The NXT Review: 08/05/2014 – The Blue Mask
May 9, 2014 - 10:45:00 AM
Howdy doody NXTians! It’s Friday, which means it’s time for yet another entry into the world of NXT right here on LordsofPain.net – and what an episode this one might be! First off, a new number 1 contender for Adrian Neville’s NXT Championship will be crowned in a 20-ish man battle royal (I counted 21 participants, so I’m not sure if my maths is bad today or if it actually is 21). Will the monstrous Brodus Clay win out for another shot, or does somebody else get to go after the crown? Plus – the NXT Women’s Championship tournament continues with the debuting Alexa Bliss taking on Alicia Fox and eventual winner Charlotte taking on Emma. What fun! I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more along the way, so let’s dive into…
The NXT Review: 08/05/2014 – The Blue Mask
Emma, possibly the most wasted person on WWE TV right now, gets her customary huge pop and the crowd is going crazy for her, dancing along with her entrance and clapping in time to the music. Renee Young is commentating tonight! Hurrah! Jason Alberts and Rich Brennan are there too, and they are all playing the dissension amongst the BFFs as Charlotte enters the arena with Sasha at her side. They swan down to the ring, Charlotte reverse Melina-ing her way in (I guess that’s the best way to describe it?) and this gets underway fast.
The Nature Girl overpowers Emma in the opening exchanges, even with the crowd behind the Australian, and she plays to the crowd a bit. Emma, however, uses her speed to get Charlotte on the mat and dodges a charge in the corner – but the Dirtiest Diva in the Game has the DilEMMA scouted and takes her out with an elbow before she can even think about locking it in. Both are going for quick covers in the opening, getting over just how important it is to get the win here, but now it slows a bit with Charlotte locking the head of Emma up in a figure four headlock to keep her down. Emma finally turns it into a bridging pin, causing the break, but Charlotte levels her with a clothesline for a two count and then goes right back to that headlock. Young, for the record, is siding against Charlotte on commentary while Alberts is fancying Charlotte to go all the way based on her beating Paige a couple of weeks ago. Emma finally breaks the hold, but the Nature Girls stays on her, sending her to corner – but she bites a knee! And Emma knocks her down with a hard clothesline…and she brings out the lady Cobra from her boot! But Charlotte dodges and Emma strikes Sasha instead! And Charlotte’s Web gives the Nature Girl the win!
Well, that was pretty fun, to be honest with you – a little quick for my liking, but Charlotte looked the best here that she has on NXT, and Emma took the offense well. The only slight mark against it is that I hate the ending with a passion, mainly because it’s everything that’s wrong with main roster Emma in one five second instant – not only did she go for the lady Cobra, but she also did a stupidly unnecessary spinny dance into actually hitting the thing. When I first started writing these and Emma appeared, I hated her for things like that, and I hate main roster Emma for it. NXT Emma became something I loved because she was entertaining and yet didn’t fuck about – if she wanted to, she’d just submit the shit out of you. More of that, please, and less snake hand puppets in boots. Charlotte advances, then, and that possible all BFF final looks like it could happen in three weeks’ time at NXT:Takeover.
Hey look, more new tag teams! Three weeks ago you may recall the debut of J.J. Dillon (James Jordan and Tye Dillinger) in matching gear and fully equipped with double team moves. Well, now we have the extension of Sylvester LeFort’s Legionnaires, coming out with Marcus Louis waving French flags and both with ‘FRANCE’ written across their bums, and up against them we’ve got the debuting Kalisto and the mysterious El Local. Localisto, if you like. They spark ‘Lucha’ chants amongst the crowd, as you might well expect, and have almost got matching gear so I’ll let them off. I’m really excited for this one, I have to say.
