Saturday, April 4, 2015

NXT Palatka 4-3-15

Friday night world class wrestling hit the tiny town of Palatka, Fl in the form on NXT. The roar of a modest yet passionate crowd reverberated through the National Guard Armory as the men and women of NXT prepared to do battle once again.

The night begins with womens action as Carmella takes on fan favorite Bayley. The bell rings and the match starts with trash talk before Bayley puts on Carmellas coat and runs around the ring to the delight of the crowd as Carmella gives chase. Back into the ring and Carmella takes down Bayley, puts on her head band and begins mocking her. Bayley pounces and takes charge hitting an array of signature moves against Carmella. Bayley missed an elbow in the corner and Carmella takes advantage. First she attacks with a series of punches and kicks before wrapping Bayley up in a body scissors, which eventually Bayley fights her way out of and lands a Belly-To-Bayley from out of nowhere for the pin. It was a fun match and a great way to start the evening.

Next Solomon Crowe takes on the tortured Marcus Louis. The two approach each other cautiously at first until Louis starts closing in and Crowe fends him off with kicks which don’t do much to faze Louis. After a short bit of back and forth action Marcus takes control of the match, stalking Crowe slowly making every strike count. The pace quickens and Louis lays out Crowe with a devastating side slam followed by a mandible claw until Crowe reaches the ropes and the hold is broken. Crowe eventually begins to mount a comeback and rocks the big man with a series of strikes and finally topples him with a dropkick to the knees. Solomon Crowe then contorts Louis into a Stretch Muffler for the submission victory. This was an entertaining match that both men came out of looking good. The high energy Crowe is always exciting to watch with his explosive offense, while Louis is excelling and only getting better as the tortured monster.

The action continues with Elias Sampson vs Steve Cutler. Sampson is back to his lone drifter guitar slinger gimmick, it’s fitting and he really makes it work. Sampson starts off in control and throws Cutler into a side headlock. Cutler keeps trying to mount offense but Sampson won’t relinquish the hold and keeps shutting him down. Cutler finds an opening and starts to tear into Sampson. He beats down Sampson with punches and power moves before he begins wrenching the neck and grounding his faster opponent. Sampson makes sporadic comebacks before laying Cutler completely out with an awesome standing knee strike from out of nowhere, following with flying elbow off the top rope for the pin. Elias Sampson is a charismatic guy with tons of untapped potential; hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more from the drifter as I surmise he is one to look out for. Steve Cutler is a powerful and muscular guy with a look that could probably take him far in the WWE. His move-set is fairly limited thus far, but it’s really too early and we simply haven’t seen enough of Steve Cutler to say what the future holds for him, but he certainly has the tools.

Ty Dillinger comes out for a promo about his “Perfect 10” gimmick. He says so far he only gives the show a 3, but not to worry because later he will give us a performance that is a perfect 10.

The night rolls on with tag team action as Big Cass and Enzo Amore take on the champs, Blake and Murphy. The champs start strong working over Cass but with the momentum of the crowd behind them it wasn’t long before Cass and Amore were firmly in control showing off some great double team moves, with some comical spots thrown in. Shortly after though the champs turn things around and isolate Amore. After much punishment and some impressive tandem moves from Blake and Murphy, Enzo finds an opening and makes the hot tag to Cass who comes in with fury, ejecting Blake and laying out Murphy with a side slam and a big boot. He tags Amore to set up for an assisted splash, but Blake intervenes and pulls Cass off the apron. Murphy takes advantage of the distracted Amore, laying him out with an emphatic vertical suplex followed by a frogsplash from Blake for the win.

