THE SPECIALISTS CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Network Era Rankings, evaluation of "Takeover" fall-out
Sep 24, 2014 - 10:56:52 PM
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NXT Rankings & Evaluation
By George Chiverton, NXT specialist
(1) Sami Zayn
(2) Charlotte (NXT Women’s champion)
(3) Adrian Neville (NXT champion)
(4) Tyler Breeze
(5) Tyson Kidd
(6) The Ascension
(7) The Vaudevillians
(8) Lucha Dragons (NXT Tag Champions)
(10) Enzo Amore
(11) Alexa Bliss
(12) Sasha Banks
(13) Colin Cassady
(14) Becky Lynch
(15) Bull Dempsey
(16) The Legionnaires
(17) CJ Parker
(18) Mojo Rawley
9/18 Episode Analysis
A week out from the fantastic NXT Takeover, there will be a lot of indication this week about what the next NXT special will amount to. It looks right now as if it’ll be NXT champ Neville vs. Sami Zayn, so that should hopefully equate to the culmination of a fantastic slow-burn storyline.
- The show started with a recap focusing mainly on Neville retaining at Takeover. The close was Zayn leaving the ring.
- Titus O’Neil made his way to the ring for his NXT debut. He hyped himself up as too good for NXT with a slightly stuttered promo by his standards. Sami Zayn came out all smiles as an "Ole!" chant broke out big style. Zayn introduced Titus before doing the dog bark. Zayn then ran down Titus through his recent bunny feud before saying the people at NXT were stealing the show. Titus threatened to steal NXT by beating up Zayn.
Adrian Neville entered before saying with all due respect to Zayn he should be the one to defend it. Zayn questioned this logic before Tyson came out to do his heel spiel running down Sami. He had a little catchphrase where he’d run someone down before saying ‘fact.' I think he may have just found a diamond there.
Sami responded to the allegations that Neville was the root of Sami’s disappointment and that he would have done the same to retain the title. Zayn acknowledged Neville doing what he had to do but then said ‘from a moral standpoint,' if it was him he wouldn’t have done the same. This line grates on me. If he’d said I wanted to win the match properly or even if Zayn had said he wanted to be a true sportsman it would have put him across as a guy who wants to be a good champion. Instead he comes across as not being prepared to do what it takes rather than a good guy. People want to cheer for winners and, as Neville pointed out, Sami’s potentially guilty conscience is why he will never be NXT champion. Thank goodness he heeled up this line.
Titus butted in before Regal was out and he dropped the line, ‘This is a fighting show, not a whining show,’ before Teddy Long possessed him and the tag match was made. That was a lengthy talking session for NXT and in the ring of all places, too.
- The announcers went to a photographic revisit of Hideo Itami’s debut at Takeover, before hyping his match with Justin Gabriel later in the night. That should be fun.
- Women's champion Charlotte was out with a replay of Takeover’s events once again. She would be facing a returning Emma. They could have made a much bigger deal of this with a run-in or something, as she’s super over at Full Sail.
Emma was dancing and playing to the crowd before Charlotte held her title in Emma’s face as if to say, "You’d better take this seriously, as I’m the best." She is so damn good! Emma slapped it out of her hands, which angered Charlotte into taking comfortable control. Her moveset is consistent, but never dull, and for the first five minutes her steady dominance was great. Emma eventually made a brief comeback, but ring rust was pretty apparent and this rather cooled off the crowd. Charlotte reversed a pin attempt into a neckbreaker before hitting Natural Selection for the win. This was a slightly dead segment in all which, considering the return of Emma was in the mix, could have been handled much better.
- Justin Gabriel was out and apparently in face mode following his recent alignment with Tyson Kidd. Hideo Itami got a standing ovation for his debut and it’s great that WWE have got him from signing to the ring so quickly to cash in on the massive excitement.
A headlock from Gabriel started things off with a lot of audible grunting making this feel a lot more like a Japanese match than an American one. They went for a standard sequence with Hideo hitting the ropes while Gabriel first hits the mat before then going for a leapfrog. Hideo though instead of ducking under Gabriel smashed him in the face with a kick. My goodness. He then stood in the ring and stared down the camera.
