NXT (October 23, 2014)

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Time for some more NXT. This was a review I’d done for an old blog I had. I’ve cleaned it up and added the proper Atomic Drop formatting we’ve all come to know and love, so let’s take it away.

We start things off with the standard issue NXT opening theme song before heading to Full Sail University for our opening contest. Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, and Albert/Tensai/Giant Bernard are on commentary.

Match 1: The Ascension vs. Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger

Jordan and Viktor start things off. Jordan gets an early amateur wrestling style takedown, but Viktor comes back with a series of chops and uppercuts in the corner to take over on offense.

Viktor hits a wristlock slam and then tags in Konnor so they can truck through Jason Jordan with a double shoulder tackle. Konnor stomps away at Jordan in the corner as the crowd chants “YAH!”

Jordan makes a comeback and hits a back elbow and makes the tag to Tye Dillinger, but Konnor wrecks his shit with a flapjack. Viktor comes in and the Ascension nail Dillinger with the Fall of Man to pick up the win.

After the match the Ascension stand tall in the ring but Hideo Itami’s music hits and he hits the ring. Itami goes after the Ascension, but they overpower him and lay him out with the Fall of Man, leaving a fallen Hideo Itami in the ring. Maybe he would have had better luck if he hadn’t had production play his theme song and put “HIDEO ITAMI” up on the Titantron before he ran out. Kudos for Rich Brennan trying to make the logic save on commentary by declaring, “rage can blind you, so maybe that’s the case here,” when Itami ran out for his beatdown.

Winners: The Ascension

This was a fine glorified squash match. Jordan and Dillinger both looked pretty good here but it was clear that they were not going to win. I like that NXT has guys that are enhancement talent, but aren’t really jobbers for matches like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan and Dillinger got moved up the card in the near future.

The post-match stuff with Itami was what it was. He kind of looked like an idiot for rushing out to a two on one beatdown but I trust that NXT knows what they’re doing. [**]

Match 2: CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze

Parker comes out with a sign reading, “One Man, One World, One Cause.” Parker gets the early advantage before getting sent out to the apron. He tries for a clothesline but misses and Breeze sends him out to the floor with a springboard dropkick.

Back in the ring Parker gets back in control, mounting Breeze and unloading on him wih rights. Parker then heads up top and connects with a double sledge for a near fall.

An injured Mojo Rawley then makes his way out and heads down to the ringside area. Is this the fast return of a wrestler after cutting a promo about “taking some time off” in the history of professional wrestling? It was literally last week where he said he needed time to recover and stuff.

Parker comes off the top again but Breeze nails him with a shot to the gut. Breeze then hits a rana that he follows with a series of rights. Breeze notices Mojo at ringside, but does not seem particularly bothered by his presence as he proceeds to put the boots to CJ Parker in the corner.

Breeze eyeballs Mojo at ringside some more and this time it proves to be a distraction that allows Parker to roll Breeze up for a near fall. Parker then goes for a side kick but misses. Breeze hits the Beauty Shot from outta nowhere and covers to pick up the win.

After the match Breeze mocks Mojo’s injured arm while Mojo continues to stare daggers at him.

Winner: Tyler Breeze

I was kind of confused by this match. Parker is clearly a heel and Breeze spent the bulk of it more or less working as a face, but was kind of a dick to Mojo Rawley who I guess is a face post match so I don’t know what’s going on. As for the match itself. It was a short TV squash match that I guess is setting up a feud between Mojo and Breeze, so I guess it accomplished what it needed to. [*½]

Meanwhile Backstage…

New interview lady, Dasha Kuret, is super excited to be here. She smiles and introduces her guest, the current #1 contender to the NXT Champion, Titus O’Neil. Titus appears and barks in Dasha’s face who just stands there with a shit-eating grin on her face.

Titus proclaims that he is going to abuse Adrian Neville’s mind, body and spirit, but most importantly take his NXT Championship and rename the show, “NXTitus Championship” or something. I don’t know!

Hype Package!

We return from break and get a vignette about the Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin. Corbin talks about there being two types of people in the world: people like him and people like me apparently. He states, “It’s up to my kind to destroy your kind,” which sounds pretty sketchy coming from a white biker dude.

