Date: February 18, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Jason Albert
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Last week, evil won. Kevin Owens destroyed NXT Champion Sami Zayn and powerbombed him into oblivion over and over until he just couldn't get up again, leading to the referee stopping the match and awarding the title to Owens. The question now is what is he going to do with the title, because Zayn can't possibly be back that soon. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Rival, mainly focusing on the title change.
Commissioner Regal says the title can change hand by referee's decision so the title change stands. However, Owens doesn't have authority here because he's won the title. Therefore, tonight Owens will face Adrian Neville in a non-title match as Neville hasn't earned a title match. However he has earned the right to get revenge on the man that put him in the hospital. A new era begins tonight.
Here's the new champ with something to say. The fans are almost completely divided on their opinion of him. Some people may have issues with how he won the title, which draws a WIN OWENS WIN chant. Those people who are upset have no right to be angry at anything. He hasn't lied or pretended to be anything he isn't. He said he would fight anyone and everyone to make things better for his family and that's exactly what he did.
Who he beat and how he beat them is irrelevant because Sami Zayn is now the past. That means it's time to look to the future, and that is Finn Balor. Owens is well aware that Balor is the #1 contender for the NXT Title, so go to Regal and pick whatever date you want. However, what happened to Sami at Takeover is what's going to happen to Balor, because no one is taking this title from him. It takes a lot to instantly make me care about a new champion like this but I'm digging the heck out of this already. Hearing him say Balor is next gave me a big smile.
Rhyno vs. Elias Samson
Yes THAT Rhyno, who wins with the Gore in 33 seconds. The only note here is that the announcers said Rhyno invented the spear, which is completely inaccurate but his version has enough impact that it works like a charm. I can also totally get behind the idea of people like Rhyno showing up for short stories or even one night cameos like this for a surprise.
Finn Balor says he has a high opinion of himself too. Owens calls himself a prize fighter, but Balor fights for a prize too. Before he can finish what that is (the NXT Title), Rhyno comes in for a staredown. The fans REALLY like that idea.
Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady
Enzo and Cass get a great reaction but Carmella isn't exactly beloved by the fans. Amore now has a blond beard to go with his black handlebar mustache. Cass say they wan the titles. Gotch grabs Amore's foot to start but English gets in a cheap shot to give the Vaudevillains early control. Aiden stomps away but Enzo ducks a clothesline and dives over for the tag. The big man cleans house and throws English into the corner. Enzo is thrown onto him for good measure and Cass' big boot is good for the pin at 2:03.
Blake and Murphy pop up on screen and say that's not enough for a title shot before hitting on Carmella.
Adrian Neville says he can be the hunter tonight and he wants revenge for Owens putting him on a stretcher.
Bayley says her night is coming.
Becky Lynch gave it her all last week but Bayley cost her the title. At least Charlotte lost.
Here's a ticked off CJ Parker to rant about not being on the show last week. He's ending this show by taking it hostage, meaning he starts tying caution tape across the ring. Cue the long awaited debut of Solomon Crowe who quickly destroys Parker and returns us to our regularly scheduled broadcast. As usual with NXT debuts, this worked.
Sasha Banks vs. Blue Pants
Non-title and Blue Pants is billed from the clearance rack. Sasha offers her the chance to leave but Blue knocks her out to the floor. A rollup gets two on the Boss but she cranks on Blue's arms to take her down. Sasha plants her down and the Bank Statement is good for the tap out at 2:30. Just a feel good moment before the squash.
Sasha says its her time.
A doctor looked at Sami and says he'll be back strong.
Kevin Owens vs. Adrian Neville
Non-title. Owens bails to the floor at the bell but Neville is right there with him to hammer away. Back in and Neville takes him down with a kick, only to walk into a gutbuster. He hammers on Adrian with big right hands as this is starting similar to last week's title match. The fans tell Owens to fight but another faction is behind Neville. We hit the chinlock for a good while before Kevin throws Neville to the floor and us to a break.
Back with Owens stepping on Neville's head (such a simple yet effective heel move) before kicking him in the back. Another chinlock has Adrian in trouble but he fights up with more kicks and hits a springboard dropkick for two. That sends Owens outside again but this time Neville dropkicks him through the ropes, followed by a 450 from the apron. Back in and Adrian rolls some Germans for a very close two.
Owens just takes his head off with a clothesline, but the Cannonball is broken up with a superkick. A reverse hurricanrana gets two and the fans are WAY into this. The Red Arrow has to be canceled in mid air, setting up the popup powerbomb to give Owens the pin at 15:34.
Rating: B. This is the kind of stuff that that NXT excels at: take two guys, give them some time and let them beat each other up. Owens looked great as always and a win over Neville still means quite a bit since no one could pin him for so long. The match with Balor could tear the house down and hopefully they get a lot of time to do so.
Overall Rating: B+. Tonight was about setting up new stuff for NXT and they did a great job of doing so. Sami being gone opens up some room at the top of the card, but his return for revenge is still going to rock. As usual, the future looks incredibly bright in WWE and it looks even brighter for the next few months down here. Really solid show this week and a good followup to last week's classic show.
Rhyno b. Elias Samson – Gore
Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady b. Vaudevillains – Big boot to English
Sasha Banks b. Blue Pants – Bank Statement
Kevin Owens b. Adrian Neville – Popup powerbomb
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