NXT – August 12, 2015

Date: August 12, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

It’s time for another show built around a #1 contenders match as Bayley is facing Becky Lynch for the right to go to Brooklyn and challenge Sasha Banks for the Women’s Title. The Takeover card is mostly set and it’s time to firm things up, which can often lead to the best shows in a cycle. Let’s get to it.

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NXT – August 5, 2015

Date: August 5, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re on the road to Brooklyn and most of the card can be seen from here. With just three shows left, it’s time to add some build to a lot of the midcard matches as the main event is pretty much set. There’s a good chance we’ll be seeing more of Charlotte vs. Bayley tonight as Bayley is aiming for the Women’s Title again. Let’s get to it.

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NXT – July 29, 2015

Date: July 29, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We have a clear path towards Takeover: Brooklyn now with a main event of Finn Balor defending against Kevin Owens in a rematch from their Beast in the East showdown. Other than that it seems that we’re going to get Bayley challenging for the Women’s Title, but first she wants to get through Charlotte. However, Charlotte first wants to go through Dana Brooke, who she faces tonight. Let’s get to it.

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NXT – July 22, 2015

Date: July 22, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton

We’re officially on the way to the next Takeover in Brooklyn with an announced main event of new NXT Champion Finn Balor defending against former champion Kevin Owens. This makes for an interesting match as Owens has kind of outgrown NXT despite only being there about seven months so far. It should be interesting how they get to the show so let’s get to it.

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Why So Serious, NXT?


Not sure if this has been asked already, but it’s been sticking in my head for a while now:

NXT is obviously the superior show, from the focus on Trip, less writers involved, better writing, booking, wrestling, etc… Its a developmental that’s actually pretty entertaining.

My question is if its purpose is developing the next people for WWE, why are they operating in almost the opposite philosophy of what the reality of WWE is? Why train guys for long matches/feuds with logical pathways when the reality is 50/50 booking or #CenaWinsLOL? Why train the girls to get to have great time & characters where they’re gonna get turned into "generic crazy/jealous diva" when they move up and have 3 minute matches with non-workers like the Bellas?

It’s not like I want to see NXT become another weak WWE product, but it just seems to me like it does a disservice to the people that go through it. Almost a "false expectations" thing…


Yup. It’s especially glaring now that the NXT women are starting to come up more. Again, though, NXT exists more for developing HHH as a promoter at this point moreso than any real development of the already-trained indy talent they’re acquiring.

NXT Women On Raw Segment

Hi, Scott. What are your thoughts on the Raw segment with the NXT women? I know your tagline as far as predicting how it will eventually play out, but what did you think of the segment on its own (specifically the setting up of three trios/factions and the composition of said teams)?

I thought it was a little weird to do it the week before a PPV that currently does not have any women’s match advertised, and any follow-up might be a little overshadowed by Battleground fallout. Maybe they thought Atlanta would have a better reaction than Missouri?

​What is this, the NXT Women’s e-mail night or something? Literally 15 seconds after I posted that last e-mail about the women, I got this e-mail.

My thoughts on the segment are that it reminded me a lot of the ECW/WCW merger angle, and not in a good way. It took three weeks of angles and shoved it into one segment. Paige should have brought her backup (Charlotte) and then the next week Naomi should have brought out her backup (Sasha) and then the next week you set up that feud and so on. And why not just bring up Bayley at the same time? She’s exactly what they need to open up the market for young girls who worship her in NXT. Like really the whole thing amounted to putting off the angle for months and then suddenly doing months of payoffs in one night. It’s not good storytelling, but that’s hardly a surprise.

BoD Daily Update

With New Japan sending Jushin Lyger to work the NXT show and Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazuchika Okada, and Kushida to work the RoH Field of Honor show on SummerSlam weekend, there are move moves going on behind the scenes between RoH and NXT that do not involve New Japan that are likely to be evident in short order.



TNA and RoH Wednesday Night Viewership Numbers

RoH drew 80,000 viewers this week, down from the 128,000 they had last week. The replay drew 89,000, giving them 169,000 total. TNA drew 293,000 viewers, down from the 353,000 they had last week. The replay drew 72,000, giving them 365,000 total.



NXT Star Getting New Theme Music




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New E-Book: NXT – The Full Sail Years Volume I


In today’s wrestling world, it’s very common to see the exact same formula over and over with very few changes. A lot of fans are looking for something fresh and it’s hard to find that anywhere. However, one place that you can find it is outside the top level. Down in Florida in the WWE developmental promotion, there is good, old fashioned, week to week wrestling and it’s some of the best stuff going today. I’m sure you’re familiar with names like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Neville and Charlotte, but how did they get their starts down there?

In this book, I’ll be looking at every the first year and a half of NXT, starting with their arrival in Florida at Full Sail University and wrapping it up just before they head over to the WWE Network. NXT started fast and quickly became one of the best wrestling shows around and it will be interesting to see how they got to where they are now. As usual I’ll be providing play by play, context and analysis of every show.

The books runs over 400 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “NXT History” and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-June 1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998 and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.


NXT Brooklyn

So i just read that more tix have been sold for the NXT Brooklyn show as opposed to the meaningless Battleground show.(as of Thursday night) Do u see the group that runs RAW try and bully their way into running the big NXT show to save face. In particular Vince and Kevin Dunn.

​No, because really the whole thing is set up for HHH to succeed, given that Vince needs to prove to Wall Street that his doofus son-in-law can run a wrestling company in case the worst happens. So they’re going to give HHH every chance to make it work on his own.

On a similar topic, I’m not really fond of making big power moves against ROH like this deal with Jushin Liger coming in for Takeover. It’s awesome for the fans in a sense, but destroying what is basically your own feeder system seems like some pretty short-sighted manuevering. Unless they’re going all in on this WWN deal and basically have decided that ROH must die as a result.

