Zim's WWE NXT Review: Sami Zayn vs. Bo Dallas 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 Zack Zimmerman
Aired October 16, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped September 12 at Full Sail University
A great video package recapped the history between Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn, hyping the main event for the NXT Championship… The opening video played… The show opened with the entrance of the new NXT tag team champions, The Ascension. The commentators, Tony Dawson, Renee Young, and William Regal, checked in. Adrian Neville was out next, followed by Corey Graves.
1. The Ascension (c) vs. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Graves spent the opening minute firing away with shots on Victor as the commentators put him over and said he had a chip on his shoulder. He locked in a hanging figure-four necklock before Neville tagged in and delivered a springboard dropkick. Neville hit a hard running elbow and seemed to be in control, but O’Brian dropped the middle rope and Neville toppled to ringside. [C]
Back from break, The Ascension were in control of Neville. He was selling his leg, but managed to tag in Graves. Graves hit some signature offense and connected with the chop block. He applied Lucky 13 in the middle of the ring, and O’Brian was in trouble but Victor ran in and broke it up. Neville tagged in but was still limping on the bad leg, but O’Brian quickly took control. Regal did a good job of getting over how both members of the team were working through injuries. Neville took a hard dropkick that sent him into Graves and knocked him off the apron. The Ascension hit their high/low on Neville and scored the win.
The Ascension defeated Adrian Neville and Corey Graves in about 6:00 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
The commentators got over the cohesiveness and dominance of The Ascension as they stood tall in the ring. Graves was shown seething and bitter on the outside. The Ascension made their way up the ramp and Graves made his way into the ring. He harped on Neville that they just missed their shot. Neville apologized and Graves helped him back to his feet, only to hit the ropes and take him down with the chop block. He rained punches on Neville and yelled “they’re gone” regarding the tag titles. He stood over Neville and showed him the “stay down” tattoo on his knuckles…
Scott Stanford hyped the main event, Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship, later in the show. He also hyped CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Good looking win to establish the new tag champs, and a well-done breakup. The Ascension are starting to click as a team. Neville and Graves were a team brought together over mutual enemies in the Wyatts, and the only thing that held them together were the tag titles, so this is a logical progression rather than a case of rushing the breakup. I’m looking forward to a series of matches between the two. It’s time for some new tag teams to show up and establish themselves as contenders though, because the well has pretty much run dry in that division.
Back from break, the commentators discussed Graves turning on Neville. Regal defended the actions of Graves while Young advocated for Neville… Tyler Breeze made his catwalk entrance and selfie’d his way to the ring. CJ Parker was out next with none of his usual shenanigans; he was all business here.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. CJ Parker. The crowd chanted “Breeze is gorgeous.” Parker came out with chops on Breeze and used an airplane spin, but got a “fruity pebbles” chant in response. Parker got a quick two-count with a slingshot sunset flip. He feigned a stomp to the head, and Breeze got mad at that. Breeze shoved Parker backwards Parker knocked Breeze on his ass.
Parker missed a dropkick, and Breeze went to his phone to make sure he looked okay. He threw weak slapping strikes to Parker’s back, and Parker caught Breeze in an Oklahoma roll for a near-fall. Parker hit a running clothesline and Breeze begged off, pulling the ring apron into the ring as Parker dragged him back in. The referee went to fix it, allowing Breeze to use a thumb to the eye and hit the spinning wheel kick for the win.
Tyler Breeze beat CJ Parker in about 3:15.
William Regal was overjoyed as “an old villain” to see Breeze use a classic tactic like using the ring apron to distract the referee. Breeze grabbed his phone and took a selfie with Parker, but Parker broke free and hit his palm thrust. The crowd didn’t respond the way it was intended, and they were largely behind Breeze. Parker took Breeze’s phone to take selfies with the crowd, but the only people willing to do it with him were older ladies. Funny…
Scott Stanford hyped Paige and Emma taking on Summer Rae and Sasha Banks, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Ho-hum match in a ho-hum program. The ideas aren’t bad, the people just aren’t responding the way they should be, and creative hasn’t called any audibles to make it work. I like Parker more than most others seem to, so I’m hoping they find a way to make this click. I still want to see more from Breeze than a Zoolander impression and spinning wheel kick.
Back in the arena, NXT Women’s Champion Paige made her entrance. Emma danced her way out next, taking a few seconds on the ramp to pop some bubbles. The duo of Summer Rae and Sasha Banks made their entrance next.
