WWE NXT – Review, Highlights and Analysis From 18/12/2014

Adrian Neville/ Kevin Owens

The NXT crowd welcomed the former champion with deserved THANK YOU NEVILLE chants.

Many, including myself, thought that the Neville vs. Zayn feud would probably lead to a heel turn because that’s what we are used to see. However, this is NXT and here fitting into the mold is not a requirement.

Neville came out and took his defeat like a man. He wasn’t bitter. He wasn’t angry with Sami. He was proud of his performance and he was content with the idea that his friend outwrestled him and won what he deserved.

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However, Neville was angry with one man and that was Kevin Owens. When Owens came to the ring, Neville told him that his actions towards Sami Zayn were shameful. Owens wasn’t concerned about Nevill’s opinion or about pride for that matter. All he wanted to do was fight and if it was Neville, who had an issue with him, then Owens would fight Neville.

Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch was preparing for her match against Bayley but spared the time to explain that Sasha Banks opened her eyes to the fact that being nice doesn’t get you anywhere. She was now determined to ruin Bayley’s career.

Bayley vs. Becky Lynch

Bayley started the match aggressively but she was soon outmatched by Becky’s remorseless attacks to her injured knee. Lynch’s entire focus was on that leg and she spared no malice when trying to hurt her opponent.

In the end Becky Lynch twisted Bayley’s knee into a submission hold and made her tap out. Bayley submitted so fast that it actually sold the injury very well. Becky took her time before she released the hold, adding a little touch to her new heel persona.

Watching Becky Lynch’s change of character made me think of Bayley’s gimmick. The issue is that Bayley’s face by nature. Her defining traits are that she’s nice, dresses like a kid and gives out hugs. If she was ever to turn heel, she’d have to drop the core of her gimmick. Not being able to develop your personality is not a good thing. Unfortunately, Bayley as she is on NXT will never catch on with the audience on RAW/SmackDown, just like Emma.

William Regal / The Vaudevillains

I can’t not note the color scheme changing to black and white the moment the Simon Gotch and Aiden English entered William Regal’s office. Nice touch!

This segment caught me by surprise. The Vaudevillains showed the NXT GM footage of their NXT R Evolution match against the Lucha Dragons and claimed that Gotch wasn’t the legal man when he was pinned. Mr. Regal agreed and promised to set up a title rematch for them.

Hearing that, I paused everything I was doing and found a recording of the match online and watched the ending again. I cannot believe I actually missed that when I watched Takeover! Aiden English was the legal man when Kalisto tagged in and after that the action spilled outside the ring but Simon Gotch never tagged in.  I must have been too awed by Aiden English’s chivalry to notice.

Bull Dempsey vs. ????

Bull looked frustrated from the moment he stepped out. Dempsey clearly won. The match lasted about 2 minutes and the guy Bull was facing didn’t even get an introduction.

Bull was still going up the ramp when Baron Corbin’s music hit. Corbin gave Dempsey a diminishing look and entered the ring.

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Baron Corbin vs. ????

Some other local jobber…I mean competitor was already waiting for Corbin in the ring. Where did this guy come from? Since there was no time gap for him to come to the stage between Dempsey’s exit and Corbin’s entrance he must have been waiting underneath the ring or in the audience.

I think 14s might be a new record time for Baron Corbin but that’s all the time he needed to pin his opponent.

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On the way to the back, Baron Corbin clashed with Bull Dempsey once again. This time Bull made a move. He pushed Baron and retreated surprisingly fast. Corbin could have gone after him but he didn’t. He kept his cool and that made him look stronger, while Dempsey came off looking bitter and jealous.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass w./ Carmella vs. The Ascension

I had the feeling that the match lasted less than Enzo & Big Cass’ entrance promo.

Big Cass started it off against Viktor. It’s impressive that the smaller guy of the Ascension can easily go up against Big Cass and look dominating.  The Ascension are just that good.

Big Cass had just started gaining momentum when Enzo tagged himself in, rushed in the ring and attacked Konnor, who was patiently waiting in his corner. Big Cass wasn’t impressed at all but the audience cheered and Enzo looked at Carmella for approval. At that moment, Viktor hit him out of nowhere and won the match.

I’ve been against this Carmella story from the very beginning and now you can see why. The way Big Cass & Enzo Amore are book doesn’t speak favorably of the WWE’s future plans for the duo.

After clearing the ring, Konnor and Viktor delivered another message to Hideo Itami and Finn Balor – it was a lucky win and the Ascension is coming after them.

This feud can’t last much longer, since the Ascension is already being advertised on RAW and SmackDown.

Adrian Neville vs. Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens started the match by annoying Adrian Neville and the NXT audience. He spent the first few minutes of the match outside the ring, taking his time. Coming from a guy, who plays tough and says he’d fight anybody, this behavior is extremely frustrating.

Adrian Neville gave in in the end and went after Owens, which resulted in Owens taking control. It turned into a beating. Neville looked barely conscious. He was struggling to stand on his feet.

Owens’ character was defined clearly in the match. He had Neville curled up on the mat in pain and called him “a joke”, while kicking him in the ribs.  And that came just after Owens screamed that nothing he does makes him shameful. That is the type of a heel you really, really hate.

Neville wasn’t about to back down. With just one kick, he came back in the match. However, Owens was brutal. He pulled the ropes under Neville’s feet and then planted him right on his head off the top rope. The sight caused a gasp from the audience. It was cringeworthy. Neville still kicked out and the crowed exploded in THIS IS AWESOME chants.

After Neville hit that German suplex and then dove over the ropes to the outside, I couldn’t help but think that NXT just makes me love wrestling.

The fight outside took too long and the referee counted both men out.

Kevin Owens didn’t stop at that. He took Neville and powerbombed him into the ring.

The sight of Adrian Neville’s back hitting the apron still sends shivers down my spine. This move looks dangerous and painful. I can congratulate Owens on turning the NXT Universe against himself in a record time.

What did you think about this week’s NXT episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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