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WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (September 2, 2015): Dream on

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Nice little Dusty Rhodes video package starts us off. That it doesn't bring tears to my eyes means time has moved on, I suppose. Really hope someone well known as one of his "kids" wins this thing...


  • Florida has fond memories of the longest reigning NXT tag champs, so Konnor & Viktor get to play babyface, but come up short against Baron Corbin & Rhyno when a distraction by The Lone Wolf lets The Man-Beast hit a Gore.
  • Another returning champ, Neville, talks about how important Dream was to his career. He likes his partner, Solomon Crowe's confidence, but is a little weirded out by everything else about him.
  • Though she's destined for greatness, we still haven't had a good look at Nia Jax - or gotten a debut date.
  • Alexa Bliss gets a measure of revenge from Brooklyn with a decisive win over the discount diva, Blue Pants.
  • General Manager William Regal puts over Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa in a big way, and gets in a big jab on thorn in his side Tyler Breeze by pairing him with Bull Dempsey for a match against the indy stars next week.


  • Full Sail's love of The Ascension is pretty much exhibit A in the case of "y'all suck". I did enjoy the "YAH" bit again, though.
  • Actually, I liked the whole opening hoss off between these two teams. Working as fan favorites suits The Ascension, since they can pull off an Enzo & Cass kind of dynamic with Viktor taking a beating followed by the big man cleaning house. Corbin & Rhyno did a decent job selling their uneasy alliance. As much as I'd like some more development there, I'm leery of the promo work it would require.
  • Why does the more vicious-looking corner spear that Rhyno hit Vik with not finish him, but the weaker-looking one with less of a run-up kills Konnor? I know it's because the latter is a GORE (Gore, Gore), but it still bugs me.
  • Bet they were planting seeds for Crowe's villainous sister to come in and encourage his turn to the dark side with that Neville interview. That poor guy can't catch a break. They should turn him anyway...jealous unstable guy would be the best gimmick he's had yet.
  • Heel Alexa is so entertaining. She's still a little too deliberate in the ring, but how comfortable she is with her character covers for it so much better than when she was a peppy good girl. At this point in her development, would like to get another look at her working with Sasha Banks, Bayley or Becky Lynch . Outside of enthusiasm and a decent suplex, Blue Pants hasn't impressed.
  • Have dogged Bliss' moonsault knee drop before, so credit where credit is due - to her, production and whoever blocked out the match. That stuff looked nice tonight. Now, we have to rename all her moves...Sparkle Splash doesn't fit this character at all.
  • CIAMPA! And also Johnny G, but I'm a BIG Sicilian Psychopath fan. Do we have any details on the deal they're working under here? Assuming it's a one-off, advanced tryout situation...but maybe they're coming in with Rich Swann & Biff Busick? Either way, having Regal call them the hottest free agents in wrestling on WWE Network is a nice rub, and not something they'd do for anybody (they didn't do it for Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, for instance).
  • "Miz-tur Ree-gull"...why isn't there a show on the Network, or at least on YouTube, that's just Tyler Breeze barging into the GM's office complaining and asking for things?
  • At least Bill Dumpster will end up putting Prince Pretty over in their inevitable singles feud.
  • Tommaso scares me.


  • Last week's botched finish to the women's Fatal 4Way hasn't gotten any better, but Emma's promo about having started the Divas Revolution at ArRIVAL confirms it got us to the right outcome for this show's story.
  • Our introduction to Apollo Crews continues with a quick win over Martin Stone.
  • Flashing an excellent knowledge of famous quotations, Jason Jordan & Chad Gable are confident they're not underdogs against Neville & Crowe, or in the tag tourney.
  • An Irishman will plant NXT's flag in Texas, and his new tag partner is going to kill you. Will Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe win The Dusty Classic before they fight over Finn's NXT title?
  • Hard work and constant improvement are paying off for Eva Marie as she racks up another win on her path to the Women's title.


