Friday, January 16, 2015

NXT Full Sail TV Taping 1-15-15

Fans packed in to the NXT arena at Full Sail University for another electric set of television tapings. The following write-up contains spoilers for the next three episodes. Pictures courtesy of @wgwphotos.

Credit: @wgwphotos

The dark match of the evening saw Solomon Crowe defeat Jason Jordan in a short but fun match accentuated by Crowes explosiveness. Dominated in the early goings by the Jordans sheer strength, Crowe rebounded with an erratic offense of kicks and strikes before finishing his opponent with a boing splash for the victory. Crowe delivered as always, unfortunate that it was yet another dark match.
First Episode
We start with a video from our general manager William Regal announcing that the next live special will be held on February 11th. He also announces a tournament to declare a new number one contender for the NXT title, and that tournament will begin tonight.

Ty Dillinger is already in the ring and ready for action when Sami Zayn makes his entrance. Zayn is in no mood for dancing and engaging the crowd. Fired up he storms to the ring and beats down Dillinger before tossing him out and grabbing a mic. An irate Zayn calls out Kevin Owens but is instead answered by an equally irate William Regal who admonishes him for his out of character actions. Regal tells him that there will be no match between them and that Owens must earn a title shot. Zayn tells him he doesn’t care about any of that, that it doesn’t have to even be a title match. Regal relents and announces that it will be Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens at Takeover in February.

Credit: @wgwphotos

Next up is our first tournament match featuring Curtis Axel vs Finn Balor in an entertaining opening bout. Axel took the early advantage and controlled Balor for much of the match. Finn managed to turn things around with his innovative offense finishing off Axel with his double foot stomp off the top rope and advancing in the tournament.

Credit: @wgwphotos

The womens title is on the line next as Sasha Banks once again challenges Charlotte for the gold. After several classics between these two ladies, Charlotte had Banks number and dominated a largely one-sided match between the two. Meanwhile at ringside Becky Lynch finally had enough and jumped in to make a save costing Sasha Banks the match via disqualification. Banks looked initially annoyed at Lynch before the two began a beatdown on Charlotte. Bayley ran down to make the save chasing off Team B.A.E. The two stood strong in the ring before out of nowhere Bayley turned around and laid out Charlotte with a belly to Bayley suplex to the shock of the crowd. Luckily for them general manager William Regal has a special to book. He announced that at Takeover it will be Charlotte defending her title against Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks in a fatal four way for the womens title.

We continue with tag team action as Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy take on The Vaudevillians. The early advantage went to The Vaudevillains who kept Murphy cut off and punished him while making frequent tags. Eventually Murphy made the hot tag to Blake who exploded into the ring taking out everyone in his sight. In the chaotic final moments, a kick to the head from Buddy Murphy dazed English allowing Blake to roll him up for an upset victory. Blake and Murphy celebrated up the ramp leaving a very livid English and Gotch in the ring.

Credit: @wgwphotos

In another tournament match Tyler Breeze took on Hideo Itami. These two are evenly matched and both came out of this back and forth match looking good. Though Breeze found out that the kicks he tried so hard to avoid in the early going where in fact unavoidable. In the end of a grueling match Tyler found himself victim to Itamis furious flurry of kicks and a final running kick to the face that gave Hideo the victory.

Episode 2
The tournament for the new number one contender for the NXT title continues as Adrian Neville takes on Tyson Kidd. These two know each other so well now and begin cautiously in front of a very split crowd. The two evenly matched competitors put on yet another great match together that went back and forth and seemed like it could have went either way. At the climactic end of the battle Neville nailed a Red Arrow for the victory advancing in the tourney.

Next, Charlotte and Bayley took on Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch in tag team action. Tensions ran high and it wasn’t long before things got out of hand when Bayley attempted to break up a pin and Sasha moved causing Charlotte to take the attack. This culminated in an all-out brawl between the two before being separated by several referees.

