The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT (6/26/14)
Change was in the air Thursday night as NXT focused on a new and returning crop of talent sure to make the future of the brand both energetic and exciting.
The team of Aiden English and Simon Gotch, known collectively as the Vaudevillains, continued to win over the NXT Universe with their awesome entrance and another solid performance between the ropes, as they dispatched of local talents T. Perkins and Matt Sugarman is rather short order.
Newcomer Becky Lynch made a big splash by both capitalizing on the dissension within the BFFs and outwrestling Total Divas star Summer Rae en route to her first NXT win. Given her incredible Indy resume and her performance Thursday, the sky is the limit for the proud Irishwoman.
Bull Dempsey picked up what appears to be the first of many wins when he defeated main-roster star Xavier Woods in impressive, dominant fashion.
Enzo Amore made his long-awaited return to NXT, saving partner Colin Cassady from what was sure to be a two-on-one beatdown at the hands of Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis. The "realest guys in the room" had the NXT Universe on their feet and elicited the response of the night. Their path to the NXT Tag Team titles is a clear one if they can string together some wins.
The evening was capped off by a very competitive match between Rob Van Dam and NXT champion Adrian Neville.
With so many fresh faces infiltrating WWE Network and a champion to be proud of, NXT continues to be one of the best shows in all of professional wrestling.
Relive the June 26 episode now by checking out the very best of the best with The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT!
Adrian Neville vs. Rob Van Dam
Adrian Neville vs. Rob Van Dam sounds like a dream match. Both men are incredible athletes capable of feats no other Superstar could even imagine. They fly through the air like gymnasts and strike with precision and deceptive power.
They are very much mirror images of one another in terms of style and remain over thanks to their displays of speed and agility. So when it was announced last week that Van Dam would make a special appearance on NXT and his opponent would be The Man Who Gravity Forgot, fans jumped at the chance to see how the bout would unfold.
And for the most part, they would not be disappointed. The competitors exchanged some great maneuvers, neither really ever gaining control of the match but nearly putting one another away with some decent near-falls.
Neville ultimately scored the clean win following an impressive DDT and the Red Arrow, as RVD put over the future of the business.
But one cannot help but think the match should have been better.
The entire match felt like two ultra talented guys just doing moves and attempting a pinfall without anything in between. There was no story or psychology to the match whatsoever.
For a one-off match, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The fans got what they wanted out of a match between Neville and Van Dam, but at the same time, the overall quality suffered significantly as a result.
A good match, but one that had the potential to be awesome and simply was not.
Aiden English and Simon Gotch continued to thrill the NXT Universe, as the Vaudevillains entered to another thunderous ovation before dispatching of the jobber tandem with the worst names ever, T. Perkins and Matt Sugarman.
With the rise of the Vaudevillains and the return of Enzo Amore and Big Cass, the tag team division suddenly has some life again. Add in white-bread babyfaces Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger and Tag Team champions The Ascension, not to mention the team of El Local and Kalisto, and there are distinct teams with their own styles and characters.
If handled correctly, there is potential for a renaissance in tag wrestling in NXT. For that to happen, though, The Ascension is going to have to show some sort of weakness in order to legitimize the other duos.
It may be too early to start talking Tag titles for Gotch and English right now, especially since they have yet to really master what it is they want to be as a team between the ropes. One thing is for certain: The entrance and the presentation are outstanding. If they can build on that, they have the potential to be something special for the brand.
Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae
With Paige, Emma and Summer Rae competing on the main roster, NXT was in desperate need of some fresh new faces in their Divas division. They got one, a damn good one, Thursday night when Becky Lynch made her debut and defeated Summer in impressive fashion.
Lynch is a very talented, very skilled wrestler. She toured the indies and gained a reputation as a tremendous submission wrestler. Her debut on NXT should inject the Divas division with some much-needed life and create some interesting matchups with the women already there. Particularly Charlotte, who has already had a show-stealer with another submission-based wrestler in Natalya.
The only negative takeaway from Lynch's debut is the ridiculous Irish jig she did coming to the ring. If the music is any indication, the jig was probably part of management's way of reminding us all that Lynch is Irish, as if we could not put two and two together.
Dropping the jig and changing the music to something a little harder but keeping the Irish theme, not unlike Sheamus' stellar entrance song, would be the right decision to make. The last thing anyone wants is for the talented young woman to become a joke like Hornswoggle.
As for the BFFs, they continue to move closer and closer to an implosion. The egos have clearly gotten to the point where all three women want to be the star of the show, but there is only room for one.
Summer Rae's return fractured the relationship, and Charlotte's Women's Championship win did nothing to help matters, though through no fault of her own.
A big Triple Threat match between them would make for a high-profile title match and could help take them in different directions. After being together for nearly a year, that may not be such a bad thing.
BADDA BOOM! Realest Guys in the Room!
When Enzo Amore broke his leg last November, the NXT Universe was crushed. The New Jersey native had been gaining momentum with every passing week. He had catchphrases, was improving in the ring and was the most over guy on the entire NXT roster.
With partner Colin Cassady, they looked to be heading toward a Tag Team title run, but it all ended with his injury.
Suddenly, Cassady found himself thrust into singles competition. While he maintained the gimmick, speaking with the strong Jersey accent and yelling "S-A-W-F-T" before dropping a big elbow on his opponents, the absence of Amore was obvious.
On Thursday night, the "certified G and bona fide stud" made his return and was greeted with a big pop from the NXT faithful. He fed off of the crowd's energy and was clearly elated to be back in front of the people. He spouted off his catchphrases, to which the crowd sang along, and made it clear that Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis are "SAWFT!"
There is a noticeable electricity that fills the arena when Amore walks in. He is true to the character, probably because there is a good bit of himself in it, and he commands the audience. The people in the crowd sit up and pay attention when he hits the ring. That is something that no training session can ever teach.
That is natural charisma, and Amore has it in spades.
It is great to have him back. Hopefully he can remain healthy and prosperous through the rest of the year and well into the future.