PWMania.com reader Brandon attended Friday’s WWE NXT event from the Jacksonville Armory in Jacksonville, FL. He sent in the following live report:
NXT Jacksonville Report
The meet and greet was with Alexa Bliss, Jason Jordan, Mason Ryan and Leo Kruger.
Tonight’s ring announcers are Alexa Bliss and Raquel Diaz. I’d say there was around 200 people attendance.
The first match of the night was between Bull Dempsey and Knuckles Madsen. Bull controlled most of the match, working Knuckles’ arm. The crowd was behind Knuckles and he played along. The end came when Bull tried a slingshot suplex that Knuckles reversed into a rollup for the 3 count.
The next match was a tag team Divas match between Becky Lynch and Veronica Lane against Bayley and Paige. Lynch cut a promo before the match saying she was going to put people that didn’t behave into her little book. Or something like that. Lane came out with a pageant gimmick. Decent match for the ladies. It ended with Paige hitting her finisher on Lynch.
Ty Dillinger (formerly Shawn Spears) came out next. His opponent for the night is Leo Kruger. Lots of back and forth action. Corey Graves came down to ringside and distracted Dillinger. Ty turned around into the Slice clothesline, followed by Kruger’s new submission, forcing the tap.
Out next was the Artiste, Aiden English. He did his routine of singing to the crowd, which was interrupted by Adrian Neville’s music. I’m a fan of both of these guys, so I was torn who to cheer for. Both guys delivered more than I expected. Going into the match I didn’t believe English had a chance at victory, however he had several close pinfalls. Neville hit his 450 splash for the pin. Very impressive seeing that 10 feet away. Awesome match.
I believe this is when they took their intermission break. Kind of disappointing considering they had no concessions tonight. Coming back from the break, Troy McClain came to the ring as a motivational speaker type of character. He summoned Travis Tyler to the ring. They basically just got the crowd hyped to bring out Divas so they could toss t-shirts.
The next match was Tyler Breeze against CJ Parker. Just to get it off of my chest, I cannot stand CJ’s character, but do enjoy his in-ring work. He has a Jeff Hardy kind of appeal. The kids loved him, lots of “older” people booed him. On to the match… Breeze worked CJ’s leg most of the match. At one point, Breeze clipped his leg from behind and CJ bent backwards in an awkward position. Looked painful. After a half Boston Crab, CJ managed to get to the ropes. Breeze thought he won the match and argued with the ref. They argued for a good 15-20 seconds, then Breeze turned around into CJ’s finisher, the open palm punch to the face. (if you know the name of it, please insert)!
Lana came out next to introduce Alexander Rusev. His opponent is Big Cass, Colin Cassidey. As much as I dislike Rusev, this was the best match I’ve seen him involved in. The finish came after he caught Big Cass going for a Leg Lariat and caught him mid-air, lifting him up for a sit-out powerbomb. Quite impressive considering Colin is not a small guy. Rusev then applied his Camel Cluth-like finisher for the tap. Pleasantly surprised with this match. I liked Sylvester Lefort as Rusev’s manager, but Lana is incredibly hot and easy to watch if you’re not going to pay attention to Rusev’s matches.
Danny Burch and Oliver Gray came out next. I believe they referred to themselves as London Calling. The cut a short promo calling out The Ascension. Cue the next match, Mason Ryan and Jason Jordan versus the tag team champs, The Ascension. Jordan got beat down most of the match. He made the hot tag to Ryan, who cleaned house. Jordan came back in to clothesline Conor O’Brien to the outside, taking himself with him. O’Brien threw Jordan into the ring steps and hit Ryan once back inside. They hit their finisher on Ryan to end the match.
The main event of the night was Sami Zayn taking on Bo Dallas for the NXT title. A couple of kids were cheering for Dallas, everyone else was cheering Zayn. After a few minutes of action, Dallas was on the outside, grabbed his belt and started heading for the back. Adrian Neville prevent that from happening, throwing Dallas back in the ring. On cue, Billy Gunn came out and questioned why Neville was getting involved to begin with. He ordered Neville to the back. As that was happening, Bo hit Zayn with the title. Gunn then told the ref to turn around and do his job. Dallas covered Zayn and that’s really how the match ended. Billy Gunn said that was what’s best for business and that he was a Bo-liever. I felt as though they wasted a main event match for some silly TV gimmick. I was kind of upset. I believe this match lasted 7 or 8 minutes.
All in all, lots of great matches tonight. Really enjoyed the performances in the ring. I think this was the third time in Jacksonville for NXT, and aside from the main event, was by far the best card, top to bottom. The crowd here definitely loves the action from the NXT crew.