Happy Friday, NXTians! We are hot on the road to NXT Takeover II: The Quickening and tonight should see some pieces of the jigsaw fall into place for the show in two week’s time – Sylvester LeFort is surely poised to respond to Enzo Amore’s lucha de apuesta challenge from last week. Will the tiny little French man accept the hair vs hair challenge, or is he too sawft? Also, with the new NXT General Manager being named on tonight’s show after JBL presumably failed a job review or something, will we find out the main event for the big event? There’s only one way to find out – read on!
The NXT Review: 28/08/2014 – Four Horsemen
Aug 29, 2014 - 8:16:59 AM
(Okay, so there are other ways to find out – watch the show, a quick google – but reading on would be nice, please.)
The NXT Review: 28/08/2014 – Four Horsemen
The Ascension vs Some Guys
Apparently this is the final tune up for The Ascension, who Alex Riley compares to The Shield. Because he’s an idiot. Tonight, The Ascension are facing Chad Kroeger from Nickelback and a fat version of Ricochet. It’s Kroeger who gets decimated and thrown into his partner for a tag, who then gets destroyed with the Fall of Man to give the champs the win. The usual easy one for The Ascensions, but hopefully The Vaudevillains or Caristo can offer up more of a challenge come NXT Takeover 2: The Legend Continues.
Oh, Konnor and Viktor have microphones. Viktor speaks like Kaval, and questions whether the new number one contenders will truly be contenders or victims. Konnor says there will be total anniYAHlation at the live event. We’ve seen this one before, right? Man, flip the script up guys.
Jojo announces the new General Manager…it’s William frigging Regal! YES! This is a huge upgrade on JBL – Regal as GM is one of my favourite periods of the last decade of Raw, I have to say. Plus, if this means we end up with someone fighting him in the future I am down – Regal’s possibly the only man that would feature twice in a top five matches of NXT if I put one together. His work with Ohno and Cesaro was outstanding. Anyway, Regal wants to announce the challenger for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover 2: Judgment day and calls the champ himself down to the ring. Neville is looking particularly splendid in a suit tonight, but starts talking like a Bella twin, accentuation odd words in his sentences. He asks who’s next, prompting a Goldberg chant from the crowd, and before Regal can announce it here comes Tyson Kidd, fist pumping and smirking on his way down the ramp like he’s already been announced. In fact, he accepts, as the crowd plead with Regal to not let it be this way, but Tyson says it is a FACT that he will leave with the NXT Championship on September 11th. Which brings out Tyler Breeze, who says that everybody deserves a title shot ahead of Kidd, including his wife! Zing! And here comes Sami Zayn! He says he’s more qualified and deserving than either Kidd or Breeze, but Neville has an opinion – he’ll take them all on! He’s hardcore! Kidd celebrating when Neville says he’ll face him is priceless, for the record. This gimmick is really working for him. Regal makes it a match – it’s on! A fatal four way match! Everybody looks at each other as the announce team question whether it was a good thing for Neville to want. I’m down, this should be a hell of a match and is a nice change up from the singles match heavy cards that the special events have had to date, and will give all four guys a chance to show off.
Mr. Regal is now talking to…someone, backstage. I’m not sure who she is. The Lord restates his announcement and then declares that tonight there will be a tag team match – Breeze and Kidd vs Zayn and Neville, right here tonight! The apocalypse is coming when NXT resorts to Teddy Long tactics.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley
Sasha Banks has new music and it is awesome. She’s also got some delightful black and white ring gear going on. Sasha Banks is my jam. Bayley does her usual entrance shtick, throwing out high fives and giving away headbands. You know, these two have faced each other so much I almost sighed when I saw they were going at it again, but it’s always been so good that I can’t argue with it. Also, with the progressions they’ve shown as opponents, you can always expect there to be something new to delight you.
