Saturday, August 8, 2015

NXT Orlando 8-7-15

Written by Wayne Mason
Photos by Maryann Mason

Friday night the superstars of NXT delivered another evening of solid wrestling action. The Orlando Armory was once again packed with a standing room crowd that included the remaining competitors of WWE’s Tough Enough. It was a solid card with a few unusual match-ups, and show-stealing tag matches.

The night starts off with the super-over tag team of Cass and Enzo who come to the ring with much fanfare. Their opponents are Marcus Louis and Alexander Wolfe (formerly Axel Tischer), they are accompanied to the ring by Sylvester Lefort, who is once again in a managerial role. The fan favorites start off strong with Enzo using his size and speed advantage over the much larger Wolfe. On a roll Enzo climbs the ropes, but with the referee distracted Lefort knocks him off the ropes. Marcus does what he does best, stalking his prey slowly before beating him down and grounding Amore. Later Enzo finds an opening and makes a hot tag, but a once again distracted referee misses the tag and sends Cass back to the apron. However, moments later Enzo would once again make a hot tag to Cass who would come in with a mean clothesline and several strikes, whipping both men into the same corner and following with a splash. Lefort climbs onto the ring apron and Cass yanks him into the ring, whipping him into the corner and splashing all three men. He nails Marcus with a big boot and follows with a swinging side slam to Wolfe. Enzo climbs the turnbuckle and they follow with Air Zo for the win. A simple, but fun match and a great way to start the evening. I’m also glad to see Sylvester Lefort back in NXT.

The drifter Elias Sampson comes out next and serenades us with song berating the Orlando crowd with lyrics such as “I’d say it’s nice to be here/ But that would be a lie”. His opponent Bull Dempsey is out next to a huge Bull-Fit chant. Sampson belittles the fitness of Dempsey, dropping to the mat to give us several push-ups. Dempsey answers by dropping for some push-ups of his own, and after digging down deep manages to give us three of them. An irate Sampson attacks and settles into a headlock. He runs the ropes and bounces off an unmovable, tired Dempsey. Moments later outside the ring Dempsey gives chase to Elias but gets winded rather easily. They make their way back into the ring and he pummels the exhausted Bull before settling into a chinlock. He follows with several strikes, but by this point Bull begins to “hulk up” and fire back with a flurry of jabs of his own. He runs the ropes and runs down Sampson, then climbs the turnbuckles for the Whoopie Cushion giving him an easy pin-fall victory. Afterwards Tyler Breeze comes out with his stoic new bodyguard Radomir Petkovic. The stonefaced Petkovic comes in and stands face to face with Dempsey before extending his hand. Dempsey accepts his handshake and is given a thunderous modified tombstone for his troubles. Bull Dempsey is more over than he has ever been with this Bull-fit gimmick. The highly athletic Elias Sampson is perhaps one of my favorite up and comers and I am even a fan of the guitar carrying drifter gimmick. However, the singing songs for cheap heat really takes away from the cool mystique of the whole character. At any rate it was a silly yet fun match, as most all Dempsey matches have been lately.

Next up is women’s tag action with the team of Dana Brooke and Eva Marie taking on Carmella and Billie Kay (formerly Jessie McKay). In the early goings Kay stays one step ahead of Brooke following some back and forth grappling and culminating with a nice headscissors before tagging in Carmella. The princess of Staten Island keeps the momentum going for her team leading into a headscissors of her own on Eva Marie. Later Dana causes a distraction which is enough for Eva to take advantage and pummel Kay in the corner. Eva slows down the pace as she works over Kay. She tags in Brooke who begins to work over. Somewhere in the fray Kay apparently got her nose busted and the match was called as a no-contest. It didn’t appear to be broken, and later on Twitter she boiled it down to a bloodied nose. Unfortunate that the match ended so abruptly as all four ladies are doing so well. Billie Kay definitely has all the tools to step up and be the next star for the recently gutted women’s division. Dana Brooke is improving at such an exponential rate and looking better and better every week.

Next up, Levis Valenzuela Jr is out for an interview with Dasha Fuentes. He puts over NXT as the hottest brand around, along with all of the talent in the back. It was a very wordy promo that really didn’t say that much. However, Valenzuela could sell anything with his charisma and contagious exuberance. Finally, it is fiesta time. His music hits and he leads the crowd in dance along with Dasha.

The action continues with the perfect ten Ty Dillinger taking on Riddick Moss (formerly Mike Rallis). The early goings start with Moss mocking Dillinger. Moments later Ty comes up on the winning end of a series of grapples, then cartwheels to his corner to hold up his 10 sign. Finally Moss takes a cheap shot and beats down Dillinger. He delivers a massive yet awkward backdrop before settling into a chinlock. Riddick Moss controls the majority of the match with Ty making sporadic comebacks. Moss tosses Ty across the ring with a massive fallaway slam, but moments later Dillinger delivered a superkick that would make the whole crowd crings. Dillinger quickly follows with a facebuster to the knee for the victory. Maybe not a perfect 10, but you can be guaranteed Ty Dillinger is going to give you a hell of a performance every time he gets in the ring.

