NXT Arrival- February 27, 2014
by Samoa Rowe
-From Orlando, FL. Our hosts are Tom Phillips, Bryon Saxton, and William Regal.
-The building is completely dark with green and blue flashing lights when Triple H is revealed to be in ring with a mic in hand. Triple H announces that the next generation has arrived.
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro
The crowd chants “Match of the Year" before the opening bell, so no pressure, fellas. Cesaro gets the better of Zayn, knocking him down and slapping the back. They sprint through an exchange until Cesaro scores a drop-kick. Cesaro blocks a hurricanrana but Zayn blocks the giant swing. Zayn scores with his flying senton to the floor! Cesaro counters another dive with a backbreaker. Cesaro takes control, tossing Zayn through the ropes and knocking him around any available surface. Zayn attempts a DDT through the turnbuckles, but Cesaro counters with an uppercut! Cesaro goes to work on Zayn’s knee, including a well aimed double stomp. Cesaro repeatedly whips Zayn down by the leg and applies a half Crab. Zayn desperately back drops Cesaro to the floor and goes for a springboard moonsault, but Cesaro catches him for a power slam on the ramp! Zayn crawls into the ring and delivers an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles! Blue Thunder Bomb by Zayn only gets 2! Zayn catches Cesaro with the Koji Clutch, but Cesaro counters into the Stretch Muffler. Cesaro struggles but finally administers the giant swing, though with only 9 rotations. Running uppercut by Cesaro and a double stomp to the head, but Zayn kicks out! Zayn is almost countered but manages a top rope hurricanrana! The Yakuza Kick is only good for 2! Cesaro rebounds with uppercuts and orders Zayn to stay down. They trade shots and Zayn surprises with a German suplex! Cesaro boots the face and the Neutralizer is countered with a roll-up for 2! Zayn reverses with a power bomb for another near fall and the building is going nuts! Cesaro dishes out the elevated uppercut, but Zayn kicks out at 1! Rolling uppercut by Cesaro and the Neutralizer finish it at 22:50. I hope the ROH and DGUSA rosters were watching and taking notes during this one. They threw in a lot of big moves and high spots that meant something because they built to them. It helps that they had a hot crowd to play to, making this a memorable ****½ outing.
-Cesaro returns to the ring and helps Zayn to his feet for an embrace. It looks as though Zayn succeeded in earning Cesaro’s respect. They get a standing ovation. This is professional wrestling at its very best.
CJ Parker vs. Mojo Rawley
There’s a chant for Rawley at the opening bell. Rawley scores first with a back body drop. Parker manages a boot to the face and a clothesline. Parker displays some aggression, but Rawley quickly makes a comeback with leaping attacks. Rawley finishes it with his Hyper-drive finisher at 3:21. I don’t think this did either guy any favors, DUD.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
-Emma is shown getting warmed up backstage. This leads to a video package highlighting Emma’s quirky personality, popularity, and in-ring credibility.
-Video package putting over NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension. They are portrayed as being frightening and dominant.
NXT Tag Team Championship:
The Ascension © (Konnor and Viktor) vs. Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty)
Viktor starts against GMS and is annoyed by his dancing. Konnor tags and dominates GMS, isolating him in Ascension territory. The crowd has been chanting “NO” at everything the Ascension does. Viktor shows off his knowledge of different ways to apply chinlocks. GMS crawls through Viktor’s legs for the hot tag. Scotty holds his own against Viktor, setting up The Worm. Viktor blocks the neck chop and plants Scotty, setting up The Fall of Man. Konnor pins Scotty at 6:39. This was basically a six minute setup for The Worm and then a finish, *.
Winners and still NXT Tag Team Champions: The Ascension
-Video package putting over just how awesome Paige is at everything.
-Ric Flair and his daughter, Charlotte, are in the front row. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of someone attacking them before the night is over.
-Stephanie McMahon graces us with her presence. The fans are surprisingly happy to see her and chant “You’ve still got it.” Stephanie plays up the fact that NXT Arrival is the first live streaming event on WWE Network. She’s proud to be doing introductions for the next generation of divas.
