TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (5/3/13)
May 3, 2013 - 8:54:23 AM
It’s that time of the week again! Come on in NXTians, settle yourselves down, and let me tell you what we’ve got in store tonight on a bumper edition of NXT. Tonight, Chris Jericho of Dancing with the Stars fame will be appearing! Plus, the continuation of one of the better WWE Divas storyline in years is here, as the raven haired lady Paige faces off against The First Lady of NXT Summer Rae. Let me be your guide and tell you all about it in.…
The NXT Review: 24/04/2013 – The One With Native American Deathlocks
We get right into the action with our opening contest – a triple threat, elimination tag team match between…well, those three team up there actually. The Wyatt Family come out without Bray Wyatt, which is a bit upsetting, but…hey, look who it is! Mr. Charisma Bo Dallas! What have his Oompa Loompa’s got to say today?
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Neville and Dallas teaming as two,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
What do you think they’re going to do?
Bo will say ‘woo’ and probably bore,
Neville will soar and we’ll all be in awe,
They’re going to beat the other two teams,
And maybe have time for tea in between
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Tonight this match is as easy as pie,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Bo and Neville, they’ll reach for the sky.
Thrilling. As the Oompa Loompa’s traipse off, Adrian Neville makes his entrance, still wearing that tag title belt that doesn’t have a partner. Neville is possibly more over than Dallas here which, given that he’s got much less WWE history than his teammate, is a good sign. Rowan and Dallas start off – the crowd still sound like they’re chanting ‘no more Bo’, and I still am fully happy about it. Quick tags between Neville and Dallas keep the momentum in their favour against the larger man, and we end up with Neville facing off against Luke Harper. I love these two; they’re both so damn good. Harper takes control, hitting a big European uppercut, but Neville dodges a stamp and kicks the former Brodie Lee in the head, sending him into the corner where Primo gets a tag. I feel sorry for Primo and Epico, those two guys have something to offer the tag division, in my mind – both have proved themselves more than capable in the ring and, in a tag division that’s once again floundering because the champions are too big for it, it feels like they should be on the map to some extent. Neville cuts Primo off with an arm drag, and then the crowd, I think, boo Dallas when he gets a tag. Everybody keeps tagging everybody, and eventually, we end up with Rowan in the ring, squaring off with Dallas – back where we started!
Rowan tags out to Harper who works Dallas down to the mat, and The Wyatt Family are suddenly dominant. Primo and Epico, on the flipside, seem very quiet – until suddenly Primo tags in and starts to take it to Bo Dallas, stomping him down in the corner and quickly tagging in and out with his cousin to keep on top. Bo fights back but runs into Epico, taking both of them out. They crawl to their respective corners, and Neville enters like a house on fire – phew, this match was already going a mile a minute and now the Geordie ratchets up the pace again, ducking a clothesline and taking his opponent down with a flying forearm and a standing shooting star press, with the pin attempt broken up by Primo. Dallas charges in and spears the illegal man out of the ring, and Neville knocks the family off of the apron, which Primo tries to take advantage of with a quick roll up but only gets a two count. Neville is whipped into the corner, but leaps out, over the head of his opponent and backflips across the ring. With Primo charging towards him, the Man that Gravity Forgot dodges, leaping over the top rope and connecting with a kick to the head, allowing him to nail the corkscrew shooting star press and eliminate Primo and Epico. With his eye off the ball though, he misses the re-entering Luke Harper, who nails him with a lariat to give The Wyatt Family the win.
Bloody hell, that was fast paced, even with the two big guys in there – Primo, Epico, Dallas and Neville are all quick guys, but Harper and Rowan kept pace with them, and the quick tags just increased the sense of urgency. I’d love to see the whole Wyatt family get called up as a unit, rather than just Bray as is constantly being rumoured – to me, they’re a set, and you can’t split them up now, especially as the idea is that the two guys here have been brainwashed by Wyatt, so would remain in his thrall even if he did vanish. Plus, Harper continues to be really, really impressive; he’s the kind of guy that would scare kids just because of the way he looks. I should know, as The Undertaker used to scare the shit out of me. In a normal world, this should position The Wyatt Family for a tag title shot, but without a partner for Neville who knows what’s going to happen. I do wish they’d actually do something with those damned tag team belts in Oliver Grey’s absence, as they’re currently nothing more than a shiny belt around Neville’s waist – why not just have Dallas be the champ in the interim period or something? If he and Neville are going to keep teaming together, it seems daft not to pull the trigger on some sort of honorary hand over of the title to him. Plus, then I’d get to watch Neville whenever Dallas was around, so the terrible to brilliant ratio wouldn’t make Bo matches so insufferable.
