TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (12/11/13)
Dec 12, 2013 - 10:00:07 AM
NXTians! Welcome back to our weekly foray into the deepest regions of WWE, The NXT Review! This week, we’ve got a lot of questions. After Bo Dallas took the cheap route to victory over Adrian Neville last week, what will the Man That Gravity Forgot have to say? With Sami Zayn having cost him a win over Tyson Kidd, how will Leo Kruger react? Will Mojo Rawley’s hype machine be able to overcome Scott Dawson? Who is Bayley’s mystery partner against the BFFs? Can Hunico and Camacho get it done against The Ascension with the titles on the line? All the answers, plus Kassius Ohno’s last match on WWE programming, in…
The NXT Review: 11/12/2013 – The One Where Bayley Gets It Right
We’re straight into the action tonight with our NXT Tag Team Championship match –Hunico and Camacho already hold a non-title win over the seemingly unstoppable Ascension, so this seems to be the first time that Konnor and Viktor (their new names, apparently) have been tested in the ring. Camacho ducks under an onrushing Viktor and wails on him, forcing him back to the corner as, but he gets rocked by a knee to the face and the scalpel of The Ascension rips his vest of before unleashing a series of European uppercuts and chops to the chest. Haku’s son dodges an elbow drop and starts to unleash some offence of his own, connecting with headbutts and a bodyslam – this is going a mile a minute at the moment, and you’ve got to think that The Ascenion want to slow things down. Camacho tags out to Hunico, who slingshots in with a double stomp to the chest before jaw jacking with Konnor on the outside. He controls Viktor into the corner with knife edge chops and knees to the gut, and he and Camacho are working well here, isolating the smaller member of The Ascension and breaking their usual rhythm. Hunico locks in a rear chinlock and even though Viktor forces the break he keeps on his man, chopping him to the chest. Alex Riley is busy comparing The Ascension’s eye symbol to the Illuminati’s one – still want your job, Riley, pick a date, we can fight for it. How does April 6th next year sound? I reckon we could manage a three month build if Vince will put us on the Mania pre-show. Viktor finally creates some space and knocks Hunico down with a knee to the face, but the cover only gets a one count.
OK, so they cut to a commercial break and somewhere along the line Konnor made his way in and is keeping Hunico down in a side headlock. The new Sin Cara manages to get to his feet, but the bludgeon of The Ascension just powers him back into his corner and tags out. Viktor works on his man on the mat, keeping the high flyer down and remaining between Hunico and his partner. Finally The Ascension are working at the methodical pace they want to – isolating one of the opposing team in their quarter. O’Brian comes in and wraps his forearms across his rival’s face on the mat for a while before getting Viktor back into the action. He whips the high flyer across the ring and then hits a back breaker before returning to a rear chinlock to wear the man down. You know, I don’t necessarily like The Ascension some times, but when they’re working a longer match their whole process becomes a lot better – in a short squash, when they just isolate one guy and destroy him without touching his partner, it seems a little odd for them to get quick tags and rotate as much as they do, but in the middle of a longer match that stuff makes sense as it keeps them both fresher. The Scalpel sends Hunico into his corner and takes a moment to taunt Camacho, but it costs him – the Mexican recovers to elbow Konnor in the face and then gets a boot up when his partner charges in. He runs out and ducks a clothesline, flipping round into a roll up but he doesn’t keep the pin – he picks him up with one arm and takes him out with a powerbomb! That was super impressive! Tag to Camacho! He flies out of the block, wiping out Konnor with a spinning neckbreaker and then a flying arsehole in the corner. A side suplex followed by a legdrop gets him a two count when Viktor breaks it up, but Hunico takes care of him. The distraction’s enough though, and O’Brian avoids a second flying arsehole and lands a full nelson slam. Camacho reaches for the tag but Viktor pulls Hunico off the apron! Bastard! Flapjack by Konnor, and he tags to Viktor who joins him to hit the Fall of Man and give them the win!
