10/9 Zim's WWE NXT Coverage: Sami Zayn vs. Titus O'Neil, Hideo Itami vs. Viktor, Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch, The Vaudevillains vs. Amore and Cassady, and Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired October 9, 2014
Taped September 12, 2014 at Full Sail University
The opening video played... In the arena, Tyler Breeze made his entrance. His seasonal residence is now Helsinki, Finland. Mojo Rawley was out next before a replay showed the incident between the two several weeks ago where Breeze attacked Mojo for bumping into him.
1. Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley. Breeze played games with Mojo; landing jabs and then ducking back between the ropes. He laid himself across the top turnbuckle before Mojo got hold of him and drove him backwards into the corner. Breeze got his feet up and connected to the shoulder of Mojo's that was ran into the ringpost. Breeze locked in a fujiwara armbar and the referee called for the bell despite Mojo never tapping. Fire this ref.
Tyler Breeze beat Mojo Rawley by ref stoppage in about 1:15.
Breeze celebrated with selfies after the match as Mojo sold his arm heavily in the ring. Medical personnel ran down to the ring and the commentators tried to cover the bad finish by saying that the referee probably heard something snap... The Vaudevillains vs. Amore and Cassady was hyped for later in the show. Sami Zayn vs. Titus O'Neil was hyped as the main event...
Zim Says: That was a stupid finish. If something snapped in his arm, he should've tapped. I know there are instances in MMA of refs stopping fights when something snaps and the guy doesn't tap, but MMA refs have clear guidelines that they follow. There is no set of rules for WWE viewers and there is no track record of refs stopping WWE matches, so this came across poorly.
At the WWEPC, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady paid a visit to the GM of NXT, William Regal. Enzo asked if Regal would be willing to give Carmella a try-out. Regal was skeptical that Enzo was using him to get a date with her. They walked out to the area where all of the rings are and Carmella was there working over another trainee who was wearing headgear. She did a leapfrog and a single-leg dropkick and then tapped the girl out with a crossface/choke style move using her legs. The camera panned back to a pondering Regal and he simply told Amore to "bring her next Thursday." Enzo told her that he got her a try-out and she was very excited, but still wouldn't hug or touch him. This time, he said he wasn't even going to bother telling Cass not to post it because he always does anyway... [C]
A video package recapped the history between Hideo Itami and The Ascension... Back in the arena, Viktor made his entrance. There was no sign of Konnor. Hideo Itami was out next. There was a small "Hideo" chant, but the crowd was dead for the fourth show of this taping.
2. Hideo Itami vs. Viktor. The two met in the middle of the ring and fired away with fists. Itami landed a kick, but Viktor put him down seconds later with a hard back-elbow. Viktor went to work on Itami from there and hit a snap suplex around the minute mark. The commentators tried to cover for the dead crowd before Itami began to unleash with kicks. Itami got sent up-and-over in the corner and unintentionally landed stomach-first across the top turnbuckle before landing on the apron.
I assume Itami hit a springboard dropkick, but I can't say for sure because the Xbox 360 feed skips ahead during that spot. When the feed resumed, Itami appeared to be severely concussed. He hit a terrible looking hesitation dropkick and stumbled back to his feet. He motioned to the crowd but was clearly out of it as he awkwardly struggled through the ropes onto the apron and up to the top turnbuckle. Just then, Konnor walked out onto the stage dragging an unconscious Funaki behind him. Itami came down from the top rope and was briefly distracted, but he connected with a single-leg dropkick seconds later for the win.
Hideo Itami pinned Viktor in about 3:00.
Konnor ran down to the ring and rained punches down onto Itami. The ref whispered to Konnor to leave Itami on the mat before The Ascension tied Itami up in the ropes. Funaki was back up and hit the ring, but he took a beating for his troubles. The Ascension laid Funaki out with the Fall of Man while Itami was left helpless in the ropes...
Zim Says: Needless to say, Itami had a pretty rough outing on his first set of tapings. Hopefully he was able to get himself together between this set and the set that begins airing next week.
Back from break, a WWE.com clip showed Funaki being stretchered out of the arena... The Vaudevillains were out next for the third matchup of the show. Amore and Cassady were out next and Amore actually said some new stuff! He said he's the "Smack-talker Skywalker" and the microphone is his lightsaber. He said Big Cass is a/k/a :The Big Bambino." That one didn't land. He called The Vaudevillains Laurel and Hardy and told them prohibition is over, so get back in their Dolorean and get Back to the Future. Cass called them sloppy jalopies and said they should get back to pumping iron because they look less like Arnold and more like Hey Arnold, and they never should've left the stoop. That one landed big with the crowd and this viewer. He delivered the SAWFT line to close.
3. The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. The Vaudevillains went right to work on Amore. English hit a huge jumping leg drop as the crowd tried to figure out how to chant "Stoop Kid's afraid to leave his stoop!" Amore reversed a back suplex with a crossbody before Cassady got the warm tag. Cassady came in with a high knee on English and then clobbered Gotch with a big boot when he tagged in. Cassady dropped Amore on top of Gotch with a front suplex slam, but it appeared to hurt Amore quite a bit. The Vaudevillains knocked Cassady off the apron and hit That's a Wrap for the win...