Gabriel rolled to the outside and Hideo looked to go suicide dive. Gabriel moved, Hideo put on the brakes but Gabriel swept his feet and took control. He hit a tiger suplex which Hideo initially blocked. It was great to see a move reversed before the other competitor actually hits it. It provides that immersive idea that this is actually a sport which is when professional wrestling becomes its most believable and hence compelling. Good stuff.
Justin went for a second Tiger Suplex, which this time Hideo successfully blocked building in a little storyline for the match. He then kicked Gabriel silly before flooring the South African. Gabriel began to stand up slowly and KENTA taunted him, pushing his boot into Gabriel’s face. It’s a touch unsporting but also a touch badass. I like it.
Itami ran the ropes before smashing Gabriel in the face. He followed with a double-foot stomp for the win. I was really hoping to see a GTS, but maybe we will have to wait. The crowd was hyped for the win before The Ascension came in and cleaned house to a chorus of boos. The Ascension got their edge back and Hideo has a first feud, all good essentially.
- C.J. Parker was out next to face Baron Corbin. Here’s to hoping this is a repeat of the mauling at Takeover. Corbin’s presence was awesome. He overpowered C.J. and then won with ‘The end of Days.' Apart from the slightly wordy finisher, this was exactly what was needed. All good once again a week out from Takeover.
- Next, Colin Cassady’s phone filmed Enzo Amore at ringside. Enzo’s ‘sister,’ Cassandra, came in all fired up Jersey-style. She said she wanted to fight, before Enzo started running her down. She responded by chest-passing a medicine ball into him. She then stormed off and the debut of Cassandra Amore was successfully completed.
-The Ascension vs. the Lucha Dragons for the NXT Tag Titles was the hook for next week.
- Tyson Kidd was out first followed by an all-business-looking Titus O'Neil. Sami was then out to his terrible music and a loud "Ole!" chant before Neville rounded things off with a temperate reaction. Tyson and Sami started.
That was until Neville tagged himself in and went to town on Kidd. Zayn then blind tagged himself in, floored Kidd and hit a standing moonsault before cheekily looking back at Neville. A 'Better than Neville’ chant broke out and the Geordie looked annoyed with being ‘right mugged off like.'
Neville aggressively tagged in and hit a corkscrew standing moonsault to up the stakes. Zayn smiled and applauded while Neville kept controlling. A ‘Sami’s better’ chant continued as Kidd was sent to the outside. Neville began to charge for a dive of some sort but Zayn blocked and then hit his Arabian moonsault onto Kidd. Mmmm, storyline. Adrian looked really wound up while Sami played it off as a joke.
Back from the break, Titus tagged in to manhandle Zayn. Kidd had a go next before Titus was in once again locking in an abdominal stretch. He then floored Zayn and dropped another elbow. Kidd then tagged in to continue a lengthy period of heel dominance. He tied Zayn up in the Tree of Woe before going for a chinlock. He eventually missed with a leg drop onto the apron but was cut off by Titus O’Neil who repeatedly dragged Zayn back into the corner. Kidd tagged in an hit a very stiff kick on Zayn.
Titus then came in and missed a shoulder attack and it was hot tag time as Neville shot about the ring destroying Kidd. He then hit a standing Shooting Star Press and headed to the top. Zayn meanwhile came in to clear out Titus before being slowly escorted out the ring by the ref. Titus managed to recover and pushed Neville off of the top rope onto the knees of Kidd and there was the pinfall. Well-booked and executed match that achieved all it needed to. The heel aspect was a little dull, but otherwise no complaints from me.
- Overall, This was a solid episode of NXT with well-handled debuts and carefully crafted "Takeover" developments. There really is nothing else to say other than more Itami would always be nice. There is also still no sign of Corey Graves and you can’t help but feel that any show is worse off without him on the roster. Hopefully he’ll be back soon.
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