10/17 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Title, The Ascension vs. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Titles, Paige and Emma vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks, and CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped September 12 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] A video package hyping Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Title aired before the titles rolled...
The Ascension were shown stood at the top of the ramp after the titles aired. They made their way out for their first title defence as Tony Dawson, William Regal and Renee Young checked in on commentary. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves entered the arena separately...
1. The Ascension vs. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Titles. The commentary sounds odd. It definitely sound more like an over-dub than lines recorded live. Dawson sounds very robotic. Graves went after Victor viciously from the start. Neville continued the aggression until he went to run the ropes and ended up on the outside as O’Brian had pulled the rope down... [C]
[Q2] Neville picked up a leg injury shortly after we returned. O’Brian tried to cut him off in The Ascensions half of the ring, but he managed to tag Graves. Graves came in hot, eventually downing O’Brian with an STO. Graves retreated to the corner, and delivered a running chop block before applying the Lucky 13. Victor broke the hold up, and Graves decided to tag in Neville. Neville protested due to his leg injury, and was taken out quickly by an O’Brian low dropkick when he got in the ring.
The Ascension tried to put Neville away quickly, but Neville managed to kick Victor from the floor to force a break. Neville struggled to his corner, but as he went to tag Graves, Victor hit him from behind. Neville knocked Graves off the apron, and soon found himself on the end of The Ascensions high/low combo finisher, which allowed them to retain...
The Ascension defeated Adrian Neville and Corey Graves in 5:15 to retain the NXT Tag Team Titles.
After The Ascension left, Graves got in the ring and told a downed Neville “That was our shot, and now it’s gone”. Neville apologised, and Graves helped him up, only to run the ropes and hit a confused Neville with a chop block to his injured leg. Graves pounded on Neville whilst shouting “They’ve gone”. The fans chanted “You suck” as Graves showed his “Stay Down” knuckle tattoos to Neville...
Gutt Reaction: The match had an OK pace, but should have been longer. I’m happy Graves has turned, as his character works much better as a heel. He was never really established as a babyface, getting cheered more by association than by anything he did or said. I have high hopes for this feud going forward, as well as both men getting in the hunt for the NXT title.
We cut immediately to Tyler Breeze stood in the ring, admiring himself on his phone. CJ Parker mean mugged Breeze as he made his way down to the ring. This anger doesn’t really gel with his hippy character. What ever happened to “Peace, man”? . .
2. CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze. After some cross words, Parker hit Breeze with a few big chops and an airplane spin. After Parker tried to put Breeze away with a sunset flip, the two engaged in a shoving contest. Parker won, but when he shot Breeze to the ropes and went for a dropkick, Breeze held onto them, causing Parker to crash into the match. Breeze took this as an opportunity to check his phone, before beating on Parker on the mat.
When Breeze picked Parker up, Parker managed to catch him with a quick pin. Breeze kicked out, but Parker quickly took him down with a running clothesline. As Parker went to pick him up, Breeze grabbed the apron. He dragged it into the ring, which distracted the ref long enough for Breeze to thumb Parker in the eye. He followed up with a spinning heel kick and got the 1-2-3...
Tyler Breeze defeated CJ Parker in 3:11.
Breeze went to take a selfie of him and Parker, but Parker threw him off and hit him with a big open palm uppercut. As Breeze rolled to the outside, Parker picked up his phone and started taking photos with fans at ringside...
Paige and Emma vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks was hyped for later in the show... [C]
Gutt Reaction: While another weak finish won’t help this feud rise above it’s undercard feel, I do hope it leads to a longer match down the line. Both seem more than competent in the ring, so why not allow them to have a 7-8 minute match with a clean finish, to see what they can really do? They certainly won’t get the chance on main roster TV, unless they make it to PPV in their first year. That’s two complaints about match length already. I hope this doesn’t become a theme throughout the night considering there is a big title match in the main event.
[Q3] Summer Rae and Sasha Banks were on the stage after the commercial, while Paige and Emma were already in the ring...
3. Paige and Emma vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. Paige had to be restrained early on as she shouted at Banks. Emma also came aggressively for Rae when she tagged in. Although the action was actually intense in the ring, Dawson for some reason chose to ask Young about the ring gear the Divas were wearing. Way to not pigeonhole the lady on commentary, Tony!
Although the heels isolated Emma for a while, she managed to tag in Paige, and she in turn hit Rae with knees from the apron. She came close to ending the match with a fisherman suplex, but Banks broke the pin up. Emma came in to fight off Banks, but got thrown to the outside. Paige threw Banks out after her, only to be caught in a full nelson by Rae. Rae pulled Paige to the centre of the ring before hitting her with an inverted leg drop bulldog...
