April 1, 2015
Full Sail University
The rivalry between Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami hasn’t been the main focus on NXT lately, and rightfully so. Kevin Owens is mowing through the NXT roster with no lacking of confidence, and Sasha Banks is doing the same on the women’s side of the roster as well. With those two huge personalities taking control of NXT lately, Hideo and Tyler have been fighting to get back on the top of the scene by proving who the better of the two is. The focus of NXT changes for one night, tonight, as the rivalry culminated on WWE NXT with a Best of Three Falls matchup. These two have had excellent matches, and have been a highlight of the mid-card since NXT Takeover: [R]Evolution, so taking back the spotlight of NXT is an indictment on how well these two have been doing lately. Hideo is coming off an appearance at WWE Wrestlemania, but can he keep building the momentum heading into the next eventual NXT Live Special!?
Hey, look! It’s Sami Zayn: Sami Zayn is back, and he has one goal in mind: Kick Kevin Owens’ ass! Sami made it clear that he is focused on invoking his rematch clause for the NXT Championship, recapturing the title that he lost to Kevin Owens at NXT Takeover: Rival. Sami spoke about seeing a different look in Kevin’s eyes than he had in the past, but promised to reclaim his championship. An interesting return for Zayn, as the crowd was certainly happy but it did come out of nowhere in the context of television. His promo was very short and to the point, as well, which is a fine change of pace from the opening segments seen on Raw.
Rhyno vs Some Guy: Rhyno squashed Some Guy via the GORE! Some Guy looked like Tye Dillinger, if Dillinger had quit working out for six months. Some Guy was not Elias Sampson. The important part was that after the match, Rhyno grabbed a mic and told the world that he was going after the NXT Championship. So, two segments down, two potential challengers to Owens set. NR
DANA BROOKE debuts in TWO WEEKS against BLUE PANTS.
In a video, Kevin Owens said that no one is taking his title away.
Bayley vs Emma: Emma entered to her usual music, while doing her usual dance. However, she looked completely disinterested in herself and her own dancing. Corey Graves even acknowledged it on commentary, as the slow turn of Emma continues to develop. Emma started off the match as her usual cheery self, but showed flashes of frustration and darkness throughout the match as Bayley would prove to be a tough opponent. The finish saw Bayley flip Emma into a pinfall as Emma was busy doing her dance in a cocky fashion. Afterwards, in a subtle manner, Emma looked as if she might sneak attack Bayley from behind, but held back. It’s coming! **
Lucha Dragons vs Blake & Murphy: Count me as one who is happy to see the Lucha Dragons debut on Raw this week, as I’ve been done with them in NXT almost ever since they debuted. Kalisto can be something in the future, but this tag team just isn’t a long term success waiting to happen. The seemingly-always hot NXT Full Sail crowd was so quiet in this match that I thought I was watching Superstars for a moment. I’ve been a member of the Full Sail crowd for plenty of Lucha Dragons matches, and plenty of Dubstep Cowboy matches, and this matchup just had ‘lack of interest’ written all over it. The match wasn’t that bad, and the Cowboys continued to show their heelish roots in using double team efforts as the referee is distracted. Blake & Murphy ultimately got the win with the Brainbuster/Frog Splash combo. **1/2
Backstage, Devin wanted Sami’s thoughts on his return. Before he could speak, Rhyno showed up. Rhyno told Sami that the line to the NXT Championship started behind him!
Tye Dillinger vs Jason Jordan: A grudge match several weeks in the making! Weeks after Jordan turned his back on his long time tag team partner, Tye finally got his revenge. Or at least, a chance at it. He was unsuccessful in gaining that revenge, because Jordan outclassed him in almost every way on his way to the victory via the creatively named Jordan Slam. **
Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze – Best of Three Falls: Hideo won the first fall in just over two minutes (Boy, that was easy) with the Shotgun Kick, as Rich Brennan called it. Tyler evened up the score with the Beauty Shot less than 90 seconds later. Imagine that, two pinfalls in a Breeze vs Itami match in under four minutes of total match time. I wish, a tiny amount, that if they were going to do this blow off match with the Best of Three angle, that they gave it a bit more time to be more realistic. Their awesome singles match weeks ago got over ten for the one fall, and this one got just as much time for all three falls to take place. With Hideo in control late in the match, Breeze was sent into the ropes for the Shotgun Kick again. This time, Breeze countered, running back with his Beauty Shot out of nowhere for the win. ***
So there it is, Breeze wins the big blow off, or at least what appeared to be a blow off. That’s probably for the best, as Hideo has credibility from the hardcores, and Breeze needs it. Tyler has absolutely been the MVP of NXT lately, right up there with Owens and Finn Bálor in every sense.
NXT this week was a one match show, while heavy on the storyline bridges for future episodes. Itami vs Breeze was a solid main event, albeit short for the stipulation. Otherwise, we saw Sami’s return, Rhyno’s motivation, Emma’s slow turn, Jordan’s rise, and Dana’s debut vignette. All of it building for future episodes, which is great. I’m excited for future episodes, but to get to them, we had to get through this. It’s a tough show to give a grade too, but I will anyway, because that is MY NEW GIMMICK! In a sense, even with the Sami return, it was a boring episode. Solid, but boring. The good, however, is the fact that everything meant something for the future.