Welcome one and all to this week’s NXT Spotlight right here on TJRWrestling. I am not one of the newbies to TJR, I am your beloved host of NXT & Tough Enough (RIP), Kurt Zamora. This week we’ve got two huge Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic matches, including the much anticipated debuts of Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. Before we get to those matches however, earlier today WWE.com posted highlights for the four remaining first round matches. I’m pretty bummed that they aren’t getting played in full on the TV show, but I guess they’re pressed for time to get the finals squared away for the October 7th NXT Takeover event. Those results are as follows and all matches took place at NXT Live Events recently.
– Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeated Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton via the top rope splash.
– The Vaudevillians defeated Blake and Murphy via the Whirling Dervish. This match is definitely the most disappointing to not see in its entirety, especially considering it is a NXT Takeover: Brooklyn rematch.
– The Hype Bros defeated Noah Kekoa and Alexander Wolfe via the Hype Ryder. Ryder and Mojo looked to have some new offense in the clips they showed. Kekoa is someone new to NXT and Wolfe we’ve seen in the jobber role before.
– The Mechanics defeated “The Drifter” Elias Samson & Tucker Knight via the Shatter Machine. Edge’s new favorite tag team looked sharp in the clips shown. Tucker Knight looks like Jimmy Garvin from 1988 but 50 pounds heavier.
If you want to see any of the clips for these matches, they all range about a minute and half, you can see them here. Now onto our regularly scheduled broadcast!
Carmella vs. Peyton Royce
We start tonight’s show from Full Sail as some of this show will be taped elsewhere. Carmella comes out with her female Enzo schtick and looking fabulous as only she can. Peyton is billed from Sydnee, Austrailia so the second Aussie diva along with Emma. Both women give a little dap to each other as a sign of respect, so looks like they’ll both work face. They tie up and counter a couple headlocks to start and end up in a stalemate. Carmella goes for a rollup, but gets a two. Peyton then gets a back slide, but Carmella pulls up out of it and does her own back slide for two. Then she cradles Peyton for a pin, but again a two. Carmella liked that pin attempt though as she moonwalks across the ring. She then hits Peyton with a dropkick and another pin for two. Carmella has a suplex blocked and Peyton hits a Perfect Plex with the bridge, but only a two as well. Peyton hooks on a headlock as the crowed rallies behind Carmella. Now she pulls up in a Camel Clutch variation but Carmella does not give up. Carmella gets out, but gets a kick to the gut and sent to the corner, but she stops the charging Peyton and hits a hurricanrana out of the corner. Now she sends her to the opposite corner and hits Peyton in the turnbuckle and then follows it up with a reverse X-Factor but again only a two count. Now Carmella hooks a headlock of her own. The crowd rallies behind Peyton this time, but Carmella keeps her grounded. Peyton picks Carmella up on her back and sends her into the corner. She follows up with two spinning kicks, one to the face of Carmella and one to the lower back as Carmella stumbles out of the corner. Peyton hops on the second rope and hits a cross body for a two count. Peyton goes for a suplex, but Carmella reverses it into a Flatliner and turns that into a fancy submission, think of the Bank Statement except she uses her legs instead of arms, and Peyton has no choice but to tap out.
We go backstage to the NXT Champ Finn Balor who’s getting ready for his tag match with his partner Samoa Joe who walks into the locker room. Joe asks him if he’s ready. Balor says he better be because the Lucha Dragons are no joke and he wants to win this for Dusty. Joe says he sounds ready. Balor goes to leave, but Joe makes sure he remembers his NXT Title.
They show a recap of the Enzo/Cass victory, so I guess you don’t have to go to WWE.com after all. They follow that up with a recap of The Mechanics victory.
Another Nia Jax vignette is shown.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Match
Bull Dempsey and Tyler Breeze vs. Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Bull Dempsey has lost three pounds since Takeover according to Corey Graves. I love Graves on commentary. Bull mocks Breeze’s pose in the corner as he gets in the ring. Big, albeit delayed because the crowd couldn’t believe it, reaction for Gargano and Ciampa. Breeze and Ciampa start the match, Breeze gets a knockdown and poses in the corner. Ciampa slaps the ever loving hell out of Breeze for that. Breeze instantly tags in Bull. Bull gets a “Bull is Gorgeous” chant. That’s funny. Ciampa gets sent into the ropes and is knocked down by a Bull shoulder block. Bull brings him back to his corner and tags back in Breeze. Breeze and Ciampa go back and forth, but Gargano gets the blind tag and hits a nice spear through the ropes on Breeze. Gargano shows off his arsenal with a kick to the head and a jumping neckbreaker. Breeze crawls over to Bull and tags him back in. Gargano tries to get Bull off his feet but can’t do it until he hits a stiff Enzugiri and tags back in Ciampa. Ciampa works over Bull with kicks and a headlock.
