Thanks to Wayne Mason of Masons Ringside View for sending in this report for last night's NXT live event in Orlando:
Saturday night wrestling fans packed into the Minnreg Hall as NXT returned to Largo, Fl. As always the superstars of NXT delivered in a big way with an action packed night filled with much hard hitting action culminating into a big six-man tag match.
The evening starts with tag team action as everyone's favorite gentleman The Vaudevillians take on Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Jordan and English start out for their teams grappling evenly back and forth. Jordan displays his obvious power advantage but English comes back with his trademark arm drags before settling into an armlock. Moments late it is Gotch and Gable's turn as they show off their ring prowess with some excellent back and forth grappling. The evenly matched teams go back and forth wresting control of the match before The Vaudevillians start to take over working in their signature squat and "Duke up" spots. However the strength of Jordan would later come into play when he tosses English overhead with a thunderous overhead suplex. Gable and Jordan make frequent tags taking apart English until he eventually makes the hot tag to Gotch who comes in and lays waste with a series of innovative strikes and kicks. He tosses Gable from the ring and delivers a overhead suplex of his own to Jordan. Gable and Gotch deliver their uppercut/neckbreaker on Jordan for the win. This was an exciting match and a great way to start the night. Gable and Gotch were the stars of the match for me, Gable is an impeccable grappler but Gotch went toe to toe with the Olympian. In fact, Gotch has been stepping it up a lot more these days, or I'm just now noticing how varied his arsenal really is.
The action continues with Elias Sampson taking on Riddick Moss (formerly Mike Rallis). Before the action Sampson plays his guitar and sings a derogatory song about Largo, Fl. Finally the match starts and the two start slow feeling each other out and exchanging side headlocks. The two battle back and forth for much of the early goings in a very even match. Sampson takes over after a double mule kick out of the corner sends Moss to the mat. He follows with a Big Elbow and a frustrated beatdown. Riddick fires back and it turns into a slugfest. Moss scoops up Sampson with a huge powerslam and follows with a beatdown of his own ending with a big fallaway slam. Moss goes for the pin but Sampson puts his foot on the ropes. Back to their feet Sampson gets the advantage kicking Moss in the head and following with a sick running knee to the face giving him the victory. This was a good contest, at the beginning there were "boring" chants but by the end the crowd was thoroughly invested in the match. The athletic Elias Sampson is such a natural, while Riddick Moss is getting better with every outing.
Up next is the hyped Mojo Rawley taking on Tyler Breeze. In the early goings Breeze dictates the slow pace of the match taking his time preparing until he nails Rawley with a series of kicks and strikes. Mojo fires back with a series of shoulder tackles and clothelines Breeze right out of the ring. Tyler decides he doesn't need it and starts to head to the back, but Rawley gives chase and tosses Breeze back into the ring. At this point Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder run in and beatdown Rawley. Tyler Breeze joins in and the three beat down Mojo until they are stopped by several referees. Dawson takes the mic to explain their actions. He tells us that people like Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder make a mockery of this business. He continues by stating that for him and Dash it's about supporting their families and putting food on the table. He tells us that they won't stop until they rid NXT of garbage like Mojo Rawley. I've long said that Dawson and Wilder are two of the most underrated guys in the company, but tonight Dawson showed us he is great on a mic too. Later on announcer Greg Hamilton announced that the main event would be a six-man tag featuring Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, and Tyler Breeze taking on Mojo Rawley and partners of his choosing.
Women's action is next with Eva Marie taking on "the hottest chick in the ring" Carmella. The match starts and they jump into it with an aggressive fast pace. The action swings back and forth in an evenly matched contest. Finally, Carmella nails Eva with an atomic drop followed by a dropkick. Eva fights back with a nice suplex followed by an armlock. Later Carmella comes back with a beautiful headscissors followed by two Lou Thez presses. Moments later Eva fights back and ends it with a running facebuster for the win. The most common questions I get about house shows these days are all about Eva Marie and how she is doing. While she is nowhere near performing at the level people have come to expect from the women of NXT, she has improved significantly, and has shown definite improvement even over the last few weeks. Tonight's finish was a bit sloppy, but she is selling moves better and showing more expression in the ring. Carmella looked fabulous as always. All in all, it was a fun match.
