The NXT Review: 22/05/2014 – Butterfly
May 23, 2014 - 10:30:00 AM
NXTians! Welcome back, or indeed welcome for the first time if you’re only just hitting this column up. We are just seven short days away from NXT:Takeover, and tonight the final pieces of that puzzle will fall into place – Sasha Banks and Natalya will do battle to see who gets to take on Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship, and Adrian Neville will look to build momentum against Curt Hawkins. On top of those two bouts, something for the here and now – Bo Dallas puts his NXT career on the line when he battles Big E. Win and he gets a title shot. Lose, however, and he leaves NXT forever! High stakes and high drama. Let’s get this ball rolling!
The NXT Review: 22/05/2014 – Butterfly
Oh man, we’re starting with this? Bo’s glorious titantron video runs as the crowd chant ‘Bo leave’ and he enters the arena, looking serene and smiling – clearly his undefeated record against Big E has his confidence up, and the commentary team compare him to Tim Tebow. Honestly, I have no idea if Bo Dallas is like Tim Tebow or not – the closest I’ve got to watching American Football is Friday Night Lights – but if Renee Young says it it must be true. Riley likes Tim Tebow, so I’m assuming he’s a massive douche? Oooh, mike time for Bo. He has a message for his Bo-lievers – he’s taught them to ‘never give up’ and follow their dreams. NXT was built on Bolieving, and as the longest reigning NXT Champion in history he humbly accepts the title of Mr. NXT! He see’s a family when he looks out across the audience, and he’s not giving up on them and will never leave them. A big ‘we don’t like you’ chant goes up…and here comes Big E to a good pop! He’s on NXT, so he better want five – the crowd certainly want him to, and Big Earl looks ramped up by their chants. And here we go!
Dalloas skirts a lock up and gets a waistlock, into a side headlock, but Big Evan throws him to the ropes and then shoulder blocks him out of the ring. Dallas takes a breather as the ref counts up, but Dallas is back in at six. Big Eric hits the mat, then leapfrogs Dallas and lays him out with another shoulder block. He punches Bo in the gut four times, which riles the crowd, but then mounts him in the corner and goes for five punches…but Bo shoves him off at four! What a heel. Dallas dives out of the ring, but Big Ermintrude follows him out, slamming him against the apron and then throwing him back in. Bo rolls across the ring and slips out the other side, and when Big Eric follows Dallas takes out the knee with a chop block and throws him into the steps. The leader of the Bolievers tries a cover, but Big Ewan kicks out at one, and after a few fists to the skull Dallas’ second attempt gets broken at two. Bo locks in a cravate now, keeping the strongman down on the mat. Hasn’t really got going yet, this one – just needs to kick up a gear freom here, though with Bo working the cravate over that’s unlikely to happen for a while.
Oh, back from the break and Big Ellen is on top again, driving shoudlers into the gut of Dallas in the corner, but Bo lands a flying crossbody when he comes off the ropes and that gets him a two count. Completely looked like a Bray Wyatt move, that – had that sort of impact about it. Dallas lands a series of short-arm elbows to the temple of his opponent, and a clothesline then gets him a two count. He hauls Big Eden up and goes for an Irish whip, but he gets blocked and slammed into the opposite corner! Big clotheslines from the big guy, and a belly to belly suplex…and there’s the running body block! The straps are down! Dallas is going to have a big ending…no, he reverses it into an inverted DDT for a two count. A clothesline from Dallas and then a series of open forearms…he goes for the corner bulldog, but gets thrown off and hit with another belly to belly! 1…2…no, Bo just kicks out! Running splash attempt from Big Ettore…but Bo gets the knees up! Double underhook DDT…1…2…NO! Somehow, Big Edward kicks out! Bo Dallas is frustrated now, and distracts the referee by ripping off his wrist tape. While his back is turned, Dallas tears off the top turnbuckle pad, just like when he won the NXT Championship against this very same opponent…but Big Eamon blocks him and throws him back first into it! Big Ending! Bo is done! Bo has to go home! No more Bo!
Bo is devastated in the ring, screaming that this is his home, but the crowd don’t care – they give him the ‘na na na na treatment’ as he begs for the crowd not to leave him. Honestly, the match lacked a little bit of heat from the crowd and was a little too one paced. Compared with their previous bouts, it doesn’t quite hold up as well, but it was decent. I really liked the call back to their title match in the turnbuckle pad removal, that sort of storytelling thing is what I like to see, but the stuff before it was just a little bit flat. Bo seemed desperate to take the win throughout – again, another storytelling thing that I liked – by going for quick covers whenever he had Big E down, and that worked quite well as did a couple of the reversals. Not a bad match, by any stretch of the imagination, but it needed a little extra spice to push it really over the top. During the break, Bo kicked the steel steps and sold it like he’d broken his shin, then told the crowd that he strongly dislikes them all. He doesn’t usually use language like this but they all should know that they ‘stink’ and then gets into a call and response thing with the crowd – every time he tells them to leave, they respond in kind. Man, this looked like an absolute blast, I wish they’d shown it all as this was an oddly edited version.
