Friday, June 19, 2015

Full Sail TV Tapings 6-18-15

Written by Wayne Mason
Photos by Maryann Mason

Thursday night NXT Faithful once again piled into Full Sail University for another action packed evening of television tapings. The following recap contains spoilers for the next four episodes of NXT. The division between episodes three and 4 are a little unclear, but the order of matches are dead on.

The evening starts off with a very notable dark match as the much anticipated Uhaa Nation takes on indie wrestler Johnny Gargano. This was a great fast paced match that went back and forth seeing both men looking strong. Gargano matched Uhaa's power with speed, but unfortunately for Gargano, Uhaa is just as nimble. After a short but impressive exhibition, Uhaa finishes his opponent with a military press followed by two standing moonsaults. One gets the impression that Uhaa Nation is going to be a very big deal in a very short time.

Shortly afterward the entire locker room takes the stage to pay tribute to the late, great Dusty Rhodes. Triple H says a few words and leads us into a chilling 10 bell salute. I've seen the tributes on television but it is so much more powerful live, especially the immense silence between the tolling of the bells where you are left thinking of the massive impact Dusty Rhodes has had on every single person in the building.

Episode 1

Hideo Itami makes his way to the ring with his arm in a sling. He tells us that it will be another three or four months before he will be back in action. He states that it does not matter who wins the title in Tokyo, because he is coming back for the title. He is interrupted by Kevin Owens who says that Itami is delusional and that on July 4th he is going to end Finn Balor for good. He then tells Hideo he came out to say he had nothing to do with Itami's injury. He also demands an apology from Itami for calling him a "bad man". Hideo responds by telling Owens that he is a great champion but a terrible human being. An angry Kevin Owens begins to head to the ring but Balor runs out to make the save. Balor and Owens fight up the ramp and onto the stage. Balor has the upper hand but is attacked by Rhyno, who leaves Balor laying.

Tag team action is next as Jason Jordan and Sylvester Lefort take on Enzo Amore and Big Cass. After an inital flurry of offense from Zo, Jordan takes over easily tossing Amore around the ring. However mere moments later after Lefort gets tossed to the floor, a distracted Jordan gets rolled up by Amore for the pin. This was a very short match, but it was good to see the Frenchman Lefort back in an NXT ring.

Next up Cassie (KC Cassidy) takes on Dana Brooke who is accompanied to the ring by Emma. Cassie starts strong with some fast paced offense culminating in a perfect headscissors, but eventually the power of Brooke comes into play. Brooke pummels Cassie with a series of strikes and kicks before settling into a grounded abdominal stretch. Cassie eventually mounts a comeback with a clothesline and a series of high kicks. She climbs the ropes, but Dana hoists Cassie onto her shoulders and slams her to the mat with a Samoan Driver for the win. Dana Brooke is showing improvement, but is still a very polarizing figure to a very split crowd.

We continue with more tag action as the "Hype Bros." Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley take on Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins. Rawley starts for his team with his usual antics, banter, and dancing around before Dawkins finally gets the advantage for his team. They work over Rawley for a bit before he makes the hot tag to Ryder who comes in with a flurry of fast paced offense culminating in a Broski Boot. Mojo hoists Dawkins into the air and Ryder comes off the ropes with a Rough Ryder for the pin. I am really enjoying seeing Zack Ryder get more of a spotlight, I just wish he didn't have to share it with Mojo Rawley.

Next Finn Balor takes on Rhyno, while Kevin Owens is on commentary. A fired up Balor takes the fight right to his opponent as the two immediately begin brawling. The speed of Balor comes into play as Rhyno is left one step behind his opponent. Rhyno gets tossed to the outside and Balor takes flight out and onto his enemy. Moments later, back in the ring Rhyno catches Balor with a thunderous spinebuster slowing the pace of the match. He throws on a massive bear hug before Finn finally breaks free. Finn levels Rhyno with a pele kick and climbs the ropes. Owens comes out to cause a distraction. Still, Balor manages to dodge a gore and answer with a slingblade followed by a Coup De Grace for the pin. Afterwards, Owens and Rhyno begin to beat down Finn Balor until Samoa Joe storms the ring to make the save.

