TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (4/26/13)
Apr 26, 2013 - 9:18:10 AM
Hello NXTians! Hope you’re all coping well with the various things going on in your lives right now. Don’t let the bastards bring you down! They don’t in Orlando – that’s right, it’s another week of NXT, and this week it’s Clash of the Champions! Four titles will be defended, Antonio Cesaro will probably steal the show, Brad Maddox will likely steal my heart, and I’ll be forced to question just why Bo Dallas exists again. All this, and the obligatory more, in…
The NXT Review: 24/04/2013 – The One With Beef Mode
Dusty Rhodes kicks us off tonight, Daddy! Just to introduce Clash of the Champions, a series of matches he has arranged himself over the past few weeks. He’s very pleased with himself, as he should be as NXT GM – he’s doing a bloody good job. Right, let’s get into the meat of this thing.
The match I possibly most looking forward to this week is going on first. Why am I so excited about it? Well, when you put The Five Minute King (you can have that one, Antonio) in the ring, you always get something worth watching, for a start. But when you match up a guy who excels at making high flyers look better than they are – hi Kofi Kingston! How are you doing Sin Cara? – up against the best high flyer NXT has by some margin, I think I have a right to have high expectation. WWE decide to rub it in that the Swiss Sensation lost the US title to one of the most mediocre wrestlers on the roster by running a little ticker along the bottom of the screen, pointing out that this was taped a few weeks in advance as Cesaro grabs a microphone. I think I might have to treat myself to the Antonio Cesaro t-shirt, by the way. It’s a thing of rare beauty in the WWE t-shirt landscape. Anyway, the crowd chants USA at him as he says he’s the longest reigning champion in WWE right now…no, I can’t, this is too upsetting. I’m sorry you got screwed over, Antonio. I’m so sorry.
Adrian Neville hits the ring, and Byron Saxton does the big match introductions. Do you remember Byron Saxton? No? Can’t say I blame you. We’re off, and Neville gets a quick roll up for one, Cesaro with a waist lock takedown, and then Neville with another pinning combination. They’re already setting the speed vs power story for the match, as the Swiss man hits a shoulder block of the ropes and locks in a rear chin lock. Neville bounces off the ropes, and hits a big head scissors takedown sending his opponent to the outside. I have a bone to pick here, it’s one that’s bothered me for a long time – Tony Dawson calls that head scissors a hurricanrana. They are not the same thing. A hurricanrana (at least, as far as I’m aware, feel free to correct me on this) is when you do the head scissors and take it into a pin, whereas a head scissors is specifically when you don’t take it into a pin, like this. It’s a little thing, but it bugs me. Still, who am I to talk – I didn’t recognise Emma’s finisher as the Muta Lock last week, and have felt bad about it for the past seven days. Meanwhile, Regal says Neville is the ‘most incredible competitor’ he’s seen since the Dynamite Kid – big words that I think the Geordie can back up, as he hits a quick roll up for two, followed by a standing dropkick. Cesaro stops him from following up, though, catching him and flapjacking him into the turnbuckle, before locking on another rear chin lock. Adrian Neville slips into a nice pair of pinning combinations on his rival for two counts, but, in keeping with the back and forth nature of the match, Cesaro catches him attempting a crossbody and reverses it into a backbreaker. That was impressive. Neville sends his opponent to the outside, and then hits one of the most gorgeous Asai moosault’s I’ve ever seen - he actually uses the top rope, rather than the middle one, to springboard off, and it looks phenomenal. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen Marufuji hit one like that, but the hang time Neville gets here makes me actually think gravity did momentarily let its attention slip. Back in the ring, Neville comes off the ropes and Cesaro throws the wee Geordie up to set up the Very European Uppercut, but Neville lands on his shoulders and turns it into a hurricanrana driver! Wow, that was pretty special, although it looked a little clumsy – to be honest, I initially thought they’d botched Cesaro locking in the Neutraliser, but watching it back it seems they actually went for that move. Neville’s moonsault out of the corner gets reversed, as Cesaro catches him, but the Man That Gravity Forgot reverses the reversal into a DDT, and off that looks to hit the corkscrew shooting star press. Cesaro, though, is wise, and pushes him off the ropes. He hits a running European uppercut to his opponent in the corner, and then lifts him out, straight into the neutraliser for the three count.
