Location: Winter Park, FL
Date: November 13, 2014
Commentators: Jason Albert, Renee Young, and Rich Brennan
NXT opens by giving the fans exactly what they want, with the appearance of Finn Balor. For those who missed it, he came out to help Hideo Itami against The Ascension last week to close the broadcast last week. He says that he’s at NXT because he’s the future, but he’s interrupted by the arrival of Tyson Kidd. This should be good. He takes offense to Balor claiming to be the future and says that he lacks respect. This brings out Justin Gabriel of all people. INTERNATIONAL AIRSTRIKE LIVES! He isn’t happy with the shine the new International Superstars get over veterans like them. A “Who are you” chant breaks out. International Airstrike goes to attack when Itami’s theme hits. Kidd and Gabriel back off when a referee runs down to talk to the ring announcer. According to William Regal, this is about to go down as a tag team match! Rapid fire stuff here, which is best since they aren’t the best mic guys.
Finn Balor and Hideo Itami vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd w/ Natalya
Hideo Itami and Justin Gabriel start but a quick tag to Tyson Kidd allows Hideo to work the arm. Finn Balor gets the tag to cheers, leading Kidd to tag out. Balor dropkicks the stuffing out of Gabriel and goes to the top but Kidd pulls Gabriel out of harm’s way. Balor chooses to hit a front flip outside before it goes to commercial. Returning, Itami kicks Gabriel in the back for a near fall. Balor tags in and shows off his athleticism again, but eats a dropkick from Gabriel. Tyson hits a neckbreaker on the outside and shouts “COUNT HIM OUT!” That fails and Gabriel does his best to keep Balor away from Itami. Kidd and Gabriel work the heel side of tag formula better than I expected. Balor fights back and hits a sweet Pele kick before making the hot tag to Hideo. He comes in and lights up Tyson with kicks. Kidd tags in Gabriel who flies in, but right into a kick. Kidd breaks up the count and the tag is in to Finn. The faces hit stereo corner dropkicks and Balor nails the top rope double stomp to end it.
Winners: Finn Balor and Hideo Itami
Really good opener. The crowd was hot, Balor looked very impressive and everything seemed to click. ***1/4
NXT does a great job of hyping up tonight’s main event by going back to November 2013 and showing clips of a number one contender’s match between Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. Neville won that night because Sami “can’t win the big one.” Devin Taylor interviews Sami for his thoughts on the big match. He feels that tonight is different and it’s his destiny. He just stole every Alberto Del Rio promo ever.
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks w/ Becky Lynch
I love Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, but their pairing is odd for sure. Sasha goes right to a kick to the guy and places Alexa in the corner before driving her knees into the ribs. That earns a near fall before Sasha makes me laugh as she runs off the ropes and just slaps Alexa. That’s disrespectful. Banks applies a good old fashioned bow and arrow but Alexa counter into a near fall. They trade shots until Bliss snaps off a flying headscissors. She hits a sunset flip bomb for two and it got a good pop from the crowd. Banks recovers quickly and hits the Bank Statement, causing Alexa to submit.
Winner: Sasha Banks in 2:12
I wish this got more time. They did good with the time they got and Sasha continues to shine in the NXT Women’s Division. **1/2
Sasha Banks grabs the microphone after the match and calls out Charlotte because she has the NXT Women’s Title, which is what Sasha wants. She issues a challenge for the title but we get no response from the champion here. Devin Taylor is back to interview Adrian Neville. He plays the “Sami can’t win the big one” card again.
Non-Title Match: The Lucha Dragons vs. Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake
Commentary states that Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy want to be the most functional tag team on the roster, which is an interesting take. Kalisto starts out and hits some impressive stuff on Blake, but when Murphy gets the tag, he counters into a big suplex. They hit a solid little double team move and continue to work over Kalisto. Blake comes off the top to stomp on Kalisto’s arm and they begin to work that arm. They stretch him and hit a much more impressive double team maneuver for two. Kalisto gets monkey flipped over both men and makes the hot tag to Sin Cara. They hit an awkward stand still for a second before Cara hits a head scissors and handpsring back elbow. He gets the “LU-CHA” chant going before he is tossed into Murphy. Kalisto nails a springboard corkscrew plancha outside. Sin Cara connects with an impressive powerbomb and Swanton Bomb to end it.
Winners: The Lucha Dragons in 5:02
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy looked great in defeat. This did it’s job. Got the Champions a win while allowing a new team to do their thing. **3/4
More from Devin Taylor, who is with the Vaudevillains now. They speak now actually. They congratulate the Champions on their success but Simon Gotch says the titles won’t be going home with two children when they get their shot, two men will take them home.
NXT Championship: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn
Jojo gives us the in-ring introductions to add to the big fight feel and the crowd is basically 100% behind Sami Zayn. We get a wristlock start and Sami slams Neville down, causing him to regroup in the corner. Zayn wins another short spurt with a Steamboat like arm drag. Sami leaps over two Neville twice and dodges an attack before knocking him outside. Sami goes to leap outside but Neville moves, leading to Sami backflipping back in. Alex Riley maeks a good point that it’s not needed, but he’s annoying on commentary. Back inside, Neville snaps off rapid fire kicks and has Zayn reeling. Back from commercial, Neville hits a snap suplex for two and takes him down with a big chop for one. Neville gets an “overrated” chant, which is a statement I cannot agree with. He locks in a headlock and Sami rallies behind the NXT Universe, only to suffer a roundhouse kick to the midsection. They trade forearm shots until Zayn connects with multiple clotheslines; the last one taking Neville over and out. Beautiful front flip from Sami follows and the crowd is HOT. He goes up top but his cross body is countered by Neville getting his knees up. He hits a standing shooting star press for two and that’s still a gorgeous move. They counter each other until Neville backlips up onto Sami’s shoulders, only to be turned into a stiff powerbomb for a close two count! It was badass. They are groggy on their feet but Sami ducks a kick and goes all Kurt Angle with two Germans before ending it with a sick release half nelson suplex. That only somehow earns a two! Sami is clearly frustrated and goes for the Helluva Kick but Neville meets him with a big kick of his own. Neville charges but gets caught in the Exploder, only to counter that into a rollup for two. Neville kicks Zayn in the head and goes for the Red Arrow to “No” chants. He misses and the crowd goes NUTS! Neville holds his knee in pain and Sami signals for the Helluva Kick again. Neville can’t even get up and Sami looks concerned. The referee even throws up the “X”. Sami gets close and Neville pulls him into a small package for three.
Winner and Still NXT Champion: Adrian Neville in 12:17
My goodness, that was tremendous. Both guys pulled out all of the stops. Lots of reversals, great wrestling, spots and some awesome storytelling. Adrian continuing to do anything to keep the belt and Sami continuing to come oh so close makes for great television. Everything about this is great and they could have a five star match if they’re given some more time. ****1/4
Officials check on Adrian Neville while Sami Zayn sits in the ring looking distraught.