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Posted in: Oliver's Twist
The NXT Review: 10/07/2014 – You’ve Got A Friend In Me
By Oliver
Jul 11, 2014 - 7:30:00 AM

Well hello again, NXTians! How are you all doing this fine week? We’ve got a pretty big hour of action coming up in this week’s episode of NXT, bookended by two big match-ups – first, Summer Rae will do battle with Bayley to determine the number one contender for Charlotte’s NXT Women’s Championship in what might well be a bit of a slobberknocker. And in our main event of the evening, Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville team up to take on the reformed International Airstrike of Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel. FACT. Shall we?

The NXT Review: 10/07/2014 – You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Summer Rae vs Bayley/font>

Bayley bounces and smiles her way down to the ring, still fascinated by the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube guys, and distributes some headbands amongst the crowd whilst throwing out some high fives. Both her and the crowd wave their arms above their head, a less synchronised version of the Wyatt arm waving which I assume is to represent her mascots. Summer, on the other hand, hair tosses and struts her way to the ring, looking disgusted by a fat person in the crowd. Well, I think that’s what she was disgusted by. It might just be a general fear of human contact or interaction. Or maybe she’s concerned that CJ Parker is going to show up.

Rae motions that she doesn’t have much time as the crowd goes wild for Bayley, and it’s the latter that gains the early upperhand, avoiding her opponent and slamming her into the turnbuckles headfirst. She gets a one count for that, and then blocks an Irish whip reversal with a back elbow in the corner and lands a sharp armdrag. And she goes for the slip ‘n’ slide, rolling all over Summer’s back! The crowd chant for one more…and Bayley obliges! It’s a completely ineffective move which deals no damage, but it kind of makes sense in terms of character for her – throw it in with the arm guys and the general sense of wonderment of being there and Bayley having a bit of fun and playing up to the crowd makes a whole lot of sense. Rae gets dropped with a body slam and rolls out of the ring, but tricks Bayley into following her and strikes with a kick to the head when she re-enters. She stretches the arms and shoulders of her opponent, using her long legs, and Charlotte is watching on from backstage with what Rich Brennan describes as a ‘look of concern’. I’m not convinced – to be honest, it looks like she really couldn’t give two hoots about who she faces.

Bayley manages to somehow reverse the hold into an O’Connor roll, sitting on Summer with all her weight, but all that really does is break the hold as Rae kicks out fairly easily and stays on the offense, slamming her into the mat face first. And then she does the most scandalous, dirtiest, downright evilest thing I’ve ever seen in a wrestling ring – she takes out Bayley’s headband! The swine! And she slaps her with it! The double swine! I’ve never seen actions so nefarious! She’s got Bayley locked up in the ropes, stretching her out using her legs again, which earns her a two count, before smashing her face to the mat again. Her failure to hook a leg only gets her a two count, and she locks in a guillotine…rolls through to a mount position…but Bayley throws her off! Blocks a roundhouse kick! And Summer gets slammed to the mat! Come on Bayley – the crowd are firmly behind, starting a frankly frightening sounding and yet amazing ‘Bayley’s gonna hug you’, in the ‘Joe’s gonna kill you’ vein. Well done, the NXT Universe. Bayley is a house on fire right now, knocking down Summer with axehandles to the chest and spearing her in the corner before connecting with a throwing suplex for a two count. Oh no, she then gets wiped out with a roundhouse kick but the ref is inept and doesn’t count for an age, allowing Bayley to kick out. And when Rae remonstrates Bayley gets a chance to recover – boot to the face and a diving elbow off the ropes. Hugplex…no, it’s blocked. And Summer connects with the Summer Crush to take the win, the referee again spending to long fannying around with Bayley’s shoulders and essentially counting to six. Summer death glares him after the bell because he was bloody appalling.

I’m sad that Bayley didn’t win, because I still want my bloody Bayley/Charlotte pay-off that they never gave me. That said, there’s some real potential in having Summer go up against her BFF partner – both of them have become excellent characterised wrestlers, and we should have a fairly strong match from the pair of them. The BFFs explode is a storyline that’s been coming for a while, even before all the tension, simply because it was begging to be told – the way they’re running with it, though, is excellent. Bayley’s time will come – other than Sasha Banks, I can’t think of anyone else on NXT who is ready to take that title, so she should get a run somewhere in the future. This match was pretty good, it has to be said – Summer looked a little off at points, talking less smack than she used to and not quite showing as much intuitive pacing as she has done. I blame working endlessly with Layla. But the action there was good – the crowd getting behind Bayley is a thing of beauty and the two of them played into that very well.

Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn are backstage, looking intense. Basically, they are a bit mad about Kidd and Gabriel’s actions last week and think it’s a bit naughty of them to beat up on one guy in the ring. Zayn is leaps ahead of Neville in terms of promo stuff, it shows here to be honest – especially as Neville is seemingly just waiting for a cue when they cut to him instead of actually acting his role. He’s supposed to be concerned about Zayn but is staring off into space, then holds the interviewer up to ask if he’s OK before calling what they did as cheap. Meanwhile, across the arena, the New Millionaires Club are talking to Devin Taylor. Gabriel made a choice last week and decided not to be a loser anymore. He’s not slagging NXT, but Zayn and Neville don’t have his skill, experience or look. Your look, Justin Gabriel, is that of a bearded drag queen. The only people that want your look are other bearded drag queens. I’m reasonably sure that’s a very small percentage of the population.

