Posted in: Chair Shots TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review
Apr 5, 2013 - 12:53:27 AM
Hey there loyal readers! I’ve got a special treat for you this week, and hopefully every week. Columns Forum writer Oliver has been doing a kick-ass NXT review every week, and I thought it deserved some time on the Main Page! If you guys like this, we’ll do it every week, so please remember to give me some feedback. Without further ado, I present Oliver’s NXT Review.
Hello NXT fans! I may start referring to you as NXTians, just for my own pleasure. Anyway, come on in, welcome to this little column yet again as we drive on through the dusty road that is NXT. After last weeks ‘Road to WrestleMania’ debacle, we’re back on track and heading on through our compelling storylines - tonight, two months’ worth of build comes to a head as Big E Langston and Conor O’Brian finally clash for the big gold ‘X’. Plus – some Divas and tag team wrestling with actual storylines behind them! All that, and maybe a little bit more on the side, in…
The NXT Review: 03/04/2013 – The One Where We Learn To Count With Big E
Guys! Guys! Brad Maddox is on commentary! And so is Kassius Ohno! Oh, this is the best. Maddox turning up is like a cherry on an iced Danish pastry. Of course, Ohno is here because, in the one bit of storytelling they chose to do last week, NXT furthered their very best story right now by having him assault Regal at the commentary booth. Which begs the question – where is Lord Regal tonight? All in good time, NXTians, all in good time. Let’s get this show on the road with our opening tag team contest!
Aha! ‘But that’s not Adrian Neville’s friend and tag team partner Oliver Grey’, I hear you say. No, my friends, that’s Willy Wonka himself Bo Dallas making his way out first and…I think he’s brought his little friends with him! Yes, Willy Wonka’s got his orange Oompa-Loompas with him, and I think they’re going to explain this storyline with a little song. Buckle up guys, this is going to be a good one!
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Bo’s going to tell you about his life
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
The Wyatt Family are causing him strife.
The deranged family are a wily bunch,
Attack from behind so Bo loses a match,
British Ambition have the tag team belts,
The Family want them for their own shelf.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Bo and Adrian will form a team,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
To beat our opponents, that is our dream.
Well, what a thing that is. The Oompa-Loompas walk their way to the back as Neville makes his entrance and Tony Dawson explains that Oliver Grey is out for six months. Crumbs, that makes the tag team titles hard to lose. Bray Wyatt has a microphone! His ten second promo is better than anything from Raw on Monday night. He’s got this innate ability to cut what seems like a rambling promo and yet do it in such a way that makes it compelling to watch. Bray’s a fascinating character just begging for a bigger platform. Arguably the best thing NXT has going for it right now.
The in ring action kicks off with Harper squaring up to Dallas. The big man soon takes advantage, and quick tags between the two family members means they keep the upper hand in the early stages, isolating Bo in their corner. Dallas finally wriggles out of an attempted body slam and makes the tag to Neville, who hits a hard kick to the skull of Harper. With Neville in the pace picks up, a couple of low dropkicks flooring the big man, who then gets hit by a beautiful standing Shooting Star Press for a two count. With Bray Wyatt running interference, Neville nearly gets decapitated by a Harper big boot, and The Family double team The Man That Gravity Forgot (Or, At Least, Didn’t Remember For A Brief Moment) in the corner. Harper comes in and starts to nudge the downed high flyer around, as if he were a cat and Neville were a ball of wool. I’ve said it before, but that is absolutely genius, and makes me convinced that Harper is legitimately a bit insane…
OK, I’m going to stop the action there. Just for a couple of sentences, promise. Tony Dawson just asked Ohno and Maddox how long it takes a tag team to develop an understanding. Maddox responds, quick as a flash, with ‘six to twelve matches, Tony’. Now, in any other circumstance that would be funny. Here, with indy circuit tag team specialist Chris Hero sat next to him, it is brilliant. My love of Maddox grows continually. And now, back to your regular reading.
The commentary team puts over the resilience of the former PAC as Harper lays him out with a big back elbow. Harper’s offense is tremendously crisp, when he came in I didn’t think too much of Brodie Lee, but he’s improved tenfold in the NXT/WWE environment. Neville finally finds his way to his own corner, avoiding a boot in the corner to hang-up Harper and get Dallas in the ring. Willy Wonka comes in like a house on fire, unloading on his bigger opponent and hitting him with a corner springboard bulldog, and Rowan just saves the match, breaking up the pin. Dallas disposes of him to the outside, and that gives Neville the chance to hit an over the top rope corkscrew moonsault to the outside, removing both Rowan and Bray Wyatt from the equation. That was some more absurdly impressive aerial offense from the high flyer. Back in the ring, Dallas ducks a clothesline attempt by Harper and then hits that messy looking side belly to belly suplex of his to pick up the win for his team.
