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NXT - March 11, 2015

Date: March 11, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Jason Albert

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Things are starting to pick up again in NXT as commentator Alex Riley is coming after NXT Champion Kevin Owens for bullying him on commentary recently. First up for Riley is CJ Parker, as Alex has to earn a shot at the champ. Other than that we're waiting on the return of Sami Zayn and the Finn Balor showdown with Owens for the title. In other words, no one likes Owens except the audience. Let's get to it.

Opening sequence.

Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Lucha Dragons

No Carmella this week. Enzo thinks the Dragons are more like the Geico Lizards. Cass: “Either save us 15% or more or get out of our way!” When I grow up, I want to be Enzo's beard. Enzo and Kalisto get things going as the fans duel between “GEICO LIZARDS!” and “FIFTEEN PERCENT!” Kalisto grabs an armbar to take Enzo down and it's quickly off to Cara, who slams his partner into a senton on Amore for two. The tag brings in Big Cass who shows Cara how to throw your partner around.

Enzo comes back in but gets kicked away, allowing the hot tag to Kalisto as things speed up. The Dragons take over again as this is going longer than your average opening match on this show. Everything breaks down with Enzo and Cass going outside. Cass shoves his buddy away to take the double dive but is still able to break up the swanton from Cara. He does the smart thing by dragging Enzo over for the tag and the East River Crossing plants Kalisto, setting up a Rocket Launcher from Amore for the pin at 5:40.

Rating: C-. The match dragged a bit but you have to give Amore and Cass a win or two here and there to set up their title program down the line. Cass is big and strong enough to make up for Amore and they have great comedic chemistry together. Also, notice how much more into them the fans were without Carmella at ringside. NXT gets that logical thinking thing while it's totally lost on WWE.

Next week we see matches from NXT at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

Video on Alex Riley.

Video on Kevin Owens' dominance.

Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella

Carmella throws her away from a headlock to start but Bliss grabs the arm to take over. Alexa misses a charge into the corner so Carmella just hammers her in the face. The fans aren't exactly interested in having Carmella out there. We hit the body scissors on Bliss before Carmella drives her back into the corner. This really isn't much to see so far. Bliss comes back with some forearms and a flip splash for two, followed by a spinning splash from the top (the Sparkle Splash) for the pin at 5:03.

Rating: D+. These two aren't exactly on Charlotte and Banks' level. The fans flat out do not like Carmella and it's definitely good to keep her apart from Enzo and Cass. Bliss isn't great but she's adorable and can carry herself well enough in the ring. To be fair though, I never thought much of Sasha or Charlotte at first and they've turned out great.

Alex Riley gives a very serious speech about being stuck in a cage for two years and constantly being told “maybe next week kid.” Owens talks about having a wife and kids but Riley's family is in that arena. It's time to fight for his family. Really good stuff from Riley here and I've always been a fan of his. I always thought it was a waste of his talents to put him behind a mic for so long but at least he's getting back in the ring now.

Breeze says this didn't have to get ugly with Itami. “Well you were involved so maybe it did have to get ugly.”

CJ Parker vs. Alex Riley

Riley's entrance cuts off Parker complaining about the world. Riley is still in shape but his face makes him look a bit homeless. Parker's headlock doesn't get him very far as Riley comes back with a nice dropkick. The TKO is countered though and Parker lays in some left hands. The Third Eye is countered with a backdrop and Riley nails a hard clothesline. Something like John Morrison's flip neckbreaker puts Parker down again and a Blockbuster is good for the pin at 3:20.

Rating: C-. Not terrible here but Riley had some ring rust. That's the point of something like developmental but he needs to do some more before he's ready to make it onto the main roster. I'm hoping he uses the TKO again instead of a Blockbuster as a few people are using that one already.

Post match Kevin Owens comes out and calls Alex Riley the dumbest man in NXT. Riley gave up his commentary career just so Riley can destroy his in ring career too. Owens hasn't forgotten about Finn Balor either.

Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami

Rematch from Rival. Breeze heads to the floor to start and says this won't be like last time. He does it a second time and the fans keep booing. Old style heat still works. Back in and Breeze drives Itami into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs but Itami kicks him right to the floor. Itami throws him back inside for a running knee in the corner and the tornado DDT into a guillotine. He goes back up but gets crotched this time, giving Tyler his first real advantage.

The fans think Itami is gorgeous as Breeze drops a leg and puts on a chinlock. Back from a break with Itami punching Breeze away and hitting a top rope dropkick to put both guys down. A leg trip sends Breeze to the floor and a big kick gets two. Itami kicks him in the face but walks into the Supermodel Kick for two.

Breeze gets pulled face first into the post while trying to crotch Itami, setting up a top rope knee to the back of the head. Breeze gets up again though and Itami is getting mad. The fans call for the GTS but have to settle for a hard series of strikes instead. Itami misses a running dropkick in the corner though and the Beauty Shot is good for the pin on Hideo at 11:25.

Rating: B-. That's a surprising ending but I like it better than just giving Itami the pin. The problem with Breeze was that he kept putting people over and it stops meaning anything after so many times. This win gives him some credibility back and makes future wins over him mean more. In other words, it's trading in the short term for the long term, and that's rarely a bad thing.

Overall Rating: C+. This was solid enough for the most part and I really like that we're getting the short term stories instead of the major stuff every week. Riley vs. Owens isn't the biggest feud in the world, but it lets the anticipation for Owens vs. Balor and eventually Owens vs. Zayn build up instead of just blowing through them immediately. Another thing that NXT understands better than WWE is you don't have to get everything in by a certain date, at least not most of the time. Take the extra time, because as HHH said on Austin's podcast, there's always next week.

Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady b. Lucha Dragons – Rocket Launcher to Kalisto
Alexa Bliss b. Carmella – Sparkle Splash
Alex Riley b. CJ Parker – Blockbuster
Tyler Breeze b. Hideo Itami – Beauty Shot

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  1. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©March 11, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    Riley may never be a top superstar but I've found him to be a relatable face at times.

  2. Riley was a fantastic face and consistently got the biggest pops of the night after he turned on Mix. Why the chimps in Creative couldn't find anything for him is baffling.

  3. This show is what I used to love about ROH before they hit PPV the first time 2007. Because they weren't "booking for the month", they could have angles that could have events occur at any time, without having to "squeeze it in before PPV". That ended to a degree when they had to "book for PPV", and then came back with the Steen/Generico feud.

    That feud has lasted more than 4 years across at least 3 feds because they understand that "we don't have to be interacting all the time to hate each other".

    The main show would have already had their blowoff match with Zayn winning, and turned at least one of them 3 times.

  4. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 11, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    I remember a story about him reacting badly to a rib and his push being canceled as a result. That doesn't really make things sound better.

  5. Fun show tonight that really flew by. The matches weren't great, but it put some of the non-regulars in the spotlight, making the roster feel deeper. Riley is going to get MURDERED by Owens, but the build up has been so good that I actually believe Riley has a chance. That's more than you can say for the entirety of the Wrestlemania card.

    Also I really want to have sex with Alexa Bliss.

  6. It's weird that he was so over, a combination of how hear a heel Miz is and his great entrance theme, because he is horrible in the ring. He only knows about 3 or 4 wrestling moves and just punches and drop kicks for the most part. He has that nothing offense so many of the pre NXT WWE only guys have had.

  7. Didn't he have some sort of dispute or feud with Cena that either started with said rib, or was escalated by it. Nonetheless, having heat with Cena is probably not the best way to get ahead in the WWE.

  8. I would say he could've been a decent IC or US champion but given how they usually book people with those belts...

  9. Question: would this be the only answer in a Jeopardy category titled: "Matches that were improved by Undertaker's tag partner not doing the wrestling?"

