Date: September 18, 2014
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're past Takeover II now and the main story seems to have been Adrian Neville teasing a heel turn by pulling the referee out of the ring to retain his title. Other than that we saw the debut of Hideo Itami and what looks to be the start of a feud with former NXT Tag Team Champions the Ascension, who lost their belts to Sin Cara and Kalisto. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Takeover.
Here's Titus O'Neil as your WWE Superstar for this taping cycle. He tells the fans that they're lucky to be in his presence (“WE WANT DARREN!”) and complains about people like Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville taking up his time on Raw last week. Now he's going to take up our time and just stay out here for awhile. Now this show will be called NXTITUS but here's Sami Zayn to cut him off.
Sami says we need someone like Titus here who can't win a match to save his life. While Titus is getting beaten up by a bunny, NXT is stealing the show. A fight is teased but here's Adrian Neville to interrupt. The champ says he's the man that stands up for NXT, but here's Tyson Kidd with something to say.
Kidd says it's a fact that Titus and Sami are both losers but at least Adrian is a champion. Tyson praises Adrian for doing what he did last week, which Sami says he's cool with. Titus cuts them off and says he's here to make a statement, but GM William Regal comes out and makes Titus/Tyson vs. Adrian/Sami for later. NXT does NOT need these long talking segments to start the shows.
We look back at Hideo Itami debuting and taking out the Ascension.
Charlotte vs. Emma
Non-title and of course the fans welcome Emma back. Emma knocks the belt out of Charlotte's hand so the champ knocks her down and ties Emma up in the Figure Four headlock. She even mocks Emma's dance with the hold on. That's the kind of thing that elevates wrestlers just a step above the rest.
Emma rolls back for a cover and breaks the hold but Charlotte runs her over with a shoulder. The moonsault is broken up though and Emma grabs a rollup (after missing on the first try). A few running forearms drop Charlotte and there's the Emma Sandwich. Emma gets two off a high cross body but gets caught in a neckbreaker and Natural Selection gives Charlotte the pin at 4:10.
Rating: C-. This was sloppier than I was expecting but it continues to amaze me how much more polished these girls look than the regular WWE girls. They look like wrestlers who happen to be women instead of the Divas who are bad actresses who try to have a match every now and then. The fans don't seem to care about Emma anymore.
Justin Gabriel vs. Hideo Itami
Feeling out process to start until Hideo kicks him in the face to block a leapfrog. Gabriel bails to the floor and snaps Hideo's neck across the top rope to take over. Off to a double chickenwing but Itami fights out with strikes and even taunts Justin a bit. A running boot to the face and kick to the chest have Justin in trouble before a springboard kick to the ribs drops Gabriel. Itami mostly hits a top rope double stomp for the pin at 3:35.
Rating: D+. Oh I hope there's more to him than what I saw here. I know I'm going to get yelled at for this but I really do not care for wrestlers with such one dimensional offense. I don't think Hideo used anything but kicks here and that's going to get old in a hurry if it's all he's doing. That being said, this was just a three and a half minute match so it's way too early to pass judgment on him yet. I haven't seen much of his Japan work so I don't know if this is what he's like most of the time, but I really hope not.
Post match Ascension comes out and destroys Itami with the Fall of Man.
CJ Parker vs. Baron Corbin
Baron looks to be a biker. Parker gets shoved into the corner and is dropped by a right hand. The same snap Downward Spiral, now called End of Days, takes out Parker at 34 seconds.
We look at Marcus Louis getting his hair removed last week.
The girl (Carmella) that gave Enzo and Big Cass the hair cream comes into the gym to yell at them for getting her fired. She wants a job as a fighter and smacks Enzo down to the floor. I like these videos where they take things out of the arena. It's a nice change of scenery even if it's something as basic as a gym.
Tyson Kidd/Titus O'Neil vs. Sami Zayn/Adrian Neville
Kidd and Sami get things going but it's off to Neville before there's any contact. Adrian jumps over Kidd in the corner and gets one off a hiptoss. Sami tags himself back in and hits Adrian's standing moonsault (Fans: “BETTER THAN NEVILLE!”) for one of his own. Adrian comes back in and does a standing corkscrew moonsault onto Tyson's legs for two. Neville dropkicks Tyson to the floor but Sami tags himself in. The champ doesn't notice and loads up a dive but Sami hits a springboard moonsault to take Kidd out again as we take a break.
Back with Tyson driving Sami into the corner for the tag off to Titus. O'Neil hits two backbreakers in a row before just throwing Sami away. It's already back to Tyson who gets a TYSON CHICKEN chant. A chinlock slows things down a bit until Titus comes in with a hue uppercut. Off to an abdominal stretch before a hard slam drops Sami again.
A legdrop to the back of the head sends Zayn crawling for the corner where he avoids a charging Titus. The hot tag brings in Adrian to clean house with kicks and a standing moonsault for two on Tyson. Everything breaks down and O'Neil breaks up the Red Arrow by shoving Adrian onto Tyson's knees, giving Kidd the pin at 11:30.
Rating: C+. Basic tag match here but you can see the seeds being planted for the eventual full heel turn by Adrian and the showdown with Sami. That story could take months to set up and the blowoff match could be a classic. Good match here though it was much more about setting stuff up for the future.
Sami is annoyed but says it's ok to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This was a very basic but still entertaining show. They're clearly setting stuff up instead of focusing on what's going on right now and that's a smart move. It gives the fans a reason to come back, but the good thing is NXT can keep things interesting on the way to the big stuff later on. Corbin could be a big deal in the future, Carmella can restock the Divas division and Itami is going to be a main event player soon enough. Couple that with the build to Neville vs. Zayn and things are looking up again for NXT.
Charlotte b. Emma – Natural Selection
Hideo Itami b. Justin Gabriel – Top rope double splash
Baron Corbin b. CJ Parker – End of Days
Tyson Kidd/Titus O'Neil b. Sami Zayn/Adrian Neville – Kidd pinned Neville after a missed Red Arrow
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