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NXT - March 25, 2015

NXT
Date: March 25, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're back home in Florida tonight with the main event being Kevin Owens defending the NXT Title against Finn Balor. This is the lower level main event that still has the potential to tear the house down if they're given enough time, which NXT is usually really good about doing. In addition to that, we have Sasha Banks defending the Women's Title against Alexa Bliss. Let's get to it.


We open with a recap of last week's road trip to Columbus for the first episode out of Florida.

Opening sequence.

Women's Title: Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss

Sasha is defending after losing a non-title match via countout last week. Bliss grabs a quick rollup for two and a crucifix gets the same. More rollups get more near falls and Sasha is having trouble keeping up with Sasha early on. Bliss tries to jump over her in the corner but gets kicked in the ribs to finally slow things down. A running slap to a seated Bliss gets two and the double knees to the ribs in the corner get the same. Sasha shouts that Bliss isn't in her league but Bliss escapes the straitjacket choke into a small package for two.

The champ gets thrown out to the floor for a big crash. Back in and Bliss lands a slap of her own followed by some forearms before the Glitz Flip (moonsault into two knees to the chest) gets two more. The fans are WAY behind Bliss now which really does show both how good she is as a plucky face and how awesome Sasha is as a heel. Bliss takes time going up and gets slammed down, setting up the Bank Statement for the submission at 5:38.

Rating: C+. I seem to be the last person to notice it, but Sasha has gotten AWESOME in the last few months and is looking like the next big star of the Women's Division. I believe Sara Del Ray is training the girls down there and it might be time to bring her up to train the Divas, because I don't remember the last time these girls had a bad match. That's unthinkable for the main roster Divas.

Kevin Owens says Finn Balor made his mark by dressing up like a demon. Owens made his mark by debuting and becoming NXT Champion in two months. Bring the demon tonight because it won't matter. No one is taking this title from him and his family.

Video on Owens' short time in NXT and his quick rise to the top.

Emma comes up to Bayley in the back and says she told Bayley so. Bayley has been being too nice with the hugs and then she went out and lost to Becky Lynch. She needs to find her inner aggression because the NXT Universe will lie to her. Bayley doesn't but it and stands up to Emma, so the Aussie slaps her HARD in the face. Emma as the disenchanted main roster failure is an interesting new character and a logical progression for her.

Tyler Breeze doesn't like being asked what his next move is because it's a stupid question. After beating “Hideous” Itami last week, he wants to get the NXT Title and make it gorgeous. Itami comes up and says he beat Breeze too, so he wants 2/3 falls next week.

Wrestlemania card rundown.

Finn Balor video, showing him taking NXT by storm.

We look at Alex Riley getting beaten up by Owens last week.

Enzo, Cass and Carmella are in the back when Murphy and Blake come up to apologize to her. They bring her jewelry but the guys aren't impressed. Carmella wants to know why they never get her jewelry.

NXT Title: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens

Owens is defending and Balor isn't in the demon paint. We're ready to go after some Big Match Intros and they have well over twenty minutes for the match not counting commercials. Kevin bails to the floor to start before getting back into the corner. It's a trap though as Balor shoves him back but eats a hard shot to the face. A headlock slows Balor down a bit and Kevin wants to know where the demon is now. He's a Dale Torborg fan? Finn gets up and scores with a nice dropkick as we take a break.

Back with Balor holding an armbar before a basement dropkick gets two. Owens drives him into the corner but uses the weakened arm to drive a shoulder into the ribs, only to further damage it. A Stunner over the top rope puts Balor down and Owens puts his boot on Finn's jaw. We hit the chinlock as this is clearly going like a long match instead of just running through the motions. Back up and Owens levels him with an elbow to the face but is good enough to hold the arm after, making it easier for Balor to kick out. Off to another chinlock as we take a second break.

Back with Owens driving his boot into Balor's ribs before putting on another chinlock with his knee in the back. This one doesn't last as long as Owens throws him to the floor and has an evil look on his face. The powerbomb onto the apron is countered with a backdrop and they head back inside with Owens catching him in something resembling White Noise for two. The backsplash gets the same and we hit the chinlock again. That's getting a bit repetitive which isn't something you often see in NXT.

Owens asks if Balor wants to stand back up and whips him hard into the buckle. A nice overhead belly to belly (with an even better face from Balor) gets two and we're back to the chinlock, earning a big ovation from the crowd. They're nothing if not perceptive. Back from another break with Finn making his comeback with forearms and a backdrop to put the champ on the floor. He follows Kevin out with a big flip dive and the top rope double stomp to the back for two in the ring.

