WWE NXT - September 4, 2014
by Samoa Rowe
September 11th 2014
-NXT is taking over, and that includes the opening WWE signature!
-From Winter Park, Florida. Our hosts are Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, and Renee Young.
NXT Tag Team Championship:
The Ascension © (Viktor and Konnor) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara and Kalisto)
In reality, the Ascension won the tag titles 364 days ago at TV tapings, but they’re only getting credit for 344 days due to their victory airing on tape delay. Their year with the gold went by really quickly, feels like they never really got rolling due to the lack of substantive feuds. The match begins and they stick really close to the Tag Team Wrestling 101 formula, with the baby faces having a hot start before Sin Cara settles in as the face in peril. The crowd stills thinks its funny to shout “YAH!” with the Ascension’s offense, and I’m not sure if I’m more amused or annoyed by it. Kalisto gets his hot tag and shows off with rapid fire flying attacks. Kalisto seems to lose his grip on a sunset flip power bomb counter, but the match quickly continues with Sin Cara wiping out Konnor with a suicide dive. Kalisto gets caught by The Ascension at ringside but leaps out of their arms, though sadly losing his step on the landing. I think that canceled a planned spot, but Sin Cara covers with a dive. The Ascension prepare for the Fall of Man on Kalisto, but Sin Cara disrupts. Kalisto finishes off Viktor with Solida del Sol for the win and the titles at 7:48. Oddly anti-climatic finish for the Ascension’s long title reign. General sloppiness brings this down to the ** range.
Winners and new NXT Tag Team Champions: Lucha Dragons
-Renee Young interviews Kalisto and Sin Cara on the stage. They’re all pumped up over their victory and lead the fans in a “Lucha!” chant.
CJ Parker vs. Baron Corbin
Parker whined about not having a match on the preshow, so William Regal booked him against a mystery opponent. I was worried that meant The Great Khali was in town, but instead we get former jobber, Corbin. Parker gets knocked around and eats a slam for the loss at 0:28. I guess the jury is still out on whether or not Corbin is any good in the ring. DUD.
Winner: Baron Corbin
-Natalya, seeming more and more like the world’s nicest wife, gives Tyson Kidd a kiss for good luck.
-And now it’s time for the show to take a nosedive in the quality department, as they replay the vignette from TV where Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady accidentally spill their bucket of hair dissolving liquid on Carmella’s dog. If this were happening on Raw, we’d have a likely Wrestlecrap Gooker of the Year candidate.
Hair vs. Hair:
Sylvester Lefort (with Marcus Louis) vs. Enzo Amore (with Colin Cassady).
Amore seems to be going for his own take on “Oh, you didn’t know” with his entrance promo. Cassady is trying to get ’How you doin’?” over as a catchphrase, which feels painfully dated. I’ll give him credit, he has serious potential as a manager, so I’m baffled at why he’s being featured as a wrestler on a show that mostly tries to appeal to the internet crowd. The match starts with basic action. These guys have been practicing at house shows for this match, so in theory it won’t fall into negative stars. Amore displays some smarts as he slides through Lefort’s legs and surprises with a drop-kick. Lefort snaps Amore’s neck on the ropes to take control. CUE THE CHINLOCK! Amore escapes, but Lefort retains control by targeting the back. Amore pulls the tights in a roll-up to steal the win at 5:35. This felt so much longer than 5 minutes, but at least they didn’t embarrass themselves, *.
Winner: Enzo Amore
-Lefort realizes that it’s time to shave off his long, flowing hair, and he tries to escape. Louis provides the save, but ends up getting his head dunked in the mystery bucket. They also ripped off “D-Von, get the tables!” by twisting it into “Enzo, get the bucket!” Do these guys have any original ideas? Amore and Cassady are like a weird mix of the New Age Outlaws, Dudley Boyz, Friends, and Jersey Shore, all mixed into one bizarre package.
-Tyler Breeze is enjoying a massage (and his own face on his phone) and rudely rejects an interview.
-William Regal comes to the ring to formally introduces the NXT audience to none other than KENTA! They show house show footage of Hulk Hogan welcoming him to the company, so you know this is a big deal, brother. KENTA cuts a short promo full of pleasantries about being happy to be in WWE. Oh, and he’s changing his name to Hideo Itami, which kills me because we were SO CLOSE to having a new signee keep the name that made them famous. The Ascension randomly interrupt the segment and toss KENTA, I mean, Itami, from the ring. They want a rematch for their tag titles, but they get driven from the ring by Itami’s educated feet. Itami takes a seat and dares them to get back into the ring, but The Ascension wisely back off. This might not have been the ideal way to debut Itami, but I’m so glad he’s there.
Bull Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley
Rawley sprints to the ring, where Dempsey is fully prepared to tear into him. Rawley connects with some shots, but Dempsey ends it with an avalanche. Dempsey flies off the top with a diving head butt (ugh) for the win at 1:12. Why in Satan’s glorious name is the diving head butt making a resurgence? Obvious squash match here, DUD.
Winner: Bull Dempsey
-If you thought we were done with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, you were wrong. They’re searching the backstage area because Enzo is insisting on seeing someone bald. They find Marcus Louis covering his head with a towel and carry him to the ring. They beat him up a bit and pull off the towel to reveal that Louis has absolutely no hair left (save for some ugly patches) and that includes his eye brows. Someone backstage must find all of this to be terribly amusing. Anyone who tuned into NXT for the first time tonight because they heard the online buzz must be wondering what the rest of us are smoking.
