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Sunday, February 15, 2015

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CJ's Top Five: NXT Matches

5. Seth Rollins vs. Big E, NXT Championship

Seth Rollins became the first-ever NXT Champion after defeating Jinder Mahal in the finals of an 8-man "Gold Rush" tournament. While Rollins was riding high as champ, a new face on the scene by the name of Big E. Langston was bulldozing his way through the competition. The 290-pound behemoth was demolishing opponents to the point of demanding that the referee count to 5 instead of 3 when he pinned his opponents. It was only a matter of time until Big E. and Seth Rollins would collide over the NXT title. On the December 6, 2012 edition of NXT, these two finally faced off for the gold in a no-disqualification match. Both men went at each other with everything they had, but in the end, it was Langston who had his hands raised in victory. It cemented Big E at the top of the food chain, and freed up Rollins to continue his role as one-third of The Shield.

4.  Charlotte vs. Natalya, NXT Women's Championship, NXT Takeover

It's been quite a while since WWE has produced a strong and all-around competitive women's division. The match between Charlotte and Natalya proved that the women could tear the house down just as well as the men. Both women come from wrestling royalty, Charlotte being Ric Flair's daughter, and Natalya being a member of the legendary Hart family, so both went in fighting for their family's legacy. From the opening bell, these two went right at each other. A good, solid pace throughout the entire match, and showing levels of skill and athleticism that haven't been seen in the women's division in quite some time. Sharpshooter after sharpshooter, figure four after figure four, the match ended when Charlotte landed a seated blockbuster on Natalya for the pinfall victory to become the new NXT Women's Champion. The ovation from the crowd was all the proud you needed to see that the women of NXT were there nut only to look beautiful, but to put one hell of a wrestling match.

3. Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville, Number 1 Contender's Match, NXT Rival

The description sounds as simple as it looks. This was a straight-up number one contender's match for the NXT title. When it comes to Adrian Neville and Finn Balor, however, nothing is plain and simple. These are two of the most athletically gifted wrestlers on the planet, and they left it all in the ring that night. This match was full of hard-hitting and high impact moves and reversals, all performed at break-neck speed. Everything from Neville's missle dropkicks and German suplexes, to Balor's neckbreakers and unreal suicide dives, these two held nothing back. The match ended when Finn connected his dagger-like diving double foot stomp for the pinfall victory. This was my personal match of the night, and just goes to show that the future is very bright when it's in the hands of NXT.

2. Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville, NXT Championship, NXT Takeover

The rivalry between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville has been a staple of NXT ever since they debuted. It's one of the most hard-fought and emotionally charged feuds in all of WWE in the past few years, with Sami always coming so close to taking the NXT title from Neville, but always falling short. The culmination of this feud at NXT Takeover was put under the stipulation of title vs. career, meaning that if Sami beat Neville, he would finally obtain the championship. If Sami lost, he would voluntarily leave NXT forever. You want to talk about a fight, this was a FIGHT. it seemed like these two never slowed down or even took a breath, it was the definition of a knock-down, drag-out brawl. After many attempts, and interferences by of all people the referee, Zayn was finally able to connect with the most vicious Helluva Kick he's ever hit, and pinned Neville for the victory. He was finally able to break the glad ceiling and obtain the championship that had eluded him for so long. This match was the perfect ending to a perfect feud, and it's one that you can watch over and over again.

1. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro, 2-out of-3 Falls Match

This is an absolute marathon of a match, and was the choice of a lot of people for match of the year. Zayn and Cesaro have always had an electric chemistry since their days in ROH, and that chemistry shone through on this night. An unreal pace showed the true athleticism of these two men, stringing moves together that give me flashbacks of the old WCW cruiserweight scene of the 90s. The brute strength of Cesaro blended perfectly with the speed and acrobatics of Sami Zayn. Sami won the first fall with a devastating Helluva Kick. Cesaro was able to pick up the second fall by working on Sami's head and neck, and eventually choking him out with a sleeper. These two warriors put every ounce of energy they had into this third and final fall. The ending of the match came when Sami attempted a Tornado DDT, but Cesaro caught him mid-air and countered with his Very European Uppercut. Cesaro then capitalized by hitting the neutralizer for the pinfall and the 2-1 victory. Matches like this are what fans hunger for in WWE, and matches like this are what pro wrestling is all about.


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