Sunday, December 21, 2014

NXT Lakeland 12-20-14

NXT made its final stop of 2014 at The National Guard Armory in Lakeland, Fl. A standing room only packed house piled in to watch the young and hungry wrestlers of NXT tear down the house and close out what has been a stellar year for the brand. With many of the usual headliners away, the remaining men and women of the locker room not only stepped up, but they also illustrated that they had what it takes to excel in the spotlight and send the crowd home happy.

When looking to start off the night with a definitive bang Wesley Blake is usually a safe bet. He’s fast paced and exciting to watch whether in singles or tag. His opponent for the evening is Tony Briggs, a stocky powerhouse of a wrestler. Using his speed to his advantage Blake took early control, but Briggs wouldn’t make it an easy task and swung the odds back in his favor with a lot of power moves. However it wouldn’t last long before Blake mounted a comeback finishing up the match with a perfectly executed frogsplash off the top turnbuckle for the pin. Blake impresses as always and while Briggs lost this time I’m looking forward to seeing more out of the big man.

Next up, The Mechanics took on Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins of Shoot Nation. Early on Shoot Nation took control using their size and grappling skills to their advantage much to the frustration of Dawson. However outsized The Mechanics would use their cunning to their advantage as Dawson feigned shoulder injury. When it looked as if the match was about to be cut short, he attacked Fulton with a vengeance. Employing frequent tags Dawson and Wilder began to decimate Fulton until he managed to make a hot tag to a well- rested Dawkins who appeared to be turning things around for his team until he ran into a vicious clothesline from Dawson, followed by a flapjack onto Wilders knees allowing a pin for their team. This was probably one of my favorites of the evening. The Mechanics are always fun to watch, and Dash Wilder seems to be coming into his own as well, from his interactions with Dawson to a little well placed showboating in the ring. Shoot Nation initially seemed like a vehicle purely to get Chad Gable over, but its doing wonders for Fulton and Dawkins who are looking better than ever with their new direction.

The always hyped Mojo Rawley is out next to deliver a promo and lets us know he will be back in two months. His mic abilities have improved quite a bit, but it’s clear that his gimmick is the same which may irk a lot of people but this pro-Mojo crowd didn’t seem to mind.

Next up Cal Bishop challenged Solomon Crowe. The size advantage goes to Bishop here who knocked Crowe to the ground in the opening lock up. However, over-confidence also goes to Bishop as well who began to trash talk Crowe. An angry Solomon Crowe warned Cal Bishop “If you call me an angry elf again I will kick you in the face!” Needless, to say he didn’t listen and was met with a bicycle kick to the face, followed by an explosive attack by Crowe including a brutal running knee into a downed Bishop in the corner. Bishop was able to mount a comeback and found himself in control, but the match ended very abruptly with a surprise rollup giving the victory to Solomon Crowe. Afterwards Bishop was helped to the back with the help of a doctor and two referees. It’s unclear what happened or when, but Bishop seemed to be in a lot of pain.

Ty Dillinger is apparently a tenacious man because he made another attempt to defeat the as of yet unstoppable Baron Corbin, even attacking him before the bell. A determined Dillinger would not relent eventually working the arm and shoulder of Corbin. He looked to have Corbin reeling after not one, but two beautiful superkicks, but even that would not put the big man down who quickly turned things around. Once Corbin gets going it doesn’t take long, a big boot to the face followed by an End Of Days, would equate to one more loss for Dillinger. This was another great match between these two, I wish they could have done something more like this at the last special. Dillinger looked great as always, but it’s Baron Corbin who seems to get even better with every match and the crowds are taking notice.

