TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (4/18/13)
Apr 19, 2013 - 10:17:10 AM
NXTians! How you all doing this fine day? Me? Oh, you shouldn’t have! I’m doing OK, thanks for asking. Right, let’s get on board the good ship NXT for another week of hot, heavy action. After last week’s stupendous main event, this week our hour is headlined by The Shied member Seth Rollins facing off against the master of the 13th Step Corey Graves in a lumberjack match which promises to be a blast. But that’s not all! Oh no! NXT gives you more, much more! How much more? Well, read on and find out in…
The NXT Review: 17/04/2013 – The One With The Tarantula
We start with a look back at The Shield dominating WWE as a whole and Corey Graves looking like an absolute bad arse by calling them all out last week as the lead up to tonight’s main event. This match, in a different way to last week’s top billed bout, has me hyped – it’s always good to see what two good younger roster members can do. Tony Dawson and William Regal on commentary are too – let’s join them for our first match!
These two South Africans have been at each other’s throats for quite some time now, since Kruger attacked Gabriel’s tag team partner, and more importantly friend, Tyson Kidd when he came to give an in ring interview on his recovery. They’ve clashed a few times, and each match has progressively improved. I absolutely adore Kruger’s gimmick – he’s this deranged, demented guy who pulls at his own hair, and really gives off this air of being able to hurt someone because he’s insane.
The two circle each other and lock up. Kruger’s a git, so doesn’t break clean, instead chopping Gabriel hard in the chest, leading to a chop fest that Misawa and Kawada would be proud of. The upper hand trades sides, first the larger man hits a couple of big shoulder blocks, but Gabriel leapfrogs him running the ropes and hits a deep, Steamboat-esque armdrag and locks in an armbar. Both men’s chests are bright red and look sore – those chops must have bloody hurt. Kruger forces his way out of the armbar (Jericho variation #382, for the record) by tugging at the hair, then hits a huge spinebuster. With the high flyer down, he grinds his elbow into the temple, and then hits some hard elbows onto the already raw chest of his opponent. Gabriel fights back with a big monkey flip and some more chops – seriously, how many chops are there in this match? The count must be easily in the low twenties by now. Regal actually mentions it on commentary, saying that it’s a bit pointless unless deployed in the right place. Have I ever mentioned how Regal is a really strong colour commentary guy? Unlike, say, a Lawler, he actually gives you information about why moves hurt and why the people in the ring are doing them, which really builds the understanding of the fan up. It’s a nice change of style from the main shows. Meanwhile, Gabriel locks in a Fujiwara armbar - given he did all that work on the arm earlier, that’s a nice touch - and Kruger just scrapes his way to the ropes to break it. With his opponent down, Gabriel goes for the 450 splash, but Kruger cuts him off, stopping the momentum. As the Cape Town Werewolf goes for a sunset flip, Kruger holds onto the ropes and Gabriel flips nothing but his fringe. A big double stomp leads to the Alpha Male Lion locking in the GC3 inverted key lock, and his Gabriel has no choice but to tap out.
That was, as I’ve come to expect from these two, a very tidy match indeed. I wouldn’t wax lyrical about it for a days on end, but everything within the match was crisply done and Kruger leaves looking like a beast. He took a bit of a pounding from Justin Gabriel, but comes out of the other side with a big win. There’s a lot to like about him, and I think it’s high time he moved on to challenging for the big X belt that Big E Langston holds currently. Gabriel, on the other hand, I’ve long thought should be higher up than doing the job to guys on NXT – but I guess I just need to accept that this is his place and he’ll be here for a while now. If he’s going to keep putting on good undercard matches, though, I suppose it isn’t all bad.
In the back, Paige is raging. She’s angry that Summer Rae keeps running away from her and demands a one on one match with The First Lady of NXT. This is a really feisty promo, lots of passion from the Brit Diva…and then Summer Rae springs a surprise attack on here from behind. ‘Who’s running now?’ says Summer, as, er, she walks away. Well, I guess you’re at least walking, not running. I’ve been racking my brains to try and think of a Divas storyline on the main shows that has been built as well as this over the past few years. I mean, I know they have a lot of storylines, but they’re pretty poor. This is being built the way a Divas storyline should be built – like a men’s storyline, but with women in their place. Good promo work from both, attacks from behind, a cowardly heel who I think everyone wants to see beaten…it’s writing class 101 stuff, but it works, and here it’s working well.
