Friday, September 19, 2014

NXT Wauchula 9-18-14

In the wake of Takeover, the stars of NXT took the action to the Hardee County Civic Center In Wauchula, Fl. It was a night of continued rivalries for some and new chapters for others. With many of the established main event stars touring with the WWE, it gave others some well deserved time to shine in the spotlight.

One half of the Mechanics Dash Wilder took on the highly athletic Jason Jordan in singles action. Jordan, who seemed to have a bit of a fire under him tonight interacted with the crowd before taking control of the match early on. Jordan showed us some of his impressive technical wrestling before Dash Wilder got the upper hand. I'm a fan of The Mechanics but tonight Wilder proved he is impressive on his own as well in this entertaining opening bout. But in the end it was all Jason Jordan as he got the pinfall victory over Dash Wilder with an olympic slam.

Ty Dillinger is out next to new eerie droning entrance music in black trunks and boots and carrying a deck of cards. He made his way into the ring seating himself in the corner laying out his cards on the mat. His opponent Elias Sampson is out next highly pumped and ready for a fight. This being only the second time I've seen Sampson compete he seems to be a wrestler to keep your eye on. He made a good showing but it was clearly a more aggressive Dillinger in control who picked apart his opponent quite methodically. He laid out Sampson with a brutal looking knee smash to the face and gaining the pinfall before laying an ace of spades on his defeated challengers chest. After, commentator Rich Brennan came into the ring to question Dillinger on the meaning of the cards. Ty gave a cryptic but admittedly intriguing promo illustrating how a deck of cards represent morality in a cruel world. He also said they represent chance, and by chance Sampson drew the wrong card tonight.... and paid for it. I for one am interested in seeing where this goes.

Next up was womens tag action as the team of Sasha Banks and Dana Brooke took on the Alexa Bliss and Bayley. I'm not sure if this was a debut for Brooke, but it was the first time I've seen her in action. While her newness may show she exhibits quite a bit of potential, the women of NXT catch on fast. A example of that would be Alexa Bliss who continues to get better every week. The stars of the match though were clearly the perennial underdog Bayley and the boss Sasha Bank, proving that they both have bright future in the WWE. The four gave us a solid back and forth match that appeared to be leaning in the favor of fan favorites Bliss and Bayley until Sasha stole it with a roll up and handful of tights.

The hippy everyone loves to hate CJ Parker is out next to avenge his recent loss to Baron Corbin. Parker put on much more of a fight than he did at Takeover as he attempted to take down the big man at several points with a sleeper hold. Despite his best efforts he would come up short yet again finding himself on the receiving end of Corbins reverse STO. CJ Parker is underrated, however his real strengths are not only selling moves, but even more so antagonizing the crowd.... of which he is a master of. Corbin on the other hand makes about everything he does look absolutely brutal. I can't wait to see where the coming months take the big guy.

The night continues with more womens action as the delty diva Becky Lynch challenged the champion Charlotte in a non-title match. Both women shined in one of my favorite matches of the evening. Charlotte is looking polished coming off of her biggest title defense while the energetic Becky Lynch should surely be a champion sooner than later. The two seem to have a good chemistry together that I'm hoping we'll get to see more of in the future. The Irish diva put up a great challenge but in the end Charlotte proved why she is champ making Becky “bow to the queen”.

The freshly bald Frenchman Marcus Louis made his way out with a ridiculous looking wig held on by wrestling headgear to get revenge on Big Colin Cassady. It was a short but entertaining match that had me laughing quite a bit thanks to Louis, who of course inevitably lost his wig not long before taking a big boot to the face. Things aren't going to well these days for the French baldie.

Next Angelo Dawkins and Bull Dempsey met yet again. A particularly mean looking Dempsey was in charge for most of the match and it looked as if it was a foregone conclusion that he would be victorious again. To the surprise of many including Bull, Dawkins managed to snag the victory with a sunset flip. Dempsey didn't take kindly and commenced to beat down a wounded Dawkins taking to the top turnbuckle to deliver a flying headbutt.

Our main event of the evening saw The Vaudevillians take on the team of Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. Entering the ring to a new more ominous music Gotch and English put the villains in Vaudevillians. For a team that has been so incredibly over they are great in a heel role, as we've seen before from English. I was excited to see Murphy and Blake get a chance to shine in a main event capacity, and they are more than capable. The two have gelled really well together and hopefully this is a sign of them being headed into the tag team title picture. Lots of back and forth action in a match that was worthy of a main event with great moves from all the combatants. With a bit of questionable distraction and double teaming English gained the victory for his team with a running swinging neckbreaker for the pin on Blake.

All in all another great night of action from the men and women of NXT with hints of new and interesting development on the horizon.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

NXT Citrus Springs 9-6-14

The Superstars of NXT made one last stop on the way to NXT Takeover to bring their unique brand of hard-hitting action to Citrus Springs, Fl for the first time. The lively crowd filled the Citrus Springs Community Center for a night of excitement that would feature continued rivalries, an international superstar, and divas stealing the show.

