TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (11/13/13)
Nov 14, 2013 - 7:15:48 PM
Hello, and welcome back to The NXT Review! Yes NXTians, I am still here – no sign of Baby Oliver yet, but it’s probably just round the corner. But enough about me, let’s talk NXT! Last Saturday, Kassius Ohno got released and…does anything else matter? What a stupid decision, especially after burning the roof off the NXT Arena in his main event with Luke Harper last week. It does not please me that we live with an Ohno-less NXT now, even if he does have a couple more matches taped from before he was hung out to dry. As it is, though, we can’t do much now it’s happened, and we have to get on with the show. This week – Bayley and Charlotte take on Summer Rae and Sasha Banks! Plus, will the Hipster Barista Corey Graves best the Man That Gravity Forgot Adrian Neville in the main event – a 2 out of 3 falls match, no less? All that, and a little bit extra, right after we look at what Bo Dallas had to say this week:
The NXT Review: 13/11/2013 – The One With The Turncoat
Bayley! Bayley Bayley Bayley! The amount that Bayley loves Charlotte is quite heart-warming, to be honest with you, slapping her on the back and looking a little overwhelmed at the prospect of teaming with here. Of course, the BFFs are maximum bitching it up, but curiously it seems that Sasha has added some interesting entrance gear to her ‘Boss’ necklace – a glittery coat and sunglasses. She looks like a shit Lady Gaga impersonator. Let’s get it on!
Right after Bayley has given her opponents a gift! A headband each, with a bow on them – but Summer rejects the gift and throws them to the floor. The now obligatory ‘ratchet’ chant starts up for Sasha Banks as Charlotte overpowers her in the opening stages, throwing her to the corner out of the opening lock up and then knocking her on her arse with a shoulder block. Charlotte immediately goes after the arm of her opponent, applying a hammerlock and wrenching the arm by bridging over as Bayley ‘woo’s on the apron. Because the crowd is amazing, a ‘we want Bayley’ chant starts up! And Charlotte gives them Bayley! The Fangirl takes it to Summer after a tag between the BFFs – she puts Mrs. Fandango on the mat with a Charlotte-esque fireman’s carry but then looks to her partner for approval and that costs her, Summer taking her out with a nasty looking clothesline.
That gives control to the BFFs, and they cut the ring in half, keeping Bayley in their corner. Bayley nearly breaks out of a Banks chinlock only top get cut off and then choked against the ropes by Summer, using her long legs to her advantage and tying her up in a lotus lock. Bayley manages to gain some leverage and get Summer’s shoulders on the mat, but the leggy blonde just pops out, before putting Bayley’s shoulders down for a two count. Bayley scratches and crawls her way towards her corner, but Summer just drags her back to BFF land. Sasha and Summer swap positions a couple of times, always keeping the pressure on Bayley’s head – but Bayley finally breaks the hold by driving Sasha into the corner! Hugplex! Bayley’s got to make the tag now! She crawls to her corner and reaches for her teammate – and gets a slap in the face! **** you, Charlotte! **** you forever! Charlotte delivers the forward somersault cutter to her former friend, and that allows Sasha to pin her for a three count.
Charlotte is a BFF? Oh my. What a turncoat bitch. Poor Bayley, she thought she’d made a friend for life in Charlotte only to have her slap the taste clean out of her mouth. This does kind of make sense, and really strengthens the BFFs now – as I said last week, I think Charlotte is a much better fit than anybody else in the NXT women’s division to be a BFF. Summer, Sasha and her gloat from the top of the entrance ramp as Bayley struggles to get up in the ring, and I guess they’ve thrown yet another spanner in the works for the women of NXT – can you spell six women tag match? Emma, Paige and Bayley vs Summer, Sasha and Charlotte? Looks good on paper, and is presumably where they are taking this even with the friction between Emma and Paige. The match here, what little there was of it, was pretty ropey to be honest – but I don’t think that having a good match was really the point, and it was more about getting the storyline across. And it does put a particularly intriguing twist into the current direction of the women of NXT. I’m certainly interested in what happens next.
