Big show tonight (as opposed to the Big Show, who has no place here), so we throw straight down to the ring for...the Patrick Clarke Experience vs. Sean Maluta. Get the F out of here with that. Come on. We've got two - TWO - title matches, and this is how you open? These guys have potential, but they are so green. The only real highlight is Maluta hitting a shining wizard, but we're actually going to see an even nicer one later in the show, so, maybe we could have edited this match into the middle of another, different show? Anyhoo, Clarke with a Famouser for three. Match Rating: Like, Maybe Just Don't Open The Show Like This.
Our next segment attempts to raise my spirits, as we catch up with SAnitY, who are gathered around a no-foolin' trashcan fire. It looks like an old outdoors ECW set piece. Young tells Dillinger that he's a disease who corrupts and brings down everyone close to him, so SAnitY's going to do him a favor and put him out of his misery.
Back to the ring for another, better match, as Asuka defends against Peyton Royce. We open up with some chain wrestling, as Asuka goes for a pair of headlock takeovers, but Royce is able to break free each time. Royce slaps on a headlock of her own, but Asuka shoots her loose, so Royce tries a shoulder tackle, but Asuka shakes her right off and puts a pair of forearms in her face. She goes for a kick, but Royce dodges and goes for a kick of her own, which Asuka dodges in turn, and these two are really moving now. Asuka hits a pair of hip attacks, the second of which sends Royce to the floor. She chases her outside, but Royce puts Asuka's shoulder into the post, and now Royce is in control. She sends Asuka back in, and applies a really cool arm-trap hold, which Corey Graves isn't around to tell me the name of. I miss you Corey! Royce transitions into some arm wrenches, then goes to an arm bar. I guess she was watching the UK stuff, because now she's adding a Jim Breaks modification to her stuff, as well. I like it; it looks like it really hurts. Anyhoo, Asuka gets herself free with a kick and a snap suplex, and they start trading forearms with each other. Nigel smartly points out that it's not smart to trade strikes with Asuka, but it's moot as Asuka quickly heads up top for a missile drop kick. She lays in her big backfist strike combo, and Royce is reeling. That give Asuka room to clobber her with a BEAUTIFUL shining wizard. See, I told you. She pulls Royce up to her feet, but Royce counters with a jawbreaker. She's still wobbly, though, and Asuka tries a rollup, but Royce rolls through and tries a rollup of her own. That gets two, so Royce just drops a mean elbow to the back of Asuka's neck, and hopes to land the PeytonPlex, but Asuka escapes, only for Royce to come back around with a spin heel kick for two! Asuka's not done, yet, though, so she lands a big kick of her own, and rolls through into cross armbreaker - no, she transitions that into the crossface chicken-wing! Royce has no way out of this one, and is forced to tap. Match Rating: Peyton Royce Showed Up In A Big Way Here. I don't have enough good things to say about this match. It's one of the best women's matches that NXT has put on since they lost most of their talent. After the match, Billie Kay, who was a total non-factor in the match itself, jumps the ever-loving shit out of Asuka, but before the Aussies can do too much damage, Ember Moon runs out for the save. The crowd is all over this one; they want to see Asuka and Ember fight bad. Asuka and Ember oblige them with a tease over the belt, and I think I know what our women's match for Orlando is.
We check in with GM Regal in his office. After what happened with Kassius Ohno and Bobby Roode last week, Regal's decided to give Ohno a title match! It's going to happen on TV on March 15 for one of their big tapings.
We've just got one more match tonight, but it's a doozy, as DIY get their rematch with the AoP. Ellering psychs up his men ahead of time - it's a house of pain, no mercy, victory at all costs. Always good checking in with you, Paul!
Ooh, before the match, we get a spotlight package for Wolfgang, one of the UK guys. This guy is going to be money for the WWE, I'm telling you.
Okay, match proper now, although this thing has just about a 0% chance of a clean finish. Rezar starts out for the Authors, demonstrating the power and size advantage, as Ciampa can't get anything going. Ciampa brings in Gargano, though, and the two of them run circles for a hot second, before an attempted dive to the outside results in Gargano getting caught and powerbombed into the ring post. Ouch. Technically, Ciampa's still legal here, so the Authors work him over for a while. There's a sidewalk slam, then an assisted sidewalk slam with a second turnbuckle stomp, but ultimately, Ciampa hits a jawbreaker (tonight's counter of choice!), and a hot tag brings in Gargano, who gets two with a slingshot DDT. He brings Ciampa back in to hit a double corner kick, and Ciampa manages a nasty discus clothesline into his bridging armbar, but Akem(? I lose track during the match, honestly) makes the save, but then he eats a superkick from Gargano, and DIY hoist Rezar up for a double-powerbomb! But it only gets two! They set up the running knee/superkick combo, but Rezar counters out with a big spinebuster. The AoP smell blood now, and it's time for the Super-Colider. No! DIY counter out into a double submission, the same spot that won them the titles! Oh, and here's the Revival for the DQ. Match Rating: Who Could Have Possibly Seen That Coming?! Right, so that one was obvious, but we're not quite done yet. The Revival deliver a huge Shatter Machine to Ciampa, and it looks like the Top Guys are standing tall. But no, the Authors are back, and out goes Dash, as Dawson gets set up for the Last Chapter. But Dash makes the save, and it's a Shatter Machine for Rezar! Top Guys, motherfuckers! Top Guys Out!
You know, there are guys who are way more into the Revival than I am, but that was a great segment. And really, a Triple Threat in Orlando with DIY, the Revival, and the Authors of Pain? Yeah, I'll take that, no problem.
That's the show. Shaky start aside, this was a dynamite hour of wrestling, with one stellar match that ended in a hot angle, and one hot match that ended in a stellar angle. Maybe, uh, just skip the first 7 minutes or so.
Another great review - thank you very much. It really is appreciated.
I have been a big NXT fan but have slipped and mainly read spoilers, reports and watch the Takeovers. There is a bit of me that is annoyed I only do that, but there is only so much I can watch every week along with all the other 'normal' shows I, and we as a family, watch. The strange thing is that if NXT was shown on Sky (sorry for being British) on a weekday then I would watch it, but the effort of turning on the PS and loading the Network to do it means I watch one of the many 'usual' TV shows instead.
Does that make me anti NXT, mainstream WWE fan or something else?
Might just be me, but while the Goldust character was sometimes good, I like what he did in WCW before the end of it, where he was supposed to be fed up with gimmicks and characters, and just wanted to make everyone pay.