They celebrate retaining their titles bathed in blue light, standing over the prone Camacho – he and Hunico put up a valiant effort, but it just wasn’t enough on this night. Hey, that was alright, actually! As I said, I like The Ascension when they’re not squashing folks, as their whole ring work seems to make more sense. The way they cut the ring off is terrific – it just seems pointless when they’re up against no name guys who they could truck through. Hunico and Camacho looked pretty strong, although the ending was pretty definitive so I’m not sure if they’ll get another shot or not. That powerbomb from Hunico was really unexpected, and quite something – surprising strength. A nice way to start the show, all in all.
Oh man, poor Kassius Ohno. At least this little feud is getting a pay off, but this is going to be is last NXT match? Poor guy. Lana does her Russian shtick to introduce the big guy, who is still pretty pissed at Ohno for beating his time in the beat the clock challenge, apparently. Ohno’s got a taped back because he’s still suffering from Rusev’s attack the other week – let’s see if that comes in to play later on!
Rusev immediately powers Ohno back into the corner, but he sneaks out before he can take too much damage. The former Chris Hero uses his speed to go to a rear waist lock, but Rusev just throws him to the corner and starts to wail on him, shouldering him in the gut and stomping him down. The Bulgarian Brute scoops Ohno up then rests him on the ropes before driving multiple knees into the back of his opponent before connecting with a Samoan drop to further injure the back. Unfortunately, Ohno’s made a target of his injury with the tape, and Rusev is going after it with precision, tearing off the tape to remove any support it gave his opponent and then connecting with a sledgehammer of a right hand on the wounded area. Bear hug! He’s got him in a bearhug! This is it! This is going to be the end of the match! I can no longer BEAR the suspense! Ohno BEARly gets out of the hold – in fact, he’s pushed off by Rusev into the ropes who elbows his lower back when he springs back off them. Rolling elbow by Ohno out of nowhere! It’s got Rusev reeling, and he goes for a small package! 1…2…no, Rusev just gets out! Ohno goes off the ropes, looking for another elbow I think, but Rusev just nails him with a leaping body block. He locks in the Accolade camel clutch and Ohno has to tap – but Rusev won’t release the hold until Lana tells him to.
Well now, that was alright – we saw a bit more focus from Rusev, instead of just annihilating someone he had a focus in the match and went for the back of his opponent at every opportunity, which smartly built up to the Accolade for the finish. Ohno got little flurries in – I actually thought he had him when he connected with that elbow, even though it didn’t knock Rusev down – but this was all about Rusev, really. It’s good to see him get dominant wins, and this opposition is obviously a step up from beating the Realest Guys in the Room every week. Seeing as he dealt with it fairly easily, I guess he’s going to go up another step on the ladder very soon.
Backstage, Natalya is walking and looks a bit ill at ease. She finds Bayley, who’s super nervous and plays it off really well – she just wants to talk to Charlotte, but she hasn’t had a chance to yet and is struggling with handling everything. Natalya calls Bayley her friend, and our heroine’s face absolutely lights up at this. She embraces the Canuck a little too tightly, and they then walk off arm in arm chanting ‘I think I can, I know I can’. Bayley is The Best, guys. Like, genuinely The Best. I mean, come on, you’d react a bit like that if someone you respected called you a friend, right? I mean, maybe not with a tight embrace, but at least a look of immense pleasure. Every time she’s in a segment like this, she nails it. Bravo.
There’s a recap of the Cesaro/Saxton thing, and Regal gets very serious about it all and says there was no need. Build build build. This is going to be fun.
Bayley is still nailing the character side of things, hugging Natalya on her way down the ramp and just generally looking pretty in awe of her partner. Natalya does a ‘she’s crazy’ motion to the crowd and I mean, fuck you Natalya. Like, I covered your wrestling stuff last week, but Bayley isn’t crazy, she’s just happy and thrilled to be around someone she respects. Can’t you accept that? Can’t you understand? And then you’re basically being mean to her and calling her crazy. She just wants to be your friend! Why can’t you be nice about it? Being a big fan isn’t being crazy. BFFs make their entrance – apparently Emma is out for an extended period of time with a head injury. Boo! We want Emma! We want an Emma and Bayley tag team!