After a short intermission we return with womens triple threat action as Carmella, Dana Brooke and Alexa Bliss battle it out. Carmella and Brooke quickly align to punish Bliss for most of the match until dissention rises between the two. After that it is every women for themselves, and with the odds even Alexa Bliss takes the definitive advantage. In the final moments she ejected Carmella from the ring and focused on Brooke, executing a standing moonsault in which her knees land in her opponents stomach followed by a Sparkle Splash off the top turnbuckle for the pin. All three of these ladies have proven to be quick studies, and I expect 2015 to be a great year for them.

Next up is 2012 Olympian and Shoot Nation leader Chad Gable, unfortunately for him his opponent is an absolute beast of a man, the 6’8” 370lb Braun Stowman. Chad Gable impressed me from his first match and I see big things for him in the future. Sadly for him though, all the natural wrestling ability in the world can’t help move mountains which is exactly what Stowman is, a mountain of a man. Gable didn’t back down though and when grappling proved useless he attempted to take out the giants leg. Ultimately Stowman was just toying with him and perhaps proving that even monsters take pity he mercifully ended it with an emphatic powerslam for the victory. Stowman is an intimidating big man who is probably more agile than he should be and I look forward to seeing more from him.

Kevin Owens is out next to the largest pop of the night bringing most of the Armory to their feet. Again, he recounts his atrocious actions from NXT Takeover only to tell us that he owes us no explanation. He adds that we don’t really want to see him talk anyway, that we would rather see a fight. The crowd pops big time. Unfortunately, he continues no one in the back is ready or willing to fight and leaves.

Next out is Jason Jordan wearing his amateur wrestling singlet that he has been wearing in Shoot Nation, but with his old theme music. But identity crisis aside his night was about to get a whole lot worse because his opponent is the wrecking ball Bull Dempsey and as always he is in a bad mood. Not one to back down Jordan takes the fight right to Dempsey. Jordan is super agile for a guy his size and deceptively strong, at one point delivering an epic Olympic slam to Dempsey. A tweaked knee brings Jordans offense to a screeching halt and Bull pounces spending much of the match working the leg, at one point locking in a Figure Four Leg Lock which Jordan eventually reversed. Jordan attempted to mount a comeback but his knee gave out while attempting a Fallaway slam to Dempsey. That led to the inevitable, being run over by Dempsey followed by a flying headbutt giving Bull Dempsey another win over Jason Jordan. Bull Dempsey is looking especially mean these days and truly living up to the moniker of a human wrecking ball.

Our main event of the evening is a six man tag match featuring the odd teams of CJ Parker and The Vaudevillians vs Kalisto, Big Cass, and Enzo Amore. Wasting no time the super over face team took the fight to the hippy and the gentleman bruisers. Kalisto started for his team with his high flying arsenal, at one point spring boarding off of Amores back to perform a perfect dive onto The Vaudevillians outside the ring. But eventually the bad guys would take over isolating Enzo Amore from his teammates. At one point the bad guys had it nearly won as Amore endured a senton by Parker, followed by a senton from Gotch, followed by a senton from the second rope by English for the pin, only to have Cass make the save. Eventually Enzo found the opening he needed to make the hot tag to Cass who cleaned house and that is when bodies began to fly everywhere in the chaotic final moments until legal man Kalisto nailed Parker with the Selida Del Sol for the win. Big Cass, Enzo and The Vaudevillians always have great matches when they face each other. The addition of Kalisto and Parker was a good albeit unexpected twist.

All in all it was a great card to close out an amazing year. I can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for NXT, and I look forward to reporting it!

Friday, December 19, 2014

NXT Tampa 12-18-14

A week removed from NXT Takeover: REvolution the stars of NXT took their never ending fight to the UADC Gymnasium in Tampa Fl. Fans anxiously piled into the building to personally witness the aftermath of last week and find out where exactly we go from here. The athletes of NXT looked to answer these questions and propose new ones the best way they know how, in the squared circle.

