Renee Young opens up with new NXT Champion Bo Dallas. We recall that Leo Kruger attacked Bo at the end of the show. Bo calls his fans “Bo-lievers”…Then he quotes Bret Hart and calls him his friend and mentor. Bo reminds Renee that he was at Wrestlemania (Axxess). Bo wants Kruger to earn a title match, the same way he earned his title. Antonio Cesaro shows up to say that he’s a better American than Dallas and he actually earns what he gets. Cesaro says he’s going to take the title from Bo. Bo introduces Cesaro and calls him the most insignificant US Champion ever.
Match 1: Alicia Fox vs Paige, NXT Women’s Championship Tournament, Semi-Finals
Winner: Paige via pinfall
Headlock takedown from Paige countered into a headscissors from Fox. Paige kips up and out and goes back to the headlock and a takeover. Fox elbows out and throws Paige to the mat, then bails to the floor to catch her breath. Fox is back in for a waistlock, but Paige backs her to the corner and hits multiple elbows. Fox counters in the corner to a sunset flip and a kick, then a northern lights suplex for two. Paige is thrown to the corner twice, then gets her fingers stomped. Fox pressures with her knee in the ropes and follows with a snapmare and chinlock. Fox tries for a pinfall but gets a two. Another chinlock from Fox who drives knees to the back. Paige hits a jawbreaker and ducks a clothesline, then hits a shoulder block and tosses Fox by her hair. Paige delivers knees to the head of Fox in the ropes. Paige gets back in the ring and Fox answers with a dropkick for two. Fox comes off the ropes and runs into a mulekick, then the Paigeturner for the win.
Match 2: Andy Baker vs Conor O’Brian
Winner: O’Brian via pinfall
Rick Victor is out with O’Brian in Ascension gear and style. I don’t feel like I’ve missed an episode, so I have no idea how Victor came to be involved in Ascension. The gimmick works better in a team in my opinion, so I guess it’s welcome.
O’Brian readies himself in the corner and blasts Baker with shoulders as the bell rings. Rolling headlock takeovers from O’Brian, which Baker fights out of, only to walk into a flapjack. O’Brian hits a running leg drop for three.
Renee Young is in the back with Graves and Neville, who are unhappy about what happened to Ohno last week. They ask for Regal to stand with them and rid NXT of the Wyatt Family. Graves points his knuckle tats at the camera to end it.
Match 3: Scott Dawson vs Xavier Woods
Winners: Xavier Woods via pinfall
Sylvester LeFort is out and talks up something or other, but the crowd is so loud and angry, that all I know is he said “Scott Dawson”. This is still a baffling combination of wrestler and manager. Woods is another of the NXT guys who comes in with a following, which gets reflected in the smartened crowd’s reaction, yet he seems to get treated like a jobber. That said, let’s see how this plays out.
Dawson pressures Woods to the corner and delivers a headbutt to the back. Woods up and over in the corner , but Dawson counters a scoop slam. Woods with a boot and a school boy for one, then a huge chop. Woods follows with an atomic drop and another chop for one. Woods ducks punches and Dawson counters another atomic Drop. Woods is off the ropes and ducks clotheslines to delivers a headscissors and another chop for one. Woods settles into an armbar, which Dawson stands up out of and delivers an elbow. Dawson throws Woods to the apron, who tries a sunset flip, but he gets his leg pushed out and hits his head on the apron. Dawson drapes Woods on the top rope then drives him to the mat. Dawson rakes Woods’ face on the ropes then nails a back elbow off the ropes. Dawson with a quick leg drop for one. Dawson grabs a handful of nose and clubs the chest of Woods for another one count. Chinlock from Dawson now, which Woods fights out of with a jawbreaker. Woods fights up from the mat with a European uppercut and a right hand, then a running forearm and a dropkick. Woods hits the Honor Roll and Lost in the Woods (rolling clothesline and Eat Defeat) for the win.
Match 4: Mason Ryan vs Enzo Amore
Winner: Mason Ryan via pinfall
Enzo runs at the mouth and tells Ryanhe’s “sawft”. Enzo warms up, throwing jabs at his cohort’s hands.
Amore turns around and eats a right fist. That’s it.
Amore says that doesn’t count and he wasn’t ready. He offers up his buddy Colin Cassidy to face Ryan.
Match 5: Mason Ryan vs Colin Cassidy
Winner: Mason Ryan via pinfall
Ryan boots Cassidy in the gut and whips him to the corner, following in with a clothesline. Into the opposite corner, and Cassidy stumbles out to take a lariat. Ryan hits a Cobra Clutch slam to win again.
Match 6: Antonio Cesaro vs Bo Dallas (c), NXT Championship
Winner: Bo Dallas via pinfall
“No more Bo” chants from the crowd.
