Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NXT Episode 218 4/24/14 Review

JBL (who apparently is going to be all over this show now, and just wasn't mentioned as being affiliated with NXT at all for many months) tells Paige she's going to need to vacate the NXT Women's Title, since she's now Divas Champion. There's going to be a women's tournament which could at least serve as a way to introduce a couple of lesser seen faces, or debut someone. We'll see. Tournaments can be pretty lazy, and Paige herself is still there so why not just put her in regular title matches until she loses the belt? It's not as satisfying as building to an actual title match, but I think it would be far more interesting than a tournament. Have JBL say that Paige will be too busy defending the Divas title, and we need to keep the NXT title in NXT, have her face a series of challengers, and if she loses then you get your new champ, and if she keeps winning then maybe the women of NXT need to work harder before they get their title back full time in the fed.

1. Alexander Rusev vs. Travis Tyler

Pretty mechanical squash, with Tyler at least rushing him at the bell with a dropkick. Rusev's knees to the body looked good, his 12-6 elbows down into Tyler's traps looked mean, he had a couple nice slams and a great rushing Vader bear attack, really wrenched in the Accolade. Crowd chanting is getting more and more annoying each show, here they tried sloppily to sing Adam Rose's song. Too cool to watch a 90 second long squash and react to actual violence.

2. Charlotte & Sasha Banks vs. Emma & Paige

Nothing offensive, but nothing that stood out about this match either. In a short match they "built" to two different moments where the legal team members were slowwwwly crawling to make the hot tag, each looking over their shoulders to make sure they time it right. Ugh. I liked Paige's rolling short arm clotheslines, with her not letting go of Sasha's arm. Sasha had a couple nice moments as well, like stomping on Emma's fingers and selling her neck nicely on a tag. Emma looked lost a few times, and again her gimmick may be a smart way to cover up these kind of moments. Paige also sold Charlotte's neck snap finish nicely, holding her jaw as her lights went out. Eh.

3. Tyson Kidd vs. Mason Ryan

Fun little match with a dumb little finish. I thought they were going for the same thing they did last week with the returning Oliver Grey getting run over by Camacho. Here Tyson Kidd returned and Mason Ryan steamrolled him for much of the match, which makes sense with the size difference. Kidd was good making openings for himself, trying leg kicks, trying to scramble, but I really liked Ryan's power offense here. He caught a leg and did a cool double leg rushing slam into the corner, dropped a nice leg, grabbed Kidd on a springboard and dropped him with a press slam dropped into a pancake. I was into Ryan beating him down and Kidd fighting back. And then Ryan missed a charge and Kidd hit a so-so Blockbuster and that ended it. Woof. What a flat finish, with no build, and won by a move that looked like one of the weaker things hit in the whole match.

4. Angelo Dawkins vs. Tyler Breeze

Man Breeze needs a better finisher than the Beauty Shot. His squash matches always see him wrenching on necks and doing other nice ground stuff, but then end with him doing a standing floaty spinning heel kick. It usually looks like one of the weakest moves of the match. His side headlock looks way nastier than that kick. I'd never seen Dawkins before, but this didn't really have anything to judge him by.

5. Corey Graves & The Ascension vs. Sami Zayn & The Usos

Give a trios with capable workers some time and it's tough to have a bad match. It's pretty easy to have a solid trios with only 3/6 of the workers being capable. And this is a fine, workmanlike six man tag that gets 13 minutes and has plenty of fun moments. It felt like it could have gone much higher, as oddly enough I got a real house show match vibe out of the Usos. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE house shows. I'd go to a house show 10 times out of 10 over a TV taping. You get three types of matches on house shows: Guys getting the opportunity to work longer matches than they normally get, veterans working matches playing to the crowd instead of playing to the hard camera, and guys going through the motions and saving themselves for the cameras. The first two types are great. The third type is what the Usos were doing here. Except it was on camera. I get it, you gotta know when to dial it back. It was just disappointing as nobody else in the match was dialing it back. SO I LEAD WITH THE NEGATIVE...but I liked the match quite a bit. Corey Graves has probably been the most pleasant NXT surprise so far. The guy is good and knows how to carry himself. Too bad about them injuries. Early on he does a fist drop off the ropes and I'm like I FUCKING GET IT YOU'RE AWESOME. Viktor was also a stand out and did some cool things you don't see, like kicking Zayn's planted leg while Graves was holding his other one. It should also be mentioned that Albert was terrible on commentary. This guy is the worst. Not only does he do that super phony fake overly excited "Look how much fun this is!!" thing that most WWE commentators are taught to do, but he does countless annoying things during matches. Here he loudly chanted along with the U-SOS chants, says lame ass stuff like "Daddy would be proud" after the Usos do a running hip attack (even though that was Umaga who did that, not Rikishi), and built up narratives within the match that had zero chance of going anywhere ("Who is Jey going to tag, his brother or Zayn!?" Who fucking cares? Certainly not the wrestlers in the actual match.). But no matter. Graves was a slimy shithead, Ascension are better in NXT than you'd think, Zayn is a really good babyface, Usos dogged it but slotted into the formula just fine, and this was a perfectly fine 6 man. Shame Graves had to lose clean, but I get it.


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