The action kicks off with Wesley Blake taking on Kalisto in singles action. The match starts with a little showboating from Blake before the two get down to the business at hand. The action quickly swings in the favor of Blake who wisely looks to keep the high flying Kalisto grounded. It wouldn’t be long though before the luchadore found the opening he needed to mount a flurry of innovative offense which led to a Salida Del Sol for the win. Wesley Blake is a versatile worker who proves he is just as good in singles action as he is in tag. Kalisto is much better as a singles wrestler, which I suppose is good seeing how his partner is never around.

Next up was tag team action as Cal Bishop and Mike Rawlis took on Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins of Shoot Nation. Dawkins and the debuting Rawlis started things up, with Dawkins demonstrating some nice takedowns on the young rookie. After a little back and forth, Shoot Nation took definitive control keeping Rawlis cut off from his corner while making frequent tags. Eventually, Rawlis made the hot tag to Bishop who began to clean house until running into a spear from Dawkins, followed by a tag to Fulton and a double team fireman’s carry slam for the win. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton are sizable athletes who make an intimidating team. These are two talented guys who have struggled to find a gimmick that fit, Shoot Nation is a good fit and a concept I’m very keen on watching develop. It was a good debut for Mike Rawlis who seems to have the look and the skills to succeed, he spent much of the match selling his opponents so his offensive style is still unclear. Cal Bishop, the more explosive of the two, looked good in his return making sure that Shoot Nations task would not be an easy one.

Next up, Kevin Owens makes his way to the ring with a huge pop from the crowd. He recounts his actions from NXT Takeover: REvolution, before deciding he doesn’t owe us any explanation for his actions and leaves. Anyone familiar with the wrestler formerly known as Kevin Steen knows he’s comfortable with a microphone, and they also know the feud that is coming our way will be some of the best stuff that we have ever seen in NXT.

Solomon Crowe is out next to take on Hideo Itami in a match that was short but stiff and very good. Although we saw a little back and forth it was largely one-sided match accentuated by Itamis world famous kicks. It would be one of those stiff kicks to the head that would give him the win over his opponent. Hideo seems to be more comfortable with every match, not just with his offense, but also with playing off the crowd. Crowe is explosive when he needs to be and punishing when he wants to be, hopefully that starts translating to some wins. I still believe Crowe can be a top player in NXT.

Next, Ty Dillinger is out minus his scarf and burlesque, and back to his old music. Unfortunately for him his opponent is Baron Corbin. Determined to not be another casualty (again) Dillinger managed to take the advantage early on focusing on working Corbins arm. He would find out though that getting the upper hand on Corbin is possible, but keeping the upper hand is the hard part. Corbin came back with a flurry of brutal offense culminating in The End Of Days for the win. After, Bull Dempsey looks on from down the ramp staring down Corbin who welcomed the challenge before Dempsey retreated. Dillinger is a criminally underrated wrestler who has struggled to find the right gimmick, and he may not need one if he keeps delivering performances like these. Baron Corbin is proving that he is just as capable at selling offense in longer matches as he is in squash matches. It seems the alpha of NXT is moving up the food chain rather quickly.

The action continues with a womens triple threat match of Dana Brooke vs Carmella vs Alexa Bliss in a match that was a highlight of the evening. Early on Dana and Carmella joined forces in attacking Bliss, but as it often goes in triple threat matches that union was short lived. After that it was every women for themselves in a match that could have went several different ways but eventually the advantage went to Alexa. In the final moments Bliss ejected Carmella out of the ring and laid out Brooke, finishing her off with her Sparkle Splash. I can never say enough nice things about the NXT womens division. It is noteworthy to mention that with the more seasoned women away, these three athletes more than represented NXT the way the fans expect and put on a great match. All three of these ladies have come so far this year.