Well, that was a hell of a way to start a program! The Family continue their impressive run as being hugely interesting as a complete unit, the two members of the tag team looking super impressive here. But the real star was Adrian Neville – even though he spent most of the match getting beaten down by his opponents, he sold it like a champ, and his offense looked crisp as hell. I have no idea where he gets the ability to even attempt the things he does, but if it’s drugs I want some. Where they take this feud now is anybody’s guess – with Grey out on the sidelines for so long, it seems like they’ll need to do something with the tag team titles in that time. Whether that ends up being a situation where Bo Dallas gets awarded with the belt or what, I don’t know, but if I was to bet on where they’d be in two months’ time, I’d say around the waist of The Wyatt Family without hesitation – they are too good to spend that long without the gold. Oh, and please, for the love of God, get a new finisher Bo Dallas. That thing looks weaker that an Attiude Adjustment.
“The Ascension” Conor O’Brian cuts a short promo bathed in blue light backstage, bigging up his title match later tonight with Langston. O’Brian seems to have the promo style of the Undertaker – if he says a load of stupid crap about souls and lightning, it comes across amazingly, if he just cuts a fairly straight promo it’s not really very good. Ah well, the gimmick is great. They follow that up with a Raw recap where John Cena blames The Rock for the fact he fucked Kendra Lust and got divorced. Sorry you had such a shit year, John. How’s the Bella Twin with the big jugs working out for you?
Back in Florida, however, Regal is unloading on Ohno at the announce table! Oh, this is gold. Regal seems to be trying to actually rip the nose off of Kassius, presumably because he is a true villain. I’m really, really happy this feud is happening, and it’s not because I’m a Regal mark (although I am a Regal mark. Are you a Regal mark? What do you mean you’re not a Regal mark? How is it possible to not be?) – it’s because of how bloody good his feud with Dean Ambrose in FCW was before this. Ambrose and Regal had two matches eight months apart, and they were both terrific. Given the way they went, I’ve got huge hopes for these two once they finally hit the right together. Plus, if we get Ohno delivering anything as good as Ambrose’s “Broken Heart” promo, I’ll be a pig in poo.
Order gets restored with a Divas tag match. No wait! Come back! Let me sell this one to you, because this Divas tag match isn’t just an Divas tag match. This is a Divas tag match with not one but two storylines running through it! Imagine that! So, Sasha Banks thought she had a secret admirer, but it turned out to be Audrey Marie who was mad pissed at Banks getting all the attention whilst she was out injured. The other half of this match (the more interesting half, if I’m honest) is the ongoing feud between The First Lady Of NXT Summer Rae and Paige. Verbal barbs have been traded back and forth since Rae injured Paige’s shoulder in a match, and with each wanting to get their hands on the other but failing to grasp the opportunity when presented to them. This will be the first time they’ve been in the ring together since that initial match. Will sparks fly when they come together? Find out, right now!
As Marie makes her entrance, Maddox points out that she’s a former accountant who can ‘account for [his] money any time’. Oh yes. Paige charges the ring, forcing Rae to take evasive action. The Brit is super over with the crowd at NXT, and she starts out with Audrey Marie, although she spends most of her time trying to get her hands on Summer on the outside of the ring. Marie cuts her off each time, finally hitting a foot assisted arm drag (I have no idea if that’s the right way of calling it, but it’s what I’m going for. Paige with a drop toe hold takes Audrey Marie down and gets the tag to Sasha Banks, who nails a corner springboard arm drag followed by a head scissors for a two count. Marie, however, soon stops her momentum with a clothesline and makes the tag to The First Lady Of NXT, who maintains the advantage, keeping Banks down on the mat so she can’t get her high flying going. With Marie and Rae keeping their double teaming going, Banks doesn’t get a chance to get a tag back to her partner, and is cut off in her opponent’s corner. Sasha finally reverses a waist lock into a roll up for two, but manages to get the tag to Paige. That sends Summer Rae scarpering for the backstage area, tagging in Audrey Marie on her way, who immediately gets caught by the Paige Turner for the three count.
