After the phenomenal show that was NXT ArRival last Thursday, you could be forgiven for expecting another match of the year to start the night and a title change to finish it. But this isn’t ArRival, this is regular NXT, without the added extras on show the previous week.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and William Regal are on commentary this week. The show begins with the new NXT champion Adrian Neville in action. He gets a good pop for his entrance. He is pitted against Camacho, who looks massive next to Neville.
The match commences with Neville trying to shake Camachos hand. Naturally, the Heel capitalises and gains an early upper hand, but the momentum quickly switches to Neville who is displaying a lot of ground work. Neville goes for a high spot but gets caught by Camacho who chops him to death in the corner. He hits a big slam into the mat with authority.
Camacho works over Neville for a short time, but Neville responds, nailing a stunning drop kick to a sitting Camacho before going up top and hitting the missile version of the move. This is all to set up the Red Arrow which is hit to perfection and Neville picks up the win.
Standard match, with little psychology, was really just to show Neville as strong and to set up the next part of this segment.
Neville is now joined in the ring by Renee Young, who is basically there to hold the mic for the new champion. He cuts a promo on how his feelings on winning the title were the validation for ten years of hard work and that it is his proudest moment. Neville refers to himself as a crazy little elf man and proceeds to call himself the best in ring wrestler around. The NXT champion then starts a chant of “No more Bo” with the fans who respond well.
This prompts Bo Dallas coming out. He grabs a mic and congratulates Neville on his victory last week but says that Neville did not pin Dallas, he climbed a ladder. Dallas then confirms he will be invoking his rematch clause on the title soon, and that he will bring the title back for his BOlievers.
Camacho was essentially fodder for Neville to give him a platform for an in ring promo. There is no doubting the work Neville does in the ring but his mic work can be a major draw back, I was not dissatisfied with this promo although it did drag. Bo Dallas is more capable on the mic but his voice is an acquired taste. This segment sets up a rematch between the two which is virtually unnecessary, the blow off was last week with the underdog babyface finally overcoming the heel. Dallas is not long for NXT and his bump up to the mainstream would appear close, Neville is ready in ring to make the jump but refining his skill in NXT will work out better for him in the long run.
After this we get a repeat of the Emma and Charlotte backstage segment from last week. It then cuts to Emma’s entrance, which continues to be intoxicating. The crowd pops huge for her and she even gets the ring announcer involved in the dance. Charlotte then makes her entrance, flanked by Sasha Banks.
Renee Young joins the commentary team for this bout. It is a back and forth start to the match as the girls exchange hip tosses. Emma then gets the upperhand with a wristlock. Charlotte attempts to break the hold by dragging Emma to the ground but she holds on for a while longer. During this, Emma gets a better than Batista chant as she teases the Emma Bomb. Emma throws Charlotte to the corner, as she runs at the second generation star, Charlotte attempts a leap frog but appears to botch it. This draws a two count. The ref then checks on Charlotte but Sasha distracts Emma and Charlotte leaps up in HBK fashion. She then gives Emma a Bulldog neckbreaker to get the three count. Renee Young gives her a new nick name. “The dirtiest diva in the game”.
I am not as high on Emma as everyone else. She is a good worker, better than most on the main roster, but the gimmick will only bring her so far. Comedy is essential to wrestling but it doesn’t make money. She will be a good addition on the permanent main roster but I don’t think she has the ceiling of an AJ or Paige. Charlotte on the other hand, has a new found confidence since she got put with her father on TV. She sold the ankle injury in oscar worthy style before hitting a devastating Bulldog neck breaker. Her push is well and truly underway.
Corey Graves comes out then an cuts a promo about how he should have been on ArRival last week and that he could beat Cesaro in one go. He then says that having to fight an irrelevant Yoshi Tatsu is below him. He then gets in the ring, the bell tolls, Graves immediately rolls back out. Tatsu pursues him. Graves turns, clocks Tatsu with a punch and then smashes him into the steps. Graves gets back into the ring and wins by countout. He then starts to beat on Tatsu in the ring, Zayn’s music hits. He rushes the ring, Graves leaves as Tatsu is aided to by Sami. The former El Generico then cuts a short promo, telling Graves he didn’t know they had a problem but will fight him tonight if he wants. This sets up our main event.
We then have the debut of Adam Rose, formerly Leo Kruger. Devin Taylor is at a nightclub set, where she meets and interviews Adam Rose. This guy is literally a Russell Brand doppelganger, he says that all those dancing in the club are his “RoseBuds”, Taylor goes to ask a question and he gets up and leaves to dance.
Adam Rose now comes out to the arena, he is flanked by his “RoseBuds”. The entrance music catches on, it’s quite a rock disco song and will gather instant pops in the future. He is up against Wesley Blake, a lot of guys doing a job on NXT tonight then. Just as Rose goes to get in the ring, he does a stage dive off the apron into his “RoseBuds” another spot sure to catch on in this outstanding entrance.
The match starts, a chant of that was awesome erupts around the arena for the entrance. Rose does an airplane run around the ring, Blake tries to catch him but Rose drops to the floor and begins to roll around to avoid the big man. Now Rose does a spot where he swings on the ropes while trying to kick Blake, the big jobber gets aggravated and runs at Rose, who floors him with a swinging dropkick on the ropes. Rose then lays out Blake with a big boot to the chest, he hits a big spine buster and then a clothesline from the corner to pick up the win.
Rose is over as hell with the NXT crowd just after his entrance alone. That is the best part of him so far though, he has the wrestling ability of Russell Brand if this match is anything to go by. I am not writing him off by any means but I need to see more to make a better judgement. Solid opening though.
Sami Zayn Vs Corey Graves up now in the main event. Graves gets on top early with an elbow to the face, he continues the early pressure with a headlock, he hip tosses Zayn to the floor while keeping the lock in tight. Zayn eventually breaks the hold and gets into the ascendency with multiple arm drags to Graves. The final arm drag shoots Graves out of the ring to the floor. As he gathers himself, Zayn goes for the suicide dive, but stops short by bouncing of the ropes onto one knee, phenomenal spot. We come back from commercial and Zayn hits a big back body drop onto Graves. Zayn then goes for the boot in the corner, Graves reverses, catching Zayn in the samoan drop position. He switches that into a back breaker onto the knee, superb work from these two. Sami gets whipped into the corner, Graves goes for the elbow but gets caught with a boot, Zayn goes up top and hits a textbook crossbody to the saviour of misbehaviour for a two. Zayn goes for the kick in the corner again, Graves nails him with a punch to reverse, which Zayn sells like he has been shot. Graves then goes for Lucky 13, Zayn kicks him in the face to reverse and then regains his footing before hitting a blue thunder bomb for a two. Graves kicks out, Both run from the corners at each other, Graves goes low and catches Sami’s bad knee. Zayn leads Graves to the corner as if for Old School but gets caught by Graves, he reverses it though and rolls Graves up for the win.
There is not a doubt in my mind that Zayn is ready for the main roster, this was a great TV main event, Graves is a solid worker with a good character which will translate well on the next level. Both these guys will be in the NXT title hunt in the coming weeks and months.
This show was never going to hit the heights of last week, but it was solid nonetheless. To many squash matches for my liking but all in all it set up new feuds going forward and we saw the birth of a potential comedic star in Adam Rose. Just your average NXT show then.