Sunday, October 12, 2014

NXT Lakeland 10-11-14

The superstars of NXT finished up their three day tour of duty by returning to Lakeland, Fl where a boisterous and raucous crowd jammed into the National Guard Armory to see their favorite athletes bring the mayhem. In a night that featured new faces and a few surprises, the professional wrestlers of NXT would make sure no one left disappointed.

The night began with a definitive bang as Jojo announced a four team battle royale with the winners facing The Vaudevillians later in our main event. The match consisted of the teams of Ty Dillinger and Elias Sampson, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and The Mechanics Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. The bell rang and as it goes with these over the top battles, chaos ensued. The limited number of contestants made it less of a mess than your average battle royale and a lot more enjoyable with no lack of action and plenty of close calls. Elias Sampson was the first man eliminated quickly followed by Ty Dillinger. Shortly after both Gable and Jordan would find themselves on the floor in quick succession leaving us with two teams in the ring. The Mechanics took early advantage tying Big Cass in the corner by the wrist with the tag rope. Dawson and Wilder began the beatdown on the already worn down Amore. However the two should have tied a tighter knot because when the big man got lose he was not exactly happy. With the odds evened out and the momentum turned Cass and Enzo quickly eliminated The Mechanics and earned their spot in the main event.

Next up the mohawked Sawyer Fulton made his way out the ring followed by his opponent Kalisto.
The luchadore who was very over with the Lakeland crowd took control early on with his nearly unmatched speed and agility. Soon though the strength and size advantage of Fulton would bring Kalistos momentum to a halt, as Sawyer controlled the pace and punished his much smaller opponent. Perhaps overconfidence gave Kalisto the only opening he needed to bombard Fulton with his onslaught of aerial moves leading up to a Salida Del Sol and a pinfall for Kalisto. Sawyer Fulton seems to be at his most confident with his new gimmick while Kalisto looked as impressive as always.

Elias Sampson made his way out next to classical music and wearing a blazer with his trunks. Next out is his opponent Baron Corbin whose fan base seems to be growing each night. From the very opening moments Sampson attempted to delay the inevitable by slipping through the ropes. Corbin stalked him patiently as if he was enjoying toying with his victim. Elias Sampson would learn though that you can't fight fate when he finally attempted to lock up with Corbin only to be immediately thrown into The End Of Days and defeated. This match literally consisted of one maneuver, and somehow that made it perfect. I'm enjoying not just the brutality of Corbin, but seeing him exhibit more personality and playing off the crowd. Sampson shows promise when not being squashed, I'm hoping he can find his niche sooner than later.

Next up commentator Rich Brennan introduces Sasha Banks who quickly loses her patience with the interview and commandeers the microphone. She addressed the champ Charlotte as generically basic rather than genetically superior, and declared that she had more flair in her pinkie than both Charlotte and her father. I personally can't wait until these two face off.

The evening continues with tag team action as The Mechanics take on Chad Gable and Jason Jordan.
The two teams put on another impressive match that was a definite highlight of the evening. The action was back and forth and really could have went to either team. The climax of the match came when both Gable and Jordan had both Dawson and Wilder in ankle locks simultaneously tapping out. It was a great moment and the crowd popped as soon as Gable threw on the first ankle lock, however it's probably not going to help the Angle/Swagger comparisons. Regardless, it was a great ending. Gable is definitely impressive and is becoming a favorite rather quickly. Jason Jordan has always had the tools but has struggled to find his spot, but I think playing off of his amateur background is a great idea and has already made him more interesting. The Mechanics are a great heel team and underrated as well, I'm hoping they can bring to television what they have been bringing to house shows for a while now.

Ty Dillinger made his way out next in different ring gear and without the playing cards, apparently signaling the end of his new gimmick already. His opponent Hideo Itami is met with a nice pop from the crowd. Dillinger found himself in control for much of the match effectively managing to thwart the flurries of offense from Hideo. Dillinger is showing us that when given the time and opportunity he can put on a great match. Meanwhile, it is becoming obvious to NXT fans exactly why the fast and furious kicks of Hideo Itami are renowned the world over. An excellent match from both men, however Dillinger would find himself on the receiving end of a single leg running high knee giving Hideo the victory.

The action rolled on with another show stealing match from the best female athletes in all of the WWE when the team of Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Dana Brooke took on Charlotte, Bayley, and Alexa Bliss. Fans who lament the divas division on the main roster would have their faith in womens wrestling renewed if they were privileged enough to see matches like these. One has come to expect great wrestling from the likes of Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte so it really goes without saying. What's really impressive is how quickly Bliss, Carmella, and Brooke are improving. Tonight it seemed as if the good girls had the match sealed when Sasha Banks came out causing a distraction allowing Lynch to gain a roll-up pin over Charlotte.

The mountainous 6'8” 385lb Braun Stowman made his way out to the ring to give a promo putting the locker room on notice and declaring monsters are real. The big man was unshaken by the “what” chants and even the Adam Rose chants from the snarky crowd. His intense staring at the audience on his way around the ring was enough to make the toughest man uncomfortable.

The self righteous CJ Parker was out next with a sign in one hand and a microphone in the other launching into a tirade against the crowd. His rant was cut short by the entrance music of the returning Alex Riley, who was met with “you still got it chants” from the excited crowd before the match even began. Indeed he did as he and Parker put on a good back and forth match that ultimately looked to be swinging in the favor of Alex Riley. Call it ring rust, or call it luck but in the end CJ Parker was victorious much to the chagrin of the crowd who so wanted Parker to be recycled.

In our main event The Vaudevillians made their way out to take on battle royale winners Big Cass and Enzo Amore. The match started with plenty of hilarious trash talking before an action packed match got underway. As over as Gotch and English were as faces they are way more effective as heels as they showed tonight, while Cass and Enzo aren't just on fire in the ring, but they animate the crowd as well with their trash talking and high energy. Eventually The Vaudevillians found themselves in control of the match keeping the underdog Amore from the tag. Victory seemed at hand for the bad guys after a beautifully executed senton from the second rope by English, but Cass made the save for his team. Amide the chaotic final moments it was Enzo Amore who got the pin with a surprise roll-up from out of nowhere. An irate English and Gotch attempted a post match beatdown but were thwarted by an even more fired up Colin Cassidy who cleared the ring of the two sore losers. No disrespect to our tag team champions but these two teams should be the ones competing for tag team gold.

All in all a great night capping off another great weekend of NXT action.


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