3/11/15 NXT Review – Breeze Ends Itami’s Streak, Riley Returns

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Tyler Breeze def. Hideo Itami by pinfall

Breeze avoided several early kicks from Hideo, so Hideo successfully switched things up with a clothesline. Hideo followed up with a tornado DDT onto the top rope, but Breeze fought back with a leg drop for a near-fall. Hideo responded with a diving clothesline.

Hideo hit two more clotheslines and a legsweep, but Breeze hit a jawbreaker. Hideo responded with a lariat for two, following up with a big boot. Breeze immediately landed a Supermodel Kick for a close near-fall.

Breeze tried for the post-aided figure-four, but Hideo countered by driving Breeze’s head into the post. Hideo hit a front suplex onto the top rope, then hit a diving knee strike to the back of the head for a near-fall. Hideo came up empty on a corner dropkick, allowing Breeze time to hit the Beauty Shot for the clean pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: Breeze needed a big win to climb back into the title picture, and that’s exactly what he got right here. Hideo’s undefeated streak had to end sometime, and Breeze was a great choice to do just that.

Alex Riley def. CJ Parker by pinfall

Two separate promo packages for Riley aired before the match, positioning him as a legitimate threat to Kevin Owens. Riley said that he felt like he’d been locked in a cage for two years, starving to death while everyone around him ate to their heart’s content.

Riley said that in a way, he needs to thank Owens for giving him the fire to return to the ring. He said that while Owens fights for his family, Riley has no family, and therefore nothing to lose. Riley entered to a huge pop from the NXT crowd, taking the early advantage with a very stiff dropkick.

Riley followed up with a back bodydrop and two huge clotheslines. Riley hit a spinning neckbreaker, then climbed up top, hitting a diving Blockbuster for the victory. Owens interrupted his celebration, calling Riley the dumbest man in NXT. Owens said that Riley ended his own commentary career, and would now have his in-ring career ended by Owens.

Scott’s Thoughts: I can’t really overstate how impressive Riley was tonight. From his impassioned promos, to his completely jacked physique, to his fantastic in-ring display of power and agility, Riley looked like a man possessed. I am very much looking forward to his collision with Owens.

 

Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady def. The Lucha Dragons by pinfall

Enzo said that the Dragons are more like the Geico lizards. Cass added that if Sin Cara and Kalisto can’t save them 15% or more on their car insurance, they might as well just leave. The Lucha Dragons hit a wheelbarrow senton on Enzo, earning a two-count for Sin Cara.

Big Cass tagged in, using a sidewalk slam to earn a near-fall of his own, then tagged in Enzo. Cass gorilla press slammed Enzo onto Sin Cara, getting Enzo a two-count. Sin Cara hit an enziguiri and tagged in Kalisto, who hit a springboard crossbody, a Listo Kick and a basement headscissor for a near-fall on Enzo.

Sin Cara hit a springboard headbutt and dropkick, sending Enzo from the ring. The Dragons tried for a double dive through the ropes, but Cass shoved Enzo aside and took the brunt of both men himself. Back in the ring, Sin Cara hit Enzo with a schoolboy powerbomb, but Cass made the save and tagged himself in.

Cass hit East River Crossing on Kalisto, tagging in Enzo for an assisted top-rope splash. Enzo covered Kalisto for the pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was the best Enzo and Cass match in quite some time. Enzo still needs some offensive moves of his own, but having Cass literally carry him through his offense is pretty entertaining in its own right. I’m hoping Enzo and Cass end up winning the belts off of the enhancement talent placeholder champs Blake and Murphy.

 

Alexa Bliss def. Carmella by pinfall

Alexa returned with a bit more serious take on her previous ‘sparkle queen’ gimmick, with better ring gear and a less-corny entrance. Carmella tried to arm drag Alexa off the second rope, but Alexa reversed into an arm drag of her own, bridging it into a cover for two.

Alexa followed up with a hurricanrana, but Carmella fought back with a single-leg dropkick for a two-count of her own. Carmella beat down Alexa with a series of power moves, but Alexa hit a legsweep, following up with an awkward attempt at a standing moonsault that I’d rather never see again.

Alexa climbed up top and hit the top rope front-flip Sparkle Splash for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Toning down Alexa’s sparkle princess qualities makes her a much more believable competitor. Aside from the botched standing moonsault, this was a solid — if unspectacular — match.

 

– During the show, it was announced that next week’s NXT will be the show recorded last weekend in Columbus, Ohio. It will be very fun to see how NXT goes over outside of Full Sail.