Episode 2

The episode begins with Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder taking on The Vaudevillians. Gotch and English start off with some of their signature antics before Dawson and Wilder take control of the match. The two begin to take apart Gotch briefly before he makes the hot tag to English. With Dawson ejected from the ring, Gotch uppercuts Wilder and English follows with his running swinging neckbreaker for the pin. This was another really short tag match. Regardless I am very happy to see Dawson and Wilder finally on television, and it won't be long before they are challenging for gold. The Vaudevillians, who seemed to be on the backburner for a bit, are gaining some valuable momentum lately.

Next, Tucker Knight takes on Baron Corbin. This was a squash match with Corbin easily finishing his opponent with an End Of Days. I really don't think they are doing Corbin any favors with these squash matches, the man is really capable of so much more.

Women's action is next as Emma takes on Carmella. The two go back and forth in the early goings as the two jockey for the advantage. Finally, Emma slows the pace with a leg scissors. Later, Carmella comes back with a Lou Thez Press followed by a series of kicks. However moments later Emma would comeback contorting Carmella into an Emma Lock giving her no choice but to tap out. Again, another shorter match but entertaining nonetheless.

Ty Dillinger is out next with huge crowd support. His opponent for the evening is Prince Pretty Tyler Breeze. An aggressive Dillinger takes charge pummeling his opponent with a series of kicks, stomps, and chops. Breeze fires back, landing a hurricanrana and following with his own series of punches. The pace quickens and the match goes back and forth until Breeze lands a Beauty Shot for the win. Win or lose, the crowd support for Dillinger is growing exponentially every week and deservedly so.

Next is Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs Rhyno and Kevin Owens. The match is off to a hot start as Joe pummels Rhyno, who quickly makes the tag to Owens. Moments later Owens has the advantage over Balor. He wears him down and keeps going back to a chinlock, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Eventually Owens goes into a sequence of Cena's "5 moves of doom" culminating in a five knuckle shuffle on Balor. Owens attempts an Attitude Adjustment but Balor escapes making the hot tag to Samoa Joe. Joe comes in on fire but moments later all four men are in the ring as chaos ensues. Owens lays out Joe with a Pop-up Powerbomb, and nails Balor with a superkick, but Balor answers with a Pele Kick. Rhyno goes for a Gore but Balor dodges and he nails Owens instead. Joes disposes of Rhyno while Balor lands a Coup De Grace on Owens for the victory. This was a great match that had the crowd really fired up.

Ring announcers Jojo and Greg Hamilton are out next to hype the crowd, but an irate Kevin Owens storms the ring and screams at them to leave. He calls out Finn Balor, challenging him to a fight right then and there. Balor hits the ring and the two begin brawling until Balor hits a quick Slingblade from out of nowhere and follows with a dropkick to Owens in the corner. He follows with a Coup De Grace and a pin for a huge upset and an even bigger statement.

Episode 3

Dana Brooke and Emma are out next for tag action. Sasha Banks comes out the ring alone, apparently she could not find a partner but was willing to take them on regardless. Charlotte's music hits and the former champ makes her way to the ring. She tells Banks she will tag with her but she owes her. Charlotee and Sasha start off the match strong dominating Brooke. She makes the tag to Emma who turns things around for her team snapmaring Charlotte by the hair and wearing her down with Leg Scissors. Later Charlotte makes the tag to Banks who comes in and pummels Brooke with a series of punches, kicks, and finally running knees in the corner. She locks Brooke into a Bank Statement while Charlotte locks Emma into a Figure-4 leaving both the bad girls tapping. Afterwards, Charlotte tells Banks she wants a title shot next week. Sasha tells her "It's on!"

