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Yo-Yo's Roomie

My NXT project

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1/1/14

Alexander Rusev Vs Kofi Kingston: This was set-up a couple of weeks ago when Lana interrupted a Kofi interview and issued a challenge. Not much to this, except they continue to make Rusev look really strong. In the end, Lana causes a distraction and Rusev locks on the Accolade, causing Kingston to tap out.

In the back a storyline starts with Sylvester Lefort announcing he is holding auditions for a new protege. I guess Dawson is out injured now. Mason Ryan pops up, but isn't interested in working with Lefort.

Emma Vs Natalya: Number one contender's match. I thought Emma already had a title match from winning that dance contest, like a year ago. This is a decent little match. Nattie has looked good in her outings on NXT. Emma wins with the Emma Lock, which they put over as a big deal. Natalya gives Emma her seal of approval after the match.

Next is a singing contest between Aiden English and Colin Cassady. This was set-up with a backstage bit a couple of weeks ago. It has disaster written all over it, but, just like the dance contest between Summer and Emma, actually ends up entertaining. The key to its success is that Cass is actually a competent singer, so when he busts out a tune mocking English, finishing by calling him SAWFT, the fans pop. English's act is so fun that they needed Cass to actually be good to get the reaction they wanted. So, Cass is awarded the win, but English beats him down afterwards.

Tyler Breeze Vs Mason Ryan: Lefort comes out to distract Ryan, and Breeze hits the Beauty Shot to pick up the win.

Sami Zayn Vs Leo Kruger: 2/3 falls. God, I'm so beyond done with Kruger. I don't care about anything he does, and I certainly don't want to see him in a 2/3 falls match, even with someone as good as Sami. It's like a recurring nightmare. Thankfully, Zayn wins this in two straight falls. I don't see how Kruger can come back with any credibility from this, but I've thought that before and been disappointed, so who knows.

Episode MVP: Natalya.

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On 2/1/2019 at 4:00 PM, Yo-Yo's Roomie said:

12/25/13

Antonio Cesaro Vs William Regal: It seems like they rushed to this match a bit. It didn't have the patient build-up of the Ohno/Regal match. Both guys cut really good promos before the match. This is a beautiful match, with a particularly excellent performance from Regal as the veteran out of his depth, but fighting with every last scrap of energy he has. His selling is amazing. Great chain wrestling sequence to start the match, which the crowd is really into. They go a bit tepid for the rest of the match though, which is disappointing. Regal fights from underneath for the majority of the match, but has a great fired up comeback. In the end though, Cesaro is too strong for him and, after initially showing some mercy, he finally puts him away with a jumping Neutraliser, which had shades of Undertaker putting Michaels out of his misery with a jumping tombstone at WrestleMania 26. Lots of just nasty, gritty stuff in this one, as you'd expect from these two, including Cesaro hitting a double stomp to Regal's head! After the match, the two shake hands. I bet Saxton was like 'what the fuck?' when he saw that.

Episode MVP: William Regal.

4 star match: Antonio Cesaro Vs William Regal.

Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal is still one of my favourite NXT matches. I created a Best NXT Matches topic made up of my top twenty NXT matches. In the original list, Cesaro/Regal was 8th and in the latest version, 10th.

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1/8/14

Bayley Vs Summer Rae: Natalya and Sasha in each woman's corner here. Charlotte has been seen exactly once, in a backstage bit, since her heel turn. not sure what was going on with her. Big win for Bayley with the Belly-To-Bayley, as it's being called here, or the Hug-plex as Riley calls it. A quick note on the commentary; Saxton is playing full-on heel now on commentary, which is really taking away from the matches. Having him and Riley bickering throughout the show is not doing anyone any favours. The commentary has dropped off big-time since Regal stopped being a regular. Renee hasn't been on in a while either actually.

Speaking of none-workers in NXT, Devin Taylor might be the worst interviewer they've ever hired. She just looks like a deer in headlights every time she's on camera, with no inflection in her voice at all. That dude who debuted the same show as her, who Kassius Ohno heard a lot of good things about, has only appeared twice. The female ring announcer they have is pretty bad too. Eden debuts on one of the shows I just watched. I don't think this one but maybe the next one, and the increase in quality is dramatic.

Aiden English Vs Colin Cassady: This feud continues to develop. It says a lot about Enzo and Cass's popularity that Cass is getting cheered over English, a Full Sail favourite. It's weird that they continue to be treated like jobbers. English picks up the win here pretty quickly.

Alexander Rusev Vs Xavier Woods: So, this is some nonsense with Woods returning to NXT, and Kane punishing him for his part in a petition which got Big Show reinstated. Authority bullshit, basically. I don't remember Xavier being some big player in that storyline, but whatever. Rusev basically squashes him.

Tyson Kidd Vs Baron Corbin: Corbin has a bit of a character now, rather than just being a jobber. They talk about his background and his aggressive attitude. This is still really a showcase for Kidd, who picks up the win fairly quickly.

