Hello one, hello all, and welcome to the week where NXT gets vengeful! Or, as an alternative title, ‘the week where they forgot to wipe the whiteboard after NXT:ArRIVAL’ – we’ve got three rematches from the first NXT live show, as Mojo Rawley’s butt takes on CJ Parker, Xavier Woods battles Tyler Breeze and, in our main event, Adrian Neville defends his NXT Championship for the first time against the man he won it from Bo Dallas. Plus, Charlotte will take on Natalya because Bayley’s busy or something. Let’s get some revenge!
The NXT Review: 27/03/2014 – The Mariner’s Revenge Song
Mar 28, 2014 - 1:30:00 PM
The NXT Review: 27/03/2014 – The Mariner’s Revenge Song
There’s a promo for the main event first, including Bo’s choice line about Neville climbing up a ladder like a dad cleaning out gutters and not pinning him. He’s right! He’s totally right!
Mojo Rawley vs CJ Parker
Anyway, here’s The Ultimate Warrior on Lucozade and chips instead of drugs. Guess who’s in the crowd? It’s Mojo’s mum and dad again. They are the worst. Congratulations on having the worst wrestling fans as parents, Mojo. Pamela Anderson waggles his arms around and slides into the ring before spinning on his dick as usual. One thing that is clear to see is just how big Mojo is – Parker isn’t exactly small, but he’s completely towered over by his opponent. Parker takes the early advantage with a chop, then reverses an Irish whip and then kicking Rawley in the face before connecting with a scissor kick for a couple of two counts. He keeps Mojo in the corners, pounding his head into the turnbuckles as the crowd somehow force a duel chant. Yes, there are people actually chanting for CJ Parker. Hopefully there’s someone waiting outside to kill every last one of them. Rawley fires out of the corner but then misses a body avalanche and gets levelled with a clothesline, but that only gets a two count, infuriating Parker who then just wails on him with fists in the corner. He connects with flying double knees, but Mojo cuts him off with a body avalanche as he goes for another one. He hits another splash, then the Rear View, then the Earthquake Splash, then wins.
Snore. As boring as they come, and as boring as it was at NXT:ArRIVAL. Same stuff as I said last week goes for Rawley, and Parker…well, he’s Parker. He’s a disaster. This was never going to be good, was it?
Sami Zayn is backstage after being attacked last week by Corey Graves, and the doctor says everything is OK. Zayn says he just got his bell rung and feels fine now…and that’s it. No, for real, no passionate promo from Zayn about Graves or anything, just ‘I’m OK now’ and that’s all.
Tyler Breeze vs Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods gets absolutely no reaction from the crowd. I mean zip, zero, nil, nothing. Breeze, as you’d expect, fairs a little better, but this crowd doesn’t seem to be completely into him either. You know who I blame for this? Mojo Rawley’s family. Get your arse off your hands, guys. Breeze reclines in the corner of the ring, admiring himself in his iPhone which is relayed on the tron behind him, and the commentary team put over his charisma – a word that Alex Riley had to look up in the dictionary because The Miz never taught him what it meant.
The two lock-up, but it’s a stalemate and they break and talk some smack to each other. The second lock up leads to Xavier Woods having the upper hand in the corner, and after the break Breeze strikes with a boot to the knee and then runs through Woods off the ropes with a shoulder block. He stays on his opponent, looking for a suplex, but Woods rolls through it into a small package for a two count. The Doctor Of Funk (I guess? I mean, he’s got a Phd and clearly likes funk, so…it’ll do) locks in a side headlock, and while he gets thrown to the ropes by Breeze he manages to stay on the offense, taking his opponent down with a headscissors for a one count. Breeze reverses a whip into the corner, but misses on the follow up and then gets flapjacked into the corner and Woods rolls him up for a two count. As he gets him up, Breeze lands a jawbreaker to stay in control, and then…ouch. A bulldog into the turnbuckle? Heck, that was different and pretty sick looking. Breeze goes for the cover, but Woods kicks out, and off the ropes he catches his opponent with back elbow. He takes him down with a leg sweep and then nails a sick sounding shining wizard that gets only a two count before calling for the Honour Roll – but Breeze crawls out of the way to the corner. He’s clinging on to the ropes, and Woods can’t get him out of the corner…Breeze slips over and nails the Beauty Shot! 1…2…3! Breeze wins!
