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WWE NXT results and reactions from October 23: Schmontroversial

A brief show that was posted late features mid-card angles being advanced with okay-but-not-great matches and the main event feud being put on hold with a few fantastic interviews. Read all about it, right here.

A recap of the former NXT tag champs losing their titles and coming to blows with one another rolls when Hulu finally released this week's episode yesterday afternoon. That takes us to a suit-clad Corey Graves on the ramp, leading us on by listing folks who think he owes them an explanation for his post-match beatdown of Adrian Neville last week. Before he can get to any 'splaining, the Brit clubs him from behind, and a pull apart brawl ensues.

Oddly enough, Tensai joins the broadcast team of Tom Phillips and Alex Riley. He's pretty good, too. He might as well just go by Matt Bloom now, though - the Tensai character is dead (he openly talks about being from Boston) and he's much more interesting as a seasoned veteran of wrestling all over the globe than he is trying to keep it kayfabe about being Brodus Clay's best friend.

Sasha Banks defeats Emma

in approximately eight and a half minutes via pinfall

  • Yes, this is an eight minute women's match. By my count, it's the longest match on the show. Commendable, but maybe not the best idea...
  • Summer Rae accompanies her BFF (beautiful, fierce female) partner to the ring, and things start off with Banks doing her head-bobbing smack talk as Emma smack dance gestures in response. The Aussie's ability to adapt her gimmick to different situations is phenomenal, while I still find Sasha's in-ring character pretty lazy.
  • The first half of the match is fast-paced with the Lance Storm trainee hitting her signature spots (somebody should scout that slip through the ropes, kick, slide back under roll-up combo) and The Boss of NXT gaining control with hair pull slams and a few knees to the mid-section.
  • After a commercial, there are two loooong spots where SB has Emma in a body scissors with chin lock rest hold. The dancer creatively rolls back for a near fall once, and she elbows out once but that just leads to cat fighting that takes them back into the hold.
  • After fighting out of the stretch again, the babyface takes charge with a clothesline. She locks in Dil-Emma after sidestepping a charge and marches across the ring to land her low crossbody, which Phillips refers to as the "Emma Sandwich". Sasha gets monkey flipped into position for the Emma Lock, but Summer is up on the apron to cause a distraction. Even though women's champ Paige runs in and stops her, it works, as E breaks the hold and gets thumbed in the eye and rolled up.
  • Banks is talking trash to a stunned Emma after the bell. The Anti-Diva goes to club her from behind, but the Bostonian dodges and Paige flattens Emma with a clothesline. Drama! has an exclusive with NXT champion Bo Dallas. Asked about the controversial ending to his title match with Sami Zayn last week, the champ says "controversy, schmontroversy" and tells his fans that he's going on vacation. The Bo Dallas vs. the World tour will take him to Bolivia to give squirt guns to poor kids. The sniveling laugh he's developed gives me a lot of hope that he could take this character to the big stage. Now if he could only learn how to wrestle...

    The Ascension defeats Casey Maron & Tommy Taylor

    in approximately two minutes via pinfall when Rick Victor pins Maron

  • It's been a while since we've had one of these tag squashed where one of the jobbers never even gets tagged in - so here's one!
  • Rick Victor is turning up the intensity on his ring work. It has a way to go, but it is an improvement over the stoic attacks that came across as sleepwalking that he was going for before.
  • They're now calling the high-low move that The Ascension does (Conor O'Brian sweeps the leg while Victor hits his flying European uppercut) The Fall of Man, just like they did with O'Brian's old partner.
  • Another interview, this time with the man Dallas beat for the title, Sami Zayn. Sami isn't upset about NXT interim General Manager re-starting the match when it was revealed that Bo's foot was on the ropes. But he is curious why it wasn't restarted after he was dropped on the exposed turnbuckle. He thinks he knows how Daniel Bryan feels now, and wonders about JBL's having been named to run NXT by Bryan's nemesis HHH.

    Renee Young then catches up with Mr. Layfield, who creepily looks down her blouse and before nailing a heel authority figure promo. It treads into shoot territory when he says that HHH couldn't afford to buy him, and then really goes for so-called "smart" fans when he says that Sami needs to learn respect. He never says that Zayn is suspended, but he will "not be here" until he stops with the baseless accusations. JBL gets in another crack about Young's top before leaving, to which Renee mouths "wow".

    Alexander Rusev defeats CJ Parker

    in approximately one and a half minutes via submission

  • No Sylvester Lefort, Scott Dawson or board with his opponent's name on it for the big Bulgarian this week. The leather half-robe and accompanying ceremony work much better without them.
  • This was a straight-up murder, as I don't think the Moonchild got in a lick of offense.
  • Big news here is that new Diva Lana (aspiring actress/professional attractive person CJ Perry) debuted by strutting around the ring in a red dress "scouting" Rusev. As much as it excited the announcers, it didn't have any effect on the match, which ended when Rusev locked in the Accolade after a minute of throwing Parker around the ring.
  • Tyler Breeze dashed in post-match to retrieve his cell phone and cut some of the yarn out of CJP's dreads, furthering their issues.

    Corey Graves defeats Adrian Neville

    in approximately seven minutes via submission

  • We get a lot of backstory from the commentators here - it makes me wonder if there wasn't a promo or two from the combatants that ended up on the cutting room floor. Apparently, Graves is really the suit-wearing heel we saw at the show's outset. His ripped-up denim look was all just an act to get in with Neville. Or something? There's also some confusion where Phillips talks about him like CM Punk-lite, saying he wants to lead the Purity Parade now instead of the Filth Parade, but A-Ry later says that Corey is a guy who parties all night, while Neville is a homebody. Which makes more sense. But I have no idea where they're going with GQ Corey Graves.
  • They do say that the Pittsburgher is pissed because Adrian took the pin in each of their losses to The Ascension, which is just solid heel reasoning.
  • The Man that Gravity forgot is all business here, storming into the ring and foregoing introductions to deliver a two-footed drop kick to his former partner's chest. They trade strikes before a corkscrew plancha from Neville gets a two count after Graves is rolled back in to the ring. The Brit starts to work over the ribs that were damaged by Conor O'Brian several weeks back, but Corey eventually catches a kick and uses the leg to whip his opponent down and start targeting his knee.
  • The story alternates between the Savior of Misbehavior working the knee to ground Neville and set him up for Lucky 13, and the Jumpin' Geordie punishing Graves' bruised mid-section. A couple of stretches see Corey working an inverted version of his leg lock finisher and torquing the knee with Adrian's legs figure foured.
  • At some point, Neville's yellow over-shorts rip. Fortunately, he has on black under-shorts.
  • Some elbows that would be illegal in the UFC since they're delivered 12-6 to the crown of the head eventually free Adrian, and he gingerly heads up top for Red Arrow. CG runs under, and before Neville's leg has finished buckling, he clips him with a chop block and cinches in the Fuller Leglock. The high flier tries to reach the ropes or otherwise break free, but is forced to tap.
  • Afterwards, Graves again locks in Lucky 13 again on the ramp until refs run down and force him to break the hold.

    A decent enough match, but neither of these guys really excites me as a singles competitor. Maybe they need to be feuding with someone else? I don't know, but it looks like their issues will continue, so I hope their chemistry improves.

    Strong interviews (man, did I miss those last week), but lackluster ring work still made for an uneven show. If Zayn and Dallas really are going on the shelf for a while, I'm not sure where this show gets heat from. I guess from the women, but I think tonight showed that not everyone is ready for a main event caliber bout. Most of the popular male acts now are guys just getting their gimmicks over; they're not in a position to carry a storyline.

    Grade: B

    How was it for you?

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