William Regal joins Corey Graves and Adrian Neville to take on the Wyatt Family plus we find out who will join Paige in the NXT Women’s Championship Touranment finals in a battle of the dancers: Emma takes on Summer Rae.
Match 1: Summer Rae vs Emma, NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Semi Final
Winner: Emma via pinfall
Summer Rae of course takes offense to Emma’s dancing entrance. Emma gets up through the ropes in one try, which makes the crowd quite happy.
Summer Rae shoves Emma into the corner then bashes her head into the turnbuckle and the mat for a one count. Summer holds down Emma by her hair and/or neck for another one count. Summer chokes Emma on the ropes and gets the third one count in about a minute. Summer continues with a suplex and now gets a two count, then locks out Emma’s arm. Emma gets to her feet to press Summer’s shoulders to the mat, but ends up back in the arm lock. Summer lets go with one hand to fix her hair, which bugs the SHIT out of me and Emma fights up and out again, then grabs a school girl for two. Summer answers with a dropkick for two and a chinlock. Emma escapes by standing up with a butt bump, then dodges Summer in the corner and hits a roll up from the apron for two. Emma lands a drop toe hold to the turnbuckle and hits her low cross body in the corner for two. Summer answers with a sunset flip off the ropes – Emma sits down and dances, getting a two count. Summer counters and Emma counters right back, keeping her pinned this time for the win.
Summer attacks after the bell rings and Paige heads down to make the save. Summer Rae turns tail as Paige helps Emma to her feet.
Bayley is in the back with Dusty Rhodes and is ludicrously awkward. It’s adorable on her. Ric Flair walks into the room with his daughter and Bayley cannot contain herself. Bayley volunteers to take on Charlotte next week. Bayley asks “Mr. Nature Boy” for a Woo. He delivers and she about pees herself in delight. I can’t not smile looking at this girl.
Match 2: Leo Kruger vs Sami Zayn
Winner: Leo Kruger via submission
Zayn gets a quick roll up for one as Kruger approaches. Kruger with an armbar and an arm wrench which Zayn flips out of and arm drags Kruger into the corner. Kruger throws a kick to the gut on the next approach and grabs a headlock. Zayn takes a shoulder block, then hits a trio of arm drags and throws Kruger’s head into the turnbuckle. Zayn rains punches down on Kruger, who answers with an inverted atomic drop, only to run into a Zayn heel kick. Kruger bails to the floor and Zayn wants a dive, but Kruger stops him with a forearm to the head, leading to a commercial.
Back to action, Kruger has Zayn grounded with a hammerlock and bends his far arm back, stretching his upper body. Kruger drops a knee on the head of Zayn and rests there a moment, then picks him up by the arm. Zayn gets whipped to the corner and Kruger follows in with a right hand, then whips him the opposite way. Zayn is up and over in the corner and ducks two elbows, but runs right into a spinebuster for a nearfall. Kruger is mad about the cadence of the count and gives the ref an earful, then hops on the second rope. He whiffs on a diving elbow, leaving both men on the mat. Both get to their feet at the same time and Zayn hits a pair of dropkicks and a pop up dropkick for a two count. Kruger shoves Zayn to the corner, but Zayn elbows out and lands a second rope-to-top rope jumping cross body for another two. Zayn rushes Kruger in the corner, but runs right into a knee and is thrown to the ringpost shoulder first. Kruger locks in a Fujiwara armbar center-ring but Zayn manages to get the ropes with his foot. Zayn escapes a scoop slam and fights to connect with a blue thunder powerbomb for another near fall. Zayn calls for the finish and heads to the top rope, but Kruger meets him up top for a superplex. Kruger hits a single arm DDT and the GC3, winning it.
Neville, Graves and Regal have a chat with Renee Young on their match tonight. Regal flirts with Renee and somehow makes Graves’ stupid tattoos and catch phrase work. I guess it’s not the catchphrase then.
Match 3: Mason Ryan vs Colin Cassidy and Enzo Amore
Winners: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy via pinfall
Amore makes a Pi joke. Astounding. That probably reads as sarcasm, but it isn’t.
This is apparently tornado rules, as both men jump Ryan and club away at him. Ryan clotheslines both of them then whips Enzo to the corner and Cassidy to the opposite one. Enzo dives into the arms of Ryan and Cassidy boots Ryan down for a two count. Amore pins Ryan in the corner and Cassidy pounds on him, but Ryan powers out and lifts Cassidy this time. Amore chop blocks him and Cassidy lands on top of him, getting a three count.
Match 4: Corey Graves, Adrian Neville & William Regal vs The Wyatt Family
Winners: The Wyatt Family via pinfall
The traditional feud with William Regal to pass the Wyatts on to the main roster is here.