Tyson Kidd cuts a promo. He has a lot of reasons for doing thing and apparently the NXT Championship is his destiny. Whatever Tyson, get better at talking or don’t talk at all. Oh hey, Sami Zayn is chatting with Devin, being his usual lovely self – he says it stinks that he lost the number one contender match last week, but he’s not going to let the one loss stop him and he will get the NXT Championship. Tyler Breeze barges in and says that Zayn has run to Devin crying after losing last week. Zayn thinks Breeze should be crying because he got pinned, but as it wasn’t by Zayn Tyler’s not fussed. If he wants to get pinned by Sami, Zayn will happily fight him tonight. Breeze, though, has a busy social life – he’s got to get new phone cases and is going to a ball. But Breeze will beat him at NXT:Takeover and look gorgeous whilst doing it! It’s on! This was excellent, Sami’s promos are always a nice refreshing change because he talks like a human being, and Breeze consistently delivers great character work on the microphone. Plus, Zayn vs Breeze has potential to be a sleeper hit next week, so I’m down.
Tamina is big. Paige is not. That’s the story of this one. More notably – they spoil the NXT Women’s Championship tournament on commentary, so now I know who’s going to win that match later on. Anyway, Tamina throws Paige around for a bit, then Paige forearms her to poopys then kicks her in the gut. Snuka shrugs off a headbutt then clotheslines Paige on the apron, sending her into ‘Raw roster weakling Paige’ mode instead of ‘NXT arse kicking Paige’ mode for a while, getting her back worked over with body slams and a bearhug. It’s not awful, it’s just not Paige – seeing her get worked over in a torture rack is weird but refreshingly different in a WWE women’s match. She finally elbows her way out of the rack, and then gets her mojo back, elbowing and clotheslining Tamina about before hitting a stiff as fuck knee on the ropes, ala CM Punk on John Cena at MitB. That was beautiful, and should become part of her offense forever. She kicks her opponent in the gut, but then gets hoisted up and thrown over the ropes to the apron and the outside. Snuka gets her back in the ring and goes for the splash, lands on her feet (because, you know, clearly if you’re splashing someone your feet being the first thing to hit the canvas makes sense) and catches a boot to the mouth, then gets inside cradled to give Paige the win.
I kind of enjoyed this – both broke out a few moves that we don’t normally see, like the torture rack and the knee in the ropes, and there was a decent bit of story work in the back work. On a side note, a lot of NXT matches seem to feature work on the back or chest – odd, no? It’s an easy story to tell, taking the breath away and such, but it’s not something that is often made a story of. That knee in the ropes, though. We should talk about that for a while.
I wasn’t expecting to see these two face off until NXT:Takeover, so this is a surprising match to see right now. The Adam Rose entrance remains a delight, of course – unfortunately, this one doesn’t quite measure up to that in the ring. There’s a beautiful high angle butterfly suplex from Camacho in there, but for the most part it’s him punching and kicking, then Rose firing up and coming back. Just as he starts looking for his finisher, Camacho bails and takes the count out loss. Maybe they’ll have a rematch at NXT:Takeover, given the ending, which will outshine this – it was alright, I guess, just not anything special and probably the worst match of the night. I’m pretty sure Jojo is one of the Rosebuds tonight, by the way, with her frizzy hair and snazzy leggings.
Sasha swaggers her way down to the ring, as usual, and meanwhile Charlotte cuts a PIP promo – on the one hand, she wants her to win and dispatch the has been Natalya, but on the other she doesn’t want to have to face her and expose her weaknesses. It was…kind of terrible, to be honest with you, but whatever. Natalya gets one person in the crowd screaming – I’m more interested to see if I, like the other Divas, can tell from her wrestling if she’s gotten laid or not. Sorry, that’s a Total Divas plot line that might pass you by but seriously, one of the Bella (I think Nikki And Her Boobs) was watching a Natalya match a couple of episodes ago and was like ‘yeah, she’s gotten laid, you can see it in her wrestling’. I imagine having sex with Tyson Kidd is the worst, though – imagine if he talked during it? You’d just fall asleep, right? ‘I’m going to have sex with you and when we have had sex you will be sexually satisfied because we will have had sex and then sex will have been had and I will be the sex champion it is my destiny because I have sex’.