Breeze checks his face in his phone as he retreats up the ramp, presumably making sure that not too much damage was sustained from that shining wizard. You know, I kind of wanted to see these two wrestle for a bit longer than they did, as I think they could probably do something really good with another five minutes or so. Woods isn’t as bad at the actual wrestling side of things as I once thought he was, and Breeze needs some longer matches to really get going – look at his match with Neville from a couple of months ago for evidence of that. This just felt a little short, and just as it really got going it was finished. Kind of average, overall, but with hints of something a bit better under the surface.
Bo Dallas is talking to Devin Taylor. She asks about his title match, and Bo’s thoughts are that even though Neville has his championship, he wasn’t beaten in a wrestling match. This isn’t a jungle gym competition – this is wrestling, and tonight Bo Dallas regains his title.
Corey Graves vs Yoshi Tatsu
Jesus, Graves is still wearing those horrible acid wash jeans. He could do with Breeze teaching him a thing or two about fashion. Or just anybody teaching him about suitable attire to wear whilst wrestling. Apparently he is now calling himself ‘the baddest man on NXT’, and funnily enough I’m struggling to think of anybody on the program who would really compare. I mean, there are plenty of other things that Corey is also the baddest at on NXT – fashion, haircuts, knuckle tattoos, promos – but in terms of general attitude he probably is the worst character on NXT. He’s starting to remind me a lot of Randy Orton, it has to be said – he has this sort of cockiness about him. He’s a lot more Orton than Punk, which was my original go to comparison.
Graves ducks between the ropes to avoid Tatsu getting in the first shot and he then strikes, forcing Tatsu into the corner and connecting with chops to the chest. Yoshi turns it around, though, delivering multiple kicks and punches and then bouncing him off the turnbuckles. Graves turns an Irish whip across the ring around and sends Yoshi into the corner, but Tatsu blocks him coming in and kicks him in the head and then hits a Muta-esque chop to the head from the second rope for a one count. The Cardiac Kid connects with some stiff kicks to his opponent in the corner, but when the referee forces the break Graves comes out with a boot to the midsection and multiple elbows. The Hipster Barista picks his man up, only to chop him back to the ground and twist the left knee out into a kneebar, and even though Tatsu gets a little bit of a comeback in, Graves cuts him off with a kick to the injured leg, and then drops his weight across it before stretching the knee out. Yoshi fires back with kicks to break the hold, but when he whips Graves off the ropes he gets chop blocked to heck, and Graves then locks in 13th Step to seal the win.
Oh, hey, Graves has a microphone. He wants Sami Zayn to stay down or whatever, and then poses in the ring for a ridiculously long amount of time before cocking an eyebrow at the camera. You know, that wasn’t too bad – Tatsu managed to up the pace well when he had his flurries of offense, which worked really well into Graves’ slow, methodical style. Corey’s still a little one-dimensional in the ring for my liking and doesn’t seem to have a good range of moves to pull from, but what he does is effective. If anything, this worked better a shorter match, keeping the amount of time that Graves slowed everything down to a minimum instead of having this long, drawn out middle period where it’s just constant leg holds and no comeback from his opponent. I sort of liked it, especially the timing from both guys which was pitched just about right.
Charlotte vs Natalya
There are two oft-repeated misnomers that I wish could be put to bed. One is easy to explain, and one less so – and the one less so is actually connected to this match:
1. Tamina is a good pro-wrestler. Tamina ia not a good pro-wrestler. She can’t even hit a good looking splash, and that’s her frigging finisher.
2. Natalya is the best woman in WWE. Now, this needs a bit more explaining, and before I get too deep into it I want to say this – Natalya is an OK wrestler. She’s not awfully bad like over half of the Divas roster. She doesn’t have a natural sense of timing, and is hopeless at getting the crowd involved in her matches, but she’s OK. I’m sure I’ve explained this before, but I’ve grown to dislike her even more recently. She can wrestle OK, but that’s it – there’s nothing else there. When your most notable characters in WWE are ‘farts a lot’ and ‘has sex with a giant Indian’ it kind of says it all about your ability as a character. By extension, that’s what both helps and spoils her when she appears on NXT – women’s wrestling on NXT is the best in the WWE, and her matches with Paige and Emma were excellent because they are wrestling matches, not hair tossing ‘COOOOOOMMMEEEE OOOOONNNN BRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIE’ matches like on the main roster. But then you put her alongside actual characters like Bayley, Emma or Sasha and she gets completely exposed on that side of her game. I mean, she hardly knows how to react to any of them because she can’t do that side of the show at all. Listen to her when she’s on commentary – she’s an abandoned ship trying to reach land whenever someone needs her to talk off script. It’s a mess. So she’s not The Best in WWE, but she’s OK at wrestling.
