WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 3/18 - Week 144: NXT on the road at the Arnold Classic, Steen vs. Alex Riley, Women's champion loses, title matches set up; Overall Reax
Mar 18, 2015 - 10:06:26 PM
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WWE NXT Results
March 18, 2015
Taped 3/6 Weekend in Columbus, Ohio
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Pre-credits package hypes that NXT is at the Arnold Sports Center tonight. The video hypes Alex Riley against Kevin Owens and Alexa Bliss facing Sasha Banks.
This arena is much larger than the FSU setting. Kalisto is out for the first match against Tyler Breeze. Weren't the Lucha Dragons portrayed as heels last week?
Announcers are Jason Albert, Corey Graves, and Rich Brennan. Jojo is the ring announcer. A scattered "Breeze is gorgeous" chant in the crowd lets us know that the audience isn't all tourists.
1 - KALISTO vs. TYLER BREEZE
They trade holds to start. Kalisto walks on his hands to hit a huracanrana and the crowd eats it up. Tornado armdrag sends Breeze to the outside. Breeze counters a springboard move with a dropkick. Breeze gets angry at the ref for touching him to break him off Kalisto in the corner.
[ Break ]
Kalisto is rallying out of the break. Breeze breaks free of an SDS attempt, then lands a Supermodel Kick for a nearfall. Breeze stalks Kalisto, but Kalisto kicks him in the face from the mat, kicks Breeze's feet out, then hits an enziguiri. Kalisto to the top for a 450 splash, but Breeze gets his hands to the ropes. Breeze pushes out of another SDS attempt, then hits the Beauty Shot for the win.
WINNER: Tyler Breeze in 7:50. Good match to let Breeze get a solid win under his belt and it was nice to see Kalisto in a longer match.
Video package on Kevin Steen and his developing beef with Alex Riley.
[Q2] Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss. She's excited to be home in Ohio and to show them what she is about. She puts Sasha Banks on notice for their non-title match.
Video package on the Arnold Sports Classic, and NXT coming to town, visiting sick children, etc. Triple H says this lets the NXT roster get on the road and out of Florida. Seeing Triple H sharing a stage with Ed Coan and Evander Holyfield is surreal. Corey Graves hosts Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and a bunch of NXT talent in the ring. Hogan teases chasing the NXT Title. Triple H: "That's not a developmental brand anymore, that's a brand."
Backstage, Finn Balor talks to Alex Riley and says he will be watching closely. Balor says he is facing Owens next week. Riley says he will do to Owens what he has done to everyone else. Balor warns Riley to be careful, as Sami Zayn has been out since Takeover and Adrian Neville hasn't been seen since his last match with Owens.
[ J.J.'s Reax: Finn Balor's mic work has improved in months more than some do in many years. This conversation worked very well. ]
Another video package about NXT on the road for the first time. It looks like they were in a theater setting. Corey Graves bets that you'll see NXT as a touring brand soon.
Silence for Wesley Blake coming out, but the crowd is nuts for Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, and Carmella. Why don't Cassady and Amore have a team name yet? The Ohio crowd is very familiar with Amore's schtick. Amore's beard is black again, Carmella gets booed, and Cassady and Amore rail on Blake and Murphy. Enjoyable promo as always. I'm very curious to see how these two would do in front of a mainstream audience.
2 - COLIN CASSADY (w/Enzo Amore and Carmella) vs. NXT Tag Team champion WESLEY BLAKE (w/NXT tag champion Buddy Murphy)
[Q3] Blake with a wristlock, but Cassady pushes his away. Running knee drops Blake as he bounces off the ropes. The crowd wants Blue Pants. Cassady tosses Blake across the ring, then hits a back drop. Blake with a neckbreaker into the ropes, then a kick to the knee. Springboard cross-body gets two for Blake. Cassady finally gets some room and a shoulder-block knocks Blake down. Stinger Splash and a side slam from Cassady. Murphy tries a distraction, but Carmella yells at Murphy, then Cassady big-boots Murphy to the floor. But, Blake sneaks in a cover with a handful of trunks for the tainted win.
