1/14/15 NXT Review – Zayn Retains, Owens Maims

Sami Zayn def. Adrian Neville by pinfall to retain the NXT Championship

Zayn and Neville exchanged arm drags, before Neville hit a hurricanrana to take Zayn down. Zayn fought back with a dropkick, and the two men traded stiff shots in the middle of the ring. Neville knocked Zayn out of the ring, hitting a plancha to the outside.

Neville got Zayn back in the ring and hit an uppercut for a near-fall. Zayn hit a top-rope crossbody for a two-count of his own. Neville hit an utterly fantastic hurricanrana, bridged into a pinning maneuver for a near-fall. Zayn responded by planting Neville with a seamless blue thunderbomb for another two-count.

Zayn hit a German suplex, maintaining his gutwrench for a second German. Zayn tried for a third, but Neville landed on his feet and hit a brutal back elbow. Zayn picked up Neville into an electric chair, but Neville flipped around for yet another gorgeous hurricanrana.

Zayn appeared to be hurt, and Neville gave him a chance to gather himself. As it turned out, Zayn was faking it the entire time, planting Neville with a DDT. Zayn followed up with a dragon suplex, but came up empty on a Helluva Kick. Neville rolled out of the ring, and Zayn attempted his between-the-ropes DDT.

Neville made a tremendous counter with a superkick, then tried for a Red Arrow. Zayn rolled out of the ring, but was rolled up immediately upon his return to the ring for a very close near-fall. Zayn hit an exploder suplex into the corner, following up with a Helluva Kick to earn the pin. After the match, Kevin Owens ran in and powerbombed Zayn.

Scott’s Thoughts: Adrian Neville does things I’ve never seen anyone do. He’s simply in a class of his own regarding in-ring ability. Zayn and Neville put on a wonderful match that lived up to their previous encounter.

I’m very excited for the Zayn/Owens feud, and I sincerely hope that Neville doesn’t get lost in the NXT shuffle — much like Tyler Breeze has.


Finn Balor def. Tyson Kidd by pinfall

Finn immediately hit a dropkick and climbed up top, but came up empty on a double footstomp. Finn followed up with a basement dropkick in the corner, but Tyson drove him into the barricade outside the ring. Back in the ring, Tyson hit a leg drop and a neckbreaker, preening for the crowd.

Tyson continued his assault with an elbow drop, as Alex Riley said that he was “blessed and humbled” to have faced Tyson at a WWE Live event two months ago. Tyson hit a suplex for a two-count, but Finn hit a Pele kick and a big boot.

Finn hit a slingblade, which Rich Brennan and Riley sold like a move that had literally never been performed ever before. Finn hit an enziguiri, knocking Tyson from the ring, then hit a plancha onto the entrance ramp. Tyson hit a dragon leg screw on the top rope, following up with a kick to the face from the apron.

Tyson tossed Finn back in the ring, hitting a springboard top-rope elbow drop for a near-fall. Tyson locked in a sharpshooter, but Finn reached the ropes to break the hold. Tyson came up empty on a guillotine leg drop, and Finn fought back with a lifting underhook DDT.

Finn hit a double footstomp to the back of Tyson’s head, earning the pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: I mentioned to Andrew earlier today that I think Finn has the highest ceiling of anyone currently in NXT. My reasoning for this? “He’s like the Cirque du Soleil of wrestling.” The more I reflect on that statement, the more I believe it.

On occasion, I like to turn wrestling on when there are non-fans over at my house. I find it interesting to gauge an average person’s opinion on things I’ve particularly enjoyed recently in wrestling. I have shown Finn’s R[E]volution entrance to eight people — five men and three women. All eight of them were completely captivated. I rest my case.


Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch def. Charlotte and Natalya by pinfall

Renee Young mentioned that Becky and Natalya tagged together in Japan nine years ago. This reinforced my love of NXT commentary. Becky and Natalya exchanged stiff forearms, and when Sasha and Becky tried to regroup outside, Charlotte and Natalya took them out with tandem baseball slides.

Charlotte and Natalya hit a double delayed vertical suplex, earning Charlotte a near-fall on Becky. Charlotte hit a gorilla press slam as Natalya tagged in. Then, Charlotte picked up Natalya for a wheelbarrow lateral press onto Becky for a near-fall.

Sasha tagged in, but immediately fell victim to Natalya’s snapmare/basement dropkick combo for a near-fall. Sasha fought back with her signature double-knee to the gut for a two-count of her own. Becky took a cheap shot at Natalya when the referee turned away for a moment.

Natalya managed to reach Charlotte, who hit a neckbreaker on Sasha, forcing Becky to make the save. Sasha hit a neckbreaker of her own and grabbed Charlotte’s tights to earn the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: The heelish victory works for Sasha, and likely earns her another title shot. I also really like Lynch in the heel right-hand-man role. This match was a bit shorter than I would have liked, but if it meant that extra time went to the main event, I’m more than okay with that.


Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey by pinfall

The action quickly spilled outside, with each man taking turns bouncing each other’s heads off the apron. Once they got back in the ring, Bull tried for his top-rope diving headbutt, but Baron rolled out of the way. Baron hit the End of Days for the pin.

Scott’s Thoughts: Nearly two months of build for that? This was barely more than Baron’s usual squashes. It was certainly impressive to see him hit the End of Days on such a large opponent, but come on. Let me see the guy wrestle a real match.