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Angelic Heel Here…
It was a very tense night for the NXT Superstars as we inched ever closer to the next NXT: TakeOver live special that will be shown exclusively on the WWE Network (just $9.99 a month >.>) on Feb. 11, 2015. The NXT Tag Team Titles were defended, the field narrowed in the #1 Contender’s Tournament for the NXT Championship, and friendships continued to be strained to the breaking point. The evening was emotional and explosive with the only people with smiles o their faces were the NXT Universe. What had the future Superstars at their boiling points and the fans salivating for more? Let’s dive into this volatile installment of the WWE‘s Wednesday night headliner, NXT!
Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy vs The Lucha Dragons
NXT Tag Team Title Match
Winner: Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy via pinfall
Riding the momentum of their win over the Vaudevillians last week, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy came out to the ring fired up and ready to go. Their enthusiasm was met by the champions with the enthusiasm we have come to expect from Sin Cara and Kalisto. The pace of the match was dictated early by the challengers who kept Sin Cara isolated on their side of the ring. The kept the luchadore grounded but he was able to power through and persevere through the punishment. The deceptively strong Sin Cara was able to land a schoolboy powerbomb on Blake and make the much needed tag to his partner.
Kalisto immediately took control and the pace of the match began to increase exponentially as he hit a corkscrew cross body on his opponent. He would continue his unique offense and looked to put away the challengers. However, in his enthusiasm, Kalisto missed the blind tag to Wesley and hit his Salida Del Sol on Buddy Murphy for the attempted pin. Blake took the opportunity to jump into the ring and roll up the smaller half of the NXT Tag Team Champions for the win and the titles in perhaps one of the BIGGEST upsets in the history of NXT!
This match was a bit lack luster. I enjoyed it but I struggled to pay attention in some points of it. The Lucha Dragons were exciting but some spots just lacked the pizzazz that one has come to expect in a match with Kalisto and Sin Cara. I’m not unhappy with the upset win though. It kept things unpredictable and showed that anything could happen on NXT. Now do I see Buddy and Wesley as long term champions? Nope, nuh uh now way. Why? Because there is nothing in them that I have seen that sets them apart from the competition. The coolest thing about them is their entrance music. If it wasn’t for their names being written on their tights, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one is which because they don’t even try to show how they are different from one another. But Like I said, I enjoyed the upset of it. Did NOT see that coming. Perhaps now the Vaudevillians will be able to take the titles? I do see that match happening in the near future.
Tyson Kidd vs Adrian Neville
NXT Championship #1 Contenders Tournament 1st Round Match
Winner: Adrian Neville via pinfall
This match began very technical with each man locking up and exchanging holds, but neither one able to take an advantage over the other. A very frustrated Tyson Kidd began using mind games to his advantage as he rolled out of the ring and kept restarting the count as he looked for a way to take the Man Gravity Forgot off of his game. This did force Adrian to come to him and Kidd took full advantage by crashing Neville’s face into the steel steps at ringside and attempted to move on to the next stage in the tournament via count out. However, Neville’s resilience showed through as he rolled back into the ring at 9. Tyson continue to dictate the pace of the match as he continued his punishment of the former NXT Champion. Adrian Neville proved why he is not to be taken lightly and why he was the longest reigning NXT champion as he battled back and regained control of the match that began with a standing moonsault. The two men would continue their battle by countering each other’s moves but in the end it was Adrian Neville who hit the Red Arrow to pick up the 1, 2, 3 and advance in the #1 Contender’s Tournament for the NXT Championship.
This match began slow but the build to the finish was good. It told the story of the men’s history together, and finished with how it should. Tyson Kidd is one of the most under rated technical wrestlers in the company and it makes me happy that he can come to NXT and show case his ability. I have said it many times before, he does his best work when Natalya isn’t ringside. That’s not a knock against her, she’s also talented and he shouldn’t join her ringside either. The flurry of action at the end of this match just showed that Tyson is comfortable in which ever roll he needs to play. He is fast and can compete with the speed of Neville, and he can slow the pace down and straight up wrestle versus all the flashy hub bub that we enjoy so much from Adrian. The former NXT champion was also amazing. He demonstrated exactly why he is a threat to the champion with his signature offence and his ability to go one on one with a technical wrestler of Kidd’s stature. It was an enjoyable match and proved why NXT is the crown jewel of the WWE Network.