Backstage, Aiden English is warming up. He has his own director’s chair that says ‘”The Artiste” Aiden English’ on it. Because clearly, they know exactly what I want before even I know what I want.
You know who I miss? Hunico. Hunico was amazing. He was the highlight of the house show I went to in the UK a couple of years ago. Camacho has apparently been visiting his family in Mexico, which is why he’s been off the show, and he’s here without his regular running buddy. Aiden English gets a very, very big pop from the crowd when Kendall Skye announces him – I don’t think that’s what they’ve been angling for with this but hey, whatever. I’d cheer Aiden English. I mean, he’s the first master of the stage and everyone adores him after all, he says so in his song. ‘Can you bow out when they’re begging to see/you sing in DOUBLE YOU DOUBLE YOOOOOOOUUUUU…EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?’ What a wonderful line, and the crowd join in with him before immediately calling for an encore, while William Regal applauds from the announce booth.
Camacho overpowers English initially, but English soon reverses and gets some shots in on him in the corner. As the referee breaks the hold, Camacho fires out of the corner with a clothesline and follow up with a bodyslam. He charges into the corner only to get hit with a back elbow, but that doesn’t seem to faze him as he connects with a big back body drop, making English scatter and try and beg off in the corner. The son of Haku accepts the shake, but doesn’t fall into a trap as he connects with a kick first! He stomps on his opponent in the corner and then scoops him up for a side suplex before hitting a leg drop right across the throat. He lifts English up for a Samoan drop, but English slips out and right into the Take A Bow! This one’s over!
Regal is ecstatic at commentary, and makes a noise somewhere between an injured whale and a man having an orgasm. Encore! We get an encore! Aiden repeats the last line of his previous song before being showered in roses again as Regal sheds a tear during his standing ovation. As usual for an English match this was short and sweet, but I do really enjoy the little things they’re adding to his gimmick – I hadn’t noticed before, but his titantron video is the inside of a theatre, as if seen from the stage. Nothing fancy, no clips of him competing – just that. It’s a small touch, but it works really well for him, and I love the roses being thrown in the ring for his encore. He dispatched of Camacho in reasonably short order whilst not really putting up much of a fight – indeed, apart from a back elbow and a couple of stomps, he didn’t get much offense in before the Take A Bow. I did like that he didn’t elaborate this time, showing that he needed to hit the move and put Camacho away because he was outgunned by the bigger man. A nice little storytelling touch, that.
Alexander ‘The Big Mush’ Rusev is breathing heavily backstage with Lana, who praises him in Bulgarian (or is it Russian?). Lana looks pretty much besotted with her new recruit, who says something about NXT in Bulgarian himself. I imagine it’s probably ‘I’m going to destroy everyone and nobody can stop me because I’m the Bulgarian Brute Alexander Rusev. Roar! Roar roar roar!’ Something like that, anyway.
Oh hey, Bo Dallas returns from his Bo Dallas vs The World tour next week! Hopefully we’ll get another postcard before he gets back.
Do I have to?
Ryan overpowers Burch in the corner, and even though he nips round the back the Stallion from Swansea stays in control, hitting a clothesline. Burch nearly gains the upperhand after connecting with a back elbow, but Ryan blocks being driven into the turnbuckle and slams the Hammer into it himself, before wiping him out with a running shoulder block. Burch finally gains some traction by reverting to brawling, a flurry of punches and kicks sending Ryan reeling, but the Welshman finally hulks up, shrugging off the fists of his opponent. He drops him throat first across the top rope and then levels him with a big boot, and connects with Dream Street to give him the win. Bring back the Luger Breaker! That thing was great.
Um…yeah. This was as unnecessary and dull as you’d think it would be. We live in 2013, and Mason Ryan squashes are still a thing.
