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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (September 16, 2015): Sending a message

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Before commiting to a New Day-free hour of television, it's nice of WWE Network to let us know that...if we can just make it 60 minutes without Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods...we'll immediately be rewarded with their episode of Table for 3.


- It's Tyler! Breeze is out while a reunited trio of Rich Brennan, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton talk about his turning on Bull Dempsey last week when they lost in round one of the Dusty Classic. His opponent is scheduled to be another man he stomped - that time after a tag win...Adam Rose in his new gimmick.

- Breaking up all the poop talk is our man Bull, who wants to beat Prince Pretty "so bad" for what he did after their loss to Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano. Rose gets tossed for slapping Dempsey and calling him "tubby". Breeze uses that as any opening for a sneak attack, but bails when the new Full Sail favorite gets the upper hand.

- After an interviewer disturbs him, the King of Cutesville cuts a selfie promo making Breeze vs. Dempsey for next week.

- Perfect 10 Tye Dillinger wins a squash over the British enhancement talent we're calling Danny Burch again after a few weeks of pretending his name was Martin Stone.

- Talking time with Baron Corbin & Rhyno reminds us that they respect each other because of their wars and informs us they going through Ciampa & Gargano on their way to winning the tournament.

- Asuka will be week!


- Any joy experienced by seeing my boy Breeze was negated by sadness for Ray Leppan and a continued sense of befuddlement from Dempsey's sudden popularity. Pretty much hate what they've done with Rose...again...and I'd really not like to hear anyone talk about "hot, steaming poops" on NXT ever again. If we're going to go with the arc that he bombed on the main roster, he needs to come back with an edge like a certain Aussie lass, not even more pathetic.

- Happy for Bull and everything, and it's not even the trite "this'll never work outside of Full Sail" (although I don't think this will ever work outside of Full Sail)...I just don't think he's that good. He's enjoying himself and there's some charm to that, but, not enough to make me want to see more of the act.

- Marked for the continuity of having Adam point out that he'd also been the subject of a post-match assault/tantrum from Tyler.

- Feel like as big of a downer as the-man-who-should-still-be-Leo-Kruger, and the rest of the recap will pretty much be non-stop gushing after this. However...I feel like I'm not as enthused by Dillinger's act as most. Kind of worn out by discussions of different kinds of heat, and my reaction could be tied up in annoyance with the crowd for cheering what's so obviously a gimmick designed to be jeered, but I find it more irritating than anything else. Hoping that will change when he gets a proper story.

- Not really feeling the drop knee finisher either.

- Looks like we might have another case of "put two dudes I don't care about together and produce a team I dig" alchemy in Corbin & Rhyno. He's not there yet, but the Lone Wolf (will need a new nickname if he's tagging, but I digress) is smoothing out his delivery. And something about sage veteran Man-Beast just cracks me up.

- It's probably not the most progressive or unbiased idea ever, but I'm kind of hoping that Kana is basically a Soul Calibur character. I blame the sound effect on her name graphic for planting this idea in my head.


- A frustrated Solomon Crowe gets in his hard-hitting offense, but ends up taking another 'L' from the impressive Apollo Crews.

- Corbin & Rhyno's opponents get some mic time (that isn't just a replay of a clip!) to say they earned their spots in the Dusty Classic and plan to keep winning.

- Feeling left out of NXT's women's wrestling reboot, Emma & Dana Brooke mess with Devin Taylor.

- The Boss is here in her Escalade, but, sadly, without her entourage from Brooklyn.

- Highlight package of the tag tournament, narrated by a sharply-dressed Kyle Edwards, brings us fully up to speed on who advanced to the second round. We're informed the Vaudevillains/BAMF bout for a spot in the Final Four will take place on one of the Texas tour dates.

- After a hot start, Ciampa & Gargano show some chutzpah withstanding the heels monster-like attacks, but eventually fall to End of Days.


- Bring on the pissed off Crowe please. This was my favorite match of his in WWE. And now that Apollo is here, they don't have to try to shoehorn Solomon into whatever sort of weird, power-to-the-people técnico mold they were going for, because Crews' enthusiasm and moveset make him a much better version of one anyway.

- Also hope that my boss, and anyone else who is a fan of wrestlers saying things and using sound effects to punctuate spots, saw this, because it was kind of master class in that sort of thing.

- After the Evolve guys deliver serviceable speeches, Dana happens. I've come around to where I enjoy her accent, over-enunciation and general Dana-ness - I may be reading too much into it, but Emma's "whatever, it's funny" line pretty much sums up my thoughts - but that doesn't mean it's good.

- They make an intriguing pair, and there's a lot they can do with them as the angry in-between girls, resentful they aren't revered like the Horsewomen or heralded like the new wave.

