Last week's NXT was among the best in the developmental brand's history, as it was the culmination of several top rivalries and featured the beginning of a new angle that will dominate programming for the next month.
Bo Dallas utilized great ring awareness to defeat Sami Zayn and retain the NXT Championship, though not without controversy. JBL restarted the match after the referee failed to see Dallas' foot draped over the bottom rope as he counted three and awarded the title to Zayn.
What repercussions will their be, and will Zayn hold it against the new NXT general manager?
Also on last week's show, Corey Graves shocked the wrestling world by turning on partner Adrian Neville after they lost a rematch against The Ascension for the NXT Tag Team Championship. What reasoning will the Pennsylvania native give for his actions, and will Neville have a retort?
All of these questions will be answered and even more will abound following this week's program.
What went down in the week following the biggest main event in NXT history?
Find out now in the NXT Report for October 23, 2013.
Full Sail University
Tom Phillips, Alex Riley and guest commentator Tensai
- Corey Graves def. Adrian Neville
- Alexander Rusev def. CJ Parker
- The Ascension def. Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor
- Sasha Banks def. Emma
One week after turning on him following a heartbreaking Tag Team title loss, Corey Graves took on former partner Adrian Neville in the night's main event. Graves targeted the knee that had been injured in last week's tag bout and spent the majority of the bout working over Neville's limb in the main event. It paid off, as Graves locked in his Lucky 13 leg lock and forced a tapout from his former partner.
Alexander Rusev and The Ascension, respectively, were absolutely dominant in their victories, though Rusev's came against a much more established opponent.
The dissension between Emma and NXT Women's champion Paige continued, as the latter's attempt to prevent Summer Rae from interfering backfired when the ringside scuffle momentarily distracted the referee, allowing Sasha Banks to gouge to the eyes of Emma and roll her up for an upset win.
Sami and Bo go bye-bye
In conjunction with a recent overseas tour, on which both appeared, Sami Zayn and Bo Dallas made their final appearances on NXT for the immediate future.
Dallas, ever the heel, referred to the absence as a vacation during which he promised to stop in Bolivia and deliver water guns to starving kids. It was a great promo from the delusional champion and one that will only make the heat he generates when he returns that much better.
Zayn expressed his disappointment with the way the title match went and called into question whether or not interim NXT general manager John Bradshaw Layfield is adopting Triple H's "Best for Business" ideals to keep him from the title. Specifically, he questioned why JBL did not restart the match after Dallas rammed him into the exposed turnbuckle.
After the break, Renee Young interviewed JBL, who suspended Zayn for implying some large conspiracy between he and Triple H.
The Zayn promo was outstanding in that it planted the seeds for what is next when he returns to television, which will likely see him in a Daniel Bryan-like role against the crooked NXT GM.
An eye for an eye, some hair for a phone
After last week's show, which saw Tyler Breeze defeat CJ Parker, it appeared as though the rivalry between the two had reached its conclusion. Even when Parker attacked Breeze after the match and stole his phone, it felt like the end of the conflict rather than the latest chapter.
That turned out not to be the case.
After Parker was dismantled by Alexander Rusev, Breeze made his way to the ring, delivered the Beauty Shot heel kick and cut off some of Parker's dreadlocks. On top of it all, Breeze retrieved his phone.
It was announced later in the match that the rivals will once again go one-on-one, this time on next week's broadcast.
Sasha halts the Emma-lution
After Emma's tossing of Sasha Banks from the ring last week momentarily distracted Paige, leading to Summer Rae scoring a win over the NXT Women's champion, Paige inadvertently returned the favor this week.
Late in the match between Emma and Banks, Summer Rae attempted to distract the Australian dancing Diva. Emma knocked Summer off the apron and, almost immediately, Paige hit the ringside area and scuffled with the leggy blonde. It grabbed the attention of the referee and allowed Sasha to rake the eyes of her opponent, roll her up and score a big win.
After the match, Paige tried to clothesline Sasha, but the self-proclaimed Boss of NXT ducked and Paige clocked Emma.
Thus far, the storyline has been outstanding. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks vowed to take over NXT, and they have done it thus far by scoring wins over their rivals and going a long way in tearing their friendship apart.
Next week, Paige takes on Summer Rae, and it should be interesting to see if/how Emma plays into the match.
Rusev's alone...or is he?
As he made his way to the ring for his match with CJ Parker, Alexander Rusev was noticeably alone. A member of Sylvester Lefort's Legionnaires, he is typically accompanied to the ring by Lefort and Scott Dawson. Neither of those men was by his side this week, something that commentator Tom Phillips pointed out.
It was not like Rusev needed them by his side. He easily defeated Parker, but the win was not the most noteworthy thing to come out of the match.
Midway through it, an unnamed, beautiful blond lady walked around ringside and appeared to be very impressed with what she was seeing out of Rusev.
Could she possibly be in the hunt to manage an NXT Superstar, and, if so, does she have her eye on Rusev? Better yet, what will her interest in the Bulgarian mean for his membership in Lefort's stable?
Former champions collide
To kick off the evening, Corey Graves stood atop the entrance ramp and appeared poised to address his actions from the previous week. Before he could, Adrian Neville attacked, and the two brawled around ringside before being pulled apart by referees.
In the night's main event between the two of them, Neville picked up where he left off early in the night, tearing Graves apart from the opening bell. When Graves began targeting his injured knee from the week before, it essentially grounded Neville and took away his popular high-flying offense.
The submission win for Graves was a strong way to put him over his more popular former partner.
After the match, he attacked Neville outside the squared circle and once again locked in the Lucky 13.
The evening's program ended with Graves making his way up the ramp, his mouth slightly bloody as referees checked on Neville.
Graves and Neville brought an intensity to their story throughout this week's show that was fresh and exciting. While Neville will ultimately get his measure of revenge, it was nice to see so much effort put into making Graves look like a world beater in his first night as a major heel for NXT.
Match of the Week: Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves
The main event of this week's show was a nice preview of what is to come in the weeks that follow between the two immensely talented individuals.
Star of the Week: Corey Graves
With Sami Zayn and Bo Dallas off of NXT television for the next few weeks, Graves did an excellent job of establishing himself as one of the top stars in the promotion during their absence. The sneak peak at his promo abilities that fans were treated to at the top of the show indicate that he can more than carry himself in that aspect of his performance. If he can back that up with continued impressive in-ring showings, he could be a breakout star for NXT in the very near future.
This week's show was lacking the great in-ring work that fans bore witness to last week with the outstanding Zayn-Dallas NXT title match, but what it lacked there, it more than made up for in storyline developments and the introduction of a new feud to carry the brand over the next month.
Even on an off-night wrestling-wise, the show still delivers because of its old-school wrestling booking and largely likable characters.