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NXT – March 11, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 11, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Jason Albert
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things
are starting to pick up again in NXT as commentator Alex Riley is
coming after NXT Champion Kevin Owens for bullying him on commentary
recently. First up for Riley is CJ Parker, as Alex has to earn a
shot at the champ. Other than that we’re waiting on the return of
Sami Zayn and the Finn Balor showdown with Owens for the title. In
other words, no one likes Owens except the audience. Let’s get to
it.

Opening
sequence.
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Lucha Dragons
No
Carmella this week. Enzo thinks the Dragons are more like the Geico
Lizards. Cass: “Either save us 15% or more or get out of our way!”
When I grow up, I want to be Enzo’s beard. Enzo and Kalisto get
things going as the fans duel between “GEICO LIZARDS!” and
“FIFTEEN PERCENT!” Kalisto grabs an armbar to take Enzo down and
it’s quickly off to Cara, who slams his partner into a senton on
Amore for two. The tag brings in Big Cass who shows Cara how to
throw your partner around.
Enzo
comes back in but gets kicked away, allowing the hot tag to Kalisto
as things speed up. The Dragons take over again as this is going
longer than your average opening match on this show. Everything
breaks down with Enzo and Cass going outside. Cass shoves his buddy
away to take the double dive but is still able to break up the
swanton from Cara. He does the smart thing by dragging Enzo over for
the tag and the East River Crossing plants Kalisto, setting up a
Rocket Launcher from Amore for the pin at 5:40.
Rating:
C-. The match dragged a bit but
you have to give Amore and Cass a win or two here and there to set up
their title program down the line. Cass is big and strong enough to
make up for Amore and they have great comedic chemistry together.
Also, notice how much more into them the fans were without Carmella
at ringside. NXT gets that logical thinking thing while it’s totally
lost on WWE.
Next
week we see matches from NXT at the Arnold Sports
Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Video
on Alex Riley.
Video
on Kevin Owens’ dominance.
Alexa
Bliss vs. Carmella
Carmella
throws her away from a headlock to start but Bliss grabs the arm to
take over. Alexa misses a charge into the corner so Carmella just
hammers her in the face. The fans aren’t exactly interested in
having Carmella out there. We hit the body scissors on Bliss before
Carmella drives her back into the corner. This really isn’t much to
see so far. Bliss comes back with some forearms and a flip splash
for two, followed by a spinning splash from the top (the Sparkle
Splash) for the pin at 5:03.
Rating:
D+. These two aren’t exactly on
Charlotte and Banks’ level. The fans flat out do not like Carmella
and it’s definitely good to keep her apart from Enzo and Cass. Bliss
isn’t great but she’s adorable and can carry herself well enough in
the ring. To be fair though, I never thought much of Sasha or
Charlotte at first and they’ve turned out great.
Alex
Riley gives a very serious speech about being stuck in a cage for two
years and constantly being told “maybe next week kid.” Owens
talks about having a wife and kids but Riley’s family is in that
arena. It’s time to fight for his family. Really good stuff from
Riley here and I’ve always been a fan of his. I always thought it
was a waste of his talents to put him behind a mic for so long but at
least he’s getting back in the ring now.
Breeze
says this didn’t have to get ugly with Itami. “Well you were
involved so maybe it did have to get ugly.”
CJ
Parker vs. Alex Riley
Riley’s
entrance cuts off Parker complaining about the world. Riley is still
in shape but his face makes him look a bit homeless. Parker’s
headlock doesn’t get him very far as Riley comes back with a nice
dropkick. The TKO is countered though and Parker lays in some left
hands. The Third Eye is countered with a backdrop and Riley nails a
hard clothesline. Something like John Morrison’s flip neckbreaker
puts Parker down again and a Blockbuster is good for the pin at 3:20.
Rating:
C-. Not terrible here but Riley
had some ring rust. That’s the point of something like developmental
but he needs to do some more before he’s ready to make it onto the
main roster. I’m hoping he uses the TKO again instead of a
Blockbuster as a few people are using that one already.
Post
match Kevin Owens comes out and calls Alex Riley the dumbest man in
NXT. Riley gave up his commentary career just so Riley can destroy
his in ring career too. Owens hasn’t forgotten
about Finn Balor either.
Tyler
Breeze vs. Hideo Itami
Rematch
from Rival. Breeze heads to
the floor to start and says this won’t be like last time. He
does it a second time and the fans keep booing. Old
style heat still works.
Back in and Breeze drives
Itami into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs but
Itami kicks him right to the floor. Itami
throws him back inside for a running knee in the corner and the
tornado DDT into a guillotine. He goes back up but gets crotched
this time, giving Tyler his first real advantage.
The
fans think Itami is gorgeous as Breeze drops a leg and puts on a
chinlock. Back from a break
with Itami punching Breeze away and hitting a top rope dropkick to
put both guys down. A leg
trip sends Breeze to the floor and
a big kick gets two. Itami
kicks him in the face but walks into the Supermodel Kick for two.
Breeze
gets pulled face first into the post while trying to crotch Itami,
setting up a top rope knee to the back of the head. Breeze
gets up again though and Itami is getting mad. The
fans call for the GTS but have to settle for a hard series of strikes
instead. Itami misses a
running dropkick in the corner though and the Beauty Shot is good for
the pin on Hideo at 11:25.
Rating:
B-. That’s
a surprising ending but I like it better than just giving Itami the
pin. The problem with Breeze was that he kept putting people over
and it stops meaning anything after so many times. This win gives
him some credibility back and makes future wins over him mean more.
In other words, it’s trading in the short term for the long term, and
that’s rarely a bad thing.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
This was solid enough for the most part and I really like that we’re
getting the short term stories instead of the major stuff every week.
Riley vs. Owens isn’t the biggest feud in the world, but it lets the
anticipation for Owens vs. Balor and eventually Owens vs. Zayn build
up instead of just blowing through them immediately. Another thing
that NXT understands better than WWE is you don’t have to get
everything in by a certain date, at least not most of the time. Take
the extra time, because as HHH said on Austin’s podcast, there’s
always next week.
Results
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady b. Lucha Dragons – Rocket Launcher to Kalisto
Alexa
Bliss b. Carmella – Sparkle Splash
Alex
Riley b. CJ Parker – Blockbuster
Tyler
Breeze b. Hideo Itami – Beauty Shot
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