Saturday, June 3, 2017

NXT Ocala 6-2-17

Written by Wayne Mason
Photos by Gravenbabies

Friday night NXT returned to Ocala, Fl for another night of wrestling action. The Reserve Pavillion at The Hilton is essentially a large tent. The outside venue was made that much more thrilling by the large Florida storm system that was moving through the area bringing much rain and wind, flooding the floors (cords and electrical equipment too) with sheets of rain that interns would be sweeping away all night. Despite the wetness, humidity, and technical difficulties the show indeed went on.

The Ealy Twins vs Street Prophets (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford)
This was a solid opening match that saw The Prophets working from underneath for most the match despite a strong opening. The Ealy Twins are two big intimidating guys who fit into this new tag team division developing in NXT which seems to be centered around larger guys. They’re still looking for that connection with the crowd but definitely have the tools to get there. Alternately, Dawkins and Ford are extremely over right now and are quickly becoming favorites of the tag division. Ford is overflowing with charisma, and is just as entertaining on the ring apron or in the ring. After a hard fought match, Crawford got the win for his team with a frog splash from the top rope.

Sawyer Fulton vs Babatunde Aiyegbusi 
Far from a technical match, with lots of brawling and big guy power moves this was your hoss fight of the night. However, even Fulton who is no small guy, looked small next to the 6’9” Babs. In the end, Babs looked to have it won but an eye rake was enough of a distraction for Fulton to hoist Babs up for a vertical suplex for the win. It will be interesting to see where Fulton fits in going forward after finally getting over with Sanity.

Mary Kate (Amazon Andrea) vs Sarah Logan
Prior to the match Logan was announced by her real name Sarah Bridges, but I’m assuming that was just a mistake. Whatever you call the former Crazy Mary Dobson, she seems to really be hitting her stride and becoming comfortable in a WWE ring. She played underdog to the very dominant Mary Kate in what was one of the better matches of the evening. Logan made an impressive comeback though, nailing Mary Kate with a vicious running knee and series of strikes in the process. In the end though Mary Kate finished Logan off with a mean looking Black Hole Slam. This was a great showing for both women, and it was a big relief seeing Mary Kate back in the ring after a few weeks of being Lana’s muscle.

As tradition dictates in Ocala, wrestling legend Dory Funk came to ring for an interview but was interrupted by his former student Wesley Blake, along with Steve Cutler. Blake claims he was the best thing to ever come out of Funks wrestling school, and challenges Funk to a fight right there. Roderick Strong comes out to make the save, telling them he’ll give them a fight. Cutler agrees, but says they fight in the main event!

Only Lorcan vs Jeet Rama 
This was a standard back and forth match that saw One Lorcan take the win with his somersault neckbreaker. Lorcan is easily one of the best in NXT, and can put on a good match with just about anyone.

Andrade Cien Almas vs Buddy Murphy
The match started off slow with each competitor feeling each other out, plus some posturing and “tranquilo” posing. The match quickly evolved into a fast paced, back and forth hard hitting affair with each men hitting a lot of their trademark spots. Finally, after a mean super kick, Murphy landed double knees off the top rope onto Almas for the win. This was easily match of the night. Andrade, who already had an impressive resume before NXT, has hit his stride as a heel and can work the crowd just about better than anyone else, using body language and expressions alone. Buddy Murphy is absolutely explosive , with the proper push be could easily be a main event player.

Lars Sullivan vs Kona Reeves
This was standard fare with Lars ultimately defeating Reeves. Sullivan seems to be getting over fairly well with the crowds on the Florida loop.

Ruby Riot vs Sonya Deville
This match saw fan favorite Ruby Riot as underdog most of the match, while Deville looked dominant with an array of strikes. Ultimately, Riot would make an impressive comeback for the win. This was another stand out of the night. Ruby Riot has gotten over with the NXT crowds in a big way very fast. 

Roderick Strong and No Way Jose vs Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler
The match started with many shenanigans, as one would imagine with the animated Jose. After a rough start Blake and Cutler take over working over Strong. Finally, Strong makes a hot tag to Jose who looked to be turning around. However, thanks to a distraction Blake nailed Jose with a backstabber, and got the pin with the assistance of the foot on the ropes. Dory Funk (who had accompanied the good guys to the ring) told the ref, who restarted the match. Eventually, Jose makes a hot tag to Roddy who comes in a cleans house. Roddy hits Blake with his finisher for the win. Afterwards, the two celebrate in the ring with Funk. Jose wears Funks hat while all three men dance in the ring to send the crowd home happy. Ladies and gentleman, professional wrestling in 2017. 


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