’s testament to Owens and his ability how well he sells this assault as he genuinely looks like he has been put through the ringer.
Joe watches as Kevin Owens tries to run away from his aggressor, again another great touch from the NXT champ who always tells a story with his in-ring action – a true maverick of professional wrestling.
The two men continue to slug it out, with Joe being whipped into the ropes and cannon-balled by Owens as they beat the living daylights out of each other. Refusing to give up, the champion struggles to choke the life out of Joe and the animosity between the two is played to a whole new level of intensity, adding layers of tension to an already tense bout.
As Joe sets Owens up on the top rope for the musclebuster, he somehow manages to escape with some forearm strikes, only to be caught and subsequently slammed one-handed into the canvas by Joe.
Owens plays possum, luring Samoa Joe outside the ring only to collide his head with the steel ring post and setting up the apron Pop Up Powerbomb. Joe evades the attack and, as the brawl progresses, it quickly unravels into carnage, forcing a number of officials to tries to separate the two as they punch each other repeatedly.
As the officials try to pull them apart, Kevin Owens retreats to the ring once more. Joe is surrounded by referees at the top of the arena and, again, Owens goads him back into the fight.
More security rush to the ring and it looks as though, for once, they are actually needed to stop this brawl. The crowd loudly scream “Let them fight!” but Joe escapes once again, diving over the crew holding Owens back and continuing his assault the champion.
As they are finally separated, Kevin Owens leaves the ring flooring a ref in frustration and leaving this match a no contest, but, man, what an awesome way to end the show.
The fight was intense, leaving plenty of questions unanswered and made both guys look like a million dollars. Dusty will have been watching over for sure, beaming proudly at Owens from the other side.
Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network