Hello once again, NXTians, and welcome back to The NXT Review! This week – the number one contenders tag team tournament gets underway, as Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger battle the Realest Guys in the Room. Also, the continuation of the feud nobody wanted as Xavier Woods and CJ Parker come up against one another again and, in our main event for the evening, International Airstrike will come face to face with Sami Zayn and a mystery partner! Who could it be? Let’s find out in…
The NXT Review: 07/08/2014 – Party Hard
Aug 8, 2014 - 8:45:00 AM
The NXT Review: 07/08/2014 – Party Hard
JJ Dillon vs Realest Guys in the Room
Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger could become something great. I think it’s pretty fair to say that – they’re essentially a low rent version of the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but I think both guys have something that could propel them up the tag team ranks at some point. Not now, but in the future. They’ve even got a sweet tag team entrance now, all hand slaps and matching taunts. Of course, Enzo and Cass are far more loved than they could dream of right now – Enzo’s wearing pleather harem pants and you can’t teach that. That thing I slightly feared where their running back through the whole back catalogue of Enzo’s pre-injury promos is kind of happening – Enzo says they’re stars that take meteor showers here, but the crowd is into it so I’ll give it a pass.
Dillinger and Cass start of, Cass immediately using his size and power to overwhelm his smaller opponent, causing him to tag out to Jordan. He momentarily gets some wrestling work in, but Cass again uses his power to knock him down. He’s on fire right now, kneeing Jordan in the gut and then getting the crowd involved…but playing to the crowd scuppers him, as Dillinger distracts him and his partner hits a back suplex as a result. J.J. Dillon isolate the big man now, Dillinger rolling down his kneepad to drive his knee into the skull of his opponent and the two tagging in and out quickly. Jordan works over the back of Cass, driving his knee in there and hitting a series of elbows, and he gets a two count after driving a shoulder into his gut in the corner. They’ve cut the ring off really well here, stretching Cass where necessary and keeping themselves between the big man and Enzo.
Until now! Cass blocks a stomp to the head and Enzo comes in, flying off the ropes…and meeting a superkick from Dillinger with his face! Oosh, that looked painful. Enzo’s down, but Tye doesn’t go for a cover, instead working Amore back to his corner – Jordan comes in and drives Amore into the corner, but he’s busy jaw jacking with Big Cass…who blocks a spear in the corner! FRIENDS! Enzo is still out though, and Dillinger tries to point out the illegality of what Cass has just done…but that costs his team, as Cass comes in and big boots Jordan on the chin as he’s walking Amore around on his shoulder! Amore drops on top of Jordan for the cover and gets the three count!
That was short and sweet, but I really enjoyed it – the defining moment of Cass taking the spear for meant for Enzo was beautiful, and pretty much sums up the way they work as a team. Cass knows that Enzo isn’t really all that tough, and certainly not as tough as him – it’s why he almost always starts their matches and only tags to Enzo is he absolutely has to. You know, Enzo’s there to talk, Cass is there to beat dudes up. It’s not that Enzo can’t wrestle, it’s just that he’s got 10 HP where Cass has 100 – the former needs to latter to take punishment and throw big boots to win matches, while the latter needs the former to actually drive him forward and make the team progress. It’s a single act, but one that not only makes my heart go zoom because these guys are proper, genuine take-a-bullet-for-each-other friends (to the point where Cass is willing to let Enzo believe he did everything) but also defines their whole relationship. Shout out to J.J. Dillon, who really put in a shift in splitting the ring up and looked like a great team in waiting. Just hope that push comes before one of them gets released or something.
Renee Young is back! And she’s talking with Sami Zayn. They are lovely together, so it’s beautiful. Zayn’s tag partner that he’s been assigned isn’t medically cleared, which brings in International Airstrike to be all ‘ha, poor lonely Sami, he doesn’t really have any friends’ and point out that the last time he was up against The Ascension he got destroyed FACT. Sami points out that he has wins over both of these suckers in recent times, which causes multiple eye rolls from the team mates – and here’s Adam Rose, who will be Sami Zayn’s tag partner! Sami accepts and then takes the proffered lollipop after some encouragement from Renee. So, Sami’s got himself a partner. Or a partyner. Ha, see what I did there?
(That’s the worst joke ever, I’m so sorry)
Xavier Woods vs CJ Parker
This is happening again. The crowd look bored during the CJ Parker entry, although one of the guys does have a ‘CJ is the truth’ sign so fair enough. Actually, there’s a couple of them out there. Anyway, CJ has a misspelled sign and a microphone - wants change and is only getting booed because he’s speaking the truth - but then gets interrupted by bloody Xavier Woods, flicking afro water all over the place and looking serious.
