Sunday, February 22, 2015

NXT Cocoa, 2-21-15

Saturday night it was standing room only at the National Guard Armory in Cocoa, Fl. The raucous crowd filled the room with a vibrant energy as they waited to see their favorite NXT stars do battle in the squared circle.

In the opening match Chad Gable takes on newcomer Michael Carter (formerly Mike Rawlis). The Olympian Gable starts things off with some excellent grappling and takedowns. Gable controlled the early goings and did it with ease, despite the size difference between the two. However, a fist is a good equalizer and Carter put an end to the grappling with a punch and took control of the match. Carter relied mostly on strikes and power moves, employing his strength advantage. His offense would come to an abrupt halt though due to a surprise roll-up giving Gable the pinfall victory. I’ve only seen Carter wrestle a handful of times now but he seems more confident with each outing. Chad Gable is a lot of fun to watch and I have no doubt with proper booking he can go very far.

Next up, The Mechanics take on Big Cass and Enzo Amore. The match starts off with plenty of trash talking and shenanigans, at the end of which Amore and Dawson start boxing it out. With that Amore gets the advantage as he and Cass work over Dawson. Eventually, thanks to a distraction from Wilder, The Mechanics managed to take control and work over Amore. When Dawson and Wilder are in control is when they are the most fun to watch, they’re not the flashiest tag team but they are as fluid as any other, working perfectly in tandem. Conversely, Enzo Amore is at his best when playing the underdog which he did until he created the opening to tag in his partner. Big Cass burst into the ring and cleared house, ejecting Dawson and dropping Wilder with a swinging side slam. He followed tossing Amore off the top turnbuckle for a splash onto Wilder for the pin.

The Vaudevillians are out next, seemingly rejuvenated with their old music and playing up to the crowd. They insist the Blake and Murphy are not gentleman, but rather thieves and philanderers. Firstly, for trying to steal Carmella from Cass and Enzo. Secondly, for stealing the tag team title opportunity from them. They promised to rectify that later in the evening. It’s great to see The Vaudevillians in a face role again.

Next is Jason Jordan takes on Solomon Crowe. Jordan takes the immediate power advantage over Crowe, who comes back with a quick flurry before Jordan shuts him down again. Wisely Jordan attempts to slow down the pace of the match with a series of rest holds followed by tossing Crowe around in a series of slams. Later, Crowe found an opening and fought back with a series of stiff punches and kicks. He then topped it off with a stretch muffler to which Jordan tapped out almost immediately. Crowe is explosive and exciting to watch, now that they have finally unleashed him it is only a matter of time before he becomes a part of an increasingly crowded main event scene.

Our next match is Tyler Breeze taking on Baron Corbin. Prince Pretty cautiously approaches Corbin and the two lock up for a moment and break cleanly. Breeze then rolls out of the ring starting his own “I’m the best!” chants while taking a victory lap around the ring. The referee gets Breeze back in and they lock up yet again for another clean break, at which point Breeze repeats his hijinks outside of the ring. Upon a third time, Corbin chased him back into the ring and the fight was on. Corbin nailed Breeze with a quick succession of moves that sent Breeze flying to the edge of the ring. Corbin baseball slides out of the ring, but rather than punch his opponent (like he normally would right then), he took the time to take a selfie with Tylers phone before slugging him. The two ended up brawling outside and Breeze ended up launching Corbin into the ringpost, seemingly turning things around for Breeze. Despite a brief bit of offense, the gorgeous one couldn’t seem to garner any real offense against Corbin. Baron made a comeback and looked to be finishing it with an End Of Days, but Breeze again rolled out of the ring and opted to be counted out giving Corbin the victory.

We follow with womens wrestling action as Bayley takes on Becky Lynch in another excellent contest between the two. These two have developed quite a chemistry and it shows by the amount of back and forth action when these two wrestle. The early advantage went to Bayley, but Becky quickly turned things around. First with a Bexplex and then a trifecta of leg drops, after which she began working the arm of her nemesis. Bayley makes a spirited comeback hitting a lot of her signature offense. Becky fights back but is caught by a Belly-to-Bayley from out of nowhere giving her one more victory over Lynch.

Next, Hideo Itami takes on Finn Balor. Like their match the previous night, this was a back and forth contest that had the entire crowd on the edge of their seat. Both men are similar in a lot of ways but it was Balor who looked to be trying to ground Hideo. Fired up, Itami keeps coming back though eventually landing a number of strikes and stiff kicks to Balor. They run the ropes and Balor counters Itami with a slingblade, followed by a running front dropkick. He then finished off with the Coup De Grace, his double foot stomp off the top rope giving him the pinfall victory. Afterwards, the match ended like it began; with a handshake. Hideo is over with the crowd, but Finn Balor is on fire.

The tag team titles are defended next as Blake and Murphy take on The Vaudevillains. This match was much like their previous encounter the night before with Gotch and English taking early advantage with a lot of their signature spots. They dominated the champs in the early goings until a blind tag gave the champs the advantage. At that point they targeted the leg of English and worked him over well before he managed to make the hot tag to Gotch who attempted to clear the ring, but Blake and Murphy managed to thwart his onslaught, landing a brainbuster followed by a frogsplash from Blake for the win.

Our main event was Kevin Owens vs Adrian Neville. I’ve seen these two wrestle several times now and could watch it several more. With the speed advantage Neville took control early on with a flurry of moves before Owens caught him and slowed down the pace. He punished Neville and seemed to relish it, gloating and mocking the crowd. Neville fights back, Owens catches his kick but Neville counters with an enziguri followed by a standing moonsault. After a pin attempt the two make it to their feet and Neville hits Owens with a superkick right on the button, followed by another kick out. Again on their feet Owens nails Neville with a pumphandle neckbreaker then ascends the ropes for a senton, but Neville counters with his knees. Soon after Neville goes up top for a 450 but Owens dodges. Both men are on their feet and Neville runs right into a pop-up powerbomb giving Owens the pin and one more victory.


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