Bo walks into a front facelock and a backslide for one. Bo answers with a schoolboy for one of his own. Cesaro muscles Bo by his arm, but Bo counters with a fireman’s carry. Cesaro powers him to the mat and pulls on the arm and fingers of the NXT Champion. Bo rolls out and to his feet, but Cesaro keeps control of the arm, transitioning to a headlock. Cesaro with a shoulder block and Bo answers with a dropkick off the ropes. Cesaro delivers European uppercuts and Bo hits a boot in the corner. He tries one to the grounded Cesaro, but he schoolboys Bo through the ropes to the floor, then rolls him back in for a two count.
Back from a commercial, Cesaro is still in control and Kruger walks out to stalk. Cesaro lifts Bo by the hair and applies a chinlock. Cesaro sends Bo to the ropes and hits a clothesline for two. Cesaro delivers a kick to the back and toys with Bo on the mat, then snapmares him and feints another kick, sliding into another chinlock. Bo begins to fight to his feet and elbows out, but Cesaro strikes away at him. Bo ducks a clothesline and hits forearms, then the gut punch/boot combo and a clothesline/bulldog into and out of the corner for two. Cesaro grabs another chinlock, then boots Bo out of the corner after a counter. Cesaro tries a scoop slam, but Bo reverses into a reverse DDT. Bo runs to the corner for a rope run bulldog, but Cesaro crotches him and hits forearms while Bo is stuck on the top rope. Cesaro grabs him for a gutwrench from the top and lands it, but only for a two. Cesaro mounts the second rope and hits a rolling knee drop but Dallas still kicks out. Cesaro into another chinlock and now the giant swing out of it. Cesaro usually transitions to the Neutralizer out of that, but Bo awkwardly rolls him over for two. Cesaro now with a bridging fall away slam for another two count. Cesaro is frustrated and rains forearms onto the head of a grounded Dallas, then stomps him. Cesaro heads to the top rope now and Bo meets him up top with a run up butterfly suplex. Both men get to their feet at 8 and Kruger gets on the apron. Cesaro ends up running into him and then into Bo’s belly to belly slam finish for the win.
Kruger attacks as Dallas celebrates, hitting his new hangman’s facebuster slam. Cesaro drops Kruger with a running European uppercut, mad that he got involved in Cesaro’s title shot. Cesaro throws the NXT belt to the side, then pummels Dallas on the mat. Bo fights back, only to get jumped by Kruger. Cesaro and Kruger stare each other down over the fallen body of Dallas, then co-drop boots on him. Sami Zayn hits the ring to make the save, taking down Cesaro. Zayn and Dallas remove Kruger and Cesaro from the ring. This is a tag match in the making.
They have got to be going for the smiley, smarmy eventual heel turn with Dallas. He wins a title and becomes a rat bastard…the only way he’s going to work is as a heel, considering the attending crowd already hates him. Kudos for crapping on a main roster wrestler AND a main roster title in the same promo, by the way, WWE.
…right. He just introduced a submission hold an episode or two ago. Why are we beating a jobber with a leg drop? This calls for a trip to remedial booking 090, I think.
Well, that crow doesn’t taste all that good. I’m happy to down it, however – I’m happy to see Woods being treated as a competitor in beating half of the hot new tag team. Good action from both men and Woods got to show off his finisher. Fine work, gents.
I still don’t get the continued attempts on Ryan, but if he’s just around to squash goofs, then so be it. Amore is a jobber with a personality, which makes it way more interesting to see him get beat on the regular. And he has a gimmick that makes you want him to get punched in the mouth. Good stuff. Ryan’s got at least three finishers on this run back in NXT – He’s used the Side Effect, the torture rack neckbreaker and this Cobra Clutch slam now. Can only say so much about two squashes in short succession. Need to see a lot more from Ryan to see if he’s ready to go near the main roster again.
Highlights of this one: Cesaro schoolboys a guy through the ropes to the floor and Regal says “ruptured his custard” which is the best way to describe any low blow ever. Also Sami Zayn showed up – Ole! As for the match itself, it had a very ROH-style feel to it. The face gets whooped for most of the match, kicking out of bigger and bigger hits, then lands his move to win it. Cesaro continues to show why he should be a top star and not now-stuck with Jack Swagger in midcard hell. Bo Dallas does a commendable job of wrestling. Can’t complain about the action…just outright do not like the guy. Still want to see what they do with him moving forward. You can’t have him be a babyface and get booed out of the building everytime he shows up. Just doesn’t make sense.
Emma takes on Summer Rae to determine the other finalist in the NXT Women’s Tournament, plus William Regal teams up with Neville and Graves to take on The Wyatt Family.
As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom. I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
Tags: alicia fox, Antonio Cesaro, Bo Dallas, mason ryan, NXT, Paige, sylvester lefort, William Regal, WWE, xavier woods