Opening with an interview, Corey Graves is set to speak with Renee Young when Rick Victor of The Ascension interrupts. I guess he was trying to be chivalrous, but the Savior of Misbehavior pushed Young off camera, and this episode and I are already off on a bad foot. NOBODY PUTS RY IN A CORNER!
Victor is taller than I thought - posing in front of a 6'5" monster will do that - but his monotone delivery comes across as more disinterested than intimidating. Conor O'Brian attacks the NXT tag champ from behind, then throws a piece of the set on him and tells him to "stay down". Get it?!?!
Tyler Breeze defeats CJ Parker
in approximately three and a half minutes via pinfall
Whew - Renee's back. And with Emma! A chance to relive one of my favorite segments in the show's history! This isn't quite as good, but the Aussie cuts a promo that's a good mix of her usually goofiness and some intensity for her rivalry with Summer Rae. Paige and her destiny of being Womens champ will have to wait, but Summer will only have to wait two or three minutes to get her butt kicked.
My favorite part is when Young asks, "is that a thing?" when E claims that after defeating SR, she will play some "Dance, Dance, Emmalution".
Tony Dawson informs us that Adrian Neville will face Conor O'Brian in our main event - it's one-on-one due to Neville's partner's injuries from the opening segment. Now playing the part of The Wyatt Family on NXT...
Ring announcer Kendall Skye lets the crowd know that Tyler Breeze has left the building (love that) and leads us into our next match.
Emma defeats Summer Rae
in approximately four and a half minutes via submission
Before E can really get her groove on, Summer jumps her from behind. As the victor tries to back up the ramp, her foe reemerges with her bubble gun and throws soap in her eyes. She mocks the Emma dance and storms off.
"Earlier tonight" - Sylvester Lefort, Scott Dawson, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady were having a confab backstage. The Frenchman says that Dawson makes him money, Cas says all he does is lose, Dawson says where's my money, Lefort says you'll get it when you win and Enzo mockingly turns down a chance to join Sylvester's "Legionnaires". Which is too bad, because I could totally see Cassady as Timber Wolf.
Interesting scene where Sasha Banks confronts Summer Rae as she's leaving the building. In addition to allowing Ms. Rae to get in a great line about how SummerSlam was named after her, this also sets up a potential heel turn for Banks (who has shown signs of a temper and vicious streak in recent matches). Sasha seems to be considering the First Lady's advice to get a backbone and follow her lead.
Scott Dawson defeats Enzo Amore
in approximately three and a half minutes via submission
The sexual tension is palpable, as Ms. Young welcomes Sami Zayn to the ring for another interview.
Fans of aughts' punk will be pleased by Sami's Against Me! shirt; fans of 'shipping Zayn and Renee will be pleased to learn that he calls her a "ray of sunshine".
Addressing his defeat in the two out of three falls match last week against Antonio Cesaro, he says that he's proud of the reaction it got (the crowd chants "match of the year" and Michael Cole's praise for it was mentioned) but still knows that he came up short and that he has to keep his focus on gaining the NXT championship.
Cue Bo Dallas, smiling and waving to the crowd while they chant "no more Bo". There's no subtlety to his character any more. He's a heel who thinks he's a face, a hated man whose ego has convinced him he's adored. Dallas says that no one wants to hear from a loser like Zayn, because that's depressing.
The Syrian-Canadian excuses Renee like a gentleman (look and learn, Graves!) and gets in to a back and forth about whether the crowd is booing Dallas or "Bo"ing him. Giving up on convincing the champ, he says he wants a title shot...when out strolls Zeb Colter.
Zeb tells Bo to not give Sami anything until he provides proof of citizenship. Zayn tells Colter to give Cesaro a message - after I'm NXT champion, I'll deport you both to hell. Cesaro's Real American compadre then slides in the ring to assault SZ, while Bo casually exits the stage. After a gutwrench powerbomb, Jack Swagger drapes the Gadsen flag over the likeable one and everyone chants "We the People" because chanting is fun.
A show that is structured more like your average Smackdown than a usual NXT continues that with a video package recapping the roster's exploits at SummerSlam Axxess. The most interesting things about this are that they're using an injury to the champ from his match against Sami Zayn here in storyline, and that they have John Cena put over Adrian Neville via voiceover.
Adrian Neville defeats Conor O'Brian
in approximately four and a half minutes via pinfall
Victor in to put the boots to the Brit after the bell, which prompts the save by Graves (with his ribs taped up and unable to lift one arm - as usual he's selling it very well). He's too banged-up to be of much assistance, though, and he gets taken down by The Ascension's high/low tandem attack.
They need something more impressive looking than a legsweep/heel kick move for a team finisher.
Well...that wasn't a very good show. A bunch of sub-five minute matches featuring newer characters that haven't found their groove yet, and the main event was essentially the Zayn interview. And that was on a show full of interviews.
Am I being too harsh after the high of last week? Do I just miss The Wyatts, not to mention Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger, too much? Your turn - you know what to do.