Zim's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze, Emma vs. Summer Rae, sit-down interview with Sami Zayn and Cesaro, and The Ascension in action
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired February 19, 2014 on Hulu Plus
Taped January 30, 2014 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… The show opened with the NXT Tag Champions The Ascension making their entrance. The commentators mentioned that their reign stood at 140 days and they are now the longest reigning NXT Tag Champions yet. The crowd chanted "yah" at them, likely due to the sound they make when their offense connects. Their opponents were already waiting in the ring.
1. The Ascension vs. Casey Marion and Mike Labosca. The crowd chanted "Let's go jobbers" but Viktor went right after Marion. He whipped Marion shoulder-first into Labosca, knocking him off the apron. The Ascension hit a double hip toss slam and followed up with the Fall of Man for the win…
The Ascension pinned Casey Marion and Mike Labosca in about 1:30.
Scott Stanford hyped Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze in the main event. He also hyped Emma vs. Summer Rae coming up next… [C]
Zim Says: Nothing worth commenting on. The Ascension's "scorched-Earth policy" sucks. Please do something with the tag division.
A commercial aired for NXT Arrival on 2/27 at 8ET/5P live on the WWE Network… Ring announcer Eden announced that Tyler Breeze had entered the building… The B.F.F's made their entrance together. Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Tensai checked in on commentary and talked briefly about NXT Arrival. Tensai had a beard with his facial piercings in; possibly an Albert return? Emma was out next. She brought Bayley along with her for backup and Bayley brought a sign that read "Summer's teeth: Summer yellow, Summer green."
2. Emma (w/ Bayley) vs. Summer Rae (w/ Sasha Banks and Charlotte). Emma snuck up on Summer got attempted several quick rollup attempts in the opening minute. Emma went for her sliding roll out of the corner, but Summer caught her with a knee and knocked her to ringside. Emma made it back into the ring, but Summer took firm control from there. [C]
Back from break, Summer still had Emma grounded in a full nelson with bodyscissors. Summer mocked Emma and danced around her as the crowd started to rally and broke out in a "let's go Emma" chant. Emma managed to reverse a whip into the corner and applied the Dil-Emma in the ropes. She followed up with the Emma Sandwich running crossbody and looked to hook in the Emma Lock, but Summer avoided it.
Sasha Banks slapped Emma from ringside and Summer got a quick two-count. After Emma kicked out, she shoved Summer into Sasha, knocking Sasha off the apron. Charlotte was at ringside to break the fall, but failed and it looked like Sasha went face-first into the ramp; scary spot. In the ring, Emma tripped up Summer, hooked in the Emma Lock, and forced the submission…
Emma beat Summer Rae in about 7:10.
Backstage, Devin Taylor welcomed Tyler Breeze onto the set. She asked him about his match with Adrian Neville, while she was holding his phone so he could check himself out. He pondered how "that uggo" managed to become number one contender. He said that if Adrian Neville wins the NXT Championship, he'll be the face of NXT. "I can't have him representing me. He said that tonight, for the first time in his life, Adrian Neville will receive his Beauty Shot…
Scott Stanford hyped a sit-down interview between Sami Zayn and Cesaro coming up next… [C]
Zim Says: Really nice match from the ladies there. I often complain when we only get 2-4 minute matches, so I have no right to complain when they give us 7. My only hang-up is how badly Charlotte botched that catch. She really has no business being on TV and this was a prime example of why. As for Breeze's promo: that might've been one of the better promos he's cut. He's typically been a total Zoolander ripoff, but he showed signs of finding his own voice here.
A lengthy video package aired for the Elimination Chamber PPV…
Backstage, Renee Young was sitting at the interview set and welcomed Sami Zayn and Cesaro on either side of her. She mentioned their match at NXT Arrival and briefly touched on their 2013 Match of the Year. Sami interjected and said he wants to congratulate Cesaro on making it into the Elimination Chamber, but Cesaro dismissed it and said it was the biggest match of his career. He said that the next time he's in NXT, he could be the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Renee mentioned that should Sami put his hands on Cesaro over the course of the interview, he would lose any future NXT title shot. Likewise, if Cesaro put his hands on Sami, he would lose his spot in the Elimination Chamber. Renee asked if Sami would be medically cleared to compete at Arrival, but before Sami could answer Cesaro spoke up and said that Sami obviously has an "Achilles knee." Sami said there was nothing wrong with his knee and he's already been cleared.
Renee asked Sami if he would have an advantage over Cesaro considering their match would be less than a week after Cesaro competes in Elimination Chamber. Again before Sami could answer, Cesaro spoke up and said he's been training his whole life for an opportunity like this and he's strong enough to handle it. By this point, Sami was getting hot. He stood up and confronted Cesaro asking "you think I don’t know what you're trying to do?!" Renee left the set as Sami continued to riff.
Sami said that Cesaro is trying to make this personal by cutting him off and kicking out his bad knee. Sami said they're past personal. He said it was personal last time with the name-calling and backstage attacks, but at this point the only thing personal about it is that it's professional. He said that this is what he needs to take the next step in his career, and that’s all there is to it.
