TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (4/11/13)
Apr 11, 2013 - 8:14:07 PM
Good day NXTians! How are you this fine afternoon/evening/morning/whatever time of day you may be reading this? I hope you’re all keeping well. I know you, like me, have been on tenterhooks for the past week, hotly anticipating the clash between William Regal and Kassius Ohno. Lord knows, I wish we didn’t have to sit through some other stuff before we get there, but alas, that is the case. So, without further ado, grab yourself a beverage, wriggle deep into your seat, and prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride in…
The NXT Review: 10/04/2013 – The One Where I Start To Like Emma A Bit
We kick off with a video package looking back at the last three weeks of build for Regal vs Ohno. There’s a lot left uncovered here, like the months of matches where Ohno would stare at Regal from the ring, as if looking to impress him or show off in front of him, but the last three weeks, from the in ring promo to the two attacking each other at the announce booth, has been great build.
I thought I’d do a little research on The Shield before I reviewed this match. Sure, I know enough about them all now, through weeks of FCW, NXT and watching two of their careers prior to their time in the big leagues (hint: it wasn’t Reigns’ time in American football), but it’s always good to refresh the old memory. So I popped a search in, and thought I’d try and find some amusing images of them ‘before they were famous’, MTV style. Unfortunately, I found this, and vomited a little in my mouth:
I mean, what the fuck is that? Who does these things? Is this…is this what that Fifty Shade of Grey thing is about? I don’t know for sure, as I’ve never read it, but I guess it’s all stuff like this. Fifty Shades of WWE – a tie in nobody wants to see. And look at that horrible typo. Why is Rollins paying for this gangbang with her tits and asshole? More to the point, where is that legal tender? And how many assholes are there to a tit?
Anyway, The Shield enter through the crowd to cheers as Brad Maddox (Brad Maddox is on commentary again! Hurrah! Beef Mode: Engage!) puts over just how deadly they are. Before the match can even start (the three jobbers, as is only right, got jobber entrances), three men in black assault their opponents, clearing the ring of them until on Scott Dawson is left with Roman Reigns. The bell finally rings, and as is always the case, The Shield run like clockwork, quick tags and cutting off the ring. This is actually Dean Ambrose’s first time competing in an NXT ring – some NXT invader he is, huh? At commentary, Maddox calls Tom Phillips ‘Jerry’. Seriously, where is this Maddox on Raw every week? I swear people would absolutely love him if he was like this weekly. Even after being corrected, he continues to call Phillips Jerry. Ah, I think the amount of man love I have for him is derailing this. Dawson finally breaks out of the corner, tagging in Axl Keegan, but no matter – Ambrose assaults him, tags Rollins in, and they hit what I’m reliably informed is known as the ‘Flying Antelope’ – it’s that thing where Ambrose has a bow and arrow and Rollins hits the knee drop. The more you know, huh? Rollins nails a standing shiranui because he clearly wants to do all my favourite moves, and The Shield pick up the win. Percy Watson didn’t even get to do his bouncy jumpy things!
After the match, they triple team Scott Dawson, hitting the triple powerbomb on him, and grab a microphone. The usual ‘justice has been done, we’re great, 12-0 now bitches, believe in The Shield’ stuff gets interrupted by Corey Graves, who appears to have no arms in his video segment. Graves lays down an open challenge to any of the three members, and Seth Rollins accepts. That’s next week done then. Rollins even gives Reigns and Ambrose the night off ahead of time – how nice of him.
I still love The Shield. I will always love The Shield. The booking for them has been perfect to date, the way they dominate on shows like NXT and Main Event (not seen it this week? Kofi Kingston gets destroyed by them, Brodus Clay and Tensai both get triple powerbombed, and I laugh like a maniac) because they’re good enough to destroy these guys in no time at all, having already beaten multi-time heavyweight champions. Graves is an odd one – he got attacked by The Shield, came back and lost a number one contenders match against Conor O’Brian that was ostensibly a heel vs heel match, and now suddenly he’s a face. I mean, he’s been getting some face pops for his work, and deservedly so, but there’s no real reason why he’s suddenly flipped. Oh well. Graves vs Rollins is going to be a good one next week, I should think.
