WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 27
Vengeance was the theme of the evening as the March 27 episode of NXT aired exclusively on the WWE Network.
Nearly a month after losing the NXT Championship to Adrian Neville at Arrival, Bo Dallas received his contractual rematch. Would he be able to prove his claims correctly by grounding Neville in a straight wrestling match and regaining his title, or would Neville prove that, ladder or no ladder, he was the better man and the deserving champion?
Xavier Woods returned to NXT to take on Tyler Breeze, who had been a thorn in his side dating back to Arrival. Would Woods be able to right the ship and get back to his winning ways, or would Breeze shock the main roster star by scoring an upset victory?
Bret Hart was the special guest as he led Natalya into action against Charlotte.
With Yoshi Tatsu attempting to avenge a beatdown at the hands of Corey Graves and CJ Parker vowing to dispose of Mojo Rawley, this week's broadcast promised to be an action-packed one.
What worked, what didn't and who stood out on the March 27 episode of NXT?
Find out now.
Match #1: Mojo Rawley vs. CJ Parker
The night's festivities kicked off with Rawley taking on Parker in a rematch from their NXT Arrival bout.
Parker fared slightly better this time, getting a bit more offense in, but it was Rawley running over the Moonchild like a locomotive and delivering Hyper Drive for the win.
Rawley, via pinfall, following Hyper Drive
Highlights and Quotes
"Everyone likes Mojo Rawley. You can't trust someone like that," Alex Riley said.
"You don't pay attention to them, you pay attention to what's going on in the ring," Riley said on Parker's recent concern with what the fans think of him.
Rawley vs. Parker, take two, was completely unnecessary. Rawley soundly defeated Parker a month ago on Arrival, and this week's match did nothing to add to the feud between the two. If anything, it devalued it thanks to the sound defeat suffered at the hands of Parker, whose character is dead-on-arrival at this point.
If Rawley's recent match with Bull Dempsey showed fans how Rawley responded to adversity, this week's bout reverted Rawley back to the dominant force. Given the pecking order and where Parker stands in relation to Dempsey, the bookers may have gotten this one wrong.
Match #2: Xavier Woods vs. Tyler Breeze
At NXT Arrival, Alexander Rusev interrupted a match between Woods and Breeze beating them down and leaving them lying. Two weeks later, Breeze requested Woods give up his spot in the match against Rusev so that he could get a measure of revenge.
When Woods refused, Breeze laid him out from behind, making it easier for the already dominant Rusev to score a victory.
This week, the Woods-Breeze rivalry came to an end in short-yet-competitive match that saw Woods deliver an impressive running knee to the face of a seated Breeze. A resilient and opportunistic competitor, Breeze caught Woods with the Beauty Shot for the win.
Breeze, via pinfall, following the Beauty Shot
Highlights and Quotes
"Xavier Woods is all business tonight," Tom Phillips said on Woods' no-nonsense entrance.
"Having a PhD is going to prevent him from having a glass jaw? Is that what you're telling me?" Riley said on Woods' impressive education background.
Woods and Breeze demonstrated very sound chemistry with one another, leading to an entertaining and hard-fought match this week. Woods is a very talented in-ring worker who may be part of the main roster but is still closely associated with NXT, meaning the win by Breeze was an impressive one, but not nearly as much as if he had defeated a more notable superstar.
Breeze is one of the best characters in all of NXT but has seen his character development stall over the last two months. With the potential to be one of the comedy acts WWE values so much, allowing him to waste away without any real direction could cost the company an opportunity to keep him hot and eventually call him up to the big show.
Match #3: Yoshi Tatsu vs. Corey Graves
A few weeks ago, Graves berated Tatsu and pointed out the fact the Japanese Superstar has been largely irrelevant for most of his WWE career. He then assaulted Tatsu and defeated him in mere seconds via countout.