It’s Emma and the Emmalution! I’m still not completely sold on her, but hell, at least I don’t fear seeing her anymore. Neither does this crowd, apparently, as they pop big (as big as 1000 or so people can, at least) for her music. Someone has a fully poseable Emma sign in the crowd; they make it do the arms and everything. And she got into the ring this time! Emma chants in the crowd from the off, dancing around, as are the people in the crowd.
Bayley starts on top, a rear wristlock and then a dropkick which makes Emma try and leg it. Bayley, however, drags her back in by her feet. The former Davina Rose then tries for a sunset flip, but Emma reverses it into a double leg nelson pin, which she executes whilst Emmalutioning (do you think I could trademark that now before it becomes the next Fandangoing?), driving the crowd wild. No, really, they love it. From the kick out, Bayley hits an X-Factor, and then locks in a rear chin lock to keep the prancing Ozzie grounded. People are booing Bayley, I assume as much because they love Emma rather than hate her. The dancer fights out and then she USES A TARANTULA! MIZFAN, GET HERE NOW, TAJIRI IS VERY HAPPY ABOUT THIS! After the hold is broken, Emma hits a cannonball to the corner, and then flapjacks her opponent, rolling through it to lock in a…what? No, seriously, what? What have I just seen? I will describe it thusly – she crosses the legs over, as if going for a cloverleaf, but locks the front leg behind her knee. She then bridges over to lock in a chin lock. It…it’s pretty special, actually. I like it a lot. Plus, a Diva with a submission finisher! Hurrah! Emma moves up another notch on the ladder, as Bayley taps quickly, leaving Emma to strut her stuff in the ring. It won’t be long before we see her in a fully-fledged feud, I’m sure. William Regal, for what it’s worth, wants to take Emma to a rave. That match was very enjoyable – unlike on previous occasions, Emma actually showed the wrestling nous I thought she must have hidden away in there, and Bayley looked good in defeat. I hope they debut that NXT women’s championship soon – they’ve sure got the talent to support it down there.
The Fall Of The Tatsu Dynasty: Chapter 1 – The Climb
Yoshi looked up at the imposing flight of stairs before him. He shielded his eyes – whilst weak, the midday sunshine was still beaming down through the breaks in thin, low lying clouds. The building he was aiming for, his target in all this, was barely visible, so long was the stairway before he would reach it. But he had to get there. As he placed one foot on the bottom step, he could help but run through the lyrics to his favourite Miley Cyrus song:
‘Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb’
Man , did he love the music of that country munchkin. The lyrics to ‘The Climb’ spoke so much to him, and everything he had been through over the past twelve months.
This was the final stage of the journey that had started on April 17th, 2013. He’d been knocked down, beaten up, and dragged around by The Wyatt Family. Sure, his match had only been against the head of the family, but that hadn’t stopped his two followers coming down to ringside. Even the offense he got in against his opponent seemed futile – a kick to the jaw being the sum total of the damage he’d done before he ended up staring at the lights for three seconds. And then he became a pawn in their game, Wyatt himself hitting his finisher on him for a second time and telling him that NXT was nothing but a playground. A playground! Yoshi wasn’t one for playing. And even though he knew that Bray could back up his claim that nobody in NXT could beat him, he couldn’t help but think that he should have a chance. But no. And he was fed up about it. Back in the locker room, he stared at his shoes with ‘Party In The USA’ on his iPod, but he didn’t feel like partying at all. Others cleared out around him, but he stayed prone, staring at the ground. Only when the lights went out did he realise – nobody cared. He, Yoshi Tatsu, had been forgotten about by everybody. He’d spent that night living off scraps of pasta salad left over from his lunch until the doors were unlocked the next morning. The moment he finally got home, he began to make plans. He knew what he had to do – he was going home, back to where it all began. There, he would find the man who held the secret power and beg to be helped, to unlock some of that power within him. He sure as hell wasn’t staying here to be the pawn in anybody’s playground.
It would be arduous, but Yoshi knew he could do it. He was driven and determined to master the power and conquer NXT. And all would bow beneath him when he became NXT champion. It was only a matter of time. He would make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible, Right after he listened to ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ again. That was a cracking album.