Local and LeFort start us off, the masked warrior rolling through a wristlock and locking in a side headlock. Louis makes the blind tag from the apron, but Local is wise to it and knocks him down with a forearm, then a leg drop for a one count. Louis pops up after that and starts to really take it to Local, beating him down against the ropes and then pounding on him with knees. The Frenchman makes a tag, then strikes a boot to the midsection which lets LeFort hit a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. The two Frenchmen have cut the ring off here, grounding Local down in their corner as they combine to whip him into the turnbuckle. Tell you what, I like the look of this Marcus Louis guy – signs of a Sheamus or Cesaro style brawler in there, as he knocks El Local down with big right hand and then combines with LeFort to hit a bodyslam/leg drop combination. Local is really struggling against the bigger Louis, it has to be said, but the crowd are trying to fire him up with ‘lucha’ chants – and it pays off, as he blocks an Irish whip to the corner and then connects with a kick to the head! And he makes the tag! Kalisto springboards in with a crossbody, then a spinning variation off the second rope and a shiranui into a cover…but Louis breaks it up at two. Local comes in and dispatches him to the outside and then slingshots out with a spinning crossbody to take him down though, and that leaves Kalisto alone with LeFort…the Frenchman connects with a knee and goes for a body slam, but Kalisto rolls through into a roll up…no, he rolls that through and kicks LeFort in the head! And a enziguiri after frontflipping no-handed and bouncing back off the ropes gives him the win!
Excellent. Excellent, excellent, excellent. The Legionnaires looked great as a heel team who can cut off the ring, even if they were defeated in the end – they hopefully have some prospects in the division. But man, Localisto are a great team – there’s nothing wrong at all with having a pair of masked guys doing flippy stuff all around the ring, and this was exactly what the division needs. Kalisto looked amazing in the minute he was in the ring, and I look forward to seeing him in action down the line if he can keep this level up – his work as Samuray Del Sol was great, so I see no reason why not. And I always have liked El Local, too, even if his ring time has been little and not very often. Hopefully these two continue on forever, because it is great.
Captain Comic is that guy Camacho attacked from Adam Rose’s party troupe last week, and he got a little pep talk from his paymaster before the match. As the third masked competitor, I think it’s fair for us to confirm this as the night NXT went all masked up. Anyway, inevitably, Camacho wins it with a running power slam after taking far too long to dispatch of someone he should pretty much just straight up murderise. Rose saves the Captain from further punishment afterwards, and I’m pretty certain this will get a blow off at NXT:Takeover now.
Alicia Fox sashays down to the ring, spinning her jacket around, but let’s talk about Alexa Bliss right now – she’s basically dressed as a cheerleader and blows glitter everywhere on her way to the ring. The announce team try to put her over as a fairy or something, and Brennan tells us she’s a graduate of the University of Bliss with a major in Bedazzling. Alberts hopes that translates to her getting thumped in the face when she’s in the ring because he’s pretty amazing. I think this entrance wants to be more than it is – it needs a glitter shower, similar to the Randy Orton wall of sparks or something. And some pom poms. But yeah, she’s pretty much just a cheerleader I think, and I don’t get the fairy thing. Unless they start sticking her in wings and give her a wand later, that is.
Fox is not impressed, intimating that Bliss is too small, but the crowd are firmly behind the debutant – who bites an elbow early on and then gets slammed to the mat. Alicia tries to follow up but gets struck with a back elbow and then a boot to the face…and Bliss immediately wins me over by doing a 450 off the top rope and rolling through, across the ring. OK, I want to see that as a finisher, please. Oosh, and a handspring moonsault goes a little bit wrong and Alicia ends up getting kneed in the chest. That’s worth a pair of two counts, though, but when she gets up Fox comes back with a knee to the gut and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Bliss kicks out at one, though, and does the same over a snapmare takeover. Good pace here so far, similar to the earlier match, and Alicia slows it a little with a rear chinlock, and transitions into a gorgeous Northern lights suplex for a two count. Fox is all over Bliss now, who is 5 foot 1 inch the announce tram reveal. Open point – she is not shorter than Adrian Neville or Samuray Del Sol, who are billed at 5’8” an 5’6” respectively. I refuse to believe two of these numbers are correct. Fox now with a side headlock takedown and Bliss is now clearly struggling after her early fire, with the veteran taking control. But she fires back with short-arm elbows to Fox and a tilt-a-whirl into an inside cradle – what a manoeuvre! And that’s the win for Bliss!