We follow that with another high energy match as The Mechanics face Chad Gable and Jason Jordan of Shoot Nation. Gable and Jordan start off strong and in control till the resident roughnecks take over via a little distraction. With Gable cut off from his stable mate the Mechanics take turns punishing him. For all of their fists and fighting bravado, Dawson and Wilder are excellent wrestlers and show it off with tag team precision. Even when Gable made the hot tag to Jordan and began to mount offense, Dawson hit him with a clothesline that turned him inside out. He follows with a tag, flapjacking Jordan onto Wilders knees, giving Dash the pin. I’m a big fan of both teams and no doubt Gable is a star in the making, but here The Mechanics prove why they are one of the most solidified tag teams in NXT.

Heat magnet CJ Parker is out next with a live mic to berate the audience like no one else can. He begins his tirade against Christmas and tells all the little children that there is no Santa. Luckily he is cut short by the music of Bull Dempsey, and like usual the big man is not in a big mood. Parker would not be the victim of a squash match though and managed to present a challenge. In fact, like Corbin before him, this resident monster proved he could sell as well. Eventually though, much to the delight of the crowd the hippy would be run over by Dempsey and finished off with a flying headbutt. This time it is Corbin staring him down from the ramp, however he storms the ring and Bull makes a hasty retreat.

Next, the uber-charismatic Big Cass and Enzo Amore make their way to the ring to the delight of the rowdy crowd. After Enzo finished his spiel, Cass lets everyone know that CJ Parker is a liar, that Santa is not only real, but he is also a certified “G” and a bonafide stud. Their very unamused opponents The Vaudevillians make their way to the ring and the fight is on. It is a heated back and forth contest until Gotch and English isolate Amore and take control. Amore is at his best when playing the role of underdog, which he does absorbing much punishment before making the hot tag to Cass who clears the ring and lays out English with a swinging side slam for the win. The two celebrated in the ring and the boisterous packed house went home happy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NXT Citrus Springs 12-6-14

The stars of NXT made a last stop in Citrus Springs on their wild and painful road to NXT Takeover: REvolution. Competitors looked to establish their dominance over their enemies, while others looked to gain valuable momentum heading into the next live special looming less than a week away.

If one wants to start a night off with a bang it doesn’t get much more high energy than the team of Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. The two made their way to the ring to take on Chad Gable and Jason Jordan of Shoot Nation. Gable and Jordan took the early advantage with a few takedowns and frequent tags wisely isolating the usually explosive Murphy. Gable and Jordan worked well together punishing the Aussie until he found the only opening he needed to make the hot tag to Blake, who entered the ring on fire taking out anyone in his path. Tagging Murphy back in they finished off Gable with a suplex/neckbreaker combo allowing Murphy to take the pin. Blake and Murphy are exciting to watch and much like their adversaries The Mechanics, a throwback to great tag teams of the past. I am also excited to see how Shoot Nation develops over the coming months; Gable is a very talented prospect while the entire stable gives direction to several talented guys.

It was a largely pro-Bull Dempsey crowd in Citrus Springs as he and Solomon Crowe went head to head again in another good showing. Unfortunately for Crowe the outcome would not be much different as we witnessed another fairly one-sided bout. Crowe looked impressive with his short offensive bursts and an even more impressive bodyslam, but in the end Crowe would meet the fate so many others have. When it looked like he was finally going to turn the match around he was steamrolled by an agitated Bull Dempsey and finished off with a flying headbutt.

Mojo Rawley is out next to deliver a much hyped promo. He reveals that in two to three months he will be back in action and more hyped than ever. He’s clearly improved on the mic, but is clearly the same Mojo Rawley.

Next up Big Cass and Marcus Louis went to battle one more time. Rather than slowly agonize over removing the towel off of his bald head, a very aggressive Marcus Louis charged Cass from the opening bell and took absolute control. Cass managed short bursts of offense to no avail in this very one sided match. Even Enzo Amore would be no help as Louis laid him out too, returning to the ring to make Cass tap out once again to a necklock. It was a short but entertaining match up that furthered the tortured story of Marcus Louis. It’s interesting that just months ago both men almost seemed to be the sidekicks in their respective teams, now they are really stepping out of their partners shadows in a big way, especially Marcus Louis, whose path I never would have predicted.

