FINN BALOR vs. TRENT SEVEN- 4.75/10
Before the match we were showed a video from the parking lot of the Performance Center last night of Finn Balor interrupting a Trent Seven interview to trap in by squeezing his throat in a car door and telling him to go tell his friend Tyler Bate to stay out of Balor’s way, or they’ll end up just like Johnny Gargano. We were told that Seven was coming into this match with a damaged larynx due to Balor’s attack, and I can absolutely believe that after seeing this footage.
The above injury allowed Balor to pretty much dominate. Balor was a great heel and Seven was a very good babyface, but the match extremely one-sided and I don’t think anyone really thought Seven had a chance in the first place.
CATHY KELLEY INTERVIEWS MATT RIDDLE & PETE DUNNE- fine
SHOTZI BLACKHEART vs. DEONNA PURRAZZO- 4/10
Shotzi won. Poor Deonna has been in WWE for YEARS and hasn’t been used as anything but a jobber, despite her obvious talent. Meanwhile, Shotzi Blackheat shows up in a stupid toddler-sized tank. She is such a f*cking goof.
NORTH AMERICAN TITLE SEGMENT- good
Keith Lee was cutting a great promo about winning the North American Title when he was interrupted by Damian Priest. Priest was an excellent arrogant douchebag. He wants the North American Title. Dominik Dijakovic came out to put Lee over, but then said that he would get the first title shot. I’m not really sure why thinks he has earned this shot. Lee left them to argue it out. Dijakovic was an idiot and turned his back on his enemy, so he got sucker-punched. William Regal sent out a referee so we got…
DONIMIK DIJAKOVIC vs. DAMIAN PRIEST- 6.25/10
The big guys can do the flips, too. We get it. How about having a story to your match?
CATHY KELLEY INTERVIEWS TOMMASO CIAMPA- didn’t like it
He’s got a steel pipe and he is going to make sure he gets the title shot at TakeOver: Portland… how, exactly? By intimidating Regal? By beating up all of the other potential challengers? Those both seem like very heelish things to do.
BOBBY FISH, KYLE O’REILLY, & RODERICK STRONG HAVE ALL BEEN LAUD OUT BY TOMMASO CIAMPA BACKSTAGE- Boy, Ciampa sure does work fast.
Ciampa then came out to the ring dragging a table with him. He sets it up in the ring and spray-paints an X on the table. Adam Cole comes out to confront him. So does Regal, with a contract that Cole already signed. Cole came down to the ring and attacked Ciampa but Ciampa made his comeback and put Cole through the table, then signed the contract. The fans chanted for him to “USE THE BLOOD!” (on his forehead) to sign the contract. These fans are disturbed.
Ciampa came off as a heel to me here. Don’t get me wrong: Cole is a heel, too. But Ciampa is absolutely acting like a heel.
New NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin will be at Full Sail next week. Cool.
TEGAN NOX vs. DAKOTA KAI- 4.75/10
Dakota’s entire entrance video was her destroying Tegan’s knee. The intensity here was great, but the match was short, and ended in the babyface cheating to win when the referee was distracted by her friend. I know that Dakota was walking around with a chair, but Candice shouldn’t have been chasing Dakota around with the chair after taking it away from her. Also, now that Tegan got her revenge, where is the heat? After all of that, is the feud really over after one match?
KAYDEN CARTER vs. CHELSEA GREEN (w/Robert Stone)- 3.5/10
This was fine for the time it got, and perhaps should be better rated as “no rating, good segment.” Between this match and the Royal Rumble, my guess is that Green’s gimmick is that she’s arrogant heel who always causes her own downfall by gloating, which can be a fine bottom of the card character, but no higher. Carter getting her first win did feel like a big deal for her because we’ve seen her as enhancement talent on such a regular basis.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FINALS: Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne- 8/10
Riddle & Dunne get the win and head to a title shot at TakeOver: Portland.
A fine episode of NXT. It was mostly a one-match show with two other big segments to get up TakeOver matches, and some other good little moving pieces.
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