Sasha starts off, taunting Bayley who charges her and gets ducked, but Sasha then chooses to taunt Natalya and Bayley comes at her with fists of fire, jumping on her back and slamming her head into the mat. She locks in a side headlock and tags in Natalya, with the two delivering a double suplex that gets a one count. Banks bails, tagging in Summer who the Canuck takes out with a drop toe hold before tagging back out to Bayley and they again hit a double suplex. Bayley and Natalya have their opponents reeling here, and Summer immediately tags out to Sasha who gets caught with a drop toehold – Bayley copying her mentor! Man, how good is this stuff, I mean seriously? Bayley is possibly the best women in WWE for knowing exactly who her character is and what they would do in certain situations. It’s a joy to watch. Bayley gets whipped into the corner by Sasha, who follows her in and catches her opponent trying to get a boot up, throwing her leg through the ropes and slapping away on her back – suddenly, the BFFs have control, and Summer comes in to choke Bayley in their corner with her long legs. The team switch over and keep grinding Bayley down, Sasha slapping her in the chest while in a wristlock, but as she tries to run up the ropes Bayley stops her and swings her off onto the mat! Make the tag Bayley! Make it! Natalya comes in like a house on fire, running through Banks with clotheslines, a snap suplex and a sit out bodyslam. Discus clothesline from the Hart lady, and she goes for the sharpshooter, but Summer breaks it up, sending Nattie headfirst into the turnbuckles. Bayley comes in and takes out Rae, but Banks cuts her off with Damien Sandow’s terminus, and that’s enough for the BFFs to get the win!
The two Beautiful Fierce Females mock Bayley on their way up the rope, Summer saying that nobody can do anything about it, as Natalya sympathises with her partner in the ring. Pretty enjoyable, for what it was, and of course Bayley was the highlight of the whole match, playing her role to perfection and looking really good whilst doing it. I’d really like to see how she would come across on the main roster, as there’s certainly a space for someone like her in the Divas division, with some interesting stories to tell about her being in awe of everyone around her. I have a lot of faith that she’d stick the landing with this on Raw or Smackdown weekly and it would be interesting.
Oh, hey Leo Kruger! He really wants to be a Real American, he says, and is going to hurt Sami Zayn. Seriously, if he’s going to join Colter’s stable out of this, I am all for it as long as they tie in what has happened on NXT to build towards it happening. This is an important part of the story, and as NXT isn’t that widely watched, despite being widely available, it wouldn’t hurt to bring up the Sami Zayn matches with Cesaro and Swagger, then this whole Kruger angle with him wanting to join up. Hell, they could even use it to debut Zayn – have the new three piece Real American beat a team down, then have Zayn turn up to help them fight back. If they told the whole story it could work well, plus give NXT some proper air time on the main shows – a win-win situation, from where I’m sitting.
LeFort puts over his one and only money making protégé Scott Dawson, but a little more interestingly Riley talks some shit about LeFort – he said something about his greasy hair the other week, the big meanie, and the Frenchman stopped him in the corner and ‘had the audacity’ to correct him. About what, Alex? Like, seriously – the fact that you said someone had greasy hair? That’s pretty rude. I think LeFort is within his rights to be a little pissed. Anyway, Regal, presumably with his head in his hands, just goes ‘what was the point of that?’ across the table at Riley. Seriously, come on Alex, Mania 30, your job on the line – I will fight you for it and I will take it from you. Regal and I can then talk about The Smiths’ B-Sides during NXT, and you can pair up with The Miz again or something. I’ll put something on the line – if I lose, I can only say positive things about you in the future. Or whatever, you name what you’d like me to give up. But start saving money, Riley, because come April 6th you’re going to be out of work.
(William Regal – train me, and I will rid you of this idiot forever)
Rawley works the crowd really well on his entrance, gets them all hyped up, before getting overpowered by Dawson in the corner who pounds on him with fists and uppercuts. He takes Mr. Hype down with a back elbow, then rips at his nose before locking in a rear chinlock. Rawley just can’t gain any momentum here, as Dawson keeps knocking him off his feet with clotheslines and elbow and connecting – his brawling style appears to have his opponent rocked. Finally, Rawley reverses a whip across the ring and hits a body avalanche! A Rear View off the ropes and then the Avalanche Splash to give Rawley the win!
