Location: Winter Park, FL
Date: April 8, 2015
Commentators: Rich Brennan and Corey Graves
This week’s show was taped during WrestleMania week and these events took place as part of Axxess. We start with a look at all of that. Then we get down to the elimination tournament that gave one NXT guy a slot on the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Hideo Itami vs. Adrian Neville
They’re just calling Adrian Neville “Neville” now and he takes in a warm welcome from the crowd, who is already chanting “this is awesome” before the bell.” Early grappling shows a pretty balance matchup. Neville looks limber and h takes Hideo down to the mat. Itami changes it up and gets on top for a one-count. Neville gets loose and plays with the crowd before taking Itami down again. Itami comes back and lands a decent shot as his contingent in the crowd roars with approval. Neville applies a headlock but Itami shakes it off and puts Neville out of the ring. Neville bides his time, coming back inside at the count of nine.
Neville gets on top and cracks Itami in the back with a swift kick. He puts Hideo on the mat for a near fall and then works him over in the corner. Neville keeps the advantage for a lengthy stretch until Itami nails him with a dropkick off the ropes and follows up with a flurry of maneuvers. He applies a sleeper hold as the crowd calls for the GTS. After enduring a suplex, Neville kicks out at two. Adrian stages a comeback, delivering a stunning superkick and puts Itami down but can’t seal the deal. Neville misses off the top and Itami clocks him with a corner stalling dropkick followed by a running kick for the three-count.
Winner: Hideo Itami
Next up, it’s the other semi-final contest…
Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze
The crowd is looking pretty forward to this one. Balor pokes fun at Breeze by lying across the top ropes in the corner and then they get to work. Breeze eventually gets an edge and puts Balor in the corner. The ref pushes him off Finn and Breeze screams in protest. After dishing out some punishment, Breeze puts Balor on the mat and tries to garner a submission. They get to grappling again and Balor hits a dropkick to put some distance between the men. He gets fired up and waffles breeze with a corner enzuigiri but the fight continues. Finn hits the Sling Blade and a few more high-impact moves including the coup de grace and three seconds later, it’s all over.
Winner: Finn Balor
After an Axxess highlight reel, we head for the main event…
Finn Balor vs. Hideo Itami
The guys square off and the crowd is psyched. It’s pretty even until Hideo gets moving off the ropes. After some fast hits, he puts Balor down for mat work. When they make it back to a vertical base, Balor comes to life with a dropkick and then he puts Itami into the corner for chops. Hideo counters but Balor delivers an enzuigiri, earning a near fall. They battle back and forth and at one point, Itami teases the GTS but doesn’t finish it. Counter is met with counter and then both men hit the canvas for a short rest. Once they’re both up again, they trade blows. Balor seemingly wins the struggle until Hideo starts no-selling the punches. He can’t keep control of the bout, though, as Balor lands the Sling Blade. Finn goes to the top rope and Hideo blocks him, setting up the GTS again, but he doesn’t hit it. Balor tries for a roll up but Hideo kicks out and then delivers a shotgun kick, taking out his opponent for good.
Winner: Hideo Itami
After the bell, the crowd chants “Hug it out!” and the guys do just that. Then we get a look at a video package chronicling Itami’s road in WWE thus far. After they show his unceremonious elimination from the battle royal, WWE wraps it up on a high note. Good stuff.