The Ascension Vs Hunico and Camacho: Tornado match for the tag titles. This is boring as hell. The Ascension are garbage, and no-one is buying Hunico and Camacho as a top tag team. Some tepid brawling, before Hunico gets isolated and falls to the Fall of Man.

There was a funny bit in the back with Tyler Breeze calling Adrian Neville on his cell, even though they were in the same room, because he didn't want to look at his 'uggo face'. Breeze has the best delivery of comedy in the whole company I think. They agree to have a match at a future date. This is a very lukewarm follow-up to what should have been a heated feud after Breeze essentially cost Neville the NXT title in the lumberjack match. But Breeze made it entertaining.

Episode MVP: Bayley.

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1/15/14

Triple H comes out first to announce the first NXT network special. I'm excited.

Adrian Neville Vs Tyler Breeze: Well, here's that match. Pretty fast-paced and exciting match, ending with Neville hitting the Red Arrow to win. I enjoyed it.

CJ Parker Vs Jason Jordan: Jordan is back from wherever he's been, and they talk up his credentials. They also talk about how Parker is frustrated with his lack of success so far. I thought we were heading for a Jordan win, but it was a pretty quick win for Parker.

Bo Dallas Vs Mojo Rawley: Mojo gets a lot of offence in on the champ, but Bo ends up stealing the win with a roll-up and a handful of tights. I think that's the first time he's actively cheated to win a match, as all his other wins have been more just taking advantage of luck and his surroundings.

Kofi Kingston Vs Alexander Rusev: Rematch from a few weeks back. They're given a lot of time, and again Rusev is made to look like a beast, dominating for much of the match. It's not really a good match, but it does put Rusev over. Finally Kofi manages to hit Trouble in Paradise and get the hard-fought win.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

 

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1/22/14

Adrian Neville Vs Wesley Blake: I was trying to figure out where I knew the name Wesley Blake from, and then realised it's Buddy Murphy's former tag partner. He looks competent here, putting Neville over.

The BFFs are in the back with Devin, including Charlotte. Charlotte looks kind of weird. I'm not sure what's going on with her make-up. She doesn't really say where she's been, but cuts a promo on dumping Bayley to join Summer and Sasha.

Alexander Rusev Vs Xavier Woods: Rusev seems to be spinning his wheels in NXT now, and it's clear he should be on the main roster, as they're not going to put him in the title picture. He seems to only face main roster guys anyway. He is debuting the look we'd come to associate with main roster Rusev here, with regular black tights instead of the Gladiator-style garb. And his hair is more of a James Dean Bradfield circa 92 look than the Rick Waller circa 97 barnet he had been sporting. This unshaven look is reminding me vaguely of the time George Costanza got off his regular shaving routine though. Rusev wins via Accolade. He reapplies the hold after the bell, and Sin Cara makes the save. 

Antonio Cesaro Vs CJ Parker: CJP apparently requested this match because he wanted to see how he stacked up to a main roster superstar. Not very well, as it turns out. Fun spot with Parker giving Cesaro an airplane spin, and Cesaro just shrugging it off and delivering the giant swing. That led into the Neutraliser for the win. After the match, Sami Zayn comes out on crutches, talks about having the match of the year last year with Cesaro and challenges him to a rematch. Cesaro just says no and walks off.

The Miz is being interviewed in the back, and CJP wonders in, questioning why the fans are always booing him. Miz and Parker get into an altercation, and Parker slaps the Miz. This is in the middle of Miz's dreadful babyface run, so I guess this counts as a heel turn for Parker. Which was needed, to be fair. Is Miz Vs Parker ever a match I don't want to see though.

Natalya Vs Summer Rae: Bayley and Sasha at ringside, again no Charlotte. Natalya gets the win. It seems Summer is on jobber duty these days. Nattie needed the win though.

Enzo and Cass are being interviewed in the back. Enzo is in a motorised wheelchair. English comes in and gloats over beating Cass, and Enzo runs over his foot.

Our 'main event' is a banner-raising ceremony for Bo Dallas, to celebrate him being the longest-reigning NXT champ. I would have liked some pro-wrestling goofiness here with someone having changed the banner to say something insulting to Bo, but it didn't happen. Instead, Neville comes out, and the two get into a war of words. Dallas says Neville earnt his last title shot by beating a nobody in 4 minutes 45 seconds (that nobody was Aiden English, and this ignores the fact he actually beat Sami Zayn to earn the shot, but we can kinda see where this is going). Bo says it wouldn't take him that long to beat Neville, and then Triple H appears on the tron and makes an impromptu beat the clock challenge, with Neville earning a shot at the NXT title on the network special if he can survive 4:45.