- So, I guess we'll just be getting the 'Villains vs. Blake & Murphy tournament match in highlight form? When they announced it here, I assumed it would be another non-Full Sail main event like last week's Lucha Dragons vs. Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe affair. But then we got a different reason for the same fight later, and Brennan announcing that TakeOver would include both semi-final matches and the final...color me confused.

- Another enjoyable offering in what's been a tournament full of them (I don't think we've gotten a dud yet). They mixed up the formula just enough - I was thrown when they didn't go to "commercial" after Gargano's sequence of dives and Ciampa's crossbody to the floor - in order to show what the newcomers can do. Johnny Wrestling again looked like more of a natural, but Tommaso fit in, too. Both flashed innovative offense and played face-in-peril well.

- As with Mojo Rawley in Hype Bros, Corbin as only half the act is a great way to reduce fatigue. In Rawley's case, it's his own, but with Baron, it's the crowd's. Tagging let's him piss people off in kayfabe and get out before it becomes real. And then he's a devastating monster coming in for the finish.

- Sad to see their bracket-busting run end so soon, but that they were brought back for another taping and given this much time is a great sign. I wouldn't have predicted it at the outset, but there's a ton of miles they can put on the WolfMan-Beast team, too.


- Devin talks to tag champs Aiden English & Simon Gotch about their next encounter with Blake & Murphy, when "wench" Alexa Bliss informs them they also have a rematch week.

- Nia Jax will be here...when she's dang well ready to get here, apparently.

- Super Full Sail Family Fun Time with Bayley & Izzy.

- Indy hardcore wrestler Sarah (Crazy Mary) Dobson got some stuff in on the new women's champ, but ended up getting squashed.

- Sasha Banks cuts the Hugster off before she can talk to the fans, cutting an emotional promo about what they accomplished in New York before the women spit fire at one another about a rematch.

- General Manager William Regal appears to officially make their 30 minute Iron Man match for October 7, and the main eventers aggressively shake on it to close the show.


- There was a lot to love in the interview segment with the current and former tag champs (hai Alexa!), but my favorite thing was English's "oh good God" take when the Cowboys, and girl, first Dubstepped to them.

- My cold cynical heart caused me to roll my eyes a little bit at our second straight week of making Izzy's dreams come true (and I felt bad for all the other girls there in purple shirts that weren't getting the same attention), but then I realized the hairs on my arms were standing up and I forgot all about it.

- Really wasn't expecting a match here. In fact, I did a double-take when I realized there was a wrestler standing next to Weird Hair. No idea if it was on purpose or not...the emotion Sasha valiantly fought through a second later makes me think that it wasn't...but the champ looked off in the two minute match with Dobson (getting her second look on NXT, on a Leva Bates-ish deal). It fit the story perfectly: her homecoming put her off her game like it would the version of Bayles we first met two years ago, but the more mature Bayley refocused and put away lesser competition quickly and with extreme prejudice (that Hugplex looked painful).

- My word, Banks' speech...and really the rest of the show from here on out. I've watched it three times so far, and it gets me every time. There's so much truth to what she had to say about what they accomplished in Brooklyn that The Boss is in a constant state of almost breaking, but she swallows her tears just enough to get through it, because she's the MF'n Boss.

- The champ handles it a little better, but then her character would wear her heart on her sleeve. Still, this was awesome work by Bayley, who's really found this sweet spot where she's still the uber-relatable fan girl but also a newly confident badass. "If you're out here asking for a rematch, Sister, I have no problem with that" isn't "Austin 3:16", but it's a definitive line from this performer, the Women's champ.

- It was at this point that what Sasha had to contain weren't tears, but smiles. I'm sure some of that was from knowing just how happy the GM's announcement was about to make a building full of people who didn't get the close-up view they're accustomed to for the Match of the Year candidate she'd been talking about, but some of it, I think, was from being proud of and inspired by this Bayley, who was putting some bass in her voice and standing up to the character that bullied her for so long.

- But it's not about developing, or stealing shows, because, YAS KWEEN, they said things like "prove I'm the best female wrestler in this company" and "let's see who's the best women's wrestler". I honestly wish they would have left off gender adjectives all together, but it's hard not get pumped hearing those words two days after we argued about the meaning of a #DivasRevolution that's (kind of) been fought over an imaginary record for holding an accessory shaped like a sparkly butterfly.

- Smilin' Bill Regal was the perfect capper to a perfect segment, because his grin was something he probably didn't want to be wearing either, but he didn't have a choice. I was grinning from ear-to-ear as a guy who mostly just watches the show. I can only begin to imagine how it must feel to have a hand in creating something this good, this groundbreaking. A "tremendous opportunity" indeed.

Thanks, NXT.

Grade: A

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