July 17, 2014
Episode 231
Commentators: Byron Saxton, William Regal and Tom Phillips

Sorry I’ve been away from this review for the past few weeks. Real life, vacations and a multitude of reasons have kept me away but it’s okay, I’m back and I get to see the payoff for one of the best feuds in wrestling today: Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd!

The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady: I’m still into the Vaudevillains, I don’t care what anyone says. I’m a sucker for the music, the video effects and the look. I’d like to see one of these teams knock off The Ascension, we need some new blood at the top of the tag ranks. English starts off with an armbar on Enzo, Enzo turns it around for an armlock of his own…. WRESTLING! English reverses with, well, you guessed it, an armbar. Enzo finally breaks free and starts clubbing English with some closed fists, apparently legal for him. Amore tags Big Cass and he starts pounding on English with some huge knee lifts.

English finally gets a tag to Gotch but he doesn’t fare much better against Big Cass. Sylvester Lefront and Marcus Louis come down to ringside, Cassady is distracted because wrestlers are the dumbest people in the world, Gotch rolls him up, holds the tights and the Vaudevillains win.

This wasn’t very good. *1/2

CJ Parker vs. Xaiver Woods: Has CJ Parker always been listed as from Joliet, Illinois? I never noticed and I know he’s a local guy but I really hope they don’t think Joliet is some hippie/hipster haven because… it’s not. Woods pushes Parker into the corner as they exchange some basic holds. Parker locks Woods in a side headlock but Woods turns it into a wrist hold. Parker breaks free but gets a nice dropkick for his troubles. Regal mentions that Woods has a Ph.D. in case you had no idea. This Parker gimmick is silly and won’t work whatsoever but he’s a good heel because uber-hippies are the god damn worst.

Parker turns the table and hits a huge clothesline on Woods then starts pounding away on Woods with punches and kicks. He, of course, follows this flurry of action with a chinlock because NXT. Woods hit a nice second-rope springboard DDT but Parker kicks out at 2. Parker goes for a heel kick but Woods dives out of the way, then some akwardness occurs as Woods tries a sunset flip but Parker holds up and pins him. Parker tried to grab the ropes but was too far away so the finish seemed very weird. *3/4

Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss: Bliss starts the match with a quick roll up but only gets a one, that was a fun way to start. Banks quickly turns the tables and starts tossing Bliss to the mat by her hair. Banks has Bliss in a headlock/chokehold but is screaming while she has her in it, nice fire here and way to differentiate from the other 19 chinlocks I’ve seen so far this episode. Nice dropkick by Bliss but Banks quickly turns it into a crossface and it’s all over. Banks looked great here and this was a pretty good, but short showing by both ladies. **1/2

I won’t complain about getting a replay of Tyler Breeze’s music video. Seriously, I think it’s awesome.

Tom Phillips says Adam Rose has taken the WWE “by storm” and the star returns to NXT. Sure he has, Tom, sure he has.

Adam Rose vs. Jason Jordan: Jordan gets his own entrance, so maybe has has a chance here. Or not. He actually gets some offense in working Rose in the corner. It doesn’t last too long, Rose takes control and doesn’t let up eventually hitting the Party Foul. This wasn’t too bad but Jordan still has a ways to go. Rose looked relatively good here which can be rare for him. *3/4

Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd: Main event time, newly christened super heel Tyson Kidd out. I’ve been a huge fan of his gimmick as of late and he’s a great example of someone getting some extra juice by going down a level. Sure, he’s not working mega WWE shows but I’d rather work consistently in front of 300 then sitting around backstage in front of 12,000. Zayn’s music rules, I’ll reiterate that and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong, I won’t hear any of it.

Zayn tries to immediately go after Kidd but he slinks under the ropes and tells Zayn to wait. Zayn gets ready to lock up with Kidd but Tyson slides to the outside and has a shit-eating grin on his face. Dude is so good in this role. Kidd continues to bait Zayn and roll out to the ring. I like the psychology but I want to see some action, folks! Kidd hits Zayn with a heel kick on the outside and a huge suplex on the steel.

Commercial break because mid-match commercials are totally a great thing for us watching at home. We’re back and Kidd has a nearfall on Zayn, we then transition into chinlock #451 so far this episode.

Neckbreaker by Kidd then…. YUP, a chinlock. I get that it’s a vital part of wrestling but I’m not even kidding we’ve seen at least 15 of them in this episode alone. Zayn finally breaks free, hits Kidd with a headbutt and a huge dropkick. Kidd slides to the outside but Zayn hits him with a springboard moonsault. Zayn showing some nice fire as he goes to the top and hits a nice looking crossbody.

Kidd cuts off a few Blue Thunder Bomb attempts by Zayn. Kidd with an elbow drop from the top but Zayn throws his knees up. Zayn finally hits a Blue Thunder Bomb but Kidd kicks out! Kidd locks the Sharpshooter in and it looks like Zayn is done, he gets near the ropes but Kidd drags him to the middle of the ring. The crowd tries to OLE Zayn to the rope and he finally gets there. Wow. Kidd goes to the top but missed Zayn and Sami locks him into the Koji Clutch! It’s over. This wasn’t as good as I had hoped but that’s not fair because it was really good. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

If you like chinlocks, THIS is the NXT for you. This was an easy watch but not necessarily great. The main event was disappointing based off my high standards but still really good. It’s a super easy hour of wrestling to watch, so if you have some time definitely check it out — just don’t expect any matches outside of the main event to be good or even great.