This week's NXT features Adrian Neville taking on Tyler Breeze in the culmination of a rivalry that started a few weeks back when the runway model cost "the Man That Gravity Forgot" his shot at the NXT Championship.
Would Neville be able to even the score, or would Breeze continue to be a thorn in the Brit's side?
Also on tap for this week's broadcast is a showdown between young upstart Mojo Rawley and NXT champion Bo Dallas, a rematch between Kofi Kingston and Alexander Rusev and the in-ring return of CJ Parker.
Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Tensai
- Kofi Kingston defeated Alexander Rusev
- NXT champion Bo Dallas defeated Mojo Rawley
- CJ Parker defeated Jason Jordan
- Adrian Neville defeated Tyler Breeze
While not actually angle advancement, this week's show kicked off with COO Triple H making his way to the ring. He went over the WWE Network announcement, then revealed that on February 27, NXT will go live for the very first time on the network. This brought a huge pop from the loyal fans inside the Full Sail University studio.
It should be interesting to see what the developmental brand pulls out of its hat for its first major exposure to World Wrestling Entertainment fans.
At NXT 200, Tyler Breeze thwarted Adrian Neville's attempt at the Red Arrow to NXT champion Bo Dallas. This week he, himself, would fall prey to the breathtaking finishing maneuver.
The match was a great back-and-forth one that featured numerous counters and blocks. Neville catching Breeze in a Beauty Mark attempt and planting him with a sit-out power bomb was one of the highlights of the match.
The win brings a definitive end to the four-week-old story and maybe even catapults Neville back into NXT title contention.
Mojo Shine But Bo Survives
In what was the biggest test to date for young Mojo Rawley, he took on the "Un-BO-lievable" NXT champion Bo Dallas.
Rawely was booked like a beast, rolling over Dallas and causing the champion to duck out of the ring on several occasions. Late in the bout, he had momentum on his side, but a missed splash in the corner gave Dallas an opening to roll him up, hold the tights and pick up the win.
Whether there is any room for a future program between the two or not remains to be seen, but in his first real chance to shine, Rawley more than lived up to the hype (pun totally intended).
A few weeks back, Kofi Kingston took on Alexander Rusev and allowed Rusev's associate Lana to provide a distraction that led to Rusev picking up a huge victory over the former Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team champion.
This week, he got his shot at redemption as he met Rusev in the evening's main event.
The match was a very competitive one, despite an audience that was far too focused on doing the wave. Rusev continued to look like a dominant force, as he should, while Kingston did what he does best and that is be the energetic babyface who fights from underneath.
As he set Rusev up for Trouble in Paradise, Lana climbed onto the apron. Rather than allowing her to distract him again, Kingston ducked out of the way of a charging Rusev and delivered his kick to pick up the win.
A really good show tonight with three excellent matches and a CJ Parker match that was short enough to not be offensive.
Several rivalries came to a close while seeds were planted for a potential one between Mojo Rawley and Bo Dallas, should the creative minds choose to go in that direction somewhere down the road.
For a 45-minute wrestling show, you cannot ask for more than that.
Star of the Week: Bo Dallas
A year ago when Bo entered the Royal Rumble, he was nowhere near ready to compete on the main roster. Fast forward nearly 365 days and you have a cerebral heel whose character is phenomenal and whose in-ring game has evolved tenfold.
Dallas is a smart performer whose personality, if left intact, will help him get over with the audience immediately. Though his match with Mojo Rawley was only a few minutes long, it was one of his finest performances to date, for reasons we will get to in a moment.
Match of the Week: Mojo Rawley vs. Bo Dallas
Yes, Neville vs. Breeze and Kingston vs. Rusev were more traditional wrestling matches, but Dallas vs. Rawley was the epitome of what wrestling is all about. It was performance art at its best and a great deal of the credit should go to the current NXT champion Dallas.
Rawley was the unstoppable force who was hyped to the gills for the biggest match of his young career. He wasted little time in asserting his dominance, plowing through Dallas and making the champion duck outside the ring a few times.
The look on Dallas' face really sold how intimidating and beastly Rawley was. Every bump the champion took backed up that fear he had for the young opponent.
Dallas rolling out of the ring to avoid another shoulder block was brilliant and really put over how much of a thinker the champion really is.
The finish, which saw Rawley miss a charge and get rolled up with the champion holding his tights for leverage, only puts more heat on Dallas as a cowardly heel champion and immediately elevates Rawley. For the few short minutes that the match lasted, he had Dallas reeling.
Not much in the way of actual wrestling happened, but it was a brilliant bit of storytelling and a performance Dallas can look back on and be completely satisfied with.