The Vaudevillains beat Amore and Cassady in about 3:00.
Backstage, the roving reporter asked Sami Zayn for his thoughts going into tonight's match with Titus O'Neil. Zayn said he was feeling good. He said if you look at Titus, you'd think he should be a monster, but instead he's battling with a bunny. He said Titus may see NXT as a proving ground, but that's why he's defending it. He mentioned Neville feeling like it was his job to defend NXT, but quickly got off that and closed by saying that he's feeling good going into tonight... The main event was hyped... Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch was hyped up next... [C]
Zim Says: The streak of decent NXT tag matches ends at one. The segment pretty much peaked with the Hey Arnold reference. I enjoy Sami Zayn as much as anyone, but come on, give us something better than "I'm feeling good."
Back in the arena, Becky Lynch made her entrance. Sasha Banks was out next.
4. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. Becky whipped her hair at Sasha and then took her down with a quick armdrag. Becky got a one-count with an Oklahoma roll. Seconds later, there was a cool spot where Sasha made a cover on Becky but Becky bridged out of it and hit a dropkick. Sasha took control a short time later and hit a dropping double-knee strike across Becky's mid-section. Sasha settled into a grounded surfboard and worked that hold for a good portion of time. Lynch came back with a surprise rollup attempt and a European uppercut before she began to fire up. Becky hit a running leg drop and an impressive looking springboard kick in the corner. Becky hit the ropes, but Sasha was right behind her and wiped her out with a clothesline takedown. Sasha hit the backstabber and floated over into the crossface, which she calls the Bank Statement, forcing Becky to tap... [C]
Sasha Banks forced Becky Lynch to submit in about 4:00.
Zim Says: Well, that was the best match on the show up to this point. It wasn't near the top tier of NXT women's matches, but it was good while it lasted. We'll call it solid.
Back in the arena, Titus O'Neil was out for the main event. Sami Zayn was out next to the crowd's usual chanting and clapping and "Ole's."
5. Titus O'Neil vs. Sami Zayn. Titus overpowered Zayn out of the gate, but Zayn countered with his quickness and landed a chop to the chest. Titus hit a knee to the gut, but Zayn sprang over him off the bottom rope and appeared to be in control until Titus caught him and planted him with a slam. Titus worked over Zayn until Zayn fired back with a loud slap to the chest. This only fired Titus up, as he came right back and assaulted Sami in the corner. Moments later, Sami hit several more chops, but Titus put him right back down with another slam. Titus sent Zayn tumbling to ringside going into the final break of the show. [C]
Back in the ring, Titus had Sami locked in a bearhug until he connected with another slam for a two-count. The same ref who stopped the Breeze/Mojo match backed Titus off and asked Zayn if he wanted him to stop this one too. What is with this guy? Titus went back to the bearhug which would've been dreadful if not for Zayn's selling. The crowd rallied mildly and Zayn showed some fight. He dropped the top rope and sent Titus toppling to ringside before Zayn hit the ropes and wiped him out with a tope con hilo.
Back in the ring, Zayn came off the top with a high crossbody for a near-fall. Zayn charged for the Helluva Kick but Titus countered with a boot of his own. Zayn reversed another slam attempt with a mounted sleeper hold and Titus began to fade, but he eventually flipped Zayn forward. Titus charged at Sami in the corner, but Sami got both boots up. He made the cover, but Ref of the Year wouldn't made the count because Titus' foot was under the rope. Titus came back and wiped Zayn out with a clothesline for a two-count. Zayn came back and looked to hit his rope-run tornado DDT, but Titus cut out his leg and crotched him on the top rope. Titus hit a wicked Clash of the Titus which Zayn took with a spring off the bottom rope, and Titus scored the clean pinfall.
Titus O'Neil defeated Sami Zayn in about 11:45.
After the match, Titus draped Zayn across the apron and yelled that everyone brought this on Zayn. Titus climbed up to the top rope, but Adrian Neville ran down and pulled Zayn to safety. Neville tended to Zayn on the ramp as the show closed with Titus hitting his pose on the turnbuckle...
Zim Says: The angle and the match fell short of last week's, as did this whole show. Titus is pretty limited in the ring but some of the bumps and selling by Sami made the match as good as it was able to be. I like the slow but effective build between Zayn and Neville, but not every week is going to be great and this week just wasn't.
A bad episode by NXT standards doesn't leave me aggravated like a bad episode (or month) of Raw does, it just leaves me uninspired and struggling to remember what happened. That's the case this week. Nothing felt particularly significant until the main event segment and even that was overshadowed by previous weeks. Not much to say on this one, I just hope the crowd and quality picks up starting with next week's fresh set of shows.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the member-exclusive NXT Audio Recap.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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