NXT – February 19, 2014: The Day I’ve Been Dreading

NXT
Date: February 19, 2014
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Tensai

It’s the go home show for Arrival, meaning I wouldn’t expect much of interest tonight. The main stories are Neville vs. Dallas for the NXT Title in a ladder match and Cesaro vs. Zayn in a 2/3 falls match because HHH wanted it to happen. Hopefully the boss isn’t around to impose his will on a promotion that doesn’t need him at all. Let’s get to it.

Welcome Home.

Paul Heyman, Bret Hart and Diesel will be doing an NXT Kickoff show on the Network next week.

Ascension vs. Mike Lebosca/Casey Marion

Non-title. Viktor runs over Mike to start and gets two off a hard clothesline. Off to Konnor for a double powerbomb and the Fall of Man is good for the pin on Marion at 1:21.

Tyler Breeze is officially in the building.

Summer Rae vs. Emma

Bayley plays Lodi with Emma’s signs as the bubbles fill the entrance. Tensai: “BUBBLES AND HUGS! BUBBLES AND HUGS!” Summer can’t rip up the sign and Emma gets a quick two count off a rollup. Off to an armbar on Summer but she has to kick out of a dancing sunset flip. Emma gets knocked off the apron to the floor before it’s off to Rae for an armbar of her own. We get some choking with those long legs, drawing an ultra rare boring chant. Emma gets caught in a bodyscissors and we take a break.

Back with Summer getting two off something we didn’t see before she does her stretching choke on the apron. Rae gets frustrated and hammers away for two before we hit the chinlock. Emma fights up and hooks the Dilemma for a few seconds followed by the cross body in the corner. Sasha Banks gets in a quick slap to give Summer a two count but it’s the Emma Lock for the submission at 7:14 shown of 10:44.

Rating: D. The match was really boring as they were clearly just filling time for the most part. Instead of going over this boring mess, let’s look at why Emma is bombing on Raw. It’s really simple: they’re not playing to her strengths at all. Instead of being the goofy dancer that we can laugh with at stuff like fighting to be able to skin the cat before the matches and the bubbles, she’s second banana to one of the most annoying characters in the company. Santino has his fans, but he’s one of those guys that people either love or hate and it’s alienating a big chunk of the audience. Let Emma be herself and she’ll get over.

On top of that look at how she dresses on both shows. On Raw she wears a white t-shirt and black pants. She looks good enough in the outfit, but here she’s in shorts and looks like she got caught in a confetti explosion. Emma may not be the hottest Diva on the roster, but wearing more clothes hardly ever gets a female wrestler over. Let her look fun and people will have fun with her.

Tyler Breeze is NOT cool with Adrian Neville being the face of NXT.

Before the break we got an Elimination Chamber ad. When we come back, we get a video on Elimination Chamber. You can see the yellow and black turning red before your eyes.

We get a sitdown interview with Zayn and Cesaro. Sami congratulates Cesaro on getting into the Elimination Chamber but Cesaro cuts him off and says he’ll win. Renee stops them both and explains the rules of the interview (seriously): if Sami touches Cesaro, he loses any future chances at the NXT Title. If Cesaro touches Sami, he’s out of the Chamber.

Sami is asked about being medically cleared but Cesaro cuts him off again, saying it’s his Achilles. Cesaro cuts him off again so Sami gets to his feet and says he knows what’s going on. This is already behind personal and it’s on to being professional. Sami takes his profession personally and after February 27, Cesaro won’t have anything left to say.

Emma is asked about the BFFs but would rather talk about her sign and title shot next week. She’ll say something to Paige’s face next week.

Adrian Neville vs. Tyler Breeze

Feeling out process to start until Breeze stomps him down in the corner and scores with a running dropkick. Before he follows up though, time for a quick picture. Neville comes back with kicks to the ribs and a ram into the buckle as Tensai talks about ladder matches, name dropping Jeff Hardy and the Dudley Boys. A running uppercut in the corner puts Breeze down but Neville walks around instead of covering. Breeze misses a dropkick and gets kicked to the floor, setting up a big dive as we take a break.

Back with another Elimination Chamber ad because that’s why this show exists. Adrian gets two off a top rope dropkick and picks Breeze up for a nice sitout powerbomb for two. In one of the few nice sequences of the night, Neville loads up a springboard dive but stops on the top as Breeze tries to dropkick him out of the air but Neville hasn’t even jumped yet. Breeze pops up and scores with a superkick to put both guys down. The Beauty Shot misses and a kick in the corner sets up the Red Arrow for the pin by Neville at 8:25 shown of 11:25.

Rating: C. The match was fine and that fake out spot by Neville was a nice touch. There’s nothing wrong with giving Neville a win to set up the ladder match, but unfortunately it comes at the end of a very boring show. Breeze needs to add something new to his act because the appeal is starting to wear off.

Post match Neville grabs the mic but Bo Dallas’ music cuts him off. Bo congratulates Neville on his climb up the ladder of success. “Look what I did there. Ladder?” Adrian has gone as far as he can though because the title reign isn’t ending next week. Neville has finally figured Bo out: he’s scared of Adrian but doesn’t hate him. Adrian is going to win the title next week but right now he’ll let Bo have a free shot. Bo takes off his jacket and walks away to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. I always knew this day would come but I’ve been dreading it the entire time. NXT is officially a Raw clone which takes away all of its appeal. It used to be this fun underground show that offered a retreat from WWE and gave you some old school wrestling fun. Now it’s sitdown interviews and the Face of NXT and Deus Ex Helmsley coming out and taking five minutes to make a match instead of it just being made before the show. This show is becoming less and less fun every week and I get more and more worried about what we’ll be seeing after Arrival. The show is definitely not a lost cause, but I’m scared.

Results

Ascension b. Mike Lebosca/Casey Marion – Fall of Man to Marion

Emma b. Summer Rae – Emma Lock

Adrian Neville b. Tyler Breeze – Red Arrow

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