Adrian Neville Vs Bo Dallas: They do a razor-close near-countout spot with Neville barely making it back in. Dallas controls a lot of the match, which isn't a good look for Neville, but then Neville makes a comeback, and ends up toying with Dallas as he runs out the clock. I noticed the crowd wasn't as hot for this as they might have been. I don't know if this was at the end of a taping cycle, or if the vitriol for Bo has just worn off a bit. I do think the shelf-life of the act is coming to a close as people are starting to be entertained by him.Best to strike now and get the belt off him.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

 

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1/29/14

The Ascension Vs John Icarino and Mike Cuellari: The Ascension plow through these jobbers. The NXT tag division is dire.

Corey Graves Vs Camacho: Well, look who's back. I was sure he was done. He cuts a promo saying he will never forgive Neville for trying to end his career. The commentators talk about how Camacho is embarking on a singles career now. Funny how Sin Cara showed up, and now Camacho is going solo. Graves quickly makes Camacho tap to the Lucky 13.

Bayley Vs Sasha Banks: Renee joins the boys on commentary. So, I guess we're back to her just being the women's division commentator. Charlotte, Summer Rae and Natalya are at ringside. Short match won by Bayley.

Tyler Breeze Vs Colin Cassady: Aiden English causes a distraction by showing up on the tron and going into Enzo's lockerroom. That allows Breeze to get the win. I wonder how I'd feel about Enzo and Cass if this was my first exposure to them, and I wasn't watching this having been soured first by their presence on the main roster. I still don't think I'd like them honestly. It's just not something that appeals to me.

The Miz Vs CJ Parker: This match can fuck off. They give Parker a bit of shine, but Miz ultimately wins with the figure four.

Cesaro cut a promo in the back earlier, saying he already beat Sami Zayn once, so why does he need to do it again. Reasonable. Zayn cuts a promo saying if Cesaro is going to say no to his challenge, then he better do it to his face. I mean, he literally couldn't have been any closer to him when he said no last week.

More shenanigans in the back with Sylvester Lefort holding auditions for a new client. I'm learning who some of the lumberjacks from the Neville/Dallas match are at least. Dungaree-wearing platinum blonde guy is Sawyer Fulton. That was the guy who looked like a mish-mash of a bunch of failed gimmicks. Mason Ryan comes in and says he'll work for Lefort, if Lefort can beat him in a match next week. Why, I have no idea. Sylvester Lefort looks increasingly out of place in NXT.

Renee is hosting the contract signing for the NXT title match between Bo and Neville. Neville comes out and signs the contract. Dallas comes out and says he'll sign on his terms. He then tells them to take a seat and watch him show why he's the champion. 

Bo Dallas Vs Danny Burch: Dallas makes relatively short work of Burch, and then signs the contract. He then lays Neville out with a cheap shot, but as he's leaving Neville hits him with a plancha, and the two brawl as the show goes off the air. The angle was pretty good.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

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2/5/14

Alexander Rusev Vs Sin Cara: This is obviously Hunico doing the Sin Cara gimmick. He's just not suited to this gimmick at all. He doesn't have the physical charisma or gracefulness to pull it off. The crowd don't really care about this either. Rusev picks up the win with the Accolade.

Emma Vs Alicia Fox: Emma picks up the win in a short match. Afterwards, she is attacked by Sasha, Summer and Charlotte, with Alicia Fox joining in. Nattie and Bayley run in to make the save. Bayley doing the Emma dance is cute. I guess is Paige is injured now, so we're just killing time until the Emma/Paige rematch (which seems to have been the case for the last 6 months).

Mason Ryan Vs Sylvester Lefort: If you remember, if Lefort wins this match, he gets to manage Mason Ryan. Well, Ryan wins a total squash anyway. This storyline is bad. Lefort, in the back, vows revenge.

Tyson Kidd Vs Aiden English: Another very short match here. It seems like it's been a while since we had a good match on NXT. Cass comes out and starts monkeying around with English's beret and scarf, which causes enough of a distraction to allow Kidd to hit the blockbuster and pick up the win. Cass comes off like a total jerk in this feud. First, he was the one who instigated it by mocking English. When they finally got in the ring, English beat him clean. But sore loser Cass can't let it go. At best, it's a feud between two pricks.

Adrian Neville Vs Corey Graves: Neville seems to be the only guy to consistently get time to go out and perform on NXT TV. And he kind of has the same match every time. It's not bad, but his matches rarely have got to that next level. He doesn't inject emotion into his matches the way Sami Zayn can, which is why he's a less successful babyface ace. Graves wears his pants way too low. Standard stuff with Graves working over the leg, but Neville managing to hit the Red Arrow for the win. Bo Dallas comes out but before anything can go down, Triple H appears on the tron and announces that their match on the network special will be a ladder match. Neville and the crowd approve. Where's JBL, by the way? Why do we even have a commissioner?

Episode MVP: Emma.

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2/12/14

Emma, Bayley and Natalya Vs Summer Rae, Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox: Charlotte is out with the BFFs. She has to be injured. According to Renee, Alicia Fox is being initiated by the BFFs. It doesn't go too well, because they end up leaving her to tap out to the Emma Lock. The match was fun enough.

