Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas and Adrian Neville sign the contract for their Feb 27th Live Special NXT Title match, The Miz vs. CJ Parker, and ROH's Q T Marshall appears in tag action against The Ascension
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped January 9 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, the lights went out and The Ascension's mood lighting lit up the stage. Konnor has abandoned his big collared coat for a chainmail vest. Classy. William Regal, Alex Riley and Tom Phillips checked in on commentary as The Ascension clambered in the ring to face their jobber opponents, one of which is ROH's Q T Marshall...
1. The Ascension vs. Mike Cuellari and John Ikerino. Marshall is working under his real name again. He got dominated by Viktor, who threw him down with suplexs several times before applying a double wrist lock. Cuellari escaped and tagged Ikerino, but Ikerino got levelled by a clothesline from Viktor. Konnor then took him out with another huge clothesline, before tagging in Viktor and executing the Fall of Man...
The Ascension defeated Mike Cuellari and John Ikerino in 2:20.
Backstage, Sylvester Lefort was holding auditions for his new protégé in an office. Cal Bishop, making his NXT debut, walked in, and said he was a decorated amateur wrestler. Lefort asked about his ears, and Bishop said they had been cauliflowered after years of wrestling. Lefort asked is he could hear him, and Bishop said he could. Lefort declined him anyway, saying he would never "put those ears on TV". He dismissed Bishop and shouted "Next!"... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I like the idea of introducing a lot of mid-to-low card talent through the Lefort segments. Not everyone can be afforded a big début, but this gives them the opportunity to introduce themselves instead of just being fed to a Rusev or Ascension type. The Ascension still bore me. I may copy and paste that for all future Ascension matches.
[Q2] Corey Graves made his return to NXT after a few months out with concussion. He grabbed a mic when he got in the ring, and said "Forgiveness is a cowards way out of a fight." He claimed Adrian Neville tried to end his career in their 2 out of 3 falls match, and he will never forgive him for that. He told Neville he has a message for him, and the whole NXT locker room - "Stay... tuned". Camacho wheeled out on his bicycle...
2. Corey Graves vs. Camacho. Graves is wearing slightly sparkly skinny jeans. Did Batista ransack his locker after this taping? After the initial lock-up, Graves slid to the outside. Camacho went to follow, but as he put his leg between the ropes, Graves grabbed it and pulled it down. Camacho sold the damage in the ring, and Graves quickly capitalised by applying the Lucky 13. Camacho screamed as he tapped...
Corey Graves defeated Camacho in 1:19.
Graves held on for a while before releasing the hold. He showed his STAY DOWN tattoo to the audience...
Backstage, Devon Taylor introduced her guest, Antonio Cesaro. She asked why he turned down Sami Zayn's challenge for a rematch last week. Cesaro couldn't understand why people can't just accept "no" as an answer. He said he had already beaten Zayn, and why would he bother doing it again now that Zayn is on crutches, as he couldn't beat him when he was healthy. Cesaro said he had better things to do, before walking off...
Gutt Reaction: Sound logic by Cesaro, and it kind of explains away his denial despite previous requests for better competition. It's good to see Graves back again (as long as he loses those jeans immediately), and his promo leads me to believe even more that Neville will win the NXT Title on the live special before moving on to feud with Graves.
Renee Young joined commentary as Bayley and Natalya made her way out. She shook Regal's hand, but blew off Phillips and Riley. Sasha Banks came out with Summer Rae and the returning Charlotte...
3. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks. Bayley, uncharacteristically, tried to get at Charlotte, but Banks attacked her from behind before she could reach her. She toyed with Bayley before locking her in a straitjacket hold. Bayley escaped, and tried to fire up with running forearms. She managed to knock Banks down long enough to climb to the top rope, but Charlotte climbed on the apron to distract her.
Natalya pulled her down, and the two brawled. Bayley climbed down from the corner, and got rolled up by Banks. She kicked out, and when they both got up, she quickly threw Banks with the Belly-to-Bayley suplex, getting the 1-2-3... [C]
Bayley defeated Sasha Banks in 2:42.
Gutt Reaction: This feud is really starting to drag. These matches appear to only exist so the combatants can trade wins. The back to back injuries for Emma and Paige have really taken the wind out of the women's division's sails.
[Q3]Colin Cassady came out and spelt "S-A-W-F-T" out for the crowd. As Tyler Breeze made his cat walk entrance, Regal said his coat this week was made of Peruvian chinchilla. There was a lot of stalling from Breeze before the bell, as he got annoyed at the crowd's "Swaft" taunts. He kept looking at himself in his phone, so Cassady went out of the ring, grabbed a phone off of a fan, and took selfies of himself. Unfortunately, the flash on the back of the phone gave it away that he probably wasn't taking selfies...
