Hello again, one and all, and welcome to The NXT Review! I hope you’ve had a lovely week since we last spoke. Let’s not beat around the bush – shall we just get into it this week?
The NXT Review: 31/07/2014 – Charlotte Sometimes
Aug 1, 2014 - 8:55:00 AM
The NXT Review: 31/07/2014 – Charlotte Sometimes
Tyler Breeze vs Angelo Dawkins/font>
Breeze gets his now customary big pop from the crowd as his self-sung theme song hits and he sashays his way down to the ring. After last week, where he caused a disqualification between Rusev and Neville as well as taking out Mojo Rawley in a match of the year contender, it seems like he’s gearing up for taking his chance at the NXT Championship in the near future. He reclines in the corner, staring at himself in his phon – he’s got the giant version of himself back on the titantron now, fortunately – it got lost for a couple of shows for some reason, but now it’s back making his entrance the most excellent thing. Angelo Dawkins has been in the ring all the while so we’re ready to go now.
Dawkins with a waistlock takedown, but he gets caught with rights from Breeze and then stomped down in the corner and flung out of the ring. Breeze’s new aggressive side is such a lovely subtle touch – I know it’s quite in your face and they really push it, but at least he’s developed beyond ‘please don’t hit me in the face’. It’s something they don’t really do on the main roster – Miz will probably still be protecting the ‘moneymaker’ in five years’ time – but on NXT they let characters grow slowly. The moment Breeze got planted with that shining wizard from, I think, Xavier Woods, he clearly realised he couldn’t protect himself by just covering up anymore and had to go on the offensive to keep his opponent away from his face. Clever, no? While I was typing that, Breeze hit the Beauty Shot and won. We didn’t miss anything, except for a bit of ringside pounding from Breeze.
Post-match, Breeze picks up Dawkins and flings him out of the ring then grabs a microphone. He says it was an annoyance to come out and have a match – he just wanted to show off his handiwork from last week, where he pushed Neville off the top rope. He found it hilarious, and has a huge announcement – oh, please be another music video! Please! He’s submitted his music video for Oscar nomination in the documentary category! Even better! A huge ‘thank you Tyler’ chant goes up from the crowd – and we’re going to see the video again…no we’re not, because here’s Adrian Neville! He’s suited up and doesn’t want to watch the music video – he has a question, and it is (inevitably) when are you going to claim your shot at the title? Breeze, however, has a call from the director of The Hobbit – Neville is needed on set…but Neville got a Snapchat from Breeze’s mum (!) – turns out Tyler isn’t the only Breeze family member who likes sending selfies! Sick burn Nev. Breeze goes for a strike but Neville fights him off and the model bails on the ring. How exciting! They’re building towards this title shot, aren’t they? I can’t see us going another six or seven weeks until the next rumoured live show before Breeze faces Neville with the title on the line. Good stuff, though – quite enjoyed the face to face promos after the match from both guys, and had a little giggle at the pair of them trading schoolyard barbs.
Jojo (remember her? No? She’s the one who got porked by Justin Gabriel, and then traded up to Randy Orton allegedly? Still no? Frizzy hair? No? Never mind) is backstage and she’s chatting with Natalya who is wearing the most ‘I am a mother’ dress in the world – all giant floral patterns and pastel colours. Nattie is excited that the entertaining Adam Rose is back at NXT…but Tyson Kidd interrupts with some more facts! Rose is a circus clown without facepaint FACT. He’s squandered every chance he’s ever had because he wants to be a dancing fool FACT. He almost certainly should switch back to being Leo Kruger and kill people with a machete FACT. Nattie calls her husband a lemon and tell him to enjoy life – and that riles Kidd into challenging Rose right here tonight! Well, how thrilling. Fairly standard promo stuff between Natalya and Kidd now, still continuing on with the marital tension angle that’s probably going to end in some kind of divorce and Nattie shacking up with any one of the number of people who have acted decently to her.
Tom Phillips announces, on behalf of The Authority, a number one contenders tag team tournament. Seems sensible, there’s a lot of teams on NXT right now that could stake a claim to challenge The Ascension so they need some way of sorting out the next victim.
Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
Charlotte struts her way to the ring now, woo-ing on the way, and she seems to have suddenly turned face in the interim period – she’s now playing to the crowd and is all happy. Hmm, I’m not sure I like that – unless she’s going to be a kind of quasi-face and just do it on the way down to the ring, then hit hard and be the Dirtiest Player in the Game during the match. We’ll see. Becky Lynch is practically a new person – she’s got some crazy strobe lighting style titantron going on, heavy rock music and is headbanging. The commentary team is putting it over as ‘shades of Lita’ and I can see where that’s coming from, although it could just be because she’s got red hair. Anyway, I’m glad all the Irish stuff has gone. Thank heavens for that.
A big ‘Becky’ chant goes up before the first lock up, which Charlotte wins by throwing her opponent to the floor. Lynch with a legsweep for a one count, and she then bridges out of a Charlotte pin attempt. Jeez, this is fast – Lynch comes off the ropes but is stopped by Charlotte, only to block the hip toss and somersault herself off the back of her opponents neck, then takes her down with a side headlock. The Nature Girl rolls through it and tries for a figure four, I think, but Lynch fights out. Charlotte whips her to the corner, but the Irish girl pops out and uses the ropes to spring into a thrust kick. With the champ rocked she goes for an Irish whip, but Charlotte blocks and fires back with an elbow, then blocks a boot and slams her opponent foot first into the mat. Charlotte’s got a target and goes to work, stretching and tying up that left leg, including a sweet leg lock where she bridges back to increase the torque. Lynch manages to scrap her way out of the hold, but she gets caught with a chop block. The Nature Girl props her in the corner and knees her in the hamstring, keeping the focus on the injured limb perfectly – she pins her by hooking the bad limb too, then suspends the leg on the ropes and uses them for leverage to drop her weight on the knee of Lynch. But her opponent blocks a second – roll-up by Lynch for a two count! And now she’s firing back with clothesline after clothesline, and a calf kick to follow! She drops a leg on the neck for a two count…and that unfortunately lets Charlotte catch the previously targeted leg and slam it to the mat. Lynch is rocked and on her knees – that gives Charlotte an opening to hit Bow Down to the Queen (I might just start calling that Bow Down, it’s a bit of a mouthful) for the win.
This was actually kind of great – I really enjoyed it. Charlotte with a focus is the best kind of Charlotte, and I think that was what was missing from her match last week with Summer. There just wasn’t an overall story to it, it just felt like a pair of women throwing their signature moves at each other. Lynch sold well here and her flurry of offense was pretty darned tidy too – she’s got a lot of potential, and whether we see it all or not I don’t know. I’m so happy they dropped all the Riverdance bullshit, though – she now looks like a proper force, and I think we could see something special from her down the line. Charlotte continues her run as NXT Women’s Champion, and the only real flaw I have with this is that the title should have been on the line. I know it’s just a throwaway match but, as I’m sure I’ve said before, if your champion is going to win anyway the match might as well be for the belt.
Mojo is backstage, being about two feet higher than Jojo. Rawley is looking for a partner for the tag team tournament, and he doesn’t care who as long as they’re hyped – here’s Bull Dempsey, who throws his hat in the ring even though he finds it painful. He threatens Rawley, though – if he screws up, he will feel the wrath of the Wrecking Ball. He came in like a wreeeeeecking baaaaaallll etc etc. Well, there’s lovely. Mojo made a friend!
The Ascension vs Some Guys
The Ascension do their thing, complete with chest shimmies and ‘yah’ chants, and completely mess up their opponents in a matter of moments. They do deliver a double shoulder block that I’ve not seen them hit before, which is nice. Does anybody think they’re getting kind of cocky? I mean, it’s fair enough, they’ve had no real challenge, but here they stop completely for, like, 30 seconds just deciding what to do at one point. Along with playing up to the crowd and doing ridiculous things like chest shimmies and such…it feels like there’s a bit of cockiness, perhaps even complacency, creeping into their game. Maybe that’s what will eventually cost them the titles – they’re just too confident against actual, legit competition and get flash rolled up for the win.
After the ‘match’ Viktor puts over how they’re the longest reigning champions in NXT and how they’re holding a tournament – but we all know the fate of the victims, right? Total aniYAHlation. No, for real, Konno actually says ‘aniYAHlation’! Amazing! The crowd get their ‘yah’ on and The Ascension crawl out of the ring.
