10/24 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves, Emma vs. Sasha Banks, Alexander Rusev vs. CJ Parker, The Ascension in action, and follow up to last week's NXT Title match
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped October 10 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Emma danced her way to the ring, popping bubbles as she went. Sasha Banks came out with Summer Rae as Tom Phillips, Alex Riley and Tensai checked in on commentary...
1. Emma vs. Sasha Banks. The fans were right behind Emma early on as she looked for a quick roll up pin. Riley fawned over Emma in a slightly creepy manner on commentary. After escaping an arm bar, Banks took control by slamming Emma’s head into the turnbuckles. After getting hit by three of the four, Emma put a foot on the middle turnbuckle to stop Banks slamming her into the fourth one. After a few slams of her own, Emma charged Banks, only to be sidestepped and forced into the fourth corner. Banks took her down with a mat slam before the first commercial... [C]
[Q2] Banks had Emma locked in a headlock/body scissors combo when we returned. Emma took her time getting out of hold, only to be took straight back down with a forearm from Banks. Banks taunted Emma while she was down, causing Emma to slap her. Banks retaliated with a flurry of weak looking slaps to Emma’s back before applying the headlock/body scissors combo again. Emma escaped a second time, and built momentum with clotheslines before throwing Banks to the corner and putting her in the Dil-Emma. She followed up with the running low crossbody, and then went to apply the Emma lock.
Summer Rae jumped on the apron, which caused Emma to abandon the submission attempt. Paige ran down and pulled Rae off of the apron, but the distraction allowed Banks to roll Emma up for the 1-2-3...
Sasha Banks defeated Emma in 6:57.
Banks began to taunt Emma again, oblivious to Paige getting in the ring behind her. Paige went to clothesline Banks, but she ducked, causing Paige to hit Emma instead. Banks and Rae escaped up the ramp as Paige tried to help Emma up. Emma pushed her away, and the two started to bicker in the ring...
We quickly cut to a video of Bo Dallas walking backstage last week. The interviewer asked about the controversy surrounding his title defence against Sami Zayn. Dallas blew it off, and said the only thing that mattered was that he was still NXT Champion.
Bo said he wanted to tell his Bo-Lievers that he was taking a vacation. He intended to tour the world, making a special stop off in Bolivia to deliver "10,000 squirt guns to starving children". He told his fans not to stop Bo-Lieving before leaving...
Gutt Reaction: A fairly run of the mill Divas match, but I’m confused as to why the post match shenanigans weren’t given a lot of time to develop before we cut to the video of Dallas. You don’t need to give the heel turn away, but listening to what Paige and Emma were saying to each other would have given some insight into how this storyline may play out. Also, he may still be really vanilla in the ring, but I can’t praise Dallas enough for turning his character around. He’s becoming dangerously close to being too funny for a heel.
A replay of last weeks NXT Tag Title match aired, including the post match beatdown on Adrian Neville by Corey Graves. When we returned to the arena, Graves was stood on the ramp in a suit. He said he supposed an explanation was in order. But before he could give one, Neville attacked him from behind.
The two brawled down the ramp and into the ring before refs ran down to break it up. Graves slid out of the ring, and Neville threw the refs off to deliver a dive over the ropes onto Graves. The two were again separated before a Hell in a Cell teaser aired...
Gutt Reaction: Most of the time, I like it when faces attack heels unexpectedly. Yes, it’s usually a heel tactic, but Neville has legit reasons to not hold back and be "respectful" of Graves, so why can’t he try and get the first punch in? I hope the intensity is upped in the coming weeks, as it’ll make it easier on Neville when delivering promos if all he has to do is angrily shout down the camera (or not talk at all).
Jobbers Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor were shown in the ring before The Ascension made their entrance...
2. The Ascension vs. Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor. The Ascension isolated Maron with power moves, and Rick Victor knocked Taylor off of the apron when Maron attempted to tag out. The champions put the squash match to bed with the running high/low combo, which Phillips dubbed the "Fall of Man"...
The Ascension defeated Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor in 2:25.
The Ascension did their roar routine over the fallen Maron before we jumped to a replay of the finish of Sami Zayn vs. Bo Dallas last week. This time a video aired of Zayn walking backstage last week, and the interviewer asked how he felt about the ending of the match. Zayn said he had no problem with JBL restarting the match as Dallas’ feet were clearly on the ropes, but he did have a problem with JBL not restarting the match a second time after Dallas forced his head into the exposed turnbuckle.
