Date: November 13, 2014
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Jason Albert, Alex Riley, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight is a big show for NXT as we have the showdown between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville for the NXT Title. I don't quite believe we're getting the full match tonight though, or at least we're not getting a clean ending. Other than that we have the fallout from the debut of Finn Balor, who will be helping Itami in his war against the Ascension. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Itami vs. Ascension and Balor debuting last week.
Here's Balor to open the show with a rather epic entrance. He says he's here in NXT because he's the future....and here are Natalya and Tyson Kidd arm in arm. Tyson is sure that Balor has a fascinating story but no one cares. Fact. Kidd was brought into this business as a Hart, so the first thing he was ever taught was respect. Cue Justin Gabriel who says a new international superstar is here every week to be a top guy. Finn has to get through them first though, but let's pause for a WHO ARE YOU chant at Gabriel. Kidd and Gabriel get in the ring but here's Itami, walking very slowly out to save his buddy.
Finn Balor/Hideo Itami vs. Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel
This should be good. Gabriel and Itami get things going but it's quickly off to Kidd for a wristlock. Balor comes in for the first time and Tyson is already out for Gabriel. A dropkick puts Gabriel down but he bails to the floor, setting up a big flip dive from Balor as we take a break. Back with Itami putting Justin in a chinlock and getting two off a kick to the chest. Off to Balor vs. Kidd with Tyson taking him outside for a neckbreaker on the floor. Gabriel hits a LOUD chop on the floor before kicking Finn in the back.
Tyson does the same for two as the heels take over on Finn in the corner. We hit the chinlock on Balor before Justin cranks on both arms at the same time. Kidd and Gabriel keep making the fast tags until Balor nails Tyson with a Pele Kick. The hot tag brings in Itami to clean house and a big kick gets two on Kidd. Justin dives into a knee to the ribs for two as everything breaks down. The newcomers hit stereo corner dropkicks, setting up a top rope double stomp to end Gabriel at 10:34.
Rating: C+. This was a much more promising match from Itami than the previous weeks singles efforts. Balor continues to look like the star of the team though and the more complete wrestler. Itami is coming around though and just needs some more time to get used to the WWE style.
We look back at Zayn vs. Neville from about a year ago in a great #1 contenders match.
Zayn says tonight feels different than all of the previous times. The road to redemption is more than just a nice tagline because destiny never makes mistakes. Tonight is going to unfold just like it's supposed to.
Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Banks sends her into the corner to start and nails a low clothesline for an early two. The fans argue over whether Sasha is ratched as she puts Bliss in a modified surfboard. Bliss nails a dropkick but gets caught in the Backstabber into the Bank Statement for the tap out at 2:18.
Banks wants to make her title match against Charlotte official. She doesn't do anything to accomplish that but she does indeed want it.
Neville says Sami is his friend but he's going to be disappointed again tonight.
Lucha Dragons vs. Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy
We need new jobbers around here. Non-title again. Kalisto throws Blake around to start but Murphy sneaks in to catch Kalisto in mid air for a suplex. Murphy gets two off a clothesline before it's back to Blake for a top rope stomp to the back for two of his own. Buddy comes back in to hammer away but Kalisto slips through his legs to tag Sin. Cara speeds things way up but gets thrown into Blake to knock him off the apron. Kalisto hits a HUGE corkscrew plancha to drop Blake again, setting up the Swanton from Cara to Murphy for the pin at 5:07.
Rating: B-. Those dives from the Dragons are just nuts and made the match that much better. This was in the classic power vs. speed mold and worked as well as you would have expected it to. Murphy and Blake have a future if they're allowed to get some more ring time. They've got a look and aren't bad in the ring which puts them ahead of a lot of teams.
The Vaudevillains applaud the Dragons but tell them to keep the titles polished.
NXT Title: Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn is challenging and quickly flips Adrian down to send the champion into the corner. He does it again before avoiding some dropkicks and dropkicking Adrian out to the floor. Sami loads up a dive but backflips back in when Neville moves. The OLE chants start up as Sami holds the ropes open but Neville flips back in. Now it's the champ's turn for some rapid fire kicks and Sami is in trouble.
Back from a break with Neville holding a chinlock to slow things down. Sami fights up but is pulled right back down into the same hold. Back up again with Sami nailing three clotheslines because that's the standard comeback anymore. The third puts Neville on the floor and now the flip dive connects. Back in and Sami hits the cross body but hurts himself on the impact. Adrian hits a quick standing shooting star for two but can't hook a powerbomb.
Sami gets back up and catches Neville on his shoulders for a BIG spinning powerbomb and two. Fans: “THAT WAS THREE!” Neville nails another kick but Sami ducks the second and rolls some Germans, capped off by a release half nelson suplex for two. The Helluva Kick is blocked by a kick to the face and the exploder is countered with a rollup for two more. Neville goes up for the Red Arrow but only hits mat to put both guys down. Adrian comes up holding his knee and Sami won't go for the Helluva Kick. The referee throws up the X so Sami goes to check on Adrian....and gets rolled up for the pin at 15:33.
Rating: B. They were starting to feel it here but it's clear that they're setting up another match down the line. I'm glad that this didn't come off like a full heel turn but rather Adrian continuing to do whatever it takes to retain the title while staying within the bounds of the rules. Sami is getting the title though and the match at Takeover (you know it's coming) is going to blow the roof off the place.
Sami is stunned as trainers check on Neville to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. Two good matches and a nice debut from Balor are about as good as you can get out of an hour of wrestling. Sami's road getting stopped for a bit is a nice twist but you know Zayn vs. Neville is headlining the next special. This was an awesome show though and felt like a big one even though it only had one major match. Really good stuff.
Hideo Itami/Finn Balor b. Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel – Top rope double stomp to Gabriel
Sasha Banks b. Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement
Lucha Dragons b. Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy – Swanton bomb to Murphy
Adrian Neville b. Sami Zayn – Small package
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