I have been waiting and anticipating this one for a good month or so now, ever since I read about the match happening at these tapings. Why? Well, to be honest, because the two have, between them, got my interest. I like Paige a lot, and having seen her wrestle in UK based community centres that previously held alcoholic anonymous gatherings I feel almost like I have to support her on this larger stage. At least she’s good, so it makes it easy. The First Lady of NXT Summer Rae, on the other hand, is so much more than Johnny Curtis’ dancer friend who he probably ploughs backstage. I mean, sure, she’s not going to go out and put on a good 10 minute match with Shanna any time soon, but she’s perfectly serviceable in the ring. But her character is where she excels – she’s Michelle McCool in the LayCool days. Except not as good at wrestling. But I love LayCool-era McCool because she was such a dick, and that’s perfect in wrestling. Oh, also, Summer Rae loves The Wonder Years, and anybody that loves The Wonder Years is OK with me.
But more than just liking the pair of them, this feud has pulled me in – it all started three months ago (three months! Some of the main roster Divas get pushes that don’t last that long, isn’t that right Alicia Fox?) when Summer Rae attacked Paige from behind, and has grown from that, through a single match where Rae injured Paige’s arm, past attempted attacks and sneak attacks, to the point where we are now. This isn’t your usual ‘Divas Battle Royal’ bullshit that we have to have when establishing a new number one contender because, oh I don’t know, someone in WWE creative ran out of ink in their pen, or because two best friends becoming mortal enemies just isn’t a compelling enough backdrop to the AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn storyline, so let’s just throw our five rostered women in the ring for two minutes! Also, fuck you Layla!
Anyway, Summer Rae and Paige - tonight, it all boils over. Paige enters first, super over as ever, but Summer Rae attacks her from behind. What a bitch! She takes too long gloating, however, and when she finally gets into the ring Paige is already fired up and lays some boots into her. To quote Brad Maddox ‘don’t mess with the anti-Diva – she doesn’t cook, she fights’. Paige flings Summer Rae around a bit, bouncing her off the ropes and throwing her to the canvas by the hair. Repeatedly. I mean, that’s the first minute of the match. We finally get some variation, as the Brit smacks her opponent in the face with an open palm strike, and then follows up with a gorgeous bridging fishermans suplex for two. As she looks to drive home the advantage, Summer suddenly pushes her back to the corner and starts pounding on her midsection and back, which descends into a catfight – a full on, hair pulling, head bashing against the mat catfight. Fandango’s dancer stays on top, throwing Paige into the ropes and starting to work on her left leg, slamming it into the mat before stealing Paige’s signature taunt because she has decided that she can only succeed if she owns my heart completely. As if to prove that factual, the next thing she does is lock in an Indian deathlock and my heart makes a loud whooshing noise. Brad Maddox, in an attempt to compound all this joy in my heart into a full on cardiac arrest, corrects William Regal on commentary and calls it a Native American deathlock – I love him so much it hurts some times. Summer now rolls the hold over to invert it and Paige, pain etched on her face, crawls, scratches and claws her way to the ropes. Brad Maddox is now calling Tony Dawson ‘Richard’, and Tony Dawson replies by saying ‘our survey says I’m watching this match right now’ – the chemistry between these three (Regal’s there too, as usual) is actually pretty good, I’ve enjoyed them a lot this past couple of weeks. As The First Lady of NXT goes to pull Paige up, she retaliates with a kick to the gut, and that allows her to sling Rae across the ring by the hair, and then stomps a mudhole into her in the corner. This causes Summer to blow the match off, but Paige catched her on the ramp and flings her into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Rae goes for her roundhouse kick finisher, but Paige catches it and reverses into the Paige Turner for the win!
Well, that was fun – the match was a bit more physical than I thought it would be, although I suppose in a grudge match I shouldn’t be too surprised. Paige looked really impressive – when is she going to get that call up? I guess they’re still holding out until she hits 21, but if she can be this good at 20, and actually be a wrestler and not some dancer/model/Lingerie Football League player or whatever coming in, I predict we’ll see a lot from her over the next five to ten years. The best thing is, I don’t think she’s going to just up and leave. She wants this, and once she gets it I don’t think she’ll let go like Raquel Diaz because screw you Raquel Diaz, I wanted you to wrestle like Eddie forever and it would have been great. The fact that Summer Rae kept up with her move for move, and possibly had the more impressive moveset overall in the match, shows just how well she’s done since coming in. Hey, maybe giving her the role of Fandango’s dancer is to let those two face off against The Great Khali and Natalya down the line! Wouldn’t that be thrilling, there’d only be two people I hate in that match, and one of them isn’t Fandango!
Oh, oh – I don’t want to pretend like I can see into the future or anything, but Neville gets to choose a partner to defend the titles with him and he’s picked Dallas, and next week they’re defending against The Wyatt Family. Just a shame they didn’t do that about six weeks ago.
