Welcome once again, NXTians and non-NXTians alike, to The NXT Review! I hope you’ve had a lovely week since we last spoke. What do we have coming up tonight? Well, in possibly the most important match on the card, Charlotte will put her NXT Women’s Championship on the line against her former BFF partner Summer Rae – will we see a new champion crowned by the end of the night? Also – Kalisto will rope in a mystery partner (hint: it’s probably the other masked luchador that works with the company) to take on the undefeated Vaudevillains! Plus – some other stuff! Definitely some other stuff! Let’s do this!
The NXT Review: 24/07/2014 – Crying Laughing Loving Lying
Jul 25, 2014 - 4:30:00 AM
The NXT Review: 24/07/2014 – Crying Laughing Loving Lying
There’s a recap of events between Charlotte and Summer Rae – I think it’s the same one they showed last week, to be honest, but hey, it’s a cool video and makes the women’s match feel like a big deal so I’m cool with it.
The Ascension vs Some Guys
You know all those previous matches where The Ascension have taken on a pair of guys who aren’t even on NXT? This goes like those – The Ascension isolate and annihilate. They’ve been champions for nearly 300 days now, and there doesn’t really seem to be any stopping them. The highlight is Viktor just throwing one guy into the other, for the record, but yeah they completely destroy them, no selling all the offense. What I do actually love about The Ascension right now is that they’re happy to play to the ‘yah!’ chants, begging the crowd to chant along with Konnor when he stomps a man down in the corner. It really is time these guys were properly challenged, because I honestly can’t remember them having a seriously troublesome time in the ring since they did battle with The Usos about two years ago.
Tyler Breeze vs Mojo Rawley
Apparently the career threatening hand modelling injury has healed enough for Breeze to compete again. Hurrah! Unfortunately, he is now coming up against the unstoppable anus of Mojo Rawley, potentially the most ugly uggo on NXT. Breeze looks completely unimpressed with Rawley’s hyped up antics as Alex Riley makes the whole Zoolander joke on commentary about Breeze only having one look.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Rawley lifts Breeze into the corner but then doesn’t do anything to follow up and gets kicked in the face with the Beauty Shot to give Breeze the win. This is how all Mojo Rawley matches should end. Please make it so, NXT. In fairness, this is what Breeze should be doing to Rawley – even if the latter has been on a tear the former is the number one contender and, as such, should destroy this midcard guy.
Charlotte vs Summer Rae
The matches are coming thick and fast this week, aren’t they? Summer Rae makes her entrance, but her theme tune is nowhere near as baller as Charlotte’s – I still love the way they’ve interspersed the Flair horns into her generic rock tune, which drives home the family connection. It’s a bit like they did with Curtis Axel, remixing the old Mr Perfect theme for him – not too over the top, but just enough to connect them to their legacies. This is essentially a battle of two heels, so I’m interested to see how the crowd reacts. Eden gives us the big match entrances, the crowd goes mild for both women and the match is underway!
Summer gets all up in Charlotte’s business to start with, and it descends into some pushing, ending with Charlotte mocking her opponents dancing. It all breaks down after that into a catfight, and the two then both drive each other face first to the mat. The Nature Girl recovers fastest, beating Summer down in the corner and then connecting with a big clothesline for a two count. She drives knees into the back of Summer, keeping her on the mat and locking in the figure four headlock. She does all the usual tricks, smashing Summer’s face against the mat repeatedly and even adding some leverage by pulling at her wrist and fingers. A quick start has really slowed down now that it’s on the mat, and as expected in that position Charlotte is dominating. The crowd, as I kind of feared, are a little bit dead for this one. Lukewarm at best so far, anyway.
Charlotte has kept this on for ages now, even clawing at Rae’s face, and she finally rolls it through to release her former friend. Summer begs off in the ropes – but she’s playing possum, and when Charlotte charges in she pulls down the ropes to send her to the outside. Summer hauls her back in the ring and tries for a cover, but it’s way too long since she did anything and Charlotte kicks out. Rae is on top now, though, screaming ‘I made you Charlotte’ in her opponents face as she chokes her in the corner and then stretching her out using her long legs and the assistance of the ropes. That earns a one count from the referee, so she resorts to a body scissors to try and pop the crowd. It doesn’t work, and no amount of heel tactics get any reaction, really – I think there are some isolated ‘let’s go Charlotte’ chants, but it’s quiet as heck out there. Charlotte gets beaten up in the corner but comes out with a roll up for two, but Rae just flies back and takes her out again, locking in a half crab. Summer goes to claw at her opponents face but the champ just bites her finger! Summer breaks the hold for a pin attempt but gets nothing, and she then knocks her opponent down face first using her legs for a second two count. The crowd are so invested in this match that they’re doing a Mexican wave, for the record, and I sort of feel the same. Summer’s roundhouse kick gets a two count, but Charlotte comes back with a flurry, a discus chop to the chest and a clothesline earns her a pair of two counts…and from out of nowhere she just trips Summer down by the leg and connects with Bow Down to the Queen for the win.