NXT – July 8, 2015

Date: July 8, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

We have a new NXT Champion though we’re likely only going to hear about it in voiceovers as this is a taped show from a few weeks back. Finn Balor took the NXT Title from Kevin Owens in Tokyo on 4th of July and you know Owens is going to be gunning to get his title back. Other than that though, we have the Vaudevillains vs. Enzo/Cass for the #1 contendership. Let’s get to it.

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Cena vs. NXT?

Hey Scott,

I'm kind of tired of all the Roman Reigns shit, so let's talk about NXT, and more importantly, NXT being name-dropped on Raw in a Cena promo. And it wasn't Cena being a corporate shill either, he said lines to the effect of "NXT is Triple H's vision of the future, and so every guy in NXT is being trained to replace me." It's a line that was super tacked-on and basically completely irrelevant to the rest of the promo, so do you think that there's something deeper going on?

Maybe it's Cena's earnest attempt to get over the NXT guys as threats to Cena's position and future stars? 

Do you think this is Cena trying to patch together WWE's freaky continuity and explain why Triple H is babyface-ish on NXT and an ultra-heel on Raw and maybe establish that Rollins was the chosen one from the beginning or something like that? 

Is he being a puppet for Vince or Dunn in the bizarre WWE civil war by attempting to turn every NXT guy heel?

Or is attempting to analyze John Cena promos a waste of everybody's time and effort?

I just thought we could get some good conspiracy theories going on, and maybe get people's hopes up about The Nexus 5.0 or something.

​Analyzing a Cena promo is a waste of everyone's time. Often literally, as they're just thrown out there to use up part of the three hours.  That being said, the civil war angle is far more interesting as a story than anything else they've dreamed up in the past few years.  Crazy out of touch old man Vince and his chosen one Roman Reigns opposed by HHH and the NXT guys and forced to team up with hated enemy Daniel Bryan, fighting for the soul of the WWE?  That's compelling TV.  The fact that they don't ​even see the storyline they're creating with their own stupidity makes them even more stupid.

NXT: Takeover

Date: May 29,
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the
second two hour live NXT special tonight and the card looks solid.
The main event is Adrian Neville defending the NXT Title against
Tyson Kidd after Kidd won a triple threat a few weeks ago. Other
than that we’ve got the other two titles on the line as well, with
Ascension defending against Kalisto/El Local and Charlotte vs.
Natalya for the vacant Women’s Title. Let’s get to it.

The opening
video is about change, with NXT taking over the world. A Takeover
you might say.
Adam Rose
leads his party from outside, all the way into the arena for his
match. Awesome entrance.
Adam Rose
vs. Camacho
Rose is
feeling rather playful as he jumps into Camacho’s arms, only to be
slammed down to the mat in a hard landing. A nice butterfly suplex
gets two on Adam and we hit the chinlock. The fans sing the song to
get Rose back to his feet because this is the most awesome crowd in
wrestling. Rose escapes and starts Hulking Up but a hard boot to the
face puts him down for two. Another chinlock slows things down as
the fans chant PARTY TIME. Camacho drops a leg for two but Rose
fights back with left hands and a big spinebuster. A Bronco Buster
sets up the Party Foul to pin Camacho at 5:10.
Rating: C.
This wasn’t a great match but it was the perfect way to open up a big
show. Rose is very similar to Godfather, as the matches aren’t all
that impressive but he’s going to get a crowd over no matter what
he’s doing. That’s a very valuable thing to have and something that
should keep Rose on the main roster for a long time.
on Zayn vs. Camacho from Arrival.
Tyler Breeze
has entered the building. Regal: “My night is made!”
Tag Team
Titles: Kalisto/El Local vs. Ascension
Ascension is
defending and their challengers have only wrestled together a few
times. The champions go after the masked men to start but stereo
headscissors put them on the floor. Local and Kalisto load up stereo
suicide dives but charge into uppercuts to knock them back into the
ring. Viktor starts by throwing Kalisto around before it’s quickly
off to Konnor for a big elbow drop. A double chicken wing has
Kalisto in even more trouble.
Back to
Viktor who rips at Kalisto’s mask before putting him in the Tree of
Woe for kicks from Konnor. They head outside to keep up the
destruction but Kalisto kicks Konnor in the face and rams Viktor face
first into the apron. It’s not enough for a hot tag though as
Ascension takes him into the corner. Kalisto FINALLY dives over to
make the tag and Local speeds things up. A middle rope moonsault
gets two as everything breaks down. Viktor just ENDS Local with a
running clothesline though, setting up Fall of Man for the pin at
D+. The hot tag was a bit of an
improvement but this was more of the same from Ascension. At the end
of the day, they’re desperately in need of competition unless they’re
brought up to the main roster to take the belts from the Usos soon.
Either that or the new pretty boy team will knock them off, which
isn’t the worst idea in the world.
Video on
Tyler Breeze.
Sami Zayn
vs. Tyler Breeze
#1 contenders
match. Breeze has new music, completely with paparazzi sounds.
Tyler cranks on the wrist to start but gets taken down by a top
wristlock. Zayn snaps off three very fast armdrags to take over and
hooks an armbar. Back up and Sami goes to the corner, only for Tyler
to grab his leg and whip Zayn all the way down to the floor. Breeze
stomps away in the corner before hitting a nice bulldog into the
middle buckle. Tyler’s hair is down, I believe for the first time
ever in NXT.
We hit a
front facelock on Sami but he finally fights up and throws Breeze
off. I love the subtle things Sami does like have to try three times
before shoving Tyler away. It’s a great way to build up sympathy and
get the crowd behind you. Breeze heads outside so Zayn hits a huge
slingshot moonsault to take him down. Back in and a high cross body
gets two on Tyler followed by a wicked Blue Thunder Bomb for the
A frustrated
Sami goes up top but has to roll through a cross body, only to charge
into a kick to the ribs and a DDT for two. Tyler comes back by
pulling Sami from the mat out of the corner into a sitout powerbomb
for another near fall. Breeze goes nuts in the corner with right
hands but Sami comes back with an exploder suplex to send him into
the buckles. They slug it out with some very intense BOO/YAY chants.