Zayn said he is starting to understand how Daniel Bryan feels like, in that it’s like he’s being held back because he’s not the "chosen guy". He questioned HHH appointing JBL to a position of power on NXT, only for something like this to go down shortly after. He concluded by saying he didn’t think it was a conspiracy, but it was a hell of a coincidence, and next time the NXT Title won’t be leaving his hands... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I had really hoped the Ascension squash matches had ended, but evidently not. I have high hopes for the tag division on NXT, and this wasn’t a reassuring start. Great follow up promo from Zayn though. Mirroring the main event of WWE so closely could be very detrimental, but Zayn will play the anti-establishment underdog roll very well if required.
[Q3] Backstage, Renee Young introduced JBL. Young asked for JBL’s reaction to Zayn’s accusations of conspiracy. JBL said Copernicus must have been wrong, as the world evidently revolves around Sami Zayn. JBL said Zayn was looking for an excuse, but he would be taking the accusations very seriously. He said Zayn won’t be on NXT until he apologises to him...
CJ Parker entered the arena, still in possession of Tyler Breeze’s phone. His photo taking was cut short by the arrival of Alexander Rusev, who came out without Sylvester Lefort...
3. CJ Parker vs. Alexander Rusev. Rusev forced Parker to the corner and hit him with knees. Parker was soon on the receiving end of a running body splash against the ropes, and then found himself in the corner. As Rusev charged and hit him with a back splash, a lady in a red dress started to circle the ring. Rusev locked Parker in a camel clutch, which Phillips dubbed the Accolade. Parker quickly gave in ...
Alexander Rusev defeated CJ Parker in 1:14.
The lady walked to the backstage area as Rusev celebrated...
A World Tour report aired, advertising Bryan vs. Orton, Cena vs. Del Rio and Axel vs. Truth for my house show in Birmingham. So you mean to tell me on top of not getting to see the Wyatts, I have to sit through Axel vs. Truth? Can I get a refund this far out for severe lack of entertainment? . .
Phillips said that during the "commercial", Tyler Breeze ran out and hit Parker with a spinning heel kick, which Phillips called the Beauty Shot. Phillips is on a roll tonight! Breeze then used scissors to cut off two of Parker’s dreadlocks...
Gutt Reaction: It’s a little thing, but I can’t imagine Parker’s best pleased that two of his (presumably real) dreadlocks got cut off, and only managed to get shown in a replay. Those things take a ridiculously long time to grow, so I’d want main event screen time to sacrifice them! This half of the NXT team on this site doesn’t have a clue who the woman was, but this is how the Dot Net NXT coverage works – you come here for the laughs, and then Zim’s for the facts.
Corey Graves was out first for the main event. Riley said Neville had elevated Graves, but Tensai argued that Graves was good enough to succeed on his own... [C]
[Q4] CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze and Paige vs. Summer Rae were advertised for last week...
Neville received a nice pop as he made his way down to the ring...
4. Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves. Neville flew at Graves with a dropkick straight from the bell. A second dropkick sent Graves to the outside, and Neville performed his swivel dive over the ropes onto him. Back in the ring, Neville landed kicks to Graves’ chest, and Graves begged him off, only to cut Neville off at the knee and start to focus on wearing the leg down. Whenever Neville would rally, Graves would attack the leg to put a stop to him.
Neville fought out of a cross legged hold, and when Graves shot him to the ropes, he managed to take him down with a flying forearm. Neville went top rope, but took some time to get up there due to the injury. Graves ran at him, and Neville jumped over him. Although he sold the leg some more, he managed to snatch a close two count from a roll up pin. After the kick out, Graves utilised the separation to run at Neville and hit a low chop block. He then applied the Lucky 13, and although Neville held on, he eventually tapped...
Corey Graves defeated Adrian Neville in 7:08.
Tensai praised Graves strategy as replays aired. When they had finished, Graves had Neville in the Lucky 13 again, this time on the ramp. Refs ran down to break the hold, which Graves eventually did. He smiled as he walked up the ramp and NXT came to a close...
Gutt Reaction: The exact right start for the feud. While not thrill-a-minute stuff between the ropes, they told a good story, one that will hopefully get the fans to rally behind Neville, hoping to see him take on Graves without the leg injury. Having said that, the crowd weren’t into the post match attack, and the Cult of Full Sail were actually chanting "Alex Riley". I don’t think I could ever be disinterested enough in a match to consider chanting for Alex Riley. Who am I kidding, I’d chant the time keepers name during Axel vs. Truth if it meant the match would end quicker.
I was happy with the main event story being laid out here though. With Zayn and Dallas absent from this TV taping, Neville vs. Graves may well be the big storyline on NXT for a few weeks, so this strong a start was vital if it’s to interest people without the aid of a title. Elsewhere, little seeds were sown for other storylines, so NXT may be worth sticking around this month.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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