Friday, November 7, 2014

NXT Lakeland 11-6-14

Still rumbling from the last onslaught of wrestling action, NXT returned to The National Guard Armory in Lakeland, Fl for another night of spectacle and high energy athleticism. It was another full house, as fans piled into the building to see their favorite superstars do battle. As usual, fans would not leave disappointed.

The action gets underway with high flying Kalisto taking on the hippie everyone loves to hate CJ Parker. Unfortunately Parker didn’t have a live mic because quite frankly putting the audience in their place is what he does best. So with no verbal berating, the bell rings and match begins. Kalisto takes control early on with his speed that is nearly unmatched in NXT and a flurry of moves that leaves CJ exasperated. Eventually though the size advantage of Parker comes into play and he manages to ground his smaller opponent. The durable Kalisto managed to take advantage of an opening, building up to a blur of momentum culminating in the “Samuray Del Sol” and a victory via pinfall. Kalisto impressed as always with his speed and innovative offense. CJ Parker is underrated in my opinion; he’s great on the mic, sells really well, and gets heat like no other.

The night continued with tag team action as The Mechanics took on the team of Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy in what was most definitely a highlight of the evening. Murphy and Blake were on fire in the early going making frequent tags keeping Dawson and Wilder on the defensive. However The Mechanics are no team to take lightly as they eventually gave it back just as good as they got it with their rough smashmouth offense. The two teams battled a match that could have went either way, but tonight the better team was The Mechanics who took the victory. These are two of the best teams you’ll find on the NXT or WWE roster, put them in a program for tag gold and they will tear it up every night of the week.

Solomon Crowe, who has been out with a chipped tibia bone finally returned to deliver an excellent promo. To be blunt, he made it clear he had no problem with the new crop of stars in NXT such as Hideo Itami and Finn Balor, they are just more guys he gets to defeat and “kick in the face”. As I said before he was injured, hopefully we are finally on the verge of a push for the man they call Solomon Crowe.

Jason Jordan made his way to the ring to take on NXTs resident wrecking ball Bull Dempsey. Jordan would not be intimidated by Dempsey and took the fight right to the big man until Bull took over and controlled the pace of the match. Dempsey has become reliant on rest holds of late to wear down his opponents and slow the match. However, tonight Jordan would have none of it as his final flurry of offense seemed to explode out of nowhere. Jordan showed off his strength with an impressive fallaway slam and then a few moments later an Olympic slam that put Bull out to pasture giving him the decisive victory.

Next up, Sawyer Fulton challenged the realest guy in the room Enzo Amore. Fulton seems to be connecting more with the fans these days but it is the charismatic Amore who has the crowd behind him as always. Enzo used his agility to stay one step ahead of his much larger opponent in the opening moments of the bout until Fulton took charge. Enzo is at his best when playing the underdog, which he did for most of the match as Fulton tossed him around like a rag doll. Never count out the tenacious Enzo Amore though who has the ability to snatch a victory from out of nowhere, which he did once again. Fulton has the size and skill to go far if booked properly; it seems he’s found an image that works for him.

Another man who has seen his share of gimmick changes lately, Ty Dillinger danced his way into the ring to old fashioned striptease music (and luckily no gyrating) only to find his performance cut short for the entrance of Baron Corbin. Dillinger spent the opening moments trying to evade the unstoppable Corbin and at one point even trying to quit and leave before being tossed back into the ring. Dillinger perhaps fared better than previous competitors by managing to take out the leg of the big man, even punishing him with a figure four before the inevitable happened and Corbin regained control putting an emphatic end to the match with the brutal “End Of Days”. Ty Dillinger is another underrated wrestler who has proven when given the time and spotlight that he can deliver, but this gimmick doesn’t do it for me and I’m not even sure the talented Dillinger can go very far with it.

In NXT it is not uncommon for the women to steal the show and tonight they did it again as the champ Charlotte took on former BFF Sasha Banks in an excellent contest. Like many, I’ve been looking forward to seeing these two feud for some time and in battle they did not disappoint. It was a pro Flair crowd but Banks would not be deterred or intimidated taking the fight to the champ in an exciting back and forth match up. After a hard fought battle Charlotte missed with her “Natural Selection”, and Banks pounced rolling up the champ for a clean win in this non-title match. Both ladies delivered here; no doubt they will look to steal the show again at the next live special.

The evening continued with tag team action as The Vaudevillians took on The Ascension. No matter how either of these teams are booked it seems the crowd is always behind them, but tonight this crowd was more so behind the former tag champs Konnor and Viktor. The manliest of all tag teams would not be fazed by the fearsome Ascension taking the fight right to them and eventually taking control over Viktor for much of the match until he made the hot tag to Konnor. But surprisingly in the chaotic final moments of the match they would even take control over him as Gotch impressively hoisted the big man onto his shoulders for a rolling senton. English executed a perfect senton off the second rope and went for the pin which Viktor broke. It looked as if The Ascension would turn things around, but English nailed a running swinging neckbreaker on Konnor gaining the win for his team.

In our main event of the evening the gorgeous one Tyler Breeze took international superstar Hideo Itami. Hideo comes to NXT with much hype but apparently Tyler Breeze is unimpressed lounging on the turnbuckle before reluctantly beginning the match. Breezes moneymaker may have never been in greater danger as it was against the furious feet of Itami. Breeze admonished him, “No kicks! We’re not doing that!”, but Itami would not be deterred. Hideo appears to be more comfortable in the ring and not holding back with his famed stiff kicks that seemed to make the crowd cringe on several occasions. Breeze held his own though, doing what he does and proving why he is a main event player and had control over Itami on several occasions. The two men were evenly matched and put on an excellent match that culminated with Breeze taking a superkick to the face giving Hideo Itami the victory and sending the fans of Lakeland home happy.


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