2/25/15 NXT Review – The Brian Kendrick Returns to WWE

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Finn Balor def. The Brian Kendrick by pinfall

Early in the show, a fantastic promo package on Kendrick aired, which made his return to WWE television feel important. Finn also cut a backstage promo with not-Jeremy-Borash (whose name is apparently Greg), in which Finn said that he was focusing on former WWE Tag Team Champion Kendrick, not looking past him to Kevin Owens.

Owens joined the commentary team, and the match began with some very nice chain wrestling. Finn rolled through a sunset flip and hit a basement dropkick, as Kendrick sold an ankle injury. Kendrick quickly revealed the injury to be a ruse, earning a near-fall with a bodyscissor roll-up.

Finn landed a dropkick, but Kendrick responded with a spinning heel kick. On commentary, Alex Riley and Kevin Owens started to argue, and Owens said that he would leave before he did something he would regret. In the ring, Kendrick hit a shoulder tackle for another near-fall.

Finn fought back with a big boot and two clotheslines, but Kendrick hit a tornado DDT for a very close two-count. Kendrick hit a top-rope dropkick and a bridging dragon suplex for another near-fall. Finn hit a big clothesline, followed by a Sling Blade.

Finn hit a dropkick that drove Kendrick into the turnbuckle, then climbed up top for a wonderfully brutal Coup de Grace for the pinfall victory. After the match, Owens came back out and stared down Finn, before suddenly tossing Riley over the announce table.

Scott’s Thoughts: A surprisingly competitive match, that saw Kendrick land his fair share of offense. I love the idea of bringing in veteran talent to help put over NXT wrestlers, instead of just having Tyler Breeze job out to all the top faces, for example.


Becky Lynch def. Bayley by submission

Bayley hit a snapmare, which Becky no-sold, planting Bayley with a shoulder tackle and taunting her. Bayley hit a shoulder tackle of her own and a springboard second-rope arm drag. Becky hit her new signature deadlift pumphandle suplex for a near-fall.

Becky hit repeated leg drops for another two-count, following up with an uppercut. Bayley managed to knock Becky out of the ring, then hit her between-the-ropes dropkick on the outside. Back in the ring, Bayley hit clotheslines and a drop toehold, followed by several corner back elbows.

Bayley hit a flying back elbow for a two-count, but Becky caught Bayley in an armbar, forcing Bayley to tap out.

Scott’s Thoughts: Becky does so many little things well. An armbar, for example. A simple armbar, that she makes look legitimate enough to force a believable tap-out. Or, take for instance her sharp, precise leg drops. As her moveset expands, she only gets more impressive as a wrestler.

Yet another highly entertaining NXT women’s match, that likely places Becky next in line for a title shot after Charlotte receives her rematch.


Hideo Itami def. Bull Dempsey by pinfall

Bull hit a shoulder tackle for a two-count, following up with elbow drops for another near-fall. Hideo fought back with a series of kicks, highlighted by a running corner dropkick. Hideo hit a single-leg dropkick for the pinfall.

After the match, Tyler Breeze attacked Hideo on the stage, knocking him down with his fabulous fur-covered selfie stick. Hideo got in a few shots of his own, but Breeze escaped into the crowd.

Scott’s Thoughts: Pretty much a nothing match. I’m not a fan of Bull, and Hideo still needs a real finisher. On the positive side, I really do appreciate how NXT is making a concerted effort to make Breeze a major player again. Also, the selfie stick is yet another extremely clever NXT heel accessory — maybe even better than when Tyson Kidd first started wearing Beats headphones to the ring. Great stuff.


The Lucha Dragons def. Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan by pinfall

Solomon Crowe hacked the feed during Dillinger and Jordan’s entrance, saying that he wouldn’t stop until he becomes NXT Champion. Jordan hit a facebuster on Sin Cara, but Kalisto tagged in and hit an arm drag. Jordan caught him and hit him with two gutwrench facebusters for a near-fall.

The Dragons hit a wheelbarrow senton on Dillinger, earning Sin Cara a two-count. Kalisto followed up with a clever headscissor backflip, using Sin Cara as the base, to earn a near-fall of his own. Sin Cara hit a springboard senton for yet another two.

Sin Cara followed up with a dropkick, tagging in Kalisto for a corkscrew springboard crossbody. Dillinger tried to tag in Jordan, but Jordan jumped off the apron and left Dillinger alone. Kalisto hit Salina del Sol, tagging in Sin Cara for a senton bomb and the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was a very smooth match, with some nice spots and solid pacing. I do not, however, understand the decision to break up one of the four tag teams in NXT.


Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger by pinfall

After the match, Dillinger got some very rare mic time, calling out Jordan for leaving him. Instead of Jordan, Corbin entered. Corbin hit a shoulder tackle and End of Days to pin Dillinger.

Scott’s Thoughts: The Baron Corbin squash became a tired trope quite some time ago.


– Rhyno cut a backstage promo, saying that he was in NXT because he had tuned in to the show, and seen the exact same intensity that he sees behind his own eyes when he looks in the mirror. He promised to Gore his way through the entire NXT roster, on his way to the top.

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