Sunday, January 18, 2015

NXT Jacksonville 1-17-15

The infamously boisterous Jacksonville fans piled into the Maxwell Snyder Armory for another intense night of wrestling action. The men and women of NXT looked to finish their weekend on a strong note and that they did. Fans would leave just as fired up as they were when they arrived, after witnessing a night of ongoing feuds and dream matches.

The night began with the power of Tony Briggs vs the speed of Elias Sampson, both wrestlers that I’m looking forward to seeing more of. The natural heel Tony Briggs immediately used to his size and strength to try and take the early advantage over the energetic Sampson who halted Briggs momentum with an impressive jumping knee strike to the face. Unfortunately for both men it didn’t really matter who took control at all, because Kevin Owens stormed the ring and he wasn’t in a very good mood. He immediately executed a brutal pumphandle neckbreaker to Sampson and followed with a cannonball senton to Briggs in the corner. For good measure he finished off Sampson with a vicious powerbomb and then grabs a microphone. He answered the fans “that was awesome” chants with a foreboding warning. He said that wasn’t awesome, but it was pretty good. He promised it would be awesome later when he was done, because he was only getting started. He exits the ring and brutalizes Briggs who had just made it to his feet.

Next up Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins of Shoot Nation took on the bizarre pairing of CJ Parker and Ty Dillinger in what turned out to be an exciting tag match. In the opening moments Parker makes the mistake of challenging Dawkins to amateur style wrestling which didn’t turn out too well for the hippy. Using their shoot skills and definitive size advantage Fulton and Dawkins looked great until the experience and cunning of Parker and Dillinger came into play. Keeping Fulton isolated from his corner Parker and Dillinger punished their opponent and worked surprisingly well together. Rolling out of the path of a moonsault from Parker would allow Fulton to make the hot tag to Dawkins who came like a man possessed. In the chaotic final moments a isolated Dillinger would receive a backbreaker from Fulton followed by a spear from Dawkins for the pin and a victory for Shoot Nation. In a tag team division that I’m constantly raving about, Fulton and Dawkins are yet another team that I look forward to each night. It’s also worth noting that Ty Dillingers following seems to grow with every show despite whatever gimmick he has that particular week. Perhaps Dillinger just needs to be Dillinger, the talent speaks for its self.

Enzo Amore and Big Cass make their way out to a huge pop, which is par for the course with this always over duo. Amore goes through his usual animated spiel before introducing Carmella, who once again reminds us that she sent “Old Bluepants” to the clearance rack and is now looking to go straight to the top of the womens division. Big Colin Cassidy takes the mic and inspired by a fan in the crowd dressed as Sting makes a mock phone call to HHH, letting him know that the vigilante Sting is here in Jacksonville, Florida and sitting in the fourth row. Sometimes these random promos in the middle of a wrestling card come off as pointless, but when Big Cass and Enzo are involved it is always entertaining and the crowd is left pumped.

Next Solomon Crowe takes on Kalisto. In the early going Kalisto took the advantage with his speed and agility. It wasn’t long before Crowe took the advantage after bicycle kicking Kalisto in the face as he flew off the turnbuckle, followed by Crowes explosive running knee into a grounded Kalisto in the corner. Crowe then followed by punishing and wearing down Kalisto. However, the luchadore is never easy to keep down and mounted a comeback with his lightning fast offense. A corkscrew body press off the ropes followed by a Salida Del Sol was enough to give Kalisto the pinfall victory. These two obviously know each other well and have a great chemistry, but for Crowe fans it was another bad night and another disappointing loss.

