Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be many weekly WWE NXT columns. I know I’m late to the “Talking about NXT” party, but dang it! NXT is just too darn good not to talk about! I hesitate to say this is an NXT review column because really I just want to talk about NXT and make bad jokes every week. For all intents and purposes though, it is basically an NXT review column. Or, I should say NXT R Eview.
Told you they’d be bad.
Just a bit of housekeeping before I pour you some sweet NXTea.
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-That’s it! It’s teetotalling time!
WWE NXT 2/4/2015: Welcome to the NXTea Party, pal!
On this week’s show, Finn Bálor takes on former(?) tag team partner Hideo Itami, and Adrian Neville faces Baron Corbin in the semi finals of the NXT Championship No. 1 contender tournament. Carmella goes up against the returning/demoted all new and exactly the same Emma, and Bayley attempts to hug the punk rock out of punk rock girl. I’ve momentarily forgotten her name and don’t feel like looking it up. Wait, I remember now. It’s Becky Lynch. Because her name makes me think of the bad kind of lynch.
Emma vs. Carmella
Poor Emma. It seems Santino’s venom hasn’t left her system. Cobras are venomous, right? Anyway, Emma has returned to NXT and vowed that things/she would be different. Well, if by different she meant that she would be exactly the same as when she left NXT, then yes, sure, she’s different. The match was quick. Emma fell over and got submitted by Carmella’s head leg scissors locky thing. I think it’s a figure 8, isn’t it A-Ry?
Adrian Neville vs. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin wrestled the entire match with the same expression on his face. Like, he made more of an effort to not change his expression than he did to wrestle Adrian Neville. Baron did a bunch of big man stuff. Bull “Don’t forget about me” Dempsey came out and threw Corbin into the ringpost while the ref wasn’t looking. Corbin got into the ring, but Neville quickly kicked him in the head and hit the Red Arrow for the win, which advances him to the final of the NXT No. 1 Contender tournament.
Match Rating: I’m not one for giving match ratings, but in keeping with the Tea Time theme, I’d give this a Scarlet Cloud White Tea.
Sami Zayn had an Earlier this week interview. basically he said that Owens fleeced him and Regal last week. Then I missed the rest because I was feeding my son dinner when this was going on so my attention was in and out. Good promo by Zayn from what I saw.
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
honestly, I’m a little concerned about the 4-way match for NXT women’s title at NXT TakeOver: Rival. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks is a good match up. Charlotte vs. Bayley is a good match up. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks is a good match up. Becky Lynch vs. any three of those women is passable. However, all four in the ring together is a whole new monster. Can all four women work a decent match together? The potential is there, and the fact they can have very good singles matches together is encouraging, but to pull off a good 4-way, each woman is going to need to be on their game.
As for this match, it was fine. I felt Bayley and Becky were a step off now and again, but nothing terrible. Sasha threw Becky into the ring near the end which allowed Bayley to hit Belly-to-Bayley for the win. Sasha and Becky shoved each other after the match. Very combustible, according to the announcers.
Kevin Owens cuts an Earlier this week interview. Again, I was still feeding my son when this part was on so I didn’t catch everything he said. What I caught is that Owens’ said he got what he wanted, which is a title match. So, that’s good.
Backstage, Devon interviewed Tyler Breeze. He talked about his plans, which were to watch the rest of the tournament. Good plan.
Finn Bálor vs. Hideo Itami
Adrian Neville joined the commentary desk for this match. He may not be asked back.
Very good match. I think my expectations were too high for my own good. High Tea that is. So it wasn’t quite as spectacular as I had hoped it would be, But still a very fun match.
I think I’m already tired of Hideo Itami’s GTS teases. It must be a millennial thing. I think it was just the placement of the spot in the match. Hideo went for the move in a moment too early in the match where it was obvious he wasn’t going to land the move. I’m sure he’ll eventually hit the move someday. But it’s going to be in a bigger stakes match on a bigger stage and not a quarter way into a match.
Bálor controlled Itami most of the match. Itami only really got a short flurry of offense in towards the end. Bálor came out of the match looking much stronger than Itami, whose job it was to really put Bálor over well, which he did.
The absolute best moment in the match was Bálor’s running dropkick that sent Itami flying backwards into the turnbuckles at a ridiculously fast pace. The back of Itami’s head connected with the middle turnbuckle very violently. Looked extremely painful and awesome. A-Ry once again talked about cervical spines. His anatomical reference of choice.
Bálor landed the top rope double stomp to win and go on to face Neville in the finals of the tournament.
I really liked Itami post match. He showed some very believable anger that got me wanting an Itami heel run. If you’ve seen his work in NOAH, you’ll know an Itami heel run can be a very good thing.
Match Rating: Snow Geisha White Tea
The show came to a close with a really good video package building up Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for next week’s NXT Takeover: Rival. I’m still surprised we’re getting this match so soon. I really thought we’d have to wait for ages for this one. It may be too soon, but I don;t care. I am so psyched about Zayn vs. Owens. I particularly liked Zayn bringing up Owens’ child as the cause of the change in their friendship and relationship. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the parent in me, but it actually makes me sympathize more with Owens. BTW, can someone help me get this parent out of me? That my friends, was a grade-A dad joke. Having a child does change you. Things that you may not have thought about in the past, are suddenly your number one priority. For Owens, the NXT title means more money. Money means a good future for his wife and child. Yes, the way he want about setting the match up wasn’t the most noble, but a dad’s got to do what a dad’s got to do. As a massive Sami Zayn fan, I will be very torn in one week’s time. Torn is the best possible way.
NXT Takeover: Rival Card
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Title, and my soul
Adrian Neville vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Championship No. 1 contendership
Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for the NXT Women’s Title
Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy vs. Sin Cara & Kalisto for the NXT Tag Titles
Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey because Dempsey can’t get enough of losing to Corbin