Feels like the finish came out of nowhere – whether that’s because the crowd was completely out of the match and they just decided to end it or what I don’t know but heck. This was miserable. Neither of these two women are bad wrestlers at all – in fact, I’d say they were both two of the best on offer. They just didn’t click at all in the ring, and went through some pretty awful spots to actually get anywhere. A real shame, as I was looking forward to the match. The heel vs heel dynamic probably didn’t help, but this was kind of sloppy and…essentially, it was boring. Boring as hell. Just…there was no investment there, from anyone. Nobody wants to cheer for either woman based on their NXT history, they hadn’t turned either one face in the build up, and the end product reflected that by not keeping you invested in the match. As I said, it’s a shame, but this stank.
Adrian Neville is taking on Rusev later. That should be testing for the NXT Champion. And there’s also a lovely little promo video for Alexa Bliss in here, just a small hype video but one that suggests they have plans for her in the near future, I guess. I’m cool with it, I love Alexa Bliss – she needs a little bit more than flippy doo da spinny stuff, but maybe we’ll get to see that soon.
The Vaudevillains vs Sin Cara and Kalisto
The Vaudevillains are a treasure. Gotch’s slightly manic entrance plays off of English’s more sophisticated entrance, and their little in ring pose down is a blast. The crowd are hot for them, and they also give out a couple of little ‘lucha!’ chants for Kalisto…who’s partnered with that other masked luchador employed by the company! Who’d have thought it? This could be great, or could be terrible. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m reasonably excited.
English starts off with Kalisto, as the crowd put over the fact that the two masked warriors haven’t tagged regularly, therefore have the disadvantage. English gains the early advantage, but Kalisto comes out of the corner with a side headlock. English blocks a takeover three times, only for Kalisto to nail it when he gets picked up, taken Dear Aiden to the mat. English throws him to the ropes but gets caught with a headscissors into an armdrag, and the two luchadors double team the debonair gentleman in their corner, knocking him down with a pair of kicks to the chest before Kalisto lands an assisted wheelbarrow senton. The crowd are getting into this quite a bit, actually, and Sin Cara knocks English off his feet with a springboard crossbody…but when he goes for it again English lands a dropkick to knock the air out of him! That earns a one count, but gives him the chance to tag to Gotch and isolate Cara in the corner. Gotch takes his opponent down with a clothesline, followed up by a European uppercut before unloading on him on the mat and then wrenching at the neck of the masked man. He crucifixes over into a pin for a once count, but Cara comes back with some straight right hands and a sunset flip, but Gotch kicks out and then strikes him, sending him back into the enemy corner where English and Gotch swap out. Aiden hits a gorgeous spinning enckbreaker after a Gotch uppercut, but Sin Cara kicks out. The Vaudevillains are well on top here now, having isolated Sin Cara out, and their true heel tendencies are coming through – I previously wasn’t all that sure, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get booked as faces going forward, but last week and this week have painted them firmly as bad guys through their in ring actions.
The Artiste drops a series of elbows to the cranium of his opponent, wearing him down on the mat, before trapping an arm and wrenching at the neck again. Cara really needs to make a tag…and gets the opportunity with a jawbreaker! No, English cuts him off with a hard right hand, dropping him to the mat and following up with the legato leg drop for a two count. Cara blocks an Irish whip to the corner, comes out with a rollup…but he powers English up out of it into a powerbomb! Can he make the tag now…yes he can! And English tags to Gotch who gets met with a springboard crossbody from Kalisto. The pace goes up, as he rolls him through into a hard kick to the face and then hits a no hand…handspring (if that makes sense?) enziguiri for 1…2…no! English breaks up the cover, but Cara soon dispatches him outside and hits a suicide dive! In the ring, Kalisto lands a standing shiranui and that gets the masked team the win!
Well, I honestly didn’t expect that result – I thought The Vaudevillains were being primed for a run at The Ascension and this was going to be their first real test. I especially didn’t think that the thrown together team was going to emerge victorious, especially as they made such a song and dance about it at the start of the match. But this was probably the best match so far tonight – the pace quickened so much when Kalisto got in the ring that it makes complete sense for him to get the hot tag. I could watch him get those forever. I assume these two will be teaming together for the foreseeable future, and with a fair few strong teams coming to the fore it feels like there needs to be something to sort out exactly who is the next number one contender to the NXT Tag Team Championships – whoever it is might finally provide a serious challenge for The Ascension, given how many competitive teams there are now.