Everybody who could be classified as a jobber on NXT is surrounding the ring – not one recognisable name amongst them. Rollins makes his way through the crowd, as you’d expect, and gets a pop from the crowd, as does Graves. It’s a bit of an odd atmosphere, is the NXT arena, almost everyone gets cheered.
Rollins kicks things off, beating his opponent down hard in the corner, but as Graves fights his way out he tries to escape the ring, only to be cut off by the lumberjacks, halting his escape. The tattooed one hits a big fist drop, and follows up with a kick to the midsection, continuing to boss the early going. A shin breaker attempt is reversed into a sunset flip by Rollins for a two count. There’s not a whole lot of mat action going on here, which I sort of expected from these two – instead it’s a little bit of a slugfest. The Shield member hits a big jumping clothesline in the corner, but gets countered as he tries to repeat the feat, flying into the turnbuckle. As Graves looks to fly out of the corner, Rollins hits an assisted enziguri and sends him crashing to the ground. The lumberjacks do their job and send him back to the middle of the ring, where the former Tyler Black regains the upper hand with flying kick to the sternum. Do you ever think that all that body armour and cargo pants stuff must make moves like that a bit difficult? It can’t be easy to get a lot of elevation with so much weight all over your body. Rollins stomps on his opponent then locks in a rear chin lock (there are a lot of those tonight) as the lumberjacks try and gee up Graves, banging on the ring apron. It seems to work, as Rollins bites a big boot to the jaw, but the slight momentum gain is countered with an STO into the turnbuckle. Corey avoids a flying Rollins and hits a big knee to the face followed by a pair of clotheslines, before wrenching at the knee of his opponent with a couple of dragon screws, one from the top of the turnbuckle. And then, from nowhere, The Shield, who had the night off, turn up to take out the twelve jobbers at ringside. Ambrose nails Graves with a clothesline behind the referee’s back, which allows Rollins to hit a standing shiranui for the win, allowing The Shield to celebrate.
That felt a little short, and to be honest I’m a tad disappointed as neither man really shone. There were a lot of beatdown sections, and a whole lot of fisticuffs, but nothing that really played into what these two are good at. I think the match the two had back in January for the title was far better than this, so I guess it’s natural to feel a bit let down. But hey, at least The Shield still look like an almighty powerhouse – as I mentioned last week, it’s great that they come on shows like this and just dominate. Even though Rollins’ win was assisted, Ambrose and Reigns absolutely destroying twelve guys at ringside looks mighty impressive.
Umm…guys…look, I’m sorry and all, but I just…I can’t not do it. I’ve been hard on this person before, but tonight…tonight I was impressed.
When she first debuted, I hated Emma. Absolutely hated her. Her dance still makes me cringe and want to hurl, but back then she was dancing in the ring and it was detrimental to her actual wrestling. But tonight, she showed me something different – she showed ability to actually get down and dirty and do some great wrestling. Also, she used a fucking tarantula. I mean, that’s a massive plus point in my book. But overall (and for the sake of avoiding a repeat of Leo Kruger again) nobody impressed me more this week than Emma. So she becomes the first woman to win this little award, and I will become, until it all goes to shit, a member of the Emmalution.
17/04/2013 – Emma
10/04/2013 – Kassius Ohno
03/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
20/03/2013 – Leo Kruger
13/03/2013 – Bray Wyatt
Another week in the books! This was an OK show – nothing was quite going to match the quality of last week’s main event, or the week before where they put on their best show to date, so this feels like a come down, but in truth the show was above average. Kruger and Gabriel put on another cracking seven minute opener, Wyatt destroyed Tatsu in about a minute, making him look like the beast he is, and Emma. Oh Emma, where did it all go so right for you in my books? I can’t apologise enough for ever doubting you. Only Rollins and Graves really disappointed me this week, and whilst it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, on second viewing their match wasn’t completely dire either.
Next week – Clash of the Champions! Four belts will be defended, as Brad Maddox engages Beef Mode to face off against Big E Langston, Kaitlyn battles one time friend AJ Lee, Bo Dallas and his Oompa Loompa’s reignite their feud with Wade Barrett, and Switzerland’s own Antonio Cesaro squares off with England’s own Adrian Neville! The card is stacked to the brim with potential, and I for one can’t wait. Until then, my NXT brethren, take care when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Sudie!