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WWE NXT results, recap, reactions from June 26, 2014: You can't teach this

With two 'A' shows following Takeover, this week has a lot of hype to live up to (and, no, I'm not asking for a Mojo Rawley appearance).  Much like tonight's show, let's get right to it.

Segment One


  • Aiden English & Simon Gotch are right back at us following their debut last week, and get a quick win over another pair of enhancement talent, T Perkins and Matt Sugarman.
  • Sami Zayn is taking Tyson Kidd's walkout in his usual, cool Sami Zayn stride, but his interview makes it clear we haven't seen the last of Zayn vs. Kidd.
  • Xavier Woods' jobs everywhere (kind of like CJ Parker and his pointless protesting).  Tonight, he does it right back in NXT, losing to Bull Dempsey, who suddenly has his own entrance and a lot of support behind his old school brawler gimmick.


  • The Vaudevillains are a lot of fun.  There's not much more to go on at this point, but it was driven home in this quick match.  Gotch especially feels like a star, doing everything with high energy and really playing to the crowd with the strongman feats worked into his repertoire.  This team may keep Aiden English afloat for a while longer, but he's clearly the Jannetty here.
  • Like the name for their tandem finisher, "That's a Wrap".  I do wish English would consider doing his senton from the top rope.  His form looks solid, but I cringe a little each time before he just turns himself over before hitting his head.  It does evoke a circus act, though.
  • Sami Zayn, I like you.  I also like that we kept the Tyson Kidd story alive without actually giving screen time to Tyson Kidd tonight.
  • Xavier Woods had some new music tonight, so I guess Somebody Call My Momma might be going back on the shelf to await the next dancing African-American character who comes along.  This poor guy.  He was at least over for a minute or two back at Full Sail.
  • But the crowd, and the announce team, clearly love Bull Dempsey.  I liked what I saw, and heard, quite a bit.  His offense looks fierce, but he moves extremely well for a man of his build...very Bray Wyatt-esque.
  • The last of dying breed/last real man gimmick is a little uninspired, and is being done a couple of different places on the indies right now.  His look fits it, but I'm not crazy about the King Kong Bundy singlet.  Could stand to see less skin, or at least less pull in the crotch region.  As it is, it's what I imagine the Danny McBride bad guy would look like in a Will Ferrell movie about pro wrestling.
Segment Two


  • The BFFs contain their animosity for one another long enough to get to the ring, but not long enough to avoid bickering their way to another loss - this time for Summer Rae against the debuting Becky Lynch.
  • Big Cass got another win over Sawyer Fulton with a sick Big Boot.
  • Sylvester Lefort & Marcus Louis came down to deal with the Queens native, but were run off by a returning Enzo Amore (HOWUDOIN).


  • Sasha Banks throwing shade at Summer with her eye rolls during their entrance may have been my favorite part of this episode.
  • You'd think a good Irish-American family like the McMahons might be a little more sensitive to stereotyping every performer that comes their way via the Emerald Isle.  That's only kind of a joke.  The green ring gear is a nice contrast for Lynch's red hair (even if it reminds me of Daizee Haze from her days with Delirious), but I don't know that we need that and the near-constant jig dancing.
  • Beck impressed in her debut.  Aside from a few nervous hiccups, she looked every bit the wrestler we expect her to be.  Her BexPlex finisher was probably the best of anyone on tonight's show, except for the champ and Red Arrow, of course.  But the bar is set kind of high for dancing and bubbly babyfaces among the NXT women.  Hopefully they more fully develop her character, in ring and out, in future appearances.
  • Prior to ArRIVAL, Colin Cassady was often serving as enhancement talent (did he ever get a win in a match with The Artiste?).  Now he's dispatching clowns in under two minutes.  Ending it with an elbow drop was unusual, but he went for it with gusto and it's something to see a man that large get that much air from a vertical base.
  • The announce team tonight (Rich Brennan, Alex Riley and Renee Young) was okay, with a few exceptions.  One of those was A-Ry's gawd awful New York accent.  Young leaned a little too heavily on providing funny trivia about wrestlers, but I think it's just a matter of getting her the right broadcast partners.  With a strong play-by-play man and/or former pro on color, she'd fill a niche.  Ideally, that would be with Tom Phillips and William Regal, if the old villain could turn off the charm and be his usual awesome self in the Canadian lass' presence.
  • The Enzo return was exactly what it needed to be.  Cue music, slide in, exuberant promo, leave 'em wanting more.  And you can't teach that.
  • Read earlier today that Marcus Louis is on the shelf with a fairly serious injury (rotator cuff, maybe?).  Maybe they filmed a lot of this feud before that happened; would like to see Enzo & Cass work a solid program, come out with a win and then maybe go get those belts from The Ascension (howudoin).
Segment Three / Main Event
  • The #1 contender to the NXT Championship, Tyler Breeze, entered the building and replaced Alex Rily at the announce table.
  • Our non-title main event saw Rob Van Dam work rudo a bit, and put over NXT champ Adrian Neville in a big way.
  • The two men shook hands, and that was it.


  • While it did distract from the bout on one or two occasions, Prince Pretty was his usual entertaining self on commentary.  He and Renee have a nice rapport (Cameron and Michael Cole should watch a tape of them to see how a face announcer interacts with a bitchy heel), and there are worse ways to use him while his injury (I believe it's something with his hand, maybe a broken finger?) heals up.
  • This felt very much like a Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) or independent supercard kind of affair.  With little backstory other than "these guys want to prove themselves against one another", RVD and Neville managed to suck you in for twenty minutes.  'Little backstory' is a challenge to be overcome, though, and it kept this one from reaching Cesaro vs. Zayn or even Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt levels.
  • After opening with a technical stand-off, business picked up from the moment Van Dam started to go a little heel by telling the referee to save his countout because he'd be back in when he was ready.  It really freshened up RVD for me to see him flash his old cocky character, and I think because of that and the quality of opponent he was facing, it invigorated his performance in a way we haven't seen much of since his first WWE comeback run.
  • A little tired of the Adrian Neville match right now, though.  The unpolished look of a lot of Van Dam's offense really contrasted just how almost boringly perfect the Geordie's aerial feats are.  Don't get me wrong, it is unbelievable how crisply he executes every missle dropkick, every standing shooting star press and every corkscrew 360.  But the wow fades a bit when you see each one every week.
  • Very smart of the bookers to make this clearly non-title from the jump.  On a main roster show, that would telegraph a win by the non-champion.  Here, it kept the outcome very much in doubt.  Until Red Arrow actually landed without RVD rolling away or getting his knees up, I thought this could go either way.
  • Was hoping for at least a staredown with Breeze post-match.  I can only assume that without a specific timetable for The King of Cutesville to be cleared, they didn't want to set expectations they won't be able to meet.  Just hope we don't have to wait for the next live special to see Adrian and the three-time MTV Europe award winner face off.

For a show that had two big debuts, a return and a visiting future Hall of Famer, this still felt somewhat slight to me.  Probably because so much of it was light on ongoing storyline implications; at least half the show was about introducing characters or angles rather than building on existing ones.

You need these kind of shows, too, though, and they are establishing Neville in such a way that whoever eventually knocks him off with be made in this universe on that alone.

While there was nothing wrong with it, it was still probably my least favorite of the crop since Takeover.

Grade:  B+

How was it for you, dear readers?

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