Summer Rae brings Fandango to NXT for a mixed tag against Emma and a dance partner of her choosing. The Ascension will challenge for the NXT Tag Team Championship. And of course, the return of Kassius Ohno.
Match 1: Summer Rae & Fandango vs Emma & Santino Marella
Winners: Emma & Santino Marella via pinfall
Renee Young asks Emma who her partner is on stage. Emma introduces Santino as her partner. Santino and Emma do each others’ walks down the ramp. Third time’s the charm as they power-dance down. This entrance garners a “This is Awesome” chant. Santino plays up trying to pose like Fandango and trips, which gets a good laugh.
Santino and Fandango start off with a bit of a dance off and Santino wins a “you got served” chant this time. They do the same double kick catch spot that Marella did with Heath Slater recently. Fandango hits a knee to the gut and Santino calls for a time out, but Fandango won’t oblige. Santino wants a tag from Summer Rae and then gets thrown to the corner. Santino is up and over in the corner and cocks the Cobra which sends Fandango running. Emma hops in and helps Santino make a second Cobra, then makes him Emma dance right into a commercial.
Back to action, Santino has Fandango wrapped up and he kicks him away. Fandango goes back on the offense, but Santino hits arm drags and tags in Emma. No, he meant a high five, but the ref counts it. Tags back and forth on both sides leads to confusion and my own annoyance. Fandango hits the most deserved jab I’ve ever seen in my life and sends Santino to the ropes for a back elbow. Now he chokes Santino in the ropes and Summer Rae gets in a cheap shot. Fandango hits a vertical suplex and floats over for two. Santino cowers in the corner and gets hit in the face. Another cheap shot from Summer Rae causes Emma to give chase and Santino to miss a hot tag. Santino tries to kip up and fails, so Fandango stomps him. He heads to the top rope for the Legdrop, but Santino rolls away. Fandango goes to the next corner and Santino rolls again. Ok, that’s a funny spot. Santino with a back slide for two. Santino finally hits his kip up and the women are in now. Emma runs wild and locks in the Dil-Emma in the ropes. Now the low cross body and a two count. Emma puts on the Cobra but Summer Rae hits her guillotine roll (great!) catfight (bad!) spot and in some shenanigans, everyone is in the ring. Double split, double hip toss, double headbutt. Santino loads up the Cobra and strikes for the win.
Match 2: Kassius Ohno vs Luke Harper
Winner: Luke Harper via pinfall
Interesting that Luke Harper comes out all on his own tonight.
Harper corners Ohno and then throws him to the floor. Ohno gets on the apron then delivers a one leg dropkick. Harper gets knees up and levels Ohno. Harper lifts Ohno by his nose then delivers a headbutt and an elbow drop. Harper grabs a chinlock and Ohno makes some space using the turnbuckle. Ohno lays in some strikes and Harper tumbles to the floor, followed by a huge dropkick through the ropes and a chop. Back into the ring, Harper answers with a brutal boot. Harper charges the corner and hits the Discus Lariat, pinning Ohno clean.
Cass and Enzo comment on how close they came to becoming number one contenders. They’ll bounce back. These promos shouldn’t even be expressed in text. Go watch them. Now.
Match 3: The Ascension vs Adrian Neville & Corey Graves (c), NXT Tag Team Championship
Winners: The Ascension via pinfall, New NXT Tag Team Champions
Neville starts with Victor for a quick exchange with Neville looking amazing. Neville lands high kicks in the corner and grabs a headlock. Off the ropes, Victor hits a high shoulder to knock him down and tags in O’Brian. The bigger man runs Neville over three times and gets a one count. O’Brian tries a suplex and Neville flips out to tag in Graves. Graves hits the Jeff Hardy back kick but runs into a huge flapjack for two. Victor tags back in to keep the pressure on the injured champion. The Ascension keep him pinned in the corner as we go to commercial.
Back in, Victor still has Graves pinned mid-ring with a chinlock. Graves almost makes the tag but Victor tags and they hits a halfcrab/leg drop combination. O’Brian cinches in a body scissors on Graves. Victor tags back in and dumps Graves on his back again for two. Another chinlock keeps Graves grounded and allows a two count. Graves tries to battle out and gets mashed into the corner. Power whip into the corner by Victor and Graves dodges as he rushes. Neville gets the tag and lays into Victor with kicks and a back elbow. Neville boots O’Brian to the floor, then tosses Victor to the apron, then the floor. Neville psyches up and hits a corkscrew plancha on The Ascension. Back in the ring, Neville hits a springboard dropkick for a near two. Neville hits a kick from the apron and readies for the Red Arrow on Victor, but O’Brian pulls him out of the way and Graves has to make the save. Graves drags Neville to their corner and tags himself in, but Victor pegs him with a knee to the skull and calls O’Brian in. Ascension hits their Total Elimination and wins the Tag Titles clean.
Match 4: The Bo Dallas Invitational
Winner: Sami Zayn
Some skinny geek comes down to challenge Bo and gets a “Let’s go this guy!” chant from the crowd. Best chant of the night right there.
Two count off a roll up and Bo is not happy about it. Bo strikes back and Spears This Guy to put him away. Bo shakes his hand while he clutches his ribs.
Next up is Leo Kruger, immediately followed by Antonio Cesaro. They fight about who’s going to fight Bo and the crowd begs for a Triple Threat. Cesaro is about to let Kruger have the shot, but cheap shots him. Kruger fights back and Cesaro knocks him to the floor. Dallas with a cheap shot and Cesaro goes to the floor as well.
An unknown masked man comes down and dodges Bo in the corner, then hits a Yakuza Kick and pins him! They call him El Local on commentary. He unmasks to show that it’s Sami Zayn, who was not allowed in the Invitational.
The first half of this one very nearly lost me, but the frustration in trying to nail the Legdrop and the double comeback did it for me. Very long for a comedy match, but at the very least Emma got to look good. Renee Young is excellent on commentary and needs to be a mainstay.
I did not see that coming. I guess the “main roster guys win” rule holds true, but Ohno is just getting back and got devastated by the guy who put him out. That’s a bit odd. That said, the match was fun for a short run. Harper and Ohno are both great talents from outside of WWE and everytime they let a pair of guys like that run loose (Rollins/Bryan, Cesaro/Zayn, etc), we get AMAZING matches. It’s a pretty simple formula, WWE.
That was a good tag match. Very text book – the “weaker” face gets beat up all match, makes the hot tag and his partner runs wild. Glad to see the heels pick up the win by just being stronger/better instead of through some bullcrap finish. O’Brian pulls Victor out because they’re a real team and look out for each other, then they hit their team finisher on the injured face and win clean. Perfectly fine. Graves went out of his way to tag himself in then lost the titles, so curious if we see a bit of a rivalry between he and Neville or if one/both are heading to the main roster. Neville isn’t exactly a stellar talker, but he is just so good in the ring. He’s a natural in the way that Rollins is – He’s just built for pro wrestling. Give him a mouth piece and he can be a real star.
I want to see Cesaro vs Kruger all the time please. Zayn wasn’t quite El Local, but at least one of the commentary team referred to him as such. I think we all know that Bo will try to duck out of this and say Zayn wasn’t allowed in and we’ll get some silly back and forth. Then a bit of shenanigans and Zayn will get his title shot.
Mojo Rawley, a former football player, debuts next week. His intro video was based on him being hyped and training. Looks like a big dude.
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: adrian neville, Bo Dallas, conor o'brian, Corey Graves, emma, Fandango, Kassius Ohno, Luke Harper, NXT, Santino Marella, Summer Rae, The Ascension, WWE