Titus O’Neil /Sami Zayn /Adrian Neville /Tyson Kidd / William Regal Segment
There were a lot of people involved in the opening segment. Titus O’Neil came out trolling the NXT fans by telling them that “It’s an honor and privilege” for THEM to be in his presence. Then he went on to complain about Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd, Adrian Neville and Tyler Breeze have stolen his spotlight by having a match on RAW last week.
However, Titus is definitely not the first main roster superstar with a “jobber” status who comes out to brag about his inexistent success away from NXT (I’d refer you to Brodus Clay for more information but he’s not even in the WWE anymore). Sami Zayn came out to an incredible ovation to remind him just that. Zayn pointed out that after getting beat by bunnies, Titus really doesn’t have the right to offend NXT stars who are actually “stealing the show”. Although it was meant to be a funny remark, it was actually so true that it felt brutal. The WWE has reached a stage where the one wrestling show that they have is their developmental grounds where superstars display amazing talent while on their leading show – RAW – wrestlers fight and lose to a dude in a bunny suit! That is just plain sad.
Moving on, Adrian Neville joined the party in the ring by claiming that he’s the only rightful defender of the NXT honor because he’s the NXT champion. I like how on NXT heel turns happen slowly and gradually. It’s more realistic. In real life people don’t change in a second. Being proud and fighting until the end is what made Neville a face number one contender and is the thing that is going to turn him into a heel as the champion.
Then Tyson Kidd intervened in the conversation to stir the pot a bit. He said something that was actually logical and unbiased – yes, it is true that the way Adrian Neville retained was disappointing, but it is also true, that being in Neville’s shoes, anyone would do whatever it takes to save their title. Nonetheless, no one is guilty until proven so and only after you’ve failed you will be judged so I don’t see the NXT fans or Sami Zayn approving of Neville’s actions. That’s another reason why he’ll eventually turn on them.
This was followed by a quick exchange between Zayn and Neville, in which Zayn claimed that based on his morals he’d never do what Neville did at NXT Takeover 2 . And then Neville told him that this is the reason why he’ll never be a champion. The matches between those two, that will follow, promise to be incredible.
In the end, Regal came out to a loud pop and announced a tag team match between Zayn&Neville vs Kidd & O’Neil for the main event. Regal also said something that left an impression on me; he said that this “is a fighting show, not a wining show”. I sometimes wish that someone could come out on RAW/Smackdown and say that exact same thing.
Charlotte vs Emma
Emma got “Welcome back” chants as soon as she entered the ring. Her character’s always been over with the NXT audience. Too bad, it didn’t catch on on the main roster. As usual, blame it all on bad booking and bad storytelling. Emma, as many others, wasn’t really given the opportunity to show her wrestling ability; instead, she was thrown into a lazy, one-dimensional gimmick.
Emma got under Charlotte’s skin by pushing the title off of her hands. This lead to the NXT women’s champion attacking viciously her opponent. Charlotte is so dominating in the ring, it’s scary.
The match was technical and wrestling packed. The audience was into it, chanting “Let’s go Charlotte/ Let’s go Emma”. Emma pulled off some offense in the middle of the match after almost pinning the Women’s Champion by a roll up. Then the Australian performed a top rope cross body and went for the pin. Charlotte kicked out and quickly got in the Natural Selection for the win.
Every time I watch a divas’ match on NXT I wonder why we never see any wrestling from the divas on the main roster. I’m convinced that the WWE Creative team underestimates the intelligence of their regular fans by assuming they are in it for the sexy bodies and the sassy walks.
Hideo Itami vs Justin Gabriel
This was KENTA aka Hideo Itami’s long-awaited in ring debut. However, the NXT fans weren’t as lively as expected. I think the hype around Hideo’s arrival was so high that people were a bit disappointed when they got a great wrestler instead of a God. I am concerned about KENTA’s future in the WWE. They are walking on thin ice with a man whose name precedes him but who can’t really promote himself due to his inability to speak English. Also, Hideo’s “kick” style might not connect as well with the common WWE fan, who hasn’t had any exposure to KENTA’s work in Japan, as we’d like it to.
The match wasn’t too long but both superstars worked nicely in the ring. As expected, Hideo won his debut match, using a top-rope jump finisher. I was eager to find out if he’d be allowed to use the GTS, having in mind it’s his original finisher. However, there are a lot of people in the WWE Universe, who have no idea that KENTA was the one, who invented the move, and CM Punk used it as a tribute to him. I don’t think the WWE are ready to risk all the noise that the use of the GTS might create.
I want to just throw this in, but I really enjoy the NXT style of commentating. The commentators actually discuss the superstars, who are in the ring, throughout the match. That sounds like common sense but on RAW/Smackdown it’s not.
After the match Hideo got ambushed by the Ascension. Although this is logical, after the way he embarrassed the former tag-team champions on NXT Takeover 2 but I don’t really see where they are going with this storyline. A feud between a single competitor and a tag team doesn’t play out very well for one of them, most probably the duo. Didn’t NXT have any singles competitors who needed a feud?
CJ Parker vs Baron Corbin
Two things: poor CJ Parker and wow to Baron Corbin’s presence.
This match was exactly 31 seconds long. I counted.
Renee Young called Baron Corbin a lone wolf. This is a perfect description of the atmosphere he creates. I’m intrigued about his silent persona. We don’t even know if he’s a heel or a face, do we? I only hope that when he finally speaks, he’ll be as good as he naturally feels when he’s silent.
Sami Zayn & Adrian Neville vs Tyson Kidd & Titus O’Neil
This match served as a show-off ground for the brewing animosity between Neville and Zayn.
The two competitors spent their time trying to outdo each other rather than the opposing team. The NXT audience fueled the competitiveness between Neville and Zayn by chanting “Better than Neville” and “Sami’s better”. The reigning NXT champ responded to that with an impressive standing corkscrew shooting star press. Sami Zayn didn’t stay behind and quickly followed by launching himself off the top rope, out of the ring, onto Tyson Kidd.
Tyson Kidd was his usual great self. He was the veteran in the ring, who did well with his role of keeping the match flowing. As for Titus O’Neil, it’s impressive how this guy tosses grown men around like rag dolls. He is strong, that’s for sure.
In the end, Neville almost got the win over Kidd but Titus got involved. Sami Zayn tried to help but ended up distracting the referee. Titus pushed Neville off the top rope while he was setting up for the Red Arrow. Tyson Kidd got the pin and the tension between Neville and Zayn rose a little bit more. We won’t have to wait too long before it finally explodes.
I want to say a few words about Renee Young’s commentary too. I’m impressed. She did a great job of selling Titus’s ludicrous claim that NXT stars were stealing HIS time on RAW. She reminded me of JBL in doing that. Also she countered Alex Riley, who called Titus “too talented for his own good” by questioning whether O’Neil was “too talented or too strong”. I can see Renee being the first full-time WWE female commentator. The woman needs some practice but she definitely has the potential.
That’s the review and analysis of this week’s NXT. Do you agree or disagree? Leave comment below or on the WWE Comment Section’s FB page. Till next time!