Date: March 4, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Jason Albert, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight it's time to get back to the serious business around NXT as Sami Zayn is making his first appearance after losing the NXT Title to Kevin Owens by referee's decision. Owens is currently gearing up to defend against #1 contender Finn Balor, but it's clear that another showdown with Sami is coming. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Owens saying he'll fight anyone anywhere, which leads to his feud with Balor. This includes Owens being insulted by Alex Riley on commentary and beating Riley up as a result.
Riley demanded that William Regal give him a match with Owens. However, Regal says no because of what happened to him when he tried to be a competitor and commentator at the same time. That's not good enough for Riley as he wants the match, but Regal says he has to pick. Riley seems to be thinking about it.
Adam Rose vs. Tyler Breeze
The Trust Fall works this time and Rose seems to be a good guy here. The fans chant for Rose's ninja turtle before he chases Breeze around the ring. An armdrag sends Rose down and Breeze lounges across the top rope. They pose at each other a bit more until Rose grabs an atomic drop, giving us the Honky Tonk Man sell job.
Rose dives into one from Breeze though and both guys are in pain. Breeze nails him in the face a few times but Adam leans back in the ropes and raises his feet to fend Tyler off. With a raise of the roof (as we flash back to 1998), Rose hits a running corner clothesline, only to walk into the Beauty Shot for the pin at 2:35. Again, who in the world thought making Rose a heel was a good idea? He's one of the easiest acts to cheer for in years so they turned him heel. Main roster brilliance personified.
Breeze fends off the Rosebuds with the selfie stick in a funny moment.
Enzo, Cass and Carmella don't like what Murphy and Blake have been saying. No one talks to Carmella like that and she thinks Cass and Amore need to take care of them. Enzo promises to beat the bacon off their backs and bring that bacon home. Do whatever you want with the bacon. Just drop Carmella already.
Alexa Bliss has been off recovering from an injury but she's back and better than ever. She's coming for Sasha, whether she keeps the title or not.
Buddy Murphy/Wesley Blake vs. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton
Non-title. I keep thinking the champs' record scratch music is Solomon Crowe hacking the feed. Dawkins and Fulton are part of a trio of amateur wrestlers with Fulton rocking the Rick Steiner head gear. He takes Murphy down to start and cranks on an armbar. Murphy makes a blind tag though and a double elbow gets two.
It's off to Blake for a chinlock but Fulton flips him over and nails a nice uppercut. Dawkins comes in to speed things up and hammers Murphy down, but makes the mistake of going after Blake. Murphy gets in a cheap shot and suplexes Dawkins down, setting up the frog splash from Blake for the pin at 2:27. That was one heck of a leap for the splash. The losers looked good while they were in there but they need more ring time to get the gimmick over.
Bayley offers Charlotte good luck on the title shot tonight but Charlotte says Banks needs the luck. Charlotte leaves and Emma comes in and brings up Bayley lost at Takeover. She tried being nice like Bayley and look where it got her on Raw: right back here to NXT. Just something to think about for Bayley.
Rhyno return video.
Baron Corbin vs. Tony Briggs
Briggs says bring it on so Baron hits him in the face and plants him with End of Days at 54 seconds. Kevin Owens was shown standing behind Alex Riley but didn't touch him.
Riley turns around to look at Owens but doesn't do anything. Owens pours water over him and Riley snaps. Albert holds him back and reminds Riley that he has a job. Kevin turns his back on him and leaves with no physicality. Owens is nailing this evil bully character to perfection.
Sami Zayn was in Montreal earlier this week but he can't help but feel that the NXT landscape is changing. You have guys like Rhyno and Kendrick back and new faces like Solomon Crowe with Kevin Owens on top. This is filmed on March 1, 2015, meaning he's been a wrestler for thirteen years to the day. For the first time though, Zayn doesn't feel like he's mentally ready to be in the ring. That's why he's here in Montreal, where it all started for both he and Owens. He still hasn't watched the Takeover match, but maybe that's what he needs to get his mind right.
