The show opens up with Australian Diva, Emma. Which means two things, as a result, her dance and entrance music are going to be stuck in my head for the next few hours, good luck to my significant others with that!
Emma does her struggling into the ring bit and the crowd get into it. The dancing continues in the ring for a few moments, as Emma plays to the crowd. Her dancing is interrupted though by the entrance music of Sasha Banks, who is accompanied to the ring by “Mrs Fandango” Summer Rae.
We then cut to a highlight from six weeks ago where Sasha Banks attacked NXT Women’s champion Paige, following a loss to the Anti-Diva. This we are told, is a result of Summer Rae getting into the head of Sasha Banks over the course of a number of weeks.
Emma v. Sasha Banks w/ Summer Rae
Tom Phillips informs us, as the bell rings, that Emma is due a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship, but feels she must dispatch of Banks and Rae and this may be an opportunity to do so. Let’s find out!
Thinks kick off with Sasha talking trash and a shoving match going back and forth a couple of times between the two competitors. This is broken up by Emma taking Banks’ legs from beneath her and repeatedly thrusting her head against the mat. This is followed up by a quick roll-up pin from the Melbourne native, resulting in a one-count.
Emma then carries out an arm drag and inflicts an arm bar upon Banks. The camera cuts to Summer Rae, who looks unimpressed with how the match has begun. A chant for Emma begins.
Banks reverses an Irish whip into the corner but a quick manoeuvre from Emma, through the ropes, onto the apron means there is nothing but turnbuckle when Sasha follows her into the corner.
Emma shoulder thrusts through the ropes, into Sasha’s mid-section. Emma then slides under the bottom rope and through the legs of Banks, this results in a roll-up and another pin attempt. Banks kicks out at one.
Emma further dominates proceedings by once again locking her opponent into an arm bar. Banks escapes with a knee to the Melbourne native’s mid-section. Banks then talks some more trash and mockingly motioning Emma’s dance. How dare she!
Banks then thrusts Emma’s head into the bottom-right top turnbuckle. Emma drops to her knees and then puts her hand to her mouth, making it obvious she was calling the next spot.
All that resulted though was Sasha driving Emma’s head into the top turnbuckle on the bottom-left. Then the top-left turnbuckle. Banks then goes for a pin and gets a one-count of her own.
Emma blocks Sasha’s attempt for the full-set into the top turnbuckle on the top-right. This is followed to an elbow to the gut by Emma and then repeatedly forcing Sasha’s head into the Turnbuckle. Which is nice, I’m sure it was feeling a little left out!
After Sasha pushes Emma away, Emma follows up by running toward a sprawled Banks in the corner. Sasha was playing possum though, it seems, as she moves and causes Emma to hit the turnbuckle. Banks grabs the head of her opponent and throws her backwards to the ground. Another one-count. Banks has Emma in a headlock as we head to the break.
As we come back, Tom Phillips informs us that Sasha Banks has been in control and introduces his co-announcers, Alex Riley and Tensai. The latter of which sounds just like A-Train from back in the day. Speaking of which, he sounded just like that guy who used to go by the name Albert. Weird!
Anyway, back to the action. Sasha has Emma in a headlock submission on the floor. Emma escapes and hits the ropes, her momentum is immediately diffused, however, as Sasha decks her with an elbow to the face. Two-count.
Sasha talks some trash, once again and then pulls Emma u by her hair. Emma then connects with a slap that only seems to anger Banks, who repeatedly strikes Emma on her back in a fury. Another two-count.
Banks gets Emma into a headlock on the mat, for a second time. Emma escapes much quicker this time though and then both women rise to their feet at the same time.
Banks attempts a clothesline but Emma ducks and follows up with a couple of her own, then whipping her opponent into the bottom-right corner. This whip is reversed though and it end up being Emma that ends up in the corner. The switches continue when Emma avoids an attack from Banks. Emma then jumps outside and inflicts the dilemma upon Sasha.
Banks’ head is resting against the bottom turnbuckle, think stink-face positioning! Emma forward rolls and then stamps her feet before delivering the Emma sandwich. First two-count of the match for Emma.
