WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 24, 2014
NXT champion Adrian Neville returned to action this week, taking on the "Bulgarian Brute" Rusev. Would the Man That Gravity Forgot be able to hand Rusev his first loss since graduating to the main roster, or would Neville become the latest victim in the Russian defector's warpath?
Never one to be outdone, No. 1 Contender Tyler Breeze also returned to the squared circle, taking on the always energetic Mojo Rawley. Breeze defeated Sami Zayn to earn the future title opportunity, but he has never wrestled anyone as physically dominant as Rawley. Would he be able to maintain momentum or would he see his winning ways come to an end at the hands of the hyped NXT Superstar?
After weeks of dissension led to the dissolution of the BFFs, Summer Rae had the opportunity to beat her protege, Charlotte, and become the new NXT Women's champion. Would the former dance partner of Fandango succeed, or would the second-generation Diva continue to showcase her raw ability between the ropes?
Relive everything that went down on Thursday night by catching up with results, grades and analysis of the July 24 episode of NXT.
The Ascension vs. Aaron Solow and Johnny Vandal
The most dominant champions in NXT history kicked off this week's episode as Konnor and Viktor, The Ascension, were in tag team action.
The opposition this week were not even deemed worthy of name recognition, but according to ProWrestling.net, they are Aaron Solow and Johnny Vandal.
Names were largely irrelevant, as it turned out, because Konnor and Viktor again proved their utter dominance over the tag team division with an noncompetitive bout.
The Ascension, via pinfall, following the Fall of Man
Highlights and Quotes
"Diabolical, demented, from a different dimension..." -Alex Riley on The Ascension
"They're getting so good, I think it's bad for business. No one can touch the Ascension." -Riley
If you have seen one Ascension match over the last six months, you have seen them all.
Konnor and Viktor tore the competition apart here, further establishing themselves as the kings of a mountain suddenly populated with quality competition. Hopefully someone steps up to give current champions a legitimate challenge in the coming weeks.
Mojo Rawley vs. Tyler Breeze
No. 1 Contender Tyler Breeze would be faced with a tremendous challenge in the form of young juggernaut Mojo Rawley. Would the tremendous athlete be able to halt Breeze's upward momentum?
The commentators spent a great deal of time coming up with storyline reasons for Breeze's injured finger. They settled on a hangnail, which was ridiculous but fit the character.
Seconds into the match, Breeze delivered the Beauty Shot for the win in what is a shockingly fast victory.
Tyler Breeze, via pinfall, with the Beauty Shot
Highlights and Quotes
"Those hand models are a different beast than those face and body boys, huh?" -Alex Riley, on the revelation by Renee Young that Tyler Breeze had missed time due a finger injury suffered while hand modeling
"Hangnail is a very dangerous thing to have." -Young, on Breeze's injury
There was literally nothing to the match as Breeze hit his finisher and picked up the win.
What the segment did was establish Breeze as a very real threat to Adrian Neville and the NXT Championship. He is better than he has ever been, and the aggression and intensity that he is approaching his matches with will only help prepare him for his impending title opportunity.
One does have to wonder who Rawley managed to upset because losses of this sort typically do not happen to guys considered to be future stars in WWE.
NXT Women's Championship: Charlotte vs. Summer Rae
The BFFs continued to explode this week as Summer Rae challenged Charlotte for the Women's Championship.
A shoving match ensued at the start of the match before Charlotte caught her mentor with a slap to the face. As she mocked Summer's dance moves, the future movie star assaulted the champion.
Charlotte took control of the match, using her size and strength advantage to ground the challenger.
Back from the break, Summer Rae wrestled control from her opponent, sending the champion through the rope and to the arena floor.
Summer applied a body scissors, attempting to wear the champion down. She raked at her face and avoided a quick pinfall attempt by the champion. Moments later, she continued her attack with a half crab, attempting to force a tapout from her opponent.
A standing side kick nearly ended the bout and won Summer the title, but Charlotte showed great resiliency in fighting out at two.
Bow Down to the Queen won the bout for Charlotte.
Charlotte, via pinfall, with the Bow Down to the Queen
Highlights and Quotes
"It's a dog-eat-dog world, and Summer Rae is wearing bacon pants." -Renee Young
"When best friends become enemies, they make for the best matches." -Alex Riley
"I made you, Charlotte." -Summer Rae
"They're both very tall, they're both very long. They use their limbs well in submission holds." -Riley, with some quality expert analysis
The match itself was a hard-fought one, with solid work by both women.
