WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 24

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 24

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    After a few lackluster episodes of NXT, this week's broadcast focused heavily on in-ring content and proved to be the best episode in nearly a month.

    The Corey Graves-Sami Zayn feud was at the forefront of the show as each man tagged with a pair of tag team champions in a major six-man battle. The match was outstanding and showcased six very talented individuals at the same time. More importantly, the finish indicates that the war between Graves and Zayn, which still has mileage if done correctly, will continue.

    Tyler Breeze continued to show aggression between the ropes as he took on Angelo Dawkins, and Alexander Rusev tore through another poor soul unlucky enough to draw him as his opponent.

    Second-generation Diva Charlotte capped off a disappointing night for Paige, pinning the Divas champion just moments after she was stripped of the NXT Women's Championship by JBL.

    With the announcement Thursday evening that NXT will present another live special on the WWE Network on May 29, there was renewed buzz around the developmental brand. What were the highlights of this week's show, and who would return to begin what could be a major push for him on the show?

    Find out inside.

JBL Strips Paige of the NXT Women's Championship

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    This week's broadcast kicked off with NXT general manager JBL informing current NXT Women's and WWE Divas champion Paige that she will be stripped of the former title due to her busy and hectic traveling schedule with the main roster.

    Paige tried to fight it, but upon seeing that JBL would have none of it, she gave in and handed the title over.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "It isn't fair to NXT." -JBL on Paige's status as both Divas and Women's champions






    To see a 273-day title reign end with JBL stripping Paige of the women's championship was disappointing. Had a Diva such as Charlotte or Sasha Banks beaten her for the title, they could have gotten a tremendous rub. Instead, the title is handed over to protect the current Divas champion from suffering a loss to the women perceived to be a level under her.

    Something all the more curious based on what would occur later in the broadcast.

Travis Tyler vs. Alexander Rusev

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    Travis Tyler was a young wrestler in the wrong place at the wrong time this week as he took on the "Bulgarian Brute" Alexander Rusev in singles competition to kick off the evening's festivities.

    Rusev tore through the inexperienced Tyler, flattening him with his explosive power-based offense and finishing him off shortly thereafter with the Accolade.



    Rusev, via submission, with the Accolade.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "Believe me, the locker room notices Alexander Rusev." -Jason Albert

    "Life rule No. 3 that I live by: Never let yourself get put in the Accolade." -Alex Riley






    The match was intended to be a showcase for the dominant Rusev, and on that front, it succeeded. The Bulgarian Brute tore through the relatively unknown Tyler as the "Ravishing Russian" Lana watched on approvingly from ringside.

    Rusev is a star in the making, an Umaga-like performer with speed and athleticism to match his brute strength and impressive bulk. With a charismatic mouthpiece like the alluring Lana, the act has the potential to attain greatness on WWE.

    At some point, he will need to prove that he can work elongated matches against established stars, but for now, what WWE is doing with him works just fine.

Paige and Emma vs. Charlotte and Sasha Banks

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    The Divas saw some expanded in-ring time this week as Emma chose Paige to be her partner in a tag team war with the BFFs, Charlotte and Sasha Banks.

    Paige and Emma controlled the early portion of the match, double-teaming Charlotte with a nice suplex. Paige unleashed on the second-generation Diva with a series of elbows, causing the daughter of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair to do as her father did and flop in the center of the ring.

    Ultimately, the heels took control as Sasha Banks unloaded with some fiery offense on Emma. The NXT faithful attempted to will the Australian back into the match, and she turned the tide in her and Paige's favor with a hot tag to the WWE Divas champion.

    Unfortunately, a knee injury to Paige allowed Charlotte to deliver a neck snap cutter for the win.



    BFFs, via pinfall, when Charlotte pinned Paige.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "The Divas locker room is on notice." -Albert following Charlotte's victory






    If the plan was for Charlotte to move into title contention, as the finish indicates, why not have Paige put the second-generation Diva over on a future episode of NXT? The win would do a ton to get Charlotte over as she could brag about beating the top female performer in WWE.