Aiden English Vs Colin Cassady: This seems to go a bit longer than their last match, but has the same outcome, with English picking up the clean win. I can't see how this feud continues.

Sami Zayn comes out to issue his challenge face-to-face to Antonio Cesaro. Just like he did the other week. Cesaro joins him in the ring and they have a back-and-forth that is a bit too long-winded. Then it gets really good. Cesaro says he'll agree to one more match with Sami if Sami agrees after he beats him again that he'll just let it lie and make no more excuses. Sami agrees and they go to shake on it, but the crowd starts chanting 'pinky promise', so Zayn extends his pinky. Cesaro milks it and looks like he's going to do it, but then says the answer is still no, and kicks him in the leg. This was such great heeling from Cesaro, and it was great how they reacted to the crowd. As Cesaro is leaving, Triple H comes out and makes the match for the live special anyway. That kind of stomped on the angle a bit, but the crowd popped big. 

CJ Parker Vs Tye Dillinger: Parker wins a basic squash, and then cuts a promo on the fans, asking them why they don't love him, and then accusing them of destroying the planet. 

Erick Rowan and Luke Harper Vs Jason Jordan and Marcus Louis: Marcus Louis is some French dude. The return of the Wyatt Family has been hyped all night. They win a squash, and then Bray hits the ring and says that NXT will always belong to the Wyatt Family.

Episode MVP: Gotta go with Antonio Cesaro. That little bit of heeling at the end of his segment with Zayn was the highlight of the night.

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2/19/14

The Ascension Vs Casey Marion and Mike Lebosca: Marion and Lebosca don't seem to have made it. The Ascension, and Konnor in particular, are disconcertingly over throughout this match. I mean, there are 'we want Konnor' chants when he's on the apron, for Christ's sake. This has got to be ironic, right? Because this guy is worthless. And I don't know what this 'yeah' business is that they're chanting. I feel like I missed something here. Anyway, this is your standard Ascension squash.

Emma Vs Summer Rae: This issue between the face women and the BFFs is really spinning its wheel now. Summer needs a win, or to leave NXT. I feel like this is going to lead to Sasha ditching her. Sasha and Summer accidentally collide, and Emma locks in the Emma lock for the win.

There's a pre-taped sit down interview with Sami Zayn and Cesaro, conducted by Renee Young. Cesaro keeps cutting Sami off and it gets heated. Decent segment to lay out the reason for their match.

Adrian Neville Vs Tyler Breeze: Another pretty good match between these two. Neville takes it with the Red Arrow. Bo Dallas comes out and it looks like he's going to get physical with Neville, but he backs off instead. 

There was a confusing backstage bit where Emma says she's going to confront Paige on next week's show, but 2/26 is just a clip show to get ready for the live show on the 27th.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

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10 hours ago, Yo-Yo's Roomie said:

2/19/14

The Ascension Vs Casey Marion and Mike Lebosca: Marion and Lebosca don't seem to have made it. The Ascension, and Konnor in particular, are disconcertingly over throughout this match. I mean, there are 'we want Konnor' chants when he's on the apron, for Christ's sake. This has got to be ironic, right? Because this guy is worthless. And I don't know what this 'yeah' business is that they're chanting. I feel like I missed something here. Anyway, this is your standard Ascension squash.

 

2

Yeah the Ascension love was weird. They were featured so much around that time and people got so sick of them and started cheering ironically. I think the "yeah" chant is because konnor would always say that when he landed strikes. 

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NXT ArRival - 2/27/14

Okay, here we go. The first ever network special. I'm looking forward to this. Phillips, Regal and Saxton on commentary. Show opens with Triple H asking us if we're ready for the future. Darn tootin' I am.

Antonio Cesaro Vs Sami Zayn: What a way to kick off the show. Are these two capable of having a bad match together? This is like a merging of the high octane offence of the 2/3 falls match, the story of Cesaro not being able to put away a game opponent from the Cesaro/Kruger match, and the hero falling on his sword and earning his conqueror's respect arc from the Cesaro/Regal match. I loved the callback with Cesaro countering the through the ropes DDT with a beautiful forearm uppercut. Cesaro works over Zayn's injured leg. Double stomp to the leg! He reverses a koji clutch into a stretch muffler! This is an offensive masterclass. Cesaro launches Zayn into an uppercut, but Zayn kicks out at 1, which shocks Cesaro. He hits a rolling uppercut, which looks great, and then the jumping Neutraliser which put Regal away to get the win. After the match Cesaro helps Sami to his feet and the two share words and embrace. I'm really surprised Cesaro won this, as the story going in was Sami looking for redemption. Zayn looked good surviving the offensive onslaught, and Cesaro looked like a beast. This was quality stuff. I probably prefer the 2/3 falls, but this is right up there, and a great introduction to NXT for people checking it out for the first time.

