Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Wayne Mason of Masons Ringside View for this report for last night's WWE NXT live event in Ft. Pierce:
Mere days removed from NXT Takeover: Rival fans packed into the Havert L Fenn Center in Ft Pierce, Fl to see what exactly was next for the stars of NXT. It was a night of new chapters and new rivalries and fans would not leave disappointed.
Our opening contest saw the Olympian Chad Gable taking on newcomer Mike Rawlis. Gable made his way to the ring with his old music as opposed to the Shoot Nation theme, and also appeared to be face to a heel Rawlis. The smaller Gable took the fight right to his opponent out-grappling him and eventually wrenching the arm with a series of armbars. The size and strength advantage of Rawlis eventually came into play with a series of strikes and power moves. However Chad Gable found victory out of nowhere with a sunset flip off the top turnbuckle for the pin. Gable exudes so much potential, while the rookie Mike Rawlis came out looking strong even in defeat.
Next up was tag team action as The Mechanics took on The Vaudevillians in one of the better matches of the evening. The match went back and forth in the early goings before Dawson and Wilder took control over The Vaudevillians with frequent tags and great tandem moves. Eventually a beaten down Aiden English would make the hot tag to Gotch who came in and began to clean house. The Vaudevillians looked to have victory in hand but the wily Mechanics narrowly avoided some signature moves and managed to eject Gotch from the ring. A few moments later Dawson flapjacked English onto Wilders knees allowing a pin and an impressive victory for NXTs resident roughnecks. Both teams looked great in this match and apparently have a good chemistry between each other. The Vaudevillians impressed, but at this point it is The Mechanics who are so underrated that it is practically criminal. I really have to question why Dawson and Wilder are not on TV yet.
Next up NXTs newest announcer Greg Hamilton introduces the new womens champion Sasha Banks who makes her way the ring to much fanfare. He asks her what it means to her that she is the champ. She replies that she has been chasing this dream since she was ten, and dreams really do come true. But it more fitting Boss fashion she continued by saying it was no thanks to any of us and that the title proves she is indeed the best and the baddest diva in all of NXT.
Next, everyones favorite hippy makes his way to the ring with a live mic and he is not in a pleasant mood. Parker was unhappy that he was once again left off another live special and proceeded to tell everyone all about it. Fortunately for us flickering lights and a glitchy mic was followed by the entrance music of Solomon Crowe. The two wasted no time and jumped right into the action, locking up and jockeying for control. Crowe took control of the match and looked to end it very quickly with a Boing splash which Parker kicked out of. A very physical match followed with plenty of smashmouth offense from both men. Parker controlled the pace for a while but a high risk moonsault found no one home and that was enough for Crowe to mount a comeback, eventually tying Parker up with a Stretch Muffler for a tap out victory. After a long year that involved an injury setback and a sketchy win-loss record, it's nice to see the explosive Solomon Crowe stringing together victories of late.
Next up Elias Sampson had the unfortunate task of taking on Baron Corbin. Early on Sampson managed to stay alive simply by trying to avoid the big man and even managed to topple him at one point with a knee strike to the face. It wouldn't be enough though, and Corbin made a quick comeback culminating in an End Of Days. Baron Corbin adds a little more variation to his move-set with every match and has proved at house shows in the past that he is more than capable of wrestling longer matches. I'm hoping he can find himself in a meaningful feud soon before the powers that be fall back on squash match after squash match.
We follow that with womens action as Becky Lynch takes on Bayley in another highlight match of the evening. Much of the match was a back and forth contest that saw good offense from both ladies. Lynch took control and hit a beautiful Bex-plex followed by a few of the best leg drops in NXT. In the end Bayley mounted a comeback and hit a Belly-to Bayley from out of nowhere for the in. This was a great match that left both ladies looking strong. I could realistically see either one of these women challenging for the title next, and even walking out with the title.
The resident wrecking ball of NXT Bull Dempsey hits the ring next to take on Prince Pretty himself, Tyler Breeze. In the early goings Breeze makes it a point to evade his larger opponent. After much avoidance both men ended up back in the ring and Bull easily won their first lock up and actually mocked Breeze, laying himself across the top turnbuckle in signature Breeze pose. Dempsey then controlled much of the match up with occasional offense from Breeze. Finally Dempsey ran down Tyler and climbed the rope to execute his flying headbutt. Breeze rolled out of the way and then hit a stumbling Bull Dempsey with Beauty Shot for the win. A fun match that at first seemed random, but hints at a feud that could really make sense… with even glimmers of potential for a Dempsey face run.
Next up, Big Cass and Enzo Amore take on the tag champions Blake and Murphy. Amore is at his best when playing the underdog, and that is where he quickly found himself for most of the match. Eventually he made the hot tag to Big Cass who entered the ring on fire taking out anyone in his path. Cass looked poised for victory, but Enzo who could barely even stand tagged himself in (presumably to impress Carmella at ringside), but this proved fatal as Blake and Murphy easily took out the already exhausted Amore, with a brainbuster from Murphy followed by a frogsplash from Blake for the win. Afterwards Cass, Enzo, and Carmella all argued in the ring before hugging it out. It was a good match, but seemed more about setting up a possible dissension between Cass and Enzo.
Our main event of the evening was a match that could easily headline many cards all over the world as Adrian Neville took on NXT Champion Kevin Owens. The champ tried to dictate the pace of the match early on, but Neville challenged him his trademark quick flurries of offense. What followed was a pay per view quality match with both men trading offense left and right. However whenever Neville would mount decent offense Owens would shut him down and hit him with a lot of his trademark moves including a cannonball senton. Neville managed a last gasp of offense with a beautiful enziguri followed by a standing moonsault. It wouldn't be enough to keep the big man down as Owens rolled out of the way of a final attempted 450 splash off the top rope. Neville stumbled to his feet and walked into a pop-up powerbomb from Owens for the win.
It was a great night of matches that answered some questions and proposed many new one. One thing is for sure, the aftermath of NXT Takeover: Rival is not to be missed.