    With a tournament on the horizon and the potential for main roster Diva involvement, there is still potential for her to go over strong, but beating Paige and winning the title from her rather than acquiring a vacant title would have meant more.

    As for the match, it was a really strong tag bout that accomplished what it was meant to.

Tyson Kidd vs. Mason Ryan

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    Former WWE tag team champion Tyson Kidd made his return to NXT as he took on one-time Nexus member Mason Ryan in singles competition.

    Ryan used his power to his advantage for a few brief moments, but Kidd proved quite impressive as he fought off his larger opponent and landed the Blockbuster for the win.

    In a post-match interview, Kidd put the rest of the NXT locker room on notice and promised that he would make the most of an opportunity.



    Kidd, via pinfall, following the Blockbuster.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "He better stay focused or his wife will outshine him for the rest of his career." -Alex Riley on Kidd

    "If you want to test me, I will prove you wrong." -Kidd

    "NXT is the platform for the ultimate opportunity." -Kidd






    Kidd appears poised to make an impact on NXT in the coming weeks, and his win over the underachieving Ryan only cemented his status as one of the stars to watch in the near future.

    The former tag champion was crisp and looked to be faster and more motivated than he has since his days in the Hart Dynasty. A win over Ryan may not mean much given the Welsh star's recent resume, but it kicks off what could be a big push for the Hart Dungeon graduate.

Angelo Dawkins vs. Tyler Breeze

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    Prince Pretty continued to unleash newfound aggression as he took on the young up-and-comer Dawkins.

    Breeze dominated the action, never allowing Dawkins to get out of the blocks as he pounded away with great ferocity. He was angry and displayed great passion as he punished his young opponent. Ultimately, a Beauty Shot would ensure that Breeze's night would end with his arm raised in the air and a celebratory selfie.



    Breeze, via pinfall, following the Beauty Shot.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "That is what a real man is supposed to look like." -Riley on Breeze






    The evolution of the Tyler Breeze character continued this week. He was sharp, on the mark with all of his ring work and showed great development by unleashing great aggression on Dawkins.

    The babyface showed no hint of being able to compete with Breeze, proving that the "Prince Pretty" nickname may be a nice marketing tool, but the fashion model extraordinaire can handle himself between the ropes.

    With so many roster moves opening spots up for stars to move up the ranks in NXT, Breeze could finally find himself in title contention sooner rather than later.

Sami Zayn and The Usos vs. Corey Graves and The Ascension

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    The feud between Zayn and Graves continued this week as they met in a six-man tag team match that also involved WWE tag team champions The Usos and the utterly destructive, dominant NXT tag team champions The Ascension.

    Zayn and The Usos controlled the pace early, isolating The Ascension's Viktor. Eventually, however, Jey Uso found himself cut off from his team and in danger of being beaten by three immensely talented young stars.

    Eventually, Zayn was on the receiving end of a tag that energized the bout and saw him catch Graves with the Helluvah Kick. He and Jimmy Uso took The Ascension over the top rope, allowing Jey to come off the top rope with the big splash to a prone Graves for the win.



    The Usos and Sami Zayn, via pinfall, when Jey Uso pinned Corey Graves.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "The bludgeon of The Ascension." -Albert in reference to Konnor

    Zayn's post-match dancing was sight to behold.






    A tremendous tag team main event headlined this week's show. Graves and Zayn did just enough to ensure that they interacted but also that their feud would continue. The Usos brought energy to Full Sail University, and The Ascension proved what they can do when given time to showcase their skills in matches longer than the squashes fans had become accustomed to.

    The ending sequence, with Zayn landing the Helluvah Kick to Graves, then joining Jimmy to take out The Ascension while Jey scored the win was really won well, and the crowd was hot to close out the show, leaving fans with a great lasting impression of this week's above-average broadcast.