Woods with the double leg takedown to kick us off and he is in a brawling mood tonight, desperately trying to fire up the crowd early on. Parker hits back once or twice but the early stages are all Woods, and he grabs Parker by the trunk to stop him escaping then clotheslines him out of the ring. X-Man throws him back into the ring, but Parker has already rolled out of the way of his top rope move and then dodges him charging into the corner, injuring Woods’ shoulder. An entire hour of rest holds follows as the crowd perform their second Mexican wave in the past three weeks. Woods eventually blocks a second senton with his knees and starts to fire back, coming off the ropes with forearms and a dropkick. After having his neck worked for the past week by Parker, he then kip ups using it to push off of because ~selling~ and then also does the same for the It’s Morphin’ Time clothesline. Sigh. Woods goes coast to coast with a splash which is actually reasonably decent and something new, but only gets a two count. Parker blocks a tornado DDT off the ropes, hits a twisting firemans carry slam which I’m going to name Solar Power and takes the win.
I now feel six weeks older than I did when I started watching this match. It’s not that it was bad, per se, just dull – it’s two guys who will never be that good doing their best, I guess, but that doesn’t make it good, If you’re bad at something and do your best, it’s still bad, right? That’s what this was – bad, but the best the two guys could do.
Oh hey, the number one contender Tyler Breeze is on the titantron – the Definition of Delish has decided it’s time to challenge Adrian Neville! And once he wins the title, all his wanna-Breeze followers can enjoy the era of gorgeous! Well I for one can’t wait.
Bayley vs Eva Marie
Bayley enters, happy as ever, and for a moment I think her flappy inflatable arm waving tube guys have gone but then they pop up. This crowd flipping loves Bayley, throwing her double high fives in mid-air as she enters the ring and reciprocates in kind and…oh Lord. Eva Marie is on a podium and is getting the second highest level hatred from the NXT Universe I think I have ever heard. Some way behind Bo, it has to be said. She blows them all a kiss for their efforts.
The moment the bell goes an enormous ‘you can’t wrestle’ chant goes up, as Eva greets Bayley with a forearm push. This angers our favourite, who charges at the redhead and forces her to cower in the ropes. Marie comes out with a side headlock and then a shoulder block as the (hopefully traditional) ‘Bayley’s gonna hug you’ chant goes up – sometimes this crowd just gets it, you know? The Total Diva star jogs to the ropes and jogs back (saying she comes off the ropes would be a lie) but gets met with a back elbow and then met with a slip ‘n’ slide on the mat. Eva Marie counters, just, an O’Connor roll by rolling through and driving Bayley to the mat, then stretches out Bayley’s shoulders. That gets the crowd to start chanting for Bayley instead of against Eva, who hits a suplex for a two count and then goes back to working on the shoulders as a ‘worse than Batista’ chant starts up. Bayley finally gets to her feet and pushes Eva back into the corner, but she misses a clothesline and Eva goes for another suplex but gets small packaged for a two count! The Doctor of Huganomics with the double legged take down and she follows up with a flying back elbow in the corner! She connects with the Hugplex for the win, to the delight of the crowd who thank her for ridding them of Eva Marie.
Well, that was as expected – you could see the gulf in quality between the two throughout. With Bayley being built to take on Charlotte, getting a win over someone with name value, even if they are terrible and move like a even worse Kelly Kelly in the ring, is a good way to go about. To be honest, the crowd wasn’t as vile to Eva as I expected after reading that she’s had a rough night – if they’d greeted her with Bo Dallas levels of heat, I could understand it, but that was pretty tame compared to what I expected. There’s a delightful backstage segment with Bayley and Charlotte, the latter continuing her streak of being the meanest person to the crowds favourite wrestler which adds a buttload of heat to their upcoming match. It’s kind of a shame that wasn’t on the show proper (none of the segments I’ve linked to are, for the record – but YouTubing them seems like essential background work) because it sums up their whole feud. Charlotte’s been so horrible to Bayley for so long that seeing her get her comeuppance and finally having Bayley beat her in the middle of the ring with the title on the line seems almost necessary.
Adam Rose and Sami Zayn vs International Airstrike
Natalya is, for once, nowhere to be seen with her husband Tyson Kidd, who has this real cockiness in his walk and face at the moment. He’s really tremendously punchable, I don’t think I’d realised before. Conchita Wurst looks like she should be on a BMX somewhere, certainly nowhere near a wrestling ring. I guess it all plays into the whole ‘woah, what a daredevil’ persona but still, he looks ridiculous. Zayn skanks his way down, Rose parties on in with the commentary team getting down at the same time. Now that Rose has got a party going, it’s time to party and it’s time to party hard.
