NXT – March 18, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 18, 2015
Location:
LC Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators:
Jason Albert, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
is a very interesting show as we have matches from outside the NXT
Arena for the first time. A few weeks back, NXT held some shows in
Columbus, Ohio as part of the Arnold Sports Festival and the matches
were recorded for TV. Other than that we also have Owens vs. Riley
in a showdown over Owens being a bully. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video talks about being in Columbus and previews the major
events tonight.
Opening
video.
The
arena looks similar but there are a lot more seats opposite the
Titantron. The wrestlers have to come down some steps off to the
side instead of a ramp as well. Finally the cameras are facing the
Titantron instead of having it on the right.
Kalisto
vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze
main events one week and jerks the curtain the next? Kalisto takes
him to the mat but Breeze bails to the ropes like a heel should.
Fans: “WATCH THE FACE!” It’s a really good sign if the fans are
just as hot on the road. They trade leapfrogs until Kalisto does his
hand want into a headscissors, followed by a big flipping wrist drag.
He tries to fly a bit too much though and gets dropkicked out of the
air for a delayed two.
Breeze
rips at the mask and puts on a chinlock as we take a break. Back
with Kalisto fighting back but not being able to hit the Salida Del
Sol. Instead he dives into the Supermodel Kick for two and Breeze is
getting frustrated. Kalisto knocks him down again and nails a 450
but Breeze is right next to the ropes. Salida Del Sol is countered
again and the Beauty Shot is good for the pin at 10:07.
Rating:
C+. Breeze has been on a roll
lately and I’m digging his matches more and more every time. I
wouldn’t mind seeing him move up a bit higher on the card, but I
don’t see him fighting Owens or anything like that. Kalisto is great
as a high flier and could be something special if he’s put on the
main roster.
We
recap Owens vs. Riley, which is entirely built around Owens being a
bully and Riley wanting to stand up to him. Riley has come out of
retirement to fight Owens and proved himself against CJ Parker last
week.
Hometown
girl Alexa Bliss promises to show Sasha Banks what she’s made of.
Video
on the WWE Experience at the Arnold Sports Festival as well as their
visit to a children’s hospital and HHH being inducted into the
International Sports Hall of Fame. Also includes are clips of Hogan
and Flair appearing. Hulk Hogan showed up and thought being NXT
Champion sounded good.
Finn
Balor tells Alex Riley he’ll be watching tonight. Riley is ready for
Owens but Balor tells him not to take Owens lightly. We haven’t seen
Zayn or Neville since Owens hut them and Riley could be next.
Video
of HHH talking about what it means to expand and the potential of NXT
as a touring brand.
Colin
Cassady vs. Wesley Blake
Carmella
is with Enzo and Cass and is booed out of the building. Cass says
they’re at Arnold Sports Festival where people like to pump weights,
but Cass and Enzo like to pump fists. “As for the Australian guy,
why don’t you didgeridoo yourself a favor a skedaddle?” Cass sends
him into the corner to start and the fans declare Blake SAWFT.
Wesley runs the ropes but charges into a knee to the ribs as the fans
want Blue Pants. I can’t say I blame them.
A
springboard spinning forearm gets two for Blake and we hit the
chinlock. Colin fights up and stomps away in the corner, setting up
a side slam. Murphy gets up on the apron and Carmella gets up to
yell at him, only to have Cass boot him down. Carmella goes down at
the same time though, allowing Blake to roll Cass up and grab the
trunks for the pin at 3:55.
Rating:
D+. This was nothing special
but it advanced the stories. If nothing else it might be a step
towards getting Carmella away from the guys, which would be better
for everyone involved. There’s potential in Carmella, but not as a
face and not with Enzo and Cass. Thankfully this isn’t WWE where
they would just take her off TV and blame her for what happened.
Video
on bodybuilder Dana Brooke who has signed with NXT.
Alexa
Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
Non-title.
Sasha is nailing the
charisma at this point and is ready to be on the main show. Sasha
goes after the nose, which she broke to put Bliss on the shelf for
months. The double knees out of the corner gets two and we hit the
chinlock. Alexa fights up
and moonsaults into a double knee of her own before the Booker T.
spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two. Sasha bails to the
floor so Alexa dives out onto her, only to be sent into the apron.
Bliss quickly posts her
though and wins by countout at 3:18.
Rating:
C-. Bliss has gotten a lot
better in a hurry and seems to be the next project of the division.
I still think Bayley is the one to take the title off of Banks (if
nothing else because I want to see the fans lose their collective
minds) but Bliss is a good choice for a lower level challenger for
now. Also, points for not jobbing her in her hometown or having the
champ get pinned.
Kevin
Owens is ready for Riley but is looking forward to facing Balor as
well.
Alexa
is happy with her win but Sasha comes in to say that wasn’t a pin.
Regal pops up and makes the title match for next week.
Alex
Riley vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title.
The fans chant for Owens to
start as they shove each other around. The
champ knocks him down and hammers Riley in the back and the fans call
Owens Mr. Wrestling. Riley nails a dropkick but gets sent hard into
the corner. There’s the
Cannonball for two before Owens puts on the chinlock. Riley
gets up though and blasts Owens with a right hand, sending him out to
the apron.
Another
right hand puts him on the floor but Owens is ticked off. Back in
and Owens misses another Cannonball, setting up a spinebuster for
two. Riley hits the ropes
on a missed crossbody, setting up three straight backsplashes.
Instead of covering though, Owens sends him back out to the floor.
Back in again and the pop up powerbomb gives Kevin the pin at 6:00.
Rating:
C+. This was exactly what it
should have been with Owens getting rocked a few times but never
being in any serious danger. Riley got to try but gets beaten up in
the end and Owens gets to look like a killer all over again. Good
stuff here and nothing great, which was pretty much exactly the idea.
Owens
goes after Riley post match but Finn Balor comes out to stare him
down. Kevin reaches for Riley again but Balor dives off the stage
(nothing that great as it’s not a high stage) take him down. They
head inside but Owens bails before Balor can hit the top rope double
stomp. The champ bails but makes sure to get in a cheap shot on
Riley because he’s a great villain.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This wasn’t a
spectacular episode, but it was a very successful experiment. The
crowd was great on their first trip outside of Florida and that’s the
best news NXT could have. As for the actual content, this was little
more than a preview for next week, but it still worked well enough.
Balor vs. Owens could be a lot of fun if they let them beat on each
other for fifteen minutes. Good show here and hopefully the first of
many road trips.
Results
Tyler
Breeze b. Kalisto – Beauty Shot
Buddy
Murphy b. Wesley Blake – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Alexa
Bliss b. Sasha Banks via countout
Kevin
Owens b. Alex Riley – Pop up powerbomb
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