Sami stops
himself before running into the referee and gets rolled up for two.
The Blue Thunder Bomb is countered into a series of standing switches
before Tyler superkicks Sami’s head off but Zayn kicks out AGAIN.
The fans are literally standing and cheering for this. Both guys are
spent but it’s Breeze in control. Sami blocks an Irish whip and
tries an arm trap powerbomb but the fall down in a sloppy looking
sequence. That’s fine with Zayn though as he loads up a fisherman’s
buster but flips Breeze forward into a powerbomb for two.
Breeze bails
to the floor, allowing Sami to hit a gorgeous flip dive. The landing
looked very rough though as Sami’s leg smacked Breeze in the head and
knocked it into the steel ramp. Back in and Sami tries the Helluva
Kick but Breeze’s head goes down, causing a low blow to Sami. Zayn
falls backwards and the Beauty Shot gives Breeze the pin at 15:55.
A-. That botched sequence near
the end is one of the only things holding this back. Sami is more
than ready for WWE by this point but at some point he needs to get a
major win in NXT. I’m fine with them not making him champion, but
there’s a good chance this gets a rematch due to the ending.
Breeze’s best match ever by about 10,000 miles as well.
Here are Lana
and Rusev with something to say. Lana says Rusev has spread his
power to Raw and Smackdown but now he’s back here receive adulation.
This brings out Mojo Rawley with an American flag to stand up to this
horrid villain. Rawley says in America, we don’t get hyped. WE STAY
HYPED! Mojo hits the ring….and gets his head kicked into the
fourth row. Rusev hammers away and Accolades Rawley in about 20
seconds. Rusev still isn’t done though as he puts on the Accolade on
the ramp.
Video on
Charlotte vs. Natalya, which will see both famous relatives in the
Kristofferson is here.
Before the
match, here’s Paige to say how good it is to be home. She thanks the
fans for their help in making her Divas Champion because she couldn’t
do it without them. Paige is also proud to be the first NXT Women’s
Champion but tonight is about a new champion. Whoever that is has to
have strength, character and grace because she’s the key to the
future. Holding the Women’s Title is the key to the Divas Title, so
enjoy the rest of the show.
Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya
This is a
tournament final for the vacant championship. Charlotte has a
remixed Ric Flair theme song and it’s really not working. After some
big match intros, we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start as
the legends play cheerleaders. Natalya takes her down by the arm but
gets caught in a headscissors. Back up and Natalya grabs the
headlock as well. That goes nowhere either so they fight over
wristlocks until Charlotte grabs an armbar.
Natalya does
the Owen Hart roll out and grabs a leg lock to take over. Back up
again and Natalya takes her right back down with another leg tie.
Charlotte reaches around to grab a chinlock which goes into a front
facelock. They hit the ropes for a bit with Natalya countering a
wheelbarrow slam into a cradle for two. Natalya grabs a body
scissors but Charlotte rolls to the ropes to avoid a cross
gets tired of submission stuff and slaps Natalya in the face. A BIG
chop puts Natalya down and Ric loses his mind going WOO. Natalya
tries a sleeper but gets caught in an over the shoulder Stunner for
two. Charlotte slams the Canadian’s face into the mat over and over
before choking in the corner a bit. Off to a figure four headlock
complete with Madison Rayne’s face ram into the mat.
Back up and
it’s off to an abdominal stretch on Natalya, albeit not a very good
one. Natalya reverses into a much better one and even grabs
Charlotte’s leg for good measure. Charlotte rolls out and hits a low
dropkick for two. Natalya fights back with power and a low dropkick
of her own, followed by a whip into the corner for a Flair Flip.
They head outside with Charlotte whipping Natalya off the apron by
the leg. Back in and Charlotte goes up, only to miss a moonsault.
A discus
lariat gets two for Natalya and the Sharpshooter goes on, but
Charlotte rolls out and puts on the Figure Four. Natalya somehow
reverses the pressure without turning the hold over and Charlotte
crawls to the apron. She falls to the floor with the hold still on
and both girls are in trouble. Natalya is sent knee first into the
steps and it’s back inside for a bad Sharpshooter (complete with a
glare at Bret) but Natalya rolls through, only to be kicked away from
the Sharpshooter. Charlotte hits Bow Down To The Queen out of
nowhere for the pin and the title at 16:55.
B+. Who would have thought THIS
would be awesome? Charlotte has somehow become awesome in like two
months and more than held her own out there. It was hard to imagine
Natalya winning here but it was still an absolutely awesome match
between two wrestlers who happen to be girls.
shake hands post match, as do Ric and Bret for a nice moment.
Video on
Neville’s rise to the top of NXT.
Cesaro and
Christian are here.
Kidd and
Natalya are ready.
NXT Title:
Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville
Neville is
defending. Big match intros are done and we’re ready to go. They
shake hands and talk trash to each other until Tyson takes him down
with a headlock. Adrian spins up and Tyson shoves him down to annoy
the champion. Back up and this time it’s Adrian taking Kidd down and
into the ropes for another staredown. The champion grabs an armbar
(Fans: “ARMBAR! ARMBAR!”) but Kidd is quickly up and things get
faster. Neville flips over to escape a backdrop but Kidd does the
same, leading to another staredown. This time though Kidd blasts him
in the face and kicks away, giving us a mid match heel turn.
Kidd puts him
into the Tree of Woe before lifting him up for a kick to the back. A
running dropkick has Adrian in trouble and we hit the chinlock.
Neville fights up but Kidd sends him to the floor and hits a big flip
dive for two back inside. Adrian is back up again and they hit cross
bodies at the same time to put both guys down. Now they trade kicks
to the ribs but Adrian hits a sliding kick to the head to take over.
Now it’s Kidd put in the Tree of Woe for the same kind of kicks that
he threw earlier.
A running
delayed dropkick knocks Kidd senseless but it’s only good for two and
the champion is getting frustrated. Kidd comes back with a pair of
kicks to the head but Adrian kicks out at two. Tyson goes up but
Neville blocks the Blockbuster with a forearm to the jaw. Adrian’s
superplex is countered into a powerbomb but Adrian flips out and hits
a sitout powerbomb for two.
Adrian loads
up what looked to be a Lionsault press but Kidd runs at the ropes for
a middle rope Russian legsweep for a close two. Kidd dives into
knees but gets rolled up for another near fall. The champion tries a
suplex but they both fall over the top rope and crash to the floor.
Both guys slide in to beat the count and they’re spent.
Kidd loads up
the Sharpshooter but leans forward to put on the Dungeon Lock
(instead of turning over he grabs Adrian’s arm and leans back for a
choke with a leg lock). Adrian is in the ropes, so Kidd ties him up
in those ropes for a top rope flip legdrop and two. Kidd loads up
the Blockbuster but Adrian counters into a gorgeous top rope
hurricanrana. Kidd is almost out cold and the Red Arrow is enough to
keep the title in England at 20:00.
A-. Take two guys and let them
fly around the ring for a long time. Again, Kidd winning wasn’t
likely at all but that doesn’t mean he can’t go out there and tear
the house down like he just did. Neville is getting a huge star rub,
even though he doesn’t seem to be the longest term solution as
Kidd very
slowly gets up but won’t shake hands.
A. This was an AWESOME
show with three incredible matches out of five with the other two not
being bad at all. NXT continues to be the most outstanding wrestling
promotion going right now with nothing but great matches and shows
almost every week. It’s amazing how this doesn’t translate all that
well up to WWE though, as the scripting of everything stops so much
of the momentum that NXT has due to people just going out there and
tearing the house down. Excellent show, just like Arrival.
Adam Rose b.
Camacho – Party Foul
Ascension b.
El Local/Kalisto – Fall of Man to Local
Tyler Breeze
b. Sami Zayn – Beauty Shot
Charlotte b.
Natalya – Bow Down to the Queen
Neville b. Tyson Kidd – Red Arrow
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