Backstage, Tony Dawson is interviewing The First Lady of NXT Summer Rae. Rae kicks up a fuss because Dawson doesn’t address her properly – heck, she scares me so I’m always careful to include her full title – and then explains why she fled last week. She left her curling iron on in the changing room, guys, and had to flee – nothing to do with Paige, no way. Oh, Summer Rae – she’s the ultimate heel woman. You know how Michelle McCool had that bitchy voice, the one the Secondary school girls who flushed your copies of WWE magazine down the toilets had? No? Just me? Oh. Well, Rae has that voice down perfectly. She is the queen of all the bitches, and I love it.
Emma is backstage. Calm yourself, Mizfan! She does a little promo, likening her path to date in NXT to Lady Gaga and Madonna’s. Renee Young says that the crowd are calling her a bit of a klutz, to which she responds, and I quote:
‘Ah, kids these days, doing that Electric Slide and the Macarena. The all pale in comparison to the Emmalution’
And then dances off and falls over. I think I just found a new favourite. Well done, Emma, that was Grade A or ridiculous, and I hope you talk forever about the kids these days as if we’re still in the mid-90s.
‘Hi, girls, look, sorry we couldn’t fit you on the WrestleMania card. We had to suck off The Rock a bit.’
‘That’s alright, Mr. Haitches, we understand’
‘How about a holiday in Florida? There’s sun and stuff, and you four could have a match’
‘Excellent. You’ve got four minutes for your match. Off you pop.’
Ha, Tom Phillips just called this a WrestleMania rematch. Oh dear. They start off with some bottom wiggling, both at each other and in each other’s faces. You know, there’s too much butt going on here. Naomi hits that somersault clothesline, which is nice enough, and then her and Cameron tag in and double team, both doing the splits on top of Brie. I know it’s Brie because she has the smaller boobies. Nikki tags in and the two work over Cameron in the corner, then she locks in an arm trap chinlock. Cameron fights her way out, reversing into a neckbreaker, but Nikki’s up too quickly and cuts off the tag. With Brie back in, the two double team the Tough Enough graduate with…I don’t know, a roly poly body slam, perhaps? They each wrap a leg up on a downed Cameron, roll through and then slam her down. Whatever it is, it gives them the win.
Shrug. It wasn’t the prettiest of matches at all, and means nothing in the long run for NXT, so whatever. Sometimes they do this odd thing where a match just gets thrown on a card with no real reason for it being there, and this was one of them. It was OK, but nothing more.
Backstage, Kassius Ohno is wearing this:
He can no longer hear out of his right ear because Regal burst his eardrum. He puts over that he’s been studying the Lord in the run up to their match, and he is ready to put him out of commission for good. Regal on the other hand, in another backstage segment, begs his children for forgiveness for what he is about to do. Crumbs. Those two promos have only served to up my anticipation level.
Here. We. Go. The two start off feeling each other out, locking up a pair of collar and elbows where each forces the other into the corner. Regal breaks his clean, but Ohno gets the cheap shot in. As he goes for a chop, Regal catches his arm and hooks up a wrist lock, driving Kassius to the canvas. The Lord sends the former Chris Hero to the mat with an arm drag and locks in a bent armbar. Ohno tries to fight out of it, but Regal moves around and puts on a hammerlock. Obviously, he’s targeted the left arm of Kassius, keeping that one locked up. This is tentative, but each is putting over the other as a legit threat, which is terrific and just the way I like it. In the corner, Regal hits a couple of knees, then remonstrates with the ref whilst kicking Ohno in the face behind his back – wonderful. A stiff elbow to the jaw sends Ohno down again, and Regal is well on top here, locking in a cravate around the top rope. As the ref breaks it up, Ohno finally gets some offense in, a knee to the gut sending Regal to the outside. He baseball slides into the head of Regal, right in the temple, and keeps aiming for that spot with big boots in the corner. That has to be what he wanted to do, following the loss of his hearing all those weeks ago – a revenge assault. Regal powers out of a full nelson using his leg for leverage, and with him down starts to stamp on and bend the fingers of his opponent.