After the bell, LeFort seems to be trying to recruit Rawley again but it’s all a ruse and Dawson assaults his opponent from behind, leaving him laid out in the corner. A feud for Rawley! Huzzah! This was kind of poor, to be honest – Rawley basically came in with his finisher bar full so could hit his signatures as soon as he got a chance. I’m not really a fan of wins coming when the guy has had no offence at all then nails all his main moves to get the victory. I get that they’re trying to keep Rawley looking like a boss, but couldn’t he have got something in during the opening of the match before going to the finish? Just jars with me a little bit.
Ooh, it’s the 200th episode of NXT next week! The Ascension have issued an open challenge to any tag team in the world! Who will show up? Bo Dallas will have a lumberjack match with Adrian Neville – he can’t escape the ring this time! And Triple H is making a special appearance! Good for him!
Alex Riley is majorly unhappy about Sami Zayn, saying he shouldn’t have another shot at Dallas after losing his championship match against him and that he had no reason for distracting Kruger last week. The former, I kind of find it hard to disagree with – but he’s also not got another shot at Dallas yet, and has clearly not got one set up for the future either seeing as he’s now taking on Kruger. And the latter is just plain wrong. Didn’t he see Kruger take out Zayn last week, before the match he got a little bit involved with? Do you actually watch the product, Alex, or when you commentate are you just too busy thinking about your times with The Miz to pay attention?
Zayn charges out of the blocks with a double legged take down and just wails on Kruger, the two brawling with each other on the mat until Kruger wipes Sami out with a huge spinebuster before kicking him out of the ring. The South African mercenary follows him out and drives him into the ring apron before rolling him back in for a two count and then dumping him back outside. When he follows, however, Zayn strikes back with a chop across the chest, but the flurry gets cut off and Kruger takes him out with a bodyslam on the mats outside. Back on the inside now, Kruger locks on a cravate and cuts off a Zayn rally, but off the ropes Zayn hits a big dropkick! Kruger bails on the ring again, and Zayn follows, this time keeping the pressure up with chops to the chest. He rolls Kruger back in and takes to the top rope, connecting with a crossbody! 1…2…no, Kruger just kicks out! Zayn goes to the knuckle lock and climbs the ropes for the tornado DDT, but Kruger knocks him off! The Slice connects! Kruger wins! And after the bell he goes for another Slice – ‘Sami deserves this’ says Alex Riley – but he misses! Zayn sends him to the outside and then throws himself over the top rope! Referees have to break up the ensuing brawl – well that’s added some fuel to the fire!
This was kind of short – I’d like to have seen a bit more from the pairing, as I think they hinted at some good chemistry, but it flashed by a little too much for my liking. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but I think it could have been better if there had been some more time for the two guys to actually build things up in the ring. Loved Kruger going for the simplest reversal in the book when Zayn got flashy at the end looking for his finisher, though – gave it that feeling of him having scouted ahead and worked out a way to get out of the move that could end the match in his opponents favour, so that was good. Other than length, I have no complaints, so I guess it must have been alright at least?
I think this might be the first time that one of the NXT women has won the NXT MVP award for two consecutive weeks – to be honest, I knew Bayley was going to claim it this week the moment she interacted with Natalya, as she completely nailed that interaction, but outside of that I loved the in ring stuff she did this week – echoing her partners offence after establishing that she looked up to her was perfect, and even though she ended up on the losing end she was the star of that tag match. I hope you get your hands on Charlotte soon, Bayley, because I want you to exact serious revenge on your one time friend and then get some silver and pink around your waist.
11/12/2013 – Bayley
05/12/2013 – Paige
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
Well, that was a pretty good week of NXT TV, all told – only Rawley vs Dawson was a bit of a miss for me, as everything else hit the mark on some level – the opening three matches were a really strong set, it was just that and the closing Zayn vs Kruger that I would give a little criticism to, and the latter is only case of wanting more of it. If they’d cut the Rawley match out and given those two more time, I think we could have been sitting on one of the best NXT episodes to date, to be honest.
Next week – NXT episode 200! Dallas vs Neville – who will leave as NXT Champion? The Ascension’s worldwide challenge – will we see someone different answer it? Triple H showing up – what will he have to say for himself? NXTians, there are only two places you can find out – Hulu or here. Until next week, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!