NXT: Vengeance – March 27, 2014

NXT Vengeance
Date: March 27, 2014
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Jason
Albert, Tom Phillips, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight is another of
those big shows for NXT called Vengeance. The idea here is a bunch
of long standing feuds or rematches, such as Neville vs. Dallas II in
the main event. Other than that we have Parker vs. Rawley, Natayla
vs. Charlotte and Breeze vs. Woods. NXT knows how to put on the big
shows like this so hopefully they continue the trend here. Let’s get
to it.

We open with a recap of
Arrival where Neville won the NXT Title in a ladder match and Bo
Dallas challenging for a rematch.
Opening sequence.
CJ Parker vs. Mojo
Parker is angry at
Rawley for polluting the planet, even though there’s no evidence of
him doing so. A kick to the head puts Mojo down and Parker hammers
away in the corner before shouting a lot. Rawley comes back with
right hands but misses a splash, giving CJ a two count. More left
hands in the corner have Rawley in trouble but Parker stops to show a
peace sign. Mojo chases him across the ring and nails a splash in
the other corner and Hyperdrive is good for the pin at 3:22.
Rating: D+.
Not much to this one but at least Rawley made a quick comeback and
destroyed Parker in relatively short order. Parker isn’t the kind of
guy who can be a physical threat to Rawley and thankfully he was
treated like nothing in the match here. The heel character is a good
idea but Parker just isn’t that good.
freaks out post match.
look back at Corey Graves attacking Sami Zayn last week and see Sami
getting a concussion test.
Tyler Breeze vs.
Xavier Woods
Woods looks ticked off
coming to the ring. Feeling out process to start until Woods grabs a
headlock and takes Breeze down with a headscissors. A catapult sends
Breeze into the corner for two but he nails Woods with a forearm for
two of his own. Woods gets all fired up but Tyler avoids the Honor
Roll. He tries snake eyes on Tyler but Breeze escapes and hits the
Beauty Shot for the pin at 3:53.
Rating: D+.
This didn’t work for me either as Breeze isn’t much to see in the
ring. Woods isn’t much better though as he just doesn’t work all
that well in the ring. Yeah he’s a smart guy but that doesn’t make
him anything special in the ring. I don’t see much of a future on
the main roster for either of these guys but Breeze is entertaining.
Dallas says he’ll get the title back tonight because it’s a wrestling
match instead of climbing monkey bars.
Tatsu vs. Corey Graves
is a rematch from a few weeks ago when Graves attacked Tatsu before
the bell and got an easy pin. Yoshi hammers away in the corner to
start and nails a LOUD chop. A quick cross body gets two on Corey
but he goes after Tatsu’s knee to take over. He cranks on a hold
before kicking the knee out one more time. Lucky 13 makes Yoshi tap
at 3:10.
Rating: D+.
This was barely long enough to rate as it was nothing more than a
squash. I’m not sure what happened to Tatsu as he wasn’t great but
he’s better than being a barely seen jobber on NXT. Graves still
doesn’t blow my skirt up. I know he’s very popular but I just don’t
get the huge appeal.
tells Sami to stay down.
vs. Charlotte
has Sasha Banks with her but Natalya one ups her with Bret Hart.
They hit the mat to start
but neither girl can gain control. Natalya grabs an armbar but gets
countered into a headscissors. Rene Young isn’t sure how to describe
her meeting Bret Hart but Natalya destroys Charlotte with a dropkick
to bail her out.
is flipped into the corner but clotheslines Natalya down to take
over. She goes after Natalya’s knee by kicking it in the corner and
crushing it against the mat. Natayla escapes a leg lock and goes for
the Sharpshooter but Charlotte is in the ropes. Another attempt
works but Sasha comes in for the DQ at 5:04.
Rating: C-.
Charlotte is getting better in the ring but this didn’t have the time
to go anywhere. That’s been a running trend tonight and I’m not
really caring for it. Charlotte isn’t her dad out there but she’s
very athletic and can do her gymnastics stuff well enough. That
makes me wonder why she’s going for the mat work instead. Hopefully
they’re not just going to try and make her like her dad.
says it’s not a ladder match tonight but he has the momentum and the
title, so nothing changes tonight.
Title: Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville
is defending. Bo tries some fast pins but Neville gets out, sending
Dallas running to the corner. Dallas whips Neville across the ring
but the champion flips forward and hits a middle rope dropkick. Bo
heads outside but Neville takes him down with a BIG dive. Neville
loads up another dive but gets shoved to the floor to give Bo an
opening. A hard clothesline drops Neville again and Bo takes him
inside for some knee drops.
take a break and come back with Dallas nailing another clothesline
for two. Frustration sets in off the kickouts but he’s able to sit
down to block a sunset flip. The referee catches Bo holding the
ropes though and Neville pulls him down for two. Neville escapes an
Impaler DDT and hits a HUGE springboard forearm for two. They trade
hard shots to the face and the referee is nearly bumped.
gets two off a rollup but an enziguri from the apron sets up the Red
Arrow. The splash hits knees though and both guys are down. Dallas
is up first and tries his DDT but has to avoid a hard charge into the
corner. The champ gets a kick to Dallas’ head though and a reverse
450 (as in his back was to the ring and he threw his feet into the
air before flipping over and landing on Dallas) retains at 12:50.
Rating: C+.
Good but not great match here with both guys looking more above
average than good. Dallas
just doesn’t have the spark anymore after losing the title, but that
was bound to happen when his magic was broken. It’s a good match and
by far the best of the night but that didn’t save the rest of the
Overall Rating: C-.
The show wasn’t terrible overall but it really didn’t do much for me.
This felt like a show without much effort put into the creative
process and they even admitted that it was comprised of mostly
rematches. Neville vs. Dallas didn’t feel exciting at all here and
while it was ok, it really didn’t make me care to see much more of
Adrian. This was one of their worst shows in awhile, but hopefully
things pick up next week. Unlike other promotions though, I fully
believe NXT can do it.
Mojo Rawley b. CJ
Parker – Hyperdrive
Tyler Breeze b. Xavier
Woods – Beauty Shot
Corey Graves b. Yoshi
Tatsu – Lucky 13
Natalya b. Charlotte
via DQ when Sasha Banks interfered
Adrian Neville b. Bo
Dallas – Reverse 450
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up my new book on the History of Clash of the Champions from Amazon at:

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–02.12.14

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 02.12.14 Happy Valentine’s Day! Or as most wrestling fans know it, Friday. I have to say, I’m starting to get a real bad feeling about the direction of this show ever since the main WWE monkeys noticed that it’s a thing that exists and is airing on their new network. Nothing good ever comes from that, but hopefully it’s an aberration that ends once they get it out their system with the live show next week. Taped from Orlando, FL. Your hosts are Tom Phillips, Alex Riley & William Regal Natalya, Bayley & Emma v. Alicia Fox, Summer Rae & Sasha Banks Emma gets a sunset flip on Summer for two, and she runs away from Nat and brings in Sasha. Sasha gets a kick out of the corner, but Nattie takes her down with a suplex for two and follows with a dropkick. The announcers have a wonderfully wacky conversation about how Alex would marry Emma and take her last name, and Tom incredulously notes “She doesn’t have a last name!” That was pretty funny. Even better is Renee Young’s disgust with the whole deal, and then fawning over Regal immediately after. The characterization on the announce team is even better than most of the characters on RAW right now. The heels take over on Bayley and we go to a break. Back with Summer working Bayley over and Fox coming in with a lengthy facelock to build the heat, and Summer chokes her out while doing stretches on the ropes. Summer boots her down for two, but Summer fights back with a suplex and it’s hot tag Emma. Alicia wants no part of this action, but the BFFs walk out on her and the EmmaLock finishes at 12:05. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. **1/2 Aiden English v. Colin Cassady Cassady slams English out of the corner while Regal now fawns over Aiden with a man-crush. “Look at his body…it’s like he’s carved out of ONYX!” And yet we still get JBL on two of the main shows. English misses a legdrop and Cass makes the comeback with the SAWFT forearm smash, but English takes out the knee and finishes with the Director’s Cut at 2:21. Cass should really do a running forearm and call it the SAWFT Touch. So English wins this feud, and it was fine for a time-filling deal. * Sami Zayn joins us, and the Antonio Cesaro loss is EATING HIM ALIVE. So Mr. Cesaro comes out for his reply, and notes that Zayn can look forward to a great career…down here. (Crowd: “Oooooooooh!” What is this, a Chuck Lorre sitcom?) Sami reiterates how far back they go and how cool it is that Cesaro spends time in NXT when he doesn’t have to…but he’s kind of a coward for not fighting him. Cesaro is curious about the state of Sami’s knee, because he doesn’t want there to be any excuses this time. The crowd wants a pinky promise, so Sami obliges…and then Cesaro kicks him in the knee anyway and still refuses. And then HHH comes out and ruins all the fun by being deus ex machina and forcing Cesaro into the match. What a buzzkill. I watch this show to AVOID omnipotent authority figures coming out and making matches. See, this kind of thing is exactly what I mean by a bad feeling about the direction of the show, as they were having a great back-and-forth segment and then HHH came down from the mountain to just settle things for them like they were children or something. And isn’t JBL supposed to be the GM on the show? It’s bad enough we have to wade through the layers of fake authority figures on RAW as it is, now we have to add NXT to the giant convoluted flow chart that is the WWE chain of command, too. Tye Dillinger v. CJ Parker CJ gets a quick senton and airplane spin, and finishes with the Third Eye at 1:19. Just pull the plug on this guy already. Parker cuts an angry promo afterwards about how he recycles and loves the environment in his fuel-efficient car and the crowd is incapable of love. That’s a start. The angry pretentious environmentalist hipster douchebag is actually a surprisingly untapped resource for wrestling heels. I feel like a better direction would be if he started acting all passive-aggressive as well, but this is a start and at least it’s a real character. The Wyatt Family v. I Dunno, Some Guys. Harper finishes one of the geeks with a lariat at 0:50, as you’d expect. Oddly enough, the new episode of New Girl featured Jess’s sister…Abigail! COINCIDENCE? Probably. Or maybe THAT’S WHAT THE MACHINE WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE. The Pulse Man, HHH really harshed my buzz, as CJ Parker would say. OK show otherwise, although obviously they’re just going all in with the live special and basically cruising through the buildup to it.

