Bo Dallas has his long awaited championship match against Big E Langston – Can Langston focus on Dallas and retain his title while also being the “heavy” for Dolph Ziggler or has Bo’s time come? Antonio Cesaro takes exception to Sami Zayn’s early success; which international Superstar will come out on top?
Match 1: Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro
Winner: Antonio Cesaro via pinfall
Cesaro enters the ring and immediately takes it to Zayn, sending him to the floor and dropping him chest first into the barricade, then the ring post. Cesaro throws Zayn back into the ring to kick the match off for real. Cesaro hits a running European uppercut in the corner but Zayn is out at two. Right hands to the side of the head of Zayn to keep him grounded. Zayn chops his way back and throws forearms, but Cesaro elevates him with a knee. Zayn’s quickness lets him get some offense in, but Cesaro puts a stop to it with a standing spinebuster. Cesaro into a chinlock on the mat but Zayn quickly gets to his feet and ducks a clothesline, then hits a calf kick for a one count. Cesaro drives him into the corner and gutshots Zayn. Now chops in the corner, but Zayn starts to fight back. Another knee to the gut slows him down, but Zayn counters a European uppercut into a backslide for two. Zayn tries to leapfrog, but Cesaro turns it into a tilt a whirl backbreaker for two.
Back from a commercial, Zayn with a sunset flip that Cesaro answers with a leaping double stomp for a pair of two counts. Cesaro stamps on the fingers of Zayn and despite a headbutt to the midsection, Cesaro keeps him grounded. Another chinlock, this time from the side. Zayn is quick to his feet, but Cesaro puts him back down. Zayn up again and drives him into the corner, but Cesaro holds on. Again to another corner and Zayn hits a spin out powerbomb for two. Zayn is up to his feet first, but takes a European uppercut for a very near fall. Cesaro with the deadlift and a gutwrench for yet another two. Cesaro lights up Zayn in the corner then forearms him in the chest. Zayn counters the third one with a bodyscissors, then transitions to headscissor Cesaro to the floor. Zayn fires up and hits the ropes for a tope atomico. Zayn heads to the top rope with Cesaro back in the ring and dives into a European uppercut. Zayn still kicks out at two and Cesaro can’t believe it. Cesaro goes back to a standing chinlock. Zayn fights out and hits a back elbow, followed by a sunset flip Code Red for a very near fall. Zayn runs into a boot in the corner that levels him – Cesaro deadlifts him into a suplex that Zayn counters similar to their first match, but Cesaro kicks out at two then quickly grabs him in a chinlock. Zayn throws him off but runs into another standing chinlock, which Cesaro transitions into the Neutralizer for the win.
Match 2: Baron Corbin & Travis Tyler vs Scott Dawson & Garrett Dylan
Winners: Dawson & Dylan via pinfall
Sylvester LaFort is out to introduce his boys (Still a wild mismatch of personalities, but that’s fine). A comically French manager with a couple of trailer park boys is odd, but I can’t not enjoy LaFort’s “Ah Ah Ah” fake laugh.
Tyler starts off with Dawson in the ring and Tyler takes him over in a headlock. Dawson throws him off, but Tyler quickly grabs another headlock. Dawson hits a back elbow off the ropes then tags in Dylan to hammer away at Tyler. Boots in the corner and Dawson tags right back in for some kicks. Dylan’s turn now, keeping Tyler grounded. Now a scoop slam and another tag to Dawson. Double team hair slam and another quick tag to Dylan and another right to Dawson. Snapmare and a quick leg drop from Dawson, then a knee drop. Dylan again for a body shot and Dawson for a boot to the head. Dawson with a kick to the ribs and a two count. Tyler kicks Dawson and hits a clothesline wanting the tag and getting it. Corbin runs wild, but Dawson manages a blind tag, hitting the spinerbuster/axe handle combination for the win.
Match 3: Bayley vs Alicia Fox, NXT Women’s Champsionship First Round
Winner: Alicia Fox via pinfall
Bayley extends her hand in wide-eyed awe of a former WWE Women’s Champion. Bayley hugs her into the corner and Fox elbows her away. Fox throws her head first into the top turnbuckle then hits a northern lights suplex for two. Fox into a chinlock and Bayley get to her feet, only to be grounded again. Fox throws Bayley’s headband off which seems to piss her off a bit. To her feet again, but Fox keeps the control into the corner. Fox ruffles Bayley’s hair in the corner which makes Bayley explode with forearms and a monkey flip. Axe handles to the chest of Fox and a big knee drop for two. Bayley with an exploder for another two. Fox rolls to the apron and kicks Bayley in the head. Fox hits a running axe kick for the win.