  • Crews second televised match was exactly the right kind of squash. Stone didn't look like a chump, so the star looked like he'd accomplished something in addition to just getting in all of his spots.
  • The former Uhaa Nation will continue to be Geno's favorite wrestler, and will probably rise in my ranks, too, as long as he continues to do things like make sound effects for his lariats and cream "GOTCHA" on his drop kick.
  • Tonight's interview with everyone's favorite arrogant former amateur standouts made clear a couple of things. (1) Gable is doing something different than just late 90s Kurt Angle, because he's not playing dumb. He's just so confident in his talent and intelligence that he doesn't care if he comes off a little goofy. And (2) these guys have so much more natural charisma that The World's Greatest Tag Team did. I loved Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas, but Jordan & his partner will probably survive and flourish when it comes time to break them up...and they're only going to get better.
  • Please turn Finn. They're clearly not going to do anything interesting with his good guy gimmick.
  • Spent like 20 minutes arguing with Mrosko about All Red Everything already this evening, and this after a lot of time discussing her push in the comments last week. I'm spent. So what it comes down to is this...
  • A lot of folks think that the heat she draws is worth spending the next year or so watching her learn on the job, because at the end of it, even if she's capable of winning five minute matches with a leg drop a la 1992 Hulk Hogan, she's a huge draw. I, and others, think her heat is a result of being really bad at & historically disinterested in pro wrestling, and that if after two years in the company, six months working with The Brian Kendrick & a couple of months on the road with NXT have only gotten her to this point, where she struggles with the basic workings of a match, we're not even going to get to where she can work five minute matches with a leg drop.
  • Time will tell who's right.
  • Do have a question about her botched kick out here, though. When Dana Brooke didn't break up the pin and Becky didn't make up for it last week, it was presented and accepted that the referees are instructed to count three regardless, since it's the wrestler's responsibility to not get pinned. Are there different rules for Eva Marie?


  • Nobody wanted to party with Mojo Rawley after the Hype Bros & Enzo & Cass' big win in Brooklyn last week.
  • Another pair of former tag champs return for the tournament, with Lucha Dragons set to face Bálor & Joe next week.
  • Unable to get on the same page, Neville & Crowe fall in the opening round when Solomon tags himself in...and walks right into Gable & Jordan's finisher.


  • Our main event was a fantastic piece of business. The right team won, Neville got to look the main roster stud he (booking aside) is, development/an alignment change were set-up for Crowe...all in the midst of a crisply executing actual freaking wrestling match.
  • Even with as high an upside as Gable clearly has, and he's going to be a big deal, I was blown away by Jordan tonight. Some of it is stuff I've noticed before but that really popped tonight, such as his selling. Watch him in his second stint working with Neville (watch their earlier time in the ring together, too, if you like pro graps, because he and Jordan have great chemistry - and the Geordie's time with Chad, because the former NXT champ is just really, really good)...he exaggerates his reactions just enough so they emphasis the effect of his opponent's offense without seeming too cartoonish. Gonna drop high praise coming from Cageside's foremost Rock apologist, but it's almost Dwayne Johnson-esque.
  • JJ also nails as many of the proverbial "little things" as CG. I liked Jordan's bit with the towel, where he fanned down Gable, more than his partner's matador routine. And there was a bit just off center early on, where the crowd was chanting "We Want Neville" and Jason wagged his finger at them. As a certain Italian from Jersey likes to say, you can't teach that.
  • Speaking of Enzo & Cass, had a really hard time making out the full Dusty Classic bracket they flashed, but here's what I think the first round match-ups are: Bracket 1: Finn & Joe vs. Lucha Dragons and Realest Guys vs Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton; Bracket 2: Dash & Dawson vs. Elias Sampson & Tucker Knight and Blake & Murphy vs. Vaudevillains; Bracket 3: Hype Bros vs. Marcus Louis & Alexander Wolf and Neville & Crowe vs. Gable & Jordan; Bracket 4: The Ascension vs. Rhyno & Corbin and Breeze & Dempsey vs. Ciampa & Gargano.
  • Guess the tag champs presence - and with a rematch against the former champs in round one! - means the prize isn't a title shot, right?
  • My money's on Gable & Jordan vs. Enzo & Cass in the finals. Really hope they don't use this as a catalyst to tell the Bálor vs. Joe story...but I wouldn't be shocked if they did.

Enjoyed this show quite a bit. Both tag matches were fun for entirely different reasons, and even the rough patches felt like the promotion getting back to its occasional mission statement of being a feeder system for WWE.

Grade: B-

Bring it, best damn pro wrestling community on the interwebs. Fair warning, I'm not going to engage on the All Red Everything topic. Unless I do.

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