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–02.05.14

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 02.05.14 Christ, even Microsoft Word is nagging me about the “no double spaces after a period” thing. Why is this suddenly the cause celebre among internet nerds and grammar nazis? Where were all these people when I learned to type that way TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO? Trust me, there’s literally no way I’m going to be able to retrain my fingers not to do it now, so everyone can please leave me alone about it forever. DOUBLE SPACE. Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Bryon Saxton, Tensai & Tom Phillips Sin Cara v. Alexander Rusev So with Rusev on his way to the main roster, along with Summer Rae going to Total Divas, and Emma doing whatever the fuck she’s doing now, the roster is getting a bit gutted and hopefully some quick elevations will be in order. Kind of weird that Hunico just kind of switches gimmicks now after weeks of being himself. Rusev overpowers him, but a bit of high-flying turns the tide, until Rusev dropkicks him right out of the air for one. He stomps Cara down in the corner and puts him down with a high kick for two. Sin Cara comes back with a crossbody for two and springboard elbow for two. He tries a victory roll and Rusev drops him on his face and finishes with the Accolade at 4:44, however. Usual Rusev squash, although Hunico shows more personality in the role than Mistico ever did. *1/2 Emma v. Alicia Fox This Emma title chase has been stalled for a while now with Paige injured with a mysterious ailment for months. Alicia Fox is not into the Emma Dance, and dropkicks her off a wristlock. Emma comes back with the Dilemma hold, but Alicia gets a northern lights suplex for two. Emma gets a clumsy rollup for two and splashes Alicia in the corner, then rolls into the EmmaLock to finish at 3:15. *1/2 Now logically they should put the belt on her when Paige returns, but now she’s on the big roster and thus it’s pointless. And then as Emma is celebrating, the BFFs storm in for a beatdown, until Natalya and Bayley save and then dance. Sylvester Lefort v. Mason Ryan Lefort looks like a guy who would get pushed in the system, so he must be pretty terrible if they’re keeping him as a manager. Unshockingly, Ryan destroys him and pins him with a cobra slam at 0:50. Well that was a tad pointless. DUD Meanwhile, Aiden English gives us a monologue and salutes Canada in song. *Sniff* Meanwhile, Lefort swears revenge on Mason Ryan. Now, if they’re going with the old Robert Parker angle from WCW, it’ll lead to him finding a Sid Vicious-level surprise monster and getting his payback. And given that Dusty Rhodes was booking WCW at the time, it might not be far off. Aiden English v. Tyson Kidd Thankfully English is getting over more as a heel now that the fans know how to react to him. Kidd charges and misses quickly, and English pounds him down for two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Kidd comes back with a headscissors into the corner and a dropkick for two. English catches him coming in with a suplex for two, but Big Cass joins us at ringside for the distraction, allowing Kidd to hit the Blockbuster for the pin at 2:40. Really fast-paced for the time given. **1/4 They really need to do something with Kidd; even a high flying tag team with someone to feud with the Ascension would be a good dynamic for him. Adrian Neville v. Corey Graves The skinny jeans and hair product are really killing the bad boy image that Graves is trying for. Neville gets a hiptoss and Graves bails right away, but catches him with a cheapshot coming in. Neville takes him down with a headlock and tosses him, following with a dive as we take a break. Back with Graves working the leg in the corner and dropping elbows for two. Neville gets a rollup for two, but Graves dropkicks the knee for two and dragon whips him for two. Back to the knee and he grinds on that for a while, and a backbreaker gets two. To the floor, where Neville escapes a piledriver and makes the comeback. Missile dropkick gets two, but the leg is still hurting and Graves clips him again. Neville fights him off and goes up, and the Red Arrow finishes at 16:10. Kind of a flat finish, but a really solid match. *** Neville is still hurting, so Bo Dallas comes out to finish the job, until HHH cuts them off by announcing that their match at the “PPV” is going to be a ladder match. DUN DUN DUN! The Pulse Basic, fun show, although it’s the end of the cycle so there wasn’t much going on this week. Next week, however, should be the senses-shattering debut of rock god ADAM ROSE, which is apparently 10 shades of awesome.