Do you know what is great? An Emma promo video! She is giving a speech to her people about the Emmalution, and says that the ‘E’ in WWE doesn’t stand for ‘Etertainment’ but ‘EMMAtainment’. Oh well done everyone who has been involved in this, right down to that little lip stud on Emma. It’s kind of got an old style ‘leader gives a speech to their people’ feel to it, and is just terrifically done.
Main event time! After their match a couple of weeks ago following Graves turning on his partner, these two are going best 2 out of 3 falls to finally put the feud to bed. Neville has some new theme music, but it’s not much to write home about. He’s super fired up though, staring down his rival from outside the ring and charging up to his face when he gets in there. The referee separates them and then rings for the bell.
Corey charges at Neville but the Geordie jumps right over him and connects with a single leg dropkick and goes for a quick fall but Graves kicks out straight away. He takes his opponent down a couple more times, but every cover is kicked out of before the referee can even get on the mat to count. Graves finally connects with a back elbow and takes control, driving Neville back into the corner and wailing on him with right hands. He headbutts him and connects with a suplex for a one count. A powerslam and a fist drop only gets him the same, but he has Neville on the back foot…until the Man That Gravity Forgot slips out of a suplex attempt! He ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of flying forearms and a dropkick, taking down Graves and allowing Neville to tie him up with a La Magistral cradle but that only gets him a one count. The Hipster Barista reverses an Irish whip into the corner, but Neville leapfrogs him and flips across the ring. He ducks out of the ring to avoid Graves rushing in and connects with a kick to the head before leaping to the top rope…Red Arrow connects! Neville wins the first fall!
Adrian Neville leads 1-0!
Well, that was over quickly. Surprised by the speed of it all, actually, as I thought once the initial pinfall flurry went past this was going to go a bit longer, but Neville upped the speed and intensity for a moment and managed to put one over his opponent. He stands over his former partner now as he grabs at his ribs before the second fall starts. Neville can’t take advantage, though, before Graves rolls to the outside…but is met by a baseball slide from the man from Newcastle! Or, New Castle, as the WWE website would have you believe. Nope, that’s a true story, guys. Neville takes it to Graves on the outside with chops and kicks before rolling him back in and looking for Red Arrow again, only for his opponent to roll across the ring before he takes off. Graves slips out of the ring and Neville follows, only to be caught out when Graves leaps back in the ring and then kicks him to the floor, injuring the knee of the Geordie in the process. Graves now pounds on Neville, leaving him on his arse in a corner, and looks to work the injured limb, dropping an elbow across it and then wrenching it back.
Graves circles his prey, beating him down with boots and fists, but focussing especially on the left knee, wrapping it around the turnbuckle post and stomping specifically on it. He locks in a single leg Boston crab, pulling the knee socket, as Regal puts over how specifically Graves is stretching the knee to inflict the maximum amount of pain. Neville finally rolls the hold through and manages to spin Corey off, then fires back with fists to the gut. Graves looks for a shinbreaker, but Neville slides out of it and locks in a roll up for a two count, before constantly repelling Graves as he goes for the knee – but he finally gets got, and the Hipster Barista connects with a chop block and locks in the 13th Step. Neville tries to hold on, foolishly, but has to tap!
Corey Graves levels the match at 1-1!
A much slower pace for that fall, as Graves zoomed in on the knee and worked it to lead up for th 13th Step. Neville held on a little too long for me, given that there’s certainly another fall to go, but it did get over that he’s got some serious resilience in his armoury. The final fall starts with the Man That Gravity Forgot elbowing the taste out of Graves’ mouth though! Corey comes back with elbows to the gut and he goes for a…something or other. A double kneebreaker, or something similar? Odd. Anyway, Neville manages to pop out of it, land on his feet, and kick Graves’ face off! The Hipster Barista rolls to the outside to get his breath back as Neville rises to his feet, and as Corey rolls in and charges he gets met with an elbow. Right hands from Neville, just pounding on his opponent in the corner, but the referee breaks it up and Graves gets a cheap shot in on the knee and looks for the chop block again…low dropkick from Neville! 1…2…no, Corey kicks out! But Graves is down, and Neville looks to go up top. He’s running on adrenaline, his left leg entirely useless…and he falls flat on his head, unable to keep his balance. Gravity sure as hell remembered him then.
