Well hello again NXTians! How have your weeks been since we last spoke? I hope you’ve had a cracking seven days, and that they’re about to be topped off by a wonderful hour-ish wrestling show. And what a show this might be! We’ve got Sami Zayn vs Adrian Neville vs Tyler Breeze in a triple threat match to crown the number one contender to the NXT Championship headlining tonight, plus the NXT Women’s Championship tournament hits the semi-final stage as Charlotte takes on Alexa Bliss. On top of that, we’ve got…oh…Mojo Rawley. I’m sorry everyone. But I’m sure there will be something else more fun than Mojo in the rest of the show! Sure of it! Let’s find out, shall we?
The NXT Review: 15/05/2014 – The Magic Number
May 16, 2014 - 10:10:00 AM
The NXT Review: 15/05/2014 – The Magic Number
The Ascension vs Some Guys
You…you know what happens here, right? The Ascension take on a pair of guys we’ve never seen before (Buddy Murphy and Elias Sampson) and crush them in about 90 seconds with the Fall of Man – Murphy took the fall. The crowd still ‘yah’ their way through The Ascension’s matches, with both team members playing up to it now. Konnor had a massive knot on his eyebrow, but that’s basically all that’s notable here. Even Regal on commentary wants them to face some valid competition.
Oh, Konnor has a microphone! He says they’ve laid waste to the NXT Tag Team Division, and Viktor demands something new to destroy…here’s Localisto! El Local says that they can be their something new at NXT:Takeover and says to catch them if they can. The ‘lucha’ chants get swiftly replaced with a ‘yah’ chant, so that’s not necessarily that promising but hey – new teams! New blood! The Ascension vs Localisto should be pretty good, actually, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
Sami Zayn is having a nice chat with Veronica Lane backstage – he’s nice to her, welcoming her to NXT and then gets serious, saying he gets obsessed with thing like Cesaro and Bo Dallas so now he’s gunning for redemption. He’s not taking his opponents lightly, but he’s going to take his chance. I’m never sure where I stand with Sami’s promos, sometimes they feel a little simplistic, but they always get the job done – succinct and to the point. I think that’s what’s most important, he doesn’t waste his words with jokes or anything, but puts over the importance of the title and what it means to him, plus puts over his competition. Good work
Tyler Breeze has entered the building!
Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte
Bliss is here, wearin’ all her bling bling bling bling as her theme music goes. I still like her a lot, someone mentioned Trish Stratus in relation to her in the comments last week and I feel like that’s fairly accurate, although if anything she’s more athletic than Trish was when she started out. I don’t know, we always seem to hold Trish and Lita as these two women who were the peak of women’s wrestling and in the WWE that’s probably true to date (partly because they were given the chance to show us they were good) but when you look at it they weren’t necessarily better than, say, a Victoria or Mickie James. It’s kind of the same with AJ Lee now – she’s good, for sure, and has been given the chance to show us that, but how much better is she than everyone else really? Or is it just that she’s been given the opportunity to show us what she’s truly capable of? Anyway, Charlotte strides out, still doesn’t really look like a good fit for a BFF, and split-flips her way into the ring. Let’s do this!
Bliss immediately skirts around a lock up and jumps on Charlotte’s back, locking in a sleeper and causing Charlotte to beg for the ref to ‘get this little fairy off of me’. She finally breaks it in the corner, but bites a back elbow and a boot to the midsection, allowing Bliss to 450 over her and roll through, then she gets in the tilt-a-whirl cradle! But Charlotte kicks out, robbing us of an early finish. The Nature Girl then takes control, whipping Bliss off the ropes and hitting her with a knee to the midsection to allow a couple of cover attempts, both getting two, before choking her in the ropes and locking in an abdominal stretch, shaking Bliss’ head all the time. Bliss reverses it into a roll-up that Charlotte pops out of at one before knocking her down with a clothesline. The commentary team, especially Regal, is playing up that Banks might actually want Charlotte to lose here so she could face the inexperienced Bliss in the final, which is certainly an interesting theory but it doesn’t look like it’s going to wind up that way.
