Saturday, January 24, 2015

NXT Cocoa 1-23-15

It was one more action filled night of wrestling in front of yet another packed house for the wrestlers of NXT as the road to Takeover made a stop in Cocoa, Fl. Fans piled into the National Guard Armory to see their favorite stars even scores and gain momentum heading into the next live special.

The opening contest saw Tony Briggs taking on Elias Sampson, two wrestlers that have much potential. It was the speed of Sampson vs the power of Briggs in a game of one-upmanship that could have went either way. At one point Sampson looked to be taking definitive control after a painful jumping knee strike to the face of Briggs, before Kevin Owens burst into the ring to decimate both competitors ruling the match a no-contest. Owens immediately delivered a thunderous powerbomb to Samson, following by his trademark cannonball senton to Briggs laid out in the corner. He then grabbed a mic and let the fans know on no uncertain terms that he was not done.

The night continues with tag team action as the Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins of Shoot Nation took on the odd pairing of CJ Parker and Ty Dillinger. Using their mat skills and size advantage Fulton and Dawkins start off hot with a distinct advantage over Parker and Dillinger. The odd couple wouldn’t struggle for long using their cunning to gain the advantage over Shoot Nation. Dillinger and Parker worked surprisingly well together making frequent tags and punishing Sawyer Fulton who struggled to make it to his corner. Finally Fulton made the hot tag to Dawkins who burst into the ring cleaning house and taking out anyone in his path. In the final moments an unfortunate Dillinger would receive a backbreaker from Fulton followed by a spear from Dawkins giving Shoot Nation the pinfall victory. It was yet another entertaining tag match between the two teams. The stock of both Dawkins and Fulton have risen considerably since the formation of Shoot Nation, ironic since most people assumed it would primarily be a vehicle for Chad Gable. Both Parker and Dillinger have been underrated in the past, but I think fans are starting to take notice. Dillinger has more of a fan following with every show, while CJ Parker may get the most legitimate heat out of anyone in NXT.

“The hottest chick in the ring” Carmella comes out next for a promo. She mentions that she has recently been out on lunch dates with Enzo and he repeatedly has “forgotten his wallet”. The last time they went out she even came back from the restroom to find him getting the waitresses phone number. So apparently she was looking for a guy right here in Cocoa, as she flirted with guys in the crowd. I’m not sure what the point of the whole segment was but it was entertaining and Carmella is very comfortable on the mic. 2014 was a great start for Carmella and has gotten very good very fast since her first match early last year. I have no doubt it’ll be a stellar year for the princess of Staten Island and that she will be competing for gold sooner than later in 2015.

The action continues as Jason Jordan attempts to defeat the resident wrecking ball of NXT, Bull Dempsey. Not one to be intimidated, Jordan takes the fight right to Dempsey using his impressive strength to toss around his larger opponent. Unfortunately for Jordan he would tweak his leg after it got hung up as he went over the top rope. This would give Dempsey the opening he needed to go in for the kill on his wounded prey. This led to Bull working the leg and giving us varied offense we have rarely seen from the big guy, such as a perfectly locked in cloverleaf. As the match wore on Jordan attempted to mount a comeback but too much damage was done to his leg and Bull ran him down in a cringe worthy collision and followed that with a flying headbutt off the top turnbuckle for the victory.

The next match could be a main event about anywhere in the world, but here in NXT it wasn’t even intermission and it was Adrian Neville vs Finn Balor vs Hideo Itami. These three have been battling it out for a few weeks on the house show circuit now and the definitive heat thus far has been between Neville and Balor. Tonight though right from the beginning Hideo let it be known that he was no ones afterthought and brought the fight right back to his two competitors. The fight that followed was an instant classic much to the delight of a boisterous crowd. I’ve been lucky enough to see these three men battle three times in the last couple of weeks and I’d gladly pay to see them battle several more times. Neville has proven himself in NXT, and future champ Balor has taken NXT by storm, but it’s the dark horse Hideo Itami that is getting more and more comfortable in WWE rings every time I see him perform. This match could have went to any one of the three competitors but it was a superkick from hell to Itami followed by a 450 splash that gave former champ Adrian Neville the victory.

Next up in a Takeover preview it is fatal four way womens wrestling action as Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte clash in a great match. In NXT it is not uncommon for women to try and steal the show and these four put on a hell of an effort. Early on the four broke into alliances, however it was short lived. After Lynch and Banks were ejected from the ring it was Charlotte and Bayley left in the ring with so much to prove. The bad girls Banks and Lynch used that to their advantage and gain control of the match. Even their alliance would be tested at times and eventually it was every women for themselves. In the climatic final  moments Bayley delivered a Belly-to-Bayley to Sasha, and then Becky for the win. This was yet another fantastic match, and all four women looked great here as usual. However standouts tonight would be firstly Charlotte who is breaking out new offense these days, and is just as comfortable executing neckbreaker variations as she is figure fours and chest chops. Also to Becky Lynch, whose strikes could rival about any wrestler on the roster male or female and who happens to have the best leg drop in the business.

Next up, old friends (and foes) Solomon Crowe and Kalisto met once again in a back and forth contest. It was the explosive brutality of Crowe vs the speed of the popular luchadore that fueled this match that saw Kalisto playing the underdog for much of it. Kalisto is hard to contain though, and began to mount a comeback. Like we’ve seen many times he performed a flurry of moves and attempted to seal it with a Selida Del Sol, but this time Crowe countered it pushing Kalisto into the ropes and clocking him with a forearm. With Kalisto grounded Crowe finished him with a boing splash for the pin. One can only hope rumors are true and the man known as Solomon Crowe will be making his long awaited debut at Takeover. One thing is for sure based on tonight, he looks ready.

Next up, is an entertaining back and forth tag match with The Vaudevillians taking on Cass and Enzo. While Amore makes an impressive start showing off improved ringwork it isn’t long before he is doing what he does best and that is playing the underdog. Gotch and English take firm control of the match. Eventually Enzo makes the hot tag and Big Cass takes control, but in the chaos Gotch is able to roll up Cass (with a handful of tights) and get a surprise leverage pin. I’m a fan of both teams and think they have a great chemistry together, unlike The Vaudevillians previous feud with the Lucha Dragons. Both The Vaudevillians and Cass/Enzo are way over with the crowds, it might as well be face vs face.

Our main event is Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze. Reluctant to get into the action, Breeze keeps evading Zayn by jumping out of the ring. Zayn grabs Tylers phone and takes a selfie, an irate Breeze jumps into the ring only to cowardly leave again, except now Zayn gives chase. A frustrated Zayn eventually grabs a chair and begin to chase Breeze. While referee Drake Wuertz attempts to grab the chair Breeze take a cheap shot and begins to beat down Zayn. From this point Breeze is in control in a surprisingly one sided match with Prince Pretty proving why he is still deserving of the main event. But for all of his fervor Breeze could still not put down Zayn and his composure began to crack, first by exposing a turnbuckle and second by trying to use a chair, both attempts thwarted by the referee. Out of nowhere Zayn mounted a comeback with a Blue Thunder powerbomb followed by two German Suplexes, but a resilient Breeze countered with a jaw shattering superkick. Then out of nowhere Kevin Owens once again erupts into the ring knocking Breeze to the wayside. He then picks up Zayn only to be met with a surprise dropkick that sends him reeling to the corner. Then Zayn attempts to finish him off with a Helluva Kick that Owens narrowly escapes. The crowd chanted “Let them fight”, and though that fight wouldn’t happen tonight, it’s only a matter of time before one of the indie scenes most famous feuds continues in NXT.


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