Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

NXT 228 6/26/14 Review

1. The Vaudevillains vs. Matt Sugarman & T-Perkins

Fun but very brief Vaudevillains showcase. This was the best I've seen Gotch look, not only with his forearms and a great knee he dropped to Perkins' (not TJ Perkins) temple, but he broke out such a wonderful spot that I really didn't care what happened the rest of the match: While grounding Perkins with a headscissors, he then rolled through and started doing clapping pushups while still holding the headscissors around Perkins' neck. Stupendous. No idea who Sugarman/Perkins were, but I liked how Perkins faceplanted a drop toehold.

2. Xavier Woods vs. Bull Dempsey

This is Dempsey's "debut" (he worked a Mojo squash a few months back) and I liked him. They push the "fat old timey strength" thing way too hard on commentary, acting like he's Da Crusher running with beer kegs instead of just a fat guy who is fat. But he has a great side headlock and was doing some interesting little things with it, and then I was sad when they stood up and rope ran because I was still interested in the headlock. But then Woods threw an armdrag and Bull awesomely grabbed a side headlock mid armdrag so that when they landed he was back to holding the headlock. Sold. I am sold. He threw a nice elbowdrop, ran face first right into a Woods kick (Woods really scrambled him right across the eyeballs with that one), and yeah, I'm a fan. Nice debut, and a nice job by Woods setting him up.

3. Summer Rae vs. Becky Lynch

This is Lynch's debut and my oh my was there some Irish flavored cringing to be had. She doesn't much resemble the orange haired steam punk you're used to seeing; instead she's got subtle reddish brown hair, and garish irish green flared chrome pants with matching bralette. But she does this ghastly Irish riverdance jig all through her entrance, all through the match, just all over the place. And it's not just the goofy as all hell jig, but she actually sings along to it. She doesn't sing words, but she approximates the sounds of an Irish fiddle jig, so she does this embarrassing jig while awkwardly blurting out "dee-da-dee da-diddly diddly-dee", over and over again, like she was verbalizing Finlay's theme song. I felt so bad for her. Match itself was short, but fine. Summer is a great heel, and Lynch looked good whenever she wasn't doing her jig. She ran into a spinning Summer kick and rolled around holding her jaw, dropped a nice leg, big exploder. I'm actually surprised she got the win as there was a great nearfall (Summer kicked out as late as possible) and I thought that signaled that Summer was definitely going over. But, no. NXT is full of surprises. Now no more dancing. Or sing-dancing.

4. Colin Cassady vs. Sawyer Fulton

Fulton is back with his ridiculous dance pants and Capezios, but I liked his brief little run here. He threw a great front kick and awesome shoulders to Cassady's stomach in the corner. Not a lot of guys really jam their shoulder into the ribs in the corner. Fulton runs nicely into Cassady's big boot. Cass has good intentions with his leaping elbow, but lands a little sawftly on it.

Enzo Amore comes out post-match, returning from his broken leg, and proceeds to do the same routine that he is currently doing 2 years later on TV. This....has already gotten old. Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis looked awesome in their shitty ultra tight white lifting shirts though (with embroidered French flags!).

5. Adrian Neville vs. Rob Van Dam
So, I actually liked this. This was not something I was expecting to like. But I liked this. That sounds really undercutting, "hey! I thought this would be totally terrible and it wasn't!" but I'm not intending it that way. I just don't tend to get excited for 2014 Rob Van Dam matches, for SOME reason. That's a bold limb to stand on. This match is smack dab in the middle of his 2013/2014 WWE comeback that you don't remember a single thing about. And the match totally works, with RVD working subtle heel with dated offense against the new him. The match still had typical RVD faults, but there was something almost captivating watching an older, slower but still athletic RVD work old indy spots that were novel 15 years before but slow and clunky now. They do an early mirror exchange straight out of his Jerry Lynn matches and it seems so out of place in a modern setting that it's like a switch flips during the post flippy standoff and he just pops Neville in the mouth. Neville did a great job selling RVD's stuff, taking a mean spill on the preposterous "balance on these ropes while I dropkick you" and getting laid out by a stiff rolling thunder. When it's RVD's turn to sell he does a surprisingly adequate and at moments genuinely impressive job. At one point Neville hit a mule kick that staggered RVD, and it was meant to get him in position for a sliding dropkick. RVD staggered back from the kick, dropped to a knee, shifted his gaze down as he held his stomach and then made it appear as if he got naturally blindsided by the kick. It couldn't have been timed better and he couldn't have occupied himself better waiting for the kick. This was a far cry from an opponent bending over at the waist while waiting to take a Booker T axe kick. RVD keeps things interesting from a vet vs. upstart standpoint, and vet vs. upstart is an all time favorite story of mine. The little cheap shot punches, the abandoning of his traditional cocky finger pointing when he realized he might be in over his head, it was somehow a generous performance, while also one where he took 70% of the match. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this, but it was really good and easily my favorite match involving RVD in at least the last decade. What a pleasant find.


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