Cleat Geeks

NXT Review: Title Match Signing and Eva Marie Returns

At top of the NXT show, newly crowned champion, Finn Balor, addressed the Full Sail University crowd for the first time since winning the championship in Tokyo at The Beast in the  East live event.


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A chant of “Finn, Finn, Finn” erupted throughout the arena.  The excitement was palpable, and the pride of representing NXT as their champion exuded from Balor.

Greg Hamilton announced that despite the glorious victory that Balor had over Kevin Owens to gain his championship, he would be defending it against Owens at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, solidifying that match during a contract signing at the end of the night.

SPOILER: Shenanigans

The opening match would pit the renewed Eva Marie against KC Cassidy wit The Kendrick.  With all the promos and hype surrounding Eva’s conditional return, her training, and Total Divas drama, many eyes would be on this match.  Would Eva’s renewed dedication to her wrestling prowess pay off?  After cutting a backstage promo prior to the match, in which Eva suggested that the WWE Universe open their eyes because they are going to like what they see.

In full disclosure, I dislike Eva Marie.  I think that she does tend to play up her sex appeal more than necessary, but that’s because she needs to cover up her lack of ability.  I did go into this match with a somewhat open mind.  While it was predictable that Eva was going to win her debut match, I was hoping for more from here.  She may have simply been nervous, or in my opinion, she simply lacks the talent necessary to keep up in an ever-growing talent pool.

(Predictable) Winner: Eva Marie

I’ll give the Red Devil her due, it was an impressive victory for a woman who started out as poorly as Eva Marie did.

Next up, we head back to William Regal’s office where a very seductive and creepy Tyler Breeze awaited his opportunity to speak to the general manager.

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With all the hype around the Owens vs. Balor NXT championship match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, Breeze wanted to know what was being schedule for him.  Regal was only able to respond that he was “working on something,” and Breeze threatened that it better be something good.

Back in the ring, Baron Corbin would take out his opponent with an “End of Days” within 10 seconds, giving him one of the fastest pins ever (barely) seen.

Debuting new entrance music, our next match would pair Samoa Joe against Mike Rallis.  If this is Rallis’ attempt at making his name in NXT, he was booked against the wrong opponent.  A chant of “Joe is gonna kill you” can’t leave anyone with a sense of security.  As Joe continued to punish Rallis, next week’s matchup between Rhyno and Samoa Joe was announced.  This clash of man and muscles will be highly anticipated.

Winner: A Muscle-Buster and Joe takes home the win over Mike Rallis.

Backstage, Devin spoke with Emma, and her BBF Dana Brooke, about her upcoming match tonight with Bayley.  Emma warned that after breaking Bayley’s hand, she would break her childish spirit so that she might take Emma more seriously.

Despite the threats from the NXT resident mean girls, the return of Bayley brought the NXT crowd to their feet.  Still sporting a brace on her broken hand, Bayley found that she did not suffered from any ring rust.

With an impressive Hugplex, Emma fell to the hugger, Bayley.  After the match, Bayley took to the mic and announced that in order for her to be prepared to take the NXT Women’s title, she needed to beat the best in the NXT women’s division, she needed to beat Charlotte.

Backstage, Devin spoke to the newly-challenged, Charlotte.  Her response was, first, an emotional reaction to her recent the revolution that is taking place on Raw and the main roster for the NXT women.  Charlotte declared that there was nobody more deserving than Bayley, but there was nobody who wanted to take the NXT title to Raw more than Charlotte.  Dana Brooke interrupted the interview and declared that she too wanted a chance to prove herself.  It appears there are many dogs in this fight.

The last match of the night was Aiden English & Simon Gotch against Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton.  It would be a huge feather in the caps of any tag team to knock off the number one contenders, but unfortunately for Dawkins & Fulton, tonight would not be their night.

Winners via Whirling Dervish: The Vaudevillains.

Our headlining event of the night finally arrived and as anticipated, the activity went beyond a simple contract signing.

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Owens, always one to try and intimidate his opponent through spectacular mic work, he laid out long list of accomplishments against both NXT and WWE superstars.  He called Balor’s victory over him in Japan and fluke, and asked Balor how it felt to go into Brooklyn as the underdog yet again.  With confidence, Balor responded and as expected, the contract signing turned into mayhem.

The heat continues to rise in this feud, building more and more anticipating for that fateful night in Brooklyn on August 22nd.

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