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Saturday, February 20, 2016

NXT Episode 217 4/17/14 Review

1. Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English

The world's largest Bobby Fulton! Colin Cassady was so ridiculous in that Bo Dallas match, and it's really incredible how tiny he made himself seem. So I'll give credit here since he managed to do much less of that, and really both guys worked a really fun match. Cassady actually spends most of the match in control, you know, as a giant should, and English hits real hard in his comebacks. English throws a couple nice thrust kicks to Cassady's cheek, Cassady throws nice clubbing blows and a nice big boot, English took a nice high backdrop too. When English came back Cassady DID immediately shrink down, but at least he worked this more even. English isn't much smaller than him, so it didn't look as weird as him working Spike Dudley to Bo Dallas' Mike Awesome. I liked English finding ways out of Cassady's silly spinning slam, and Regal was killer putting over English's strikes. English had these sharp knuckle point strikes to the ribs, and Regal was right there talking about the edge and extra pain that the point of the knuckles can bring when thrust in between someone's ribs. I think English's offense looks good anyway, but Regal analyzing it and driving the point home just enhances everything. I really liked this and with another minute or two could easily have added this to my NXT recommended matches list.

2. Camacho vs. Oliver Grey

Not how I was expecting this to go, with Camacho winning a 2 minute squash over the returning Grey. It makes sense that it would happen, Camacho is established despite being kind of an NXT jobber, and Grey is coming back from his ACL injury. But it's such a different approach to the norm, having a returning wrestler get dominated in his return match, that it was surprising and kind of refreshing. It fully makes sense for a guy to get dominated in his return, showing he's dealing with ring rust, showing that while his body has recovered, his ring instincts need to get back to speed. It's like when Kendrys Morales opted not to sign with a team until the 2014 season had already started, and then he spent the whole year two steps behind players who had gone through spring training. It's an approach you never see in pro wrestling, but makes so much logical sense from a presentation standpoint that I really liked it. Plus Camacho is a good hand and deserves a nice win now and then.

3. The Ascension vs. Wesley Blake & Cal Bishop

This is worked like a lot of Ascension squashes. Bishop plays the role of man standing on apron who gets knocked off by Viktor before hitting the Fall of Man, and Blake takes all of the offense. This was less violent than other Ascension squashes, and they're sort of running out of tricks.

4. CJ Parker vs. Great Khali

I had no clue Khali was still employed by WWE in 2014. And Parker goes above and beyond to make him look good, especially taking a huge clothesline over the top and then taking a big back bump on the floor. Khali was surprisingly effective here as well, and while this was kept short it actually could have been something if given more time and a couple more twists. As it was the ending was never in doubt, but it was nice seeing Parker bump around for chops, and Regal was great talking about all of the physical problems that can happen when you get clomped real hard on the head.

5. Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin & Sawyer Fulton

What the fuck is a Sawyer Fulton!? I don't think I've seen any of these guys before, but Fulton instantly stands out just by looking like a complete goof. He's a taller guy with some size, but he's dressed like an anonymous backup dancer at the Tony awards. He wears flare leg dance pants with a shiny stripe down the side, little shiny Capezios, a single strap tank, horrendous bleach blonde crew cut, an anachronous barbed wire bicep tat....He just looks like an awkward man in conflict with himself. Like you'd be watching a Kristin Chenoweth number and he would stand out a bit too much from the other dancers, and in a bad way. Jordan and Dillinger are working that lazy and annoying "smiling, athletic guys" gimmick, where they do dropkicks and fist pumps and in the gym they probably push each other to do one more set of burpies bro. They are positively forgettable in their positivity. Corbin is also a big guy and I'd at least like to see more of him. The other guys? Ehhhhhh.

6. Brodus Clay vs. Adrian Neville

Not much of a match. Crowd was back in "get over" mode with silly chants the whole time, Brodus didn't look great on all his missed stuff. The match ended with Neville laid out on the floor and Brodus missing a splash off the ring steps, but he landed on his feet first on the splash and that was supposed to be what kept him down long enough for Neville's count out win. Neville was fine enough keeping Clay away with leg kicks and flippity dippity stuff but yeah this disappointed.

Man what a dud of an episode this week. They're getting into a real bad habit of cramming in more and more matches each week, which means with six matches on a one hour show you're getting a bunch of 2-4 minute matches. When I started watching the show they were doing 3-4 matches, with one match always getting a nice main event time, but all these short matches with bland workers are just dullsville. I liked English/Cassady and gladly would have done without that tag match if the English match could have gotten more time. This was just a poorly laid out show, and show layout and pacing was one of their strengths when I started watching. Six matches in 50 minutes is just too much when you have to account for entrances, backstage interviews, Network ads, etc. Horrible layout.


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