WWE NXT – Review, Highlights and Analysis From 08/01/2015

Sami Zayn/ Adrian Neville

Sami Zayn came back, holding his championship and the NXT Universe welcomed him in such a manner that it gave me goosebumps. I don’t know whether it was scripted or not but Sami ran through the audience to celebrate and it felt like a win for everyone.

It’s funny how many wrestlers say “This title is not mine. It’s yours” and it sounds cheesy and fake. When Sami Zayn said “It’s ours.”, it felt real.  Sami has bonded with the audience in a way that his victories and his hardships truly feel shared.

Adrian Neville came out and the atmosphere suddenly turned much darker and heavier. It is not easy when your happiness is based on the misfortune on your friends. I like the little touches. Sami Zayn giving his microphone to Adrian Neville, so that Neville doesn’t need to walk all the way across the ring to get one was a simple but important gesture that added to Zayn’s character.

The two men in the ring exchanged words of respect and were just moving onto the topic of a rematch when Mr. Regal came out. And taking about gestures, Regal, saying “It’s not about me, it’s about those two gentlemen”, was a fine touch of nobility from the Englishman.

The rematch was set up for next week- Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship.

We didn’t see Kevin Owens this week but something tells me that he won’t miss the title rematch.

The Vaudevillains

We had a glimpse at the Vaudevillains backstage, while they were warming up for their titles rematch. There was nothing special about the promo, it was just a reminder that a match is coming and that the Vaudevillains are ready for it.

Curtis Axel vs. Hideo Itami

The commentators were unusually distracted. They were busy discussing Jason’s head size and his difficulties finding a hat.

To be fair, the match wasn’t particularly thrilling. The goal was to establish Axel’s “mean streak” but since he’s not the most exciting wrestler out there, the action didn’t bring breathtaking spots.

Hideo was in the losing position for most of the match but won with a surprise kick to the head.

The audience didn’t respond strong to the ending of the match. Hideo needs a proper finisher. I’m all up for letting the superstars win with unexpected moves out of nowhere but a memorable finisher needs to exist. It’s part of the deal. I’m surprised the WWE has wasted so much time with Hideo Itami. Is it because they still don’t know what to do with the GTS issue?

Natalya & Tyson Kidd

Tyson apparently couldn’t talk because he was preparing for his match…next week? Natalya took over the interview but Tyson couldn’t live with the thought that his wife got the spotlight instead so he sent her off to check on the cats and cut a promo on Finn Balor.

I’m constantly baffled but the way the WWE handles timelines. Total Divas are about six months behind and they say it in the show. The WWE still uses issues from Total Divas episodes as a valid reason to start feuds in the current time, disregarding the time gap. NXT, however, seems to ignore the main shows on this one and works in a time dimension that recognizes Total Divas as a show but builds storylines without using it. I’m saying this because on Total Divas Tyson and Natalya are separated but on NXT, they still talked about their cats as if they still lived together.

Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks

This match was all Sasha. Alexa Bliss was only used as a tool for the Boss to reestablish her dominance after the series of losses against Charlotte.

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Sasha added a little more heel to it by not letting go of the submission hold after the match.

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However, this doesn’t put Sasha back in the run for the title and there really are no other competitors that have built enough momentum to challenge Charlotte. Could the WWE be thinking about Natalya?

Tyler Breeze vs. Chad Gable

At NXT, at least they make the effort to share the name of wrestlers, who are there to job and you probably don’t know already. I find the whole “local competitor” thing offensive. Even if you’ve paid those guys to lose and they have no chance, it would be nice if their names were mentioned.

Saying that, Chad Gable did much better than what I expected. I was anticipating a squash match and he actually gave Prince Pretty some competition. After a couple of moves that hit the target, Gable applied an armbar, while hanging on the outside of the ropes. If you’ve forgotten, that actually was Del Rio’s finisher.

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Tyler Breeze wasn’t happy at all. He used that fact that Gable got carried away, enjoying the crowd’s reaction and put in the Beauty Shot for the win.

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Throughout the match the commentators were discussing Marcus Luis. This probably will set up the scene for a feud between Prince Pretty and the “Uggo”. Expect some brutal promos from Tyler Breeze there.

Finn Balor

There was nothing particularly exciting about Balor’s promo either. However, I expect the match between him and Tyson Kidd to be amazing.

The Vaudevillains vs. The Lucha Dragons

The pace of the match was very slow. That’s because the Vaudevillains had to keep the fight grounded, in order to counter the lucha style of their opponents. But that slow pace was the proof that Aiden Endlish and Simon Gotch were in control of the situation.

The Vaudevillains were the better team all around. They dominated the entire match, which unfortunately led to a “surprise” quick turnaround by the Lucha Dragons in the end.

Kalisto and Sin Cara retained. I give it to them, the finisher they used was beautiful. However, the crowd didn’t join in eagerly on the victory celebration. I think I wasn’t the only one, who was disappointed that the Vaudevillains didn’t leave with those titles around their waists.

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

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