Summer Rae and Sasha Banks defeated Paige and Emma in 5:50.
The NXT Title match is up next...
Gutt Reaction: No complaints on match time there. A decent showing from the ladies. It’s nice to see babyfaces react how normal people would when facing off against people they hate. Paige’s fiery character would make for an awesome addition to the main Divas roster right now, especially since all the babyfaces (and all the heels except AJ) are really bland. But we’ve been saying that all year, so I wouldn’t hold my breathe for it happening soon.
The NXT Title graphic flashed onto the screen before Sami Zayn got a big pop for his entrance. As Dallas came out, a few fans had their backs turn towards him, with one holding a “No more Bo” sign. I hope that catches on, just as it would make for a unique visual. Saxton handled the introductions in-ring...
4. Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Title. Lots of stalling early on, with Dallas working a lot of head locks. Zayn fought back on the 4 minute mark, hitting Dallas with clotheslines before putting him on the mat with a back body drop. Dallas pulled himself up in the corner, and got hit by a running big boot. Zayn covered, and got the pinfall despite Dallas’ foot being on the ropes...
Sami Zayn defeated Bo Dallas in 4:33 to win the NXT Title.
The crowd didn’t even pop for the win. As Zayn was handed the title, JBL came out with a microphone, and said his reign as GM will not begin with controversy. He replayed the finish showing Dallas’ foot on the ropes, and ordered the ref to start the match again...
5. Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Title. Dallas charged at an unsuspecting Zayn, hitting him with a forearm that sent Zayn to the outside... [C]
[Q4] Dallas was on the outside when we returned, and Zayn dived over the ropes onto him. The crowd was hot as Zayn threw Dallas back in the ring and hit him with a crossbody. Dallas kicked out of the pin, and found himself back in the corner. This time he grabbed the running big boot from Zayn, only for Zayn to counter into a spin out powerbomb for another close two count. Zayn picked Dallas up, but Dallas kicked him in the stomach before running the ropes and kicking him in the head.
Dallas tried to finish the match first with a bulldog, and then a reverse DDT, but Zayn kicked out of both. He shot Zayn to the ropes, but Sami held on to them to give Dallas the slip, and then followed up with a spear. He attempted his springboard arm drag, but Dallas broke the wrist lock to send Zayn crotch first into the ropes. A big “No” chant broke out before Dallas nailed Zayn with a spear, but Zayn managed to kick out. Both men sold their fatigue as Dallas put Zayn on the top turnbuckle. Bo went for a superplex, only for Zayn to fight out and plant Dallas with a sunset flip powerbomb.
After Dallas once again kicked out, Zayn locked him in a waistlock. Dawson said the ref wasn’t watching the match briefly, tending to something in the corner. Zayn hit a German suplex, and maintained the hold as they returned to their feet. When he pushed Dallas into the ropes, the turnbuckle pad fell off. Zayn hit a second German, and seemed to be setting up a third, but Dallas grabbed the ropes in the corner, and forced Zayn’s head into the exposed turnbuckle. The ref was handing the removed pad to someone at ringside at the time, so didn’t disqualify Dallas, only to turn his attention back to the action when Dallas pinned Zayn...
Bo Dallas defeated Sami Zayn in 7:22 to retain the NXT Title.
The commentators questioned how the pad came off as Dallas posed with the title as smoke shot down from the ceiling. They showed extensive highlights of the match without showing how the pad came lose, and no answer was given before NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: It’s baffling to think that a match with two screwy endings could be good, but the action after the commercial was fantastic. The Cult of Full Sail brought into the match like crazy, and it may be the most animated I’ve ever seen them. Having said that, if the turnbuckle was loosened by the ref under JBLs orders, consider this a pre-emptive “yawn” – there is no need for any more heel authority figures, especially when JBL has no reason to side with Dallas or against Zayn. They can establish a reason, but the storyline is beyond played out already, so why not use NXT as a proving ground for a new type of GM? Why not a fair but firm one, which JBL is more than capable of being?
This felt like an end of taping show. Lots of feuds culminated tonight, but all but one of them left the door open for more to come. I am relatively intrigued with all three, so I’m happy to see them continue, but there are one or two major pitfalls each feud needs to avoid (heel JBL for the main event, another cheap finish for Breeze/Parker, and yet another Summer/Paige title programme where Paige wins, etc.) if they want to continue to hold interest.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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