NXT Women’s Championship:
Paige © vs. Emma
Paige gets right in Emma’s face and they exchange shoves. They roll around the canvas and Paige nails a stiff kick. They exchange counters until Paige drop-kicks the leg. Paige slams Emma for 2 and applies a chinlock (to a dueling chant). Paige backs Emma into the corner for some elbow strikes. Emma trips up Paige but the Emma Sandwich is blocked. Emma catapults Paige but fails to apply the Emma Lock. Series of knee strikes by Paige but Emma trips her on the apron. Paige misses a head of steam and Emma briefly applies the Dil-Emma. The Emma Sandwich connects, but for only 2. Emma administers an arm submission and pushes her feet into the back. They head to the top rope where Emma delivers a sunset flip power bomb! It sounds like the fans are chanting “NX-Tista” as a way of making fun of poor Dave Batista. Emma talks some trash so Paige slaps the face. The Paige-Turner connects but Emma kicks out! Paige applies a Scorpion Cross Lock and Emma taps at 12:59. Great finish there, as Paige realized she couldn’t beat Emma with her usual tricks. Good match, as the divas were allowed to be serious competitors, **¾.
Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion: Paige
-Paige offers a handshake and it’s accepted. They share a quick embrace while the fans chant “Hug it out.”
-Adrian Neville is shown warming up in the locker room. A video package puts over Neville’s high-flying abilities.
Xavier Woods vs. Tyler Breeze
The fans are chanting “Breeze is gorgeous” at the opening bell. Before they can start anything, Alexander Rusev, accompanied by Lana, storms the ring. The match is thrown out at 0:36 as Rusev attacks both Woods and Breeze. Rusev finishes Woods with the Steiner Recliner as Lana gushes over how great he is. Well, this was a waste of a segment. I’m still pretty sour on Rusev in general.
-The camera catches Bo Dallas mentally preparing for the main event. Cue the video package putting over Dallas’ quirky oblivious heel persona. When the fans chant “No more Bo” he thinks they mean “Know more Bo.” I truly hope this act is half as effective when Dallas gets called up again.
-It’s main event time but first we’re joined by none other than Shawn Michaels! HBK has the NXT title in tow and grabs a microphone. The crowd chants “One more match” and “HB-Shizzle” to keep Michaels on his toes. HBK says he’s enjoying retirement too much and provides a cheap plug for his new DVD. He puts over the two men competing in tonight’s main event.
NXT Championship (Ladder match):
Bo Dallas © vs. Adrian Neville
Neville cuts Dallas off from getting a ladder and takes control in the early going. Neville looks for the Red Arrow, but Dallas rolls out of the way and trips him up in the ropes. Dallas is all smiles as he takes control, grabbing Neville by the wrist and dishing out attacks. Dallas ties Neville up in the ropes by the knee and leaves him hanging while he grabs a ladder. Neville escapes in time to drop-kick the ladder into Dallas and land a dive over the ropes. Neville avoids a ladder shot and back drops Dallas. Adrian attempts a climb but Bo knocks him down with a second ladder. Bo sets the ladder up pinning Adrian and climbs, but Adrian kicks the ladder over! Neville sprints up the ladder but Dallas knocks him over into the ropes. They fight over a ladder with Bo driving it gut-first into Adrian. Neville counters with a DDT off a bridged ladder. They both go down after awkwardly bumping into the ladder. Adrian narrowly avoids a bulldog onto the ladder and tosses Dallas into the turnbuckles. After a struggle, Bo starts a slow climb but Neville leap frogs over him. Bo power bombs Neville into the bridged ladder! Adrian comes back with the Red Arrow onto the ladder! Neville retrieves the title at 15:42! There were a few fresh tricks here, otherwise a fairly standard ladder match, ***¼.
Winner and new NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
-Neville celebrates his title victory to a standing ovation, including John Cena in the front row.
Final Thoughts: This is a good way to spend 2 hours and a great place to start if you haven’t been watching NXT. Cesaro vs. Zayn is a MOTYC, and Neville’s title win is a big moment. The Alexander Rusev segment is a down spot, as I hate that type of booking where they sacrifice two small guys to make us care about an uninteresting big man. Minus that annoyance, this is a Thumbs Up.
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