Mojo Rawley Vs CJ Parker: There are a large group of older people in Mojo Rawley shirts sitting facing the camera. I'm guessing they are members of his family. It's funny because they didn't react to anything in the opening match, except one old guy finally starting marking out. This is a pure filler match, won by Mojo.

The Ascension Vs Too Cool: This is how bad the NXT tag division is, that on this night to showcase the NXT roster, a nostalgia act from the year 2000 are getting a shot at the tag titles. What's weird about this is the lay-out, as the majority of the match is a Viktor Vs Grandmaster Sexay singles match. Sexay looked decent in this actually, and really looked like his dad. Then I got sad that he died. Scotty is bald, and looks old. Credit to the Ascension; they put a lot of extra snap into their stuff tonight. Oh, and they have new entrance music, which I believe is the one they still use. They're still not doing the face-paint yet though. Crowd is still doing the ironic cheering thing. They end up pinning Scotty with the Fall of Man.

Paige Vs Emma: Hyped for this one. Stephanie is out first to kill my buzz. Tells us what a diva is. "You've still got it" chants from the crowd. "I never lost it". That bugs me as a comeback to that chant. Because you've still got it already implies that you never lost it. Now, if the crowd were chanting "you've got it again", then maybe... Okay, I'm getting sidetracked. Anyway, Paige debuts her cool theme. Probably a 50/50 split on popularity again. I feel Emma's popularity has dipped a bit, but maybe not. This wasn't as good as the tournament final, but was still good. Wrestled in a different way. That was more a showcase of what the women in NXT are capable of. This had more of a basic in-ring story, in which Emma played the aggressor, which surprised Paige. A bit of cringey commentary when Emma hits a nice sit-out powerbomb, and, i think it was Phillips, maybe Saxton, is in disbelief that a woman could hit that move. We've come a long way, baby. We needed a longer/better comeback from Paige though. She basically hit a Paige Turner for a nearfall, and then locked on the scorpion crosslock (which, for the record, is my favourite move ever) for the tap-out win. The two embrace after the match. Emma has earnt Paige's respect.

Tyler Breeze Vs Xavier Woods: This match never gets started, as Rusev hits the ring and destroys both guys. I'm not sure about using Breeze in this spot. Woods, it doesn't really matter, because he's jobbing on the main roster at this point anyway, but Breeze might be worth protecting here.

Adrian Neville Vs Bo Dallas: Shawn Michaels comes out before the match to, i dunno, shill a DVD and I guess hype the match. He is to ladder matches what Stephanie is to the women's revolution. He adds nothing, just milking applause and goofing around. Neville has new music, i think. It sounds like Firestarter. I think that's what he used from this point on, but I didn't always pay that much attention to Neville, and by the time he became interesting, he was hiding on 205 Live. I liked this match. They didn't do a lot of crazy stuff with the ladder at all. Nothing felt contrived. There was really no slow climbing. When the ladder did come into play, they made it mean something. They wrestled pretty smart. The standout spot was Neville hitting the Red Arrow while Bo was laying on a ladder. There wasn't really a big dive from the ladder by Neville, which was both surprising, and a bit disappointing. But ultimately, I'll take the smartness of the match over crazy spots, and it got over with the crowd anyway. Big pop when Neville finally grabs the belt, as Bo falls short in one last gasp attempt to stop him. Very satisfying conclusion to the show.

Show rating: This was a home-run show no matter which way you look at it. They achieved exactly what they needed to, putting on a great wrestling show and surely picking up a bunch of new fans who were watching guys like Sami and Neville, and the women, for the first time. 3 good matches is a good return on any wrestling show, and these were the 3 matches you were looking at to deliver. Huge thumbs up on this.

Episode MVP: Cesaro. The guy's unreal.

4 star match: Sami Zayn Vs Antonio Cesaro

3 star match: Emma Vs Paige, Bo Dallas Vs Adrian Neville.

 

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3/6/14

Aww, they changed the theme song to some God-awful nu-metal shit that sounds straight out of the year 2000. 

Adrian Neville Vs Camacho: The new champ is in the house. They show us John Cena putting over Neville from after ArRival went off the air. Standard win for Neville. Afterwards, Renee Young interviews him in the ring. He cuts a promo about not being a prototypical WWE champion, citing his size, his look and his accent. But he says he the best in the ring, and then leads the crowd in a 'no more Bo' chant. That brings out the former champ, who says he will be cashing in his rematch clause soon.

They show a couple of videos from after ArRival of, first, Emma and then Paige being interviewed about their match. Both are interrupted by Charlotte and Ric Flair, who are very dismissive of the two ladies. It seems like they're moving towards a Charlotte push. Grumble grumble.

Charlotte Vs Emma: Sasha is in Charlotte's corner, and they have a little picture of Summer Rae's face on a stick. By the way, I hate the little pose the BFF's do on top of the ramp. Short match. Charlotte fakes an ankle injury, but then nips up as Emma jaws with Sasha, and hits Natural Selection for the win. Emma looks disheartened.