Adrian Neville vs Rusev
This is, undoubtedly, the biggest test that Adrian Neville has had, probably in his NXT career to date. He dives into the ring and points to the sky, the crowd joining in with his signature action, while Alex Riley says that Neville is getting a bit of an ego on him as champion. That seems like a curious point to raise on commentary if they’re not going to follow through with anything. Lana sashays out onto the stage like nobody else can – she says that America worships stars and stars fade, but Russia worships heroes like Putin. She’s wearing a lovely pinstripe suit, by the way. Here comes Rusev, the hero who will crush the star Adrain Neville tonight. Dude still needs to put some shoes on. I kind of miss his name boards that he used to snap before his matches. Ooh, he gets to talk, saying some Russian, or Bulgarian, and then says he is the super athlete. Lovely. There’s only, like, six minutes of the program left, so this is probably going to be short. Not that that stops Rusev from doing his full entrance animation, stamping and all.
Neville uses his speed to avoid a lock up, then flips out of a back body drop. He gets caught going for a crossbody, though, and rested against the ropes while Rusev strikes with knees and then a Samoan drop. He stomps on his opponent, who’s down on the mat, then hauls him up by the hair and tosses him to the corner, where he continues to beat him down using his feet. He uses the ropes to push him up into the air, landing a stomp to the chest, and then props the Jumping Geordie into the corner, kicking him in the back and throwing him to the mat. Neville now fires back with a right hand to the midsection but Rusev shrugs it off – but Neville lands a boot to the face of the Bulgarian Brute! A flurry from Neville now, knocking down Rusev with a low dropkick to the knee and kicking him in the chest…but Rusev just catches his leg and lifts him into the air by his neck, tossing him to the ground and then throwing him to the corner. But the champ avoids him rushing in and lands a big springboard dropkick! Lana is up on the apron…but here’s Tyler Breeze, distracting Neville and allowing him to get struck by Rusev from behind. The Bulgarian Brute scoops him up for a fall away slam, but Neville escapes and catches his opponent with a boot to the face. And there’s another one! Is he going to land Red Arrow? He’s up to…but Breeze takes him off the turnbuckles!
The referee calls for a disqualification, but that doesn’t stop Rusev from levelling Neville and putting The Accolade on him, refusing to release it until Lana orders him to. Rusev proudly stands over his fallen opponent, and Breeze must feel he has a real advantage now before he chooses to cash in his chance at the NXT Championship. The match was fine, but it felt like one of those ones they have on Raw – it was five minutes of work just to get to the post-match stuff. That’s a rarity on NXT, and I can allow it given that the action itself wasn’t too bad – it continues to establish Neville as the fightiest fighter in NXT, as he never backed down from Rusev and continued to squirm out of his moves in order to strike him. He also had a modicum of intelligence, going for the leg at one point to take the big man down and…yeah, it was good stuff. Not great stuff, as we’ve been spoilt with recently in the main event, but good stuff.
NXT MVP: Kalisto!
Honestly, I think this should go to whoever booked that Breeze vs Rawley match to be a squash as that was hilarious, but Kalisto shone in the tag match with The Vaudevillains and showed exactly why he is the perfect guy to be in that situation – absolutely nailing everything after the hot tag at a serious pace which lifted the crowd well.
24/07/2014 – Kalisto
17/07/2014 – Sasha Banks
10/07/2014 – Sami Zayn
03/07/2014 – Enzo Amore
26/06/2014 – Adrian Neville
19/06/2014 – The Vaudevillains
An odd show, this one – it didn’t really feel like it was going anywhere. The Ascension doing what they do to start things off was good but nothing special, and Breeze squashing Rawley in thirty seconds was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in ages. The main event had its moments but wasn’t outstanding – as I said above, it felt like a couple of guys just going through the motions to get to the post-match stuff. That leaves us with a strong tag match that was both fun and entertaining, and then the dire Women’s Championship match. I’m trying to think of a worse NXT match I’ve seen than that – normally even the poor matches have the crowd into them in some way, shape or form, but this even lost them. It lacked a lot more than I can go into detail with here – I think both women performed well, but they just didn’t have the chemistry, or the characters, to put on a great match. A real shame.
Right, let’s put this behind us and get to building something else up. I don’t want to alarm you, but next week’s show looks dire on paper – Mojo Rawley and Bull Dempsey in a tag team might be the worst thing ever, and Adam Rose is headlining the show against Tyson Kidd. Charlotte vs Becky Lynch might be alright though, I suppose, but I beg you to come back next week because I might need a support system after the epsidoe. Until then, stay safe when crossing the road NXTians, and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!