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT– 11.18.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 11.20.13 Actually up at the stroke of midnight tonight! Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Byron Saxton, Alex Riley & William Regal Bo Dallas RETURNS to let us know that everywhere he goes, everybody loves Bo. And he’s got a slideshow to prove it! He sports-entertained in front of a crowd of 300,000 in Cambodia! Against Justin Gabriel. (He won.) Justin’s a good kid, though. He’s in such a good mood, it’s COOKIES FOR EVERYONE! Perhaps lured out by the promise of cookies, JBL joins us to add his kudos, but Sami Zayn interrupts to resume the most awesome feud that no one is watching. He wants another shot at the title now that he’s off suspension, although JBL points out that you can’t just say “With all due respect” and then insult someone. But because he’s about what’s best for business, JBL reinstates him. Sami’s got no problem starting from the bottom again, so JBL makes a Beat the Clock challenge tonight for the #1 contendership. Beat the Clock Challenge: Colin Cassady v. Alexander Rusev Lana makes her official debut here as Rusev’s manager, and the Beat the Clock stips seem to play well to Rusev’s talents for destroying geeks like Colin in record time. Really, with Enzo on the shelf for the long haul, Cassady is gonna be an enhancement guy for a long while. Rusev calmly pounds away for two and puts him down with a shoulder tackle for two. Headbutt gets two. More headbutts get two. I like that he’s constantly trying for pins. Rusev goes up and misses a dive, allowing Cassday to make his Edge Jr. comeback. High knee gets two. Elbowdrop gets two. Blind charge hits the post, and Rusev sends him into another one for good measure before putting him out of his misery with the camel clutch…but Cassady makes the ropes! Rusev pounds him in the corner and throws him around for two, and another try at the Accolade finishes at 5:33. Thankfully the on-screen clock means that I don’t need to use the iPad stopwatch tonight. Nice effort from Cassady. ** Meanwhile, Adrian Neville discusses his match with Corey Graves last week. Meanwhile, Bayley laments the loss of her robot partner Charlotte. Beat the Clock Challenge: Tyler Breeze v. Kassius Ohno I guess we can figure out who’s winning this one. So 5:33 is the goal. Breeze gets a cheapshot and slugs him down for two, but Ohno gets a rollup for two. Backslide gets two. Breeze puts him on the floor with an enzuigiri and uses up lots of time trying to haul him back in, which finally gets two. That was a lot of 10-counts missed there by not taking the countout win. William Regal is FLUSTERED by the whole thing. Breeze pounds away and stomps him down for two, but the leg lariat misses and Ohno gets two. Sunset flip gets two. Breeze rolls him up for two, reversed for two. They do another pinfall reversal and Ohno gets the pin with 0:45 left to set the new pace time of 4:48. Geez, jobbing to a guy who’s about to be fired, ouch. Breeze is improving rapidly and this was a lot of fun. **1/2 Hunico & Camacho v. John J. Hornigan & Chris Rothwell Hunico literally finishes one of the jobbers at 10 seconds with a swanton. And their post-match promo indicates that they’re the next challenge for The Ascension. Meanwhile, Kassius celebrates his win, but Lana is upset that her man is eliminated, which sets up a program we won’t get the payoff to. Beat the Clock Challenge: Adrian Neville v. Aiden English They are fucking insane if this is anything but a draw. Neville throws uppercuts, but English takes him down with a snapmare for two. Neville with a dropkick for two, but English gets a suplex for two. Legdrop gets two. Neville fights back with chops, but English slugs him on the mat and gets two. Neville gets the jawbreaker and Mr. Regal is getting flustered by wanting to get back into the action again. Neville goes up and English escapes and gets a neckbreaker for two. They fight to the top and Neville hits the Red Arrow for the pin at 4:45. Damn, they shouldn’t be beating English yet, let him keep squashing guys and singing for a while. Another fun, fast-paced match. **1/2 Beat the Clock Challenge: Sami Zayn v. Leo Kruger Sami gets a pair of rollups for two, but Kruger puts him down for two. Snap suplex gets two. Sami comes out of the corner with a crossbody for two, but Kruger forearms him for two. Elbow gets two. Kruger keeps working the count, which I love to see, and goes to the cravat. Sami makes the comeback with a dropkick for two, but the running boot misses and Kruger rolls him up for two. Kruger with a spinebuster for two. Lariat gets two. Kruger gets sloppy, however, and Sami rolls him up with a crucifix for the pin at…4:45? This would seem to indicate controversy given the pin came at exactly the expiration of time, so JBL comes out and declares that we do NOT have controversy in his show, so next week it’s Sami v. Neville for the title shot to settle it. **1/4 I have no idea why no one on the RAW team ever thought of that finish to a Beat the Clock deal before, because it’s pretty great. And you’ll note that instead of belittling him and killing his momentum like some OTHER bearded indy darlings, Sami gets more and more over as a babyface the more he gets screwed over. Because, see, NXT isn’t booked by chimps. The Pulse This show FLEW by. I didn’t even realize it was back to an hour again, because it was fast-paced, fun, and set up a fuck-ton of new programs while advancing a couple of others in an hour. SIXTY MINUTES! RAW hasn’t even been able to announce more than 5 matches for the shitty PPV in four three-hour shows!

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT– 11.13.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 11.13.13 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Byron Saxton & William Regal & Tensai As a reminder, tonight I will be a guest on The Place To Be podcast, discussing the first part of 2001 and hopefully sounding less Canadian tonight. However, god help anyone who asks me to rebook the Invasion. GOD HELP THEM. Bayley & Charlotte v. Summer Rae & Sasha Banks Charlotte overpowers Sasha to start and applies a unique hammerlock while Regal bemoans the loss of Renee Young on commentary. Bayley comes in and slugs away on Summer, but walks into a good clothesline that gets two. And with that, we take a break. Back with Sasha holding a chinlock as Bayley is your mark-in-peril. Summer controls with a bodyscissors while Regal struggles through a joke but eventually pulls it off. Why is he not on Smackdown every week? The mean girls continue cutting off the ring, but a belly to belly allows the hot tag…and Charlotte turns on her. Sasha gets the pin at 9:09. Man, you’d think a student of the sport like Bayley would have seen that one coming. So Charlotte is your newest BFF. Is Bayley secretly Sting’s daughter? NEVER TRUST RIC FLAIR! Or his offspring. *1/2 Sadly, Hulu’s screenshot already spoiled this one, because otherwise it was a totally unexpected heel turn. Meanwhile, Aiden English prepares his vocal cords. Camacho v. Aiden English Where the hell is Hunico, anyway? English pounds away in the corner, but walks into a slam from Camacho that gets two. English charges and gets backdropped , allowing Camacho to stomp away on him. English hits the Director’s Cut out of nowhere to finish at 2:13, and the crowd wants an encore. The rose throwing is an awesome touch, although English wrestles like a heel while getting himself over as a huge babyface, so the dynamic is a bit weird. * They could literally bring this act to RAW tomorrow and it would get over HUGE. Meanwhile, Lana speaks some Russian to Alexander Rusev. He appears to enjoy it. Mason Ryan v. Danny Burch Regal goes above and beyond here in trying to come up with a Wales v. England backstory for this squash. Ryan overpowers Burch, but loses a slugfest. Ryan suddenly hulks up, however, and puts him down with a big boot before finishing with a cobra slam at 2:35. Ryan doing the coked up 80s babyface act isn’t fooling anyone. Meanwhile, it’s EMMALUTION time. 2/3 Falls: Adrian Neville v. Corey Graves Neville comes in fast but Graves hits him with a cheapshot and gets a suplex for two. Fistdrop gets two. Neville comes back with a dropkick and rolling cradle for two, then goes up and finishes the first fall with the Red Arrow at 2:10. Graves wisely runs away for a bit, and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Neville goes up and Graves runs away again. This time he dodges a flying Neville and takes over as we take a break. Back with Graves going after the knee and applying a half-crab. Neville powers out and gets a sunset flip for two, but Graves keeps on the knee and clips him to set up the Lucky 13 at 11:22. Neville was pretty dumb to fight it as long as he did: If tapping out was inevitable, might as well just tap and start over again. Third fall and Neville’s knee is shot, but he fights back with a head kick, and Graves bails a third time. Back in, Neville gets frustrated and slugs away in the corner, finally putting Graves down before heading to the top. And that goes badly for him, as he falls off and Graves hooks Lucky 13. Neville powers out after a nice dramatic sequence, and Graves stays on the knee until he tries a figure-four and Neville reverses into a cradle for the pin at 16:40. Good simple stuff. **1/2 The Pulse Next week is the return of BO DALLAS and hopefully Sami Zayn as well. Other than that, who knows? As for this show, we got a good main event and a heel turn, plus Aiden English, so I literally would not want anything more out of my 40 minutes.

