Date: April 29, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're at the start of the new taping cycle this week, meaning it's time to get ready for the build to the next Takeover special. Sami Zayn made his big return last week to go after NXT Champion Kevin Owens, which almost has to be the next big main event. Other than that, most of the card is pretty clear at this point. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the end of last week's show with Kevin Owens beating Alex Riley again, only to have Sami Zayn return and start a pull apart brawl with Owens.
Here's Kevin Owens for a chat to get things going. He talks about having everything in hand last week and giving Alex Riley what he deserved, but then Sami Zayn had to play hero again. Owens wants Sami out here right now but gets Commissioner William Regal again. The fans start chanting for one more match but Regal says Owens won't be using this place for his own agendas.
That's not good enough for Owens who still wants Sami right now. Cue Zayn to fire the fans up even more but Regal stops him on the steps and says this isn't happening. Regal looks at both of them and says this is the easiest thing he's had to do in weeks. Obviously these two want to fight each other, so let's do it on May 20 at Takeover. Owens chuckles but says it's a non-title match because Zayn hasn't earned a shot in the last month. Sami thinks Owens needs this match. It has nothing to do with last week, but over the last twelve years, Owens hasn't done a thing without having Sami's name right next to it.
Even now as NXT Champion, the fans are only talking about what Owens did to him. You could say that Kevin Owens has been living in Sami Zayn's shadow. That one gets to Owens and the fans tells him he got told. Sami fights for a prize, and Owens is no prize. That's enough for Kevin to put the title on the line and the fans strike up their OLEs. Notice how they got to this point in a totally logical way without using the phrase “contractually obligated rematch” and in less than ten minutes on screen. It can be done and all it takes is a single promo.
Enzo, Cass and Carmella are jabbering about the jewelry Blake and Murphy gave her but she says she can handle herself. The guys leave and Blake and Murphy come up and insult Enzo and Cass, which isn't cool with Carmella. They step back so Alexa Bliss comes up, only to get shoved away. Blake and Murphy come up to Bliss but she doesn't seem interested in hearing from them. This was kind of an odd segment and I'm not entirely sure what they were shooting for.
Sami signs his contract when Alex Riley comes up and asks for one more match with Owens. Regal snaps about giving Riley so many opportunities but Sami says don't let Owens get to you. Riley doesn't want to hear that from Sami so Zayn offers to fight Alex for a warmup.
Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy
Non-title. Before the match, Enzo calls the champs Frosted Flake Wesley Blake and the Sugar Cube Dude. You know there's just one word to describe them. Blake and Enzo get things going but the champs quickly get Amore into the corner for some stomping. A clothesline gets two for Blake as the fans chant LET'S GO ZO.
Enzo breaks free with a jawbreaker and it's a double tag to bring in Murphy and Cass. The big man cleans house and hits a splash in the corner before Enzo misses a high cross body. That's so appropriate for him for some reason. Carmella distracts Blake and it's a big boot to the face, followed by a Rocket Launcher for the pin on Blake at 3:18.
Rating: D+. I'm not wild on having champions lose as you could pretty much do the same match with any combination here. The interesting part here is Carmella, who I'm hoping joins the champs but gets dumped by them too, leaving her all alone since no one likes her in the first place.
Becky Lynch talks about traveling the world to become the best in the world. She's here to become the best in the NXT women's division and won't just be another face in the crowd.
Bayley can't find her gear and is freaking out. Emma is show with Bayley's headbands and shirt.
Video on Baron Corbin, talking about wanting to crush the dreams of everyone in NXT. Rules don't apply to him and that's not his problem. This is yet another example of character development and telling us more about a character in twenty seconds than we've known about him in four months.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Bayley looks a bit off without her stuff but of course she has a huge smile on her face. Bayley grabs a headlock to start but Dana throws her down and flexes. The fans want Blue Pants but get Bayley taking Dana to the mat and rolling around on her back. Dana goes nuts and slams Bayley's head into the mat a few times before doing her headstand foot choke. Wasteland gets two for Dana and we hit a half crab with a knee in Bayley's back. Bayley gets up and gets all aggressive with elbows in the corner but cue Emma in a Bayley shirt to Bayley's music and full entrance, allowing Dana to hit a Whiplash for the pin at 4:16.
Rating: D+. So yeah, Dana isn't quite there yet but this was a match designed to advance Emma vs. Bayley instead of Dana's push. Right now Dana just needs ring time and she's got the core base figured out. Emma stealing Bayley's stuff, which is almost Bayley's identity, is an interesting idea and could work out well for a short feud. If nothing else it means I get to hear more of Bayley's infectious theme song.
Regal announces a triple threat for Takeover for the #1 contendership between Finn Balor, Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami.
Hideo Itami vs. Adam Rose
Itami looks so insulted by the Rosebuds and Adam's entrance. This is billed as fallout from the Andre battle royal. Rose rolls around to start and eats a chop, followed by a running kick to the face for two. A quick trip lets Rose have a breather and he drops a fist for two. Rose's chinlock doesn't go anywhere so Hideo hits his array of kicks, capped off by the Shotgun Kick for the pin at 2:52. Just a step above a squash.
Becky Lynch vs. Sarah Dawson
Dawson is a pretty generic looking girl but she gets half of a dueling chant. A quick rollup gets two for Sarah but Becky takes her into the corner for a good stomping. Lynch drives her down into a Fujiwara armbar before sitting up to crank even harder, drawing the submission at 2:12.
Rhyno has heard what Baron Corbin is all about but Rhyno isn't the past. Methinks we have our power match for Takeover.
Alex Riley vs. Sami Zayn
Owens is in on commentary. Feeling out process to start as Owens asks if Riley being let out of a cage means he can't take a shower. Riley cranks on an armbar and gets two off a dropkick. We're in a chinlock less than three minutes in until Sami fights up, only to get caught in a TKO for two. Riley misses a charge and falls to the floor, setting up the big flip dive. That's enough for Owens as he gets up and decks Sami for the DQ at 4:40.
Rating: C-. This didn't have time to go anywhere but they were trying to set up a match instead of doing anything interesting here. Owens going nuts and attacking everyone in sight is a good idea as it's in his nature to be insane. Riley still looks decent in the ring but it might have gotten ugly had he tried to hang in there with Sami.
Kevin powerbombs Riley on the apron and smiles to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Yes, I'm aware that's higher than all of the matches and you should be aware by now that there's a lot more to a wrestling show than just the wrestling. Owens vs. Sami is going to blow the roof off the place and the triple threat and Women's Title matches should both be great. It's not a great show, but the energy is back after going missing for the last month or so. That's what NXT thrives on and it's still working here.
Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy – Rocket Launcher to Blake
Dana Brooke b. Bayley – Whiplash
Hideo Itami b. Adam Rose – Shotgun Kick
Becky Lynch b. Sarah Dawson – Armbar
Sami Zayn b. Alex Riley via DQ when Kevin Owens interfered
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