Alright, yeah, I am on the Alexa Bliss train, if there is such a thing. Agile, quick paced, and definitely different to a lot of the other women on NXT or the main roster. I’m down with it, I’ll gladly cover myself in glitter or whatever I need to do in order to become a member of her fanclub. Fox continues her streak of being really underrated – she held this together for a period in the middle, and unfortunately got upset at the end as a result of a ridiculous move that came out of nowhere. This was good, though – I really enjoyed it.
Adrian Neville is having a little chat with Devin Taylor, saying how tough a battle royal is to win and that he doffs his cap in their direction. He’s looking forward to the challenge because he is the fightiest fighter. My words, not his. Neville really is running with this whole fightiest fighter thing, though, essentially his promos since winning the title have been along a similar vein – he doesn’t care who he fights, because he likes fighting and competition. It’s good, and definitely a character shift that he needed now that he’s a champion.
Everyone above is involved, plus a couple of extras – El Local is there, and Marcus Louis too – so that makes this a 21 man competition. If I remember rightly, the last time they ran this sort of thing Mason Ryan dispatched almost everyone – will a big man dominate this one too? Everyone seems a little wary of Brodus Clay before the thing starts, it must be said. Mojo Rawley and Sami Zayn get full entrances, although Zayn is swiftly followed by Breeze and Kidd who slink in during his music. And then we get the majestic, wonderful and perfect new Bo Dallas entrance video and tron. Thank you Bo. Thank you for this.
And mayhem ensues! Everybody fires off on everyone else, although Zayn and Dallas pairing off in one corner is a nice call back to their feud earlier this year. Oliver Grey bites the mats, as does Curt Hawkins, both courtesy of Brodus Clay, who then brushes off the tiny ineffectual fists of Tyson Kidd. Rawley and Baron Corbin work on Xavier Woods but Aiden English, in an act of even more continuity, breaks it up by attacking Mojo…and everyone combines to eliminate Clay! Amazing, I didn’t expect that this early! Renee screams ‘Yoshi Tatsu!’ on commentary. During the elimination of Clay three men were not involved – the two Legionnaires and El Local, who were trying to eliminate each other. More continuity! Man, I love battle royals, they’re so masterfully done when they’re worked sensibly and people don’t just forget what storylines they’re involved in.
It’s settled down a little since the elimination of Clay, with Dallas and Kidd going toe to toe, and now it is properly bedlam breaking out, with everyone going after each other…as Aiden English eliminates Danny Burch clean over the top rope! And Mason Ryan throws English on top of Burch shortly after as Woods avoids elimination in the corner by hanging on to the top rope. Camacho is nearly taken out by Baron Corbin but just drops to the apron instead of the floor, and Dallas and Zayn are working in the corner again as the crowd start the first ever ‘Yoshi Tatsu’ chant in WWE history. Oh no, Kalisto eliminates himself and Sylvester LeFort in one move! Booo! Ryan is working over Jason Jordan on one side of the ring, Dallas is trying to get rid of Woods, Rawley, Breeze and…someone else are all going at it against the ropes. I think it’s Colin Cassady, actually. Camacho has nearly been thrown out by Mason Ryan but he just hangs on. This thing is competitive, and Woods and Camacho are having a chop-off in the middle of the ring…Woods eliminates them both with a clothesline over the top rope! Bye Woods, please never come back!