Next up is another show stealing match from the ladies as Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks took on the team of Bayley and Carmella. This was a classic back and forth match that saw all four ladies shine at one point or another. The match could have went either way but tonight would belong to the good girls as Carmella made Lynch tap out to her finisher, a modified head scissors. Lynch, Bayley and Carmella all impress but at this point in time it is probably Sasha Banks who is the most well rounded women on the roster. She looks poised to become the next champion, or at the very least finally grab well deserved spotlight at Takeover.

Next up, the alpha of NXT Baron Corbin looked move up the food chain and take out prince pretty himself, Tyler Breeze. There would not be much room for showboating for Breeze who was all business, except for admonishing the referee for touching him. With no interest in being another victim of a squash, he did a good job of keeping Corbin on the defense, but not long enough. Corbin would catch Breeze on his attempt at a second superkick and snatch Breeze up for an End Of Days. It was a short but entertaining match, Breeze is a great showman all around in the ring, and Corbin continues to prove that he is capable of more than squash matches.

Old school tag team throwbacks The Mechanics took on the oldest of old school Vaudevillains in yet another great tag match. Early control of the match went to Gotch and English who clearly had the crowd behind them, but the wily Mechanics proved that they too are serious contenders for the tag team title scene by taking control. Dawson and Wilder made frequent tags and kept English isolated from a frantic and fired up Gotch on the ring apron. However when the hot tag was made the Vaudevillians quickly cleaned house, allowing English to land a running spinning neckbreaker on Dawson for the win. The Mechanics get better every week. While they are two tough guys ready to fight, they’re not afraid to be silly either, whether with their brotherly squabbling or being the butt of the joke. Meanwhile, fans love The Vaudevillians no matter how they are booked.

CJ Parker faced off against Ty Dillinger one more time. Luckily we were spared any dance-off (seriously, leave that stuff on Monday Night Raw) and were treated to a very good back and forth match that showcased both underrated wrestlers very well. After a hard fought match Dillinger looked to finish it with a frogsplash only to have Parker put up his knees, allowing him to plant Ty with a facebuster. It was a great effort by both men. As silly as it is, the talented Ty Dillinger is owning his gimmick, and that makes a big difference.

Our main event was a non-title fatal four way match featuring Sami Zayn vs Finn Balor vs Viktor vs Adrian Neville. From the start Viktor and Finn quickly jumped into battle while Zayn and Neville zeroed in on each other. But as it goes in four ways, it would quickly evolve into chaos with every one striking anything that moves. There were too many sick spots and too many close calls to count. In the closing moments Zayn caught Neville for an Exploder Suplex, but a moment a hesitation cost him as Neville was able to roll him up for a quick pin. I had the pleasure of catching these four men square off a few days prior in Orlando, but I would gladly sit through this one several more times. It’s worth noting that although Neville is champ, Zayn is much beloved, and Balor comes with much deserved hype, that Viktor refused to be outshined here and proved he is just as comfortable and capable in a singles main event as he is a tag team match. However this night was about Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn, as the champ stood over a defeated Zayn and scoffed at his “road to redemption”. The only thing is for sure is that NXT Takeover: REvolution is only days away and his road is indeed coming to an end. The only question is will there be gold at the end of his journey?

Friday, December 5, 2014

NXT Orlando 12-4-14

A mere one week away from NXT Takeover REvolution, the stars of NXT shook the foundations of The Orlando National Guard Armory with high impact wrestling action. Enemies looked to even scores and gain valuable momentum heading into the next live special. Fans in attendance would not be disappointed.

