The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT 5/8/14
NXT presented its best episode in weeks as it continued to build to Takeover on May 29.
A Battle Royal to determine the No. 1 contender to Adrian Neville's NXT Championship descended into confusion and chaos as Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd and Sami Zayn were all eliminated at the same time. What better way to determine a true top challenger to Neville's title than by putting them into the ring at the same time in a Triple Threat match, which will air on next week's broadcast.
The women's championship tournament continued as second-generation Diva Charlotte took on Emma in the night's opening contest. The bubbly Australian appeared to have the match well in hand until Sasha Banks interfered, which allowed Charlotte to capitalize on a distraction and score the win.
Later in the night, Alicia Fox squared off with rookie Diva Alexa Bliss. The tiny newcomer appeared to be no match for Fox but proved her heart and determination by scoring the biggest upset of the week. How she fares against Charlotte in the next round of tournament competition remains to be seen.
With the focus on the top two singles titles in NXT and the debut of Kalisto and El Local as a team, this week's broadcast was full of buzz-worthy events.
What was good, great and awesome about the show?
Find out now!
Kalisto and El Local vs. The Legionnaires
The NXT roster is in desperate need of tag teams that can compete with The Ascension for the tag titles, and on Thursday night, fans got a glimpse of a duo that may be capable of unseating the dominant Konnor and Viktor.
Kalisto and El Local made their NXT television debuts as a team, taking on Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis, known collectively as The Legionnaires. The match was basic in terms of structure and content, but the babyfaces showed great promise as a team.
El Local took a great beating and was a very effective babyface in peril. Kalisto completely stole the show following the hot tag, catching Lefort and Louis with flashy takedowns before finishing Lefort with a handspring kick to the face.
Given their speed, the luchadores would be the perfect contrast to the more powerful and physically imposing Ascension. With Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger and Baron Corbin and Sawyer Fulton also receiving television exposure in recent weeks, NXT is taking the right steps toward ensuring the future of its tag team division.
Women's Championship Tournament Matches
Charlotte continued to pick up momentum as she heads toward what many believe will be her first Women's Championship as she knocked off main roster Diva Emma in a competitive opening contest.
Whereas early in her career she may have relied solely on her athleticism to create a few crowd-pleasing spots, Charlotte now demonstrates an ability to wrestle a competent match from bell to bell. She can work a body part, be on the receiving end of a comeback by her babyface opponent and deliver a hot finishing sequence when called upon.
Thursday night, commentator Jason Albert did an excellent job of selling the story of a potential showdown between Charlotte and Sasha Banks over the women's title. While that match may or may not occur, it is clearly a direction the brand is heading with the BFFs.
The second tournament match of the evening pitted former WWE Divas champion Alicia Fox against rookie Alexa Bliss, who was making her first appearance for NXT. Blowing glitter and appearing almost fairy-like, the cute, petite blonde took a great deal of punishment from the fierce main roster Diva but proved resilient.
She fought back and caught Alicia with a small package for the win.
Everyone likes an underdog, and Bliss' size, coupled with her undeniable cuteness, makes her a perfect candidate for that role. It was a great first showing for the newcomer, who was bloodied in the middle of the match but continued to fight.
Battle Royal Finish
A Battle Royal on its own is a cheap way to determine the No. 1 contender for any championship. Using that match to set up a more appropriate contender's match is a far better use of the popular gimmick bout.
On Thursday, that is exactly what happened as the Battle Royal main event came down to Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd. With Kidd and Zayn dangling from the top rope, Breeze was caught in a headscissors and pulled over the top rope. He fell onto Kidd and Zayn, eliminating all three of them at the same time.
This brought out Triple H, who announced a Triple Threat No. 1 contender's match for next week's broadcast—a match that has great potential to be a phenomenal contest.
The conclusion of the bout was a creative new take on an old concept of same-time eliminations. It set up next week's main event and gave a reason for all three Superstars to be in title contention rather than having management select three guys to fight over a title shot for no reason at all.
The NXT Fans
The fans in Full Sail University do not get enough credit for what they bring to the NXT broadcasts. They are passionate, devoted to the product and let management know when something is not working. Bo Dallas and CJ Parker were meant to be big babyfaces for the brand, but the audience rejected them. The powers-that-be listened and changed the product.
Thursday night, the fans made a fairly bad Camacho vs. Captain Comic match fun merely by coming up with creative chants, and the excitement for the Zayn-Breeze-Kidd match went a long way in making that match seem special and important.
NXT Divas Pool Party
The NXT Divas recently took part in a photo shoot for WWE.com.
Needless to say, it's awesome.