The Pele drops Kevin again but Finn can't follow up. The Sling Blade sets up the reverse Impaler for two more and Balor is STUNNED. Owens avoids the running corner dropkick and Finn comes up holding his knee. The champ goes right after the injury with kicks and chop blocks before ramming it into the apron. A backsplash on the knee sets up a half crab but Balor crawls over for the rope. Balor escapes a powerbomb attempt and hits the jumping double stomps to put both guys down.

Owens goes up but gets kicked in the head, only to counter Finn's superplex attempt into a spinning release fisherman's superplex (freaking SWEET) for two. Kevin can barely move so Finn kicks him in the head again, only to have the champ chop block him again. The Cannonball connects and Finn is almost out of it.

Owens wraps the bad leg around the ropes and hits a Cannonball onto the leg, but his third attempt only hits buckle. Finn hits a running dropkick (he really shouldn't be able to do that) and the Coup de Grace but his knee is too hurt to cover. That's more like it. Owens gets up and hits the pop up powerbomb to retain at 30:37.

Rating: B+. This took its time getting going and the first half had too much chinlockery, but once they got in a grove and had Balor messing up his leg, this was all gravy. Owens is ready for the main roster and Balor has been ready since before he set foot in NXT, but I'm very glad they're sticking around here and getting to put on awesome matches like this one. That arena is going to come unglued when Sami comes back to fight Owens again.

Overall Rating: B. Good episode this week as we wrap up the first half of this cycle and can move on to the next big batch of matches, perhaps with the next Takeover coming soon. This was a really fun night though and Balor showed how ready he is for the main roster. I wasn't completely thrilled with the main event at first but they made me care about it. That's one of the hardest things to do in wrestling and those two nailed it. Finally, I continue to love this crowd as they acknowledged the amount of chinlocks and applauded to let the guys know to mix it up a bit. How awesome is that?

Results
Sasha Banks b. Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement
Kevin Owens b. Finn Balor – Pop up powerbomb


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Comments

  1. I love that for years people bashed the regular Impact Zone crowd but now is all in love with the regular NXT crowd. They are literally the same people! Also i've at least twice seen people I know in the NXT crowd so that's always cool.

    Im not gonna be sad if they ditch the paint for Balor or at least change it up. It used to be different themes just to jazz up a big match, seeing the same Carnage paint repeatedly makes it seem a little cheesy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What method did you use to determine that the Impact Zone mutants and the NXT crowd are all the same people?

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  3. I mean both are/were Orlando, it's not an unreasonable assumption

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  4. And they're equally self-interested at times.

    Disagreed on Balor -- I prefer the paint to be of one style for now, in order to build his brand. Then he can experiment later, like Rey-Rey.

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  5. I actually was thinking during the first half of tonight's show that we were still in Columbus because the crowd was so silent. The crowd seems to be good for the live specials at least.

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  6. I continue to be underwhelmed by Owens' NXT promos. I feel like he's doing Bully Ray's character, but not as well.

    I realize I'm in the minority here, but I suspect a quick callup to the main roster would not go well for him.

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  7. They both like to start chants at any given opportunity, including self-aware ones that make zero sense to the crowd at home.

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  8. I was not into the main event at all until mid-match. It got really good, but the beginning drags it down to about the 3 star mark for me.

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  9. One is Orlando, one is Winter Park.

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  10. If 1998 Rock got called up to the main roster in today's wrestling climate, it wouldn't go well for him either.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You shared similarities, not proof that they are literally the same people.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Maybe by "same people" he means the same race of people? Is Floridian a race?

    ReplyDelete
  13. from Google:

    Winter Park is a suburban city in Orange County, Florida. The
    population was 27,852 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of
    the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area

    ReplyDelete
  14. actually the kinda are:


    Winter Park is a suburban city in Orange County, Florida. The
    population was 27,852 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of
    the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love how Owens clings to his love of his family, as if that justifies him being a total prick.

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  16. 22 minute drive without traffic

    ReplyDelete
  17. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMarch 25, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Match dragged a little to start, but got great in the middle and stayed great to the end. And Owens getting a pop for a CHINLOCK was fucking amazing. He's such a smarmy prick, he's like every school bully I ever knew wrapped up into one.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with Owens' promos. I dig the doin' for his family heel character, but I don't see how he's anything special speaking. And I'm lower on Owens than everyone here, except maybe Dougie. I just don't see it with him.

    ReplyDelete
  19. How do the backstage segments come across?


    They aren't like Raw where everyone is standing shoulder to shoulder but more like everyone just standing around having a normal conversation?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dougie's just self loathing because Owens can get around without having to use a motorized cart.