Zayn and Kidd kick us off, and it’s the latter that gains the early advantage with a shoulder block off the ropes. Zayn ducks him coming in and connects with a series of armdrags, locking in an armbar out of the third one that allows him to control Kidd into his corner and tag out to Adam Rose. They stall for a moment, allowing the crowd to start up a ‘Nattie’s wife’ chant, and it clearly gets to Kidd who gets powered back into the corner by Rose and spanked for his trouble. Kidd bails on the ring and consolidates with Gabriel, but Rose comes out of the ring and spanks Gabriel too! The Cape Town Werewolf gives chase around the ring and Rose then runs right into a kick to the quad that allows International Airstrike to take control. Kidd tags out to Gabriel and they double team the bigger man in their corner, before Gabriel keeps him on the mat with a set of kicks, each one getting him a one count…but he gets caught in a spinebuster and just kicks out at two with a bit of assistance from Tyson Kidd. Gabriel then pulls Rose back to his corner, tagging out to Kidd and he unloads on the Party Master, with Gabriel getting in some sly shots as he distracts the referee.
Kidd continues to keep control of Rose with a sleeper in his corner, and manages to stretch for a tag to Gabriel. International Airstrike are working terrifically as a team here, isolating the bigger Rose and stopping him from having a chance to get to Zayn and tag out. Gabriel body slams Rose to the canvas and drops a leg for a two count, before echoing his partner with a sleeper hold to back him into the corner and tag out to Kidd. The Canadian chokes the party with his boot, and then teams up with his partner to help him connect with a dropkick to the ribs. A little flurry from Rose, a couple of right hands, is immediately put down by the high flyer, but he finally manages to create some space firing up from the mat and looks for a sleeper…but Gabriel counters with a back suplex for a two count. He tags out to Kidd after that, and exposes the ribs for Kidd to land a kick, and Kidd then stares at Zayn after a body slam – and that moment might have cost him! Rose gets the knees up as Kidd tries to slingshot in with an elbow, and Zayn comes in! Gabriel from the other side, but Zayn is on fire, nailing clotheslines to his opponent, following up with a calf kick and a dropkick to Gabriel that sends him out of the ring. And out goes Kidd too! Tope con hilo onto both opponents! And he encourages Rose to join in…senton from the top rope from Rose! And he breaks his arse on the ramp to boot! Gabriel gets thrown into the ring…Helluva Kick! Zayn gets the three count! Zayn and Rose win!
Rose and Zayn get down to the formers music at the end, partying to the backstage with the Rosebuds, and they progress in the tournament to take on the winners of Kalisto and Sin Cara vs Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy next week. Meanwhile, the updated brackets show that Enzo and Cass have got either The Vaudevillains or Mojo and Bull in the next round. This was pretty darned good, it has to be said – I loved the work by International Airstrike, cutting off the ring and isolating Rose throughout, and the ending sequence was hot as all hell – Rose’s dive was a little unnecessary but cool to see none the less, and overall I thought it was a great tag match that worked the crowd into a real frenzy for the finishing sequence. Honestly, though, this feels more like it should have been a semi-final match given the people involved – based on their backstage promo, I’m assuming it is paying in to the Kidd storyline of him not being able to buy a win at the moment and his frustrations about it, but it’s kind of odd that everyone else is going to overcome nothingy teams while these four guys battle it out immediately. That aside, a great way to end the show.
NXT MVP: Justin Gabriel!
The old Cape Town Werewolf put in a pretty good showing in the main event, all heel tactics behind the refs back and helping his partner in carrying most of the match. If he’s sticking around on NXT for a while, it will only be a good thing.
07/08/2014 - Justin Gabriel
31/07/2014 - Charlotte
24/07/2014 – Kalisto
17/07/2014 – Sasha Banks
10/07/2014 – Sami Zayn
03/07/2014 – Enzo Amore
A little bit like last week, really, in that the show had some high points and some low points. The opener and main event were both good to great matches, and really worked well. Unfortunately, that middle period was a bit ropey – both matches were probably the best they could be, but when one is two terrible people against each other and the second is one great person trying to haul a terrible person around the ring for a few minutes, it’s never going to end well. There is, however, a lot to take out of the show – the tag team tournament is hotting up, Bayley is hitting form in the ring and getting dominant victories, and hopefully Woods and Parker will never meet again. So not all bad.
Next week – Bull and Mojo take on The Vaudevillains, Kalisto and Sin Cara battle Real Live Cowboy Wesley Blake and the debuting Buddy Murphy, and we’ll also have the big one – Tyler Breeze cashes in his number one contendership to face Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship. I’m pretty darned excited to see what those two will do against one another, I’ve got to say. Until then, stay safe when crossing the road NXTians, and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!