Alberts points out that the smart guys would team up and eliminate Mason Ryan, which is pretty darned sensible in truth. Zayn nearly gets rid of Corbin but they just stall each other on the top rope as Jason Jordan eliminates Mojo Rawley! Yes! We’re left with Ryan, Cassady, Breeze, Dallas, Zayn, Corbin, Jordan, Tatsu and Kidd. Oh please let it be Tatsu. It would make zero sense but go on, just this once. Kidd kicks the poop out of the Japanese warrior as Corbin dispatches of Jordan to the apron…Jordan goes for a springboard but gets met with a right hand and hits the floor. And shortly after that Dallas wipes out Corbin with a clothesline…and follows it up by getting rid of Tatsu to a chorus of boos after ducking a roundhouse kick. And then he rids us of Mason Ryan and Colin Cassady, the first by reversing a running body slam attempt by slipping down and then shoving Ryan over the ropes, and then with a big clothesline on Cassady. But Kidd then sends Dallas spiralling over the top rope! We’re down to Kidd, Breeze and Zayn!
Breeze catches Tyson in the corner and grounds him down to the mat as the crowd start a ‘thank you Tyson’ chant. Kidd reverses an Irish whip but then gets his legs thrown off of Breeze’s shoulders to the apron. He scoots back in and charges across the ring and back…right into a Beauty Shot! Bite that, sexually unsatisfying Tyson Kidd. The Beautiful One is trying to get the Canuck up as Zayn struggles to his feet, but Breeze drops one man and focuses on Zayn. He goes to throw him over the top rope and thinks he’s done it but Zayn bounces back into the ring off the top rope using his calves and sends Breeze to the apron instead! Zayn is there iwht a right hand for Prince Pretty but he just can’t rock him enough for his grip to falter and Breeze eventually gets back in the ring after a shoulder to the gut. And then he ducks a Helluva Kick against the ropes and it’s Zayn just hanging on! Breeze is desperately trying to break the grip but he ends up biting a kick from Sami. And that gives Kidd an opening to attack – but Breeze sends him to the outside! Zayn and Kidd are both hanging on now, Zayn with one hand…and Kidd gets a headscissors on Breeze to take him over! But on his way down he takes out the other two! We have a tie!
All three men remonstrate with the ringside officials, each staking a claim to have won the battle royal outright. There’s a whole lot of pushing and shoving – and here comes Triple H! He ain’t standing for none of this shit – we still need a number one contender, and he asks the crowd what they think. They really want a triple threat – and Hunter says they know what’s best for business! Next week, there will be a triple threat match and the winner will be the new number one contender for the NXT Championship! Well, what a twist that was, although in reality they’ve sort of pinched the ending to the beat the clock challenge they had a few months ago on this one, just with a different set up. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing these three guys go at it next week – they’re undoubtedly the three best guys on the show recently. This battle royal was excellent, a lot of little storytelling elements in there and a nicely executed finishing sequence too. It was a little frenetic at points, but that’s the nature of this sort of match I think. Either way, a great way to end a great show.
I know he was only in the ring for a minute, but that was probably the most exciting minute of the show – the crowd was going nuts for him from the moment he turned up, and he didn’t disappoint. Hopefully he and El Local get a good long run together as a tag team, but I think Kalisto’s future potential is massive.
08/05/2014 – Kalisto
01/05/2014 – Sasha Banks
24/04/2014 – Tyler Breeze
17/04/2014 – Aiden English
10/04/2014 – Bayley
03/04/2014 – The Ascension
27/03/2014 – Bo Dallas
What an excellent show that was this week – top matches, all given roughly enough time to shine with the exception of Emma vs Charlotte – I’d have cut the Camacho crap out and given that an extra few minutes to really get as good as it could be. Otherwise, pretty much as good as NXT has been recently, and that’s promising heading towards the live show.
Next week, on NXT – a new number one contender will be crowned as Breeze, Zayn and Kidd face off in a triple threat match. Who will emerge as the challenger to Adrian Neville for NXT:Takeover? Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!