November 6, 2014
Full Sail University

Voices of Wrestling Main Event reviewer and Shake Them Rope co-host Rob McCarron attended this show weeks back and immediately texted me that I wouldn’t believe how awesome this show was. He gave me some spoilers, which was fine, I was going to find out one way or another but ever since that text I’ve been anticipating THIS particular episode. Turns out, Rob was right.

Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze: This is one of the rare times NXT has put a match of this caliber in the opener so I’m not complaining. I will, however, mention my disappointment with the match overall. I thought the ending sequence was great and the story throughout (Zayn’s Road to Redemption) was done well. The problem was the in-between featured Tyler Breeze doing a lot of headlocks and stalling tactics. The story the announcers were getting across was Breeze trying to “slow down” Zayn but it doesn’t really work with someone like Breeze. I would’ve much more preferred these two have a true back and forth match and really show off their individual abilities. This was far too much of Breeze playing the Tyson Kidd role which works for Kidd given his experience and attitude, for Breeze, it just didn’t. Regardless, this was a fun opener and I’m probably being more harsh than warranted. Zayn rallied at the end, kicked out of a Beauty Kick and won with the Helluva Kick and his momentum back to the top of the card continues. **1/2

Backstage Renee Young interviews Adrian Nevilee who says he was impressed with Zayn’s victory earlier and that he considers Sami a number one contender. Neville says he’ll give him a title shot whenever and wherever he wants and he’s not worried because Sami “can’t win the big one.”

Dash Wilder vs. Tyson Kidd: Dash Wilder is an awful, awful name. I’m not one to constantly complain about NXT names but Dash Wilder is fucking miserable. Kidd controlled the early part of the match with some powerful offense, looking like a real veteran against the young’n Dash. We, of course, got a few headlocks because, it’s NXT. Dash continued to try to break free of Kidd’s chinlock but couldn’t break free of the grasps. Announcers again talk about Kidd “grounding Wilder.” Good time to remind you that Dash Wilder is probably 50 lbs. heavier than Kidd and about four inches taller. Kidd locked the Sharpshooter in and it was all over. Kidd looked fine here and Wilder did a good job working from the bottom but there wasn’t a ton of substance to this. **1/4

Backstage, Marcus Louis is going insane saying “They won’t stop making fun of me” as he whimpers with a towel over his head. You’ll remember that he turned on Sylvester Lefort last week and is obviously due for a gimmick change.

Renee is backstage again, this time with Zayn who says he’s on the “Road to Redemption” and that this road is almost at an end and he wants a match with Adrian Neville next week for the title.

Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Bayley & Charlotte: Great tag match between these two. Becky showed some nice fire at the beginning, though she was eventually cut off by Charlotte who demanded she tag Sasha in. Sasha eventually got in but only when Bayley was opposing her. Becky and Sasha took turns beating down on Bayley and just went it looked like Bayley was going to make the tag, Becky pulled Charlotte off the apron. Bayley got a quick roll-up on Sasha who rolled through it, held the tights and got the three. This wasn’t terribly exciting but it was well worked with some nice offense from all four ladies. ***

We’re backstage again in William Regal’s office as Regal announces that next week Neville vs. Zayn for the NXT Title is happening NEXT WEEK!

The Ascension comes down to the ring and calls out Hideo Itami. Hideo has been taking 2-on-1 beatings for few weeks and promised last week he was going to bring a friend with him this time. His friend was Finn Balor aka Prince Devitt! The crowd was clearly louder than what came across on this episode. There’s also the camera phone version of this debut which shows a much bigger pop thatn what we got here. The crowd is clearly going insane but WWE has decided announcers blabbering about whatever is more important so here we are. Anyway, this is awesome because Princ…Finn Balor is in NXT and he’s teaming with Hideo Itami.

Balor looks in tremendous shape as he and Itami give each other a nod and start sprinting down to the ring. The two hit a pair of corner dropkicks, Balor hits a double stomp to the outside, Itami with another running clothesline, Finn hits a double foot stomp to Konnor’s back and The Ascension has been totally laid out. Well worth the wait.

Final Thoughts

A great episode of NXT. No, there wasn’t any standout matches but everything was really good and built to the future. We have a main event for next week, Prince Devitt debuted as Finn Balor and the ladies’ continued to steal the show. Don’t miss this one.