The night kicked off with fast paced tag team action as The Mechanics squared off once more against the team of Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. The match started off evenly as both teams looked to take the early advantage, which quickly tilted in the favor of Murphy and Blake. The Mechanics may not be as flashy as their opponents but they are just as tough and every bit as synced as a team, and they found themselves in control eventually punishing Blake before he made the hot tag to Murphy who proceeded to clean house with a controlled frenzy. With Dawson cleared of the ring, Murphy landed a running brainbuster on Wilder allowing Blake to seal the deal with a frogsplash for the win. These two teams have faced off quite a bit lately and traded off victories as well, and my respect is only growing for both teams.

Next out is the guy with possibly the most heat in NXT, CJ Parker. His opponent for the night was Ty Dillinger who made his way to the ring to his now familiar burlesque music dancing his way into the ring and shaking his rear for the ladies. Parker, not very amused began to mock Dillinger. This resulted in the two men exchanging gymnastic tumbles in the ring trying to outdo each other until eventually Parker took a cheap shot and took instant control of Dillinger. Once the match was underway it was fairly short and largely one sided. Ty managed to get in a little offense but the match largely belonged to Parker, who ended the match with his open palm strike to the face followed by a facebuster for the pinfall victory. Another win for Parker who has been on a roll as of late.

Next up Mojo Rawley made his way to the ring a tad bit calmer than usual, thanks to his arm still being in a sling. He gave a short and sweet promo in typical Rawley style, hyping the live special and also his eventual return. Rawley has noticeably improved in promos, however as of now it looks like it will be the same overall gimmick for Mojo.

Big Cass is out next accompanied by Enzo Amore, who runs through his mic routine much to the delight of the crowd. After, Amore leaves for a hot date leaving the big guy to take care of business. This evening that business consisted on taking on the very man they drove over the edge, Marcus Louis. As soon as the tortured Louis finally removed the towel, the two were quickly into battle. The early advantage went to the Frenchman who was in no mood for technical wrestling. It was all fists and feet as he looked to unleash his frustration on Cass. The seven foot Big Cass made an impressive effort and even mounted a comeback, but it wasn’t enough to finish off the tortured Marcus Louis who scored an impressive tap-out victory over Big Cass with a neck lock. I am enjoying the new direction for Marcus Louis, and I’m going to go as far as saying he will eventually be very over with the fans.

We continued with more tag team action and a sneak preview of next week as The Lucha Dragons faced off against The Vaudevillians. It was a good back and forth battle that showcased the best of both teams. Gotch and English controlled much of the match until the chaotic final moments when Kalisto made the hot tag to Sin Cara who changed the complexion of the match allowing Kalisto to nail English with a corkscrew body press for the win. If this match is any indication these two teams will put on a tag match at the live special that will exceed previous tag match ups. The Lucha Dragons never fail to fire up the crowd with their high flying offense, while The Vaudevillians are always seemingly over with the crowd no matter how they book them.

The action continued with a match that was a highlight of the evening as the wrecking ball Bull Dempsey took on Solomon Crowe. It’s hard not to be biased when talking about Crowe who is explosive in the ring, but Dempsey would not allow himself to be outdone dishing it out as good as Crowe gave. Like he often is, Dempsey was in control and looked to be in a foul mood. The two kept a great pace in the ring, the rest holds Dempsey often fall back on were gone, except for a well place bearhug. Crowe was as exciting as ever and egging Bull on, at one point he even managed an impressive body slam on his much larger opponent. Crowe looked to have the match won on several occasions, but as he often does Bull eventually ran his opponent over and finished him off with a flying headbutt. Dempsey looked possibly better than I’ve ever seen him, although I’m hoping Crowe can turn his luck around soon. An exciting match, nonetheless.

That followed with womens tag team action as the team of Bayley and Carmella took on Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Like they always do down here in NXT, the girls looked to steal the show and did a pretty impressive job of it. It was a good back and forth battle, but in the end the bad girls proved they were just a little more savvy when Carmella attempted to make Banks tap and Becky made the save. This allowed Banks to roll up Carmella for the pin. I’ve went on record many times stating the talent of all four women here on the blog, but what is noteworthy here is how well the rookie Carmella works so well with the more experienced athletes. She has come very far over the last year and I’m looking forward to seeing where another year takes her. I’m not sure about her recent face push, but time will tell.

