December 9, 2014 by gorillapressonline
The penultimate stop before NXT Takeover R Evolution, this episode gives the final push before the PPV, with an exciting Main Event already set and the Divas championship firmly building towards something awesome, with at least four talented wrestlers involved.
Suffice to say, on this evidence, R Evolution is definitely going to deliver.
The show opens with current Divas Champ Charlotte facing up against yet another indy darling, not to mention a fellow top notch performer, Mia Yim. Last week saw the return of Leva Bates and now, with Yim too, this division is finally gaining some momentum. With a roster like this, the future of the WWE Divas division could be spun in a drastic 360, while giving Paige and AJ (if she stays), in particular, some genuine competition too.
Charlotte starts this squash match with a flair (sorry) of her father’s methods, shouting a relentless “WOOO” in the face of her opponent, she quickly makes short work of Yim with natural selection.
Charlotte wins a little too easily against a talented opponent
Straight after the match, Sasha Banks does some last-minute work before the PPV, blasting the Flair family.
Bayley finally sticks up for herself, calling Sasha “ratchet” and getting attacked in the process before getting saved yet again by Charlotte.
The Divas champ physically carries Sasha back to the ring before demanding an impromptu match. However, a quick distraction causes Charlotte to get hit with the impressive Lung-blower, leading into the PPV match quite nicely.
Another excellent Vaudevillains silent film/promo follows, with those pesky Lucha Dragons dropping water balloons from the top of a building! The Vaudevillains make short work of them Acme style. This kind of build-up works perfectly with the short run time that NXT has, as airing such vignettes doesn’t get in the way of the matches and also doesn’t result in countless run-ins to end other matches either.
Murphy and Blake start proceedings nicely with an aggressive and dominant display against the strongmen – such strong, English technical displays work well matched with the size of Aiden English and Blake.
NXT are doing well to deliver an even match while making the #1 contenders look threatening, without taking anything from this up and coming tag team. Speaking of which, Murphy and Blake have been coming into their own over the past few weeks – at first they seemed a little mismatched, but they are gelling and functioning well as a team.
The emphasis on the tag division in NXT is outstanding and well devised. The main programming could learn a lot from this and the transition from NXT to WWE will allow a number of teams to help the fledgeling division in the big leagues.
Gotch and English take the victory in a decent tag offering with the Whirling Dervish
A backstage segment with Tyler Breeze and the great William Regal sets up another tantalising match, as Marcus Louis is nowhere to be seen, meaning Tyson Kidd and Breeze will tag against Finn Balor and Hideo Itami.
Bull Dempsey takes to the ring to continue his destructive path in NXT and the New York nightmare makes short work of Elias Sampson with a top rope headbutt.
The equally devastating Baron Corbin, whom is competing with Dempsey in the dominance stakes, steps up to the ring, brushing past Bull on the way – all of this squash bravado is surely going to lead into a face off between the two destroyers and the carnage they are leaving in their wake.
Dempsey watches with intent from the top of the ramp as Corbin decimates Steve Cutler with the End of the World in 13 seconds. The NXT universe counts down the seconds from the moment the bell rings. Impressive feat from Baron.
Balor and Itami have a chance to warm up before their tag match with The Ascension at the PPV, and the unlikely team of Breeze and Kidd are no walk in the park.
Tyson Kidd is sporting new Knee and Kick pads, adorned with his beloved cats and they are, quite frankly, awesome. Although the focus has been directly on Balor, both in singles and in his tag matches, Itami is a star in his own right and we should expect big things from him.
Itami kicks off the match, targeting the left arm of Breeze and both he and Balor are much more aggressive this time around, tagging smoothly and adapting as a team nicely – it says a lot when a wrestler can both work the ring in singles and tag matches as some can’t convert the ring psychology and working the crowd into tag matches.
Balor and Itami get caught slipping by the underhanded Kidd as they take over the flow of the match. Kidd and Breeze adapt well under the circumstances, and Kidd is proving to be essential to the NXT mix, thriving on his role as enhancer. The makeshift team take full advantage of the situation and negate the attacks of Itami while keeping a firm grasp on the match.
Itami launches a flurry of furious kicks to Breeze and Kidd finishing with that brutal hesitation dropkick in the corner, which he does so well as he and Balor take ultimate control of the match and swing the momentum of this entertaining Main Event bout.
Balor hits Breeze with a double foot stomp and Itami swiftly wraps up this match
After the match, Balor teases that The Ascension will have to bring everything they’ve got at the PPV, as he is bringing something never seen before – was this a nice little hint that he will come to R Evolution in his famed facepaint? Will he be introducing a new finish manoeuvre? Those cryptic words have added an air of anticipation into what could be the highlight of the event.
Speaking of the PPV, the NXT championship match between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville has been one filled with emotion, turbulence and excellent in-ring action thus far, and the final push to the match aired next to close this episode in style.
Emotions are running particularly high for Zayn who can’t seem to “win the big one”, as he is seen to be too nice to be able to do what it takes to win the championship.
Zayn is clearly angry at Neville and his previous actions. With his career on the line at the PPV, this is so much more than a match for a belt for Zayn. Neville reaches for a handshake as Zayn proclaims this is no longer about respect and slaps the confused man before proclaiming he will leave Orlando as NXT champion.
Exciting stuff to end the go-home show with the fans anticipating a great card over the 2-hour special.
Catch R Evolution on the WWE Network on December 11th
Catch NXT on Thursdays on the WWE Network