Riley storms into Regal's office and quits being a commentator so he can get his hands on Owens. Regal says he'll get Owens when he (Regal) thinks he's ready. CJ Parker is in the office too and laughs at the idea of Riley fighting Owens, so Riley wants Parker next week.
Bull Dempsey vs. Solomon Crowe
Crowe comes into the ring with a bunch of energy and nearly slides under the ropes upon entry. He goes right after Dempsey and gets stomped down, setting up a stiff headbutt. All Dempsey so far and he mounts Crowe for some right hands. Solomon fights back but can't slam the big man. Instead Dempsey just pounds him in the chest with forearms for one. Solomon fights up and now the slam works. Dempsey runs him over again but misses the top rope headbutt. A running knee and running elbow drop Bull and a slingshot headbutt to the rips is enough to give Solomon the pin at 3:01.
Rating: D+. Solomon comes off as a guy where the character is going to drive the development instead of the in ring action. I was getting something like a Kevin Sullivan vibe off his in ring style, as he's much more of a scrappy brawler than a polished wrestler. He basically just stuck around and waited for an opening to take Bull down, but it worked well enough. I need to see more of him though.
Women's Title: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Banks is defending in a one on one rematch from Takeover: Rival's fourway where Charlotte lost the title. This gets big match intros, which is actually deserves over Nikki vs. Paige on Monday. The fans are split, as you would expect. Banks hides in the corner to start so Charlotte asks if she's here to fight or not. Some chops have the champ in early trouble but she bails to the floor for another breather.
Sasha grabs her title and says count her out but that doesn't work for Charlotte, who chases her down and rams the champ's back into the apron. Now the fans are almost all behind Charlotte as she slaps on an early figure four. Banks is way too close to the ropes though and bails to the floor one more time as we take a break. Back with Banks hitting a running slap to a seated Charlotte before busting out La Mistica into the crossface.
Charlotte powers up and hits a running backpack Stunner. The moonsault misses but Charlotte lands on her feet, only to have her front flip hit Sasha's knees. That's a nice bit of psychology there as they learn each other's spots and build on the sequences. Sasha chokes and WOOs in the corner as the fans argue (YES SHE IS/NO SHE'S NOT) over Sasha's level of ratchetness.
Double knees to the back have Charlotte in trouble and Sasha bends her ribs around the post to stay on the injury. The Backstabber into the double arm choke has Charlotte in even more trouble but she refuses to give up. That's fine with Sasha who rolls into the Bank Statement, only to have Charlotte right next to the ropes for the escape. A big spear gets two for Charlotte and she puts on a Hartbreaker (figure four around the post). Back in and Natural Selection off the top is countered and Sasha puts her feet on the ropes (ala Ric Flair) for a rollup pin at 15:00.
Rating: B-. Not quite a classic but still a very good TV main event. The girls are so far ahead of Nikki and Brie that it's unreal, but they can't afford the same plastic surgery or whatever. This was a solid match in the same vein of Orton vs. Christian from 2011 as they built on previously established sequences and made logical progressions. Well done indeed.
Overall Rating: C+. Much better than last week which seems to have been an aberration. It's amazing what happens when you do stuff that matters instead of just filler for an hour. Sami holding off on his return is an interesting idea as it allows them to go through Riley and Balor before we get back to the big time feud that a lot of people really want to see. This is the fallout period from Rival before we start building to the next Takeover, which means we should be coming up on some big shows soon.
Tyler Breeze b. Adam Rose – Beauty Shot
Buddy Murphy/Wesley Blake b. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton – Frog splash to Dawkins
Baron Corbin b. Tony Briggs – End of Days
Solomon Crowe b. Bull Dempsey – Slingshot headbutt
Sasha Banks b. Charlotte – Rollup with feet on the ropes
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