As Ohno escapes, Regal follows him into a corner and starts to deliver knees to the head, plus locking up that left arm again, bending those fingers back to stop his opponent from locking in his submission finisher. This is fantastic storytelling so far – Ohno wants to take Regal out, but the Lord isn’t going to let him by making it impossible for him to lock in his moves. As he tries to beg off in the corner, Ohno catches Regal with a big knee to the temple, poleaxing him completely, and then the camera cuts to an absolutely sickening up close shot of Kassius seemingly popping his dislocated fingers back in. Yuck. As Regal rolls into the corner, Ohno slips to the outside and hits a big boot to his rivals head, squashing it between the ring post and his boot. Regal’s plan, though, has worked, and his opponent is unable to lock in his finishing submission. It might not be enough though – he’s glassy eyed and clearly thrown completely off balance from the damage to his ear. But that doesn’t stop him hitting a big exploder suplex! He tries for a Regal Stretch, but Ohno elbows out of it and hits a back suplex that lands his opposite number right on his head. Regal back to his knees dares Ohno to take it to him, and Kassius reciprocates with a big boot. Ohno goes for his rolling elbow, but Regal strikes with one of his own! A knee trembler! This one’s over!
I’m not one for grading matches, I have a scale in my head but I never really define what actually puts a match in a certain rank. To make sure, I watched this one back. Make no mistake – I am calling this the best match I have seen this year outside of Tanahashi vs Okada from Wrestle Kingdom 7. Everything about it was masterful, it built on what had been established going into the match (Ohno’s ear injury and him wanting to inflict the same damage on Regal; Regal wanting to stop Ohno locking in his finisher, which he knew would be the end for him), all the offense looked crisp and effective – no mistakes, all delivered on point - and, crucially, there was no finisher kick-out marathon. It ended when it should end, and perfectly so.
I’m sorry. I swore blind last week that if Brad Maddox turned up on commentary I’d give him NXT MVP, but I just can’t. It’s not that he was bad by any stretch of the imagination, and one day I will wax lyrical on just how much I enjoy him on commentary because it is a lot. But for the effort he put in in the main event, and all the work in the build up to it, I have to give it to this man:
I’ve had a wish to give Ohno this for a while now, but there is no way I could qualify it. But when you put on a match and feud of the quality his with Regal has been, there can be no denying that he’s earnt it (just a note: I want to keep this to NXT guys, so giving it to Regal, whilst I’d have loved to, wasn’t an option. You can consider this a joint award if you want.)
10/04/2013 – Kassius Ohno
03/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
20/03/2013 – Leo Kruger
13/03/2013 – Bray Wyatt
And so it comes to an end. I’ll be honest, NXTians, this wasn’t that good a show – The Shield squash was fun, but so short it hardly made an impact, and the Divas tag match was very poor. But then, that main event. Crikey. You’d be hard pushed to watch a better match this year than that, in any promotion, but in the WWE? Unless Bryan and Ziggler face off in a twenty five minute barnstormer, I can’t see two people putting on a performance to match that. Even Punk vs Taker looks average against it. I implore you, if you see only one match during the rest of this week, make it that one. I do hope they get a chance to come to blows again – I’ve touched on this being a lot like the Ambrose/Regal feud before, and Regal won the first match there, so there’s certainly a way to get them to a second match.
And there it is, another week done! Next week, Seth Rollins faces off with Corey Graves, in what was confirmed during this show to be a lumberjack match, while the other members of The Shield have a week off to drink cocktails and play poker. Plus – some other stuff! I’m sure there will be other stuff! Maybe Emma will turn up! Or Bray Wyatt! Who knows? Until next Thursday, fellow NXTians, take care when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Auf Wiedersehen!