Credit: Josh Parry & Pwtorch.com
The box office said the third NXT taping at Full Sail was sold-out for the night.
There is a new arena lay-out. The banners that used to be on the back wall of the arena have been brought forward and now hang over the floor seats, but higher up. The announce table is back to the stage, but now on the right-hand side.
Jim Ross, William Regal, and Byron Saxton were introduced for commentary.
Dark Match: Alex Riley beat Antonio Cesaro with a neckbreaker. Really good back and forth match.
First Episode taping:
NXT GM Dusty Rhodes announced an eight-man "Gold Rush tournament" to determine the first NXT Champion. The belt looks sick - the main plate is a big yellow "X."
(1) Richie Steamboat beat Leo Kruger in a First Round NXT Title tournament match. Exactly the kind of competitive match that NXT needed.
(2) Big E. Langston squashed Adam Mercer. Impressive first NXT showing for Langston.
(3) Raquel Diaz beat Audrey. This match was awful. Diaz botched her Gory Bomb so badly that they had to re-shoot it. There was a loud "You can't wrestle" chant.
(4) Mike Dalton & Jason Jordan beat Hunico & Camacho after Dalton reversed Camacho's powerbomb into a roll-up.
(5) Seth Rollins (Tyler Black) beat Drew McIntyre in a First Round NXT Title tournament match. . Rollins won with the Black-Out. This match is so worth checking out. Brilliant exchanges and nearfalls toward the end.
Second Episode taping:
(1) Michael McGillicutty beat Justin Gabriel in a First Round NXT Title tournament match. Mike won with a running neckbreaker in another great match. This tournament has been very competitive so far.
(2) Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) beat C.J. Parker. Ohno brutalized Parker and won with a rolling elbow to the back of the head. Kassius looks savage in the ring and his offense was over with the unsympathetic males.
(3) Jinder Mahal beat Bo Dallas via submission in a First Round NXT Title tournament match. Mahal won with the Camel Clutch. Plodding and boring.
Third episode taping:
(1) Paige & Tamina beat Caylee Turner & Kaitlyn.
Scotty 2 Hotty made a surprise return to answer Heath Slater's latest "challenge."
(2) Scotty 2 Hotty beat Heath Slater. Scotty won with the Worm and the crowd reaction was immense.
(3) The Usos beat The Ascenion via DQ due to excessive double-teaming. The Ascenion absolutely dominated.
[Intermission. They announced two more tourney matches tonight, then it's Kane vs. Cody Rhodes in a bonus dark match. So, the tournament will conclude at the next taping, which will be in two weeks.]
(4) Jinder Mahal beat Richie Steamboat via submission in a Semi-Final NXT tournament match. Mahal won with the Camel Clutch to advance to the Finals. Another boring match dominated by Mahal.
(5) Seth Rollins beat Michael McGillicutty in a Semi-Final NXT tournament match. Rollins won with the Black-Out. Seth put on a clinic in each of his matches tonight. This was a really long match and the crowd bought into it. After the match, Rollins grabbed my "Rollins for Champ" sign and paraded around the ring with it.
Dusty Rhodes came out again off-air and announced they'll be back in two weeks to tape more episodes. They definitely did not tape four episodes tonight.
Dark Match: Kane beat Cody Rhodes. Kane won quickly with a chokeslam.