Charlotte puts her opponent in a tree of woe and stomps on her, disdainfully throwing her to the mat for a two count when she’s done, and then returns to the abdominal stretch, like Bo Dallas going for a cravate. She elbows the ribs of her opponent, but Bliss reverses it in exactly the same way as she did before, turning it around into a roll-up. Alexa’s firing back now, connecting with a couple of forearms and reversing a firemans carry into a sunset flip for a two count. Come on Alexa! Do it for Quinn Fabray! Bliss goes for a crossbody…but she gets caught! Backbreaker by Charlotte, who then stretched her across the knee and jaw jacks with her, continuing to shake her to stretch her even more – I’ve got to say, that’s kind of excellent by the Nature Girl, putting leverage on a simple move. Bliss fires back and breaks the hold, but bites a knee to the midsection and gets choked against the ropes again. And another crossbody attempt from Bliss off the ropes gets caught midway through and reversed into a backbreaker. This time, Bliss comes up but gets caught with the flipping cutter, now called Bow Down to the Queen which is a fricking mouthful, and that’s enough to give her the win.
Kind of an odd match – it was like both had only set their movesets up to be the same handful of moves. You know when you get WWE games and there’s always someone on there who has, like, two moves mapped between four buttons, so they double up? This felt like watching that guy fight himself, with the computer controlling them both. Charlotte looked good with the submission work, but this one didn’t really do anything for me – Alexa’s comeback got cut off a little too quickly to really get the crowd going again, so this felt like Charlotte squashing her over a five minute period rather than a competitive match. There were even chants of boring coming from the crowd, who had initially seemed pretty into it, so that probably says it all. A shame – I still like Alexa Bliss a lot, but her match with Fox last week was at least five rungs further up the quality ladder than this.
Breeze is backstage, talking to his phone, and says that his determination and gorgeousness is what makes him a champion – Zayn and Kidd are boring and ugly Canadians, like Michael Cera, and because they have respect for each other they have a limit as to how far they will go. Breeze, however, has no such problem, and will do whatever it takes. Typical stuff here from Breeze, but he’s been doing pretty nicely on promos for a long time so it’s no surprise. Loved the Canadian dig in there, too.
[Nationality Ed - Tyler Breeze is Canadian too, so they must be doing something right.]
Aiden English vs Mojo Rawley
Yawn. I want to enjoy this because it’s Aiden English and he’s so darned good, but all I see is Mojo Rawley going through the motions – he does his shoulder thrusts in the corner, he does his football style cut offs, and he sits on English to win. The only highlight is English chickenshitting his way out of a charging Mojo by sticking his head through the ropes. The difference between them both is so clear when English is on the offense – he’s crisp and on point throughout, talking trash to Rawley about how this is his ring and canvas. Sure, Mojo hits a running crossbody (with a decent leap on it, too) in a slight change, but it’s still Rawley just having the most uninteresting offense on the show and winning with it. Also, if you’re going to jump and sit on someone, wouldn’t it make more sense to just stay sitting on them rather than climb off and cover them with a lateral press and a leg hook?
Tyson is backstage, taping up his wrists. He came back to NXT because he believes in hard work and second chances, although what he’s having a second chance at I don’t know – presumably a successful singles career? Anyway, he says he will be NXT Champion with some emphasis, because he’s not just one of the pack but the leader of the pack. Of the promos from the three contenders, this was the most dull – sort of expected, as it’s not Tyson’s strong point, but when you put it against the other two it looks a lot weaker.
Colin Cassady vs Angelo Dawkins
Angelo Dawkins pops and locks his way to the ring, getting the crowd to chant ‘oh’ with him, but he gets a serious face on when Big Cass makes his entrance. Man, seeing him without Enzo makes me sad – the crowd are so into Cass right now, but I can’t help but feel he’d be over so much more with Enzo at his side. They should totally have him accompanying him to ringside in his wheelchair, cutting promos on the way. Cass’ very presence sparks a ‘how you doin’?’ chant amongst the crowd. Oh hey, CJ Parker is in the NXT Universe, walking around with a ‘No Xtra Toxins’ sign (look at those initials) that says ‘this sign is recyclable’ on the flipside. Regal calls him a ‘tosspot’ on commentary and genuinely seems to hate the Dippy Hippy. Meanwhile, Cassady is destroying Dawkins with elbows and forearms. Angelo gets a little bit of offense in, but soon gets cut off with a Harley Race like knee to the chin. Cass wipes him out with a big boot, then downs him with the East River Crossing to take the win.
