1/16 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Report: An in-ring heavy show featuring Kofi Kingston vs. Alexander Rusev, Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze, Bo Dallas vs. Mojo Rawley, and CJ Parker vs. Jason Jordan
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped November 21 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, an awkwardly overdubbed soundbite of Tom Phillips talking about the WWE Network played as Adrian Neville made his entrance. Byron Saxton and Tensai checked in as Tyler Breeze walked to the ring...
1. Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze. Breeze ended up on the outside early on, and Neville teased diving over the ropes, only to handstand off the ropes as Breeze cowered. Neville continued to control the match when Breeze climbed back in, but he too soon found himself on the outside after getting dropkicked off the apron. This sent us into the first commercial... [C]
[Q2] Breeze was checking himself in his phone when we returned, but as he charged Neville he ended up on the receiving end of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Neville followed up with a dropkick to Breeze's head for a two count. Neville went to the apron, and tried for a springboard, only to be caught by a dropkick to give Breeze a two count of his own. Breeze backed into the corner, and went for the Beauty Shot when Neville got to his feet, but Neville ducked it. Neville landed a roundhouse kick, and went top rope, but instead of the Red Arrow, he went for a corkscrew 450 splash. Breeze moved however, and got a very close two count. He went for the Beauty Shot again, only for Neville to catch him in a powerbomb.
Neville climbed to the top rope, but Breeze cut him off not once, but twice. Breeze looked to be going for a Frankensteiner, but Neville held the top rope to cause Breeze to crash to the mat. Neville successfully hit the Red Arrow, and got the 1-2-3...
Adrian Neville defeated Tyler Breeze in 8:43.
The commentators relayed Neville's desire to get another NXT title shot...
Bo Dallas vs. Mojo Rawley was advertised for the show...
Gutt Reaction: Great way to kick off the show. This had been the match I had hoped for in terms of showcasing what Breeze can do in a longer form match. He was always going to be outshined by Neville in the aerial department, but he certainly showed he's no slough when it comes to the athletic side of the game. Unfortunately, this seemed to be a blow off match, which is good for both guys as singles competitors, as they can now return to winning ways, but I had hoped this wouldn't be a one and done feud. Based on this match, that hope was justified.
CJ Parker made his return to NXT after being absent for a few weeks. It's only just struck me how much his opponent Jason Jordan looks like Troy from Community. He showed off an impressive standing backflip before the bell rang... [C]
2. CJ Parker vs. Jason Jordan. Jordan took initial control with some amateur wrestling manoeuvres. Parker broke Jordan's waist lock by running him into the ropes before levelling him with an axe kick. He then put the match away with his Third Eye palm strike...
CJ Parker defeated Jason Jordan in 1:05.
Gutt Reaction: What a gloriously stupid finishing move. Parker makes it look as impactful as possible, so it's more believable than the Cobra, but it still seems bizarre that it could put someone down for 3.
[Q3] Mojo Rawley's high energy entrance loses it's edge when people he's screaming at in the front row look bewildered. Bo Dallas got some decent heat for his entrance...
3. Mojo Rawley vs. Bo Dallas. The match is a non-title affair. Lots of stalling early on with Rawley causing separation with his strength. Dallas put a stop to it with a cheap kick during a test of strength. Saxton explained that Dallas is wearing all white attire tonight to show his fans that he is "as pure as the driven Bo". Rawley got back in the game with shoulder tackles, and hit two corner splashes before Dallas rolled to the apron to avoid the third. Rawley dragged him back inside, but Dallas sidestepped another corner splash, and rolled him up. Dallas held Rawley's tights to get the win...
Bo Dallas defeated Mojo Rawley in 3:29.
Saxton seemed to be going heel by saying he was OK with Dallas using the tights to get the win...
Gutt Reaction: It was fairly obvious from the sheer amount of stalling that Rawley is still too green for TV. As I've stated before, I'm not a Rawley hater, but I can't also be oblivious to the fact that he is just not ready to hang with most of the NXT roster. If he has to be used, have him in squash matches where his limited offence can be masked.
As Phillips started to introduce the main event, Lana walked onto the stage to cut him off, and she in turn introduced Alexander Rusev. Kofi got a typical "end of taping" pop (read: not very loud)...
4. Kofi Kingston vs. Alexander Rusev. The story of the early going was Rusev stonewalling all of Kofi's offence with pure power. Kofi's first break came when he managed to send Rusev to the outside, but Rusev recovered quickly enough to sidestep the baseball slide and take it to Kingston again. He tried to send Kofi into the ring steps, but Kofi leapt over them before using them as a launch pad for a diving clothesline. He hyped up the crowd as we went into the last commercial... [C]
[Q4] Kofi tried for the ten punches in the corner, but got dropped with a powerbomb from Rusev. Rusev kept Kofi on the mat and slowed the pace to a crawl. The crowd seemed to get bored, starting a Mexican wave. Kofi caught a break with a headscissors, and started to fire up until Rusev caught him and hit him with knees to the ribs. Rusev looked to throw Kofi with a Samoan drop, but Kofi turned it into a crucifix pin for a two.
Kofi went to the corner, and suckered Rusev in for the pendulum kick. A follow up top rope cross body backfired, as Rusev caught him and put him down with a Samoan drop. He tried for a corner splash, but Kofi dodged and hit the SOS for another two count. Kofi hit a few kicks to a seated Rusev, only for Rusev to spring up and intercept a third one with a body check.
He looked for the Accolade, but Kofi escaped and hit his superman punch. He followed up with the Boom Drop, and as he motioned for the Trouble in Paradise, Lana got on the apron and started shouting. Kofi seemed to be distracted, but he managed to dodge Rusev's sneak corner splash, and hit the TIP to pick up the win...
Kofi Kingston defeated Alexander Rusev in 12:08.
Lana looked on with a pouty face as Kofi celebrated and NXT came to a close...
Gutt Reaction: Definitely Rusev's best match, as Kofi bumped like a champ to sell his power. It was your basic big guy/quick guy set up, so it wasn't ground breaking, but it was watchable. I'm really surprised Kofi won though, especially since one spoiler report I read stated that Rusev won. It doesn't damage Rusev though, as the loss can be blamed on Lana, and theres no shame in losing to a main roster guy. He'll destroy a guy next week and the status quo is back.
This hour flew by. It's surprising that the show lacked promo segments, but the result of dropping them was giving more time to two matches, both of which utilised the extra minutes to put on better shows. I'd check them out if you have the time, especially the opener. This was the last show from this taping, and everything was wrapped up nicely, so next week will be intriguing as it marks a fresh start for pretty much everyone. It's even more interesting since it will also mark the beginning of the build to the NXT live special on the Network.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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