WWE NXT Report JAMES' WWE NXT REPORT 3/25 - Week 145: Owens vs. Balor for NXT Title, Sasha Banks defends Women's Title; Overall Reax
Mar 25, 2015 - 11:48:53 PM
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WWE NXT Results
March 25, 2015
Taped at Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Pre-credit video revisits NXT's first episode from the road. Tonight is Finn Balor's NXT Title match against Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks defends her Women's Title against Alexa Bliss, and we will hopefully find out Alex Riley's fate.
The night starts off with Alexa Bliss challenging Sasha Banks for the NXT Women's Championship after her count-out win over Banks last week.
The announcers are Corey Graves and Tom Phillips, a return to the two-man booth format, with Jojo in the ring. Bliss gets a rather weak pre-match pop, and Banks gets a bigger reaction.
1 - NXT Women's champion SASHA BANKS vs. ALEXA BLISS - NXT Women's Championship match
They jaw, then Banks charges and runs right into a drop toehold and a cover for one. Bliss with a crucifix for one. Bliss tries cover after cover, but can't get better than one. Bliss tries to corner leap over Banks, but Banks boots her in the middle and mounts her. Banks runs into an elbow in the corner, but catches Bliss's attempt to get boots up and sets up the double knees in the corner.
Banks with a variety of stretches. Surprise cover from Bliss gets two. Bliss gets knees up in the corner, Banks catches them, tries to yank Bliss off the ropes, and Bliss transitions to a leg scissors. Bliss sends Banks to the outside. Banks takes a nap and Bliss waits until five before remember she can't get the title on a count-out.
Thesz Press from Bliss, but Banks escapes the mount. Huge slap from Bliss pops the crowd. Leg sweep and the Bliss Flip for two. Bliss suddenly gets the crowd behind her with slick moves. She goes to the top, but Banks arm-drags her off. Bank Statement and it is over.
WINNER: Sasha Banks in 5:50. Not a great match, but there is so much potential here. Instead of sticking to a basic moveset, Bliss is working very hard to put on the kind of match that you expect from a much more experienced wrestler, with counters, reversals, transitions, and in-depth ring psychology (such as the upstart rookie trying a variety of early match covers but only getting a one count on each). While it doesn't always come out smoothly, there's a lot of credit to be given for pushing beyond the comfort zone to put on a match that is emotionally engaging if not always technically perfect. The surprise support from the FSU crowd perfectly captured that what she is doing in the ring is working to capture the fans.
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens. He says he and Balor are both top performers who have worked hard to get to NXT and making an impact. Balor made an impact with body paint, Owens did it by grabbing the NXT Title. He is looking forward to the fight tonight. He invites Balor to bring the demon, but no one is taking the NXT championship away from him and his family.
[ J.J.'s Reax: Part of the struggle with Owens as a heel is that he has done what few others do: he emphasizes the title as meaning financial security for him *and his family.* Can I really hate a guy who spent years struggling to provide for a wife and kids and now he's doing whatever it takes to keep the best roof possible over their heads? As a husband and father I find myself empathizing with Owens more than I should. ]
Video package on Kevin Owens's climb to the top.
[Q2] Backstage, Emma tells Bayley "I told you so." Bayley doesn't know what she means. Emma says that Bayley is too nice and tells her to be more aggressive. Emma says that the NXT crowd will fool Bayley, just look at her career. Bayley says that they are different people, and the NXT Universe put her where she was. Emma just slaps the lips off Bayley.
Devin Taylor asks Tyler Breeze what's next for him. "Another high quality question Barbara Walters!" He reminds us that he beat "Hideous Itami." Itami comes into the picture to remind us he has a win over Breeze, too, and challenges Breeze to a two-out-of-three falls match and walks away. Breeze says "I didn't say 'yes,' dummy!" and stomps off.
[ J.J.'s Reax: Tyler Breeze is... dare I say it... entertaining. ]
Video package on Dana Brooke. She seems very athletic and is pretty muscular. She talks up her hard work to get to where she is.
Devin Taylor interviews Finn Balor. Balor says that Owens likes to run his mouth, and he doesn't need the demon to beat Owens.
Video package on Balor. Some nice slow-motion shots of him delivering high impact moves like brainbusters and the Coup de Grace. He truly comes off as a big deal in this package.
Recap of last week's match between Riley and Owens to put over Kevin Owens as an unstoppable power.
Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, and Carmella are talking. Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy come in to apologize to Carmella for what happened last week. They bought her a gift with their "champions bonus." She seems impressed. They bought her a bracelet. She wants to know why Amore and Cassady never give her gifts. Amore calls it fugazy, and Cassady tells them they should have gone to Jared's. Amore says it's from "Zales, middle of the mall stuff. They spent their championship bonus on this? Must have been a light envelope."