I actually can’t believe the amount of stuff these two squeezed in to an eight minute match here – it was all action from bell to bell. Cesaro kept up with the quicker man really well, and Neville – well, he’s not a former NXT MVP for nothing. He looked terrific, that asai moonsault was a thing of beauty, and I think he actually showed more variation to his moveset here than he has before. Whether that’s because the Five Minute King Antonio Cesaro lets him do these sorts of things, in the same way that I’ve never seen Sin Cara hit a sunset flip powerbomb except against him, or because he’s actually going to have them in his arsenal regularly, I don’t know. But one thing’s for certain – the night is off to a good start.
Poor Kaitlyn. She’s been lumbered with a series of the very worst theme songs in WWE history, and the one she has now is an aural disaster. I didn’t think it was possible for anything to be worse than ‘Spin The Bottle’, but this is. Poor girl. I actually really like Kaitlyn (sorry, I don’t get much time to talk about main roster wrestlers I like and dislike a lot in these, so I’m taking full advantage this week) – anybody who hates ‘Big Bang Theory’ is OK with me. Plus, I want to hug her. Not weirdly or anything, I’m a married man after all, but I do want to give her a hug and maybe become very best friends. Kaitlyn, if you’re reading, the offer’s open any time you’re in the UK – pop round for a cup of tea and a scone.
AJ Lee is super over with the NXT crowd, as is Kaitlyn – they chant ‘Yes!’ for the former and ‘No!’ at the latter. Even though the two best friends shake hands, AJ then slaps the hybrid Diva, who strong arms Dolph’s girlfriend into the corner. She looks to follow up with a shoulder charge, but AJ avoids it and Kaitlyn hits nothing but ring post. Her opponent takes advantage with a Fujiwara armbar, which she works around into a backhammer and then bridges it over, ala her boyfriend. Wrestling! With women! Hurrah! Kaitlyn tries to fight out of the hold, but AJ takes her back down again with an armbar takedown, continuing to work that previously injured arm. As she looks to press home the advantage, Kaitlyn starts to fight back with her good arm, hitting some big blows to the midsection. Although she gets her boots up to stop her rampaging former friend, AJ’s crossbody attempt from the top rope is rolled through by Kaitlyn, who powers her up into a Scorpion Death Drop for a two count. The former Raw GM with a spin kick and a shining wizard now for a two count of her own. Back and forth, back and forth. AJ, frustrated with that, starts to go crazy on her one time best friend, but this rush of blood makes her careless, and out of nowhere Kaitlyn hits the spear for the three count.
That was good, I think. It showed some glimmers of becoming something really enjoyable, but became a little slow in the second half – everything after I wrote ‘armbar takedown’ up there seemed to lose its way slightly, and it kind of devolved into a bit of a brawl, but the momentum kept switching up and I think the two are capable of putting on something really good to watch. I’m kind of a little disappointed that they didn’t work a similar scenario as they did for the US title and put Kaitlyn up against an NXT woman, any of them would have done, but it is what it is. I’m quite looking forward to seeing these to face off again in the future.
The matches just keep coming – they’re being broken up with adverts for what’s coming up in WWE, like the European tour and Extreme Rules. Big E Langston five counts his way to the ring, and he is taking on BEEF MODE BRAD MADDOX. Do you think that Beef Mode is Maddox’s ‘Hulking up’? I sort of hope he just needs some jerky and then goes completely crazy. Maddox introduces himself, because he is brilliant. The more I see Brad Maddox, the more I like him. According to his own entrance, he weighs 295 pounds, chiseled. I have a sinking feeling this will be quick. Big Edison hits a big back body drop, some blows to the gut, and his running body block all within about thirty seconds. He takes the straps down, nails the Big Ending, and Big Elijah takes the win. He then comes back, hits his finish again, and counts to five with the crowd. And then he does it again. What a dick.
Poor Brad Maddox. Engage Beef Mode next time and you might last two minutes.
It’s the feud that never happened on the main roster! They run a little hype video, detailing the reasons behind this match happening. Backstage…is that...yes! It is! It’s Bo Dallas and his band of Oompa-Loompa’s! Oh, I can’t wait to see what they have to say to us today! I hope you’re ready, NXTians…
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Bo’s got a shot at a title tonight,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
He’s already given Barrett a fright.
Bo says that he’s underestimated,
Like Michaels, Hart, and Mr Perfect before,
IC holders those three all were,
Tonight Bo the champ will leave Wade feeling sore.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Tonight you will see Bo put on a charge,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
This is the birth of the ‘Bo Barrage’.