Next up Solomon Crowe takes on the deranged Marcus Louis. Crowe starts off strong with a series of strikes and chops that seem to take little effect on Louis. Still yet the speedy Crowe managed to to stay one step ahead of the Frenchman until Louis knocks Crowe off the ropes and slows the pace. First knocking the wind out of him with a series of knees before settling into an abdominal stretch. Eventually Crowe mounts a comeback and nails Louis with a cutter. Crowe whips Louis to the corner and follows with a high knee. He sends Louis to the mat with a dropkick to the knee and follows with a Stretch Muffler for a submission victory. Crowe was explosive as always and looks better with each outing. Marcus Louis is brilliant as the tortured monster, I’m just starting to wonder how much it is actually connecting with audiences.

A number one contenders match for the NXT Tag titles is next as The Vaudevillians challenge Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy. After an initials flurry of offense Gotch and English manage to isolate Enzo with frequent tags and some great tandem wrestling. Inevitably Amore makes the hot tag to Cass who comes in with a splash and a slam followed by a big boot to English. He lays out English with a side slam and looks to set up an assisted splash with Enzo. Gotch grabs a hold of Cass’s boots allowing a distraction. Enzo leaps onto English with a crossbody into a pin but English reverses pinning Amore.

It’s more tag team action as Elias Sampson and Steve Cutler take on Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Jordan and Gable make an impressive team with Jordan overpowering Sampson followed by excellent grappling from Gable against Cutler. Later, the impressive Sampson mounts a flurry of offense for his team but it was still a pretty one-sided affair. In the closing moments Jordan tosses Cutler into the air and Gable catches him for a belly to back suplex pinning combination. Deservedly so Gable got a nice reaction from the crowd. Gable is a superb grappler and absolutely fun to watch.

Next Samoa Joe faces newcomer Axel Tischer. Immediately Joe attacks with a flurry of punches. Tischer makes attempts to fight back, but no to avail and he ends up on the receiving end of a big boot from Joe followed by a senton. Tischer eventually comes back with small bursts of offense.
Ultimately, he runs into a big side slam and Joe follows with a Musclebuster. He then locks Axel into a Coquina Clutch for the submission victory. Largely a one-side match but a very intense one, as it often is whenever Samoa Joe is in the ring.

Episode 4

Eva Marie comes out and gives a short promo saying that she hopes we are ready, because next week she will be wrestling right here on NXT. Eva Marie seemed more confident this outing, or at the very least better at blocking out the pure heat of a very hateful crowd.

The tag team champions Blake and Murphy are out next to make short work of Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins. Despite early offense Murphy fairly easily takes control of Dawkins, meanwhile Blake sneaks around the side of the ring and pulls Fulton off the apron. Murphy lands his fantastic running suplex on Dawkins and Blake follows with a frogsplash for the victory. After the match they beat down Fulton. Blake and Murphy pick Alexa off the turnbuckles and carries her over where she springboards out of their arms into an impressive Sparkle Splash onto Fulton adding insult to injury.

Sami Zayn comes out to a huge pop from the fans. He tells us that while 2014 was the best year of his career, 2015 has been the worst. He explains that he likely won’t be back this year, but he will eventually be back better than ever for his NXT Title. He continues by stating revenge is a great motivator and that Kevin Owens “had better watch his ass!”

Our final match and easily the show-stealing match of the evening saw Charlotte challenging Sasha Banks for the women’s title. They start with several long lock-ups ending in a stalemate. Charlotte eventually gets the first advantage locking Banks into a Figure-4 headlock. Later Banks comes back landing her double knee drop in the corner and thus slows the pace. She locks Charlotte into a Straightjacket and eventually a Figure-4 headlock of her own. Showing of her strength Charlotte makes it to her feet with Sasha still on her shoulders, flips her around and lands a thunderous powerbomb. She follows with a neckbreaker and a spear, but Sasha fights back and the two begin to brawl. After several pin attempts Charlotte eventually locks on the Figure-4 headlock. Moments later as the two went back and forth until Sasha locked Charlotte into the Bank Statement for the victory. Afterwards the two hugged in the ring before Charlotte headed to the back. This was another instant classic between these two ladies. This was likely Charlotte’s big send-off to the main roster. She will definitely be missed, but no doubt deserves that larger stage precisely because of tremendous matches like these.


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