Hello again, Internet
Shanna Harris is back again this week reviewing the show that should be 3 hours (but isn't), NXT.
This week's episode is one I've been anticipating since last week and it's because of the highly anticipated NXT championship match between Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn.
If you've been reading my reports on a regular basis, you'll know that I've morphed from someone who treated Bo's presence on the show with borderline indifference to being a card carrying BOliever. He's been so good at weaseling his way out of matches with Sami that his brand of weaseling should be taught at community college. But Bo has nowhere to run as he faces his toughest opponent to date, Sami Zayn.
Will Bo have another trick up his sleeve? Or will Sami's chase of the champ end with him capturing the NXT Championship?
Read on and find out.
Match 1: The Ascension (C) vs Corey Graves and Adrian Neville NXT Tag Team Championship match
Here's the interesting thing about NXT. It's not like Raw or Smackdown where a story or character bombs/dies, and lasts maybe a month before being taken off TV. NXT is all about letting a story and it's characters build to a climax. Which is great because it gives a wrestler time to improve or a fan more time to become invested in a story. In the case of this rematch, it's a chance for all of us to fester in everything that we hate. Because if you're anything like me, you never wanted to see these men wrestle each other again unless the word death was thrown in somewhere.
I would like to give an open handed slap in the mouth to whoever thought it appropriate to have a rematch between these teams when every match before this has been worse than the next. The only memorable thing about these teams wrestling each other is that The Ascension now have the belts. Beyond that? Snore.
All in all, the less said about this borefest, the better.
Move of the match: N/A
Winners: The Ascension
Post match shenanigan's saw Corey Graves become so fed up at losing that he turned on his partner and beat him up. I'm not speaking for anybody else but myself when I say this, but Corey Graves going heel ='s thumbs down. I know it's a cool thing on the internet to say "who cares" at everything and sneer at the slightest change, but I felt nothing when Graves attacked Neville. I'm sure I was supposed to be upset, but I wasn't. I was actually happy about Neville going solo. Graves does nothing for me, and his performance in the previously described match and afterward could be his worst to date. Like when he was turning on Neville. In the first move of aggression against the guy who'd been his partner for who knows how long, and all he could do was run to the ropes and execute a clipping of Neville's knee. Which is the DUMBEST THING EVER. If this happened to me in real life, I would be ready to beat some ass and not stand there and take a blast to the knee. Neville actually had to move into position and absorb a move a 5 year old would dodge. Wouldn't it have been more believable for Corey to punch Neville and while he's groggy and getting to his feet THEN Graves hits the tackle to the knee? Yeah, it would've. This turn had horrible execution and it could've been remotely interesting were it not done in such a stupid way.
The announcers did a fine job putting this over as a huge betrayal, but Corey Graves should be left to fail on his own and not drag down Adrian Neville, who I think will be much better off without his deadweight former tag team partner. Can't Corey Graves do us all a favor and stay down forever?
Match 2: CJ Parker vs TYLER BREEZE!
I've said going on hundreds of times that I think CJ Parker would be better suited selling car stereos at Best Buy than attempting to be an entertainer. Because he isn't entertaining. On the other hand, Tyler Breeze should be given ALL the titles. Putting these two together in matches is a neat little peek at the future, and while things are rosy for Breeze, they're dead in the water for Parker. He is an ATROCIOUS wrestler, and his contrived facial expressions while performing this dumb hippie character make me legitimately angry. I'm not sure why the entertaining Breeze has to be stuck wrestling the forgettable CJ, but can someone please make this stop before CJ brings Tyler down?
Also, there is no universe (past, present, or future) where CJ Parker would believably beat up Tyler Breeze. Just, no. The funny thing is that Breeze looked better being beaten than Parker did giving the beating. Says lots, doesn't it?
Note to all NXT crowds: Please keep chanting for Tyler. Maybe your voices will get him out of this shite feud with the dullard Parker.
Move of the match: Tyler Breeze's spinning kick to CJ Parker
Winner: Tyler Breeze
Match 3: Emma and Paige vs Summer Rae and Sasha Banks
Ooof. I love women's wrestling as much as anybody, but this match did nothing for me. It was clunky at some points, and lacked the excitement that I know these ladies can bring on their own. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of tossing everyone together in a tag team match BECAUSE TENSION, but here we are.
The odd thing about tag team matches is that each member of the team has to blend into the other in order to work. Summer Rae has a distinctly mean personality and is the definition of her own person. I can't see her rolling with Sasha, who can't just BE mean and is ACTING like she's mean. There's a big difference between the two.
I'd like to see Sasha embrace her inner mean girl, but that kind of transformation take time and she's not at that point yet. I will say that her wrestling has improved by leaps and bounds as far as her aggressiveness. She's just needs to step up to the level of her "BFF" Summer Rae and she'll be great.
Paige and Emma did their best to try to overcome the mean girls, but their own personalities got in the way too. Emma is a dancing queen and Paige is more worried about being the BEST than having to watch her and her partner's back. That came into play in this match, and ultimately Emma and Paige just can't pull out the W.
Move of the match: N/A
Winners: Summer Rae and Sasha Banks
Match 4: Bo Dallas (C) vs Sami Zayn NXT Championship match
So, where do I begin?
As expected, this match was PPV quality, lengthy, and amazing in many ways. So many hard hitting moves were executed, so many false finishes, so much CLENCHING of my entire body at what I was seeing. I don't think I've ever wanted someone to win a title more than Sami Zayn. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a BOliever, but Sami performed like a champion and deserved to win. I thought for sure that he had the match won at least 3 times and I slapped my legs in frustration when his pin attempts kept failing.
The best part of the match, I feel, is the end. It left an honest to God bad taste in my mouth. For a moment, I cursed Bo Dallas and his wretched weaseling ways. I cursed JBL, who had a big hand in the outcome of the match. I cursed Sami Zayn's powerbombs, bulldogs and spears for not being effective enough to finish the job. For the first time in awhile, I genuinely wanted NO MORE BO.
But it is not to be. Bo Dallas remains your NXT Champion in a performance that both men should be proud of. If Sami and Bo are already pulling off high quality matches in the little leagues, can you imagine what these men will eventually pull off on Raw and Smackdown?
I can't wait to see it. But for now, still more Bo.
Move of the match: Do I really have to choose just one? Okay, a spear from Bo to Sami. I love a good spear.
Winner (and still NXT Champion): Bo Dallas
And so ends another episode of NXT. If you want to experience this episode for yourself, click here to go to Hulu to watch this show, and explore Hulu's NXT archive. You're doing yourself a disservice by missing a wrestling show this good. Get sucked in now before you miss the next Zayn vs whoever.
Until next week, wrestling friends.