Baron Corbin found himself further up the food chain this week and taking on NXTs resident supermodel Tyler Breeze. Even Breeze seemed to know that tonight wouldn’t be the night for selfies and lightheartedness, and made it his business to try and take the big man down before the big man ended him. Breeze matched Corbins power with ring savvy and took control of the match, perhaps being the most serious threat yet to Baron Corbin. A well placed superkick had the crowd on the edge of their seat thinking they would see Corbin finally defeated. Later though, a second superkick would be intercepted all together, giving Corbin the only opening he needed to take control. Once Corbin takes control it doesn’t take long, and Breeze finds himself the victim of the brutal End Of Days.

As much as everyone is clamoring for the next live special, it is hard to imagine anything topping tonights main event which was a fatal four way non-title match. The competitors were Sami Zayn vs Finn Balor vs Viktor vs Adrian Neville. Balor and Viktor clearly had their sights set on each other while Zayn was gunning for the champ. Sick spots galore had the audience either on the edge of their seats or jumping to their feet. In the final moments Neville landed a perfectly executed 450 splash on Viktor, but as he attempted the pin Balor came off the turnbuckle with a double foot stomp on top of both men breaking the pin. Balor looks to finish Viktor with a Bloody Sunday only to find Zayn break it up and eject Balor. Neville charges Zayn and gets caught with an exploder suplex and finished off with a Helluva Kick giving Sami Zayn the victory. Is this luck or foreshadowing? In seven days Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn will answer that question with the gold on the line.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NXT Cocoa 11-21-14

Tonight NXT made a stop on its chaotic road to REvolution in Cocoa, Fl. Fans filed into The National Guard Armory to see the athletes of NXT do what they do best, deliver hard hitting action and put fans on the edge of their seats. 

The night kicked off with tag team action as Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake looked to even the score with The Mechanics, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. The team of Blake and Murphy started out in control dictating the pace of the match and keeping The Mechanics off of their game. However Wilder and Dawson are as cunning as they are tough, managing to cut off Blake from his partner. Dawsons mantra is "no flips, just fists" and the two delivered just that with frequent tags and double team maneuvering that left Blake on the mat. Eventually though Blake managed to make the hot tag to Murphy who entered the ring like a bullet taking out anyone in his path and clearing the ring of Dawson and isolating Wilder. The fiery Aussie made the tag to Blake before delivering an intense suplex which Blake followed with a frog splash for the victory. This is why NXT has the best tag team wrestling around. These two teams need to be battling out on the network, and preferably for gold. 

Apparently Elias Sampson is a glutton for punishment because for the second night in a row he willingly entered the ring with the alpha of NXT, Baron Corbin. It quickly became clear he should have cut his losses last night because this match would be much worse for Sampson who didn't manage to mount any real offense before being planted to the mat with a devastating "End Of Days". 

Shoot Nation first surrounds and then enters the ring to deliver another promo. The newly expanded stable of Angelo Dawkins, Sawyer Fulton, Jason Jordan, and Tucker Knight stood at attention as the leader Chad Gable once again delivered a message to the fans and the locker room. He made it clear that the five of them had accomplished more than any of us in the room and that they will dominate NXT. Gable delivered his promo well and was really undeterred by the snarky crowd. I can't wait to see how this stable progresses. 

Next up Steve Cutler faced off against Marcus Louis. Months ago who would have predicted the evolution of the tortured Marcus Louis? He shambles to the ring with a towel over his head before removing it to reveal his still very bald head and contorted snarl. Steve Cutler would not be intimidated though and took the fight right to Louis. Cutler employs an offense of strikes and power moves that fit him well but would not be effective enough against the deranged Frenchman. Despite Cutlers efforts Marcus Louis dominated the a fairly one sided match before finishing his opponent with a ura-nage slam. Not that victories matter much to poor Marcus anymore who leaves the ring just as monstrous and tortured. 

