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   July 25, 2014



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COMMENT





NXT: Zayn battles Kruger in best of three falls
By NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling


Sami Zayn has undeniably been one of the breakout stars in NXT. After a wrestling classic against Antonio Cesaro last year in one of the match of the year candidates, Zayn has been red hot. Tonight on WWE NXT, Zayn relives the same stipulation he had in the war with Cesaro: a two out of three falls matchup. His opponent is the South African predator, Leo Kruger. Who will come out on top? All that and more on this week's edition of WWE NXT!

We are on tape from Orlando, Fla. Tom Phillips, William Regal, and Alex Riley have the call for this week.

Lana introduces Alexander Rusev prior to his match.

Match One: Alexander Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Kofi Kingston

Lockup sees Alexander Rusev work Kofi Kingston into the corner. Corner work in the form of knees from Rusev. Kingston stumbling around as Rusev continues to work the offense. Rusev picks Kingston up and knees his ribs while using the ropes to keep him up. Samoan Drop plants Kingston for a quick nearfall. While looking for more offense, Rusev taking body blows from a kneeling Kingston. Kingston fighting back with kicks and forearms, but a running body block from Rusev gets another nearfall.

Splash from Rusev does not connect. Back elbow from Kingston sends Rusev away. Rusev charges, but Kingston with a mule kick to again keep the bigger man away. Kingston now in control with chops and a dropkick. Clothesline into a successful Boom Drop for Kingston. Trouble in Paradise attempt is shucked away by a cornered Rusev, but his attack is ducked and countered by a springboard crossbody from Kingston for a nearfall.

Corner work from Rusev connecting, but Kingston counters with a pendulum kick. Up top, Kingston distracted by Lana. Rusev recovers to gorilla press Kingston from the top. The Accolade locked in on Kingston in the center of the ring.

Winner by submission: Alexander Rusev

Devin Taylor backstage with Sylvester LeFort. Taylor asks if LeFort is scouting new talent and LeFort confirms this after mention of the broken leg of Scott Dawson. Bull Dempsey first appears, but LeFort sends him away because of his weight. Mason Ryan stands behind LeFort. LeFort asks if he is here to audition and informs a clueless Ryan about the money he could make with him. LeFort brandishes a dollar and Ryan shoves it in LeFort's mouth before walking off. An angry LeFort mumbles to himself after being embarrassed,

(Commercials)

Number One Contender Match Two: Natalya vs. Emma

Lockup sees Natalya hit Emma with a side headlock takeover. Emma counters out and reset sees both ladies grab a hammerlock of their own. Fireman's carry into an armbar from Natalya. Emma countering and both women get arm wrenches. Natalya with a Northern Lights Suplex for a quick nearfall. Emma with a counter to send Natalya into the corner, but she floats over. Emma takes the back and gets a rollup for a nearfall.

Emma with a little gamesmanship here and Natalya works her into the corner for some corner work. Natalya charges and Emma moves out to the apron to make the splash miss. Shoulder ram leads to a quick rollup nearfall and Dil-Emma tarantula hold across the ropes stretches Natalya. Cornered, Natalya ducks out of a splash attempt to land a discus clothesline for a nearfall.

Abdominal stretch in for Natalya, but Emma out with elbows to the thigh. Natalya works her down into a surfboard stretch. The submission is fought out of, but Natalya follows with a punt to the ribs. Leg drop attempt misses for Natalya. Double-leg takedown into a Sharpshooter attempt misses and Emma with a rollup for a quick nearfall. Emma holds on to the legs and transitions into the Emma Lock.

Winner by submission: Emma

Post-match, Natalya raises the hand of Emma and briefly joins in with the signature Emma dance.

(Commercials)

Renee Young in the ring to host a sing-off. She introduces competitors Aiden English and Colin Cassady. English first starts off with some Italian opera. Cassady is next up and he clears his throat to sing a rendition of "Danny Boy" that concludes with calling English "sawft." The crowd favors Cassady, but English demands another round. Young grants it and English sings a song insulting Cassady and the crowd. Cassady goes into a cover of "My Girl" that insults English again and English attacks Cassady from behind to end the sing-off.

(Commercials)

Match Three: Tyler Breeze vs. Mason Ryan

Sylvester LeFort makes his way down and Tyler Breeze immediately goes on the offensive, dropping Mason Ryan with a series of right hands. Breeze kicking Ryan to keep him down. Ryan fighting back with body shots and he drops Breeze right across the top rope. Ryan runs out to level LeFort with a clothesline and returns to the ring immediately. Beauty Shot connects as Ryan stands up upon returning.

Winner by pinfall: Tyler Breeze

(Commercials)

Two out of Three Falls Match Four: Leo Kruger vs. Sami Zayn

Leo Kruger opens up with a clothesline and immediately tosses Sami Zayn outside. Kruger with clubbing blows across the back and he bounces the head of Zayn off the canvas for a quick nearfall. Action moves back outside and Kruger with the same brawling strategy. Zayn again has his head bounced off the canvas and he is rammed into the apron for another nearfall.

European Uppercut again sends Zayn outside on his back. Kruger again follows and chops Zayn a few times. This time, Zayn fights back, but he gets scoop slammed on the floor and Kruger with another nearfall inside. Uppercuts leave Zayn rocked in the corner and Kruger charges, but he runs right into an exploder suplex in the corner. Running boot follow puts Kruger down.

Winner of the first fall by pinfall: Sami Zayn

(Commercials)

We return with both men fighting up top. Kruger looking to be on the receiving end of a potential superplex. Both trading shots and Zayn is sent tumbling to the floor. Zayn is down and out on the floor. Zayn working to make his way inside and he makes it with a second to spare. Kruger hits a DDT for a nea fall.

Kruger with kicks to the back and side. Boot now being used to choke Zayn. Both men exchanging briefly, but Kruger hits a kick to the midsection. Uppercut followup connects. Kruger whips Zayn into the corner and Zayn kicks Kruger away. Zayn with some clotheslins and a heel kick. Zayn hits Kruger with a spinning powerbomb for a nearfall.

Zayn moves to the apron. He starts to go up top and is soon met by Kruger. Zayn with a strike to send Kruger away and he looks for a flying maneuver from the apron, but Kruger stops him with forearm. Kruger draping Zayn across the top and he hits a spinning neckbreaker for a quick nearfall. Keylock submission is soon broken with a Zayn rope break. Moving to the apron to escape offense, Zayn with a shoulder ram to the stomach. Zayn again up top, but Kruger meets him. Both men throwing strikes. Kruger going for a superplex, but Zayn not allowing it. Kruger put down and Zayn looking for a crossbody, but Kruger sidesteps to lock in a keylock. Zayn struggles and inches to the ropes. Kruger keeping Zayn grounded. Zayn attempting to fight back. Kruger plants him with a spinebuster and looks for a clothesline, but Zayn ducks and locks in a submission. Using one leg to keep the body grounded and the other to crossface and pull back the head, Kruger trapped.

Winner of the second fall and the match by submission: Sami Zayn

The show closes with Sami Zayn victorious in yet another two out of three falls match.

Nolan Howell can be reached at nth993@gmail.com for any questions or comments. Click here to follow Nolan on Twitter.