The tag title are on the line next as Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy take on The Lucha Dragons. If there is any team in NXT that can match the energy of The Luchas it is Blake and Murphy. The two evenly matched teams put on a back and forth battle that seemed to be swinging in the favor of Kalisto and Sin Cara. But in the final moments with Sin Cara thrown from the ring Buddy Murphy made the blind tag to Blake. Kalisto nailed Murphy with a Selida Del So only for Blake to roll him up for the surprise pin. It was another upset victory for Team B.A.M., this time culminating in tag team gold.

The tournament continues with Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey colliding once again in another match that was a short burst of violence. In a match that was far from pretty or technical these two brawled inside the ring and out before Corbin put down Dempsey with an emphatic End Of Days for the victory. It was another win for Corbin, but I have a feeling this one is far from over.

Out next is William Regal, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens for a contract signing. Regal lays down the law telling them that this will not end like every other contract signing in the WWE. In fact, if they lay their hands on each other the match is off. Zayn lays down an impassioned promo before signing the contract. Owens pauses pointing out that the contract says it is a non-title match. He continues stating that regardless of what Zayn thinks it is not personal, rather that it is about the prize. He says that title means more money and a better life for him and his family, and that he refuses to sign. Zayn pleads to Regal make it a title match. Regal relents, amends the contract on the spot and Owens signs. We are officially in store for one hell of a main event at Takeover.

Episode 3
Cass and Enzo make their way out to a huge pop from the crowd to introduce Carmella. Her opponent for the evening is a returning Emma. This was a short but entertaining match that was largely one sided with Emma in control. However a crafty Carmella thwarted the Australians offense with a drop toe hold into her finishing submission maneuver, a modified head scissors, giving Emma no choice but to tap out.

The number one contenders tournament goes into the semi-finals with an intriguing match as Adrian Neville takes on Baron Corbin. Using his size to his advantage Corbin made an impressive showing against Neville. However, the wily Neville took the fight right to the big man providing  Corbin with perhaps his greatest challenge yet. At one point Corbin ended up on the floor and with the referee distracted Bull Dempsey ran down and rammed Corbin into the steel ring post. Corbin managed to make the count back in the ring but the worse for the wear, allowing Neville to lay him out and finish him off with a red arrow and advance to the finals.

In perhaps the best womens match of the night, Becky Lynch took on Bayley. Lynch took the advantage early on working on Bayleys leg. Eventually Bayley started to turn things around and ejected Lynch from the ring onto the floor. Banks came out “coaching” her partner, yelling at her to get back in there, eventually picking her up and rolling her back in the ring. Unfortunately for her Bayley met her with a Belly to Bayley for the win. After Banks and Lynch began to argue in the ring and that evolved into shoving before they were interrupted by Charlottes music as the champ emerged at the end of the ramp. All four women stared off, the magnitude Takeover looming.

Credit: @wgwphotos

Our final semi-final tournament match was a match that could headline about anywhere in the world as Finn Balor took on Hideo Itami. The crowd was marking out before the bell even rang. These two are so evenly matched and similar, and in showed in their bout as well, a grueling match that swung back and forth like a pendulum and showcased so much of the signature ringwork of these two men. It was a match that could have went either way, but tonight it swung in the favor of Finn Balor who finished Itami with his double stomp off the top rope.

At the end of the entrance ramp, Balor shakes hands with the other finalist Adrian Neville. These two will meet at Takeover. As anyone who has seen their past work together would attest, these two may well steal the show.

Dark Match Main Event
Our final match of the evening saw Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville take on Tyson Kidd and Kevin Owens. Neville and Owens are set to start when Zayn tags himself in. Not impressed Owens tags in Kidd and the action begins. Smartly, they kept Owens and Zayn apart with Kidd handling most of the work. Finally, Owens picks his moment running in to attack Zayn only for Zayn to turn things around and eject Owens for the ring. With a firm advantage now, Zayn looked to have the match won for his team after a helluva kick to Kidd only for Owens to run back in and begin a beatdown on Zayn and the referee throws out the match. After putting down Sami Zayn with a massive powerbomb, once again an evening at Full Sail ends with Kevin Owens standing over the body of Sami Zayn.


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