It’s not often you get that “big fight feel” before it’s even intermission time, but that is exactly what happened. In a match that could have very well been the main event fans saw Finn Balor vs Hideo Itami. Immediately upon the ringing of the bell Neville tosses Hideo out of the ring and sets his sights upon Finn Balor. The two competitors tear into each other with fervor. Hideo, not to be an afterthought reemerges in the fray and from there it is non-stop action that had the entire crowd standing more than sitting. Unfortunately for his opponents Hideo is getting more comfortable in WWE rings as his strikes and world famous kicks are getting stiffer every night. Finn Balor is already main event quality on any roster in the world. Tonight though it was Adrian Neville who was a step ahead of everyone proving why he was the longest reigning NXT champion ever with his dizzying offense and unparalleled speed. Neville managed to end it with a superkick to Hideo followed by a perfectly executed 450 splash off the top ropes for the pin. The show could have ended right there and fans would have went home happy, but it was only intermission.

We come back from a short break for fatal four way womens wrestling action as Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Charlotte all faced off in an excellent fast paced match. Team B.A.E. controlled much of the match until the inevitable arguing over pins began. At this point the odds evened out and it was every woman for herself. In the final moments of the match Charlotte attempted to lock on a figure four on Sasha only to be kicked off and into Bayleys waiting arms for a Belly-To-Belly Suplex. Meanwhile Becky tosses Banks from the ring only for Charlotte to put down Lynch with a neckbreaker followed by a natural selection. Banks quickly pounced tossing Charlotte out of the ring and stealing the pin and walking out victorious once again, even if at the expense of her ally. I have nothing but positive things to say about all four competitors, and truth be known with performances like this they may just steal the show next month at Takeover.

Next up Jason Jordan steps up to the daunting challenge of facing the Alpha of NXT Baron Corbin. Jordan made an impressive showing against, while Corbin did a good job of selling his opponents offense. However it would all prove to be futile as the lone wolf Baron Corbin mounted an unstoppable comeback and lay out Jordan with an End Of Days. The celebration would be cut short though as Bull Dempsey hit the ring and laid out Corbin and accentuated it with a massive flying headbutt that would leave his nemesis laid out.

Newly crowned tag champs Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy defended their titles against everyones favorite gentleman bruisers The Vaudevillians. In a match that involved two great teams it’s strange that the most shocking moment of the match and possibly the whole evening came from the referee. In the early going referee Drake Wuertz (formerly Drake Younger) had enough of the disrespect from Aiden English and began pointing and yelling at the bad guy before he totally lost his cool and gave a deafening chest chop to English. Wuertz had a look as if to say “What the hell have I just done!” before he delivered a chop to Gotch as well followed by more shock. It was a fun moment that was probably spur of the moment due to how over Drake Wuertz really is with the Jacksonville crowd… but yet, on a night with a ridiculously stacked card, it’s funny that this was truly the OMG moment of the night. Soon order was restored and a more traditional tag match followed. Despite brawling referees The Vaudevillians managed to gain control isolating Blake and punishing him before he made the hot tag to Buddy Murphy who entered the ring as explosive as ever and laying waste. It was a running brainbuster to Gotch followed by a beautiful frogsplash from Blake that gave their team the win. Blake and Murphy are simply charismatic and exciting to watch and this title run is well deserved. Though the real question is will anyone ever really boo The Vaudevillians?

Our main event of the evening was an NXT title match with champion Sami Zayn defending against Tyler Breeze. The match began with plenty of antics as Breeze attempted to keep his distance from his enemy. Zayn got a hold of Breezes phone, and eventually put it down…. After taking a selfie. Then champ took control in the early going but Prince Pretty is not one to be taken lightly and shows it whenever he main events. It was an exhausting back and forth battle between the two that eventually saw Breeze take control. Zayn began to mount a comeback and executed a trademark Blue Thunder Bomb into a pin attempt. The two men made it to their feet and Zayn walked into a beautiful superkick from Breeze. Then Kevin Owens once again stormed the ring laying out Breeze and tossing him from the ring. He stood over Zayn, then picked him up to begin his attack. Out of nowhere, Zayn grabbed Owens and launched him into the turnbuckles with an exploder suplex. He looked to follow that with a Helluva kick, which Owens dodged before making a retreat into the back. Afterwards, Zayn cut a nice promo thanking the fans. Once again NXT delivered and even the notoriously smarky Jacksonville crowd went home happy.


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