The now standard but always excellent ‘Bayley’s gonna hug you’ chant goes up from the crowd as Sasha talks some smack and delivers a slap to the cheek of her opponent! Bayley goes nuts, driving Banks back into the corner with shoulder thrusts, but Banks drops her to the apron and slams her into the turnbuckle. Sasha takes over, slamming Bayley headfirst into the turnbuckle and propping here across the ropes before dropping the knees across her midsection. Oosh, and then she repeats the trick but with a double stomp off the ropes. That earns Banks a two count, and she reacts by locking in that terrific strait jacket choke. I think the NXT Universe are now duel chanting for Bayley and the Boss, as the former tries to battle out of the hold but ends up slammed back to the mat. But as Banks talks smack over her she slaps her in the face! You go Bayley, you fight dirty against that meany! Oh, that’s just enraged the Boss, who opens up with fists and then slams her opponents face to the mat for a two count. Bayley is trying to fight back, but Banks manages to choke her with her boot in the corner, showing shade of her former partner in the BFFs Summer Rae. See, this is why I love Sasha – she’ll take little things from everybody she faces or comes across. She’s not constantly spamming the ‘steal finisher’ buttons, but she’s just integrating things that work into her routine. It’s like Brock Lesnar doing the Undertaker sit up thing at SummerSlam – it’s not an important part of his whole character, but it’s reminding you of what he has done and sowing that thought in your head. Banks is perfect at doing it. With her opponent on the floor, Banks runs on her back and then shoves her around with her foot, standing on her head and taunting the crowd before taking a two count. And Bayley fires back! A forearm and she looks to come off the ropes, but Banks follows her in…and gets caught in a Hugplex! And that’s enough to give her the win!
That ending caught me off guard a little, I have to say – Sasha sold it like it was literally a killer move, though, almost coming up on her neck after hitting the canvas. It was glorious. I’d have liked a little more build to the finish, but otherwise this was as good as I’ve come to expect from these two, with Banks playing the character perfectly and Bayley taking a beating but somehow finding a way to win. I suppose, really, this establishes the Hugplex as a destructive move and shows that Bayley can hit it out of nowhere, but it felt a little jarring as the end of the match, especially after the match they had a couple of weeks ago. This didn’t quite hit the same heights as that one, but it was getting there and could have done if there’d been a bit more of a comeback at the end.
Renee Young gets in the ring to interview our winner, who says that winning the NXT Women’s Championship is everything – she’s not just dreamed about it, she’s prepared for it. She’s been hanging in on NXT, like that cat on a poster, and is going to beat Charlotte to become the new champ. Speak of the devil – here’s Charlotte herself! She drops a ‘woo’ and then bullies Bayley some more about her perceived weakness. She tells the crowd to shut up when she’s talking, which is ace, and then goes on to say that if she saw a kitten in a tree she’d knock it out and say life’s tough! The mean spirited cow! Charlotte tells Bayley to give up, but our favourite bites back, telling her she’s going to win – but Charlotte says she’s going to destroy her. Bayley, though, isn’t going anywhere and doesn’t even want a hug! Oh my, what is the world coming to! She offers a handshake, but Charlotte doesn’t accept and walks off, saying that she warned Bayley before her music hits. The crowd was so into this, from the moment Charlotte started putting them down they were on fire. It was a little over the top at points, but it showed how riled up Charlotte can get them and how behind Bayley they are. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot in the promos that we’d not heard before, but getting that in there, establishing Charlotte as the bully and Bayley now as the confident girl who has garnered enough wins, and strong ones at that, to believe in herself and stand up to the big bad of the NXT women’s division, is pretty essential for the match itself. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the pair of them can do.
Bull Dempsey vs Angelo Dawkins
Bull gets a nice little PIP promo here, saying that Mojo is all hype and that he’s going to destroy him. He then dominates the match completely – if anything, it goes on a little too long and he could Bulldoze him about two minutes earlier than he did. Dawkins gets a flurry of offense, but Dempsey catches him halfway through and hits his finisher to take the win.
The Legionnaires are backstage, laughing about shaving shaving Enzo’s beard last week and getting interviewed by Devin Taylor. They call him a slob, then Marcus Louis accepts the hair vs hair match on behalf of his partner. It’s on! It’s so on! LeFort isn’t happy about it and they argue in French as they leave. Shave him Enzo! Shave him completely, including his chest hair!
Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd vs Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn
You know, as Regal’s first booking decision as GM, this is basically the laziest thing he could have done in kayfabe. ‘Hey, you guys are fighting in a couple of weeks! Fight each other now but you two bad guys team up and you two good guys team up!’ It’s straight out of the old Smackdown play book and isn’t really something I like seeing but hey, Regal’s warming up. I think, on a personal note, I’d like to see some kind of prove yourself gauntlet – whack each man in a singles match against someone else, perhaps someone who should be a challenge to them each, so they can show that they’re strong without having to beat someone they’re going to fight anyway. Still, minor gripes aside, this should give us a nice taste of what’s to come. Plus, Zayn and Neville were really enjoyable together against International Airstrike before, so hopefully that carries over.
