The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 4/2/2014

Taped from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Tom Phillips, William Regal & Byron Saxton

Emma v. Sasha Banks

They trade headlocks to start and Emma MOCKS THE PROCESS while the crowd lets Sasha know that she’s “ratchet”.  Renee Young confirms on commentary that this is not something that a woman would aspire to be.  Emma with the Emma Sandwich and she locks in the EmmaLock for the submission at 3:54.  Not much to this one with some comedy and then a quick win for Emma.  I feel like they should kinda concentrate on getting Charlotte over to prep her as the next challenger.  *

The Ascension v. Jack Hurley & John Vandal

So yet again they destroy this pair of geeks and finish with the Fall of Man at 2:00.  Crowd is into them but they’re not actually developing anything by squashing guys week after week.  ½*

Xavier Woods v. Brodus Clay

New look for Clay as he’s gone all Thug Life, kind of going back to the character that he was originally supposed to debut with in 2012.  Clay throws Woods around with a suplex and HEART PUNCH, and a butt splash gets two.  Avalanche and suplex gets two.  Woods fights back by going to the legs and hitting a Shining Wizard for two, but he twists his ankle and Clay demolishes him with a powerbomb and finishes with a flying splash at 3:11.  Now that’s more like it!  Clay is pissed and wants the NXT title.

Adrian Neville is not afraid of Clay.

Tyler Breeze v. Yoshi Tatsu

Breeze attacks and throws a kick to the back for two before going to the chinlock, and then hammering him with a forearm before finishing with the Beauty Shot at 1:43.  Wow, Tyler Breeze SQUASHING someone?  Granted it’s only Yoshi Tatsu, but wow.  *

Paige gets another video package, and confirms that Charlotte is next on the docket for her.  See, I should be booking this stuff.

Sami Zayn v. Corey Graves

Graves dicks around in the ropes to start, so Zayn smacks him upside the head.  Well played.  Graves bails and stalls, making sure to point to his head to indicate his superior intelligence, but Zayn attacks him and pounds him with chops.  Clothesline to the floor and he follows with his usual crazy dive, but Graves gets a cheapshot to take over.  And we take a break.  This to me raises the question of why I have to watch commercials on the network I pay $10 a month for, but it’s only 30 seconds at least and it’s all WWE product.  Back with Graves holding a chinlock, but Zayn fights back and he’s swinging wild.  Graves drops an elbow for two while Regal worries about potential concussion damage popping up again.  Graves goes back to the chinlock and boots him down, then drops a knee for two.  Back to the chinlock (“We Love Headlocks!”) but Sami fights out again, so Graves puts him down for two.  Backbreaker gets two.  Zayn makes the comeback with an exploder into the corner for two.  Blue Thunder bomb gets two.  Zayn with the running kick, but they collide and Sami is staggering around.  The ref is concerned and Zayn wants to continue, but Graves whacks him in the head and the match is stopped at 15:00.  Graves CM Punk-lite act is such a waste of everyone else’s time.  It’s a gimmick that screams indy geek and I hate to see them wasting Zayn putting it over.  **1/2  Zayn is a spectacular underdog babyface, but god I wish they’d book him to win sometimes.  And I would really, really, really be OK with never seeing another concussion angle again.  Really OK.

Decent show this week, as I really liked the reinvented Brodus Clay and watching Zayn master his craft is always great.  But enough with losing streaks and concussions already.