No sooner has the referee’s hand fallen for the three than is Paige off after Summer Rae, sprinting up the ramp. That was another nice little tag match, if a little bit worse than the opener, but what’s good is that it’s left both storylines open to continue. I’ve got high hopes for Paige vs Summer Rae in the future, one is the Divas who has impressed me most in NXT since it started, and the latter is one who has improved no end since her time in FCW. Both are capable of bringing ‘it’ to the ring, and given the chance they deserve the two could put on a really interesting match.
Next week – Regal vs Ohno. Mark your calendars.
Conor O’Brian’s electric blue glow in the dark contact lenses are creepy as hell. The effect is only doubled by his titantron video just being his face, projected behind him at ten times normal size. Big Earl is still a massively over face in NXT, where your main roster allegiance doesn’t matter – the five count gimmick still works well for him. This is going to be a battle of two behemoths – hey, a good warm up for Ryback vs Mark Henry this weekend!
With the NXT Championship on the line, the two lock up with a collar and elbow where nobody comes out on top. O’Brian comes off the ropes, but Big Eddie just runs straight into him, pushing him out of the ring, and holds the advantage by delivering five big punches to the gut of his opponent. I think ‘Count, with Big E Langston’ is a WWE children’s book waiting to happen. ‘How many ducks are swimming in the pond?’ ‘Five.’ ‘How many apples are hanging from this tree?’ ‘Five.’ ‘How may racist or misogynistic things is Jerry Lawler saying in this sentence?’ ‘Five.’ O’Brian hangs Big Eben up on the top rope and hits a lifting side slam for a two count. So far, a fairly standard big man bout, all based around power. O’Brian looks much better than Langston in the ring – he still reminds me of Kane, big but surprisingly agile. As if to prove my point, he immediately hits a flying clothesline from the second rope. Thanks, Conor! I’ll pay you after. The rat man locks a nerve hold on the giant shoulder of Big Edgar, and despite his attempts to power out Ziggler’s buddy remains on the back foot. He finally powers up to two feet, and starts to no sell some punches from O’Brian, absorbing the power of them and countering his running opponent with a huge clothesline. Big Emilio hits a series of knees to the gut (guess how many? Yup, five), but then gets nailed with a big boot right in the mush as he tries to stay on top which he kicks out of at two. O’Brian mocks the five count and then tries to go for the Big Ending – stealing his opponents finisher, that’s Oliver approved – but Langston worms his way out of it. Big Elvis runs through The Ascension, and then picks him up as if he were a baby for a Big Ending of his own to get the win and retain the title.
Of course, a three count isn’t enough for him, so before he leaves the ring Big Edison hits a second Big Ending to get the five count. Other than his strength, I still can’t see the upside of Langston. Sure, he’s strong – so what? I find myself shrugging whenever he comes up in conversation. Truth is, I feel the same way about him as I felt, and still feel a bit, about Ryback – strength is impressive, but wrestling is more interesting. I also question the logic behind keeping the title on him right now – with the next NXT tapings next week, I do think it’s high time he dropped the belt, especially if he’s going to be on tour with the main roster as well. There are plenty of people down in NXT who show up every taping and deserve a run with the belt – keeping it on a main roster guy does little for it. Corey Graves, Conor O’Brian, even Bray Wyatt or Bo Dallas could have a shot at it, and one of those four being the next champion is something I’d bet my house on.
Even though he ate canvas for most of his match, one guy stands head and shoulders above the rest this week:
I was excited when I read that PAC had been signed to WWE. I am now even more exciting at seeing how well his offense comes across on TV. His selection of high flying moves, coupled with his mat based ability, surely sets him up for great things in the future. This week he absolutely shone in the opening tag team bout, the spots he it lighting up the match. I think he’s learning how and when to use his bigger moves at the moment – his first couple of matches were very much spotfests, but since then he has improved his all round game, and deserves the tiny bit of recognition being NXT MVP gives him.
03/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
20/03/2013 – Leo Kruger
13/03/2013 – Bray Wyatt
And so ends another week of NXT action! The first two tag team matches were both very good, especially the opener – the chemistry between those two teams was terrific, and even though Dallas isn’t Neville’s normal partner nobody missed a beat in the match. The main event was OK, mostly saved by O’Brian, but it was a little dull for my tastes – I don’t have anything against hoss fights, but there was just something missing in this one. Don’t get me wrong, I like big men…no! Not in that way! I mean to say that watching to big men go at it can be enjoyable. Stop! Not like that! Oh, just hand me a shovel already. Next week we’ve got the mouth-watering prospect of Kassius Ohno and William Regal squaring off in the NXT ring. I cannot put into words how excited I am about that match, and their feud as a whole. Until next Thursday, fellow NXTians, take care when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Aloha!