After a commercial for the Stone Cold Podcast and a Be A Star promo, Ciampa has a sleeper hold on Bull. Bull drops straight back and knocks the wind out of Ciampa as both men look for the hot tag. Gargano gets it first and kicks Breeze off the apron. Bull knocks down Gargano and looks for the tag but Breeze is down. Bull goes back to Gargano and hits some punches and the bionic elbow. He bounces off the ropes, but Breeze was up and got knocked back down by the momentum. Bull is distracted by this and Gargano goes for a Sunset Flip rollup after tagging in Ciampa. Ciampa comes from behind and does a front somersault over Gargano while grabbing Bull’s legs and gets the 1-2-3.
Winners: Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa
Post match, Breeze attacks Bull in the ring as he’s clearly upset they lost. Bull starts to get up and gets hit with the Supermodel Kick.
Backstage now and The Lucha Dragons talk about how important this match is for them. Sin Cara speaks in Spanish and Kalisto speaks in English. Thanks Kalisto. They say it’s a great honor to fight the opponents they have tonight, but they better be careful because they will get burnt by the Lucha Dragons. This match is for Dusty.
Devin (I’ve been misspelling her name all along) is backstage with Dana Brooke. Dana has a match next, but it looks like something is bothering her. Dana says something is bothering her. Dana says she had to watch Bayley, who she’s beaten, win the NXT Women’s Championship. Dana wants to be the best women’s wrestler and she has to become NXT Women’s champion to do that. Dana gets mad when people think she’s going to use her great body and beautiful face to get ahead in the company. So everyone in the Women’s division better watch out because she’s ready to roll. Play time is over. Hopefully that means she’s not going to ever come out looking like she did in Brooklyn again.
Awesome vignette shown for The Perfect 10, Tye Dillinger.
Dana Brooke vs. Billie Kay
Billie also hailed from Sydney, Austraila. How long before Emma has a trio of her own for the “Divas Revolution”? Dana has her own section tonight. Both women tie up and Dana forces Billie into the corner. Dana breaks cleanly. Billie gets a headlock on Dana and everytime Dana tries to counter, Billie gets her back in the headlock. Dana ends up just throwing her down to the mat but gets only a one count. Billie hits a nice headscissors and then goes back to the headlock. Dana reverses it and then slams Billie to the mat again. Dana mounts her and lays in the right hands before posing for the crowd. They end up in the corner and Dana delivers a few shoulders before doing a handstand and choking Billie with the bottom of her boot. Innovative. Billie stumbles out of the corner and gets hit with a clothesline. Dana then hits a handstand elbow drop. Dana goes back to the headlock and Billie tries to fight out but Dana gets her down and hits another handstand elbow drop. Now Dana hooks a headscissors. Billie manages to break free and reverse it into a pin, but gets only a two. Billie fires up and hits a hurricanrana and a big boot right in Dana’s face, but only a two count again. Dana kicks Billie off as she tries to follow up and then hits an Enziguri. Dana gets her up for her sitdown Fireman’s Carry Slam and picks up the victory.
Winner: Dana Brooke
Devin is backstage with Apollo Crews. She asks Apollo how he’s feeling about how he’s done so far. He says he can’t put it into words. He says it wasn’t just the NXT Universe with him during his matches, it was the Apollo Nation. And the Apollo Nation is going to take over NXT.
The trailer for Dean Ambrose’s movie 12 Rounds: Lockdown is shown. Am I crazy for thinking Dean can single handedly make a WWE Film good? The trailer doens’t look bad at all.
