WWE NXT – March 11th 2015
Full Sail University: Winter Park, FL.
NXT was far from the stellar hour of pro wrestling we’ve become used to and there was very little to shout about on the show this week. They did a decent job of continuing the Kevin Owens/Alex Riley program, but that is about it. None of the matches were standouts and Hideo Itami, sadly, continues to flounder in the WWE system and was pinned clean by Tyler Breeze.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Lucha Dragons. – Enzo & Cass over in 6:00 with the rocket launcher. Enzo & Cass did their usual comedy shtick beforehand and said they wanted a shot at the tag titles. Basic match: Dragons were booed because the NXT crowd loves the Yankees. Cass appeared to have gained some weight, which is good since he looked like a praying mantis before, however he looks a lot softer and we all know how that worked out for Chris Hero.
Next week the show comes from the Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio, which explains the confusion of the airdates from the last set of tapings. They aired a hype package on Alex Riley. It was hilariously uninspiring. In contract, they made Kevin Owens look like a top monster heel when the recapped him winning the NXT title.
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella. – Bliss won the Sparkle Splash at 5:20. Carmella wasn’t nearly as over as Enzo & Cass and did her “hottest chick in the ring” deal to little reaction. Everyone, including myself, talks about the women in NXT being so much better than the main roster Divas, but these two still looked very green and tried some moves that were a little too advanced for them. As a result, a lot of the spots were almost in slow motion and looked highly contrived. There was also not heat for this, expect for the finish. – Don’t get me wrong, Charlotte and Sasha Banks are ready now; you could also make a case for Bayley and even Becky Lynch. But Bliss and Carmella are a million miles away from those for in terms of their development.
Alex Riley cut a promo in the locker room. He talked about watching everyone move ahead of him and being stuck on commentary for over a year. It was actually a decent promo and Riley displayed something resembling babyface fire. Tyler Breeze did a selfie promo; there was nothing to it. Said he would beat Hideo Itami in the main event.
Alex Riley vs. CJ Parker. – Riley via pinfall at 3:26. Shockingly, Riley was super over as a face. I know it is on a smaller scale, but the fact that they can get Alex Riley over as a bigger babyface than Roman Reigns is not only hilarious, but it is also a little bit pathetic. Match was fine; Riley sold for a little bit, which hardly made him look like a threat to Kevin Owens. He made a comeback and won with a blockbuster off the top. Owens showed up and buried Riley for having an ugly tattoo on his back then said he would end his in-ring career. Owens finished by saying he would end the rise of Finn Balor and shook his head at Riley. Fans chanted, “Riley” and he did some fake crying, which at least showed some emotion.
Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami. – Breeze over clean with the beauty shot in 8:55. Match was OK, but it’s not looking good for Itami at all. His shine consisted of a lariat on the floor and necking Breeze on the top rope, so he didn’t really get much chance to do anything. I don’t know what the deal is; whether it’s him trying to work a completely different style and not incorporating anything he used to do in Japan or if it’s the booking and positioning of the guy, because, to be honest, they haven’t really put him in any situations that allow his talent to blossom. I suspect it is a little of both.