The action continues with Solomon Crowe taking on Apollo Crews (formerly Uhaa Nation). The two shake hands and start off with fast paced grappling with neither man getting an advantage. After several lock-ups ending in a stalemate a frustrated Crowe extends his hand for another shake but takes a cheap shot instead. Crews still fights back, lifting Crowe up for a vertical suplex with a twenty second hang time before dropping him to the mat. However Crowe puts a stop to Apollo's momentum with one nasty punch and follows with a series of chops and strikes. He continues beating down Crews with several knee strikes and brutal punches and forearms. Crews mounts a comeback with several chops of his own but Crowe shuts him down with an enziguri followed by an explosive front facelock cutter. Crowe climbs the turnbuckles and dives off but Crews catches him, tosses him on his shoulders and falls back with a Samoan Drop. The two weary competitors can barely stand but they exchange punches on wobbly legs until Crews nails Crowe with a brutal sounding kick to the back of the head. He hoists up Crowe with a military press and drops him following with a standing moonsault for the win. This was an absolutely great match and easily highlight of the night. A great hard fought victory for Apollo Crews, but a more aggressive Solomon Crowe came out looking stronger than ever. I hope for the sake of everyone reading this that this will be the Crews debut they see at Takeover.
Next is women's tag action with the team of Bayley and Gionna Daddio taking on Dana Brooke and Nia Jax (formerly Lina). The bell rings and Gionna starts strong staying one step ahead of Dana with her impressive speed and agility. She tags in Bayley who continues the momentum and looks to perform her patented Slip-N-Slide but Jax threatens to get involved. Gionna gets tagged back in and continues to one up Brooke until a blind tag is made to Nia Jax. She rocks Gionna with a huge backbreaker followed by a thunderous bodyslam. Dana tags back in a lays out Gionna with a forward firemans carry slam. She continues, pummeling Gionna in the corner before chokng her with her boot. Nia comes back in a clamps on a bearhug, thrashing Gionna around like a doll. Later in the match she manages to make the hot tag to a fired up Bayley who suplexes Brooke and follows with several signature elbows in the corner. Nia runs in but Bayley dodges and sends her flying into the corner turnbuckle. She then nails Dana with a Belly-To Bayley for the win. This was another entertaining match with all four ladies coming out looking strong. The rookie Gionna Daddio is looking very impressive while Bayley continues to pick up valuable momentum heading into the next special.
Next up is Bull Dempsey taking on Angelo Dawkins. The match starts off with back and forth action until the men start running the ropes. Bull wisely stops and watches as a clueless Angelo continues to run the ropes until exhaustion, at which point Bull easily knocks him to the mat with a shoulder. He mocks Dawkins, putting on his headband and dancing around the ring. Later Dawkins comes back and beats down Bull eventually grounding the big man with a headlock. Eventually, back on their feet Dawkins throws several punches but now Bull is "hulking up". Bull fires back with several punches and a bionic elbow. He bounces off the ropes and runs down Dawkins. Bull climbs the turnbuckles and jumps off with a Whoopie Cushion for the win. Thanks to Bull-Fit, Bull Dempsey is more over than he has ever been. Angelo Dawkins, a man with the size and the tools, seems to once again be in limbo.
Mojo Rawley is out next for our main event. Out next is Dawson and Wilder, followed by Breeze. The three men circle the ring to attack but are thwarted by Rawley's partners Enzo and Big Cass. A big brawl ensues and the good guys clear the ring. The referee regains order and the match begins with Dash Wilder pretty quickly taking control over Enzo. What follows is a systematic beatdown of Amore by all three men. They take their time destroying Enzo until he eventually makes a hot tag to Mojo. The hype man begins cleaning house with a series of shoulder tackles and a big splash to Breeze in the corner. Dawson distracts and Breeze nails Mojo with a superkick. The three men begin taking apart Mojo, just as they had Enzo. Dawson especially seems to relish taking apart Mojo. Eventually Mojo would make a hot tag to Big Cass who would come in with a big boot for Dash Wilder. He follows with a swinging side slam and a big elbow to Breeze. He calls for Enzo to climb the turnbuckles but Dawson makes the save knocking him off. The match begins to break down and a melee occurs with all six men in the ring. With all three bad guys in the corner Cass lands a big splash. Breeze finds himself in the ring alone and Rawley picks him up for a firemans carry drop, and Cass launches Enzo onto him with "Air Zo" for the win. Although predictable, it was a fun match. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder look at home in the main event scene, meanwhile tag teaming is exactly where Mojo needs to be right now.
With much of the NXT star power moved on, or on the road recently, it is a monumental statement that the remaining talent step up and deliver the way they do in a big way. Owens is gone, Balor on the road, and the women's division raided…. Yet the NXT crew delivered as they always do.