3/7 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas vs. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian in a Triple Threat No. 1 Contenders match, Yoshi Tatsu vs. Leo Kruger, Adrian Neville vs. Judas Devlin and Scott Dawson, The Shield appear
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 2/21 in Winter Park, Florida
Before titles, Dusty Rhodes’ music hit, and he walked onto the stage. He welcomed the crowd, and booked a rematch of the No.1 contender triple threat that was meant to happen last week between Bo Dallas, Corey Graves and Conor O’Brian. Dusty then said security had been stepped up to show The Shield that they don’t run NXT. Dusty said if they tried to interfere tonight, they would have him to answer to...
After titles, Adrian Neville’s music played, and he walked out alone for a tag team match. William Regal said you don’t need to be an expert to see that Oliver Grey wasn’t with Neville. Neville got on the mic in the ring and said he didn’t know where Grey was. He said they had arrived and warmed up together, but then Grey disappeared. He offered to take on his opponents solo...
1. Adrian Neville vs. Judas Devlin and Scott Dawson in a 2 on 1 Handicap match. Judas has Zack Ryder style one legged tights. At least Ryder wore them as a joke. Neville initially got the best of both of his opponents with his quick, flashy moves, but has eventually locked in a headlock by Devlin.
On the stage, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan dragged an unconscious Grey out into the arena. Wyatt draped the NXT Tag Title across Grey and all three men left. Neville attempted to get to the stage, but Dawson cut him off and threw him back in the ring, where Devlin stomped on him. Dawson tagged in and placed Neville on the top rope. Neville punched Dawson back to the mat, and then kicked an onrushing Devlin off the apron. Neville landed the corkscrew Shooting Star Press, and picked up the win...
Adrian Neville defeated Judas Devlin and Scott Dawson in 3.18.
Neville rushed out of the ring and ran to check on Grey. Refs eventually came out to help Grey... [C]
Gutt Check: Neville is brutal on the mic. Hey, he’s a world class athlete, so talking doesn’t have to be his strong suit, but right now he’s beyond terrible. Luckily, if he and Grey are moving into a feud with the Wyatt family, Bray can do all the heavy lifting for the promo work, and Neville can stick to showcasing his amazing moves. This feud could be interesting.
[Q2] Leo Kruger made his way onto the stage. Yoshi Tatsu was already in the ring...
2. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Leo Kruger. Tatsu seemed to take the advantage early with two atomic drops, but Kruger absorbed a few chops and threw Tatsu into the corner left arm first. Kruger zeroed in on the left shoulder by throwing Tatsu into the corner a few times, and locking in an arm lock. Tatsu escaped, but was quickly put down by a clothesline. Kruger applied a hold that looked like a combination of an elbow lock and a camel clutch. Tatsu tapped...
Leo Kruger defeated Yoshi Tatsu in 2.56.
Leo posed in the ropes after the match...
Renee Young presented the “World Tour Report” again, plugging the April UK tour. Kane and Daniel Bryan cut a quick promo on The Shield to set up their match together on the Raw side of the tour...
Gutt Check: The hold looked basic, yet I can’t recall it being used before. Adding a submission move to your arsenal is always a good move, but hopefully this doesn’t replace the Kruger’s End finisher, which was a unique finisher for Kruger, and suited his vicious style.
Sasha Banks came out for a six Diva tag match. Sasha’s partners, Cameron and Naomi, danced their way out, followed by Alicia Fox, Aksana and Audrey Marie...
3. Sasha Banks, Cameron and Naomi vs. Aksana, Alicia Fox and Audrey Marie. The heels isolated Cameron for a while, with Marie working her rib area with a body scissors. Cameron escaped and tagged Naomi, who hit a few nice athletic moves on Marie. She took out Aksana and Fox with a double dropkick to the apron, and hit Marie with what was either an open legged dropkick or a botched head scissors.
Aksana broke up the following pin, and was forced outside by the ref. Sasha took advantage by bouncing Marie’s head off of the top rope, and Naomi took her out with a running calf kick for the 1-2-3...
Sasha Banks, Cameron and Naomi defeated Aksana, Alicia Fox and Audrey Marie in 4.22.
The winning team hugged as Regal prised Naomi’s performance...
