WWE NXT -February 18, 2015
by Samoa Rowe
-From Winter Park, FL. Our hosts are Rich Brennnan, Jason Albert, and Corey Graves.
-William Regal confirms that in NXT, titles can change hands via pinfall, submission, or knock-out, so Kevin Owens is indeed the NXT Champion. Regal books Owens against Adrian Neville in a non-title match.
-NXT Champion Kevin Owens enters the studio to loud boos, but then a “Fight, Owens, Fight!” chant, so he’s getting a mixed reaction. He just stands there, clutching the title, waiting out a dueling chant. Owens cuts a great promo in that he’s not playing a heel, just a determined man who is willing to do bad things to get what he needs. That still makes him a heel, but it’s a far cry from going out there and insulting the city and local sports team. Owens calls Sami Zayn the past and is looking forward to #1 contender Finn Balor. Owens wraps it up pretty quickly, as they don’t have three hours to fill.
-RHYNO comes to the ring to a monster pop and a “Holy Sh!t” chant!
Rhyno vs. Some Guy (Later revealed to be Elias Sampson)
The crowd is chanting “GORE GORE GORE” at the opening bell. Rhyno catches El Jobbo with a belly to belly suplex and finishes with the GORE at 0:31! Excuse me while I mark out for a bit.
-Devin Taylor interviews Finn Balor backstage. Finn channels Owens by saying he’ll fight anywhere, at anytime. Rhyno walks through the interview, making eyes at Balor to set up a match down the road.
The Vaudevillians (Simon Gotch and Aiden English) vs. The Jersey Crew (Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, with Carmella)
After the usual prematch promo, Enzo and Cass vow to win the NXT tag titles. Bell rings and Enzo quickly suffers a cheap shot from English, allowing the Villains to cut the ring in half. Cass gets a hot tag and delivers some serviceable power moves. Cass throws Enzo into English and nails a big boot to serve him up for Enzo’s pinfall at 2:03. You can’t teach Enzo how to be a stud, or Colin how to be tall, or Carmella how to be hawt, but you apparently also can’t teach them to wrestle a match that goes longer than two minutes. ½*.
Winners: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
-The Jersey Crew celebrate when NXT Tag Team Champions Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake appear on the video wall. They’re heeling it up and invite Carmella to leave the sewer rats for them. Man, after the botch show of a tag match at Rival, I’m dreading this eventual encounter.
-Backstage interview with Adrian Neville, who is gunning for revenge after Kevin Owens sent him to the hospital. He admits defeat for coming up short against Finn Balor, but it’s something of a relief, because now he can be the hunter instead of the hunted.
-Bayley is sad that she came up short at Rival, but is glowing because she was in there with three of the best. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch is blaming her loss in the same match on Bayley.
-CJ Parker comes to the ring to push his agenda. He’s upset that he wasn’t a part of the last NXT special and declares hatred for the fans and NXT. Parker is taking the show hostage and starts hanging Caution tape over the ring. This is the setup for the official debut of Solomon Crowe (formerly known as Sami Callihan). Crowe jumps Parker from behind and beats him into a heap, hitting a snap cross body against the ropes. Callihan says the regularly scheduled broadcast can resume and heads off. I didn’t get the impression that too many fans in the building knew who Crowe was, but he’s got my interest.
NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Ol’ Blue Pants
Blue Pants has hilarious entrance music consisting of The Jersey Crew’s impromptu singing from a while back. The crowd is always jazzed to see Blue Pants in her Kitty Pryde outfit, and if she doesn’t get offered a contract, I’ll be sad. Sasha offers Blue Pants a chance to leave without getting hurt, but Blue knocks her off the apron. A drop toe hold and roll-up gets Blue Pants a near fall, but Sasha is the alpha and turns it around. Sasha nails her double knees to the gut and chooses to finish Pants with the Bank Statement at 2:29. Good exhibition for the new champion, *.
Winner: Sasha Banks
-Sasha is interviewed in the ring and rips the microphone away from the hapless reporter. Sasha says that the entire NXT women’s roster will have to admit that she’s the baddest diva. Interesting that Sasha is calling herself a diva in this environment.
-The doctor suing CM Punk is interviewed about the condition of Sami Zayn following Rival. Zayn is expecting a full comeback. Doc must’ve prescribed a Z-Pak or two.
Adrian Neville vs. NXT Champion Kevin Owens
Owens tries to stall at the opening bell, but Neville takes the fight right to him. Owens cuts him off with a gut buster and back senton. Owens stops the “Fight Owens Fight” chant with a long chinlock. Owens unceremoniously tosses Neville through the ropes for a bad landing, sending us to a commercial. The match continues with Owens setting the pace and reapplying the chinlock. Neville avoids getting tossed again and counters with a tornado DDT. Neville rallies and sends Owens rolling to ringside, allowing a top rope moonsault to the floor! Neville follows with chest kicks and an enziguri, and a missile drop-kick is only good for a 2 count. Owens retreats to the floor yet again, where Neville catches him with a running drop-kick to the head. Neville nails a 450 splash off the apron! Owens blocks one suplex but bounces into a German suplex. Adrian hits a DEAD LIFT GERMAN SUPLEX on OWENS! Sadly, Adrian runs into a back elbow, but Owens charges into a super kick! Spike Rana by Neville only gets 2! Owens dodges the Red Arrow and nails his patented power bomb for the win at 12:03 (shown). Seriously awesome match with Owens getting over his dickhead personality while Neville busting out some rarely used maneuvers to beat a tough opponent, ***¾.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Final Thoughts: A good restart episode coming out of Rival. Rhyno’s return gives this show an extra flavor of unpredictability too. The main event was must-see, go check this one out if you haven’t. Thumbs Up.
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