Friday, October 16, 2015

NXT Cocoa 10-15-15

Written by Wayne Mason
Photos by Maryann Mason

Thursday fans piled into the National Guard Armory in Cocoa, Fl for the return of NXT. It was a not to be missed night featuring new faces, the return of familiar ones, and featured all the champions in action.

Out to start the night is NXT Women’s champ Bayley, who receives a much deserved pop hero’s welcome from the crowd. She begins by talking about Takeover, stating that they made history and that it was all like a dream to her. She puts over the whole roster before stating that they took the women’s division is at a whole new level. Then much to everyone’s surprise, she is interrupted by Cameron. She tells Bayley that everyone is talking about her, not just in NXT, but on the main roster as well. Cameron continues, telling Bayley that when she is done playing with girls she’ll be ready for her. Fighting champion Bayley relents and accepts her challenge on the spot. A referee is called out and we have a match.

Cameron takes a quick advantage putting Bayley in a side headlock. Bayley breaks free easily and rolls up Cameron for several pin attempts, following with a headlock of her own. Bayley takes Cameron to the mat with a one-handed Bulldog and follow with her signature Slip-N-Slide. Cameron escapes to the corner and lures in Bayley with a cheap shot to take over. She lays out Bayley with a running swinging neckbreaker and follows stomping the champ. She chokes Bayley on the ropes and follows with a facebuster. The two make it up and Bayley fights back culminating with Bayley hitting her signature elbows in the corner. She suplexes Cameron and follows with a Belly-To-Bayley suplex for the win. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Cameron already, and yes she is much improved. To clarify, no she is not performing at the level NXT fans have come to expect, but compared to where she was, she is much better. It was a short textbook match, but ring general Bayley led her through it well with no real hiccups. Cameron did excel on the mic, undeterred by the heat from the crowd and handling hecklers well.

Next up, the drifter Elias Sampson takes on Levis Valenzuela. Despite a little offense from Levis in the early goings Sampson pretty quickly takes over, leveling his opponent with a big clothesline. He continues pummeling Levis with several kicks and strikes before settling into a side headlock. Levis mounts some offense with some chops of his own.  Sampson shuts him down with a mule kick and another bevy of kicks and strikes. Levis mounts another bit of momentum culminating with a rolling snap mare followed by a big back body drop. He winds up and lays out Elias with a huge punch and follows with a simple splash for the win. Another short textbook match but Sampson shows so much promise. Valenzuela is charismatic as can be and it shines through in the ring, but that finisher really doesn’t cut it.

Gionna Daddio and Alia (formerly Nooph/Jasmin) are out next for a promo. Gionna talks about how they are the youngest Divas not just in NXT, but WWE. She mentions how wrestlers like Becky, Charlotte, Sasha, and Bayley jumpstarted the revolution. They are interrupted by Emma and Eva Marie. Emma tells her that she started the revolution, which garnered some cheers from the crowd. Eva took the mic and with much heat from the crowd told said that they were young and dumb, and that they are looking at the star of Total Divas. Emma and Eva attack, pretty much ejecting Daddio from the ring and focusing their attack on poor Alia. Emma locks on the Emma Lock until it is broken up by several referees.

Tag action follows with Blake and Murphy taking on Jordan and Gable. Murphy and Gable start things off and after a little back and forth, Gable out-grapples Murphy and as always, looks amazing doing so. Murphy tags in Blake, but Blakes says he wants Jordan because he already knows he can take Gable. Jordan comes in and essentially out-grapples Blake as well culminating with a big slam and several pin attempts. Exasperated Blake yells to tag in Gable. Blake declares amateur rules, Gable obliges getting into position. Blake hesitates and says he needs headgear first. Alexa Bliss gets headgear from underneath the ring for Blake and Murphy. Blake puts on the head gear and Gable re-positions himself. Blake takes a cheap kick instead, but regardless Gable back to his feet still stays a step ahead until upon distraction Bliss pulls Gable’s legs out from underneath him on the ring apron. Blake and Murphy slow the pace considerably while taking apart Gable, eventually Blake settles into a chinlock. Ultimately, Gable manages to get free and make the hot tag to Jordan who comes in with a pair of punches, dropkicks, and flapjacks for both Blake and Murphy. He hits a big shoulder in the corner laying out Murphy. He follows with a big overhead suplex to Blake, before tagging Gable to finish with Grand Amplitude for the win. This was one of my favorites of the night, I’ve been a big Gable fan since day one and their obvious chemistry is bringing more charisma out of the athletically gifted Jason Jordan. There is a lot of talk about an impending push for this team, and I certainly hope the rumors are true.

