The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT 3/27/14
The March 27 episode of NXT featured the long-awaited rematch between Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas for the NXT Championship.
Dallas has repeatedly claimed that he did not rightfully lose the title because all Neville did was climb a ladder and retrieve the championship. With the opportunity to prove that he is still the deserving champion and that Neville was merely holding a title he lucked into, was Dallas able to regain the top prize in NXT for all of his Bo-lievers?
Natalya met Charlotte in a match that has been building for weeks. With Bret "The Hitman" Hart supporting his niece ringside, would it be the Hart or Flair family leaving this week's broadcast with bragging rights?
Mojo Rawley took on CJ Parker and Xavier Woods met Tyler Breeze, while Yoshi Tatsu squared off with the white-hot Corey Graves to round out the evening's card.
Who would emerge riding a wave of momentum? What was good, great and awesome about this week's show?
Find out now.
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Corey Graves
What the match lacked in time, it more than made up for in content.
Tatsu showed some great babyface fire and passion as he took it to Graves early on. Unfortunately, his emotions may have gotten the best of him as he left himself open and his opponent capitalized. Graves targeted the knee of Tatsu and put him away shortly thereafter, forcing him to tap to the Lucky 13 leglock.
Graves' post-match promo directed at Sami Zayn, warning the Canadian Superstar to stay down, was a great way to add heat to their match on next week's show. Overall, Graves has been one of the MVPs of the WWE Network era of NXT.
Xavier Woods vs. Tyler Breeze
In the culmination of their rivalry that has spanned the last month, Woods and Breeze delivered a very entertaining bout that saw Breeze deliver the Beauty Shot heel kick on his opponent for the win.
The use of Woods over the last three or four weeks has been a bit questionable, to say the least. He is a main roster star whose close ties to NXT means it is not out of the ordinary for him to return to the developmental brand. Why the company would want one of its main roster stars losing regularly to its developmental talent, on a stage that has received greater exposure thanks to the WWE Network, does not make sense.
Still, the match was a fun one that put Breeze over and showcased the talents of those involved.
Natalya vs. Charlotte
The battle of third- and second-generation stars, respectively, saw Natalya take on Charlotte in a surprisingly well-wrestled match.
Bret Hart accompanied his niece to the ring, really putting over the importance of the familial bond between the Harts, while Charlotte was seconded by fellow BFF Sasha Banks.
Both Natalya and Charlotte utilized basic wrestling holds early, then transitioned to counters before Charlotte took a page out of her father's playbook by targeting the knee of her opponent. She worked over the joint for a few minutes before her ego got the best of her. As she stopped to play to the crowd, Natalya caught her and locked in the Sharpshooter as the master of the hold, her uncle Bret, watched from ringside.
Banks attacked Natalya, drawing a disqualification, but she too found herself trapped in the hold.
The finish leaves the door open for a more fitting blowoff in the coming weeks, if the company chooses to go in that direction. If anything, Charlotte showed great growth as an in-ring worker, even if her offense is still quite basic.
The former NXT Season 2 standout has been growing and evolving as a commentator and analyst over the last month. And his work during Thursday's NXT broadcast was stellar. He offered actual insight as to what the competitors were thinking and it really enhanced the broadcast.
His work as an analyst for the Raw and SmackDown pre-shows has also been spot on as he tends to add more than just the typical, scripted material most would expect.
Adrian Neville vs. Bo Dallas
The NXT Championship was the best match of this week's show. Given the hype it received, most notably in the video package that kicked off the broadcast, it should have been.
Neville set out to prove that his win over Dallas in the ladder match at Arrival was not just the product of the gimmick match and that he really was the rightful champion. Dallas did not make it easy as he kept Neville grounded for the most part, using hard-hitting clotheslines to cut off any momentum the Man That Gravity Forgot had built for himself.
Late in the match, Neville caught Dallas with a devastating side kick before heading up top and delivering a breathtaking reverse 450 splash for the win.
Hopefully this spells the end of the Neville-Dallas feud. Despite two very good matches in the last month, the feud has lost a great deal of steam. Dallas needs to move on to someone else and stay out of the title picture for the time being. If he does not, he could easily become the Alberto Del Rio of NXT.
Which would be good for no one.