Backstage, Tom Phillips introduced Bo Dallas. He asked how Bo felt about his opportunity tonight. Dallas said it was indescribable, and then ran through his accomplishments after winning the Royal Rumble NXT tournament, including pinning Wade Barrett. As he said “people may say its luck”, he was interrupted by Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt said it was all luck. He said last week, the Shield took Dallas out, and mentioned that had Bo not refused to join the Wyatt family, they could have protected him, “no luck necessary”. Dallas said he wanted nothing to do with the “family”, and left. Wyatt remarked “what a foolish young man”... [C]
Gutt Check: My guess here is Dallas allies with Grey and Neville to take on all three members of the Wyatt Family. I’m OK with that, as it will be interesting to see how the “family” would operate in a 6-man tag environment. Would Wyatt’s control carry over to their in-ring dynamic? Naomi was impressive in her minute long burst, but she can’t possibly have the stamina to go high energy for a 5+ minute match. Fortunately, the average Divas match is a minute long these days, so there is hope for Naomi yet.
[Q3] Renee Young introduced Summer Rae, who again instructed Young to refer to her as ‘The First Lady of NXT’. Rae bragged about putting Paige out of NXT, and said the only reason Paige got popular was because she was ‘obtainable’, and Rae was not. She trash talked Renee a little before leaving. The screen went fuzzy, and a Shield video cut in.
Dean Ambrose asked if everyone had missed the comforting presence of justice. Seth Rollins said Graves was whining, so they took care of him. He said O’Brian wasn’t worthy of an NXT title shot, and Dallas needed to be taught a lesson.
Ambrose said they could show up at any time to deliver justice, and they had improved Raw and Smackdown through their actions, and would now set NXT right. Roman Reigns said they were a pack of dogs looking for a fight. Rollins said he is the one people should feel bad for, because he never got his title rematch. He claimed that when people least expected it, he would take back what was his. They signed off with the ‘Believe in the Shield’ line from Rollins and Reigns before leaving...
Gutt Check: I thought for a split second that Paige had found the “Shield-Cam” backstage, and was going to cut a promo on Rae. Rollins and Ambrose looked good, Reigns was his usual low key self. Reigns has stepped up in the ring recently, but whenever he starts talking my attention dips dramatically. I called Rollins vs. Big E last week, so I expect it to have happened at the recent tapings (haven’t read the spoilers because I don’t want to know the direction the show is going).
Corey Graves, Conor O’Brian and Bo Dallas made their way out to the ring successfully this week, and the rematch started...
4. Bo Dallas vs. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian in a Triple Threat match to become No. 1 Contender for the NXT Title. All three men ended up on the outside not too long after the match started, and Dallas was taken out by an O’Brian clothesline. O’Brian began to dominate both men, throwing his two smaller opponents into the corners, both on their own and into each other. Dallas and Graves were forced to team up to fight back, delivering a double suplex to take O’Brian down. Dallas came out on top when he and Graves locked back up, but Graves put a stop to Dallas’ ten corner punches by throwing Dallas to the mat. Bray Wyatt walked out onto the stage as we cut to commercial... [C]
[Q4] Wyatt edged his way to the ring as we returned, with all three men down. Dallas took down Graves with a bulldog, and O’Brian with a neckbreaker. Both lead to two counts, but Graves managed to recover, throw out O’Brian, and apply the 13th Step to Dallas. O’Brian climbed back in and applied an arm lock to Graves in a cool spot. Dallas broke the hold, and threw O’Brian back outside.
Dallas fired up with a few clotheslines on Graves, and when Graves got to the apron, he looked to bring him back in with a suplex. Graves escaped the suplex, but ran into a belly to belly suplex when he ran at Dallas off the ropes. Wyatt dragged Graves out, and as Dallas shouted at him, Wyatt shouted “I do this for you Bo!”, and distracted Dallas long enough for O’Brian to slide in and hit a full nelson slam. This lead to the pinfall...
Conor O’Brian defeated Bo Dallas and Corey Graves in 10.45.
Wyatt quickly left, as the commentators both claimed that Dallas had the match won until Wyatt interfered. O’Brian backed up the ramp under blue mood lighting as NXT came to a close.
Gutt Check: A solid main event. It didn’t set the world on fire, but they worked a good pace, and no man was forced to sell on the outside for a long time. The result bores me, as Big E and O’Brian have already had a dull match, but the ongoing focus on Wyatt and Dallas is, again, interesting. I don’t think Wyatt can juggle a singles feud and be in a tag team one, so this may allow Rowan and Harper to stand on their own mic wise.
A mixed bag on NXT this week. It’s still not back on course to being 'compelling TV,' but they are again focusing on feuds outside of the various NXT titles. Wyatt’s screen time is certainly increasing, and that’s a good thing, but he’s working with people who can’t even come close to matching him on the mic, so if he’s spread too thin this could all fall apart quickly. Two filler matches took the sheen off of a solid main event, which is the only thing I would suggest finding to watch this week.
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