Not really much to talk about in that, but I assume we’re going to get some kind of Parker/Cassady feud in the future as a result of the in crowd antics of the former. I’m down with that, although I hope Cassady comes out of the other side with the victory – it always seems that he wins little matches like this, but then the moment he gets in a feud he just loses left, right and centre. It happened with Dawson and Dylan, then with Rusev, and I fear that if we get months of Parker beating Cassady that will be pretty upsetting.
Oh, hey Bo Dallas you precious, precious thing you. Mr. Bolieve is backstage, confronting JBL with a pile of letters from his Bolievers as evidence of why he should be the de facto number one contender for the NXT Championship. He said on the Bo Dallas hotline that it just wouldn’t be fair for him to take the title shot, but that if JBL doesn’t give him a shot Bo is fearful that it will be him getting deluged with letters. JBL says that all the letters should be given to CJ Parker for recycling – amazing – so he can save the rainforests, and Bo isn’t going to get something he doesn’t deserve. He needs to beat his next opponent to earn a title shot…but if he loses he leaves NXT for good! Oh my! Who is his opponent? JBL gives him five guesses – it’s not Bo Dallas’ idol John Cena, it’s Big E! Bo’s pretty happy because he’s undefeated against the former Langston. He heads off to get ready, leaving his letters with JBL for som reading material. Well, what a main event we have next week guys! I really liked the Bo vs Big E NXT Championship match that kickstarted Dallas’ reign in spectacular style, so am looking forward to seeing them square off again. Dallas was, of course, perfect and I think his promo stuff is really underrated, if anything – everything he does, right down to facial expressions, is so great. I hope when he comes to the main roster he can use his idolising of John Cena to get him really cheap heat without them turning it into a weird stalker thing. Just…oh man, I can’t wait for Bo Dallas to debut, ridiculous entrance video and all.
Tyson Kidd vs Tyler Breeze vs Sami Zayn
Alright, let’s do this! Kidd makes his entrance, looking around and nodding his head before flipping into the ring. Even with Breeze in there, this is effectively a battle of three faces, and I’d argue that Kidd is the least over of all three of them to be honest. Breeze has, I’m pretty sure, got the crowd singing along to his entrance theme now, staring down his phone which is today covered in a lovely maroon fluff to match his boots and trunks. He had no time for Regal backstage earlier today because he was so focused on this match. That means I don’t know what type of animal his boots are made out of, I’m afraid. And Sami Zayn is, as ever, the most over man on NXT, striding confidently down to the ring amidst ‘ole’ chants. Man, I am looking forward to this one – should have a quick pace to it given these three guys.
The three stare each other down for a long time to start off, and nobody wants to make the first move – eventually, it’s Kidd who starts us off, striking with kicks to both of his opponents and hitting a low double dropkick, going for the cover on Breeze. Kidd wails on Zayn in the corner, but that gives Breeze a chance to recover and he dispatches of Kidd, taking over the assault on Zayn himself, beating him down in the corner and choking him with his shin bone. Zayn fires back a little, but Breeze cuts off the rally with a knee to the gut and drives his head into the turnbuckle. He strikes with a running back elbow, but as he comes off the ropes Kidd, who’s been playing possum on the outside, distracts him which causes him to run into a calf kick from Zayn. Kidd re-enters…but gets met with a dropkick from Zayn, who looks to hit him with a Helluva Kick…but Breeze cuts him off with a beautiful Beauty Shot mid run! Cover him Tyler, make yourself famous kid! He gets there…but it’s broken up by a recovered Kidd! Boo! Screw you, Tyson! The speed I mentioned earlier hasn’t actually been there as much as I thought it would be, but I think we’re heating up now and going to look at something pretty special.