Match 3: The Vaudevillains vs. Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy

I guess they’re still trying to make Team Thick a thing. The Vaudevillains head out to their new slower, more sinister entrance music as the announcers stop just short of outright declaring, “The Vaudevillains are heels now,” to put over the fact that the Vaudevillains are heels now.

Murphy and English start things off with English quickly taking control and shouting, “This is my ring!” Murphy takes English down and covers but only gets a one count. English regains control and Gotch then tags in.

The Vaudevillains double team Murphy with a shot to the gut and Gotch covers but only gets one. In spite the commentary team’s effort to paint these men as dastardly villains the crowd at Full Sail begins a, “That was manly!” chant.

Murphy makes the tag to Blake and we get a double leapfrog and back elbow from Team Thick. Murphy comes back in as Blake takes Gotch down with a Russian Leg Sweep. Murphy connects with a slingshot senton for a near fall. English distracts Murphy which allows Gotch to take him down for a pin attempt, but it’s only good for one.

English tags in and scores a near fall on Murphy. He repeatedly slams Murphy’s arm into the mat before tagging Gotch back in. Gotch continues to work over Murphy’s arm until Murphy counters with a jawbreaker.

English comes back in and cuts Murphy off as he tries to make the tag. English gets Murphy up for a suplex attempt but Murphy slips out of it and makes the HOT TAG to Blake who runs wild on English with a series of running forearms. He follows this with a springboard forearm and a kip up much to the delight of one lady in the audience who yelled “WOOO!” anytime Blake did anything.

Gotch makes a blind tag and hot shots Blake across the top rope. He and English then hit their new finisher: a European uppercut/swinging neckbreaker combo that is apparently called the Gentleman’s Congress. Goddamn do I love these guys.

Winners: The Vaudevillains

I like the new Vaudevillains theme song. It suits them better if they’re supposed to be heels now, but I kind of miss their old one. Blake & Murphy look pretty good together, but “Team Thick” is a dumbass name. Hopefully they’ll get something better than that going forward. I also don’t know if it was the smartest thing to have the Vaudevillains, a team that they’re trying to get over as heels, go up against a team that was playing heel but a week ago when they faced Sin Cara and Kalisto. That being said, this was a good little tag team match. [**½]

Match 4: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Bayley goes after Sasha in the early going of the match but gets held back by the referee. Sasha talks smack at Bayley and then pokes her in the eye. Bayley takes the Boss down and the two exchange rights from the mount. Bayley covers but only gets a one count.

A slam and a running knee drop by Bayley follow, earning her a near fall. Bayley stays on the offensive, hitting a knee and a running back elbow to Banks’ back. A basement clothesline follows earning Bayley a near fall. She then tosses Banks with a lucha arm drag off the middle ropes.

Banks, however, sends Bayley out onto the apron and then nails her with a kick to take control. We get some more trash talking from the Boss before she slams Bayley to the mat and proceeds to stand on her hair while pulling back on her arms.

Sasha takes Bayley over with a snapmare then hits a running slap. She mocks Bayley some more before covering for a near fall. Sasha applies a surfboard as the crowd rallies behind Bayley. Sasha pulls Bayley’s hair and then yells, “It’s my time to shine!” as she chokes Bayley in the ropes.

Bayley fights back and forces Banks into the corner where she unloads on the Boss with a series of shoulders to the ribs. Bayley then tightens her ponytail because she is about to get series before connecting with a back elbow in the corner. She follows with a back elbow off the middle rope that earns her a near fall.

She then picks up Banks for a slam, but Sasha slips out of it and hits a lungblower. She then locks on the Bank Statement and Bayley has no choice but to tap.

Banks celebrates her win and then attacks Bayley. This brings out Becky Lynch to make the save. Sasha bails and Lynch helps Bayley back to her feet and hugs her before clotheslining her in the back of the head!

Lynch then leaves as Sasha stands up on the stage and applauds what Becky Lynch has just done. Becky Lynch joins her and raises Sasha Banks’ hand and the two head to the back as Bayley lies in the ring.