Mixed tag action is next with the unusual pairing of The Vaudevillians and Bayley take on Blake, Murphy, and Alexa Bliss. The girls start but Bliss quickly tags out to Murphy who quickly finds himself in a headlock from Aiden English. The Vaudevillians manage to stay one step ahead of the champs and eventually tag Bayley back in. Bliss sweeps Bayley’s legs out from under her and delivers a barrage of strikes. Bayley fires back and eventually spins atop Bliss with her signature Slip-N-Slide. With Bliss still prone on the mat Bayley attempts a patented Vaudevillians hammerlock and squats. Blake and Murphy run in but get dropped and locked up by Gotch and English. In a “This is awesome” moment Bayley, Gotch, and English gave us 10 manly (and womanly) squats at the expense of their grounded opponents. As if things could not get more epic Bayley finds herself alone in the ring with Blake and not intimidated she kicks him in the gut and delivers a stone cold stunner to the delight of the erupting crowd. English drops down talking trash in Blake’s face ala Steve Austin. Moments later Murphy takes over beating down English. Eventually, English makes the hot tag to Gotch who comes in and clears house with innovative strike and kicks. The Vaudevillians hit their uppercut/neckbreaker finisher but Bliss breaks the pin before walking over and smacking Bayley. The gentlemanly English grabs Bliss, kissing her on the hand before tagging Bayley who comes in to deliver a Belly-To-Bayley for the pin. This was a really fun match with possibly a lot of foreshadowing pertaining to not only the tag titles, but a future women’s title feud.

Next, Apollo Crews takes on Tucker Knight. In the opening Knight easily outpowers Crews, tossing him around before settling into a headlock. Crews comes back with a beautiful dropkick and an impressive suplex. The much larger Knight fires back with big clubbing blows. He pummels Crews in the corner, eventually locking him into a full nelson. The match continues pretty one-sided until Knight climbs the turnbuckles and Crews picks him off of them lifting the big man into a military press before dropping him and following with an astounding standing moonsault. Not his best match, but as always, Apollo delivers. I just can’t wait to see him move up and into the main event picture.

The night continues with show-stealing tag action as Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder take on the team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. In the early moments Dawson and Gable go back and forth with excellent grappling but Gable finds himself on top locking in an armbar. Dawson takes cheap liberty raking the eyes of Gable, but to little avail. Gable is on fire delivering several armdrags and back into an armbar. Jordan keeps the momentum going with a few fireman carry slams and impressive suplexes before tagging Gable back in who immediately is back on the arm of Wilder. Gable is on fire tonight with fast paced grappling, but eventually Dash drops him onto the ropes and takes control. Dawson and Wilder slow the pace and take control with impressive tandem wrestling and frequent tags. Gable makes a slight comeback with an armbar over the ropes, but Dawson wrests control back with a slingshot suplex before continuing to decimate Gable. Dawson charges the corner but Gable dodges and makes the hot tag. Jordan comes in with a series of dropkicks and impressive overhead suplexes for both Dawson and Wilder. Moments later with all men in the fray Jordan gets ejected from the ring leaving Gable by himself. Dawson and Wilder take advantage hitting Gable with the Shatter Machine for the victory. Fans who lament the state of tag team wrestling need to see these two teams compete, easily my favorite teams in all of NXT.

Our main event is Solomon Crowe taking on Prince Pretty Tyler Breeze, who is once again accompanied by Radomir Petkovic. After an initial back and forth Crowe goes for an early Stretch Muffler, but Petkovic pulls Breeze to the ropes. Referee Drake Wuertz is having none of it and quickly ejects Petkovic to the back. With the playing field level, Crowe attacks Breeze with a kick and then a clothesline out of the ring before lounging atop the turnbuckle to mock Breeze. Getting back to business Crowe shoots out of the ring like a bullet with a suicide dive into Breeze. The two brawl on the outside with Crowe on the attack until Breeze launches him into the ring steps. Breeze wisely slows the pace while targeting the leg of Crowe. He wraps Crowe’s leg around the ringpost and contorts him into a half crab. Crowe makes the ropes and is eventually back to his feet. Back and forth action ensues until Crowe takes charge attacking the leg of Breeze. He attempts a Stretch Muffler but Breeze makes it to the ropes. Moments later Breeze launches himself over the ropes but Crowe catches him for a front facelock cutter. The two battered men continues to fight to the point they can barely stand. Breeze lands a superkick out of nowhere and locks Crowe into a cloverleaf. Later, Crowe mounts a final comeback hitting Breeze with his patented high knee and following with a dropkick to the knee. He locks Breeze into a Stretch Muffler but Petkovic runs back out and jumps onto the apron. Crowe confronts him but turns back around to walk into a Beauty Shot giving Tyler Breeze a cheap victory. This was a great match with both men proving that they are main event players.


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