3. Paige and Emma vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. Paige came out strong against both heels in the opening minute. Emma tagged in and Summer sprinted back to her corner and tagged in Sasha. Emma spent the next minute going to work on Sasha before Sasha took control with the help of Summer from the apron.
The heels spent several minutes on offense before Emma broke free and made the hot tag to Paige. Paige hung Summer over the middle rope and hit repeated knee strikes. She overcame a double-team attempt and hit a perfect-plex for a near-fall that was broken up by Sasha. Both Sasha and Emma were knocked to ringside, and Summer hit Paige with an inverted legdrop bulldog and scored the pinfall.
Summer Rae and Sasha Banks beat Paige and Emma in about 5:45.
Post-match, The BFFs boasted and taunted in the ring… Scott Stanford hyped the main event title match coming up next…
Zim’s Zag: Nice tag match from the ladies here. Nothing great, but nothing stood out as being bad. I’m curious to see whether this continues as a tag program, and also to see what comes of the friction that’s been hinted at between Paige and Emma.
Byron Saxton stood in the ring and announced that the following match was for the NXT Championship. Sami Zayn was out first to a good reaction. NXT champ Bo Dallas was out next. Both men got full championship intros in the ring as the crowd chanted “Ole” for Zayn and “No more Bo” against Bo.
4. Sami Zayn vs. Bo Dallas (c) for the NXT Championship. Zayn got the better of Dallas with an armdrag takedown and the crowd started a “Bo has cooties” chant. Funny. Zayn got several two-counts on quick rollup attempts and the crowd chanted “Pocahontas” at Dallas. One fan in the crowd yelled “If you want Sami to win, give me a “hell yeah!”” and the crowd responded as one with a loud “hell yeah!”
Dallas gained the upper hand and dropped repeating knees while making frantic pin covers, trying to end it early. Dallas slowed things down with a cravat and continued to work over Zayn. Around the four-minute mark, Zayn fired back and hit the Yakuza kick in the corner. Zayn made the cover and appeared to score the pinfall, but Dallas’ foot was on the rope. General Manager JBL came out and said that the era of the wrestling god wasn’t going to start with controversy. He called for a replay and restarted the match. Dallas ambushed Zayn right out of the gate. [C]
Back from break, Dallas was still in control and got a two-count with a back-elbow, before going back to the cravat. Zayn managed to work back up and dropped the top rope, sending Dallas crashing to ringside. The crowd rallied and Zayn hit a great flipping tope over the top rope. He followed up back in the ring and got a good near-fall with a diving crossbody. Zayn set up for the Yakuza kick again, but Bo managed to catch his foot. Zayn came right back with a great blue-thunder bomb for a hot near-fall.
The crowd chanted “Let’s go Sami,” but Bo came right back with a boot to the side of the head and a springboard bulldog for a near-fall of his own. Dallas hit an inverted DDT for another two-count, but missed his belly-to-belly and Zayn used Dallas’ spear for a great near-fall. The crowd was amped up and Zayn went for his rope-run DDT, but Bo knocked Zayn’s arm and crotched Zayn on the top rope. He followed up with the spear, but Zayn managed to kick out before three and the crowd popped huge.
Dallas hoisted Zayn up to the top turnbuckle and went for a superplex, but Zayn reversed into a huge sitout sunset flip powerbomb. He scrambled into the cover, but Dallas managed to kick out before three. Zayn hit a German suplex and held onto the waist, but Dallas had pulled the turnbuckle pad off one of the corners. Zayn connected with a second German and was going for the third, but Dallas ran forward and dropped between the turnbuckles, sending Zayn head-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Dallas shot in with a schoolboy rollup and got the pinfall.
Bo Dallas beat Sami Zayn in about 14:00 to retain the NXT Championship.
Steam shot down from the rig above the ring and Dallas celebrated with his title. Replays highlighted the great near-falls and the finish. The commentators put Dallas over and didn’t play up much sympathy or defense for Zayn. They also missed mentioning that JBL didn’t want controversy to start his era, yet Dallas won controversially. Eh, they’re still loads better than A-Ry…
Zim’s Zag: Great main event with a questionable finish. The fans were super hot for the action, and have been salivating for the opportunity to see Zayn get his hands on Dallas. I question the finish only because sometimes it’s best to go with the hottest acts, much like WWE missed the boat with Daniel Bryan. I’ll reserve total judgment to see if it’s a case of delayed gratification.
Overall this was a solid show throughout. The Parker-Breeze thing isn’t very good right now, but watching characters growing into themselves is a fun process. The tag title match was good with an intriguing twist, the Divas’ match was fine, and the main event was excellent. Not much to complain about this week. Thumbs up.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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