In other news Tyler Breeze, the number one contender and award winning music video artist, has entered the building.

Wesley Blake vs Sin Cara

Blake used to catch rattlesnakes with his bare hands. He uses his power to throw Sin Cara around about, levelling him with a forearm and…look, can we make Blake, like, a modern day Stan Hansen? Just have him lariat people out of their boots, literally leave nothing but their boots in the ring, on the reg? He’s already a pretty solid striker – just have him truck through guys. It would be great. He works over the left arm of Cara here, stretching it out and dropping knees on it, but this one is only ever going to go one way – Hunicara turns up the pace, knocks him down with as kick from the apron and lands a swanton for the win. I assume they’re using this to establish Cara for…actually, what can they establish him for? A run at the NXT Championship? The crowd would never buy that. A tag team with Kalisto has been rumoured, but putting him out solo doesn’t really do much for that side of things. Odd. At least we got to see Drake Younger as the referee though.

Tyson and Natalya are backstage, Nattie’s all like ‘I’m sad that you spent a whole five minute segment boring everybody last week whilst blaming me for your failings’ and Tyson’s all ‘yeah, come to the ring if you want, if you don’t want to don’t bother’. Seriously, do you think this is what it’s like for them at home? Actually, don’t answer that – we already know they have the most boring home life ever because of Total Divas.

Meanwhile, in a perfect echo of the segment in which Summer talked Sasha Banks into turning heel and forming the BFFs, Rae is staring into a mirror with Banks leaning over her shoulder. Summer’s feeling pretty good about herself as the new number one contender, but Banks is all ‘you don’t deserve it really, do you?’ and they bitch and moan about not being partners, Banks not wanting to be friends and so on and so forth. Man, how have they managed to split up the BFFs and yet keep them all as heels? This is masterful – Charlotte, Summer and Sasha are all still self-centered dickheads, they just don’t team any more. No massive character reboots, just sticking with what works and using it in the storylines. It’s been very well played.

Sigh. CJ Parker turns up. He is here to make me want to prick holes in my eardrums by talking. Basically, he wants to apologise to Xavier Woods for all the truth bombs he dropped last week. Oh no…don’t do it…please don’t CJ…NO. He invites Woods to the ring and he turns up. Worst segment of the year and it’s not even really started yet. Parker apologises, sincerely, so Woods decides to insult him a whole lot. CJ stays cool, offers his hand, but Woods decides to agressively peace sign him in the face. Parker gets mad, completely fails to really connect with a scissor kick to the back of his rivals head as he walks away, and referees turn up to stop any further attacks. The worst four minutes of programming I have ever seen.

Here are The Vaudevillains, trying and failing to get through a door at the same time. They talk about become champions and being the greatest tag tem in all of the land. They shake hands and say ‘excelsior’ and, generally, clean the palate after the shit that came before it. They had 30 seconds, and they absolutely shone within that time.

Bull Dempsey vs Angelo Dawkins

Fat Neil locks in some chinlocks, lands some elbow drops, crunches Dawkins in the corner and hits the Bulldozer for the win. Afterwards, he says he won’t stop until he’s NXT Champion. That will be a dark day for us all.

Hey, Sami Zayn is interviewing Adrian Neville! He asks why the Jumping Geordie came to his rescue – Neville says that they go way back and he’ll always have his back. You’ve got a friend in me, Sami Zayn. What’s going to happen now? Zayn’s going to give the microphone back to Devin Taylor, and then Zayn and Neville will show International Airstrike exactly what they signed up for. We out – Zayn throws the mike over his shoulder to Devin, who looks amazed that somebody who isn’t even employed as an interviewer can do her job better than she can.

Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn vs International Airstrike

The New New Blood vs The Not Quite Millionaires Club? Who knows. I’d really like this to end in a reunion of all the Nexus members who aren’t doing so well – Gabriel, Slater, Otunga (where is Otunga?), Young…hell, throw RyBaxel in there too. Kidd as the leader for no real reason, and they just turn up in black and yellow to destroy NXT, the thing that brought them together in the first place. Because why the heck not? Zayn and Neville could be a pair of far more vulnerable Cena’s. Breeze could be the grudging partner in their team to battle them. It could work. In my head it could work. Notable thing – Nattie gets a better reaction than either Kidd or Gabriel. FACT.

