Date: January 14, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the first show on Wednesday nights and we're starting with a bang as Sami Zayn is giving Adrian Neville his rematch for the NXT Title. Kevin Owens is still lurking around and there's always a chance he could get involved. We also have the continuing story of crazy Marcus Louis stalking Tyler Breeze. Let's get to it.
Tyson Kidd vs. Finn Balor
Balor has the full entrance minus the face paint, which is still awesome. On another note, does Charles Robinson age? He looks identical to how he looked back in 1999. Balor starts with a running dropkick at the bell but misses a top rope stomp. That's fine with Finn as he takes Tyson into the corner for a running basement dropkick, sending Kidd out to the floor. The Irishman follows but gets speared into the barricade for a loud crash. The fans seemed to like that one and I can't say I disagree.
Kidd has dedicated this match Charlotte. His cat, not the wrestler. Back in and Kidd shouts at Finn to kill him before we take a break. We come back with Kidd catapulting him face first into the bottom buckle for two before we hit a chinlock. A dropkick in the Tree of Woe gets two for Kidd but Balor nails a Pele Kick to get a breather. I'm glad someone in WWE finally started using that move. A running sleeper drop puts Kidd down so he bails to the floor, only to have Balor nail a great flip dive.
Kidd pops back up with a running chest kick from the apron and the springboard elbow drop for two. They're just beating the heck out of each other here. The Sharpshooter goes on but Finn finally crawls over to the ropes. A slingshot Fameasser misses Balor so he grabs a reverse Impaler, followed by the top rope double stomp to end Kidd 11:55.
Rating: B+. These guys were beating the tar out of each other and it was awesome. Balor has such a presence to him and is more than ready to be on the main roster. Based on that, I'd be surprised if he makes it there in the next year because WWE won't bring people up to the main show for reasons I don't understand. Granted the longer he's here and doesn't have to get “fixed” by the writers, the better he's going to be.
Package on Zayn winning the title at R-Evolution minus the post match beatdown. This is all about Neville vs. Zayn.
Bull Dempsey says he's just as undefeated as Baron Corbin and tonight will be Corbin's End of Days. The last thing he's going to hear is BULL BULL BULL.
Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
The fans start the counting as they hammer away on each other with Bull going down first. Thankfully the fans give up after about twenty seconds and the fight heads outside. Back in and Bull slams him down but misses his flying headbutt. End of Days is good for the pin at 1:36. This was exactly what it needed to be and Baron looked like a monster.
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch vs. Natalya/Charlotte
Banks' theme song is rapidly growing on me. Natalya headlocks Becky to the mat to start before getting two off a rollup. Renee tells us about Natalya and Lynch tagging in Japan about nine years ago as the villains are sent to the floor, setting up stereo baseball slides from Natalya and Charlotte. A double delayed suplex gets two on Becky before Charlotte wheelbarrow slams Natalya on top of her for two.
Banks comes in and gets snapmared down, allowing Natalya to step on the back of her head to drive Sasha's face into the mat, immediately followed by a low dropkick. Sasha pops back up with two knees to the ribs as things FINALLY slow down a bit. The men on the main show can't keep up a pace like that most of the time. Off to Charlotte for a neckbreaker for two as everything breaks down. Banks hits a neckbreaker of her own on Charlotte and grabs the tights for the pin at 4:20. Banks: “I WON!!!”
Rating: B-. I really wanted more of this as Charlotte and Natalya were looking like a polished team out there while Lynch and Banks have more than enough attitude to carry themselves. I still want to see more from Lynch as she has a great look and persona, but Banks is getting almost all of the spotlight, which she certainly deserves.
NXT Title: Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville
Sami is defending. They shake hands to start and Sami scores first with an armdrag. The champ hooks a headlock but charges into an armdrag, sending him out to the floor for a second. Back in and Neville sends him into the corner but gets caught in his third headlock in three minutes. Sami leapfrogs over Adrian and avoids a dropkick, sending Neville into his first frustration of the match.
Adrian slaps him in the face and Neville says he's sorry. Sami says sorry and forearms him in the face, starting the slugout with Neville getting the better of it and sending the champ to the floor. A big dive puts Sami down again as we take a break. Back with Neville hitting a running uppercut in the corner for two and hooking a hurricanrana for an even closer near fall.
Sami grabs the leg to block the Red Arrow but Neville won't let him hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. The power of OLE lets Sami force him up on the second try but Neville kicks out again. Zayn rolls some Germans but Neville flips out of a chicken wing/half nelson suplex. Neville cartwheels onto Sami's shoulders and snaps off one of the hardest hurricanranas you'll ever see for two. The referee has to check if Sami can continue but he shakes his head yes.
Zayn half pops up into a Koji Clutch attempt but Neville rolls away, only to have to bail outside to avoid the Helluva Kick. Sami loads up the diving DDT through the ropes but Neville superkicks him into a state of shock. Back in and Adrian has to bail out of the Red Arrow but avoids another Helluva Kick into a sweet bridging rollup for two. Sami goes into Beast Mode and grabs the exploder suplex followed by the Helluva Kick for the pin at 13:56.
Rating: A. This was a completely different kind of match than the title change. While that one was about the drama and storytelling, this was about two guys beating the living tar out of each other and actually making me believe the title was in jeopardy. Outstanding match here and both guys come out looking awesome.
Sami celebrates but Owens comes in with a pop up powerbomb and puts his boot on Sami's face. Owens kicks the title over to Zayns' head to end the show.
Overall Rating: A+. This was as good of an hour of wrestling television as I've ever seen. Ignoring a 96 second power brawl (which was entertaining as well), the worst match would have been the best Divas match on the main roster in probably six months. Between Balor and Kidd just beating the heck out of each other and Neville and Zayn beating the heck out of each other even harder, I haven't had this good of a time watching a show since.....oh I'd say the last big NXT show. Go out of your way to see this episode as they debuted on Wednesday with a major bang.
Finn Balor b. Tyson Kidd – Top rope double stomp
Baron Corbin b. Bull Dempsey – End of Days
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch b. Natalya/Charlotte – Neckbreaker to Charlotte
Sami Zayn b. Adrian Neville – Helluva Kick
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