The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT 6/12/14
The June 12 episode of NXT is in the books, and there are a handful of stories dominating the developmental landscape.
Adrian Neville has once again proved to be the fighting face of NXT following another stellar victory over Tyson Kidd. Kidd, in turn, continues to face criticism for his inability to rise to the occasion and succeed like his wife Natalya. As a result, tension is mounting in the relationship.
Speaking of schisms in relationships, the dissension between the BFFs continued to intensify as Charlotte, Summer Rae and Sasha Banks barely coexisted long enough to be beaten by Paige, Emma and Bayley. With the daughter of the legendary "Nature Boy" Ric Flair fresh off a Women's Championship victory over Natalya, the last thing she needs right now is a distraction.
Bo Dallas attempted to break the rule banning him from NXT as he re-emerged under a mask. Going by the name "Mr. NXT," he was defeated by Sami Zayn, had his identity exposed and was humiliatingly escorted from the arena by security.
With so much many stories unfolding on this week's episode of the WWE Network exclusive, enjoy a look back at the best of the best from NXT.
Six-Diva Tag Match
The dissension within the BFFs continued to rear its ugly head this week, as the Mean Girls of NXT took on Paige, Emma and Bayley to kick off this week's broadcast.
The majority of the action was between the heels and Emma, but Bayley exploded into the ring off the hot tag and eventually pinned NXT women's champion Charlotte with a schoolgirl roll-up.
There has been heat between Summer Rae and Charlotte since the former returned on last week's show, but Thursday night, Sasha Banks became involved in the in-fighting. She and Summer were overheard arguing with each other, and Charlotte's sudden disdain for the leggy blonde who brought her into the group was apparent.
The explosion of the BFFs should make for some entertaining television. Common sense would say Charlotte, who is coming off a near classic against Natalya and has a legendary pedigree, would be the one to turn babyface, but Summer Rae has been treated as such on the main roster shows during her program with Layla.
Perhaps Sasha turns.
Whatever the case may be, it is lovable good girl Bayley who clearly has been positioned as the top contender to Charlotte's championship. A feud between the polar-opposite characters should be a fun one.
Throughout the majority of Thursday's broadcast, Renee Young and Alex Riley annoyingly bickered, taking away from the action going on in the ring. That is a rarity for them, as they are typically a strong team, working with Rich Brennan to deliver solid commentary throughout the NXT broadcasts.
Then came the main event, and after 40 minutes of lackluster, substandard work, the team jelled to deliver a stellar call of the NXT Championship match between Tyson Kidd and Adrian Neville. Riley and Young told the story of the competitive rivalry between the competitors while also keeping the tension between Kidd and wife Natalya in the forefront of the fans' minds.
Brennan was adequate as the straight man and has the potential to become a decent lead as he continues to immerse himself in the product.
Early in Thursday's broadcast, NXT general manager John Bradshaw Layfield signed a mysterious masked man to a contract. "Mr. NXT," as he was known, would make his debut with the brand the same night, taking on Sami Zayn in singles competition.
As he entered the NXT Arena, however, one could not help but notice that he looked eerily similar to former NXT champion Bo Dallas, who had been banned after losing a match to Big E three weeks ago.
Mr. NXT controlled the majority of the match with Zayn, but the Canadian star was able to rip the white mask off the newcomer and reveal him to be, in fact, Dallas.
After Zayn scored the victory, he had Full Sail security drag Dallas out of the arena kicking and screaming. As he did so, Dallas grabbed a microphone and exclaimed, "They're kidnapping me!"
Dallas was comedic gold and made the entire segment, which was played solely for laughs, a success.
Trouble in Paradise
Natalya's achievements throughout her career have been eating away at Tyson Kidd, creating a riff between the once-happy couple that only grew wider Thursday night when Natalya informed the official during the main event that Adrian Neville got his foot onto the bottom rope prior to the official's three count. By telling the referee that, she cost her husband an opportunity to be NXT champion.
Later in the match, a frustrated Kidd grabbed a steel chair from ringside, but his wife prevented him from using it. The distraction resulting from that moment allowed Neville to lay Kidd out and finish him off with the Red Arrow.
With the angle in its infancy, the endgame remains a mystery. Still, Kidd and Natalya are incredibly talented individuals who have never been able to make that connection with the audience that has allowed them to break out and become legitimate stars for the company.
A program that gives fans a reason to invest emotionally in them is exactly what they need to gain some momentum.
Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd
The main event of this week's show was a rematch from NXT Takeover, and in nearly every way imaginable, it eclipsed its more heavily hyped predecessor.
Champion and challenger exchanged strong grappling early before Kidd took over and showed an edgier, more aggressive side of himself. He wore Neville down and nearly had him beaten on several occasions, scoring a number of near-falls that added drama to the bout.
At the end of the night, an opportunistic Neville capitalized on an opening created by Kidd's wife Natalya and scored the win following Red Arrow.
The match further established Neville as a fighting champion. Since winning the title back at NXT Arrival, he has defended against any and all comers. He has beaten main roster and NXT stars alike and has become the unquestioned face of the brand.
While there will likely be many debates as to whether Neville or Sami Zayn is the best in NXT, the Brit continues to state his case with strong efforts on a seemingly weekly basis.