(02/27) Bo Dallas (c) vs. Adrian Neville

Full-Sail University (Winter Park, Florida)
Ladder Match for the NXT Championship

On the US indies, the ladder match is still (largely) all about big spots and big bumps. In the WWE proper, I am not sure what the selling point of the singles ladder match is anymore. They really do not run them often enough these days to get a good feel. You get a Money in the Bank ladder match (or two) per year and a TLC match, but straight up singles ladder matches are few and far between in WWE.

Given that, it was kind of cool to get a straight up, non-big bump focused singles ladder match here since they do not come around too often. This was far from a stunt show. Neville and Dallas used the ladder for a few agility spots and there were one or two relatively safe falls. That is a fine line to walk in a ladder match but they pulled it off well. If the wrestlers pull out very little value-added ladder spots, then what’s the point of even having a ladder match? If they do a lot of big moves and bumps, they run the risk of turning the match into a messy stunt show. I thought they towed that line pretty well here.

Neville’s springboard over Dallas onto the ladder was the highlight move of the match. That took great agility and not an easy move at all to pull off as seamlessly as he did. I thought the ladder-assisted tornado DDT out of the corner was also a cool spot. There are other moves I am forgetting for sure, but in general I thought they did a nice job of providing a few cool moves without going overboard.

The slow climbing sections were also kept to the bare minimum. Those can be such a momentum killer in a ladder match.

The ending was somewhat unique for a ladder match, but well executed. Many ladder matches end with both guys climbing the ladder at the same time or one guy climbing to an easy victory after taking out his opponent with a big move. Here Neville climbed the ladder with Bo down outside the ring. Bo scrambled to get back in and climb with Neville already near the top. For a split second I thought he might cut him off. I thought it kept the ending from being completely telegraphed.

High Impact | Worthwhile | Quality

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