Neville and Rowan start off with Rowan absorbing body blows and tossing Neville to the corner. Neville manages a dropkick on the taller Rowan then strikes at the leg and gut. Regal tags in and throws a load of forearms in the corner. Now some signature Regal knees and a tag to Graves who gets whipped to the ropes and shouldered to the mat. Harper tags in and slugs Graves in the gut and picks him up by the ears. Graves escapes a scoop slam and dropkicks Harper, then hangs off the top rope with a headscissors. Regal tags back in and we see some classic Regal back kicks as the ref is scolding him. Neville comes in to continue the back kicks in the same vein, but Harper bails to the floor and Bray Wyatt gathers the troops for a pep talk and a commercial break.
As we return, Harper has Neville by the face and Wyatt hits a cheap shot from the apron before tagging in. Wyatt beats on Neville momentarily before tagging in Harper. Neville tries to fight from the ground, but Harper continues to hammer away and then hits a back elbow. Harper lifts and then slams Neville by his hair, which has got to suck. Harper tags in Rowan, as he stands on the chest of Neville. Rowan whips Harper into Neville in the corner, then slams Neville for two. Now a pumphandle back breaker and a standing half crab (standing on the head of Neville, that is). Rowan releases the hold and drops an elbow, then Wyatt tags in and slaps Neville and delivers a headbutt. Neville dodges Wyatt as he charges him in the corner and fights to make a tag. Neville is thrown to the ropes and tries a crucifix, but Wyatt stands his ground and drops him straight to the mat for a two count. Harper tags back in and stomps away at Neville, who hits a jawbreaker and tries to dive over Harper to make a tag. Harper catches him and slams him down, then applies a seated abdominal stretch. Neville tries to fight out and ends up grounded in a hammerlock. Harper wants a suplex now, but Neville knees his way out and gets a two count on a roll up. Neville is thrown to the apron and jumps at Harper, who catches him – Neville slides out with a kick and dodges an elbow drop and finally tags in Regal who unloads on Harper. Regal hits a clothesline out of the corner and then knees and an exploder. Regal strikes at the rest of the Family on the apron and returns for more knees on Harper, finishing with a Knee Trembler, but Rowan breaks up the pin. Graves comes in and takes Rowan over the top with a crossbody. Neville introduces himself to Rowan and Graves with a cartwheel flip dive. Wyatt tags in during the fray and stalks the still-down Regal. Bray lifts him by the neck and delivers Sister Abigail to win it.
I really shouldn’t watch NXT right after doing an ROH Reaction of Honor (shameless self promoting!) because it makes the mediocrity of Summer Rae show. Emma seems a bit more on point, especially considering she has to keep up her moderate awkwardness in everything she does. I think most people expected Summer/Paige in the finals to continue that feud, so this is a welcome change of pace. Plus, I don’t think there’s anyone who keeps up with NXT that doesn’t want to see Paige vs Emma.
Yeah, that seals it in my eyes – Leo Kruger is ready for the main roster. Given, a match with Sami Zayn will make anybody look good, but Kruger doesn’t need to be carried. He enhances Zayn as his opponent and shines. His gimmick is simple but distinct and his entrance (although they didn’t show it tonight) reflects that. With the recent debut of the Wyatt Family I think it’ll be a few months until we see a Kruger or anyone else debut on a main roster show, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring a bit of the NXT flare to Smackdown instead of making them all go to Raw. Have Kruger come up and continue his feud with Justin Gabriel, have Tyson Kidd return to save his buddy and make an angle of it. Of course, that’ll never happen and I’ve just made myself sad.
Well that’ll get the people hating Amore more (which is what you want). Unfortunately, it makes Ryan look like a big lumbering moron, continually trying to pick up one guy in a two on one fight and turning his back on the other one. How does nobody think of this when they plan these matches out?
The amount of time Neville was isolated was a bit longer than the standard “hope spot” so to speak, but Neville is small enough with a strong enough build that he’s believable in peril and fighting back. They very smartly had Harper do most of the work in the ring – Not that Wyatt isn’t perfectly capable, but his place is as the leader, the general. Rowan can work fine as a big guy, but he’s far more limited than the more experienced Harper. Graves got to show his “tough guy” act off a bit and Neville got to showcase a bit of high flying. One complaint? Not enough Regal. If you’re going to use him as the sendoff for guys to head to the main roster, he needs to be more involved in the match. Yes, he took the fall, but his involvement was at an absolute minimum. Considering the Family still has the tag titles, they’ve obviously got a bit more to do on NXT until they’re permanent main roster men. I’m excited and interested to see more of The Family up on Raw and Smackdown and Harper needs to “yeah yeah yeahyeahyeah” at his opponents in every match. It’s so splendidly creepy.
Zayn, Kruger, Cesaro – Triple threat for the number one contendership to the NXT Championship!
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Tags: adrian neville, bayley, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, emma, Leo Kruger, NXT, PAC, sami zayn, Summer Rae, William Regal, WWE, wyatt family