Kidd and Neville start us off, locking up in the middle of the ring, and they trade holds with Neville slamming his opponent to the mat to facilitate a quick tag to Zayn. Both of the NXT regulars work over the left arm of their opponent, keeping that limb isolated while they tag in and out and always positioning themselves between Kidd and his corner. Kidd finally creates some separation with a knee to the gut and gets to tag in his partner, but Zayn nails an armdrag when he runs in. That earns nary a one count, but Zayn keeps control and tags out to Neville. Zayn with a body slam…Neville hits a standing corkscrew moonsault off of the back of a stooped Zayn! Two count for the New New Blood, and Neville keeps Gabriel down with a wristlock. Gabriel, however, manages to force him back to his own corner and tag in Kidd…but he gets caught by a crossbody! The Not Quite Millionaires can’t gain a foothold here, with the New New Blood making regular quick tags. Even when they get back in their corner, as they do here with Zayn, the fresh blood fires back with elbows and boots to break up any possible advantage they’d gained…ooh, until now! Kidd just throws a distracted Zayn over the top rope, following Justin Gabriel off the apron, and now there’s an opening for International Airstrike.

They take full advantage, isolating Sami Zayn and keeping him on the mat. Gabriel holds him down with a double arm lock, pulling him to his corner and tagging in Kidd who absolutely unleashes fury on Zayn with fists and boots. Gabriel uses some cheeky tactics from the apron to choke Zayn with a boot when the ref is distracted, and then gets tagged in. The two double team Zayn, Kidd holding him down while Gabriel kicks him in the face, and then they double team again, connecting with a pair of penalty kicks to keep him down. With Kidd now legal, he controls Zayn with a front facelock, getting Gabriel in who body slams the Canadian to the mat and then drops a knee to the face for a two count. Sami desperately crawls towards his corner but Gabriel pulls him back by the tights…no, Sami with a back elbow, and he avoids Gabriel running in to the corner. Tag to Neville! The Jumping Geordie flies into the ring, upping the pace with a flying forearm, a series of kicks and a standing shooting star press for a two count! He goes for a powerbomb but gets sidetracked kicking Kidd off the apron…but he gets the powerbomb anyway, reversing a hurricanrana! 1…2…Kidd breaks it up! He pulls his partner to his corner so he can tag in, springboards…right into a thrust kick from Neville! Two count only! Kidd’s in position though, and Neville goes up top – no Gabriel with the distraction to allow Kidd to knock his opponent down! Springboard elbow drop! 1…2…now it’s Zayn breaking up a sure fire victory pinfall! Gabriel gets dispatched to the outside! Nattie looks on concerned…and rightly so, Neville reverses a waistlock and gets a blind tag to Zayn! Tope Suicida from Neville onto Gabriel as Zayn lands a crossbody to Kidd! 1…2…Kidd just gets a shoulder up! The two Canadians go toe to toe in the middle of the ring, but Kidd gains the advantage with a thumb to the eye…no, he’s sent to the outside TOPE CON HILO! Zayn takes out all three other men in this contest and is standing tall. He throws Kidd into the ring, but it seems like the Hart Dynasty members knee is hurt. Natalya is really concerned and gets up to console her husband…but Kidd is playing possum! He comes back with a right hand and knocks Kidd into the ropes, sending Natalya off the apron. Concern for Natalya right now, and Zayn and Kidd go to check on her…no, Kidd doesn’t care and sneaks a roll up on Zayn for the three count!

Kidd bails on the ring to celebrate, then rushes back down to check on his wife. Cheeky little bastard, stealing a pin like that. Although, in fairness, his wife is Natalya – the lady that got knocked to the floor takes bumps like that for a living, probably two or three times a week. She’s not going to be that hurt, and she’s definitely going to get over it pretty sharpish. Zayn showing concern because he’s a nice guy worked well for him, although I kind of wonder where both Neville and Gabriel went at the end – like, Kidd got taken out by the same move as both of them, yet he was alert enough to not only play possum in the ring and try and attack Neville, but also had his wits about him and won the thing with a flash cover. Odd. Still, this was pretty excellent, it has to be said – Zayn and Neville looked like a good tag team, and having International Airstrike back together was always going to be pretty decent to watch. Yeah, I enjoyed this.

NXT MVP: Sami Zayn!

Honestly, I had a bit of trouble with this one this week – I feel like I keep raving about the same people. In fact, I’m pretty sure I do just rave about the same people. Should I retire this thing? Anyway, Zayn wins it, two excellent backstage promos with great character and some pretty cracking main event wrestling from the former El Generico this week.


– Sami Zayn
03/07/2014 – Enzo Amore
26/06/2014 – Adrian Neville
19/06/2014 – The Vaudevillains
12/06/2014 – Colin Cassady
05/06/2014 - Charlotte
22/05/2014 - Paige

The top and bottom of this show were both, I thought, pretty good and strong matches – I enjoyed Bayley vs Summer Rae with the exception of the odd refereeing late on, and the main event was a fairly relentless match up that showed the best of all four guys. Unfortunately, the middle was almost entirely dull, with the only peak of it being Wesley Blake starting to show he can hit a dude really hard when he wants to. He might become something. Oh, and The Vaudevillains were precious treasures, as ever.

I don’t think they really announced anything for next week, which is a shame. Looking at the spoilers, there should be a wealth of highlights – The Vaudevillains take on the Realest Guys In The Room, Alexa Bliss battles Sasha Banks, and Tyson Kidd comes face to face with the man he defeated this week Sami Zayn in the main event. Could be a good show – although I see a CJ Parker vs Xavier Woods match in the middle there. What we’ve all been waiting for! Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!

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