by Shanna Harris (@AbsoluteSmark)
Wrestling friends! Welcome back! I have returned for another week of recapping the show with no chants, but lots of excitement, NXT.
But before we get to the show, I have some shilling to do.
This week has been a big one for me. I’ve done not one, but two podcasts for this website. It’s was a personal dream of mine to be part of a podcast, so I’m very excited to link both interviews, one for NXT Level, and the other with Billy Carpenter called A Hero’s Welcome, which delves a bit deeper into my storied relationship with professional wrestling. So many topics are covered that the combined listening time of both podcasts are about 3 hours. It’s worth a listen if you’ve got the time. I write boring reports, and I don’t do boring interviews.
Okay, pardon my shilling. Let’s get on with the show.
(Credit all photos below: WWE NXT’s Facebook page)
Match 1: Sin-Cara vs Alexander Rusev
As most of us who watch Raw are already aware, Rusev is currently on his way up to the main stages of Raw and Smackdown. He appeared at the Royal Rumble and looked to be in fighting form. Monday saw a promo from the big man with him and Lana looked downright diabolical.
Unfortunately, this match was not what I needed to kick off this show. Rusev is a slow burner type of wrestler, and the complete silence from the crowd during the proceedings didn’t help pick up the atmosphere. As a fairly regular watcher of this show, I’m surprised at just how little reaction Alexander gets from the audience. He isn’t a bad wrestler, per say, but his performances thus far have been nothing memorable. Lana, however, has been working on her facial expressions and isn’t the immovable object that we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. A welcome improvement, but Rusev should be the focus and he isn’t cutting it.
All in all, this match is skippable. I’ll be glad when Rusev moves up, so I won’t have to see him on this show anymore.
Move of the match: n/a
Winner: Alexander Rusev
Match 2: Emma vs Alicia Fox
After WWE stomped all over my vision of the EMMALution and gave my new favorite Diva a less than impressive debut on Raw, I was looking forward to seeing Emma back at NXT. She’s appreciated and people understand her need to dance and chase bubbles. Because NXT gets it.
Emma, by the way, has now solidified herself as my favorite lady wrestler. She’s beautiful, possesses a great personality and loads of wrestling talent, and will be a player in the Diva’s division in no time. I can’t deny it anymore. And in this match with Alicia Fox, she shows us why she belongs on the big shows.
Alicia Fox also deserves of credit for giving Emma such a strong performance, because if anybody needed the juice, it was Emma. My only hope is that the folks who watched her on Monday took the time to watch NXT this week so they could see what she could really do if given the chance.
All in all, one of the better matches I’ve seen from the women in a few months. Go Emma! And, let’s find something for Alicia Fox to do on Raw, please? They had some good chemistry and intensity together.
Move of the match: The Emma Lock, because nobody slaps on a submission and tightens it up quite like Emma does.
Post match shenanigan’s saw Emma send her best wishes to Paige, and announce that as soon as Paige is fully healed, Emma will be gunning for her rematch with Paige with the NXT women’s championship on the line. Suddenly, Sasha Banks hits the ring, only to be tossed out. She is followed by her BFF counterparts, Summer Rae and Charlotte. AND THEN Alicia Fox joins them in giving Emma a post match beating. EMMA IS BEING MAULED. WHO WILL SAVE HER.
And to save the day, out comes Bailey and Natalya to clear the ring and give Summer Rae her just deserts.
Shanna says: Great segment showing what the ladies can do. It’s legitimately the most exciting thing that’s happened with the women on Raw/Smackdown or NXT, in quite a bit. Can you guys imagine women getting into a group brawl? I could’ve sworn all they were capable of were rear ends and being useless filler.
Match 3: Mason Ryan vs Sylvester LeForte
The only thing dumber than this Mason Ryan/Leforte match was the amount of time that it lasted and how little I cared about it. The End.