No, seriously, Bo Dallas has genuinely just compared himself to Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. He also included Randy Savage in there. He also took the mick out of Tony Dawson’s suit – he’s been taking promo lessons from The Rock and John Cena, hasn’t he?
NXTians, I’m reasonably sure the crowd are chanting ‘no more Bo’. I’m with you, crowd, I’m with you. It might well actually be ‘go Bo, go’, but I prefer my version. The two trade hard forearms to the chin in the early going, and Barrett this a few more for good measure. Bo then hits a crossbody off the ropes and looks to finish this with a pair of pinning combinations, both getting two counts from the ref. The worst dropkick I have ever seen send Barrett to the outside where he regroups. Back in the ring, Barrett almost rips Dallas’ shoulder out of the socket, sending him somersaulting around and landing on his head. The Intercontinental champion follows up with a big boot to the head. Look, can I be honest, NXTians – I really don’t care about this. I like Barrett, but since he came back I’ve found him pretty boring in the ring. Dallas bores me to tears. I know it’s bad to say when I’m supposed to be encouraging you to watch the show, but this main event is sleep inducing so far. Seriously, sit an insomniac down in front of this and they’d be off to the land of nod by now. Barrett is stretching the shoulders of his opponent, and although Bo works his way up to his feet Wade stays on top, hitting a big pump handle slam for a two count. The only thing I like about Barrett is that he is quite the brawler – a less technical William Regal, if you like. He hits knees to the head of Dallas in the ropes, and then suplexes him back in. Dallas finally starts to get some momentum going, getting his feet up to stop Barret and the sending him into the turnbuckle with a drop toe hold. Dallas keeps it up with a few kicks to his opponent, and then reverses a second pump handle slam into a pin. Bo goes for his corner springboard bulldog, but Barrett just shrugs him off and nails Winds Of Change for a two count. It’s really hard to write this when it’s so bloody boring. The man from Preston is looking for the Bullhammer now, but Dallas ducks and this time connects with the bulldog and Wade kicks out at two. Dallas fights out of a Wasteland attempt and ends up on the top turnbuckle, but his jump off – where he was going absolutely fucking nowhere – finds him socked with the Bullhammer and it’s all over.
Urgh. That wasn’t strictly bad, I guess, but Christ was it boring. There were no big issues, it was fine. But that’s it, it was just ‘fine’. I wouldn’t send a postcard home about it if I watched it live. Bo Dallas continues to infuriate – I want him to prove me wrong so badly and be great, but he’s the most uninteresting person on the NXT roster bar none, and that includes all the various jobbers that don’t get a look in.
I’m tempted to give this to Big E Langston, just because it would mean not repeating myself from three weeks ago, but I simply can’t award this to someone who beat up Brad Maddox for a minute. So it goes back to…
The NXT MVP for Adrian Neville is richly deserved. Whilst his first award was as much based on what he had done to date in NXT, this is awarded solely based on him having the match of the night with Antonio Cesaro. His work there was terrific, and he actually ended up carrying the bulk of the match himself, being on the offensive for lengthy periods. And that asai moonsault – I don’t think I’ll stop talking about that for a while, he seemed to actually float through his rotation as he sprung from the top rope. The Man Who Gravity Forgot was certainly on form tonight, and long may it continue. I am a little fearful that, with Oliver Grey out for around six months, he’ll be on the back burner as the tag champion, but hopefully they’ll continue to let him further his NXT career in singles competition.
24/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
17/04/2013 – Emma
10/04/2013 – Kassius Ohno
03/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
20/03/2013 – Leo Kruger
13/03/2013 – Bray Wyatt
OK, so let’s be honest NXTians – you can cut out the main event this week. I’d love that not to be true, but it bored me to distraction and wasn’t anything worth writing home about. That said, the rest of the show was another solid effort. I can’t say enough good things about the opener with Antonio Cesaro and Adrian Neville; that match particularly enthralled me, and both guys put on a good show. Kaitlyn vs AJ Lee started well, and even though it fizzled out a little as it went on it was by no means bad. And even Big E Langston annihilating Brad Maddox could be classed as entertaining, I guess. I just want Maddox to win things all the time, so it hurt my heart a little bit.
Next week – Chris Jericho shows his face down in Orlando! What will he have to say or do down in deepest Florida? Find out, next week right here…on LordsofPain.net! Cheap pops for the win. Until then, you beautiful NXTians you, take care when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Bless!