2/20 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Last push for the NXT Network special, Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze, Emma vs. Summer Rae, and Renee Young sits down with Sami Zayn and Cesaro
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped January 30 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, we were shown The Ascension mid-entrance. The crowd greeted them with a loud “Sha!” chant as they got in the ring and stared down their jobber opponents, who were christened Casey Marian and Like Mike Labosca. Yep, his first name is Like. . .
1. The Ascension vs. Casey Marian and Like Mike Labosca. Tensai put over how impressive the Ascension's title reign has been. The match was a complete squash, where The Ascension isolated Marian with a few power moves before putting him down with an ill-timed Fall of Man. . .
The Ascension defeated Casey Marian and Like Mike Labosca in 1.32
Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze was advertised for later in the show. . . [C]
Gutt Reaction: This again? Not going to dignify this act with analysis until they do something of note.
[Q2] Eden Stiles announced that Tyler Breeze had entered the building. She introduced the BFFs, as the commentary team of Tensai, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton hyped next weeks Paige vs. Emma NXT Women's Title match, that will take place on the NXT arRIVAL show. Emma and Bayley made their entrance, with Bayley holding up a sign that was a little difficult to make out with all the lights in the arena. . .
2. Emma vs. Summer Rae. Emma went for a lot of pin attempts early on, all to no avail. She tried for the Dil-Emma, but Rae caught her with a knee and shoved her to the outside. Sasha Banks and Charlotte circled her, but didn't touch her, allowing her to roll back in the ring into the clutches of Rae. Summer worked Emma over on the mat before we went into an Elimination Chamber advert. . .
Rae continued to wear down Emma, until Emma managed to escape a headlock with an arm drag. She suckered Rae into the Dil-Emma, before releasing the hold and hitting her with the running low crossbody. Emma seemed to be setting up for the Emma Lock, but Rae kicked her to the ropes, where Banks managed to slap her before the referee caught her. Shortly after, Rae charged, but Emma side stepped her and sent her crashing into Banks on the apron. It appears as though Charlotte was meant to break her fall, but she didn't get a good grasp of her, and Banks hit the ramp pretty hard. Emma took advantage of the situation by applying the Emma Lock, to which Rae tapped. . .
Emma defeated Summer Rae in 7.12
Bayley got in the ring with the sign, which this time could be made out as “Summer's Teeth; Sumer Yellow, Sumer Green”. They danced as the BFFs retreated. . .
Backstage, Devon Taylor introduced Tyler Breeze. She asked for his thoughts on his match with Neville. He said somehow “that uggo” had become No. 1 contender. He paused, and then came to the conclusion that should Neville win the NXT Championship, he would become the “Face of NXT”. He said he didn't want Neville to represent him, so tonight, Neville will receive his first ever Beauty Shot. . . [C]
Gutt Reaction: I implore you all to find the NXT Presentation Skills video featuring Breeze, Neville and Scott Dawson, as Breeze is a riot. I guess the never ending feud between the BFFs and Bayley and friends will roll on, but the match was good. The Emma Lock looks really good when done correctly like it was here.
[Q3] Renee Young was sat backstage, and she introduced Cesaro on her left, and Sami Zayn on her right, who where also seated. I'm slightly surprised they showed restraint in not comically bleeping out “Antonio”, and also a little disappointed that they didn't. Young brought up their first 2 out of 3 falls match, saying it was described as “match of the year” by some. Zayn said before they talk about that, he wanted to congratulate Cesaro on qualifying for the Elimination Chamber. Cesaro very quietly and humbly said lots of people had congratulated him, and he hopes to be back on NXT as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It came off really odd for some reason.
Young laid down some ground rules for the interview, starting by stating that should Zayn touch Cesaro, he would forfeit all future NXT Title shots. Cesaro brushed the rule off by saying Zayn was never going to get another NXT Title shot anyway, and then said the more important rule applies to him – should he touch Zayn, he would forfeit his spot in the Chamber.
Young started to ask Zayn if he would be 100% fit for the match, but Cesaro cut him off by saying he would never be 100% ready to face him, as he has an Achilles heel, or an “Achilles knee” in this case. Zayn said doctors had medically cleared him to compete. Young followed up by asking Zayn about the possibility of Cesaro's Chamber appearance taking it's toll on his body just four days before their match at NXT arRIVAL, but he was once again cut off by Cesaro.
