Emma continues to have problems with the BFFs and Ascension continue to ruin the bodies of jobbers. Brodus Clay is relegated to NXT, I assume to fight for his entrance music. Sami Zayn is fighting off a concussion as he takes on Corey Graves.
Match 1: Emma vs Sasha Banks
Winner: Emma via submission
Emma answers some mocking from Sasha with a drop toe hold. After Sasha tries a drop down, Emma meets her on the mat then dodges and puts her in a hammerlock. Sasha quickly tries to counter with a scoop slam, but Emma wriggles out and delivers one of her own. Sasha puts Emma in the corner and stomps away at her, then slams her headfirst on the mat for a two count. As Sasha keeps on Emma, Renee Young explains to William Regal why the NXT Universe calling Sasha “Ratchet” is far from a term of endearment. Sasha whiffs on a leg drop then runs right into the Dil-Emma. Emma hits the sandwich in the corner for two then gets distracted by Charlotte on the apron. Emma uses Sasha to knock the Nature Girl down then applies the Emmalock to win it.
Mojo Rawley video – I still stand by the fact that this guy’s gimmick is “ADD man child”. This is someone who will be BLASTED by the main roster crowds, if he makes it that far.
Match 2: The Ascension (NXT Tag Team Champions) vs Jack Hurley & John Vandal
Winner: The Ascension via pinfall
Boy oh boy, another squash match? It’s been too long. Viktor beats up Hurley. Konnor slams Vandal into the ropes three times then kicks Hurley in the face. Konnor avalanche in the corner then a tag to Viktor for Fall of Man
Match 3: Xavier Woods vs Brodus Clay
Winner: Brodus Clay via pinfall
Brodus appears to be wrestling in a track suit…scratch that, he took them off.
Woods with immediate kicks and Brodus is dropped to his knees. Brodus answers back with a t-bone quickly then hammers Woods in the corner. Brodus stays on Woods then hits a cradle suplex for two. Woods fights back with more kicks and another kick (No, that wasn’t a shining wizard, Tom Philips). Clay throws Woods off in the corner then drops him with a powerbomb (“Better than Batista” chant from the crowd) and a second rope splash to win it.
Brodus blames WWE for losing everything. He says he’s “taking” things now. And he wants to take the NXT Title.
Neville immediately answers the challenge – Good thing he was waiting in the wings to chat three seconds after it was issued. Neville absolutely knows his craft in the ring, but his promos are basic and barebones – He’ll need a load of work to be anything above the midcard in WWE.
Match 4: Yoshi Tatsu vs Tyler Breeze
Winner: Tyler Breeze via pinfall
Waistlocks exchanged until Breeze stomps Tatsu in the corner. Tatsu rushes in the opposite corner but runs into a boot. Kick to the back by Breeze for two, then a chinlock. Another quick exchange then the Beauty Shot to win it.
Quick chats with Graves and Zayn before their match. Nothing much is said.
Paige promo video – A refocus on the fact that she’s the Anti-Diva.
Match 5: Corey Graves vs Sami Zayn
Winner: Corey Graves via referee stoppage
The best wrestler in NXT vs the least tough tough guy in pro wrestling. Regardless, bound to be a good match – Zayn is incredible and Graves is really getting better.
Graves takes his sweet time getting physical in this match until Zayn slaps him in the ropes to fire him up. It doesn’t work, as Graves bails to the floor. Zayn gives chase and pop him in the face. Zayn rolls Graves back in and takes control with a loud chop. More chops in the corner then a clothesline sends Graves to the floor. Zayn hits a flip dive to the floor. Zayn chases Graves back to the ring and all the way to the opposite apron, where Graves throws a shot to the head (an issue from last week) to take control. Graves is in control as NXT goes to commercial (on the paid-for network).
Back to action, Graves has Zayn floored with a chinlock. Zayn fights up only to get dropped back down to the mat. Fist drop from Graves for two. The focus remains on Zayn’s head and his ability to continue. Zayn is throwing haymakers on shaky legs which allows Graves to drop an elbow on him for two. Zayn breaks another chinlock with a jawbreaker, which is a terrible strategy given the state of his skull right now. Graves takes advantage yet again and drops a knee for two. Zayn tries to fight out of the corner but Graves puts a stop to it and goes back to the chinlock. The crowd notices that Graves is hitting Orton numbers with the chinlocks/headlocks and calls him out on it. Zayn tries a jacknife pin for two then a pair of clotheslines. Graves ducks number three and hits a facebuster for two. Now a backbreaker and another two. Graves rushes Zayn in the corner and runs into a t-bone into the turnbuckle. Zayn cradles him but only gets two. Zayn picks Graves up for Blue Thunder and gets another two. Graves escapes the Yakuza kick and they end up clocking heads, which leavs Zayn in a bad way. Zayn barely makes it to the second rope but can’t keep his balance and steps down voluntarily. Ref checks him but lets him continue the match. Zayn drops Graves with a right hand but is basically out on his feet. Graves pops Zayn in the head and the ref continues to check Zayn. In the meantime, Graves locks in Lucky 13 and the ref stops the match.
Emma trumps the shenanigans of the heel crew to win decisively. This no doubt continues for another week or two, possibly with a tag match involved. Emma is primed to be a star in WWE, despite them completely botching her main roster debut. Hell, she’s already on Wrestlemania.
As squash matches go, that’s fine – It was short and sweet. They’re big, they’re mean, they’re strong. Unfortunately they’re not likely to have matches like this on the main roster, so this isn’t the most effective training for them to advance their careers. We need to see some longer matches out of them, or we may not see any matchces out of them on Raw or Smackdown.
So Brodus is back in NXT and he’s mean again since he doesn’t dance. Xavier Woods is a jobbing machine, even more than a dancing machine. Nobody wins here. Woods may have the record for Current NXT > Main Roster > Current NXT. Not a record to be proud of, Power Ranger.
Breeze apparently isn’t as worried about his face as he was before. That’s it, that’s the change to the gimmick. Now he’s more aggressive or something. Not that that was actually shown or anything.
So this match tells us that the referee staff, and likely the medical staff, of WWE are completely inadequate. The ref should have stopped it at many points but continues to let a man fight when he can barely stand up. Instead, we get a Sami Zayn match with minimal Sami Zayn action. We get a half a dozen headlocks/chinlocks though. And the big finish of the match focused on Zayn’s inability to stand straight and his concussion issues? A leg lock. Any big strike to the head would have been a valid finish. Hell you plan on making this a real rivalry, then go ahead and have Graves “steal” the Yakuza Kick and KO Zayn with it. The build to a later match with Zayn finally hitting one of his own to end the rivalry would be great.
NXT needs to get better at this part.
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: brodus clay, Corey Graves, emma, NXT, sami zayn, WWE