[ J.J.'s Reax: Amore and Cassady continue to have me laughing. I suspect they improv half of this, as it is simply too good for the WWE Creative team. The relationship with Carmella is getting creepy. If I read it right, Amore and Cassady are currently kind of... co-dating? Carmella... and Murphy and Blake would like to... kind of... co-date? Carmella. ]
Finn Balor comes to the ring sans paint for his match with Kevin Owens. Great crowd reaction for Balor. Owens doesn't get a boo, but he doesn't get many of his cheers, either. Corey Graves: "It is an undisputed fact that when you are champion you get more money, you get more opportunities, you get more success." Simple, effective.
2 - NXT champion KEVIN OWENS vs. FINN BALOR - NXT Championship match
Owens immediately ducks out of the ring to frustrate Balor. Lock-up and Balor wrangles Owns to the corner, but takes a boot on a ref break. Headlock takedown and Owens wears Balor down. Owens refuses to let Balor out of the headlock. Balor finally pushes out, but takes a shoulder block. Dropkick from Balor and Owens goes outside to get a new plan.
[ Break ]
Balor has Owens in an armbar out of the break. Owens with blows to escape. Owens with a running sunset flip, but Balor rolls through and hits a dropkick. Owens charges the corner, Balor back drops him out, and Owens lands on the apron. Balor tries to suplex Owens into the ring Cesaro-style and fails. Owens transitions into a neckbreaker across the ropes. Owens is selling his left arm while working Balor over and crowd support for Owens picks up. Balor gets to his feet, hits the ropes, and runs into an elbow.
[ Break ]
Owens is gloating mid-ring. Owens wants to powerbomb Balor on the outside, but Balor lands a back drop. Back in the ring, Owens catches a cross-body and wants a sideslam, but Balor hangs on. Owens transitions into a Samoan Drop-like slam into a cover for two. Running senton from Owens for two. Owens keeps going back to the chinlock to ground Balor. Brutal whip into the corner actually gets a replay it was so hard. Balor can barely move, but takes a suplex from Owens for two. A third break as Owens locks in another chinlock.
[ Break ]
[Q4] They are trading blows back from break. Balor starts to rally. Balor back drops Owens to the outside, and a big flip dive over the top takes Owens down. Double foot stomp to the back of Owens's head from the top rope gets a nearfall. Balor wants a reverse DDT, but Owens counters, and the Pele Kick puts Owens down on the mat. The crowd rallies Balor. Slingblade out of nowhere and a clothesline flips Owens upside down. Double underhook inverse DDT gets a nearfall for Balor. Owens dodges the hesitation dropkick and Balor sells a knee injury. The ref checks on Balor as Owens stalks Balor. Owens takes out Balors's knee with a kick, then a chop block. Owens wraps Balor's knee around the ringpost. The ref asks Balor if he wants to quit.
Owens just tears Balor apart by the knee, killing the mood. The crowd is suddenly nearly dead, sensing blood in the air. Balor to the ropes pops the crowd a bit. Owens wants a pop-up powerbomb, but Balor surprises Owens with a short-range double foot stomp. Balor stalks Owens, but takes a foot to the knee. Owens to the second rope, but an enziguiri from Balor stops him. Balor wants a superplex, but Owens blocks and transitions to a suplex of his own off the top, cover for a nearfall.
Owens with another chop block. The ref is checking on Balor, but Owens with a cannonball splash, which the ref dodges and admonishes Owens before checking on Balor again. The ref physically separates Owens from Balor's knee in the corner. Balor's leg is tied up in the ropes, and the ref has to dodge another cannonball splash. The ref is furious at Owens, who wants another cannonball, but Balor dodges. The ref checks on Balor yet again.
Balor with the dropkick to send Owens into the turnbuckle, but Balor struggles to the top. Coup De Grace attempt, but his knee is too bad to get him into a cover. Owens recovers and hits a pop-up powerbomb as Balor charges for the win.
WINNER: Kevin Owens in 13:50. Another brutal match from Owens, outright hard to watch at times. Now the question will be if Balor will be on the shelf indefinitely like Neville, Zayn, and Riley after facing Owens in the ring and being punished. Balor lasting nearly 14 minutes and nearly pinning Owens firmly places him in the same tier as past champions Zayn and Neville. Owens is such a stand-out specimen of physical size, endurance, strength, and agility.
Final Reax: Only two matches and lots of talking, but the second match was fantastic and the talking was well done. NXT is really hitting on all cylinders right now. The two-man booth was an interesting change of pace with lots of dead air. I noticed that the announcers were never shown on-camera, so I suspect they were added post-production. Corey Graves is really starting to hit the right notes, especially without a second color commentator to distract him. In particular he put over the champions and titles hard and made them feel special with only a few basic strokes of his brush.
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