Tonight it would be the ladies to steal the show in the form of triple threat action featuring Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch. Upon the opening bell Banks and Lynch immediately target Charlotte, but she is having none of it and quickly ejects Lynch from the ring. It’s one on one now and Charlotte is on fire tonight, easily controlling the champ until Lynch eventually makes her way back into the ring after several attempts. Then the double teaming begins and it is now Lynch who is looking as impressive as she controls the match and hits a trifecta of perfect leg drops onto Charlotte. Eventually Charlotte gets tossed from the ring and finally Banks and Lynch turn on each other. The two went through an amazing few minutes of several pin attempts and counter after counter, with neither women taking the definitive advantage.  Charlotte is back in with a vengeance with a neckbreaker to Banks and a spear to Lynch. Moments later Lynch lands a beautiful Bexplex on Charlotte and looks to have the match won before Banks narrowly breaks the count. All ladies make it back up and Banks gets tossed outside the ring and Charlotte puts Lynch into a figure four leg lock giving Lynch no choice but to tap. Readers of the blog know how highly I already think of these three ladies, but yet they continue to outdo themselves. A great match and most definitely match of the evening.

Next is six man tag action with The Mechanics and Mike Rawlis taking on Shoot Nation, which tonight consists of Chad Gable, Angelo Dawkins, and Sawyer Fulton. Shoot Nation starts out strong and looking very impressive as they attempt to make quick work of their adversaries. Gable is downright fun to watch when he is on a roll, which he was tonight along with both of his teammates. But with a little cunning and sometimes a little bending of the rules The Mechanics always find a way to take over. That is when Wilder and Dawson are at their best, methodically dissecting their opponents with tag team precision. They take their time taking Gable apart until he makes the hot tag to Dawkins who comes in and clears house. As they often do in these type of matches, it evolves into chaos which the Mechanics would use to their advantage as Dawson flapjacks Dawkins into the waiting knees of Wilder who scores the pin. This was one of the highlight matches of a pretty good card and all six men came out looking great, including the rookie Mike Rawlis who looked to be at his best thus far. Hopefully, this also signals a renewed focus on the Shoot Nation concept which they seem to have backed off of in recent months.

Next is Ty Dillinger taking on Bull Dempsey. In the early goings after every successful maneuver Dillinger retreats to his corner to hold up his perfect 10 sign. Eventually Bull has enough and has a little fun of his own grabbing Dillingers 10 sign and sticking down his trunks and shaking his rump much to Dillingers chagrin. An angry Dillinger attacks with a vengeance but Dempsey turns things around flattening Ty in the corner with a splash followed by a dreaded stinkface. The action continues and Dempsey runs Ty down and climbs the ropes to go for his flying headbutt but Dillinger rolls out of the way. Ty plays possum and suckers Bull in, first taking the big man down that laying him out with a facebreaker knee smash for the win. It was a fun match. As silly as the new gimmick initially seemed Dillinger is making it work. They seem to go back and forth on Dempsey at house shows these days but I still think he could have a pretty good face run.

Our main event of the evening saw Tyler Breeze take on Baron Corbin. Prince Pretty was anything but intimidated by his opponent and took plenty of time to pose and make muscles in between lock-ups. At house shows Breeze is more prone to cut-up and quite frankly it makes it hard to boo the guy. The two get serious and tear into each other in a match that was hardly technical with lots of brawling that took them to the outside on several occasions. Outside the ring Breeze sent Corbin into the ring post and took over. Back inside after more brawling Corbin mounts a comeback but is laid out with a superkick. A frustrated Breeze exposes the turnbuckle and as the referee attempts to fix it Tyler uses the distraction to grab a chair. Before he can swing it the referee turns around and wrests it from Breeze who turns around and walks into an End Of Days from Corbin. Corbin takes the pin putting a cap on a good physical match. Tyler Breeze is entertaining as always and I am enjoying seeing him employing a lot of great old school heel tactics lately such as eye pokes and exposed turnbuckles. Baron Corbin is looking comfortable in higher profile matches and showing a growing versatility. Since it seems a lot of fans are turning on him anyway I would love to see a full blown heel turn. He hasn’t exactly been a face thus far, but was definitely the fan favorite of sorts in his television feud with a heel Bull Dempsey.

As Corbin celebrates his victory Kevin Owens music hits and the champ strolls out and stares down Corbin. He circles the ring slowly and teases getting in, but only smirks and heads back to the back. If this is a foreshadowing of things to come then huge things are on the horizon for Baron Corbin.


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