So…yeah, sorry guys, Natalya ain’t my bag. Neither’s Charlotte. Summer Rae’s face on a stick is definitely my bag, though. Oh, here’s Bret Hart, doddering his way down the entrance ramp with his neice or whatever it is. Where’s Bayley? Charlotte looks super pissed in the corner as Natalya takes her jacket off, and shover her in the face. Natalya takes her down to the mat, and they trade takeovers and headscissors, both kipping up out of them. Natalya goes to a waist lock, but Charlotte worms her way out of it only to get taken down with a fireman’s carry into an armbars. Charlotte gets a headscissors on, but Natalya again flips out of it. Charlotte, however, has had enough of this shit and just knees her opponent in the gut and locks in a wristlock. Natalya gets a roll up to break it, and then slaps her opponent before taking her down and running across her back and covering by sitting on her. No, for real. Charlotte Flair flips in the corner off an Irish whip, but comes back into the ring straight into a clothesline and then has to wriggle to the ropes to break a sharpshooter attempt. Charlotte then takes control in the ropes, stretching the left leg of her opponent and then jumping off the ropes and putting her weight across it on the way down. She’s working the knee now, building up to the figure four…but Natalya rolls it through into a pin when she goes for it, only to get taken out with a clothesline and have her knee worked over again in a stretch. Natalya is trying to break out of it, and eventually does with a leg across the neck, but the knee is bothering her and Charlotte connects with a Dragon Screw to inflict more damage. But when she goes for the figure four again she gets caught in a sharpshooter…and Sasha causes the DQ! Bret Hart is useless at ringside as Banks takes out his niece, but she now gets caught in a sharpshooter too! The BFFs bail on the ring as Natalya stands tall, triumphant over two of NXT’s best and brightest. How terrific.
Alright match, though. Charlotte does seem to have gained some wrestling ability since her lay off, and by not hitting that front flip cutter thingy she didn’t look completely awful. The crowd weren’t really that into it because neither person did that much to get them into it, but it was an OK wrestling match, at least.
Adrian Neville is backstage and…yeah. Apparently the main difference between the match at ArRIVAL and the match tonight is that there are no ladders. Who knew? Anyway, Neville is walking out still the champ, even though Bo Dallas is one of the most challenging opponents he’s ever faced.
Adrian Neville vs Bo Dallas
The Most Hated Man In Professional Wrestling makes his entrance, hands aloft and bedecked in white ring gear. Not that Mojo’s family could give a damn, they’re just sat chatting amongst themselves in the crowd and not even looking at the ring. Sigh. Neville enters through a burst of steam and rolls into the ring, title belt in hand as Dallas looks on, and he points to the ceiling before Eden gives us some big match introductions and the referee gets this one underway!
Bo has got his game face on, staring down Neville from the corner, and a duel ‘let’s go Neville’ and ‘let’s go Bo’ chant goes up. Dallas shoots for the leg and goes for a couple of quick pins before returning to his corner. The two lock up now, and Neville gets thrown off, but out of another lock up it’s Neville doing the throwing, and on a third one Neville forces his opponent back into the ropes. Dallas grabs the hair and forces Neville into the corner, but it’s Neville who fires out, and off an Irish whip he leap frogs his opponent and runs to the other corner to hit a missile dropkick. Neville goes up to looking for Red Arrow early, but Bo bails so Neville adjusts and hits a huge moonsault of the top rope onto Bo on the outside! Amazing scenes. Neville throws Dallas into the ring and springboards in, but Bo ducks underneath with Neville landing on his feet, and when Dallas goes for a clothesline the Jumping Geordie turns it into a crucifix for a two count. The pace here is unreal, both guys are being super quick, and Dallas flings Neville to the apron before cutting him off mid-springboard, sending him to the floor. The count goes up, but Dallas pleads with the ref to stop it because otherwise he’d win the match but not the title – masterful bit of work, there – and then he slips out of the ring and nails a hard clothesline on Neville. Dallas rolls him back in and gets a two count before hitting multiple knees to the head for another two. Dallas is well on top now, and the crowd starting to get behind his opponent very vocally as he mounts him and lands a load of punches before attempting another pin. Neville is really struggling to gain a foothold again in this match, his highflying having been cut off and Dallas masterfully keeping him under control.
