Sunday, July 13, 2014

NXT Tampa 7-12-14

The energy level was high and the crowd was pumped for action as NXT returned to the UADC Gymnasium in Tampa. The evening got off to an exciting start with a hot tag team match that pitted Solomon Crowe and Elias Sampson versus Sin Cara and Kalisto. I'm not familiar with Sampson, who came out to western music dressed like a sort of desperado cowboy complete with a guitar, but he left a good impression nonetheless and am looking forward to seeing where this character goes. Though I was already a fan of Crowe I become even more so every time I see him perform. I've never been the biggest Sin Cara fan but I will say he translates much better live than on TV, but as impressive as he is it is Kalisto who wowed the crowd tonight. A great performance from all four men although the stars of the match were Crowe and Kalisto. I've seen them compete against each other several times now and it's clear they have developed a good chemistry. In the end it was the luchadores Kalisto and Sin Cara who stood victorious.

Next up was divas action as Carmella took on Becky Lynch. I've only seen Carmella wrestle a handful of times now and this was definitely her best outing yet. Her natural athleticism along with her princess of Staten Island gimmick equals big time potential. Becky Lynch continued to prove why she is probably my favorite female wrestler on the roster with her high energy and a bit of a rougher style than you are used to seeing from the ladies. Lynch had new ring gear and new music, it seems they are relying less on Irish stereotypes and relying more on the skills and energy of the self described “life enthusiast. It was an entertaining match culminating in Lynch winning via pinfall.

Dana Brooke comes to the ring to interview Troy McClain. It didn't take long before McClain hijacked the interview and went into his ironic passive aggressive motivational speech. Unfortunately, it was a bad night for Troy McClain, not only plagued by microphone issues but also the fact that became increasingly obvious to everyone in attendance that his zipper was down. It's difficult to take life lesson from someone who hasn't mastered one of the simplest life lessons. I like McClain but I think it's high time for a new gimmick.

Next up Bull Dempsey faced off against Angelo Dawkins. I like Bull more every time I see him perform, he is a no nonsense wrestler with a smashmouth style and I'm glad to see he seems to be getting a decent push. Dawkins, as I've stated before has the size, the athleticism, and all the potential in the world. The problem is I can't get past his gimmick and his silly dancing. The two put on a good match but in the end Bull Dempsey racked up another victory.

We follow with Marcus Louis taking on Colin Cassidy in a solid match. Louis is impressive and seems to be coming into his own in NXT, but it was Cassidy who was on fire tonight and clearly had the crowd behind him and the always over Enzo Amore at ringside. It was a fun match that clearly swung in the favor of Big Cass. However, with a distraction from Sylvester Lefort and a handful of trunks Marcus Louis was able to steal a win.

After a short intermission the second half of the show starts off with a bang as Tyler Breeze and CJ Parker square off. The match started with plenty of trash talking and showboating from both men before evolving into what was probably my favorite match of the night. I stand behind my prediction that Breeze is a future WWE champion, and Parker I believe is just now really hitting his stride and his best is yet to come. A great match that ended with Tyler Breeze getting the 1-2-3 over CJ Parker.

Then came more tag team action as “The Mechanics” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder took on Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake. I'm not terribly familiar with any of these competitors but they held my attention with an action packed match. Not a pretty match by any means, it was a rough and rugged match with plenty of brawling and stiff shots culminating in a win for The Mechanics. Great job from all four men, although the Aussie Buddy Murphy is the stand out to me (his tattered ring attire is a standout too for other less flattering reasons).

Mojo Rawley came to the ring to give a promo that I really didn't see the point of except just to have him appear. It was something about dreams and staying hyped. A lot of people seem to really like Rawley and that shows me he has a charisma and his enthusiasm can be contagious, or at the very least entertaining. However, what I'd like to see from Mojo Rawley is more character dimension and a broader move-set.

Next up Garret Dylan hit the ring followed by Baron Corbin. The only way to describe this match is as a squash match and the only word to describe Corbin was intense. He came to the ring with intent and immediately decimated his opponent. The back of Corbins vest has the depiction of a wolf which seemed very apropos as at moments he seemed as if he was stalking his prey. This match was a short blast of destruction and very fitting for someone with the size and look of Baron Corbin. I like this new found intensity from the big man and can't wait to see where it takes him.

In our main event of the evening Ty Dillinger and Jason Jordan took on the NXT tag champions The Ascension in an exciting back and forth tag team contest. We saw an impressive effort from Jordan and Dillinger, who I am glad to see are playing the heel role these days. But in the end like everyone else they found themselves victims to the destruction of The Ascension. As much as I don't want to lose Konnor and Victor to the main roster I absolutely can't wait to see them ascend to the top of the tag team division where they belong.

The show ended a little earlier than usual, but what we lost in minutes was made up for with content and an even more energetic night than usual.