Next Apollo Crews takes on Baron Corbin. The match starts with a lot of fast paced back and forth action, Corbin topples Crews with a big shoulder tackle but Crews comes back with a perfect dropkick, etc. Finally, Corbin takes Crews and rams his shoulder into the ring post. Corbin follows with his patented baseball slide followed by a big punch. Corbin takes his time decimating Crews before settling into a hammerlock. Crews tries to mount a comeback but Corbin shuts him down with a slam and a flurry of punches. Crews fights back again, this time hitting a couple of axehandles followed by a splash and a big clothesline. He topples Corbin with a big kick to the side of head. Crews hoists Corbin up for a Dangan Bomb for the win. This was a good match, and hopefully a proper feud will follow. Corbin, with his anti-indie sentiments versus the indie sensation Apollo Crews makes perfect sense.

The tag titles are on the line as The Vaudevillians defend against Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Gotch shows off his yogi-like flexibility hoisting his leg over his head. Dawson attempts the same (with help from Dash) only to fall on his butt. Incredulously, he asks Gotch “How do you do that?!?” The Vaudevillians take charge in the early goings with some squats thrown in. Eventually through distraction Dash and Dawson take control of English, but he quickly comes back tossing his opponent around with his trademark armdrags. They continue with their signature squats spot, until through another distraction Dawson and Wilder take charge. They employ frequent tags and a lot of great tandem moves while picking apart English. Eventually, English makes the hot tag. Gotch comes in with his fun and innovative flurry of kicks, until Dawson nails him with a ring shattering Spine Buster. Moments later, Dawson attempts to  strike Gotch who ducks, and Dawson takes out Dash instead. Gotch tosses Dawson into the air with an overhead suplex and The Vaudevillians finish with the Whirling Dervish. This was another great tag match. It’s very validating to see Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder finally getting a push after putting them over here on this blog for the past year and a half!

Next up, Hugo Knox dances his way to the ring enthusiastically to face his opponent, Solomon Crowe. Crowe looking a bit like old school Sami Calihan with his eye makeup and scowl. The deceptively speedy Knox quickly takes over with a drop toehold followed by a several leapfrogs into an armlock. The smashmouth Crowe levels Knox with a nasty punch and takes over. Crowe continues with an onslaught of kicks, strikes and a suplex before settling into a chinlock. Eventually Knox fights back culminating with an ensiguri that sends Crowe to the mat. Knox goes to finish for a split legged moonsault off the turnbuckle but misses Crowe completely. He climbs the ropes to try it again but Crowe knocks him off and contorts him into the Stretch Muffler. I think Knox has a lot of potential but I was relieved to see Crowe finally get a victory. Interesting to note that the usual very over gimmick of Knox was not only not over, but had the crowd very much rooting for a heel Crowe.

A fired up Gionna Daddio comes back to the ring and challenges Emma and Eva Marie to finish what they started. The bad girls come into the ring surrounding Gionna for an easy beatdown. Gionna says she is not young and dumb, and she has brought back up. Music hits and Asuka comes out to a big pop from the crowd. Gionna starts for her team showing a lot of speed and agility until Emma and Eva gain advantage with a distraction. They work over Gionna until she finally makes the tag. Asuka comes off the turnbuckle with a huge missile dropkick to Eva Marie. She unloads an intense flurry of kicks and strikes to a defenseless Eva. Moments later, she tags Gionna who comes off the turnbuckle with a crossybody to Eva for the pin. The rookie Gionna continues to impress, while the Asuka, who is fun as hell to watch live, is worthy of all the hype that has preceded her. I’m very excited to see the inevitable one on one match between her and the underrated Emma.

The main event of the evening is Ty Dillinger taking on the NXT champ Finn Balor. Before the match Dillinger gives his 10 sign to Dasha, instructing her to raise it at his command through the match. The bell rings and the two lock up and go back and forth with several minutes of chain wrestling. Dillinger comes out on top and demands Dasha raise his sign, but she never does. Finn sends Dillinger to the outside with a dropkick. They exchange chops on the outside, an exchange that very much ends in the favor of Finn Balor. Ty fights back though, pulling Finn’s legs out from under him and wrapping his knee around the ring post. Ty continues targeting the leg of Balor. Finn hits a pele out of nowhere and tries to mount an offense. He hit Dillinger with a slingblade and goes to follow with a hesitation dropkick but his leg gives out. Dillinger instead sends Balor to the mat with a jaw shattering superkick. He follows by contorting the champ into a crab, until Finn makes the ropes. Back to his feet, Finn dropkicks Dillinger in the knee. He follows with a big dropkick into the corner, and follows with the Coup De Grace for the victory. Maybe not a perfect 10 main event, but pretty close. Everyone is well aware what Finn can do, not everyone knows what Dillinger can do. Ty Dillinger is a main event player in his own right, I have a feeling that people will see that soon.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what happened in Knox and Crowe's match. Was it a botch or something?