Bo’s now got Neville by the arm and is connecting with short-arm back elbows and goes for a clothesline…but Neville ducks it! He fires back with a kick to the gut and bounces off the ropes, but Bo follows him and turns him inside out with a clothesline! Bo is desperately covering his man now, time and again, but Neville is still kicking out every time at two, and he blocks a punch on the apron, only to have a kick blocked but he fights back with a shoulder to the mid-section and goes for a sunset flip…but Bo stands up in it and then jacknifes down he’s got the ropes ref, not like this…no, the ref spots it and break his grip on the ropes and Neville turns it into a cover of his own for 1…2…no, Bo kicks out now and then wipes out his opponent with a flying forearm. He pulls him up, looking for the double underhook DDT, but Neville breaks the hold and starts to fire up! Flying forearms, kicks to the gut, and then a low dropkick…and a HUGE springboard flying punch for a two count! That was a true Superman punch. Neville runs in to his opponent in the corner but gets pushed back, only to fly back in with a running European uppercut. Dallas blocks an attempt at an Irish whip and then pulls him in to a big elbow. But Neville fires out of that and connects with a forearm to Bo. He looks for an Irish whip, but gets reversed, no Neville reverses it, no Bo pulls him back and Neville has to grind to a halt to avoid running headlong into the ref, which lets Bo get a roll up for 1…2…no! Neville kicks out! And now he hits a big kick on the outside to the temple of his opponent! The Man That Gravity Forgot goes up top and looks for Red Arrow…but Bo blocks it with his knees! 1…2…NO, Neville kicks out again! This is so good right now, guys. So good.
Dallas is pulling Neville up in the middle of the ring, but Neville is deadweight and he can’t get him off the mat. Finally, Dallas gets him to his knees looking for the DDT again…but Neville runs him back into the corner to break the hold this time. And he ducks a clothesline and goes for a tornado DDT, but Dallas throws him off into the middle of the ring and then drives him into the turnbuckle! Dallas has it won here, surely…but no! Neville connects with a hard kick to the jaw! He’s going up top again – surely he won’t try for Red Arrow a second time? No, no he won’t – he hits an imploding 450 splash. Jesus. And, rightly, that is enough to take the win!
Jesus. Sweet Jesus. That was a great match, and probably better than their effort at ArRIVAL if I’m being honest with you. I mentioned earlier that in the Graves/Tatsu match they got things like timing just about right – here they got it spot on, with every Neville comeback coming at the exact moment it was needed. I’m not sure if it’s just these two guys together or what, but the run of matches they’ve had against each other have been both guys best runs on NXT without question and both have shown more depth in their arsenal of moves than they had before now. Just a great match, and one I really, really enjoyed. I wonder what’s next for both of these guys, now – Neville’s most logical next opponent would be Graves but he’s clearly tied up with Zayn, so…maybe Breeze? He seems like the only other guy on the roster who could really step it up in and out of the ring, and their feud previously was pretty short. Unless we get Rusev challenging for the title or something, I guess. Dallas, on the other hand, needs to keep his momentum going despite having lost his rematch, so should shift into a feud at the top of the card. Unless he’s going to try and get another shot somehow, I guess – but how he gets it I do not know.
NXT MVP: Bo Dallas!
I’ve often said that Bo Dallas’ development since turning heel has been through the roof, but the proof of that really came this week in terms of his wrestling – he was near perfect in the main event, and worked so well as a foil to Neville it’s unbelievable.
27/03/2014 – Bo Dallas
20/03/2014 – Adam Rose
13/03/2014 – Paige
19/02/2014 – Tyler Breeze
12/02/2014 – BFFs
05/02/2014 – Aiden English
29/01/2014 – Renee Young
Well, at least we had a great main event, huh? The show up until Dallas vs Neville was pretty average, with some absolutely dire bits. For the second week in a row, they started with Rawley squashing a guy and it hasn’t worked on either occasion. Woods vs Breeze wasn’t anything special either, and the next two matches were just OK. Dallas and Neville saved the show this week, no doubt about it.
Graves vs Zayn II has been confirmed for next week, but that’s all so anything can happen. Perhaps we will get some clarity on just who will challenge Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship now that Bo Dallas has been dealt with. Otherwise, who knows? Not I, that’s for sure. Have a great week, NXTians, and as ever stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! See ya!