Winner: Sasha Banks

Banks and Bayley continue to be very good at wrestling professionally. Though this was neither woman’s best effort it was still miles better than anything the women are doing on Raw or Smackdown. I don’t know why I continue to be amazed by how much different the presentation of women’s wrestling is on NXT but I still am. Hopefully as these women get called up things will start to change on Raw and Smackdown as well.

With regards to the post-match stuff, I’m fine with Becky Lynch going heel. Hopefully it will give her a bit more of a character than, “Irish lady who maybe is into punk or something,” though I worry that Bayley is quickly turning into Sting in being duped into being betrayed by people who are allegedly her friend. [***]

Meanwhile Backstage…

Carmella is on the phone when Enzo and Cass walk in. Enzo does some light sexual harassment of a coworker, telling Carmella that she looks fine. She tells him that she knows she does. Enzo says that he’s a G, but he’s also “4G, cuz I’m well connected.”

He tells Carmella that he sat down with William Regal recently. Carmella asks if they had tea or something, because he’s British…get it? Enzo tells her that he got Carmella a match against Emma. Carmella says she doesn’t care who she faces because she’s going to go all the way to the top.

She then goes to leave and Enzo further sexually harasses her by trying to get her to kiss him. Carmella kisses Cass on the cheek and Enzo asks where his “sugar” is. Cass tells him it’s back in Regal’s office with the tea. Sick burn brah…

Match 5: Titus O’Neil vs. Adrian Neville (c)

We get pre-match ring introductions before the bell for that Big Fight Feel™. Titus shoves Neville and the referee has to separate them. The match begins and Neville grabs a side headlock. He gets shoved off by Titus and comes off the ropes and tries to slide under Titus’ legs only for Titus to grab him.

Titus hurks him up for a back suplex, but Neville slips out of it and drills Titus with a dropkick. Neville goes up and over but gets sent into the corner by Titus who then takes over on Neville. Neville connects with a knee strike but Titus puts him up on the ropes and shoves him off to the floor.

He sends Neville back in and covers for two as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

Back from break, Titus is still in control. He delivers a series of backbreakers to Neville before ragdolling him halfway across the ring. Titus slaps on a bearhug as the crowd gets behind Neville. Neville fights out of it but O’Neil gets it back on.

Titus ragdolls Neville across the ring again and then paintbrushes him. Neville fires up and unloads on Titus with rights. He follows with a spinning back kick to O’Neil’s ribs before unleashing a flurry of kicks to the leg.

Neville connects with another spinning back kick that he follows with a front kick before Titus catches him and throws him into the corner. Titus charges, but Neville avoids it and boots Titus in the head.

Titus comes back with a big boot that earns him a near fall and then unloads on him with shots in the corner. Neville blasts Titus with a big right. Titus then charges at Neville in the corner, but Neville gets his feet up to drop O’Neil.

Neville heads up top and hits the Red Arrow. ONE! TWO! THREE! Neville retains his NXT championship!

Neville heads up the ramp after his victory but Sami Zayn comes out onto the stage with a microphone. He congratulates Neville on his title defense and says that Neville’s been on fire as of late. He then says that he’s been on a bit of a mission himself and asks Neville for a shot at the NXT Championship. Neville tells him that whenever and wherever Zayn wants it, he can have a shot at the belt.

Zayn thanks Neville and tells him to enjoy his championship while he can because he won’t have it much longer. Neville tells Zayn he isn’t too worried because everyone knows that Sami Zayn can’t win when it counts. He then pats Sami on the back and leaves to close the show.

Winner: Adrian Neville

This was an okay main event, but nothing all that great. Titus O’Neil isn’t all that great in the ring, but as a huge dude for Neville to overcome on weekly TV he played his role pretty well. The post-match stuff with Zayn has been pretty much telegraphed these past few weeks, but it’s fine and their match should be solid regardless of who wins so I’m all for it. [**½]

Final Thoughts

There was some decent angle development here and the women’s match was solid, but other than that the wrestling here was just kind of okay. Nothing was horrible, but nothing was must see either.

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