-Renee Young brings up a Buzzfeed article that positively puts over the emerging NXT talent, and actually name drops Fergal Devitt and Kevin Steen. I can’t wait to hear what their new names end up being.
NXT Women’s Championship:
Charlotte © vs. Bayley (with the wacky, waving, inflatable arm, tube men)
Bayley has excellent new music and is really going out of her way to be a positive role model for the young girls in the audience. Having this sort of diva is such a logical, good idea, and it’s shocking that it really hasn’t been done before (I know Lita and Trish considered themselves role models, but they both acted slutty on the air, where Bayley comes across as a likable big sister). Charlotte offers a handshake but Bayley refuses (Charlotte refused her handshakes leading up to this) and drives her into the turnbuckles. Bayley puts together a combination of attacks, but Charlotte counters a backslide with a neck breaker. Charlotte takes control and works on wearing poor Bayley down, complete with the Figure Four Headlock. Bayley musters enough might to trade chops, but Charlotte applies a head scissors and rolls her around the ring in rough fashion. Bayley pulls the hair to reverse an inside cradle but eats a drop-kick. Bayley unleashes a flurry of strikes, but Charlotte slams her head into the canvas for a near fall. Bayley comes back with a top rope hurricanrana! Charlotte retaliates with a modified DDT into the turnbuckles and follows up with a kinda botched moonsault. Bayley kicks out and gives Charlotte a furious look. Charlotte follows with Natural Selection for the win at 10:38! This was obviously not in the same league as Charlotte vs. Natalya at the first Takeover, but was a competitive, respectable divas outing in its own right. Also, I was legitimately disappointed that Bayley didn’t win, so they were doing something right, ***.
Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion: Charlotte.
-Sasha Banks shows up for a revenge attack on Bayley. I guess Bayley earned Charlotte’s respect, because she returns to the ring for the save. If this is heading to a triple threat match for the title, then I’m all in.
-It’s worth mentioning that the four participants in tonight’s main event were featured in a tag team match on the most recent episode of Raw. This is part of a play by Triple H to try and make NXT more of a third brand rather than a developmental show. Going forward, it could be interesting to see if they stick to this philosophy, because it could mean that some wrestlers are NXT star for the long haul and never get “called up” to the main roster. As long as NXT continues to be consistently great (and no NXT guys start getting fed to Rusev to fill time on Raw) then I could be alright with this development.
Adrian Neville © vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd
This event will sink or swim based on the quality of this main event, as the rest of the show has been somewhat wishy-washy. Unlike the recent fatal 4-way at the Battleground pay-per-view, this match has been built up well and anyone could feasibly win this. All four men are in the ring at once, so there’s no tag format, and the faces and heels square off. There’s a fun moment when Sami knocks Breeze down and takes a smug selfie with his phone. Zayn nearly pulls off an upset at the 4 minute mark when he catches Kidd in the Koji Clutch. Breeze and Kidd work together to put Neville down with a double suplex on the stage, allowing them to work Zayn over for a while. Kidd turns on Breeze and continues to pick Zayn apart on his own. Everything Kidd does looks crisp and painful, leading me to shake my head at how underutilized he’s been. Breeze disrupts Kidd’s control, inadvertently giving Zayn an opening. Neville returns to catch Breeze and Kidd with an Asai moonsault! Zayn locks eyes with Neville and the two friends finally have a chance to mix it up. The crowd chants “This is wrestling” but Zayn quickly shuts them up when he botches a slam. Kidd also slips a bit when he throws Zayn into Neville on the top rope. Kidd nearly pins Zayn with a neck breaker. The sharpshooter is blocked, and Kidd’s springboard elbow drop is also countered. Breeze plays the opportunistic villain role and nearly steals a pair of pinfalls. Breeze and Kidd go for a superplex on Neville, but Zayn power bombs them all off the turnbuckle! That spot never gets old. Sami is all fired up and stomps Kidd down, but Neville catches him with a boot. Neville lands a shooting star press on Sami, but Breeze nearly steals the pinfall is an excellent false finish! Breeze misses the Beauty Shot on Zayn and gets caught in Kidd’s sharpshooter! Sami saves the match and trades shots with Neville. Zayn drops Neville over the ropes, leaving him to hit Kidd with an Exploder into the turnbuckles, suicide dive on Neville, AND fly through the ropes to take out Breeze with a tornado DDT! Zayn nails Kidd with the Yakuza kick for what should have been the finish, but Neville panicked and pulled the referee to the floor. Zayn is stunned by this and runs into a Neville super-kick. This leaves Neville with the opportunity to hit Kidd with the Red Arrow for the win at 23:46. Despite some sloppy moments, there was enough high excitement to go around that I feel compelled to call this ****.
Winner and still NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
Final Thoughts: This failed to live up to Arrival and the original Takeover, mostly due to far too much time devoted to the Enzo Amore stupidity. The main event ended up being a wild good time and lifts this to Thumbs Up territory, but not without the same enthusiasm I had for the earlier specials. I’d say skip the first hour and check Charlotte/Bayley and the 4-way.
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