Graves takes advantage though, and locks in 13th Step! Neville is clawing across the ring now, desperate to cause a rope break…is Neville going to tap? No! He’s using all the power he has in his body and finally makes it to the ropes. Multiple kicks to the left knee from Graves now…inside cradle by Neville! 1…2…3! Three! Neville wins! Neville wins!
Adrian Neville wins 2-1!
OK. That’s what this match was. OK. I guess it’s always going to be compared back to the Cesaro/Zayn effort, it being reasonably recent and the only other 2 out of 3 falls match in NXT, and certainly it falls well short of that high standard, but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily bad, just not a match of the year contender. What does stand to be said is that the second fall was really, really good, with Graves focusing on the knee and showing that as a heel he’s certainly a natural. I’m not sure if the ending of the match is supposed to leave it looking like Neville got lucky, but certainly it leaves scope for Graves to call for a rematch. I suppose they are technically 1-1 and need a rubber match? Whilst I wouldn’t rush back to watch it again, it does feel like it could stand up to repeat watching’s – I think the main problem with it all is that it lacked a bit of urgency, especially in the final fall. I didn’t feel like they were both pulling out big moves in a desperate attempt to get the final fall and win the match, and that lack of urgency makes it feel a bit stodgy. Certainly, Neville selling the injury played a good part in that and was sensible, but a would have liked to have seen him get a couple more rushes of adrenaline and pull off a dive or some flurry of offense. Overall, it told a good story, but could have been enhanced with a little bit extra spice.
I don’t think I’ve ever given this to Corey Graves, which is a bit of an oddity, really. I think I’m often quite hard on him because he is pretty dull – he’s a little guy, but he doesn’t really seem to use the advantages of his size my moving quickly or doing anything particularly strong with it to develop him as a character. He’s a brawler, but he’s fairly small so I don’t really feel like that works for him. Perhaps that’s a fault of his booking rather than the guy himself. Regardless, he showed something a little extra in the main event on this show, as he did in his previous match with Neville, targeting the injured limb and finally adding some wrestling know how to his arsenal. He looked logical, which is important when you’re a heel – for some reason, heels are always painted as being logical and just doing sensible things (like attacking a limb) whereas the faces are guys who just run around and do eye catching stuff. It’s not necessarily a bad dynamic, but it does make the faces look like idiots sometimes. Anyway, yes, Corey Graves impressed me this week more than he has previously.
13/11/2013 – Corey Graves
06/11/2013 – Kassius Ohno
30/10/2013 – Aiden English
23/10/2013 – Sami Zayn
16/10/2013 – Tyler Breeze
09/10/2013 – Realest Guys in the Room
02/10/2013 – Emma
25/09/2013 – Bo Dallas
18/09/2013 – Aiden English
11/09/2013 – Sasha Banks
I think average is the best word for this week – there wasn’t anything especially bad about the show, but it didn’t have that one great thing about it to push it over the top. Aiden English shone, as he always does, but his match with Camacho wasn’t exactly a cracker, the women’s tag match was more notable in a storytelling sense than a match sense, and the Mason Ryan destruction of Danny Burch left a lot to be desired. Even the main event was a little bit of a dull affair, although it probably was the best match on the show (as it rightly should be). That’s not say it was a bad show, just that it needed something extra.
Next week – the return of Bo Dallas! Who will emerge as the number one contender for the NXT Championship? And what of Charlotte now – will Bayley seek revenge against the woman she looked up to? Will Emma and Paige finally come to blows? Will Sami Zayn be allowed back in the building? Will The Ascension have a more serious challenge for their titles? Hopefully, you can all tune in to The NXT Review next week and find out, even if it is a little delayed due to tending to a small human. Until then, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Goodbye!