We go back to Bayley winning the NXT Women’s Title at Takeover: Brooklyn and see a really cool moment of Bayley’s #1 fan Izzy and her reaction to Bayley winning the title. Then she got to meet Bayley and spend the day with her at the Performance Center. If you’ve ever seen Bayley on NXT, you know who the little girl is. Good stuff there. Bayley will be back next week.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Match
Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. The Lucha Dragons
We go to Tom Phillips and Jimmy Uso in Providence, Rhode Island for this match. It’s a small thing, but pretty cool that Eden is ring announcer for this match as Dusty was obviously her father in law. Joe’s Titantron looks really cool on the full size system. Completely different than how he comes out in NXT. Nice reaction for him as well. Huge ovation for Finn Balor who gets his full entrance treatment, minus the demon paint. Providence knowns when to throw the arms up, that’s cool to see. Finn sporting a snazzy leather jacket as part of his entrance. Sadly only nine minutes left on this show, so they won’t get to do all they can.
Balor and Sin Cara start off and shake hands. Massive NXT chant as they start followed by a “This is Awesome” chant. I’m sure the crowd had no idea they’d get a match like this at their taping. Both men trade armbars early and then Sin Cara gets Finn down with a headlock. Finn tries to get a pin out of it, which makes Sin Cara break the headlock. Sin Cara gets sent into the ropes and gets hit with a big dropkick that gets a nice ovation. Kalisto jumps in the match but gets dumped to the outside, and then Finn follows that up with a Sling Blade to Sin Cara. Now Finn dumps Sin Cara to the outside and delivers a huge front dive over the top rope onto both Lucha Dragons.
After a promo for NXT in UK, Joe is now in the match and sends Sin Cara face first into the turnbuckle. Joe beats him down in the corner and then tags back in Finn who jumps over the top rope and hits a foot stomp on Sin Cara. Finn hits a couple chops in the corner but can’t follow up as Sin Cara cuts him off with a backbreaker and then tags in Kalisto. Kalisto works over the ribs of Finn and then tags back in Sin Cara who hits a senton over the top rope and then goes back to the ribs. Kalisto gets tagged back in and the Dragons hit their Monkey Flip body press. Quick tag back to Sin Cara and back to the ribs with a grounded bear hug. Finn hits some back elbows and gets out and is able to get Joe in with the hot tag. The crowd goes crazy for Joe as he lays out both Lucha Dragons with kicks and a senton to Kalisto. Joe gets caught with a Tornado DDT in the corner by Sin Cara, but Finn breaks up the pin. Finn tries to follow up, but Sin Cara hits a nice Lionsault. Joe grabs Sin Cara though and gets him up in the corner and tries the Muscle Buster, but Sin Cara slides out. He can’t get the pin, but Kalisto gets the blind tag. Joe whips Sin Cara into Finn who was on the outside. Kalisto hits a hurricanrana, but Joe kicks out at two. Joe catches Kalisto in his Urinagi slam, and then kicks Sin Cara back to the floor. Finn tags in as Joe gets Kalisto up for the Muscle Buster. Finn goes to the top and hits the Coup De Grace afterwards and Balor and Joe advance.
Winners: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe
Joe and Balor celebrate, even giving the “Too Sweet” sign as our show comes to an end.
K-Tank’s Final Takes
– Nothing much to take away from the divas matches. Carmella looked a lot better than she has, and got some extended time in the ring. I did like her submission finisher. Dana will likely step up as an early challenger for Bayley’s title. Some of Dana’s offense looked really good tonight and had some innovative touches. She’s obviously still green, but looks like she’s grasping it as time goes along.
– Great to see Gargano and Ciampa not only in an NXT ring, but also advance in the tournament.
– I’d really like to see more for Tyler Breeze than just a storyline with Bull Dempsey, but based on how both their characters are portrayed, it’ll probably end up being a really entertaining angle.
– Great to see Joe and Finn get the reactions they did. That was a fun little match and would’ve loved to seen 4 or 5 more minutes added to the match to really let them go.
– They didn’t show an updated bracket, but the teams remaining in the 2nd round are Baron Corbin/Rhyno, Jason Jordan/Chad Gable, The Hype Bros, Enzo/Cass, The Vaudevillians, The Mechanics, Finn/Joe, and Ciampa/Gargano. Just give me a Ciampa/Gargano vs. Finn/Joe semifinal or final. That’s all I ask.
Until next time ladies and gentlemen, remember that with Bull-Fit, you too can lose three pounds in two weeks.