Move of the match: N/A
Winner: Mason Ryan
Meanwhile, backstage: Aiden English is seated in a directors chair backstage. He says that last week he threatened a man in a wheelchair and that he isn’t ashamed of what he did. He also says that as soon as that “little grease ball” dared to run over his foot, Enzo, not him, took things to the next level. He simply repaid the favor by causing Colin to lose. He says that now that this problem is finished, Aiden can focus on the next hurdle, Tyson Kidd.
The segment ends with Aiden singing “Ohhhh, Canada. I hope I make you CRY.”
Shanna says: Honestly, who doesn’t love Aiden English? He’s stepping up his performances (or growing as an artist, if you will) and keeps getting better with each week. I’m looking forward to his match with Tyson, and that’s happening……
Match 4: Aiden English vs Tyson Kidd
If you’ve been reading these recaps on a regular basis, you’d know that I love Aiden English. This week, that love was intensified when he went move for move in this match with Tyson Kidd, who is no jobber. I’m pleasantly surprised as just how quick Aiden is in the ring, and how crisp he is when he hits his moves.
That said, this match was a short affair that was quickly interrupted by Colin Cassady coming out and distracting Aiden. After Aiden threatened Colin’s friend, Enzo Amore last week, you knew the match would end like this. But I have to say, I wasn’t upset by the predictability. All that means is we get more Colin vs Aiden, which is looking more and more like a clinc compared to the main event of this show, which features a guy that made me write 4 paragraphs of hate for the first time in my life.
More on that match in a second.
Move of the match: n/a
Winner: Tyson Kidd
Match 5: Corey Graves vs Adrian Neville
Neville’s on his way to a championship opportunity at the NXT PPV that will be happening 16 days from this report, but before we get to that, we have to pass through Corey Graves land. In a nightmarish bit of news, this main event is about 10 minutes of Graves style action, and is being billed as a “fierce” rivalry between Neville and Corey. I’ve yet to see Corey Graves exhibit any feeling or emotion, so the thought of him wanting crushing revenge on Adrian is a laughable concept. I’m surprised Graves isn’t popping the collar of a leather jacket yelling Daddo at women in poodle skirts.
On another note, who calls Corey Graves “The Savior of Misbehavior”? WHO? WHAT? If you ever utter these words in real life, you’re blocked.
I had a nice, long rant all written out for this match, but I’ve decided to save it. From what I’ve been told this week, my verbal rants are epic. So, if you would like to hear exactly what I think about this match, download or stream this week’s NXT Level. Because I’m guaranteeing another one.
Move of the match: The people leaving to go get popcorn. What? It’s a move, right?
Winner: Adrian Neviile
Post match shenanigan’s saw Neville grabbing his “hurt” leg that Graves “punished” during the match, when out comes out NXT Champion, Bo Dallas.
Bo, in a new turn, methodically makes his way down to ring side to put a hurting on the vulnerable Neville, but Neville is SAVED. By non other than the King of Kings, COO of WWE, and all around suit guy, HHH.
HHH says that he’s glad that Bo decided to come out, because HHH has an announcement for both of them.
HHH has decreed that at the NXT PPV on Feb 27th, Bo Dallas and Adrian Neville will be fighting for the NXT Championship in none other than a LADDER MATCH. Holy. Hell.
Sorry, but if you aren’t getting the network because of CM Punk BS, MORE ROOM FOR ME. I need to see this match the minute it happens. A first time ever ladder match for the NXT title? It’s gonna be a war.
And that’s the show! NXT is OVER. At 45 minutes, this was one packed week of wrestling (and backstage) action. I can admit that this wasn’t my favorite episode, but NXT still rules the roost and provides the most interesting and easy going wrestling action on WWE television.
As I said earlier in my report, please keep an eye on my Twitter, because I’ll be doing an in-depth NXT Level podcast this weekend, and I’ll be going into much deeper detail on my thoughts of this show. Stay tuned!
And with that, I bid you farewell.
Until next week, wrestling friends.