Charlotte & Bayley vs Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
Winner: No Contest
It was Team B.A.E vs the NXT women’s Champion and the newly returned hug-a-holic, Bayley. The four women who square off against one another in 2 weeks came together in tag team competition. Why? Cuz NXT Women’s Wrestling is second to none. And they proved it again as Bayley began the match against the Boss and showed that new aggression that has made her so much fun to watch. However, Banks and Lynch used what ever means necessary to keep Bayley cut off from her partner, which frustrated the genetically superior champion to no end. Charlotte eventually did make it into the match and took out her frustration on both Becky and Sasha, at one point locking Banks in a Figure Four with a wicked bridge to accentuate the pressure applied. Banks was rescued by her partner and eventually mounted something of a come back. The match disintegrated into chaos after Bayley broke up a pin attempt in which she accidentally struck her partner, Charlotte. The champion, blinded by what she felt was disrespect, would hear none of Bayley’s apologies and the two ended up coming to blows. This was the opportunity that Team B.A.E. were looking for as they began to beat down their opponents as well. The ref called for the bell and both teams were disqualified.
I can not express how much I love NXT Women’s matches. This was a contender for best match of the night. The history between all four women is rich filled with drama that finds its conclusion between the ropes of the NXT ring. This match was hard hitting and vicious and not a cat fight to be found. It was technically solid and all the women have amazing chemistry. Bayley’s finally coming to the conclusion that perhaps she’s been too nice. That it is okay to beat someone’s ass when they disrespect you. Sasha has no idea what she has created in Becky Lynch. The Irish chick has as good a chance as the other 3 to take home that title. Sasha is hungry for the title but she isn’t keeping her eyes open to the threat at her side. Charlotte, while champion now, has never faced a threat like she will be facing at the next live special. If she can retain the title at NXT: Takeover, then I doubt she can be beaten.
Baron Corbin vs Bull Dempsey
NXT Championship #1 Contenders Tournament 1st Round Match
Winner: Baron Corbin via pinfall
In a rematch of sorts to their first battle, Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey lock up one more time to decide who will face Adrian Neville in the next round of the #1 Contender’s Tournament. It was one sided as Baron took it straight to Bull with the ruthless aggression we have come to expect from the Lone Wolf of NXT. Every attempt by Dempsey to mount an offense was solidly shut down. In no time at all (but still longer than most of his other matches) Corbin landed the End of Days to pick up yet another win against Bull Dempsey and advances to the next round.
It was nice to see Baron in a match that lasted longer than 20 seconds. Granted 2 minutes was still not that long but in that 2 minutes we saw more examples of what the man is capable of. If this match had been longer, it would have been the best match of the night. Baron Corbin is electric. He will face his biggest test in Adrian Neville. But really, I think that we haven’t seen the last of Bull. Here’s my bold prediction, Bull interferes, Adrian moves on to face who ever wins in the Hideo vs Finn match. But before that happens, the match that we see Adrian and Baron has will be something special. It will be our chance to see what Corbin is made of. Never has he faced someone of Adrian’s caliber and resilience. It will not be the typical squash match that we have come to expect. But a match that tests both athletes to their limits.
Contract Signing for Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens @ NXT: Takeover
William Regal was very clear before this contract signing, that neither competitor was to touch the other or he would cancel the match altogether. After both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were introduced and in the ring, he again reiterated that he did not want the contract signing to disintegrate into chaos and violence like every other contract signing in the WWE and that if either man touched the other, no match. Sami Zayn did not hesitate and signed the contract. When it came time for Kevin to sign, he refused stating that unless it was for the title, he would not wrestle Sami. Kevin stated that he was in NXT for one thing, and that winning the NXT Championship would mean a better life for him and his family. At first William balked but with the insistence from the Champion to make it happen, Regal edited the contract and Kevin then signed it. In a show of disrespect (and how my black little heel heart sang at his audacity) Owens, who took advantage of the not touching his opponent stipulation, threw the pen at Sami and left the ring.
Wow… a contract signing that DIDN’T dissolve into chaos that led to someone being put threw the table. THAT was a curve ball. And oddly refreshing. But that wasn’t to say that there was not drama and a huge build up to the match. Owens was calm and icy. What he did was not and is not personal. He wants a better life for his family and he is going about it the quickest way he knows possible. And why shouldn’t he? He finally got the call to WWE, why not take that brace ring and hold on to it for dear life. Sure Sami is champ, he knows Sami who better to take out than the devil you know? And Sami is an emotional wreck. He is hurting that his former friend could assault him repeatedly. He is letting those emotions get the better of him. To Sami Zayn, this is personal. To Kevin, it’s simply business and it is only a matter of time till his cold and calculated way of handling things pays off.