Zayn got out of his chair and said he knew what Cesaro was trying to do. Young left as Zayn said Cesaro was trying to make this personal, but they were now way beyond that. He claimed they had moved past all of the personal stuff, and the only thing that made this personal was the fact that he takes his career very personally. He claimed he would advance that career by beating Cesaro. Cesaro got out of his chair, saying “what you don't understand. . .”, but Zayn cut him off by saying “No, what YOU don't understand is that you've got nothing that I want to hear, and after February 27th, you'll have nothing left to say at all”. The two stared each other down before Cesaro turned and left. . .
Gutt Reaction: The segment didn't hit the heights of last weeks in-ring segment between the two, chiefly because it was kind of messy. I know the jumbled up style was by design, but it didn't really click for me until the end. Had the two segments been reversed, it may have worked better, but this approach took a little of the shine off of last week's hard sell. On the plus side, Renee Young. GOOD LORD.
Emma appeared in a “Backstage Exclusive” video. The interviewer asked about her thoughts on her match tonight, but Emma was too besotted with her sign. She blew the question off, and said next week she gets her title rematch with Paige. She added that before that happens though, she has some things to say to Paige, and she'll do that next week. What? So on top of not getting the hang of dancing, Emma also apparently has a bad grasp on how time works. . .
Neville was greeted with some warmth from the Cult of Full Sail, but the same could not be said for Breeze. . .
3. Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze. Breeze was the early aggressor, catching out Neville during his usual headstand spot by running after him and nailing him with a dropkick to the back. The commentators put over how Breeze is showing a new side of himself with his aggression. Neville responded in kind, launching Breeze with a huge flapjack. Tensai talked about ladder matches of the past, and put over Jeff Hardy strongly. Neville ended up on the apron, but dodged a springboard dropkick, and managed to force Breeze to the apron instead. After a dropkick sent Breeze to the floor, Neville launched onto him with his beautiful corkscrew dive. . . [C]
[Q4] Breeze attempted a head scissors shortly after we returned, but Neville held on to him and turned the move into a powerbomb for a two count. Neville went for a springboard, but aborted it when Breeze prematurely attempted a dropkick. It seemed to be by design however, as Neville looked puzzled before running the ropes, only to be caught by a superkick. A duelling “Let go Neville”/”Lets go Breeze” chant started up as Breeze attempted the Beauty Shot, but Neville ducked it and unleashed an enziguri. A second one in the corner left Breeze prone for the Red Arrow, which Neville delivered to seal the win. . .
Adrian Neville defeated Tyler Breeze in 7.27
After the match, Neville grabbed a microphone. He only managed to state that NXT arRIVAL was one week away before Bo Dallas' music hit. Dallas came out in a suit, and beamed on his way to the ring. He congratulated Neville on his progress since his NXT debut. “You've really been climbing the ladder to success”. He giggled at his own pun, before saying he thought Neville had come as far as he could, as he has no intention of losing his title.
Neville said for the longest time he couldn't figure out what Dallas' problem was. He first thought Dallas simply hated him. “I don't hate you, I think you're a good kid” was Dallas' response. Neville said he has now figured out that Dallas is scared of him, because on February 27th, he IS going to leave as NXT Champion. He claimed although he was smiling, he could tell from Dallas' eyes that he wanted to hit him. He offered Bo one shot at him.
Dallas took his jacket off, and threw the NXT Title to one side. He looked to be rocking back for a punch, but instead thought better of it, and climbed out of the ring. The commentators said the question remains – is Bo Dallas afraid of Neville? This thought concluded NXT. . .
Gutt Reaction: Another fun match between Neville and Breeze. I worry the window of opportunity for a fully fledged rivalry between the two on NXT is closing, but both times they have got in the ring they have shown great chemistry, so I'll remain hopeful. The delivery aside, I liked the content they put over for the NXT Title match. It may have had more impact had Neville claimed Dallas was scared from the beginning, and then constantly got the better of him in the weeks leading up to the ladder match, but the last minute push over the cliff for the feud was nicely done, surpassing all other closing segments the two have had together this past month.
A very nicely put together episode was what was needed this week, and it's what we got. Two good length matches, and lots of focus put on the two marque matches for next week. Now we just have to wait seven days for the biggest night in NXT history. I'm massively excited, but worried about when I'll get to see it. From the look of it, the NXT show next week is only an hour long, so we may be getting one of the shows from this taping, before getting NXT arRIVAL at a later date. As if I wasn't jealous of all of you getting the Network already. . .
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the Dot Net NXT podcast with Zack Zimmerman and myself, available for members of the site! If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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