WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/3 - Week 92: Sami Zayn vs. Corey Graves main event, Brodus Clay re-emerges as monster heel challenger, NXT tag champs; Overall Reax
Apr 3, 2014 - 10:18:47 PM
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WWE Superstars Results
April 3, 2014
Taped 3/31 in Washington, D.C.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Emma dances out to the ring to start the show. Incidentally, WWEShop.com now has signed photos of Emma, Adrian Neville, Paige, and Sami Zayn. I placed an order on Zayn and Paige, though I think Paige's is too "typical Diva."
William Regal, Tom Philips, Byron Saxton, and Renee Young share the booth. Charlotte and Sasha Banks, with the Summer Rae On A Stick come out. Both Banks and Charlotte have heavily upgraded their wardrobes. Banks needs a win badly.
1 - EMMA vs. SASHA BANKS (w/Charlotte)
Emma easily ducks Banks's offense and mocks her in the process. Drop toe hold puts Emma's face into the turnbuckle. Big "Sasha's wretched" chant from the crowd as Banks takes over. Seeing Banks body slam Emma is no small feat from someone her size. Emma dodges a leg drop to get a reset. Dil-Emma int he ropes, then the Emma-mite Sandwich (recently renamed) gets two. Charlotte on the apron and Emma invites her into the ring. Banks wants a cheap shot but accidentally clears Charlotte from the apron. Emma-lock and the tap out.
WINNER: Emma in 4:00. The match finish too similar to recent finishes to feel satisfying, and the match never really got out of first gear. Banks needs some credibility, as I think she is running up on a 3MB level losing streak.
Video package on Mojo Rawley.
The Ascension are out for a match to a big reaction. The turn-around on these guys is astounding. They are facing two jobbers. Again.
2 - NXT tag champs THE ASCENSION (KONNOR O'BRIAN & RICK VICTOR) vs. JACK HURLEY & JOHN VANDAL - Non-title tag team match
Hurley gets beat up a bit, then Vandal accidentally comes in. O'Brian bodyslams Vandal into the ropes twice, the crowd asks for a third and they get it. Hurley makes the mistake of climbing off the floor and gets cleared off again. Fall of Man and the match is over.
WINNERS: The Ascension in 2:00. A hot heel team really needs to challenge The Ascension now that they are firmly established as monster faces. I wouldn't mind seeing Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd re-teaming and making this happen, if they can be packaged as heels.
[Q2] 3 - XAVIER WOODS vs. BRODUS CLAY
Woods's fast offense knocks Clay down, but Clay manages to recover through a Yes! kick-like routine and land a suplex. Clay looks like he has lost a lot of weight. Regal calls Clay a "suplex machine." Woods stands tall and a dropkick puts Clay on the mat. Shining wizard for one. Woods wants ten punches in the corner, but Clay shoves him off twice. Headbutt and a powerbomb from Clay, and Clay with the big splash from the second rope for a win.
WINNER: Brodus Clay in 3:00. Short match to set up...
Post-match, Clay cuts a promo. WWE took his music, his girls, his tag team partner, his pride, self-respect, and dignity. He vows to do the taking from here on out, and challenges Adrian Neville. This is a return to the Brodus Clay that I thought could have won NXT back when it was a competition show.
Backstage, Devin Taylor interviews Adrian Neville. Neville says that Clay can't just walk into NXT and take his title and go away. Neville says that NXT has changed, they are just as good as the main roster. Neville points out that in NXT, title shots need to be earned (sadly a true indictment of the main roster). Neville points out who have been previous champions and says that he is ready for Clay if he can earn a title shot.
I cannot get enough of this WrestleMania package promoting John Cena vs. the Wyatt Family. Why is this the match I am most looking forward to at WrestleMania?
"Already in the ring" is Yoshi Tatsu. He's facing Tyler Breeze. Breeze's entrance takes longer than most of his matches.
