WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 22
The June 22 episode of NXT may have featured bouts best described as enhancement matches, but it also planted the seeds for the upcoming TakeOver special in Brooklyn, New York, this August by shining a light on Superstars who are sure to be prominent members of the card.
Shinsuke Nakamura battled Buddy Murphy just one week after Finn Balor accepting his challenge for an impending match.
Bayley returned from injuries suffered in her last match, a defeat at the hands of Nia Jax, who was also in competition as she battled young Liv Morgan.
Tye Dillinger looked to build momentum and propel himself to the top of NXT via a win over the repackaged Oney Lorcan and in the night's most memorable moment, Austin Aries finally executed his heel turn by attacking No Way Jose and trapping him in the Last Chancery.
Hardly a dynamic episode on paper, it continued NXT's pattern of promoting its stars and putting them in place for their upcoming, high-profile programs.
Now, find out who emerged victorious, how each match graded out and what it all means for those involved with this recap of the June 22 show.
Oney Lorcan vs. Tye Dillinger
Tye Dillinger's losing streak stretched another week as he battled the former Chris Girard, now recognized as Oney Lorcan in singles competition to kick off Wednesday's show.
The Perfect 10, desperately seeking that one victory that would propel him to stardom in NXT, fought from underneath for the majority of the bout. He did manage to mount the comeback and even delivered a huge superkick that put his opponent down for a two-count.
In the end, it was Lorcan who scored the upset win off a running variation of the Buff Blockbuster.
Oney Lorcan defeated Tye Dillinger.
For a five-minute sprint, this was damn good. The competitors were unloading on each other with some heavy, stiff blows, and the result was an entertaining bout.
The story of Dillinger coming oh-so-close to that defining win that would inject life into his career is a compelling one, to say the least. A character fans are completely behind, the payoff will generate him a monster following. It will be important for management not to stretch the angle out for too long at the risk of losing those fans.
No Way Jose vs. Josh Woods
No Way Jose wrestled the same match he has repeatedly since arriving in NXT, defeating enhancement talent Josh Woods with a swinging full nelson slam for the victory.
It was what happened after the bell that defined the segment.
Austin Aries, who had a brief run-in with Jose before the contest, came to the ring and admitted the energetic young star had taught him that professional wrestling is about having fun. Aries went as far as to dance with Jose at the announce position.
Suddenly, and without warning, Aries blasted the fun-loving Superstar with a nasty forearm and applied the Last Chancery on the entrance ramp to facilitate the heel turn fans had been waiting for.
No Way Jose defeated Josh Woods.
The match was nondescript. Jose has done nothing to suggest he can hang with his peers, but he has not had the opportunity. Every one of the squash matches he has wrestled to this point has featured the same formula, so fans have no way of accurately judging Jose's talent.
They will if this segment sets up the Jose-Aries match it seems to.
Aries has been flirting with the dark side for weeks now, and his insincere promo, followed by the unprovoked ass-kicking he dealt to the popular newcomer, confirmed that role.
This was fun booking of a great heel in Aries, who went from 0-60 in a matter of seconds. His beatdown of Jose was classic and should win him heat from a NXT audience that has not quite reacted to him in the manner in which it has with other celebrated stars of independent wrestling.
Bayley vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Bayley returned to the squared circle for the first time since suffering a brutal beatdown at the hands of Nia Jax a few weeks back. Her first opponent? The scrappy Deonna Purrazzo whose win-loss record is not impressive but whose never-say-die attitude keeps her coming back to the brand.
After just two minutes of action and minimal offense from Purrazzo, Bayley delivered the Bayley-to-Belly suplex for the pinfall victory.
Bayley defeated Deonna Purrazzo.
This was an unimpressive match that served only to get Bayley back on television with a win.
The most popular star in NXT, she is in an interesting position in which she is floating aimlessly, with no obvious match or program on the horizon.
That is, except for a rematch with Asuka that will probably take place in Brooklyn for the next TakeOver special.
Liv Morgan vs. Nia Jax
Nia Jax rebounded from her loss to Asuka at TakeOver: The End with a one-sided victory over young Liv Morgan.
Despite some considerable energy from the young competitor, Jax shrugged it off and delivered a devastating powerbomb for the pinfall win.
Nia Jax defeated Liv Morgan.
Nia Jax looked really good in her match with Asuka, demonstrating growth and evolution as a performer NXT fans had not seen from her. This was yet another instance of development as she has seemingly adopted the powerbomb as a finisher. While her leg drop is impressive, it certainly fits more as a setup maneuver than a finisher in 2016.
Morgan will be a star in NXT one day but right now, she is impressing as the fiery underdog babyface.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Buddy Murphy
Shinsuke Nakamura returned to the NXT Arena for a battle with former tag team champion Buddy Murphy, going it alone for the second time in a month.
Murphy was completely outclassed here. Everything he threw at Nakamura was ineffective, so much so that the King of Strong Style mocked him at one point.
This led to Good Vibrations, a running knee to the midsection and Kinshasa for the win.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Buddy Murphy.
It's always entertaining to watch Nakamura ply his craft, and NXT officials have done an extraordinary job of building him into a huge star for the brand. He gets the most television time of any Superstar and defeats opponents in dominant and impressive fashion.
His match with Finn Balor, presumably at TakeOver: Brooklyn, should see him eclipse The Demon's star and become the new face of NXT.
And rightfully so. Fans love him, he has an undeniable star aura and his in-ring skills are second-to-none.