Corey Graves Vs Yoshi Tatsu: Corey cuts a promo about not being on ArRival, and then calls out Sami Zayn, asking when was the last time he won a match. Why is poor Yoshi still employed? Corey says Yoshi isn't worth his time and starts to leave, but that was just to sucker Yoshi in. Corey beats him down on the outside, and then rolls back into the ring to win by countout. Graves locks on Lucky 13 after the match, which draws Zayn out for the save. This seems like a total 'thrown together because we have nothing else to do with these guys' feud. 

Devin Taylor takes us onto Adam Rose's party bus. Devin busting out some facial reactions. Good for her. I see Braun and Alexa at the party. Maybe Elias too. I guess Rose debuts next.

Adam Rose Vs Wesley Blake: Rose's entrance gets a big pop from the crowd. 'This is awesome' chant. I was just thinking how good the NXT crowd was, then some idiot tries to start a 'Leo Kruger' chant. I'm not entirely sure I understand the Adam Rose gimmick, but I do like it. However, when the bell rings, Rose is just as boring as Kruger was. What I do find strange is that he uses the lariat, delivered in exactly the same way as he would do the Slice as Kruger, for his finish. I would think he would want to distance himself from that gimmick completely.

Sami Zayn Vs Corey Graves: We're told this match is happening by order of JBL, who I guess they are still acknowledging as the GM. This is pretty dull. Maybe the worst match Zayn has had in NXT to date. He wins by reversing a back breaker into a small package. This feud is probably going to continue.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

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IIRC, Kalisto was on the party bus twirling light up batons, and Solomon Crowe/Sami Calihan was the DJ. 

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3/13/14

Tensai is on commentary with a new name: Jason Albert. Giving an NXT name to an announcer is so stupid. Do they think he's going to get over as an announcer on NXT and parlay that into a hot run on the indies?

Paige Vs Sasha Banks: Charlotte is with Sasha, as well as Summer-on-a-stick. They have a nice little 5-minute match, with Paige winning via tap-out. Charlotte attacks after the match, but Natalya makes the save.

The Ascension Vs Cal Bishop and Travis Tyler: Another fucking Ascension squash. Cal Bishop has shown up a couple of times before. I remember he was a lumberjack, and he cameo'd when Sylvester Lefort was looking for a new protege. What happened to that angle by the way? Travis Tyler has been in squashes before. What's becoming apparent to me now, more than before, is that Victor is actually a good worker. Not very interesting, but a good worker. I'd certainly put him on a level with a Leo Kruger type. And he does all the heavy lifting in Ascension matches now. Konor is still worthless.

Mason Ryan Vs Wesley Blake: Speaking of Lefort, he vowed revenge on Mason Ryan probably a month or more ago. I know revenge is a dish best served cold, but come on. Renee joins the commentary team for some reason for this match. I'm willing to go on the record and say I don't like Renee as a commentator. Love her as an interviewer/host, but have a few problems with her in this role. Blake gets a bit of offence in, before Ryan wins. Ryan is so weird in NXT. He just feels so separate from everything else that is going on.

Devin interviews Bayley in the back. She's interrupted by Sasha and Charlotte who make fun of her. Bayley mocks Summer-on-a-stick, and before it gets physical, busy body Nattie comes in to even the odds. Nattie and Charlotte have a stare down.

Alexander Rusev Vs Xavier Woods: Woods comes out all business. Tyler Breeze comes out and tells Woods to step aside and let him face Rusev. Woods declines, so Breeze attacks Woods from behind. That leaves Woods as easy pickings for Rusev.

Bo Dallas Vs Colin Cassady: This is dismal stuff. It goes way too long, and isn't interesting in the least. Dallas picks up the win with a double arm DDT, which is at least his third finisher in his time in NXT (none of which would be his finisher when he made the main roster). There was a face-to-face between Bo and Neville in the back before this, where we learned that Dallas will be getting his rematch in 2 weeks.

Episode MVP: Paige.

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3/20/14

Mojo Rawley Vs Bull Dempsey: How long is this taping cycle? Mojo's family and friends that were at ArRival are still there in the exact same spot. It must be hell for them sitting through hours of wrestling just to see these little 3 minute snippets of their boy. My internal dialogue when Mojo comes out is something like ..."this guy's shtick is so lame... Aww, but the kids will love it.... Man, this is guy is boring in the ring... How the hell did they squander this huge dude with legit athletic credentials? This guy would have been a star in the 80's"... He is probably the most green guy to be regularly featured on the show. Bull gets to show some offence, before doing the job.

In the back, CJ Parker is interviewed by Devin. Devin has progressed to where she's pretty much in line with the standard backstage interviewer, which is to say she's just a walking mic stand, rather than me not being sure she's even a breathing human being. She's got to be one of the most improved performers in NXT of the year so far. Parker cuts a promo on Mojo's diet, and says he's going to humanely dispose of him next week.

