2/18/15 NXT Review – Owens and Neville Mesmerize NXT Universe

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Kevin Owens def. Adrian Neville by pinfall

Owens tried to roll out of the ring, like he did in the title match against Zayn, but Neville immediately brought him back into the ring. Neville hit a hurricanrana and a dropkick, but Owens responded with a gutbuster and a senton. Owens followed up with an elbow drop.

Owens threw Neville over the top rope, which made me immediately wish Steve Corino was on commentary, to remind us that throwing someone over the top rope should be a disqualification. Owens grounded Neville with a series of submission moves, but Neville finally countered with a huge DDT.

Neville and Owens exchanged stiff forearms, and Neville hit a big boot. Neville hit a flying crossbody and his signature series of kicks, knocking Owens out of the ring. Neville climbed up top and hit a moonsault to Owens on the floor.

Back in the ring, Neville hit an enziguiri and a springboard dropkick for a near-fall. Owens rolled out of the ring, and Neville hit a basement dropkick from the apron. Neville hit a 450 splash onto the floor, rolling Owens back into the ring for a near-fall.

Neville hit a release German suplex, then a deadlift bridging German suplex for another two-count. Owens tried for a cannonball into the corner, but Neville hit a superkick and a reverse hurricanrana for a very close near-fall. Neville came up empty on the Red Arrow, and Owens hit a pop-up powerbomb to win the match.

Scott’s Thoughts: Holy crap. That was some PPV-level stuff right there, and on the weekly developmental show. Man. Neville and Owens are both world-class wrestlers, and they had chemistry to spare tonight. Masterfully done.


Kevin Owens sets the record straight

William Regal started the show backstage in his office, saying that referee stoppage is a legitimate manner in which to win the NXT Championship, but that Kevin Owens still doesn’t get to make his own rules. Regal said that Owens can’t just be a prize fighter, and would face Adrian Neville in tonight’s main event.

Owens entered and grabbed a microphone, saying that it seems a lot of people have an issue with the way he won the title. He went on to say that those people have no right to be mad about anything, because he hasn’t lied or pretended to be anything other a prize fighter, hell-bent on money and belts.

Owens said that who he beat, and how he beat him, is irrelevant. He said that Sami Zayn is the past, and that it’s time to look to the future. Owens said that Finn Balor is the future, seeing as he is the No. 1 Contender. Owens said that he was giving Finn his choice of date and time for the title match, but warned that he would meet the same fate as Zayn had at Takeover.

Scott’s Thoughts: Owens is so subtle and nuanced on the mic. His arrogant, self-assured delivery fits his heel persona perfectly, and I love how straightforward his message is. He’s here for prizes. He’s here for money. He’s not here to make friends.


Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (w/Carmella) def. The Vaudevillains by pinfall

Enzo entered with a hilarious new beard — the goatee portion is brown, but the rest of his full beard is bleach blonde. Gotch hit Enzo with uppercuts and a gorilla press slam, which English followed up with a kick to the face for a two-count.

Enzo managed to tag in Cass, who hit shoulder tackles on English, followed by a sidewalk slam to Gotch. Enzo tagged back in, as Cass tossed Enzo — “like a lawn dart,” according to Rich Brennan — into English, then hit a big boot. Enzo covered English for the pinfall victory.

After the match, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy appeared on the titantron, inviting Carmella to leave Enzo and Cass to join the champions.

Scott’s Thoughts: It seems like the powers-that-be in NXT have really soured on The Vaudevillains. Perhaps they finally realized that their gimmick — while fantastic in the small arena of smarks at Full Sail — would never get over on the main roster.

As for Enzo and Cass, I’d like to see them wrestle a match that didn’t follow the following formula: Enzo bumps for a couple minutes, hot tag to Cass, power moves, silly finish. I love the Realest Guys in the Room, I’d just like to see a bit more variety from their in-ring work.


CJ Parker tries to take NXT hostage; Solomon Crowe has other ideas

Parker entered, saying that he was sick of being left off the NXT live events. He said that he was ending NXT and taking the show hostage, setting up a sign that said CJ PARKER IS TAKING OVER THE TAKEOVERS. Parker began setting up caution tape in the ring.

Solomon Crowe entered and beat Parker down, finishing him off with a springboard splash. Crowe picked up the microphone and said “Now we return to your regularly scheduled broadcast!”

Scott’s Thoughts: That was a fun way to debut Crowe. I’m really looking forward to finally getting to see what he can do in NXT.


Sasha Banks def. Blue Pants by submission

Sasha tried to convince Pants to leave the ring, but Pants knocked her to the floor. Back in the ring, Pants hit a drop toehold, bridging it into a crucifix for a near-fall. Pants earned another two-count with a backslide. Sasha set up Pants on the second rope, hitting her signature double kneedrop to the gut, earning a near-fall. Sasha hit the Bank Statement, forcing Pants to tap out.

After the match not-Jeremy-Borash asked Sasha what it means to be champ, and she shoved him, taking his microphone. She said that it meant that everyone in the back had to admit that Sasha is the baddest Diva in NXT.

Scott’s Thoughts: I think at this point, it’s time to get Blue Pants on our NXT depth chart! Regarding Sasha, the Bank Statement is really turning into one of my favorite finishers in wrestling today. Such a cool fusion of high impact and a thoroughly believable submission maneuver.


Rhyno def. Elias Sampson by pinfall

Rhyno came out to a massive pop, hitting a belly-to-belly suplex, following up with a Gore for the squash victory. After the match, Rhyno interrupted Finn Balor’s backstage interview with Devin Taylor, walking slowly by while staring holes through him.

Scott’s Thoughts: I love the idea of veterans returning to WWE to put over NXT Superstars. A guy like Rhyno doesn’t have to be built up much — he is a known commodity, and a victory over him will be meaningful for Finn, as he builds up to his title match with Owens.

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