NXT – January 21, 2015

NXT
Date:
January 21, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Jason Albert
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things
are starting to pick up again in NXT with Kevin Owens making another
appearance last week to lay out NXT Champion Sami Zayn after a
successful title defense against Adrian Neville. These two are on a
collision course and there’s no way the match isn’t going to be
awesome. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens over the last few
weeks. Neville promises revenge.
William
Regal announces the next Takeover special for February 11. There
will be a tournament for the #1 contendership starting tonight, as
well as Charlotte defending against Sasha Banks. As usual, Regal
keeps this quick as he was on screen less than a minute and announced
a show, a tournament and a title match.
Opening
sequence.
Sami
Zayn vs. Tye Dillinger
Sami
charges the ring and EXPLODES on Dillinger, knocking him to the floor
before the bell rings. No match I’m assuming.
Zayn
demands Owens get out here right now but he gets Regal instead. The
champ says he isn’t wrestling one more match unless it’s against
Owens so get him out here right now. Regal says he can’t do that
because Owens hasn’t earned a title shot yet. Sami offers to make it
non-title or whatever he has to do to get his hands on Owens. He
won’t explode out of respect for Regal, but he’ll do whatever Regal
asks him to get what he wants. Regal agrees and makes the showdown
for Takeover.
Owens
vs. Zayn at Takeover will be non-title.
Regal
says Owens and Zayn will sign the contract next week.
#1
Contenders Tournament First Round: Curtis Axel vs. Finn Balor
I
love how foreboding Balor’s music is. Fans: “FINN’S GONNA KILL
YOU!” Axel elbows him in the face to start so Balor knocks him to
the floor for a big flip dive. Back in and Axel clotheslines him in
the back of the head for two and nails a great looking dropkick. The
fans keep it simple by telling Axel that he sucks.
We
hit the chinlock before a running knee to the head gets two more.
It’s amazing how much easier Axel matches are to sit through when he
doesn’t have all the big expectations behind him. Heyman seems to
have caused him more problems than good. Balor fights back up with
the Pele and Sling Blade, followed by the top rope double stomp for
the pin to advance at 4:55.
Rating:
C-. Not much of a match here
but Axel is fine for a generic heel. He has the skills to make a
match work but all of the expectations put on him due to being
associated with Heyman really brought him down. I liked his work in
NXT (this one, not the old show) as McGillicutty and now he’s just a
more intense version of that character, meaning he’s a lot easier to
sit through. That being said, this was just a formality for Balor.
Here
are the full tournament brackets.
Finn
Balor
Curtis
Axel
Adrian
Neville
Tyson
Kidd
Hideo
Itami
Tyler
Breeze
Baron
Corbin
Bull
Dempsey
Sasha
Banks says Charlotte has no one to protect her tonight and it’s time
to win the title. She doesn’t care if Devin has any more questions.
Bull
Dempsey swears revenge next week.
Women’s
Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
They
grapple to the mat to start with Charlotte getting the better of it
but having to nail Becky in the face. Back in and Charlotte hammers
away but Becky comes in for the DQ at 2:15. Not much of a match due
to time.
Bayley
comes in for the save but eventually picks up the title. Charlotte
isn’t cool with that and eats a Belly to Bayley. It doesn’t seem
like a heel turn as Bayley almost looks like she regretted it. It
worked for Rick Steiner back in 1989 (albeit in a face turn) so why
not here? Regal comes out and makes a fourway title match for
Takeover.
Kevin
Owens doesn’t want to be interviewed and will say whatever he has to
say to Sami’s face next week.
Vaudevillains
vs. Buddy Murphy/Wesley Blake
The
Vaudevillains have been doing dinosaur training to make up for their
recent losses, which apparently involves the Iron Sheik’s Persian
clubs. English misses a forearm to Murphy in the corner to start and
eats a running forearm, only to take Buddy into the corner for a
beating. Off to Gotch for a suplex for two and English hooks a
chinlock. Murphy finally rolls over for the tag to Blake who gets a
fast two off a powerslam with Gotch making the save. With the
referee getting Gotch out of the ring, Murphy sneaks in a kick to the
head, giving Blake the pin at 3:58.
Rating:
D+. The match was nothing
special but I really like the booking. Murphy and Blake have been
around long enough that people are familiar with them and they’ve
gotten close enough to picking up wins that this isn’t a huge
stretch. It gives the Dragons fresh challengers for the titles and
keeps the cycle moving. That’s one of NXT’s strengths and something
I really wish WWE would get better at. Keep the future challengers
safe instead of squashing them, because you never know when you might
need them.
Tyler
Breeze is ready to implement his plan to separate the gorgeous ones
from the uggos.
Murphy
and Blake say that wasn’t an upset and want a title shot next week.
#1
Contenders Tournament First Round: Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
Marcus
Louis is seen looking at Breeze from behind the stage during Tyler’s
entrance. Breeze avoids a
big kick to start and wags a finger at Itami. Another
kick misses and the fans call Breeze a TOTAL DIVA. Breeze
suckers Itami in for a kick of his own before running into a knee to
the ribs. Back up and Itami
gets sent face first into the middle buckle and tossed out to the
floor. A dropkick (noticing
a theme here?) gets two for Breeze and a neckbreaker gets an even
closer near fall as we take a break.
Back
with Breeze holding a chinlock but Itami fights up with clotheslines
and a tornado DDT necksnap. There’s
the top rope clothesline followed by a release fisherman’s suplex for
two on Breeze. Back up and
Breeze blocks an O’Connor Roll and DRILLS Hideo with the Supermodel
Kick for two.
Itami
is shaken up in the corner so
Breeze crawls onto his back for a kind of snap crucifix for a fall so
near that the referee looked like he had to slow down for the
kickout. Tyler shouts that
this is about him but Itami screams at him. More
kicks have Breeze rocked and the running dropkick in the corner sets
up a running boot to the face for the pin at 14:24.
Rating:
B-. I’m trying really hard to
care about Itami and it’s just not quite there. His offense has
definitely gotten better but I really have no reason to care about
him. There are a lot of
guys who kick really hard and Itami hasn’t shown he has much to
differentiate himself from the pack. Breeze continues to live way
beyond his gimmick and looks more and more comfortable every week.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This show was much
more about moving things forward than the wrestling itself. They’re
rushing to the next Takeover with only about six weeks since the
least one, but with the main event they have set up, they would be
crazy not to go with it right now. The
rest of the card could be excellent with the fourway being wide open
and the tournament having some potentially awesome finals. Another
good show this week but in a different way.
Results
Finn
Balor b. Curtis Axel – Top rope double stomp
Charlotte
b. Sasha Banks via DQ when Becky Lynch interfered
Wesley
Blake/Buddy Murphy b. Vaudevillains – Kick to the head
Hideo
Itami b. Tyler Breeze – Running kick to the face
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