Emma sets up the Emma-lock but Summer Rae jumps onto the apron, causing Emma to go after her. Paige then joins and then ensures Summer can no longer get involved in the match.
This seems to be too late though as, off the distraction, Banks rolls up Emma in a small package. The referee counts 1-2-3 and Sasha picks up the victory.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
Following the match, Paige enters the ring, as Sasha taunts Emma. Paige spins Sasha round to face her (no true Brit attacks an opponent whilst their back is turned!) and attempts to perform a clothesline. Sasha ducks though and the champ ends up decking Emma instead. Oops!
Banks and Rae make their exit and Paige attempts to check on Emma. As Emma stands up, she pushes the Brit away and the two exchange a word or two. Tensions here between champ and challenger are growing nicely.
Overall, an average match that felt a bit slow and repetitive.
We cut to last week, to a WWE.com exclusive with NXT champion, Bo Dallas. Bo is asked if he would like to comment on the controversy following his titled defense against Sami Zayn. Controversy, smontroversy is his response.
Bo says that he has a huge announcement, he wants his Bo-lievers to know that he is going to take a well-deserved vacation, calling it the Bo Dallas versus the world tour. After saying goodbye in Japanese, he tells us to not stop Bo-lieving . Best do what he says, folks, he looks kind of creepy!
Another cut back, highlighting The Ascension winning the tag-team titles from Adrian Neville and Cory Graves and the resulting attack on Neville by Graves.
Back at Full-Sail, Graves is stood at the top of the ramp, mic in hand. He says that he supposes that an explanation is in order. Before one can be given though, Neville decks Graves from behind. Wait a minute, Neville is a Brit and he is attacking from behind, poor show old chap!
The two of them scrap down the ramp and end up in the ring. As Graves, enters first, he gets the advantage but Neville mounts Graves and repeatedly strikes him. Two officials enter, holding back Neville, allowing Graves to escape the assault.
Neville manages to break free and jumps over the top rope into a cross-body onto Graves and the assault continues. More officials join and once again restrain the Geordie. We then cut to the break.
When we come back, a tag-team of Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor are in the ring. Everywhere goes dark and The Ascension enters the fray. This has squash match written all over it. Since the NXT tag-team division is now a little depleted, this may perhaps be the best way to keep The Ascension both relevant and dominant.
The crowd recognises the anonymity of the opposing team with the comedic chant of ‘lets go these guys’!
The Ascension v. Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor
The bell rings and Conor O’Brian gets things under way by launching Maron into corner of The Ascension. This is followed up by a freight train-like collision in the corner and a quick tag to Rick Victor.
Victor gets in some offens of his own on Maron and tags O’Brian back in. Three shoulder blocks later and Victor is tagged back in. Victor gives the impression that he is allowing Maron to tag-out but instead srpints to Taylor and dropkicks him from the apron to the outside.
O’Brian is tagged back in and The Ascension delivers a nice looking double-manoeuvre. O’Brian the tags his partner back in. The Ascension roars alongside one another and then performs the Fall of Man on Maron. Victor gets the pin and the victory for The Ascension.
WINNER: The Ascension
The winning team pose together before the highlights package runs. A solid and effective run out for the tag-team champs without hurting any of the NXT roster in the process.
Another video runs from last week, showing footage of Zayn and Dallas’ title bout. A WWE.com ‘exclusive’ interview with Zayn then plays. The interviewer suggests to Zayn that it appeared he had defeated Dallas and become the new NXT champion, before JBL restarted the match and what is reaction is.
Zayn says he had the championship in his hands and he has no problem with JBL restarting the match as Bo’s feet were clearly on the ropes. He says that he does have a problem thought with JBL not doing the same for when Bo used the exposed turnbuckle to beat him (This just in, heel authority figure in double standards shocker!)
Zayn says that he is starting to understand how Daniel Bryan must feel, probably given the fact that the E is seemingly refusing to capitalise on either man’s momentum at the right time perhaps? Zayn though says that Triple H runs the place from top-to-bottom and since JBL came in as interim GM, this sort of thing seems to have happened. Conspiracy? Zayn isn’t sure but he does describe it as a hell of a coincidence. He says that next time, the NXT title is staying in his hands for good.
