Date: May 13, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the go home show for Unstoppable, but it's been clear that one of the only things that can stop NXT is the injury bug. Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami have jacked up their shoulders. Sami's time on the shelf (if he'll be out at all) has yet to be determined but Itami is looking at six to eight months. It's going to be interesting to see how the Takeover card changes as a result of the injuries. Let's get to it.
We open with a long recap of Sami Zayn answering John Cena's Open Challenge for the US Title. Sami is still going to be here tonight to go face to face with Owens, but this was taped before the injury.
Solomon Crowe vs. Baron Corbin
Crowe goes right after him to start but gets shoved across the ring. Baron slowly hammers him down and the fans chant either BORING or CORBIN. It turns into BARON'S GONNA BORE YOU but Solomon kicks him into the corner. I'm digging this spunky fighter character but I still want the hacker gimmick instead. Not that it matters as Crowe charges into the End of Days for the pin at 2:07.
Post match Rhyno comes out to start the brawl until security breaks it up. Well it's better than Bull Dempsey. Rhyno Gores down some of the guards.
Finn Balor says he isn't underestimating Tyler Breeze because he knows how awesome Breeze is. As for who he'd rather face for the title, Sami is one of the best in the world but he's still bothered that he didn't beat Owens. Either is fine with him though.
Tyler Breeze says he's winning the triple threat and getting back where he belongs. He doesn't care who he faces for the title.
Sasha Banks vs. ???
Before the match, Sasha says she made Becky Lynch and next week she'll prove that she's the Boss. A small package and backslide get two each for the unnamed one (the fans dub her Black Shorts) and Banks bails to the floor. Back in and a cross body gets two on Sasha. I love how the announcers manage to avoid saying they have no idea what the other girl's name is. Sasha drives two knees into the ribs in the corner and Black Shorts is in trouble. The Bank Statement is good for the submission at 2:31.
Charlotte and Bayley want a tag match with Emma and Dana Brooke at Takeover. Nothing wrong with combining feuds into one match.
We get the same Uhaa Nation vignette from last week.
Nation comes in and sees.....someone I don't recognize but it might have been Crowe. They seem friendly. Nation still doesn't have a name.
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
Feeling out process to start with Bliss grabbing some rollups for two each. Carmella takes her down into a body scissors but here come the Tag Team Champions. Bliss gets caught in a full nelson with Carmella's legs as the fans tell the champs that they look stupid. We get an awkward sequence of Bliss wrist dragging Carmella off the top but pausing once she hits the mat. She pops up into a standing moonsault but it's called double knees to the ribs. Carmella grabs her headscissors crossface but Blake and Murphy distract her, allowing Bliss to slam her down and hit the Sparkle Splash for the in at 3:40.
Rating: D+. This was missing most of the time as Bliss looked a few steps off. Then again it could have been Carmella not being in place for the spots. Not that it matters though as Bliss could have been any given girl out there as this was all about Carmella, who now seems to be against the champs. Granted that's changed almost every week so it shouldn't be a surprise.
Murphy and Blake get in the ring and the fans chant NO MEANS NO. Carmella says her boys will be here next week and prove that Blake and Murphy are SAWFT. The fans were actually behind here here.
Itami says he wants to fight Owens after he wins the triple threat to beat some respect into Kevin.
Emma and Dana Brooke are on for the tag match. They leave but Brooke comes back to pat Devin on the head.
Hideo Itami/Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze/Adam Rose
No Rosebuds this week. Remember that Itami accidentally kicks Balor in the face last week during his match with Breeze. Balor does an extended entrance (no paint) and the fans think it's awesome. Itami chops Rose to start and brings Balor in for a slingshot stomp to the chest and two. A big clothesline puts Rose on the floor and we take a break. Back with Balor dropkicking Adam for two before Breeze comes in and takes over. It's Balor in trouble in the corner as Rose and Breeze start taking turns stomping on Finn.
Breeze stays in for a chinlock before Rose gets two off a spinebuster, which transitions into a Boston crab. When is the last time anyone not named Jericho used that move? A rope is grabbed so Rose switches over to a sleeper. Balor finally jawbreaks his way to freedom and nails a Pele, setting up the hot tag to Itami. The fans quickly get into Hideo as he fires off his strikes on Breeze. Balor tags himself in though and hits the Sling Blade on Rose, but Itami tags himself in to break up the Coup de Grace. The fans cheer for Hideo, only to have Breeze roll him up for the pin at 11:52.
Rating: C. This was a by the book WWE tag team match and that's not the most entertaining thing in the world. I like that they're setting up Itami vs. Balor, but it would have been nice if they hadn't had Rose in there to kill off a bit of the suck. It's interesting that the fans cheered Itami more than Balor as I don't think I've heard that before.
Breeze kicks Balor and Itami down and gets cheered on by some of the crowd. Rose congratulates him but eats a Supermodel Kick.
Another package on Sami vs. Cena.
From after the match, Sami says he's tweaked his shoulder and made it even worse in the match. He doesn't know the results of the injury yet but he's too high off the match to worry about it. No word on if he'll be able to go for Takeover but the announcers don't say he won't be there.
It's time for the face to face hard sell between Zayn and Owens. Sami says they're not here to fight and we go to a long shot of Owens as what is clearly a recorded voiceover from Sami where he says his shoulder is hurt but the match is still happening. Back to live audio with Sami asking Owens to tell him why he did this. Just one time, tell him the truth. Was Owens jealous because Sami got here first?
Maybe it's about Kevin's son wanting to wear a Sami Zayn shirt instead of a KO shirt. That finally gets under Owens' skin but he walks out without saying a word. Sami asks if that's it, but Owens, with his back to Sami, says everything Sami just said is irrelevant. After Owens took the title from him, Zayn left to “clear his head”, but it was because Sami was hurt. He's still hurt, and it was Owens that hurt him in the first place. At Takeover, he's going to do it again. This time though, Sami isn't coming back. Owens is so awesome at being evil and the lack of emotion in his voice as he talked about hurting Sami was great.
Overall Rating: C+. This show felt.....uneven. I'm looking forward to Takeover but it's lacking that big, emotional feeling to it. Now that being said, NXT is the one place where I have the faith that they can pull off something special, but I'm just not sure what's going to do that next week. Zayn being able to go is obviously a good thing, but the question is what happens to him after that. Decent enough show this week but it feels like we already had the big moments to build the matches.
Baron Corbin b. Solomon Crowe – End of Days
Sasha Banks b. ??? – Bank Statement
Alexa Bliss b. Carmella – Sparkle Splash
Tyler Breeze/Adam Rose b. Hideo Itami/Finn Balor – Small package to Itami
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