    ReplyDelete
  21. And Brooklyn and Queens are both part of New York City, but they're not the same.

    ReplyDelete
  22. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 25, 2015 at 9:27 PM

    It seems a lot more natural.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm probably a tad higher on him than you are, but I agree more with you than the general Internet consensus of him. I don't see a big-time superstar in him.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I didn't start the topic. And does he really want literal, photographic proof?

    That's rather ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I find his delivery to be very natural and it makes what he says more believable than others who have trouble not just sounding like guys trying to cut wrestling promos.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  27. Only about a thirty minute drive between the two.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Not the same but people here are used to traveling between Kissmmee Orlando and the Sanford area. I often drive through 7 or 8 different cities on regular daily errands.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Adam "Colorado" CurryMarch 25, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    Why the fuck does a show that's only shown online have commercial breaks?

    Also, it might be "it's so obvious you have to do it", but Bank Statement is a great finisher name.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Adam "Colorado" CurryMarch 25, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    Do you consume dicks by the bag or by the bushel?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Adam "Colorado" CurryMarch 25, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    I think he means that the NXT crowds are always the same people at every show just like the Impact Zone was (like the ECW Arena and Baltimore ROH crowds), not that the old TNA crowds are now going to see NXT.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like his matches quite a bit - he's getting over as an asshole. His character is straightforward and a dick, a la Ole Anderson.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Because it's not an online only show in many international markets.

    ReplyDelete
  34. He's still better than Rollins. If he's a good enough promo for the main roster so is Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  35. Call Balor up and be a surprise entrant in the Andre battle royal. Do the facepaint entrance and have him win it. Raw desperately needs fresh blood right now.

    ReplyDelete
  36. This.

    There's this guy. His name is Kevin Owens. He fights. He's a total asshole, but he doesn't care. He just goes out...destroys who he's supposed to destroy...in order to put food on the table for his family.

    He doesn't need to get all shouty or dramatic...because shouty and dramatic wouldn't be this guy.

    It works. (It'll probably get ruined if he gets called up to the main roster and they start giving him scripts to try to get over...but for NXT, it seems natural...and it works.)

    ReplyDelete
  37. ...and, if it is a developmental program, you might as well teach 'em the way you'll be doing things if they make it to the big time.

    "So, you'll be in the middle of your match...building up a story that you're telling with your actions, your moves, your reactions, your counter moves...then, occasionally, we'll just stop showing the audience what you're doing--so, make sure you plan in times when you don't do anything interesting..."

    I hate Kevin Dunn so much.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Definitely a race, but definitely not people.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I used to live in Orlando and I know people who regularly attended both, and they say there is a large contingent of people who are regulars. And just common sense would say that if you run regular wrestling shows in the same city a lotbof the same fans would show up.

    ReplyDelete
  40. It's partly a matter of licensing, I'd imagine.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Shameus is winning the battle royal.

    ReplyDelete
  42. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 26, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    Not sure how Owens vs Baylor who are 2 of the top 5 guys in NXT are a "Lower level main event". Now Breeze vs Itami is a better example of a lower level main event. Two guys who have an issue and are taking it out in a gimmick match but arent exactly tippy top guys.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 26, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    "make sure you plan in times when you don't do anything interesting..."


    Mr. Kennedy was a NATURAL at this. Entire matches he could pull this off, such was that man's ability.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 26, 2015 at 8:59 AM

    He's running a masterclass on NXT, in how to be a completely unlikeable douchebag heel who transcends indie cool to be that guy who people really just do not want to see win matches. Not in an X-Pac heat kind of way, but in a "You know, I *AM* going to watch this, I hope that jerk gets his kicked in" style.


    To achieve that in THIS day and age is impressive shit. He's like a one-man reinvention of what a heel is. He's the polar opposite to the NWO 'cool heel' style character, and it's a move that I've been hoping dearly for and worrying would never return to wrestling.


    He's like a straight man in a comedy. He doesn't deliver the big jokes. You just desperately want to see him get his comeuppance.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I hated the pacing of Zayn-Owens at Takeover.

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  46. Except the fans literally cheered him throughout his destruction of babyface Alex Riley. And they still chant "Kill Owens Kill." I don't really think he's reinventing the wheel.

    ReplyDelete
  47. "I believe Sara Del Ray is training the girls down there and it might be time to bring her up to train the Divas"


    Sara isn't training women in NXT. Also Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley exist too.

    ReplyDelete
  48. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 26, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Rome wasn't built in a day. This is just the beginning.

    ReplyDelete

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