Sasha looks tiny next to Natalya, it’s ridiculous. She slaps Nattie about, and then dives into the ropes to stop her from attacking. The Pink And Black Attack blocks a kick and goes for a quick roll-up, Banks kicks out but Natalya goes right for the side headlock. Banks shoves her off but gets laid out with a shoulder block, then they run the ropes for a while – Sasha ends up going for a roll up, but Natalya sits out of it and nearly gets a pinfall. She runs up the back of her opponent then dropkicks her in the face, which gets her another two count, but Banks then reverses a whip to the corner, blocking the feet when she runs in and slapping the chest of Natalya before using the ropes to drop knees into her midsection. She mounts her back and runs on her, before getting a two count from a pinfall and then locking in the straightjacket choke to keep Natalya down. Renee is playing up the friction between the BFFs on commentary, pointing out that Sasha only started losing when Charlotte came back, and in the meantime Natalya has broken out of the hold and delivered a lovely butterfly suplex to Sasha – two butterfly suplexes in the same night. What are the odds? Sasha dodges her in the corner, though, and hits a bulldog but seems to have hurt her leg in doing so, rolling out of the ring and clutching her hamstring. The ref’s counting her out, but Charlotte comes round to offer moral support – and then picks her up and throws her back in the ring with the ref watching. Surely that’s a DQ? Physical contact with a competitor is a DQ, right? Sasha wins, we all go home. But nope, Natalya takes advantage of the injury, locks in a sharpshooter and Sasha has to tap out, with Charlotte looking on at ringside, stunned. You can pretty much hear her gulping in fear through the screen.
That was OK – I don’t understand why there wasn’t a DQ, but otherwise it was OK – I just wish it had gotten going properly. It felt like it was just set to go off when Sasha hit that bulldog, just building towards something, and then the ending came shortly afterwards. Could have done with Natalya working the leg more. But hey, it leaves us with Charlotte vs Natalya, because the crux of WWE is that Flair vs Hart is still a big deal or whatever, and that’s going to be live on the Network next Thursday. How exciting – I can’t wait to see Charlotte win the belt and then have a series of underwhelming defences before losing it to Bayley because that feud NEVER GOT FINISHED AND IT HAS BOTHERED ME EVER SINCE. In capital letters because it has now been silenced on commentary as well.
Ooh, they’ve just confirmed that Breeze vs Zayn is for the number one contendership to the NXT Championship! Go on Tyler, win it then the title, and make the belt bit furry so it matches your trunks and jacket every week.
There are a fair few people in the crowd doing Neville’s finger pointing thing, which is nice for them. Hawkins wins an early mat exchange, but celebrates and gets kicked in the gut for his troubles. Neville takes him down with a side headlock, but Hawkins uses the ropes to break it, then pulls him back into a clothesline to the back of the head. He connects with a suplex but Neville kicks out at one, and then locks in a chinlock. Neville fights his way back to his feet and breaks the hold with punches to the midsection, then blocks Hawkins running in to the corner with a boot to the face. A series of kicks followed by a low dropkick takes the New York native down, and Neville connects with a missile dropkick off of the second rope. Hawkins hits the deck, Neville hits the Red Arrow, the ref hits the three count.
Quick and to the point, but gives Neville momentum going into next week which is pretty important I guess. Kidd appears from the back after the match and has a microphone. Here’s a transcript ‘I am a man. You are a man. I don’t want trouble, and this is my mouth and it is telling you I will take the title. Here are a series of facts: One time I was on Raw FACT and also Smackdown FACT and I won some belts six billion years ago FACT and I did a WrestleMania once too FACT’. Sigh. Neville absolutely destroys him on the mike, saying he is not a springboard for anybody and neither is NXT. NXT is the future, so Neville is the future, and this is his ring. The crowd chant FACT after everything he says, and then he gets in a dig about Natalya being the only person in Kidd’s family taking home gold from NXT:Takeover. FACT.
My favourite Tyson Kidd fact is that people once thought he could be a breakout star but then he wasn’t a breakout star and that made him very sad FACT. What is your favourite Tyson Kidd fact?
Thanks for remembering how to be ace and not becoming the permanent Raw version of yourself, Paige. Might seem a bit moot giving this to her now, but I figure it’s a nice send-off (and you’ve heard me talk about Bo Dallas and Tyler Breeze enough).
22/05/2014 - Paige
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
A solid go home show before the big live one next week – nothing there that really screamed dud to me, although Rose vs Camacho was tainted by a poor ending and seemed unnecessary to add to their feud. I mean, it was pretty obviously heading towards Takeover anyway, so having them meet here was pointless. But otherwise, a nice little show – Tamina vs Paige was great, much better than their Extreme Rules match (as I remember it, at least) despite the slightly sloppy ending, and the other matches all had plenty going for them. Little things bugged me – the quick ending on Sasha Banks against Natalya, for example – but overall good in ring action tonight. Only slight let down was Big E vs Bo Dallas, possibly because I expected more.
Next week, NXT is live again with NXT:Takeover! I won’t be going live for this one, guys, but will get the review up asap on Friday as ever. Kidd vs Neville, Zayn vs Breeze, Charlotte vs Natalya, The Ascension vs Localisto and Adam Rose vs Camacho are all confirmed, which should really give us a full card – NXT:ArRival only had five matches and two of those were squashes. Well, one never even got going because of Rusev CRUSH but I’ll count it as a squash. You know what that means NXTians – no Mojo Rawley! Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!