Friday, September 19, 2014

NXT and Superstars Report 9-18-14

In the first episode of NXT since TakeOver: Fatal Four Way, we were joined by Titus O'Neil to kick things off. This was not all that surprising since he tweeted his displeasure at the NXT guys taking "his" time on Raw recently. He promised to take time up on NXT, even calling it NX-Titus. He's interrupted by Sami Zayn, who calls him a buffoon that never wins. He's cut off by Adrian Neville, who is then cut off by Tyson Kidd. Kidd continues to be entertaining in this cocky heel role and Neville called out Zayn saying he would NEVER be NXT Champion. William Regal comes out to get his Teddy Long on, making a tag team match for the main event pitting Kidd and Titus against Sami and Adrian. My only gripe with this is that it's too similar to what we see on Raw and Smackdown already.

After some TakeOver: Fatal Four Way highlights, the NXT Women's Champion Charlotte is here. She takes on Emma, making her return to NXT. It's awesome that they use Emma's NXT titantron rather than her main roster one. I was a bit disappointed int this match. Charlotte and Emma seemed to not really have the chemistry I hoped for and while the match was decent, it was completely forgettable. Charlotte wins with the "Natural Selection." 

The highly anticipated debut of Hiedo Itami was next as he would face Justin Gabriel. I give Alex Riley credit for building up Gabriel as a daredevil who climbs mountains and things like that. That's a gimmick that could work for him. Itami showed up, slimmer than I remember from his appearances in ROH. He looked a bit rusty or off, but that's expected in your first match. He wins with a double foot stomp, which is a finisher I like. The Ascension attack after the match and completely wipe out Itami. Also, cool little not is that commentary mentioned that Itami's friend Funaki, has been around to help him.

In a rematch of NXT TakeOver: Fatal Four Way, CJ Parker went head to head with Baron Corbin. For those who don't remember, Corbin squashed Parker in about thirty seconds. Tonight, Parker would do a little better as this went about two minutes. Corbin still dominated which is fine but I wish it was against someone else. CJ Parker is someone with a character and is not awful in the ring. We also got a cool self shot video of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, where Carmella, from their video in the Hair Salon a few weeks ago shows up saying she got fired and wants to be a wrestler. It was funny as expected and I like that Carmella is coming in this way.

Main event time as this tag match was given about fifteen minutes. Tyson Kidd and Titus O'Neil actually worked pretty well together but the story of the match was clearly Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. Adrian had to deal with "Better than Neville" chants while Sami performed. Sami even blocked a Neville dive outside by hitting one of his own in a cool callback to the Fatal Four Way match. The end came as Sami accidentally distracted the referee, allowing Titus to knock Neville off the top and Kidd pins him for the second time. 

Something about NXT continues to feel special. Even on an episode like this that wasn't great, it was still good and felt different. The Corbin squash was alright as was the women's match. The main event was very good and the Hideo Itami debut was cool. It just needed some Sasha Banks, Bayley or Tyler Breeze. 7/10. On Superstars, we got an opening tag where Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Los Matadores. This was there. Sin Cara and Justin Gabriel met in their third straight match, trying to best the Emma/Alicia Fox series. We got another solid bout between them and Gabriel takes two losses in one night on the Network. 4/10.