ThunderStruck: NXT Analysis Triple Dose: Build to TakeOver!

Show from 01/21/15



Sami Zayn demands a match with Kevin Owens. William Regal gives Zayn a non-title match with Owens at NXT TakeOver: Rival

^Zayn’s passion here was phenomenal! The guy has the ability to do some pretty special things if his booking continues along this path. Regal coming out and seeting this up with him makes sense, especially with the initial ruling for a non-title match.

Finn Balor defeats Curtis Axel with the double stomp from the top rope. Balor moves on in the NXT Number One Contender’s Tournament.

^This was a fun match. I’ve been critical of Axel’s charisma recently(or lack thereof), but the guy can still wrestle as good as any seasoned vet I’ve ever seen. Balor is insanely special, and I truly hope he doesn’t get the Daniel Bryan treatment once he’s on the main roster. I won’t step into the long winded rant of irony involving NXT and all the “smaller” guys that shine compared to what we see on Raw, but I think it’s pretty clear to everyone that the business is changing whether Vinny Mac likes it or not.

Charlotte defeats Sasha Banks by DQ. Becky Lynch gets involved to cause the DQ ending. Bayley comes down for the save and then slams Charlotte. William Regal makes a fatal four way for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver.

^I like that we saw some good physicality here, but what I like more is that we’re now going to be treated to what should be an outstanding women’s fatal four way match at the next TakeOver special. I’ll talk more about Charlotte’s title reign in my upcoming podcast.

Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy upset the Vaudevillains in a short match. Blake and Murphy have an interview after the match and they want the NXT Tag Team Champs, Kalisto and Sin Cara.

^Blake and Murphy are two talented guys that I had honestly never heard of before NXT, but they’re a solid tag team with a lot of potential because of their typical WWE tag team appearance(new age rockers look?). I’m excited ot see what becomes of this fresh young team. As for the Vaudevillains, I think they execute their gimmick nicely and it’s very refreshing. As far as being anything stellar, I could see them as a tag team for years competing with lots of different teams on the main roster, but not necessarily needing title reigns to get over.

Hideo Atami defeats Tyler Breeze in the main event.

^Outstanding action from these two. This is proof that two guys from very different backgrounds(Atami from Japan and Breeze from Canada) can mesh well together and give us something special to witness. ***1/2. Breeze losing is fine; his character staying in NXT for awhile and getting over more will eventually lead to him being a top face if it’s done right. Breeze has tons of talent, but the main roster doesn’t need him just yet.

Final Thoughts: From beginning to end, this is what I consider to be a perfect one hour show. It’s simplistic, full of good action, and everything makes sense as you go on the roller coaster ride known to us as NXT. Great work by everyone who produced this show.

Show from 01/28/15

Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy defeat the Lucha Dragons(Kalisto and Sin Cara) to win the NXT Tag Team Championships.

^Shocker! I like how Blake and Murphy got the win under suspect circumstances with the Dragons making a mistake and trying to pin the wrong man. The booking makes Murphy and Blake look smart, but it doesn’t take anything away from the Dragons and their ability in the ring. Great opening match with a nice surprise ending.

Adrian Neville defeats Tyson Kidd to advance in the NXT Championship Number One Contender’s Tournament.

^Can we ask for anything better? This episode of NXT feels like pay per view quality with the action we’re being treated to so far! Neville and Kidd blended nicely here with some good chain wrestling and hot spots to keep the crowd into it. Kidd doesn’t need a title win in NXT, especially since he’s teaming with Cesaro now on the main roster. Neville winning shows that he’s still a top contender in NXT despite dropping the strap to Zayn.

Charlotte and Bayley take on Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. The match ends in a no-contest when Bayley and Charlotte can’t get along.

^I like how intriguing the women’s storylines have been around the championship. Why can’t we get something so simplistic on Raw with this much wrestling involved? I almost don’t feel like I’m watching a WWE produced product when I see the women of NXT.

Baron Corbin defeats Bull Dempsey in a short match to advance to the final four of the NXT Championship Number One Contender’s Tournament.

