NXT Recap: Episode 286

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July 10, 2015 by gorillapressonline

NXTAfter the WWE and NXT sold out the world famous Sumo Hall in Japan just a few days ago – which saw a Prince arrive and a King leave – in an apt circle, for the new NXT champion Finn Balor, the NXT roster return to Full Sail University where things continue as normal.

The talent on this roster suggests a very bright future for the WWE and with (hopefully) the former champion Kevin Owens is set to steal the United States championship from John Cena at the upcoming Battleground PPV and solidify his move up to main roster.

Considering Owens has been making a significant impact on RAW the past few weeks, this also seems like the perfect time for Balor to get his moment in the spotlight before he inevitably does the same.

Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair Vs Dana Brooke & Emma
Charlotte FlairAfter a brief recap from the Japan tour, this week’s episode kicks off with arguably three of the best female wrestlers in the company (and Dana Brooke) and, from the outset, the crowd are under no illusion who the victors will be in this bout.

What starts as a singles bout quickly devolves into a tag team scrum as Dana Brooke interrupts The Boss mid-way through an overtly forced promo. Banks calls Brooke Miss Piggy in a funny and close-to-the-bone comment, but when the Boss admits she couldn’t find a tag team partner the former NXT women’s champion Charlotte Flair inserts herself into the match in return for a title shot.

The unlikely duo dominate from the outset, and Charlotte displays an innovative flair (sorry) in her offence; beautiful take-downs linked with bridges are an impressive and technical feat.

Emma helps carry her team with her well-judged mean streak in full effect, stepping onto the downed Flair and applying some great submission-based wrestling. She is growing leaps and bounds since her return to NXT.

Dana Brooke still has a lot of work to do and, although she has been thrust into the Main Event scene in spite of having no real right to be there, she could still improve among these women but at the moment she is borderline insufferable.

Sasha Banks locks in the Banks Statement on Brooke but, not one to be outdone, Flair applies the wonderful Figure 8 submission to end the match with a double tap-out.

The Boss and Charlotte win with ease in a brief but solid opener

Up next, Bayley features in a pre-recorded segment, during which she vows to return to the NXT universe and get revenge on Emma after she broke her hand.

It’s a nice vignette that keeps Bayley in the minds of fans, which is something NXT excel at (consider Hideo Itami et al). Hopefully she can get a title shot upon her return, too.

The Beast from the East NXT Title Match: Finn Balor Vs Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens Finn Balor Japan

The exceptional Owens/Balor bout from Tokyo is aired next, after some excellent promo work which showcases a different talent the NXT staff have and the almost perfect build up to what could easily be a match of the year contender, with both Owens and Balor shining.

From the goosebumps-inducing theatrics of Balor’s entrance, to the no nonsense disregard for tradition from Owens, this match had everything from the get-go; the crowd were firmly behind the former NJPW champion, and both men brought their all to the table.

As is custom for title matches in Japan, both men were presented with a bouquet of flowers at the start of the match. True to his nature, Owens rushes to the ropes and throws his into the crowd, eliciting boos and doing so much for his heel persona in just one move.

It’s clear from moments such as this that Owens really considers every little detail in building his character, and it is testament to his innate skills as a performer just how well it plays out.

Balor explodes as the bell rings, deftly landing a drop-kick and going for the Coup De Grace early to wrap things up. Owens wisely rolls out the ring, and harm’s way, but gets a cross-body from the top rope as thanks.

Incredible pace to the early stages of the match, with both men furiously exchanging blows in a kinetic sequence, the two of them clearly set on ending it all at Sumo Hall.

WWE booked this match perfectly, with both men bringing out new moves and selling each other’s blows in a believable and exciting manner. The phenomenal end comes with Balor managing to leapfrog over the Pop Up Powerbomb and sway momentum his way, landing another drop-kick and the Coup De Grace to finally obtain the NXT championship in Tokyo, where it all really began for him.

Balor basks in the glory, in his former stomping ground, of a well deserved victory in front of a worthy crowd

Elsewhere, Jason Jordan finally accepts the invitation to join Chad Gable in a tag team match, following weeks of Jordan has trying out new partners to no success.

It’s not exactly the most exciting angle in the world, but it could lead to something fun.

Solomon Crowe Vs Marcus Louis
solomon crowe marcus louisThe madman Marcus Louis is set to face off against NXT‘s anarchist Solomon Crowe in a singles competition next. These two wrestlers play off each other quite nicely; Crowe has a tenacity to him that is reminiscent of early Dean Ambrose and the dedication of Louis to his almost slasher movie villain persona works better than it did initially during his début.

Marcus Louis is a bit like the early incarnation of Masked Kane. His monster persona is enhanced by a suitably aggressive move-set, by vocally selling moves and by showing serious frustration in the ring.

If given the right amount of time to find a middle ground this could work in Louis’ favour and establish him as a legitimate threat in a mid-card heel role. However, it could also spiral into the hammy depths of overselling and become a parody of itself.

Hopefully Louis has the right amount of influence over his persona to allow this to evolve properly.

Solomon Crowe wraps things up quickly with his Crowebar submission, ending the very brief, yet entertaining, match

Enzo Amore & Big Cass Vs The Vaudevillans
the vaudevillains enzo and cassEnzo and Big Cass arrive to Full Sail and as usual they have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. Tonight’s Main Event sees them face off against the inimitable Simon Gotch and Aiden English for a #1 contenders spot.

Enzo and Gotch kick off the match with an energetic and speedy display. Enzo could easily gain momentum as a singles competitor and Gotch is the better of his respective team so this is a nice, early pace to the match.

Gotch and English keep Enzo away from his tag partner in a wise move and force the certified Gs out of their comfort zone. Enzo rolls out of an armbar with a judo roll only for Gotch to keep hold of the move, reapplying the armbar in a fluid transition, in a segment that works really well and showcases how nicely they work together at the same time.

When Enzo gets the tag, Big Cass runs through The Vaudevillans. Then, as Enzo and Cass hit the finisher, Aiden English manages to roll up Enzo, who isn’t the legal man and steal the victory.

The Vaudevillains steal yet another victory, solidifying themselves as the tag team to beat in this well-stuffed division

Once again Big Cass costs his team a title shot – is this the start of the dissolution of the duo, or will this keep the feud alive before The Vaudevillans inevitably challenge Blake and Murphy for the NXT gold?

Lots of questions to be answered next week at Full Sail on the hottest show the WWE has to offer.

Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network

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