4 - YOSHI TATSU vs. TYLER BREEZE
"Breeze is gorgeous" chant starts the match as he takes control of Tatsu. Philips notes that Breeze is no longer afraid to have his face touched and Regal points out that he can't win championships like that. Chops from Tatsu enrage Breeze. Beauty Shot wraps it up.
WINNER: Tyler Breeze in 2:00. The transformation of Breeze into a serious character continues. Clean mid-ring wins will go a long way to building a pipeline of competition for Adrian Neville's title or perhaps adding to the tag team scene.
[Q3] Backstage interview with Sami Zayn. Zayn says he is okay and cleared to wrestling.
Outside interview with Corey Graves. He tells a story about an animal who gets trapped in a cage, tries to escape, but wolves show up. Good delivery of a cryptic promo.
Nice video package on Paige, making her look unbeatable. She's had either one or two losses since debuting, that's nearly two years.
Backstage interview with Paige, asking about Charlotte. She's angry that the BFFs could not even allow her to have her moment at Arrival. She adds that Charlotte needs to stop hiding behind her father, and tells the cameraman to get out of her face.
5 - SAMI ZAYN vs. COREY GRAVES
Graves just James Deans in the corner out of the bell. Graves with mind games hiding in the ropes. Graves does it again out of a lockup. Zayn is starting to get frustrated. Great psychology here. Graves rolls out of the ring to take a count, and heads up the ramp a bit. Zayn anticipates the sneak attack when he follows Graves out, and gets offense on Graves and avoids the ambush on his way back in. It's a miracle, the babyface doesn't look like an idiot.
Zayn dumps Graves out of the ring, and a huge jump over the ropes knock Graves down. The crowd is nuts but Regal questions the wisdom of this after a recent concussion. Graves rolls through the ring, but a knee lift to the face gives Graves momentum. Graves is pounding Zayn's head hoping to capitalize.
[ Commercial Break ]
Graves is keeping a lid on Graves with a suplex and a chinlock. A flurry of offense in the corner causes the ref to show concern for Zayn. Zayn is swinging wildly but looks totally out of it and can't stand straight.
[Q4] Regal points out that Zayn will fight past where it is safe. Jawbreaker gets some separation, but a big boot brings the red in again. More blows to the head from Graves. The crowd wants Zayn to get up. Double leg takedown into a cover puts Zayn on a roll for a moment, but Graves hits a spinning front suplex to cut Zayn off. Fireman's carry into a backbreaker gets two for Graves.
Zayn catches Graves on a charge, and hits an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle for two. Zayn struggles to his feet and manages the Blue Thunderbomb after a struggle for a nearfall. Zayn still looks out of it. Zayn wants his big boot in the corner, Graves catches it and wants a fireman's carry but Zayn escapes, Graves hits the ropes and they bump heads. The ref starts a ten count after checking on Zayn.
Zayn fights Graves off in the corner, but he can't climb up the ropes. Regal is demanding that the ref stop the match. Lucky shot plants Graves. Zayn insists that he is fine but he doesn't even know where Graves is. Big shot, Graves is completely gone. Lucky 13 and Zayn is too dazed to even tap out and calls the match in favor of Graves.
WINNER: Corey Graves in 17:00. The in-ring story here was outstanding. I felt very, very uncomfortable watching the last five minutes of this match, which is exactly what they wanted. Regal did a great job selling this match from the booth and putting over Zayn's heart and Graves's viciousness. Zayn is stellar. If there is a "next Shawn Michaels" I think Sami Zayn has a real shot at it. Out of the matches that have made me feel real emotion since Michaels retired, Zayn was in almost all of them. Graves seems to have corrected most of the problems I had with his style, which was that the Randy Orton pacing doesn't work for a guy with his build.
Final Reax: The NXT formula is continuing to work well, with a series of short matches to get over talent and a big main event that feels like a main event. The announcing situation was much better, with Saxton toned down quite a bit. I am looking forward to seeing a Neville-Clay build, so long as Clay's matches are kept short and he stays mean. He can carry a feud on the mic when he's allowed to do what he does well.
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