WINNER: Wesley Blake in 2:55. Okay match. Cassady's character is so much fun, though. WWE Booking 101 said that Cassady would get the win to set up a title match, so it was nice to see NXT not following the formula.
Post-match, Carmella sells a knee injury.
Dana Brooke will be debuting tonight. Video package on Brooke. Apparently she has a background doing fitness or physique competitions.
Alexa Bliss gets a good reaction from the crowd. Sasha Banks gets a good pop, too. Banks has the NXT Curse where she gets cheered for being good as a heel.
3 - NXT Women's champion SASHA BANKS vs. ALEXA BLISS - non-title match
Banks and Bliss both play to the crowd. Banks tries to attack Bliss, but Bliss hauls off and takes the fight to Banks. Banks trips Bliss face-first into the turnbuckle as Brennan reminds us that it was Banks that broke Bliss's nose. Double knees through the ropes from Banks, and cover for two.
Banks and Bliss tussle through an airtight hold, then Bliss rallies with elbows. Leg sweep and the Bliss Flip gets two. Bliss charges in the corner, Banks dodges, and Bliss turns it around into a cover for two. Slick sequence. Bliss kicks Banks out of the ring, then dives onto her. Risky move, as there is unpadded concrete around the ring where the barricades would be. Bliss drives Banks into the ringpost and slips into the ring for a count-out victory.
WINNER: Alexa Bliss in 3:55. I don't like seeing the champion lose a non-title match this quickly, but at least it is rare for NXT. Bliss looked better in the ring than she has in the past.
Backstage, Kevin Owens says that he will make Alex Riley wish he had never quit being an announcer. He understand why Riley wants to prove himself. He can't wait to take out Finn Balor, either, and show that he cannot be defeated.
[Q4] Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss. She's so happy she won. Banks interrupts and reminds us that she wasn't pinned. William Regal interjects. He books Banks vs. Bliss for next week in a Championship match.
Alex Riley gets a good welcome from the crowd, but Kevin Owens gets a bigger one. The problem with the booking of Owens is that he's the hard hitting guy people want to cheer and he just doesn't come off as too mean without someone like Sami Zayn or Adrian Neville on the other side of the ring.
Pre-match, Owens taunts Riley, the ref breaks them apart, Owens reaches over the ref to slap Riley and the ref is getting very physical.
4 - NXT champion KEVIN OWENS vs. ALEX RILEY - non-title match
Riley forces Owens to the corner. Ref break, and they push each other. Riley wants a lock-up, but gets a boot to the mid-section. Owens starts to wreck Riley. Dropkick from Riley gets him a break. Running elbow in the corner, then Owens catches a kick, responds with a kick, and hits the cannonball splash in the corner. "Kill Owens Kill" from the crowd. Owens taunts Riley begging him to "rage."
Surprise elbow from Riley off the mat knocks Owens to the apron then Riley sends him to the floor. Owens gets back into the ring before Riley gets to his feet. Riley dodges a second cannonball splash and hits a spinebuster for two. Owens dodges a cross-body and Riley hits the ropes instead. Owens with a series of running sentons to Riley before casually throwing Riley over the top rope. On the outside, Owens slams Riley into the barricades that are bolted to the concrete, rolls Riley into the ring, and a pop-up powerbomb ends it.
WINNER: Kevin Owens in 6:11. Riley got enough hope spots in to keep this squash interesting. Great work from both to put over Owens as unstoppable and Riley as having heart.
Post-match the crowd erupts in Ole chants. Owens grabs Riley and sets up to powerbomb him into the ring apron. Finn Balor's music hits, he comes out, and Owens stops what he's doing. Owens decides to hit the powerbomb after all, then Balor comes diving over the barricades, takes out Owens, and sends Owens into the ring. In the ring, Balor sets up the Coup De Grace, but Owens slips out of the ring, kicks Riley, and heads for the hills.
Final Reax: Nice to see NXT on the road in front of a bigger audience with a very game crowd. Nice advancement of the major feuds. It looks like Alexa Bliss is stepping up as next in line for a Women's Championship match. Overall, lots of hints dropped tonight that this will be the first of many tapings outside FSU.
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