Date: May 6, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're two weeks away from Takeover: Unstoppable where Sami Zayn (shoulder permitting) will be challenging Kevin Owens for the NXT Title. Other than that, we're closing in on the showdown between Blake/Murphy and Enzo/Big Cass, which hinges around Carmella's possibly changing allegiances. As usual there's a lot of other good stuff going on in NXT so let's get to it.
Emma vs. Charlotte
Emma still has Bayley's I'm A Hugger shirt and headbands, which she won't throw to the crowd. Charlotte gets caught in a headlock to start but gets taken down into a headscissors. A cravate with some knee lifts has Emma in even more trouble until she nails Charlotte in the knee to break up something off the middle rope. The knee gets driven into the apron and wrapped around the ropes as Emma seems to have been watching some Flair film.
Back in and something like a standing Curb Stomp to the back draws a BAN THAT MOVE chant and it's right back to the knee with a knee drop from Emma to Charlotte's knee. Off to a half crab for a bit before Emma tries to drive the knee into the mat, only to have Charlotte land on her feet. A spear (BETTER THAN REIGNS!) gets two for Charlotte and Natural Selection connects for the pin at 5:45.
Rating: C+. This match is a good example of the difference between the NXT girls and the WWE Divas: these girls know how to work a match instead of just doing moves in some order. This felt like it had a logical flow to it instead of going from beginning to end and filling in the gaps here and there. Good little match here, though the knee work didn't mean much.
Bayley comes out post match and helps Emma up. They hug.....but Bayley doesn't let go. The Belly to Bayley puts Emma down and Bayley hammers away until Charlotte breaks it up. Bayley gets her stuff back.
Video on Becky Lynch, who talks about going around the world and wrestling everywhere. She wound up here in green and dancing a jig because she's Irish. That's not the real Becky Lynch and she's not going to stand for it.
We get a sitdown interview with Michael Cole talking to Kevin Owens. What he did to Sami Zayn was personal, but because Sami wants the NXT Title back. The title means a better life for his family and that's all that matters. Cole presses him on this and Owens repeats himself but Cole still doesn't buy it. He asks if Owens would have done the same to anyone other than Zayn. That brings Owens back to the night he won the title, when Renee Young asked him about Sami instead of winning the title.
Cole hasn't even congratulated him on winning the title in the last two months, so Cole does just that, but asks for some respect in return. How could Kevin do what he did to someone who was close enough to him to be family? Cole asks about Sami being Owens' best man, but Owens won't get caught by a journalist's question. The truth is that Owens can't give him what he wants, but he's a good father who provides for his family. Oh and follow him on Twitter. This was a very different kind of Cole and I can't say I disliked him.
Bull Dempsey vs. Rhyno
This could be fun if they keep it short. The fans are behind Rhyno as the guys slug it out, followed by a quick belly to belly from Rhyno, followed by the Gore for the pin at 1:10. Smart choice there.
Post match, Rhyno says he wants Baron Corbin. That would be the next logical step.
Sasha Banks looks at a picture of Fabulous Moolah and says Moolah was the best until she came along. Becky Lynch is trying to use her to make a name for herself, but don't forget who made Lynch in the first place.
The man formerly known as Uhaa Nation signs his contract.
We get a video on Nation, where he talks about everyone coming here and wanting to be a champion. He's studied the great ones' history, but now its time to begin his history. No new name is given.
Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder vs. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady
Enzo and Cass are nowhere in sight. Fans: “WHERE IS ENZO???” We cut to the back where Enzo and Cass are destroyed by Blake and Murphy as Carmella shouts at them to stop.
Sami has his own sitdown interview with Cole where he says Owens is lying about it not being personal. It drives Sami nuts that Owens has to keep playing these games with him. Next week, Sami will be waiting in the ring so how about they look each other in the eyes and have Owens explain why he did it. If Owens is some family man, set an example for his son and say why he did it.
We get a clip from Cena vs. Sami on Raw but it's not clear if Sami will be ready to go for Takeover.
William Regal is in the ring for the contract signing between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Before signing, Becky lists off the countries she's wrestled in over the years and still can't believe she's here. She's made mistakes and sacrifices along the way but they were all worth it to get here, because she's ready to take over. Becky signs but Sasha drops the pen and pulls out a stamp for her signature instead. Fans: “LIKE A BOSS!” Sasha strikes the first blow and puts Lynch's face on the table with her foot on Becky's head. The table is finally turned over and Lynch slaps on her seated armbar to make Banks tap.
Clip of Owens destroying Alex Riley after breaking up Riley's match against Sami last week.
Riley says he's having his second knee operation in two years. It's a big risk, but that's how his career has gone from leaving the Miz to leaving his commentary job to get back in the ring to demanding another match against Kevin Owens. However, last week when he was laid out, he heard a THANK YOU OWENS chant. That's what the fans want? The last shot of last week's show was Sami Zayn. That's what Commissioner Regal wants? Well he saw the last time Sami fought Owens and it didn't go well for Zayn. We're not going to be seeing Alex Riley for a long time, because that's what the people want.
Dana Brooke says she's been on a role since she was born. She's seen the new Tapout commercial and can't believe Charlotte is in there instead of the Total Diva. She'll run circles around Charlotte the next time she sees her. Deal with it.
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
Finn Balor is at ringside. They circle each other to start until a wristlock sends Breeze running to the floor. Back in and Breeze bails again at the threat of a big kick. Hideo talks to the referee for some reason and gets kicked in the ribs (by Breeze, not the referee), but he nails Breeze in the ribs with a knee to take over. Breeze takes a break on the floor and we take a regular one. Back with Itami dropping some knees to the head and taking his kneepad off for a big one, only to kick Breeze in the jaw instead. Fans: “Hideo's gorgeous!/No he's not!”
Tyler comes back with a variety of stomps and a legdrop for two before we hit the chinlock. A big dropkick puts Itami down again but he punches Breeze out of the air. The top rope clothesline gets two for Itami and the fans want the GTS. They fight to the floor and Itami's Shotgun Kick hits Balor by mistake. Back in and the second Shotgun Kick puts Breeze down for the pin at 12:10.
Rating: C. Itami is getting there but it's some of the slowest progression I've ever seen. Breeze didn't seem to have his same fire tonight, but at least they did a really good job of setting up the triple threat with the misplaced kick. The false finishes in that match should be great and this was hardly torture to get through.
Breeze goes after Itami post match but Balor makes the save. That earns Balor a Supermodel Kick and Itami gets a Beauty Shot to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was all about setting up the Takeover show and that was done nearly to perfection. The Title match is already set up perfectly, the Tag Title match should be fine and there's another awesome build towards the Women's Title match, which has become the standard in NXT. Good show here, even without a focus on the wrestling.
Charlotte b. Emma – Natural Selection
Rhyno b. Bull Dempsey – Gore
Hideo Itami b. Tyler Breeze – Shotgun Kick
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