  10. And now the Corporation has every single belt in the business.

  11. Ray Charles, Aretha Frankline, Run DMC.... Fred Durst... ugh...

  12. Full Disclosure: I got a chance to play JV football against Alex Riley back in 1995. He was the freshman QB, I was but a sophomore CB.

    So needless to say, I'm glad he's back. But some other sites are just MERCILESS about him... like, "rooting for CJ Parker to break his orbital bone with the Third Eye" merciless.

  13. Thanks for the last part. Wish it were more explicit though. ***1/2

  14. Carmella isn't helped by her theme song...which is just a heat sink.

    She also made the mistake of having her feud with Blue Pants. And you do NOT go over Blue Pants.

    One more thought...and this betrays my "I like NXT so much more than the rest of the WWE, so please don't ruin it"--I don't like that Carmella is definitely a "diva". When she came out, the announcers were all "It's Divas time here on NXT" and Carmella said "I am the hottest diva in NXT" and then the commentators kept referring to them as divas...

    I like that NXT's belt is the Women's Championship. I like that Bayley's not a Diva, that Charlotte's not a Diva, that Becky Lynch isn't a Diva. (Sasha may be a Diva...but I also buy her as a woman wrestler now that they've done a good job with her.)

    So, obviously, Carmella will be the next NXTer to be added to the main roster. (And I think I'm ok with that, even if it's stupid.)

  15. She's ready for the main roster for what they want from their female talent, so send her on up and keep NXT for the wrestlers.

  16. ❧❧MAKE $13500 in 30days@a6:<-Let's start work by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financialy rewarding I've had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earnin $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k lass month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr ... I work ->

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  17. Yep, this. In the same way there was a Smackdown Six, let's just keep the women wrestlers on NXT, where they can be treated with respect and get to show what they can do.

  18. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 12, 2015 at 3:56 AM

    I would have enjoyed it more if WWE hadn't shown an advert hyping next week's Riley v Owens, immediately before Riley's match. In the middle of NXT. Too busy selling next week's show to not spoil the current one.

    "Has Riley done enough to impress Regal?" Well obviously yes, sigh.

    Ruined for me what little drama there was to this story.

  19. Yeah, that's a surprisingly amateur move.

    Did TNA not do that a couple of weeks ago for the main event, too?

  20. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 12, 2015 at 4:05 AM

    Yep, I think I read here that they did, via Tommy's recap.

    For it to happen in NXT was so unusually amateurish, it immediately set off my conspiracy alarm bell...

  21. C-O-N-spiracy!!!!!!!!

    *runs away before spiders*

  22. I see I've found one of the buzzwords for spam.

  23. NXT is about the closest thing I watch that seems like an indy fed, so I'm curious.

    Do wrestlers in the Indies roll out of the ring a lot to slow down the match? I feel like I've been seeing the trick a bunch lately from NXT guys. And it works to get heat, but at some point will the fans get a bit bored by seeing the trick?

  24. Yeah that's a major slip by their standards

  25. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 12, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    but how else would "Raw roll on" if people didn't roll out of the ring.

  26. I remember people getting really adamant that hes a terrible wrestler back in his Miz days and I always thought that was overstating it. He's no workrate machine obviously but he would throw in stuff no one else was doing like the TKO and the Michinoku Driver. I saw potential in him, but I have no idea if he ever progressed all those years doing house shows.

  27. Alexa Bliss is ridiculous hot.

  28. Carlos...

    (Magic School Bus reference too obscure?)

  29. I got the reference.

    And depends on the indy fed/the wrestler.

    Steen/Owens I've seen go for Memphis hear pre-NXT, but I don't think anyone used stalling tactics on ROH's last ppv.

  30. Riley using the TKO while Brock Lesnar is still around doesn't sound like a thing that's going to happen. I know it's not quite the same move as the F5, but still.

  31. Well, I'd love if they'd get called up, but I think they need to do it all at once. Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Alexa (once she's ready) and maybe one more. Once they're all ready move them up and phase out the older talent. Keep AJ, Foxy, Nattie, Paige and maybe Layla to wrestle and start turning the other talent into valets.


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