Troy McClain made his way to the ring in his usual ring gear but without his headset microphone to take on the 2012 Olympian Chad Gable. This was my first time witnessing the young Olympian perform and I could tell from the opening moments of the contest that I would be a fan of Gable.
It was an entertaining opening bout that did a good job at presenting the newcomer Chad Gable who managed to snag the win with a bridging fallaway slam. With all the highly anticipated acquisitions recently signed to the WWE it would be easy for one to get lost amid the buzz, however I don't think that will be a problem for Gable who will soon be making waves of his own in NXT.

The evening continued with womens tag action as the team of Carmella and Sasha Banks took on the team of Kendall Skye and Alexa Bliss in a match that was a highlight of the night. Great job by all four women, Carmella has gotten good fast and deserves an in-ring television debut sooner than later. Alexa Bliss has come a long way as well. I see much potential in the highly athletic Kendall Skye and much enjoy her offense of kicks. For me though the star of the match was clearly Sasha Banks who continued to prove that she is indeed the boss. In the closing moments of the match Banks hit her patented back stabber transitioned into a crossface aka Boss Lock leaving Skye no choice but to tap out giving the victory to Banks and Carmella.

Next up, NXT commentator Rich Brennan made his way to the ring to introduce international superstar Kenta, one of the most eagerly anticipated athletes we've seen in a long time. Kenta gave a short promo promoting Takeover and even made his own network 9.99 reference. When Brennan asked for his prediction for the upcoming fatal four way match a mere five days away, the originator of the GTS made one thing clear; regardless of who walks out of Takeover as champion he will be meeting them in the future.

Our next match featured the last of a dying breed Bull Dempsey taking on Angelo Dawkins. Once again, I am not a fan of Dawkins gimmick at all, though that is no reflection on his athletic ability of which he has plenty. His potential shines though when he is not booked in squash matches and he put in a decent effort tonight against the human wrecking ball. Bull Dempsey looked especially aggressive and mean tonight as if he was out to prove all his naysayers wrong. Dempsey won the match with a perfectly executed flying headbutt off the top rope.

Sylvester Lefort made his way to the ring accompanied by Marcus Louis to take on the charismatic trash talker Enzo Amore followed by Big Colin Cassady with a bucket of permanent hair remover cream. Hilarity ensued as the Frenchman were running scared from Enzo and Cass with their trusty bucket of cream before referee Drake Wuertz had enough and ejected Louis, Cass, and the bucket from ringside. Without distraction the match continued with Sly in control for much of the match dishing out punishment to the underdog Amore. In the end when all hope seemed lost Amore managed to roll up the overconfident Frenchman from out of nowhere for the pinfall victory. A very angry Marcus Louis ran to the ring to commence a post match beatdown on Enzo before Big Cass with bucket in tow to clear the ring of the two villians. Props to all men, including Wuertz for really selling this one.

After a short intermission the action continued with six man tag action. The team of Ty Dillinger, Jason Jordan, and Sawyer Fulton faced off against Wesley Blake, Buddy Murphy, and Kalisto in a hard fought contest. The match began with plenty of back and forth wrestling until the heel team of Dillinger/Jordan/Fulton found themselves in control keeping Blake in for much of the match. In the end however as these matches often do it evolved into chaos with bodies everywhere and Kalisto getting the win over Dillinger. This was a highly energetic contest with often underrated athletes.

The intense Baron Corbin took on CJ Parker in one of my favorite bouts of the evening. Parker put in a good showing trying to take down the big man, and at some points the match could of went either way, as it has in the last few weeks. Ultimately, the hippie was no match for the especially intimidating Corbin. I've seen these two wrestle several times now and this was definitely their best outing.

Next, The Vaudevillians took on The Mechanics. I'm a big fan of both teams and found myself rooting for both of them at several points. It is the team of Gotch and English who are clearly over with the crowd, and it is puzzling to me that they are not booked for Takeover. Dawson and Wilder are a great, mean team and would love to see them feud with the aforementioned Blake and Murphy one day.
However, The Mechanics would be no match tonight for crowd favorites The Vaudevillians.

In our main event womens champion Charlotte wrestled Bayley in a non-title match. I've witnessed these two ladies compete several times now, and while they have never disappointed this was easily their best match to date. The match went back and forth until Charlotte found herself in control. For much of the match it looked as if she had the match won until lovable underdog Bayley mounted a comeback and beat the champ cleanly in the middle of the ring. Can she pull this off again in just five days at NXT Takeover?

All in all, it was another fun night of NXT action that sent the crowd home happy. With many of the usual headliners away with the WWE this weekend, it gave other superstars a chance to shine a bit.... and indeed, they did shine.

Next stop: NXT Takeover