Thursday, November 20
Full Sail University

This week’s episode of NXT opens with a recap of last week’s main event featuring Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville. Of course, if you haven’t read my review from last week, Neville took advantage of Zayn’s concern to pick up the victory. In the moment I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish but I’ve turned the corner on it and really enjoy it. Zayn is the best in the world at playing the underdog role and it would be especially great if this finish makes Zayn “snap.” A harder edge to Zayn would go a long way and I’m starting to really get into this long-term story of Zayn.

Bayley vs. Becky Lynch: This was a great sprint with a pretty bleh ending. The two traded some quick paced offense with Becky looking particularly good. Sasha got up to the apron to distract Bayley, Becky rolled her up, held onto the tights and picked up the win. Please, please don’t let distraction finishes become the norm in NXT. This was just getting going when it ended, it left me wanting more so that’s a good thing. *3/4

Post-match Becky and Sasha hinted at a beatdown of Bayley but Charlotte came in for the save. Back from commercial, Charlotte warns Bayley to stay away from Sasha next week because she won’t be there to protect her. Bayley goes in for the hug and, hey, Charlotte hugs her back! HUGS! HUGS! HUGS!

The Vaudevillains vs. “Lucha Dragons”: Aiden English calls out the Lucha Dragons and some minis (Blixx from Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling and El Torito) in lucha masks come down to the ring. Distraction finish, minis… who told Vince about NXT?! Anyway, this match was really nothing. English and Simon Gotch took turns passing one of the minis between their shoulders. Eventually, English hit a neckbreaker for the win.

KEVIN STE…OWENS PROMO! “I am the future” 12/11/14. I am excite.

Baron Corbin vs. Elias Sampson: Baron is super over so they are building him up right but he’s going to have to get into a longer match at some point, right? The crowd counts the seconds of the match which is an amazing gimmick and should continue forever. This match was :22 in case you were curious. NR 

Bull Dempsey vs. Steve Cutler: Bull Dempsey makes his way down and he just starts a match with Steve Cutler who is in the ring already for some reason. Bull walked past Baron to get into the ring and start this match with no break in-between. Where did Cutler come from? Bull hits a flying headbutt on Cutler for the win. This was longer than 22 seconds but not by much. NR

Tyson Kidd vs. CJ Parker: If you’re a fan of methodical Tyson Kidd, you’ll love this match. Kidd picked away CJ Parker slowly but surely continuing to slow down the pace and prove that he’s a better in-ring technician than Parker or any NXT rookie for that matter. If that’s not your cup of tea, you may not like this match. I enjoy it in the context of NXT because I like the idea of a vet outsmarting and outmaneuvering the young talent. Plus, when that young rookie finally beats him, it’ll be a big deal. I enjoyed this even if it was much slower than we’re used to on NXT. **1/4

Post-match, Kidd challenges Finn Balor — can’t wait.

Enzo & Big Cass (w/ Carmella) vs. The Mechanics (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson): Big Cass and Enzo come out with their After Effects template entrance video and of course get the crowd behind them immediately. Enzo is fantastic on the mic and I’d love to see him ply his craft on the main roster soon — just don’t put him in the ring.  Normally, I would hate a weird gimmick like the Mechanics but we see so many vanilla tag teams these days, it’s nice to see an 80s style jobber team like this. At first they were just CALLED The Mechanics but this week they are in full out denim vests with oil stains. I love it. The Mechanics did not fare well and were beaten pretty handily, nothing to see here. *3/4

After the match, The Ascension blindside Enzo and Big Cass and toss them off the ramp. The Ascension run into the ring and start destroying The Mechanics — can these dudes get called up already? I’m so sick of seeing them on NXT. Anyway, Fall of Man on Dash Wilder. The crowd chants “TEN MORE TIMES!” Viktor cuts a promo saying “they aren’t dead but the two of you (Balor and Itami) soon will be.” Konnor says The Ascension will rise again. Please don’t.

William Regal backstage in what appears to be the set of a Brazzers video. No, seriously, it’s a generic “office” with a computer and a phone. If I’ve seen this set once I’ve seen it a tho….I’ll just stop there. Anyway, Sami Zayn thanks Regal for the opportunity to go out to the ring and talk. Regal puts his sport coat on as we go to commercial.

Sami Zayn down to the ring and he’s not dancing! My hopes of a more serious Zayn are already coming true. Zayn calls out Adrian Neville who tries to say something but Zayn immediately cuts him off. He says if he can’t beat Neville for the title, then what’s he doing here. Zayn asks for ONE MORE CHANCE at a title shot and that if he doesn’t win it — he’s done.

Neville starts rambling and is quickly cut off by Zayn who shows a TON of emotion and tells Adrian he doesn’t need to prove anything, his proof is the NXT championship. Unbelievable emotionally promo from Zayn — I love him so much.

William Regal comes out and announced Zayn vs. Neville rematch at NXT Takeover: Our Revolution on December 11. Neville says Zayn shouldn’t put his career on the line because he’d feel bad to end his career. Zayn says if he doesn’t win, it doesn’t matter, he’s done as we go off the air.

Final Thoughts: 

This is an hour that goes by quick but I’d be lying if I told you it was a good show. The only good match on the show was quickly ended by a distraction finish and the rest was storyline progression or squash matches. The closing segment with Zayn and Neville is definitely worth watching but this was mostly a build show leading to December’s Clash of the NXT Champions.