Segunda Caida

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

NXT 227 6/19/14 Review

1. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss

Another match furthering the BFF angle, with Charlotte and Summer bickering at ringside leading to a distracted Sasha getting rolled up. Bliss is very much not good but she's clearly trying, she's just super klutzy and not ready for TV. She seems like she almost falls over on every move she attempts, just constantly off balance. Sasha looked good when the match allowed her to, loved her surfboard as she set it up by yanking on Bliss' hair and smacking her to get ahold of her arms. Other little "not actually offense" furthered her likeness to Stevie Richards, like her just grabbing a grounded Bliss by the back of the head and smacking her forehead into the mat. But yeah, there's trouble in the BFFs.

2. Mojo Rawley vs. Garrett Dylan

I was wondering when Jody Kristofferson was going to pop up, after they showed his dad in the crowd a show or two ago. This is not the first time I've seen a fed act like Kris Kristofferson just happened to show up at their event, without mentioning his son was wrestling. And Regal was amusingly harsh on Kristofferson, saying "Mojo Rawley versus...well, essentially a nobody" and pointing out that anybody who wears brown trunks surely doesn't care about their appearance. And this was your typical Mojo match, which is frustrating as it really doesn't do him favors to just work the same formula every match. His matches are always 2-3 minutes of opponent control, then him running through his moves to the end. If we mixed up the order a little bit we could have a more interesting ebb and flow, instead of just waiting until the point where he starts hitting moves. He is not good a taking a beating, although he at least attempted to sell body work that Kristofferson did, so that was welcome. Kristofferson threw really great body blows and had some nice old Arn Anderson type moves, like short knee lifts or stomping the mat while pressing Mojo's face to his knee. He was also real good about absorbing Mojo's stuff, and Mojo hit a killer flying shoulder tackle, really smacked into him. This was fine.

3. The Vaudevillains vs. Angelo Dawkins & Travis Tyler

This is the debut of the Vaudevillains and I love how absolutely giddy Regal is about guys essentially working carny strongmen gimmicks. Fans are flipping out too, and really it is a wonderful gimmick for these two. English is super talented so it will be great to see him actually winning matches. Gotch is a guy who I've actually seen from the very beginning, as I was there live over a decade ago for his very first pro wrestling matches as Psycho Seth in APW. He was terrible. He clearly didn't get it. Outside of a bad "psycho" gimmick (which only involved wearing Hot Topic jeans with an anarchy symbol on the leg while grinning "evilly"), there was an impression that he just didn't get pro wrestling on a deeper level. In maybe his first match he busted his lip open, and there was a little blood, and a couple people were showing some concern. And then he went on the APW message board and let everybody know he was okay, he had just bit his lip. Before that people had been wondering if he had taken a couple of stiff shots, gotten busted open hardway, but no. No he had to let people know it was just an accident. The only other post in the thread was somebody saying "Dude. Kayfabe." He jumped to Modest and Morgan's promotion PWI a year or two later as Ryan Drago, and still seemed like a guy who just didn't get it. Once PWI shuttered I completely lost track of him, and was absolutely shocked when I looked up who Simon Gotch was. I cannot believe he kept working for the next decade, plugging away, getting seen, and ended up in WWE. No matter what I thought/think of him as a wrestler, that's dedication and I have nothing but huge respect for that. This match is clearly a showcase for the Villains, I'm not even sure Dawkins gets tagged in. English looked really great, got crazy height on a legdrop, finished with a nice senton, and I love some of their double teams like the uppercut to back of the head into a quick snap Aiden neckbreaker. Excited to see them develop, although I wish we got more Aiden singles stuff, hopefully the team still allows for that.

4. Kalisto vs. Tyler Breeze

Wonderful little match that felt like a tight short match, and then you realize it got 11 minutes. Both men were so good at their roles and it was paced so well that an 11 minute match turned into a 5 minute WorldWide classic. Kalisto gets matched up a lot with big guys, but Breeze grounded him better than any of them, and most importantly knew how to take Kalisto's offense the best I've seen. Breeze does some fantastic detail work, and there are two specific spots I want to highlight: Kalisto's kip up rana and Kalisto's handstand headscissors. Breeze made these spots look unexpected, stealth and effective, when especially in the case of a man standing on his hands before clamping a headscissors, is an impressive accomplishment. A handstand headscissors is something that requires boatloads of cooperation, and often looks very cooperative. Breeze was able to distract himself, look off balance enough, that the look of surprise when he walked into the headscissors was perfect. Later as Kalisto is on the mat, about to do the kip up rana, Breeze makes his way towards him and makes sure to throw a darting glance over at the crowd, so that his head is turning back towards Kalisto as he's throwing the rana. It made Breeze look totally unprepared and surprised by the move, even though it was clearly the spot, and those kind of details make a match click on such a higher level. And the rest of this is really good too, as Breeze grounds Kalisto with headlocks, and Breeze is a guy I've noted as being good at headlock work in a match. He was good at trying to smother Kalisto and Regal was good at noting that, even pointing out different names for the different kinds of headlock leverage he was locking in. Kalisto had some cool locking stuff, loved his fast tornillo quebrada. And some of his feints when evading Breeze were cool, like a silly little quick handstand vault off the top rope to sidestep him. Ending is killer as Breeze whips Kalisto into the ropes, Kalisto holds on, Breeze stutter steps as he notices Kalisto held on, and when Kalisto tries a quick springboard move Breeze blasts him with the beauty shot. I was way into this match, Breeze is really busting butt these last couple months.

5. Tyson Kidd & Sami Zayn vs. The Ascension

It's a shame this match was actually just an angle/Tyson Kidd heel turn because the match we got was really damn good, maybe Zayn's best performance in a match this year (which covers some nice ground) and definitely the best overall Ascension performance. And no, that's not meant in a backhanded way, I really liked both Ascension in this and Viktor especially looked great. The story goes, that Kidd and Zayn are teaming up because they've both had rough luck lately, so they got their little slumpbuster team, recognizing that the singles belts aren't working for them so maybe combine forces! It makes sense and it's a fine kayfabe reason for two guys to team up for the first time. But the way they have Kidd turn is stupid, as Zayn is taking quite a beating from Ascension, and Kidd gets jealous of Zayn's ring time, actually saying something dumb like "oh, so you want to take all of the match?" and then walking away when Zayn would have been able to tag. Before the angle kicked in we had a nasty fight between Zayn and Viktor, with Zayn hitting his stuff better than ever (his crossbody off the top was perfect) and Viktor working fast and vicious, throwing great strikes, planting Zayn with a back suplex when Zayn tries to tag. Konnor would come in with nice stomps and man now I'm really upset that it wasn't built up as a proper tag match. The first 5 minutes of this are so good! They easily could have had a full match, had Kidd and Zayn lose, and then Kidd flip out afterwards. Instead Kidd comes off lame, jealous of Zayn for taking too long of a beating. Have him turn on Zayn as he blames him for the loss, not because he was jealous that he wasn't in there hitting flippy moves. Zayn is distracted, Konnor hits an avalanche, Fall of Man is delivered and taken brutally, but man now I just wanted the actual match. What could have been.

Good show this week, and next week we get RVD!! Nobody wanted that. I had completely blocked his 2014 return from memory.


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