4. Colin Cassady vs. Tyler Breeze. Breeze tried to start off quickly, but Cassady punched him in the face. This took Breeze off his game, and Big Cass took it to him with a leg drop, followed by a running big boot. As Breeze kicked out, Aiden English appeared on the tron. He said everyone was a "G" until a real artist walks in the door. He opened a door to reveal Enzo Amore talking on the phone. Enzo got annoyed, but started to panic as English advanced towards him and closed the door. The distraction allowed Breeze to recover and nail Cassady with the Beauty Shot...
Tyler Breeze defeated Colin Cassady in 2:21.
Cassady quickly ran backstage to find where Enzo was. When he found him, Amore said that English had a crazy look in his eye, but had only threatened him. Cassady said English was playing games, but he would get his own back. Amore called him sawft and said he liked Cassady's intensity. "That's how you stack Ws, big guy"...
Gutt Reaction: Smart booking all round. Cassady can absorb the loss by blaming it on English, and it gives the feud a nice injection of intensity. All of that dissipates whenever Amore is around, but Big Cass is starting to show signs that he can do much more than just comedy.
CJ Parker was met with silence for his entrance, whereas The Miz was greeted favourably. What is going on?!?! . .
5. The Miz vs. CJ Parker. The Miz started off by slapping Parker for revenge, before both men engaged in knife edge chops. Miz no sold an atomic drop and dropkicked Parker to the outside. He followed up with a baseball slide before throwing Parker back inside. Parker tried to stem the tide with his axe kick, and followed it up with a running double knee to the corner. Miz fought out of a headlock, and seemed to be taking things home with running clotheslines followed by the Reality Check neckbreaker. After working over the leg a little, he went for the Figure Four, only for Parker to kick him away.
Miz went for his running clothesline in the corner, but Parker met him with an elbow. Parker went top rope and dived for a crossbody, but Miz rolled through and applied the Figure Four. Parker made weird, high pitched "No" screams for a while before tapping...
The Miz defeated CJ Parker in 4:34.
Riley forced his way into complimenting Miz, but Regal sang his praises openly...
Backstage, Zayn (wearing a "Free Syria" t-shirt) was being asked about Cesaro turning his rematch offer down. Zayn said Cesaro had every right to turn him down, but he isn't going to go away, because the thought of his lost won't go away. He challenged Cesaro to come to the ring and say "no" to his face next week...
Sylvester Lefort was muttering to himself in French before Mason Ryan walked in. Lefort looked overjoyed, and Mason seemed to agree to work for Lefort by offering his hand to shake. When Lefort grabbed it however, Ryan pulled him in close, and told him he'd work for him under one condition – Lefort beats him in a match... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I take it back, anything that furthers the terrible Ryan/Lefort feud is a bad thing. The Miz and Parker put on a better match than I expected, but I wouldn't be in a rush to see it again. If Parker is turning heel, he needs to do it against a much stronger babyface the Miz.
[Q4] Renee Young, stood in the ring, introduced Adrian Neville first for the contract signing. There was no table or chairs in the ring. Dallas was introduced, but his music played with no sign of him. Neville grabbed the mic, and said it doesn't matter if Dallas comes out, as he still has his match. Why have a contract signing then? Neville signed the contract, and that brought out Dallas.
He said he wasn't scared of Neville, he was just getting tired of him. He told Neville and Renee to take a chair, as he was going to show them why he is the NXT Champion. He asked for his opponent to come out.
Danny Burch made his way out, and Neville and Renee sat at ringside...
6. Bo Dallas vs. Danny Burch. A "tighty whiteys" chant broke out, aimed at Dallas. Dallas hit Burch with elbow strikes while starring at Neville. Burch rallied back briefly, but Dallas put him back down with a running elbow. Dallas followed up with a double arm DDT, which got him the pinfall...
Bo Dallas defeated Danny Burch in 2:19.
Dallas told Young to bring in the contract. Neville brought it in instead. Dallas signed, and smiled as he said "I'll see you on the 27th". As he went to walk away, he blind sided Neville. He got out of the ring, and posed with the title, but unbeknownst to him, Neville had got back up, and he took Dallas out with a suicide dive. The two brawled as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: Another flat end to the NXT Title feud segment. The squash match served no purpose, other than shielding Neville from having to talk for too long. But if that is a problem, why book a contract signing? They have thus far done a poor job of building to what should be the biggest match in NXT history.
Another short-matchhappy show. I liked what was done to advance the Cassady/English feud, and The Miz/Parker was better than I had envisioned, but two weeks of squash matches has taken momentum out of the show, when they desperately need it.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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