Tyler Breeze Vs Sami Zayn: This doesn't happen, as Corey Graves attacks Zayn on his way to the ring. He sends him into the ringpost, and that's enough to see Zayn being helped to the back by the doctor. NXT is funny like that. One shot is frequently all it takes to lay somebody out.

They set up a Sheamus Vs Aiden English match for later with a shit talking segment in the back.

Adam Rose Vs Camacho: Once again, the highlight of this is Rose's entrance. He's just so dull in the ring. It's Leo Kruger with more prancing. 

Bayley Vs Sasha Banks: Bayley has Natalya in her corner, while Sasha is out with Charlotte and Summer-on-a-stick. The contrast between Sasha and Charlotte is jarring. Sasha has tonnes of charisma and star quality, whereas Charlotte is more wooden than the stick that Summer's head is attached to. Sasha is a very fun chickenshit heel at this stage. Fun moment with Bayley putting on Sasha's glasses and mocking her. Bayley ends up rolling Sasha up for the win. They made good use of their 5 minutes here.

Sheamus Vs Aiden English: They do some shtick to start with Sheamus singing an old Irish song. The match is competitive, but pretty colourless. I'm not really a fan of these main roster guest star matches. Sheamus wins.

Episode MVP: Bayley.

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3/27/14

This is billed as Vengeance Week, and they hyped the NXT title rematch between Dallas and Neville, a rematch between CJ Parker and Mojo Rawley, Tyler Breeze Vs Xavier Woods and Charlotte Vs Natalya based on a little war of words they had in the back last week.

Mojo Rawley Vs CJ Parker: Still the same crowd in attendance. I feel like these people must have been sitting there for 5 hours by this point. This is pretty much the same match they had at ArRival, with Mojo going over.

Tyler Breeze Vs Xavier Woods: Decent back-and-forth match between these two. Thought they might have given them more time, but this was under 4 minutes. Breeze wins with the Beauty Shot. 

Corey Graves Vs Yoshi Tatsu: This is a rematch I don't really need to see. Tatsu at least gets some offence in this time, firing up and taking it to Graves. It still ends with him tapping to the Lucky 13 though.

Natalya Vs Charlotte: Charlotte has Sasha and SOAS in her corner. Nattie has Bret Hart! I'm always happy to see Bret on my screen, but he looked kinda out of it here. Is this around the time he got his cancer diagnosis? This is a decent little match. Nattie has looked real good in NXT, and Charlotte gets to do a bit more here, working over Nattie's leg. Natalya  goes for the sharpshooter, but Sasha runs in causing the DQ. Sasha gets locked in the sharpshooter and taps. I don't like Sasha being the jobgirl to protect Charlotte.

Adrian Neville Vs Bo Dallas: I can't believe there's still people actually turning their backs on Dallas when he comes out. Get a fucking clue. This is a good match. As good of a straight match as I've seen Dallas have actually. Lots of high-flying stuff from Neville, and he's gotten a lot better about adding substance to his matches through selling. He misses the Red Arrow, and I really bit on one of the nearfalls for Bo, before Neville finished it off with an inverted 450. It was nice seeing him have to dig deep into his arsenal to finish Bo off. I assume Dallas is done now on NXT. I don't see where he goes from here.

Episode MVP: Adrian Neville.

3 star match: Adrian Neville Vs Bo Dallas.

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10 minutes ago, Yo-Yo's Roomie said:

I can't believe there's still people actually turning their backs on Dallas when he comes out. Get a fucking clue.

I got why people would do that but damn did I hate this being a thing at the time.  If you really don't like somebody just take a piss break or something.  This more often than not accomplishes nothing.

Without spoilering anything things get pretty darn good leading up to the next Takeover.  Have fun.

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Charlotte starts improving pretty soon in here. I loved the Summer's face on a stick thing, cracked me up every week.

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4/3/14

Emma Vs Sasha Banks: Sasha is on job duty here. It's a shame once Summer left the scene that Sasha had to become the designated jobber for the BFFs. This is okay but Sasha needs more time to show what she can do.

The Ascension Vs Jack Hurley and Jonny Vandal: I don't understand why NXT hasn't introduced any new tag teams, and continues to run these squashes. Although to their credit, and to my bewilderment, the Ascension have got over beating guys up.

Brodus Clay Vs Xavier Woods: This is fresh off Brodus's heel turn. I'm not sure why this match is happening on NXT and not Main Event or something. Clay goes over in a boring match, and then cuts a promo saying he's coming for the NXT title. What? No. I wasn't expecting that.

In the back Neville cuts a promo saying that you have to earn your shot in NXT.

Tyler Breeze Vs Yoshi Tatsu: Standard win for Breeze.

Corey Graves Vs Sami Zayn: I wasn't a fan of this match. The match was built around Sami apparently having a concussion, and featured lots of Graves attacking the head. Which is fine in theory, but it went on too long, and with the ref continuously checking on Sami, it was a bit unbelievable that he wouldn't just stop the match. Finally Graves locked on Lucky 13 and the ref decided Sami couldn't defend himself, so called for the bell. I dunno, this just didn't work for me.