This week, Tatsu was determined to gain a measure of revenge. He did just that early, showing great babyface fire but after settling down and regaining his composure, Graves targeted the knee of his opponent. Focusing his attack on the joint, he set him up for and applied the Lucky 13 submission hold. The outcome was academic from there.
After the match, Graves issued a warning to Sami Zayn.
Graves, via submission, with Lucky 13
Highlights and Quotes
"Sometimes, it just takes that guy to light that fire inside you and keep you focused," Riley said on Graves' words motivating Yoshi Tatsu.
"Sami Zayn, last week, I think you got the message. Don't be a fool. Stay down," Graves on warning Zayn about what may happen to him if he fights back.
The match may have been too short to mean anything in the long run, but it was a logical next step considering the beatdown Graves gave Tatsu a few weeks earlier. It was a perfect showcase for Graves, who is gaining tremendous momentum in the WWE Network era of NXT and could find himself in championship contention should he upset Zayn in next week's main event, a match that was announced during this week's telecast.
Graves' delivery of his post-match promo showed a great deal of arrogance and confidence, and at the same time, was serious enough to prove that his warning to Zayn was deadly serious.
Match #4: Natalya vs. Charlotte
BFFs Charlotte and Sasha Banks' targeting of Bayley drew the ire of Natalya a few weeks back, leading to a verbal confrontation between the daughter of Ric Flair and the niece of Bret Hart. That verbal confrontation turned physical last week when Charlotte attacked Natalya at ringside during a match between Bayley and Sasha.
This week's vengeance-themed episode of NXT allowed Natalya and Charlotte to meet inside the squared circle. To make the match that much more important, Hall of Famer Bret Hart accompanied Natalya to the ring.
A surprisingly technical match ensued in which the woman showcased great basic holds and counter-holds before Charlotte targeted the knee of her opponent, a la her father, the aforementioned Flair.
Her arrogance got her in trouble, however, as she found herself trapped in the Sharpshooter and was only saved from the clutches of defeat by Sasha, who drew the disqualification finish.
Natalya, via disqualification, following interference from Banks
Highlights and Quotes
"He must be so proud of his niece, though," Renee Young said on Hart watching Natalya perform.
"She's a Hart. She knows all of the counters," Jason Albert said on Natalya.
A very well-wrestled match that showcased Natalya's vast in-ring ability and also highlighted just how far Charlotte has come as a performer since reporting to NXT nearly two years ago.
The finish keeps the door open for a rematch in the near future, while sending fans home happy with a great reunion between Natalya and uncle Bret.
Match #5: NXT Champion Adrian Neville vs. Bo Dallas
Neville had faced a number of questions surrounding his ability to defeat Dallas in a straight wrestling match ever since winning the NXT Championship in a ladder match back at NXT Arrival.
He answered those questions resoundingly this week, withstanding a hard-hitting, high-impact onslaught from Dallas en route to a successful title defense.
Dallas utilized a series of hard clotheslines and lariats, including one that turned the champion inside out. His determination to finish Neville with the double underhook DDT, however, may have been his downfall as Neville was able to recover, plant Dallas with a vicious superkick and score the win following a reverse 450 splash.
Neville, via pinfall, following a reverse 450 splash
Highlights and Quotes
"They are the only two superstars in NXT history to hold the NXT title and the NXT tag team titles," Tom Phillips said in reference to Dallas and Neville.
"You can do all the flips, all the tricks, but, sometimes, it's as simply as clotheslining someone's head off," Riley said with the call of the night.
"This is where Neville lives: at zero gravity," Phillips said.
The debut of Neville's new finisher was absolutely breathtaking
A stellar main event that saw Neville and Dallas prove they can deliver a great wrestling match without the crutch of a special gimmick match. Dallas' clotheslines were incredibly stiff and he showed some intensity that he had been missing in previous bouts.
Neville was crisp with everything, including his high-risk offense, and really looked like a legitimate champion in this week's show-closing bout. His new finisher was amazing and the stiff superkick that preceded it was equally as impressive.
A great way to cap off a very entertaining night of action.