With that said, it will not be confused with any of the better Divas matches NXT has turned out this year. Summer Rae, though, not awful, is by no stretch of the imagination the equal of Paige, Emma or Natalya. Without a competitor as talented as one of those three women sharing the ring with her, Charlotte did not look as impressive as she has in some recent outings.
It was far from a bad match but somewhat disappointing, given the quality of the recent bouts between the ladies of WWE's developmental brand.
Kalisto and Sin Cara vs. the Vaudevillains
The most entertaining act in wrestling, the Vaudevillains, arrived in the NXT Arena for a huge match against Kalisto and a mystery opponent. That opponent ended up being Sin Cara, who returned to NXT for the first time in two weeks.
The result of a backstage segment involving Kalisto, Aiden English and Simon Gotch, the match was vital in positioning teams as future contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Kalisto and English paired off to start the match. A bit of chain wrestling and a tag to Sin Cara resulted in some flashy double-teaming. A springboard cross-body block put the Artiste down for two. A dropkick from English, however, allowed him to tag in the deceptively strong Gotch.
Sin Cara withstood some power-based offense from Gotch but soon found himself on the receiving end of offense by an intense English.
Kalisto made the hot tag and wowed the crowd with his flippy, fast-paced offense. He scored the win for the babyfaces with a pinfall over Gotch.
Kalisto and Sin Cara, via pinfall, when Kalisto pinned Gotch following an Asai DDT
Highlights and Quotes
"I haven't been this fond of an act in a long time." -Renee Young
"He actually is not allowed in England. He attempted to capture the Loch Ness Monster, but he captured Giant Haystacks." -Young on Simon Gotch
"What a nice mustache." -Young, apparently infatuated with Gotch's facial hair
A very competitive tag match that put the spotlight on potential contenders for the Ascension's tag titles.
Kalisto and Sin Cara worked far better together than Kalisto and El Local and knocked the Vaudevillains from the ranks of the undefeated. Whether that turns out to be a booking misstep remains to be seen, but the luchadores did a tremendous job of electrifying the audience and providing a true alternative to the power offense that the Ascension specializes in.
Considering that Sin Cara is wasted on Raw and SmackDown, where he is a glorified enhancement talent, he could do a world of good for NXT, much in the same way that Tyson Kidd has.
Adrian Neville vs. Rusev
Adrian Neville, NXT champion, faced the most dangerous threat to his health and prosperity Thursday night when he met Rusev in Thursday night's main event.
"The Ravishing Russian" Lana made her NXT return, addressing the fans and introducing Rusev.
Neville dodged a lockup attempt by Rusev but found himself in the grasps of the powerful Bulgarian Brute. Rusev tossed the NXT champion around the squared circle and pounded away with quick strikes. He wore down the champion for a few minutes but found himself stunned by a recovering champion.
Neville grounded Rusev with a dropkick to the legs, then fired off a few kicks about the body. He dodged a charge into the corner and delivered a missile dropkick that grounded the undefeated Superstar.
Tyler Breeze attempted to interfere, but Neville knocked him off the apron.
Neville left Rusev lying following a straight kick to the temple. He tried for Red Arrow, but Breeze shoved him off the apron, drawing the disqualification.
Rusev attacked the champion with a big sidekick, then trapped him in the Accolade. Neville tapped out as the Bulgarian refused to break the hold. Lana entered the squared circle and motioned for him to release Neville from his grasps, but not before damage had already been done.
Rusev stood tall while Breeze watched approvingly from outside the squared circle to close out the broadcast.
Adrian Neville via disqualification
Highlights and Quotes
"Just like all the stars before you, you will burn out. Only you will fall to the greatest hero." -Lana on what she perceives to be Neville's impending defeat at the hands of Rusev
"That's what you get out of Rusev: an absolute dissection." -Alex Riley
"This is the NXT champion, and Rusev has been in complete control since the moment this match began." -Riley
The main event of this week's show may not have been up to the quality of the recent main events involving Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd, but it did do exactly what it set out to—put the focus on the NXT Championship and the budding rivalry between champion Adrian Neville and No. 1 Contender Tyler Breeze.
It also got Rusev on television, providing NXT with a special guest appearance that may have attracted some more viewers.
Neville looked strong, countering the brute offense of Rusev with a fast-paced, energetic and frenetic offense that looked to catch the main roster star off guard. Strictly from a kayfabe perspective, it appeared as though the champion had every opportunity to bring Rusev's undefeated streak to an end had it not been for the interference from Breeze.
There is no telling when Neville and Breeze will clash for the gold, but if management can craft a strong story for the program, the Superstars will undoubtedly back it up with a tremendous championship bout.