We now go to Renee Young, who is with NXT interim GM, JBL. She begins to ask about Sami Zayn but he cuts her off and asks if her tank top is issued by NXT and things get a little awkward or ‘Lawler’ awkward as I would like to refer to it.
Young manages to ask her question but JBL brushes it off by suggesting that Zayn is making excuses for his loss. He expects an apology from Zayn before he will be brought back by JBL.
Back to ringside, CJ Parker makes his entrance. In the ring, Parker poses with the cell phone stolen from Tyler Breeze.
Alexander Rusev, Parker’s opponent, makes his entrance. Is it just me or whenever you see a big guy like Rusev now, do you instantly wonder if Cesaro could swing him? I know I’d like to see that!
CJ Parker v. Alexander Rusev
The match begins with Rusev understandably dominating proceedings. Parker is thrown into the corner and an unknown blonde woman is shown at ringside and the announcers question who she is.
Rusev locks in the Accolade on Parker and he quickly taps out.
WINNER: Alexander Rusev
Well, that ended quicker than I thought it would. Parker got in little to no offense during the match.
The blonde continues her walk around the ring and leaves without us learning any more. The match between Neville and Graves is hyped before we head to commercial.
When we come back, we are with the announce team, who explain that during the break, Tyler Breeze came out. Breeze hit the Beauty Shot on CJ Parker before cutting a couple of his dreadlocks.
Out comes Cory Graves for the main-event. We then see hype for next week where will have CJ Parker v. Tyler Breeze andPaige v. Summer Rae.
We are welcomed back to Orlando, as Adrian Neville makes his entrance.
Corey Graves v. Adrian Neville
The bell rings and Neville rushes to get in some early offence, knocking Graves to the mat. The two trade blows around the ring before Graves escapes to the apron and Neville subsequently kicks him to the outside.
As Graves struggles to his feet, Neville builds the crowd before impressively diving outside onto Graves. The crowd shows it’s appreciation with a chant of ‘NXT’. One woman tells Graves to ‘Stay Down’, which I found quite funny.
Neville goes for the cover but Corey kicks out at two. Graves begs for mercy and Adrian responds with two strong kicks to the chest. Graves catches the third attempt which results in Neville being put on the mat. Graves directs some offence to Neville’s left leg before Adrian manages to get that third kink in and another two-count.
Graves directs more leg-based attacks on Graves which the announcers point out as setting up the Lucky Thirteen and smart for preventing Neville from utilising his aerial abilities. Graves gets a couple of one-counts.
Graves continues his attack on the legs of Neville after the match has slowed down from the frantic pace it began with. Neville gets back in it momentarily but Graves quickly regains control.
Graves applies a hold to Nevilles leg which Neville manages to hit his way out of. Graves whips Neville against the ropes but Neville counters and eventually gets Graves to the mat.
Neville heads to the top rope but Graves moves and Neville lands straight legged, like a pencil dive, those were all the rage when I was learning to swim as a kid and when I say that I was a I kid, I use the term loosely. Ok, ok, I was 23.
Anyway, Neville manages to toll Graves up for a two-count, which Graves is evidently unhappy about as he almost spears Neville’s leg. Graves manages to lock in the Lucky Thirteen.
The announcers sell him being able to reach the bottom rope which is wrestling 101 for he is about to tap out. Which he does.
WINNER: Corey Graves
By no means a classic but an enjoyable match with a well told story. The frantic start demonstrated Neville’s desire to get his hands on Graves whilst the rest of the match was about making Graves look strong, ruthless and cunning. They achieved all of this without making Neville look weak.
After the match, a highlights package airs, showing the damage that was done the Geordie’s leg. When we come back, Graves has the Lucky Thirteen on Neville outside of the ring. Once again, officials come out and put a stop to these two fighting.
The final shot is of Graves looking sadistically leased with what he evidently feels is a job well done and with that, my friends, we have a wrap. Not a show that will live long in the memory but one that will prove vital to the progression of certain story arcs.
– By James Cox