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT: 09.04.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 09.04.13 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Alex Riley Bayley & Charlotte v. Alicia Fox & Aksana Yes, it’s FOXANA. Aksana offers a hug to superfan Bayley to start, and of course gives her a sucker punch. Backbreaker gets two. Aksana drops elbows for two. Fox in with a dropkick for two as A-Ry regales us with tales of his early days in the WWE locker room and his advice for new wrestlers. Frankly, taking career advice from Alex Riley doesn’t seem like a good idea unless you want to be a C-show commentator. Aksana with a chinlock and a Nash choke in the corner, but Bayley hugs her into a belly to belly to escape. Hot tag Charlotte, who does a Flair Flip and goes up, only to get slammed off just like dad. Bayley tags herself back in and they argue over it, which lets Alicia whip Bayley into the corner, but Bayley gets an ugly rollup for the pin at 4:32. Well that was ugly, but Charlotte’s literally had something like 3 matches in her career so I can give it a pass. Glad to see them putting the newcomers over. *1/2 Meanwhile, Alexander Rusev plots revenge on Mason Ryan. The plan: First they win, then they go to SIZZLER. Corey Graves v. Rick Victor Graves is right pissed and attacks to start, stomping Victor down and putting him down with an elbow for two. Graves takes him down with a facelock, but Victor throws forearms to retaliate and they slug it out. Graves with a suplex for two. Crossbody, but the ribs are taped and thus this proves to be a stupid move. Victor goes to work on the ribs and drops Graves on the top rope, as we take a break. Really? Are they afraid of people changing channels on Hulu? Anyway, back with Victor stomping a mudhole in the corner, and he adds a gutbuster for two. Victor drops knees on the ribs and goes to a chinlock as the crowd’s not really feeling this one. Victor pounds the ribs again for two and goes to another chinlock. Note to Alex Riley: You don’t have to relate EVERYTHING to your limited experiences as Miz’s bag-carrier and curtain jerking babyface. Graves makes the comeback and puts Victor down with a knee and a short clothesline. The partners get involved for distraction and Victor tries a gutbuster, but Graves rolls him up into a small package at 10:55. And Graves steals his half of the tag belts back as well, so logically you put the Ascension over when the do the title match. Decent but dull match. ** Meanwhile, Summer Rae continues her mean girl abuse of Sasha Banks. Meanwhile, Paige is not particularly afraid of Sasha or Summer. Next week: The title match. Alexander Rusev v. Mason Ryan Now, Rusev already broke the board with Ryan’s name on it in the pre-match skit, and now he does it again. Am I to believe this is some sort of MAGIC BOARD? I hope someone got fired for that blunder. Mason Ryan is, how to say this, 17 sizes smaller here. Not that I’m insinuating anything, but let’s just say that if he was walking around backstage at RAW, HHH would probably make fun of him for losing so much weight. Plus he’s got long greasy hair now. It’s a weird change for him. Ryan tries and fails to overpower Rusev, and walks into a leg lariat that gets two. Rusev drops headbutts and puts him down for two. Blind charge misses and Ryan slugs him down, then puts him down with a big boot and cleans house on the other heels. This allows Rusev to drop Ryan and finish with a camel clutch at 4:00. That’s kind of a career low for Mason Ryan. * Sami Zayn v. Jack Swagger Zayn puts Swagger down with a dropkick and chops him down for two. Swagger bails and Zayn teases a dive, but flips back into the ring instead. Big reaction from the crowd to that one, but Swagger gets a cheapshot and takes over with knees in the corner. And we take a break. Back with Swagger hitting a suplex and choking away on the ropes, but Zayn suckers him into a charge and puts him on the floor. Zayn follows with a BEAUTY of a dive, and back in for a high cross that gets two. Sunset flip gets two. Swagger powers him down with a throw for two, and then tries an Oklahoma Stampede, which Zayn turns into a powerbomb for two. Swagger grabs the ankle and then hits a Doctorbomb for two. The straps come down and it’s another anklelock, but Sami makes the ropes after freaking out the crowd. Swagger stomps him down while Zayn sells the ankle, but Zayn blocks the Swaggerbomb and comes back with the running boot in the corner for two. They slug it out and Zayn goes up, but Swagger crotches him and tries the superplex, but Zayn powerbombs him off the top and gets two. Dammit! He had me sucked in with that one, too. This brings out Bo Dallas to “cheerlead”, and Swagger grabs the ankle again for the submission at 15:15. How is Zayn not on the main roster yesterday? What more can he possibly need to “develop”? ***3/4 The Pulse Another round of logical, weekly booking topped off by Sami Zayn having a crazy good match AND building towards the storyline of his challenge for the NXT title. What a great show this is!