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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (August 19, 2015): Turn it up, and give me some more

Highlights of the men's and women's championship particulars from last week bring us into tonight's 'go home' episode of NXT. Which should help us get ready for this show, and a deluge of  NXT coverage over the coming days...


  • Promos on fleek as the women who will fight for the NXT title on Saturday sign the contract to make that match official.
  • Sasha Banks disrespects Bayley a little more than she should have, and even William Regal can't calm The Hugster down. In fact, it takes a team of referees to pull her off The Boss.
  • Made to be a champion, Apollo Crews is still coming to Brooklyn.
  • Look everyone! It's Tyler! And he brought a Jushin "Thunder" Liger mask to his squash...
  • he could put it on the local talent and hit him with a post-bell Beauty Shot and send a message to the New Japan legend.


  • Pretty much the best promo I've ever heard from Bayley. Whether it was improved delivery or a conscious effort to eliminate the lack of forcefulness and stammering that have characterized past speeches to convey her new confidence and fire, she nailed it.
  • The Boss went toe-to-toe with her (and did great non-verbal work dissing her opponent's heartfelt speech before ever uttering a syllable, and shutting the crowd down by showing them the title), and managed an almost Owens-like feat in convincing all but her smarkiest backers to get off the fence and cheer for Izzy's favorite wrestler on Saturday night. For the record, I am not among her smarkiest backers, but I was a little torn over who I wanted to walk out of Brooklyn with the belt. BUT NOBODY PUTS BAYLEY IN A CORNER, BANKS! Ahem...sorry.
  • Was worried that they were going to end a contract signing without violence, would have felt very much like past segments when the Hug Life practioner acted Sting-dumb. Instead, we got a frothing Bayles who's aggression shook Sasha.  I started this program frustrated that it was being fast-tracked, but they've managed to hit all the right notes, even at the quicker rhythm.
  • Uncle Billy telling Bayley "no" when she wanted her contract signing moment was perfect.
  • Tonight's was a very squash-heavy episode, but I had no problem with it, since they used each one to crank up the intensity for Saturday.
  • Prince Pretty's was probably the least effective in that regard, but considering he's trying to generate heat for a one-off match, I'm not sure what else they could do.
  • It amused me that he went back for the Liger mask after pinning his "Thunder" stand-in. Those things are expensive, even for a super model.


  • Finding a way to get five regulars who won't even be on Saturday's WWE Network portion of the card some work meant The Realest Guys & The Hype Bros got to have some fun picking up a win over Jesse Sorenson, Bayley's boyfriend and a couple other jamokes.
  • Their opponents on the portion of Saturday's card that we'll see next Wednesday, The Mechanics and Jason Jordan & Chad Gable are on the same page regarding their (g)ability to pick up a win in their eight-man tag.
  • After choking out one of the guys who took an End of Days from his TakeOver opponent last week, Samoa Joe takes one himself as Baron Corbin sends a message.
  • Bull Fit is a very effective program, because it will give us a new and improved Bull Dempsey for next week.


  • Still think Mojo Rawley's future is as a heel, but I was grinning a lot during his interactions with Enzo Amore in the eight-man.
  • Interesting choice to put this in the middle of the show, but it successfully served two purposes. (1) It broke up what was otherwise a lot of necessary seriousness to raise tension for Brooklyn and (2) it reminded us that Saturday may end up being the end of an era for NXT but it is not the end of NXT.
  • Question is, will one or both of the babyface teams be putting over one of the newer heel teams on their way to a promotion?
  • Didn't think it was possible, but Carmella slapping 'Zo back to life for the finish after he's done his face-in-peril schtick makes an already great gimmick even better.
  • They're almost always better than any other WWE commentary we get on a week-to-week basis, so I've stopped singling them out. But Corey Graves has me dying during this one. So many good ones, but "That guy just got sent back to Comic-Con" will stick with me.
  • The former Olympian is still the standout, and shows even more flashed of early Kurt Angle when he gets excited about his delivery of his own catch phrase, but Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder and Jason Jordan all acquitted themselves well in their segment. Chad Gable's partner is figuring out how to mix cocky and confused while playing straight man, and Wilder seemed super at ease for a guy we've never really heard talk on TV.
  • Still doubt that Gable & Jordan will be rudos for long (probably depends on how long/serious their feud with Zo & Cass is), but they're going to get cheered either way for delivering laughes and suplexes, so let 'em practice being bad guys for a while.
  • It's taken a while - the first version was so bad I didn't want to jump to any conclusions - but I can now pronounce Joe's theme a winner.
  • The rage Corbin displayed after being shown up and embarrassed last week was awesome. We've said it before, but Saturday night is huge for him. The Lone Wolf still needs to pull off an impressive performance in a match, but he earned another chance to do that with his work over the last two weeks.
  • Serious consideration should be given to putting him in a some Undertaker-type gear, though. His Krang belly button was bad enough, but I couldn't stop watching his whole mid-section flap around while he was gloating over Joe. Understand that he dropped a ton of weight from his football days and excess skin happens, but that's why God made tank tops.
  • Speaking of wardrobe changes, please let the "new and improved" Bull Dempsey rock something other than a banana hammock singlet.