There’s a nice little CJ Parker video here – every time I think about the CJ Parker gimmick, I think it’s a delight and something I love. Every time I think about CJ Parker I want to vomit. It’s a shame, because this gimmick is so good – the first half of this video just runs over the base of it all, him being right about global warming and all of that stuff, but the second part is him vs Xavier Woods and it’s still horrible and triggers PTSD for me.
Bull Dempsey and Mojo Rawley vs The Mechanics
Rawley charges to the ring, charges around the ring, then has to stand still in the middle of the ring to get his breath back. He has a bunch of bros dressed like him the crowd because they are bros, bro. Dempsey’s ‘BULL’ chants go up and, knowing that he has no cardio conditioning, he just walks to the ring. He does not look happy. The Mechanics are the returning Scott Dawson and the newbie Dash Wilder, and they…well, they have quite a good look. I kind of like them, I think they’re heels based on their mean old faces but we’ll see.
Dempsey decides he’s starting the match and he completely overpowers Dawson. He forces him back to his corner, which means Rawley tags himself in to…overpower Dawson. The Mechanic finally breaks out of a wristlock and gets some control, pulling him back to his own corner and allowing Wilder and he to double team the Hype Man, targeting the arm. Dempsey wants in, but Rawley doesn’t go for him, instead overpowering Dawson…Dempsey tags himself in when Rawley runs past him, Bulldozer’s Dawson and picks up the win for his team.
Thanks for putting everyone I don’t like on the same team, NXT – at least that’s only one match I have to watch a week. Oh God, they’re showing up their tension – they’re going to split up and have a match with each other, aren’t they? Welp. The Mechanics looked like a well-oiled (geddit?) unit here in the moment they had to show off – I’d be down with them getting a bit of focus. I guess we get Dempsey and Rawley going reasonably far into the tournament before Rawley takes a loss and Dempsey kills him. I’ll take it.
Bayley is backstage and, while she doesn’t want to be a Debbie Downer, she’s kind of happy that the BFFs have split up. Plus, she has a pinfall victory over Charlotte – imagine if she could beat her with the title on the line. Yes please! Pretty please! Charlotte is all ‘hah, you stole one victory and aren’t genetically superior’ then says she doesn’t want to humiliate Bayley so she shouldn’t utter her name again. Bayley did some great facial reactions to her long-term rival here, looking kind of furious and yet intimidated at the same time. But man, this is the match that I’ve been waiting something like nine months for. I mean, the win over Charlotte came in the six women tag match six weeks ago, so it’s not one on one and the story of Charlotte turning one someone who thought she was her friend is ripe. I hope they bring up all that history.
Tyson Kidd vs Adam Rose
Rose and his Rosebuds fill the ramp, bouncing away to themselves and getting a decent reaction. One of the things that remains confusing to me is why they moved this so quickly from NXT to Raw – there was hardly any time for him to grow or develop the role. There are deep rooted reasons as to why he’s not working on the main roster, not least because he’s completely directionless and is most likely to end up shilling spiked iced tea backstage rather than actually wrestling anything like a decent match, but for me a big thing is that he never got to grow, as a character, in NXT. As such, there’s no depth to it – he’s just a crowdsurfing party guy. They try and say ‘oh, he snaps’ but…he kind of doesn’t, he just does a couple of moves instead of fannying around and looking like he’s got a difficult turd. I think I might have turned on the guy, to be honest with you. Tyson Kidd is charged with trying to balance this comedy muppet with some decent wrestling tonight, entering to a chorus of boos and a couple of isolated cheers with Boring Mum Natalya in her Laura Ashley dress – I bet her presence at ringside won’t have a bearing on the match result! Oh, she said ‘I love you’ when Kidd gave her his jacket to hold. Ain’t that lovely?