Neville and Kidd kick us off, the Geordie pushing his opponent back but getting caught in a wristlock. The champ flips out and locks in an armbar, tagging out to Zayn who lands a blow to the back. Quick work between Zayn and Neville here as they work over Breeze in the corner, Zayn eventually earning a one count before locking up the left arm of his pretty opponent. He lands an atomic drop when Breeze comes off the ropes and then clotheslines him to the outside, which brings Kidd into the ring only to have his knob driven into the knee of Zayn too. He hoists him up for a body slam and tags in Neville…corkscrew moonsault off the back of Zayn! Kidd bails on the ring after that one, and Neville starts to take it to Breeze, the legal man. But Prince Pretty overpowers him and drives him back to his friendly corner, giving him a chance to get Kidd in the ring. He stops midway through running the ropes and back body drops Neville outside when he rushes in, blocks a kick and lands an enziguri! Neville is loopy, and when Kidd distracts the referee Breeze follows up with a superkick on the chin! That earns this nefarious pairing a two count, and they’ve really started to take control now, working over Neville in their corner of the ring. But will they be able to coexist after all the friction that’s built up between them recently?
Breeze drives Neville into his corner, and he and Kidd stretch him out in the corner in a tree of woe, before the latter beats him down with knees and a basement dropkick. That earns a two count, and Kidd locks in a chinlock…but Neville fights out with a back suplex! He’s desperate for a tag, but Kidd reaches Breeze first who cuts off the Brit, leaving Sami desperately stretching out of his corner. Breeze starts to work over Neville, a series of elbows earning a two count that he follows up with a front facelock. Neville makes it to his feet but gets driven back into enemy territory, Kidd coming in and beating down his recent rival and whipping him into the corner. But Neville comes out with a low drop! And he makes the tag! Zayn takes out Kidd with a leaping dropkick and then brings Breeze in forcibly over the ropes! And he lands a cross body to the pair of them! He scoops up Kidd and lands a Michinoku driver for a long two count and looks to follow up with a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Kidd counters into a spinning fishermans suplex for a two count of his own! And Kidd tags out to Breeze, but Zayn was knocked for six and went to the wrong corner…no matter, he delivers an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles! And now he tags in Neville, who springboards in with a dropkick to Breeze. Standing shooting star press…but the pin is split up by Kidd! Kidd and Breeze go to work, but Neville counters them when they duck their heads and sends Breeze into Kidd! And a roll up gets a two count for Neville! But he kicks Breeze in the head and he’s in position…no, Breeze just cuts off the Red Arrow before it’s delivered, crotching Neville on the top corner…and Zayn lands a Helluva Kick to Neville after Tyler ducked it! Kidd tags himself in on Breeze and it’s all breaking down as Tyler gets landed with a Blue Thunder Bomb…Kidd gets the pin on Neville and celebrates like Bo Dallas!
Zayn lands a Helluva kick out of the blue on Kidd as he celebrates in the corner! He stares intently at the NXT Championship and picks it up, standing tall with it as his three opponents in two weeks lie on the mat, all knocked out cold. This was pretty ace, as all these tag team matches seem to be – clearly someone is backstage micro managing these kind of things or something, because they all follow the same template but work so damned well. Playing up the dissension between Kidd and Breeze at the end worked well, and building some between Zayn and Neville was necessary too – it really does look like being every man for himself in that fatal four way in a couple of weeks.
NXT MVP: Tyson Kidd!
Kidd’s a funny one, for me – sometimes I think he’s the greatest and other times I think he’s terrible. This character, though, is really working for him. It’s almost getting to the point where you can buy into him loving himself, and his post-match celebrations are really great. I thought his work on this show was top draw.
28/08/2014 - Tyson Kidd
21/08/2014 - Becky Lynch
14/08/2014 - Bayley
07/08/2014 - Justin Gabriel
31/07/2014 - Charlotte
24/07/2014 – Kalisto
I thought this was a pretty good week, truth be told – I always enjoy The Ascension asserting their dominance, even if I find it a bit tiresome that they can’t even be remotely challenged by their opponents in these matches. The only blot was Dempsey vs Dawkins, which really dragged out. But everything else here was pretty good, and the main event and Bayley/Charlotte interactions were definite highlights.
Next week is the final show before NXT Takeover 2: The Winter Soldier, so we’ll be treated to some more build for that four way main event, hopefully some more interactions between Charlotte and Bayley, plus we have the big match between The Vaudevillains and Caristo to determine who will attempt to challenge The Ascension on the big show. Until then, my friends, go and read ATTITUDE, stay safe while crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!