Kidd whips the Sire of Selfies to one corner, but Tyler meets him rushing in with a boot to knock him down. Zayn is down on the outside, shaking off the Beauty Shot, so the model takes advantage and gets a pin on Kidd, but that only gets a one. Breeze looks for a sunset flip off the ropes, but Kidd rolls through and goes for a sharpshooter and Tyler scrambles to the ropes and out of the ring…and he meets Tyson mid suicide dive with an elbow to the temple! But Zayn has recovered and hits an over the top rope senton onto Prince Pretty! Huge crossbody from Zayn onto Kidd…1…2…no, Tyson just gets a shoulder up! Kidd is out of it, but Tyler comes back in, only to get caught by Zayn. He fights him off…does he…no, Zayn pulls him back by the waistband and connects with a Blue Thunder Bomb! 1…2…NO! Breeze kicks out again! Regal is pointing out that Zayn is taking too long to cover someone, but instead he’s lining up the Helluva Kick…Breeze blocks it but Sami catches his leg and is looking for an exploder suplex…but Kidd gets a waistlock on Zayn and delivers a German while he hits the exploder! Woah, what a spot, and it leaves all three guys laid out in the ring. Kidd and Zayn get to their feet in the ring, but Breeze has dropped to the outside. The two Canadians go toe to toe and blow for blow…and Zayn ends up caught out, locked in the sharpshooter! Zayn is struggling towards the ropes, but Tyson pulls him back to the centre of the ring…superkick to the face of Kidd from Breeze! And he nearly steals the win with that, Kidd just kicking out before the three as an ‘all three guys’ chant starts amongst the NXT Universe. None of them seem to be taking this at half speed, and Tyler takes Kidd out of the ring with a clothesline and runs at Zayn…but Sami catches him and delivers and exploder suplex into the turnbuckles! 1…2…no! Breeze kicks out, just in the nick of time. Zayn is looking for the tornado DDT out of the corner…he delivers the slap to the chest, but Breeze blocks it, crotching Zayn on the top rope! Breeze for the cover, but only a two! Prince Pretty goes to come off the ropes, but he gets hit with a kick from Tyson from the apron! Kidd is going up top now…but Breeze cuts him off, leaving him hung on the top rope...Helluva Kick! From out of nowhere! Cover Breeze Sami, come one…Kidd throws Zayn out of the ring! Elbow drop…1…2…3! Kidd pins Breeze like an opportunistic sod and he becomes number one contender! Zayn is distraught, he came so close to breaking up that final pinfall but was just a fraction of a second too slow!
All three men are struggling after that excellent, excellent match, but Kidd finally makes it to his feet to celebrate and looks overwhelmed at having a shot at Adrian Neville and the NXT Championship. Poor old Sami Zayn is shaking his head in disbelief, while Breeze is pretty much not moving in the ring. Well, that was quite something. A great main event, one that probably should be added to any list of great NXT matches that gets compiled – not quite as good as the very best, but it had everything, and all three men really showed how important the NXT Championship is to them. What next for each guy? Well, I don’t see Kidd defeating Neville personally, although they should have a great one-on-one match at NXT:Takeover. Breeze showed a great sense of both timing and selling here, as well as continuing his supposed aggressive streak really well and backing it up with strong offense. Zayn, however, is the one guy who I feel for – I still believe it should have been he, and not Neville, that took the title from Bo at NXT:ArRIVAL, and now he’s missed out on another shot. Sure, he’s got the respect of Cesaro, but what has the guy got to do to get another shot at the championship? It feels like it’s the one thing really missing from Zayn’s time in NXT, that belt, and before he gets a call-up he should have a run with it.
NXT MVP: Tyson Kidd!
A tough one this week – the real stars were in that main event, but I feel like I rave about them a lot. Kidd is the one who perhaps should have it, though I think any of three could be considered the winner. The show played to his strengths, didn’t ask much from him character-wise and let his wrestling do the talking. If he opens his mouth again, I would think his stock will plunge, though.
15/05/2014 – Tyson Kidd
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
A tough show to really give an overall verdict on – a sweet main event tops it off, but beneath the surface I thought this was largely a weak week – aside from a notable Aiden English appearance that was cut off by an arsehole (literally and metaphorically), there wasn’t a lot to rave about underneath. CJ Parker’s protest was the only other immediate highlight, but I know when he gets in the ring I’m going to want to bleach my eyeballs again.
Next week, on NXT – the final week before NXT:Takeover sees Natalya take on Sasha Banks for the right to face Charlotte in the final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament! Neville and Kidd will have words! And, in our main event, Bo Dallas goes up against Big E with his NXT career on the line! Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!