It's hard not to be won over by the enthusiasm of Hugo Knox as he dances his way to the ring. Last weekend Knox won over many fans with a very impressive debut and no doubt looked to follow up on his success. The bad news is his opponent was NXTs resident wrecking ball Bull Demspey and he didn't appear to be in a very good mood. In fact Dempsey was on fire tonight and seemed to be living up to being the destructive force he is touted to be. Still yet Knox put forth a good effort and managed to get in a few short bursts of offense. Knox is a fair sized guy that at times moves like a cruiserweight, just as comfortable flipping off of the rope as he is delivering a clothesline. None of that would matter tonight though as Bull tore through him with relative ease and finished him with a flying headbutt for the win. 

Next out is everyones favorite condescending hippie with a live mic and a whole lot of heat from the crowd. In fact, CJ Parker probably gets more heat than anyone in NXT, and part of that is his expert ability at insulting and talking down to the crowd. His opponent once again is a fired up Solomon Crowe. Like their battle the previous evening, it was a back and forth battle. However, when Crowe is in control things get explosive with an erratic smashmouth offense. Following a downright painful to watch clothesline he appeared to be closing the match with a stretch muffler before Parker escaped. Parker is many things, and crafty is one of them as once again he was one very short step ahead of Crowe and planted him with a facebuster for the 1-2-3. 

The evening continues with womens wrestling action as Sasha Banks once again takes on the champ Charlotte in a non-title match. These two women are so evenly matched and know each other so well, the match could have went either way on several occasions. In NXT it is not uncommon for the women to steal the show, if they keep delivering matches like this they will do just that at the next live special. As the match wore on Charlotte proved why she is champ and took control and in the climactic final moments narrowly avoided a backstabber. She began to lock on a figure four before the crafty Banks rolled Charlotte up for the surprise pin. Several matches in and several wins for Sasha Banks. It's looking good for the boss heading into REvolution. 

The following match was once again Simon Gotch taking on Kalisto. Aiden English found himself ejected from ringside very early in the match much to the dismay of Simon Gotch. With the odds evened the two battled it out in a solid contest. Gotch managed to keep Kalisto grounded for much of the match but when the luchdore started to mount a comeback English ran back out. English jumped onto the ring apron to distract the referee meanwhile Kalisto whipped Gotch into English knocking him to the floor. A disoriented Gotch turned back around to find himself on the receiving end of a corkscrew body press giving Kalisto the victory. His celebration would be cut short as the dastardly Vaudevillians commenced with a post match beatdown. All three men are great workers for different reasons but many would agree it is very difficult to build interest in a tag team feud that only features one and a half tag teams. 

Our main event of the evening is the gorgeous one Tyler Breeze taking on Hideo Itami. The men cautiously circle each other to make the first move. Tyler Breeze who is often more concerned with selfies or lounging on the turnbuckle got really serious when Itamis dangerous feet narrowly missed his moneymaker. Angrily he would yell at Hideo "No Kicking!" Finally Hideo would tell him "I don't speak english." and with that the fight was on with the two men trading offense in a fast paced contest. It is Itami who is world famous for his kicks but Breezes kicks shouldn’t be taken lightly either, as evidenced as a close call with a beautifully executed superkick. Tyler Breeze found himself in control but failed to put Itami away which made him more and more frustrated, providing Itami with all the opening he needed to mount an unstoppable barrage of offense. A series of kicks dropped prince pretty to his knees and that is when Hideo delivered his own teeth shattering superkick that gave him the win. An exuberant crowd celebrated with the victorious Hideo Itami as Breeze rolled out of the ring and literally crawled like an inchworm up the aisle and all the way to the back.