NXT – April 3, 2014: Take A Lesson WWE

Date: April 3, 2014
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton

The big story coming into tonight is the injury to Sami Zayn at the hands of Corey Graves. Other than that there isn’t much going on in NXT at the moment, but thankfully that’s a problem they can solve very quickly. We need a new challenger for Adrian Neville as well. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Emma vs. Sasha Banks

The Aussie grabs a headlock to start before dropping down next to Sasha who is already on the mat. It’s funny you see. A slam gets one on Sasha but Emma misses a charge into the corner. The fans tell Sasha that she’s rachet, whatever that means. Thankfully Renee Young speaks Full Sail and tells us that it’s not nice. Sasha misses a legdrop and gets caught in the Dilemma followed by the Emma Sandwich. It’s hard to not smile at that one. Charlotte gets on the apron for a distraction but Sasha accidentally knocks Emma into her, setting up the Emma Lock for the submission at 3:52. Renee: “GOOD TRUMPS EVIL!”

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t terrible but the important thing here is basic the NXT Divas are treated and how well that works. Emma is innocent, the BFFs are evil, Paige is the tough chick that destroys everyone, Natalya is the veteran. That’s very simple but it’s far better than the WWE Divas, who don’t have characters at all for the most part.

Video on Mojo Rawley.

John Vandal/Jack Hurley vs. Ascension

Non-title. Viktor runs over Hurley to start and throws him into Vandal to knock both guys to the floor. Back in and it’s off to Konor to destroy Vandal with some hard slams. Fans: “ONE MORE TIME!” A running splash crushes Vandal and the Fall of Man is good for the pin at 1:55. Can we get some challengers already?

Tyler Breeze has entered the building.

Xavier Woods vs. Brodus Clay

Brodus has new music and is all thuggish now, which fits him far better than the funk stuff. Xavier hits a quick dropkick to start and kicks Brodus down to the mat. Not that it matters as Brodus pops back up and hits a quick t-bone suplex to take over. Brodus even busts out an old school Heart Punch and another suplex for two. We hit the nerve hold for a few moments before Woods fights back with chops and kicks to the head. A Shining Wizard gets two for Xavier but Clay shrugs it off and drills Woods with a powerbomb (“BETTER THAN BATISTA!”, setting up a middle rope splash for the pin on Woods at 3:09.

Rating: D+. The gimmick change was long overdue for Brodus and I’m always happy seeing Xavier Woods get squashed. I don’t think this is going to mean much in WWE, but it’s nice for something around here. Woods continues to be nothing at all, even though he seems like a nice guy.

Post match Brodus says WWE has taken everything from him but now he’s doing the taking. His first target is the NXT Championship.

Adrian Neville says Brodus wants to just come in here and take the title before heading back to WWE. That’s not happening around here though because this is the future of wrestling. Brodus has to earn his shot and once he does, Adrian will be right here waiting.

Tyler Breeze vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Breeze is wearing Guatemalan Alpaca boots made by a hunchback hermit. He hammers away on Yoshi to start and kicks him in the back for an early two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Tyler takes his head off with a forearm. The Beauty Shot is good for the pin at 1:43.

Sami Zayn feels fine going into the main event tonight and he’s been medically cleared. The only person that has anything to fear tonight is Corey Graves.

Graves tells a story about an underdog going into the woods and getting caught in a bear trap. The wolves came out and devoured him, just like Corey will do to Zayn tonight.

Video on Paige.

Paige says she’s coming for Charlotte next because the BFFs stole her moment at Arrival.

Corey Graves vs. Sami Zayn

Graves hides in the ropes to start and then bails to the floor. Sami finally follows him out and hammers away before throwing Graves back inside, only to knock him outside again with a hard clothesline. The big flip dive takes Graves out but he takes over with a hard knee to the head as we take a break. Back with Corey grabbing a chinlock and hammering Sami’s head into the corner.

Sami is all shaken as he swings at air and Graves takes him back down into another chinlock. The referee checks on Sami before Graves pounds at his head even more. Off to chinlock #3 which the fans say they love. Zayn gets up again and grabs a rollup for two, only to get caught in a wheelbarrow facebuster. A backbreaker gets two for Graves but he charges into an exploder suplex into the corner.

The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two more and Sami is a bit frustrated. Graves counters the running kick into the corner and they ram heads to put both guys down. Sami tries to go up top but can’t get his balance. Regal wants the match stopped and Graves gets in another shot to the head. Lucky 13 goes on and the referee stops it at 15:55 shown of 19:25.

Rating: C+. The match was good enough but why does Zayn have to lose almost every big match he’s in? Graves doesn’t do much for me either but they made the match work pretty well. Can we get Sami onto the main roster or at least a definitive win to end a feud for once though? I think he’s earned it by this point.

Sami yells at the referee to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Not a bad show here and most importantly it set up stuff for the future. That’s a big lesson WWE could take from these guys. Instead of having the matches set up the night of the show, get them ready the previous week so you don’t have to waste time on establishing the stories for later in the night.


Emma b. Sasha Banks – Emma Lock

Ascension b. John Vandal/Jack Hurley – Fall of Man to Vandal

Brodus Clay b. Xavier Woods – Middle rope splash

Tyler Breeze b. Yoshi Tatsu – Beauty Shot

Corey Graves b. Sami Zayn via referee stoppage\


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