Next Day NXT Review
Episode 262 – 2/4/2015
This was the final show before NXT Takeover: Rival. It brought the Tournament which determines the #1-Contender down to two, and kept the Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens feud to a video package at the end. First, let’s see where the episode began:
The Realest Guys in the room and Carmella
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady are going to fill the void left by the departure of Santino Marella. They have a great command over their characters, and seem to hold the crowd in the palm of their hands. It may not lead to much gold in their future, but I’m sure Enzo and Big Cass aren’t too mad at the prospect of being the funny guys for WWE. They don’t have to fall down Santino’s path of never being taken seriously as a competitor. I mean, Big Cass is seven feet tall… you CAN’T TEACH THAT!
Seriously though, both men have great futures ahead of them. As does Carmella, who plays the bitchy girl who knows she’s super hot like it was the role she was born for. She’s going to be a great heel for the WWE Diva’s division.
Now I know who Emma is
She’s the girl whose career probably floundered for a reason. Oh, also, she’s Australian, in reference to my comments from last week. That makes sense. I’ll have to watch her work with Paige before I can really comment on her, but this appearance was wholeheartedly unimpressive. What’s the deal with her entrance?
Baron Corbin vs. Adrian Neville
I’ve never been afraid to admit when I’m wrong… and I’ve been fairly dismissive to Baron Corbin in the past. He’s not my cup of tea when it comes to wrestling. Big guys like him bore me. They almost always flame out quickly. Maybe it was the addition of Adrian Neville that changed things, but he looked good in this match. They worked well together. They were equally important to the match’s success, elevating both characters in the process. Neville looked great, hanging with the monster long enough to hit the Red Arrow and pick up a victory. And Corbin looked great, as Neville required Bull Dempsey’s interference to make it happen.
Neville moves onto the finals of the #1-Contender Tournament at NXT Takeover: Rival, and Corbin steps backwards into what is hopefully the final match of a trilogy with Dempsey.
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
This was pretty solid. On Monday, Triple H told Stone Cold Steve Austin that one of the things he would change about Raw, is that he would give the women more time. Two days later, there are two women’s matches on his show.
I’m so-so on Becky Lynch, based solely on her association with Sasha Banks. I don’t know what it is about Sasha, but I hate her. I guess I’m supposed to though, right? She’s a heel. She’s just doing her job, and doing it well. With Bayley, on the other hand, I also can’t define it, but there’s something very endearing about her. She’s the exact opposite of Sasha Banks. I think she’ll hit it big when she moves up the ladder. Also, the Bayley to Belly is a fantastic name for a finisher.
I don’t know where I stand on her, personally. If I were to ignore that, and approach it on a professional level, well then I’d be remiss not to mention the potential she has. She may be the next Trish Stratus. I always hate when people are compared like that, so I’ll explain. It used to be, especially when Lita was gone, that there wasn’t really another Diva in the locker room who could touch Trish in a match. She dominated her division for years on end. Having said that, who, in either locker room, do you really see being able to hang with a girl like the Nature Boy’s daughter?
She’ll hold down the WWE Diva’s Championship for extended periods of time, same way the purveyor of Stratus-faction did.
Here we go, Finn Balor vs. Hideo Itami
The winner of this match faces Adrian Neville next week at NXT Takeover: Rival to determine the Number One Contender for the NXT Championship. This is the one I’ve been waiting for. I’m happy I got to see it. I only wish they could have been in different brackets, so this was the finals, but that would’ve pushed the proven Adrian Neville out of the picture too soon.
As Neville said, while on commentary for the match, both of these men are largely unproven. Itami and Balor have not been in the NXT for very long. That’s why I was so excited to see them face each other. I knew it was going to be awesome, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The back and forth between Finn and Hideo was flawless. Both of these guys are so tight mechanically, that I really don’t have any criticisms of this match. As a fan, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’m happy that Finn got the win over Itami. I’m pretty confident he is going to beat Neville next week, and I can’t wait to see who he faces for the NXT Championship. Also, I’m psyched to see what makeup Balor goes with next week.
That’s why Adrian Neville was at the commentator’s table during the match. He was trying to “scout” Balor and Itami, but that won’t mean a thing when Finn shows up next week looking like he crawled out of hell.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens is going to be brutal
There’s not really anything more I can say about it, just yet. I will be covering this match and the entire NXT Takeover: Rival, next week, live, here on Today’s Knockout. The event is shaping up to be one of the best I’ve seen in years, and this match has the potential to be as insanely good. Perhaps as much as Neville vs. Zayn was at NXT Takeover: R Evolution, if not better. I can’t wait to tune in on February 11th and find out.