Rose with a legsweep for an early cover attempt that gets nary a one count, and he stays on the offensive by…smacking Kidd on the butt. OK. Rose takes a little trip outside and has a stare down with Nattie, giving her his lollipop. No, not like that, guys, minds out of the gutter. Kidd then gets all up in her business, like ‘what are you doing?’ and calls Rose a joke, then flies in with some fast boots and kicks. Rose turns it round in the corner, though – ‘HE’S SNAPPED MAGGLE, HE’S SNAPPED’ – and a snap suplex gets him a one count as the Pink and Black Attack cheers on Kidd from ringside. Kidd bails on the ring, eventually – but that allows Rose to scoop him up when he misses a clothesline and he drops him face first on the apron, then connects with a baseball slide. Well, it sure looks like having Natalya at ringside has worked well for Tyson so far – he’s been on the backfoot from the start, and is simply no competition right now for the Party Master. He’s got to get his head in the game.
Rose is still on Kidd, keeping on the mat with a wristlock while shoving his knee in Tyson’s face. Kidd manages to get to his feet and then telegraphs Rose ducking his head on an Irish whip, landing a kick to the face and sending him to the outside with a clothesline. Kidd uses the ring post, slamming Rose face first into it a pair of times, and he’s got his serious face on. He gets him back in the ring for a two count, and then chokes his opponent with the ropes, hitting a slingshot leg drop over the ropes to add to the damage. He locks on a chin lock after only getting a two count, but Rose turns it around into a sleeper…no, Kidd drops it into a jawbreaker and sends him to the outside. Kidd wants to ram home the advantage, putting Rose in a tree of woe and kneeing him in the gut before stretching him by the neck from the outside, and following up by standing on his head. What a pugilistic swine! A running back elbow gets him a two count, so Kidd goes back to the chin lock to keep the bigger man down. Rose finally breaks out of it with a back suplex, and Nattie looks pretty shocked at ringside – the crowd a geeing him up with ‘party’ chants and it works! Rose comes back with a series of rights then hits the Choo Choo Slice in the corner…but Kidd just has enough about him to hit a kick to the midsection. No, now Rose is reversing the momentum with a big spinebuster! Two count only! Rose urges Kidd to get to his feet…Party Foul gets reversed with a roll through, but Rose breaks a sharpshooter attempt in the ropes, only to get hung up on them by Kidd. Penalty Kick from Kidd to Rose on the outside, and he tosses his opponent back in to the ring then jaw jacks with Natalya on the outside…and it costs him! An inside cradle from Rose gives the Party Master the win!
Rose celebrates, but the focus is on Natalya and Kidd here – the latter brushes off the attempts of the former to reconcile after the match and looks distraught. Is he blaming Natalya for the loss, asks Tom Phillips – sometimes, I wonder if the commentary team actually watch the program. Of course he’s blaming him for the loss, Tom, it’s what he’s been doing subtly for weeks on end. The match was OK, but…well, it wasn’t all that. It just kind of existed, really, and outside of the Natalya/Rose stuff early on it didn’t make you sit up and take notice. Both guys were kind of on autopilot, without doing anything too special, which isn’t necessarily bad because they’re both alright in the ring – it just wasn’t amazing.
NXT MVP: Charlotte!
For me, there’s no question here – Charlotte looked excellent in the best match on the card tonight, and really held it together. Plus, she broke out a couple of new things that hint at the development she’s making, and was pretty darned good in that backstage bit with Bayley to boot. Definitely a worth MVP.
31/07/2014 - Charlotte
24/07/2014 – Kalisto
17/07/2014 – Sasha Banks
10/07/2014 – Sami Zayn
03/07/2014 – Enzo Amore
26/06/2014 – Adrian Neville
Hmm. I’m not sure what to think here. I didn’t think the show necessarily had a good wrestling side to it – the three short matches and the main event weren’t really good enough to get my attention, and whilst Charlotte vs Becky Lynch was great it’s not enough to balance it out – but I liked what came around that stuff. The segment with Breeze and Neville was pretty good stuff, petty insults but it does add some heat. Also, I’m a big fan of your mum comebacks. The Ascension continue their ability to do stupid things in their promos that make me giggle, and the Charlotte/Bayley interaction hinted at what I’ve been waiting ages for and was a good building block for those two to face off. So, whilst not the best show, it had its high points.
Next week, we’ll see the start of the tag team tournament, so maybe the Realest Guys in the Room will show up. We can but hope. No matches were announced here, so we’ll just have to keep hanging on for the next seven days. Until then, stay safe when crossing the road NXTians, and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!