Cesaro began to fire back and said "what you don’t understand is that…" But Sami cut him off and told him that what Cesaro doesn't understand is that he has nothing to say that Sami wants to hear. He finished by promising that after NXT Arrival, Cesaro wouldn't have anything left to say at all. They briefly stared each-other down before Cesaro turned and left…
Adrian Neville and Tyler Breeze were shown walking backstage in preparation for their match… [C]
Zim Says: Great interview segment (as usual, enhanced by Renee Young). I said in this week's audio that I thought this segment was the best one yet, but watching it again I must admit that Darren Gutteridge was right that last week's was a bit better. This was perfectly logical follow-up however; it played out how it should with Sami confidently getting in the final word.
A Backstage Exclusive showed the roving reporter approach Emma and ask her how challenging the match was with the B.F.F's at ringside. Weird question. Emma apparently thought so too, because she completely blew it off and showed off her sign. She said that NXT Arrival was just around the corner and she has a rematch for the NXT Women's championship. She said before that, there are a few things she has to say to Paige face-to-face next week…
Zim Says: It's confirmed that there will in fact be a regular/"go-home" edition of NXT airing in its regular time and place next week before NXT Arrival.
Back in the arena, Adrian Neville made his entrance. A very cool graphic popped up to promote the NXT Championship ladder match between Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas. Tyler Breeze was out next. A replay aired of Tyler Breeze costing Adrian Neville his previous NXT title match two months ago. Another graphic popped up promoting the NXT Arrival Kickoff show starting at 7:30/4:30p with a Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, and Paul Heyman as the panel.
3. Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze. Around the 1:00 mark, Neville performed his up-and-over handspring out of the corner, but Breeze met him with a dropkick to the face on the other side of the ring; good counter to a move that doesn't often get countered. Breeze had control but Neville fought back a short time later with leg kicks and a huge flapjack for two.
Neville began to wear Breeze down with kicks to the chest and hit a great looking running uppercut in the corner that rocked Breeze. Breeze managed to shove Neville out to the apron, but missed a triangle dropkick attempt. Neville reversed and dropkicked Breeze to ringside before following up with his flying tiger sault. [C]
Back from break, Neville connected with a missile dropkick off the top rope for a two-count. Breeze stunned Neville with a jawbreaker and attempted a jumping hurricanrana, but Neville hoisted him back up and planted him with a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall; wicked spot. Neville went to the apron and feigned a springboard move, so Breeze missed the counter-dropkick that he was prepared to throw. Neville ran the ropes, but Breeze caught him with an awesome superkick out of nowhere and both guys collapsed.
Back on their feet, Breeze went for the Beauty Shot but Neville ducked it and caught him with an enziguri. He caught Breeze with one more kick to the head in the corner and followed up with the Red Arrow for the pinfall.
Adrian Neville defeated Tyler Breeze in about 7:45.
Following replays, Neville took a mic and began to speak when NXT Champion Bo Dallas' music hit and he took his time walking down to the ring. Dallas said it's impressive how far Neville has come in NXT. He said Neville is climbing the ladder of success, and then paused to crack up at his own pun. The crowd chanted "C.M. Punk" and Dallas said that he had no intention of losing at Arrival.
Neville said he's always tried to figure out why Bo doesn't like him. Bo said Neville is "a good kid." But Neville said that Bo is scared of him. He said Bo's scared that on February 27, Neville is going to beat him up, climb the ladder, and walk out the new NXT Champion. Bo laughed it off, but Neville countered that Bo hides his fear behind that smile. He challenged Bo to hit him, offering one free shot. Dallas dropped the microphone, took off his jacket, took off the NXT Championship, undid his cufflinks, rolled up his sleeves, and cocked back. Before he did anything else however, he backed out of the ring and up the ramp. The commentators asked if Dallas was scared of Neville as the show closed.
Zim Says: Another instance where I was wrong in this week's audio: this version of the match was no longer than the overseas edit. I suppose the action they fit into less than eight minutes was good enough that the match stood out and seemed longer in my mind. Nonetheless, great match where both guys looked very impressive. Breeze's best showing to date and another strong performance from Neville on the level he's been at the past two tapings. Check this match out
Overall, this was another show that felt really nicely timed out. Nothing was rushed; everything had the chance to breath. I'm able to run through the entire episode in order in my mind, which is something that the clutter doesn't allow for. The build to Arrival was strongly present throughout this show. Emma's still rolling on her way to her rematch and will confront Paige next week. Sami Zayn and Cesaro followed up perfectly in this week's segment, continuing one of the best pure-wrestling builds I've ever seen. Bo Dallas and Adrian Neville have gotten plenty of time to build their match and have done a fine job. I think it's an instance where they'd be getting more praise from me if they weren't being overshadowed by Zayn and Cesaro. Check out this week's show for sure and get ready for Arrival!
Be sure to check out Darren Gutteridge and myself on the Member-Exclusive Dot Net NXT Recap Podcasts each and every weekend!
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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