Episode MVP: This was a weak episode with no-one really standing out. I guess I'll go with Emma.

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4/10/14

We've got some new dude on commentary. Rich Brennan? There's a very weird dynamic between he, Albert and Riley. I can't really describe it, but it isn't good.

Adam Rose Vs Danny Burch: Standard competitive squash. I'm still not impressed with Rose bell to bell, but the entrance is great. He's using a second rope elbow for the win now. It's good to move away from the Slice, I think.

They do an interview in the back with the referee from the Graves/Zayn match. He says his number one priority is the health of the competitors. It sure took you long enough to realise that Sami couldn't compete last week. Then Graves cuts a promo telling Sami they're just getting started.

Bayley Vs Sasha Banks: Sasha on job duty again. Charlotte looks pissed off with this at ringside. I wonder if there's going to be dissension in the ranks. I'm surprised by how many wins Bayley picks up. She's very over though.

Mojo Rawley Vs Sylvester Lefort: Ugh, what a piece of shit match to put on. I would think they need to put Mojo in there with some seasoned hands to bring him along. Mojo wins, and then Brodus Clay comes out and lays a beating on Lefort. Who did Lefort piss off. Clay calls out Neville, and the champ obliges. Neville gets right up in Brodus's face, which I like, and Clay leaves.

Devin interviews Oliver Grey in the back. I didn't think I'd be seeing Grey again. He is interrupted immediately by Camacho, who starts cutting a promo on Adam Rose. Grey challenges Camacho to a match next week. It seems like Grey is doing an English toff gimmick, from his mannerisms and the way he's talking. I'm not sure that is a babyface gimmick.

Then, we come back from commercial and the hard-working Ms Taylor is with The Great Khali. Dear God, no. Bayley comes in and gives Khali a hug, then CJ Parker wonders in and insults Khali. Khali responds in punjabi, and Bayley translates that he's challenging Parker to a match next week. This is terrible stuff from NXT. Two almost identical segments in a row to set up matches for next week, with some bad comedy thrown in.

Bo Dallas comes out and is trying to occupy NXT in the model of Daniel Bryan's Occupy Raw. It doesn't work as a large number of the fans turn their backs on him in unison. They had to have been told to do that. No way the crowd all reacts the same way like that. Dallas is crying about this, when JBL comes out and says since he's ready to compete, he has an opponent for him- Justin Gabriel.

Bo Dallas Vs Justin Gabriel: Jeez, talk about two guys having absolutely no chemistry together. This is a real rough watch. Bo hits the double arm DDT to win.

Episode MVP: This is a terrible edition of NXT. The only thing worth a damn is the women's match, and even that is pretty by-the-numbers. I guess I'll go with Neville just for the way he squared up to Brodus.

 

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4/17/14

Aiden English Vs Big Cass: The only notable thing here is Cass being announced as 'Big Cass' for the first time. English beats him yet again. That is at least 3 times now English has beat Cass without reply. He needs to move on.

Camacho Vs Oliver Grey: So, Grey's return to the ring is to do a job for Camacho, just to heat Camacho up for a match with Adam Rose, who he's already lost to once.

Bo Dallas is interviewed in the back, and says his occupy NXT attempt failed because his fans are too law-abiding. He says that he'll never stop trying to regain his NXT title.

The Ascension Vs Wesley Blake and Cal Bishop: I can't handle any more of these Ascension squashes. The crowd is super into this though. It seems to me like the support has crossed over from ironic cheers, to the fans actually just getting into them beating guys up, and going along for the ride. I will give credit where it's due though. The Ascension have upped their intensity levels and are getting more creative in their beatdowns.

Devin interviews Sasha and Charlotte in the back. Charlotte cuts off Sasha when she tries to speak, and says that giving her the reigns the last few weeks has been an epic failure. She challenges Emma and a partner of her choice to face her and Sasha next week, saying that she is taking charge of things now. Sasha just goes along with this. I hope Sasha slaps the piss out of her next week.

The Great Khali Vs CJ Parker: Parker cuts another promo on the crowd before getting squashed by Khali. I hope that's the last Great Khali match I ever watch.

Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger Vs Sawyer Fulton and Baron Corbin: Hey, we've got a tag team division. This is fairly competitive, with Jordan and Dillinger coming away with the win. Not the most exciting match, but just nice to have an alternative to the Ascension.

Adrian Neville Vs Brodus Clay: I hope Neville batters this goon. This is a none-title match. Pretty well laid out, with Clay methodically beating down Neville, and Neville getting little flurries off offence. It ends with Clay trying to splash Neville on the outside, missing, and getting counted out. I assume this feud continues and we end up with a title match. 

Episode MVP: Another pretty bad ep. NXT is on a definite downswing at the moment since ArRival. I guess Neville again...

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Oh man, I loved Bo's Occupy bit. "I have you cookies!"

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