WWE NXT Review - January 29, 2014
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension def. Local Athletes (Non-title)
It was yet another basic squash match for The Ascension, which did nothing to boost their momentum. Competing in squash matches has been their thing for close to two years now, and it got old a long, long time ago. Thankfully, the live crowd didn't appear to be completely bored by the action, as they had a "Yah!" chant going on for some strange reason. Tom Phillips noted on commentary that the tag team division was "nonexistent", and he couldn't have been any more right. When will we see some actual tag teams form (no, not Hunico and Camacho) and challenge for the belts?
Corey Graves def. Camacho
After two long months away from NXT, it was good to see Graves back. He cut a quality promo before his match that reestablished his heel persona nicely. His match with Camacho was nothing noteworthy, but a good first win for him upon his return to the ring. I don't see him reigniting his feud with Adrian Neville, but I hope he has some sort of direction going forward. On a side note, how ridiculous does Camacho look coming out on a tricycle?
Bayley def. Sasha Banks
As adorable as her gimmick is, I think a lot of people underrate Bayler as an in-ring competitor. Her persona limits her in a way, but I have no complaints as she is extremely likable and could get over easily on the main roster. Banks has improved leaps and bounds as well, having an exceptional match with Bayley here. It could have been given a few more minutes, but I was nice to see Bayley go over here. With a win over Summer Rae as well, I could see Bayley contending for the NXT Women's Championship before long. Speaking of such, where has Paige been as of late?
Tyler Breeze def. Colin Cassady
I haven't been much of a Cassady fan before, but I have definitely been warming up to him in the last few weeks. Enzo Amore's injury has been a blessing in disguise for him, as he has been able to showcase much more personality while on his own. The pre-match antics from Cassady and Breeze were entertaining and the Full Sail University enjoyed them as well. The match was pretty basic and the crowd didn't react to the finish at all, but it was cool to see Aiden English cost Cassady the win via threatening to harm Enzo backstage. How long as it been (if ever) since someone appeared on the Titantron during a match to serve as a distraction?
The Miz def. CJ Parker
The Full Sail University crowd reacted much more favorably to Miz than I originally thought they would, so the match wasn't a complete bust. It was fine for what it was, but neither Miz nor Parker are amazing workers. It remains to be seen whether Parker's heel turn is official, as Miz has been playing both a babyface and heel in recent months. I am also unsure if this was a one-off match between the two or the start of a rivalry, but honestly, does anyone really care either way?
A Contract Signing Was Held; NXT Champion Bo Dallas def. Danny Burch (Non-title)
Adrian Neville has come a long way on the mic in the last year or so, despite the fact his annoying accent (which he has been burdened with, so it is not his fault) takes away from his promos a bit. The impromptu match between Dallas and Burch was just odd and the crowd couldn't have cared less for it, but at least Dallas showed a mean streak for once. He makes for an entertaining, delusional heel, but he needed an extra layer added to his character for his upcoming title defense against Neville to be more interesting. The build to the highly anticipated bout has been built up well thus far and I hope they continue to do so in weeks ahead.
Once again, the show was filled with several squash matches and other bouts that ran way too short, but it didn't make the show terrible as a whole. A handful the matches lacked story or meaning, but at least some stories were furthered on this edition of NXT that made it worthwhile. For the first time in recent memory, the hour definitely dragged by the end, but it will surely make next week's episode look good in comparison.
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