^I’m not sure that a casual audience can fully understand the logic of this situation with Corbin and Dempsey. My understanding is that Dempsey is a beast, but Corbin is so much more of a beast that Dempsey can’t hang with him. For a casual viewer, it seems to me that Corbin and Dempsey were viewed as equals with their build of the rivalry(as neither lost matches and they had multiple staredowns), but then Corbin just beats him every time like it’s almost effortless. Not sure it’s top notch booking for a regular viewer(and no, I’m not intending to insult anyone’s intelligence when I make that argument).

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have a contract signing for their match at TakeOver: Rival. Owens refuses to have the match unless the NXT Championship is on the line. William Regal refuses the request, but gives in when Sami Zayn talks him into it.

^Simple but brilliant! It should be the motto of NXT. Zayn and Owens have an amazing storied past, so skipping all the garbage and having a Title Match on the main event of a special makes perfect sense for me. Great finish to the night!

Final Thoughts: We had a good mix of wrestling with some brutal action and an exciting contract signing! How much better can this show get? I’ll call this a perfect one hour episode once again.

Show from 02/04/15

Carmella(With Amore and Big Cass) defeats Emma with her leg submission finisher.

^Carmella’s got a bright future. Emma’s got some in-ring talent, but she’s lacking something. Maybe she needs some serious promo time to get over more with the audience? Good opener with good women’s wrestling.

Baron Corbin is defeated by Adrian Neville after outside interference by Bull Dempsey. Neville hits the red arrow for the win after Corbin makes it back in the ring before being counted out. It’s announced that Corbin will face Dempsey in a no-DQ match at TakeOver: Rival. Neville moves on to the finals of the NXT Championship Number One Contender’s Tournament!

^Corbin lost! I’m surprised at the booking, but it makes sense to continue the feud with Dempsey and advance Neville to the finals of the tournament. Good match overall here. Two for two so far on this card!

Bayley defeats Becky Lynch after Sasha Banks tosses Lynch back into the ring when she’s hurt. Lynch and Banks get heated after the match and we get Charlotte on the scene to increase the intensity. These four ladies have their fatal four way match at the TakeOver: Rival special on 2/11.

^More hype! These four continue to entertain me week in and week out and their match at TakeOver is sure to be something to remember. NXT has me genuinely excited about women’s wrestling for the long term and THAT is no easy feat.

It’s announced that the Lucha Dragons will get their rematch against Blake and Murphy at the 2/11 TakeOver special with the Tag Titles on the line.

Tyler Breeze is interviewed. He’s going to watch the rest of the tournament and stay in the hunt now that he’s been eliminated.

^I have a lot of confidence that Breeze will be utilized well over the coming months. He’s got all the charisma and in-ring ability to be something really special, so I’m going to continue to be patient for his big time.

Finn Balor defeats Hideo Atami in our main event. Adrian Neville is on commentary for the match as Balor will now face Neville in the finals at TakeOver to determine the new number one contender for the NXT Championship! Balor shakes Atami’s hand as well as Neville’s to end the show.

^Twelve minutes of amazing action makes for an epic conclusion to this episode of NXT! Atami and Balor have wrestled all over the world, and they truly maximized their minutes in this main event matchup! I’d call it a quality four star match in such a short amount of time; I couldn’t imagine how epic it might have become if they had 20-25 minutes. So it’s Neville and Balor in the Number One Contender’s Tournament finals at TakeOver!

A Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn rivalry video ends the show to close us out before TakeOver next Wednesday night!

Final Thoughts: Another perfect episode. Lots of fans will call me a WWE mark, but the fact of the matter here is that NXT is the best wrestling on weekly TV right now with just a one hour show. It’s quite impressive that WWE can take one hour each week, intergrate it into storylines that mesh well the four specials per year, and deliver one of the best, if not the very best, products on the market today. TakeOver will be awesome, and I’ll be detailing a preview of the show on my next podcast for you.

Thanks for reading! – add me!

Related Articles

Latest Articles