  • Despite showing flashes of being ready for a step up in competition, Sawyer Fulton & Angelo Dawkins still can't put away tag champs Blake & Murphy.
  • #1 contenders Aiden English & Simon Gotch can't even finish a sentences when the power behind the throne keeps smacking them right in their chivalrous faces.
  • Ladder in hand, Kevin Owens explains to Full Sail Live why they're the John Cena of wrestling fans, and how he's taking his NXT title back in Brooklyn.
  • Taking a page from The Undertaker, Finn Bálor bypasses his entrance so he can get close enough to brawl with KO. The champ stands tall as he declares that Saturday, he's kicking Owens ass and shutting his mouth.


  • Agree with Tom Brennan, Byron Saxton & Graves that the duo sent out to put over the champs is this close to putting it all together. Dawkins sells really well and Fulton has some impressive looking offense. Give 'em a better look (mohawked, tatted up guy in a singlet, Sawyer? No), clear characters and more work, then let's see if we have something.
  • Barbie and The Australian One are just fine as heel champs. They're somehow both boring and loathesome at the same time. Which is good because they're working smoothly so as to not draw attention to themselves for the wrong reason, and they stay out of the way of the star of the act...
  • Don't really have anything to say about Alexa Bliss tonight other than "damn girl". Everyone who's seen her (and her Mean Girl, Queen Bee act) knows exactly what I'm talking about.
  • Not sure, however, that watching The Vaudevillains get abused two weeks in a row is the best way to get us fired up for a title match. They have a lot riding on their mystery third. And while it may not knock my blue pants socks off, I think it will do the trick for most of the NXT Universe.
  • Ummm, Kevin Owens is a miracle on the stick.
  • Need to know how much of his promos on this show are scripted. Even if they are, his delivery is perfect, because you can not tell if he came out there planning to be triggered into his anti-Full Sail rant by the crowd or not. Either way, he makes the whole thing feel completely organic, which is an underrated and very rare trait in today's pro wrestling game.
  • HE ACTUALLY CALLED THEM THE JOHN CENA OF WRESTLING FANS. If there's a better heel line for this environment than that, you let me know. I'll wait. While you're thinking about that, consider the follow-up of whether or not anyone other than Owens could deliver that line and have it mean as much. This was an epic promo.
  • Trouble is, I'm still not that jazzed for their match. Now, that could just be me being a meta-mark, thinking I already know the outcome and worried about what it means for the guy I like more. Also might be that I'm spoiled by the NXT title matches of the last year or so, which all felt like there was more personal animosity involved than there ever has been between Finn and KO.
  • It's no fault of Bálor's, who proved tonight that his unpainted mean face is scarier than his painted one. I'm just not as invested in his shutting Owens' mouth as I should be. The emotion I feel concerning their bout pales in comparison to the feels I have for the women's title tilt.

One other, general thing...what we were told we'd get next week as a special "from Brooklyn" episode clears up the questions about what will air on WWE Network. But I also think it means that the really spoiler-ish bits of the last taping were likely complete swerves.

As for tonight, maybe its that being forced to defend this show and the developmental program in general on Cageside Live last Thursday forced me back to a place of genuine affection for the product, but I don't think so.  This was an entertaining hour, and it left me more excited for Saturday than I was before I watched it.

Now, I just wish I was as excited for anything else as I am for Banks vs. Bayley...

Grade: B+

What did you think of NXT's most important 'go home' effort to date, Cagesiders?

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