Match 4: Bo Dallas vs Big E Langston (c), NXT Championship
Winner: Bo Dallas via pinfall – New NXT Champion
Still ludicrously grating to me that the main roster shows have never mentioned E being the NXT Champion at any point. Simple things like that would legitimize the NXT brand across the entirety of the WWE’s locus, not to mention E himself. It could also get more people interested in checking NXT out online, on Hulu Plus, whatever. But no.
Dallas with a rear waist lock and E disposes of him like a bag of laundry. Dallas tries a headlock this time and runs into E’s shoulder. Bo gets a dropkick off, but Langston stands his ground and leapfrogs Bo with ease, then drops him. Dallas hits a low dropkick and boots at E, then low bridges him to the floor. Langston is frustrated on the floor and takes his time getting back in the ring. Bo pounces on him, but E shrugs it off and slides him into the middle turnbuckle. Back from commercial, E is still in control, ramming Dallas into the ring apron and rolling him in. E with a series of gut shots that leaves Dallas grounded. E hits a short arm clothesline and Dallas is out at two. Langston hits a jumping splash with awesome height. Dallas begins to fight back (much to the chagrin of the crowd), but E elbows him in the skull (much to the delight of the crowd). Dallas kicks out at two again. Langston tries the splash again, and the golden rule of pro wrestling shines through – Never do the same move twice! Bo hits clotheslines and can’t knock E down – He goes for the gut shot/boot combo, then hits a knee in the corner. Bo follows with a rope running bulldog for two.
Dallas is all fired up now and tries to run in for his slam, but E counters into a belly to belly (Which just looks like a stronger version of Bo’s finish). E waits for Bo to get to his feet and hits a trio of clotheslines. Langston with five knee lifts to the midsection. Now a running avalanche mid ring, then E drops the straps, wanting the Big Ending. The crowd is completely behind Langston. Dallas grabs the ropes once he’s up for the move, then slips down and throws E into the turnbuckle. E runs into Bo’s belly to belly slam thing and you’ve got a new NXT Champ. Turns out that when Bo grabbed the top rope to escape, he exposed the top turnbuckle and E was run into it.
Bo says he can’t put in words what he feels or what he’s thinking. He outright says he can’t think of anything to say and goes to the old “I’m going to Disney World” line. The crowd hates him.
They shouldn’t have anyone come that close to beating a main roster guy unless he’s nearly heading to said main roster. Yet, Zayn hit so much of the offense we love from the El Generico days that got him so close to a win. The word in the back is that Zayn has been told to tone down the number of “high spots” in his matches on NXT. Curious if WWE just doesn’t want that style present or if they’re worried about Zayn outshining the roster. My guess is a mix of the two. Awesome match – Proof that when WWE lets two of the “indy” guys they’ve recruited just go to work you get an amazing match. Look at the crowd response to Bryan vs Rollins – Regardless of what Vince thinks, people want to see these high energy matches. They want to cheer for the perceived underdog firing up and beating the hell out of a heel. Let them loose.
Solid tag team squash – Their finisher strikes me as more of a signature combination than a match ender, but watching ROH has spoiled me on that. LaFort again does nothing during the match, only serving a purpose in the introduction stage. If he’s to matter, he needs to be slightly more involved – The guys are heels, so a manager that gets himself interjected into the action isn’t unheard of. They’re still in the establishing phase, so not much else to do with them.
Big surprise, Fox almost cracks someone’s skull with an axe kick. Aside from doing a great northern lights, she really is nothing but a liability in the ring. Also, I guess she’s a heel now because she was mean to the crowd. And the world continues to not care. Playing up Bayley as bright eyed and bushy tailed, then having her explode on a former champ only to get beat on the show where they showcase new talent makes about NO sense to me.
You’d never know this was for a title – Incredibly run of the mill. Langston showcases as a great athlete and the smiley babyface wins his first title via an exposed turnbuckle. Incredibly odd, unless he’s going to be a smiley heel. Bo outright says in his championship promo that he can’t think of anything to say, then goes with the corniest line you possibly could given the situation. I’m all about giving the NXT roster multiple chances, especially as someone reporting on it, but Bo Dallas has managed to be a happy babyface that the crowd hates, faltered on a couple main roster spots because nobody cared about him and just won a title via heel tactics and admitted he had nothing to say. It kind of speaks volumes that I have about as much good to say about Dallas as I do Alicia Fox. I typically try to put a positive spin on these reports, because I really hate to be “that negative smark”. So I’ll say this – On the off chance that he will be a smiley heel (Think Johnny Gargano’s current run) that doesn’t think himself a heel, this is a good start. If that’s not the path they take and they don’t intelligently embrace the crowd’s reaction to Dallas, this is going to be an awful title reign.
The reign of Bo Dallas begins.
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Tags: alicia fox, Antonio Cesaro, big e langston, Bo Dallas, NXT, sami zayn, William Regal, WWE