Bray comes out with his family in tow and a microphone in hand which, as you know, makes me happy. He calls himself a real hero, the hero the world believes that stands up for what he believes in. You know, if his family are going to win the tag titles, I hope they put the NXT title on Bray Wyatt as well. How impressive would that be for the stable? Anyway, tonight Bray is going to break down the wall, because he’s amazing. Robot Combat League star Chris Jericho makes his entrance and is super over with the crowd in Full Sail, as you’d expect. Brad Maddox has pants that match Jericho’s jacket, commentary fans, and also wants to induct him into the hall of fame.
Wyatt gets in the face of Jericho to start, but that just angers the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla, who opens up on his opponent, causing him to bail from the ring and regroup with the family on the outside. The Downfall star doesn’t let up, though, and hits a baseball slide and whips Bray into the ringpost. Back in the ring, a flying crossbody from the first undisputed WWE champion gets a one count, and as he looks to take advantage Rowan grabs his foot – the referee’s smarter than any of the ones that oversee matches with the Bella Twins (one of them has got huge norks ref, the other hasn’t, pay attention!) and sees it, resulting in Rowan getting sent to the back. It’s enough, though, for Wyatt to take advantage and send Jericho tumbling out of the ring. As he distracts the ref in the ring, Harper hits a big boot on the outside, and Wyatt then stays on top, whipping Jericho back into the ring before hitting multiple elbow drops, all the while talking smack to his rival.
Wyatt locks a rear chinlock on the Canadian, and flings him out of it into the turnbuckle, before hitting a big knee to the midsection – he’s grounded the more experienced man well here, keeping him on the mat as much as possible and now choking him out against the ropes, a move which Harper echoes when the referee turns his back. Jericho fires back a little, but he just can’t stop his larger opponent, he hits a snap suplex but then misses a running senton – is this the chance the Celebrity Duets star needs? He comes back with some running shoulderblocks, then leaps to the top turn buckle to hit a double axehandle and follows up with a running bulldog. Harper, though, hits the apron, and whilst Jericho hits a springboard dropkick to stop him from interfering, Wyatt hits a big clothesline on him which gets a two count. Jericho comes back though with a step up enziguri and gets a near fall of his own. Bray then reverses an Irish whip, and hits a running crossbody for another two count, but as he looks to capitalise Jericho nails a Codebreaker, sending Wyatt rolling out of the ring. Inevitably, when he throws Wyatt back in the ref gets distracted, and Harper interferes again, sending him into the ringpost, and back in the ring Wyatt now gets a two count. He charges Jericho down in the corner and then goes for the Sister Abigail, but Jericho reverses it and looks for the walls! Harper gets up on the apron so Jericho slingshots Wyatt into him, and then locks the Walls of Jericho in for the win!
Well that was quite something. Not phenomenal, but certainly very good – Bray looked damned impressive here against a big name opponent, and was on the offensive for a lot of the match, which was good to see. I can’t believe just how much better Wyatt is now than he was in his Husky Harris days – all aspects of his work seem to have improved immensely since then, plus I think he’s in better shape than he was. Although that could just be the whole not wearing tiny pants thing working for him. There’s just this intangible quality about Bray now, the thing that people have when they reach the top of the business. You know how Kevin Steen isn’t an especially good wrestler, but has killer charisma so gets over regardless? That’s the sort of thing I’m saying about Wyatt – he’s got a certain je ne sais quoi in the way he acts in the ring, and just radiates charisma. Plus, he’s better than Steen at, you know, wrestling. And his smack talking to Jericho here was great, I think his character wants to play mind games with the person he’s up against. Jericho was good, for what it’s worth – what more is there to say about Jericho that hasn’t been said over his lengthy career?
The First Lady of NXT Summer Rae, you’ve won my heart.
You know, much as Bray Wyatt gets a sort of obligatory NXT MVP just for turning up sometimes, I really think Summer impressed me the most this week. I mean, look at her match with Paige, and the way she has actually driven the feud – her promo work was on point throughout, and her in ring technique has improved greatly since her early matches. There was some genuine storytelling in the match as well, driven by Rae in her role as the heel, and she put on a far better performance than most of the main roster Divas could ever be capable of. Admittedly, the main roster Divas rarely get seven minutes to showcase their talents, but that’s beside the point. Plus, in that match there was none of the usual Diva rubbish – no rubbing butts in faces, no dancing, no roll up of doom (hey Taryn Terrell, while I’m here, please stop being an even shittier Kelly Kelly. You make me cry) – just proper wrestling, in a proper feud. Good stuff – I hope that’s not the end of the feud, as there seems to be more potential in these, and I’d love to see a match between them actually headline an episode of NXT. The feud deserves that, in my opinion.
01/05/2013 – Summer Rae
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
NXTians, this was a hell of a show to bounce back on following the disappointment of last week’s main event, and most of the show in general if you look at it in hindsight. This week was good from start to finish, the opening tag match was hot from bell to bell, Paige vs Summer Rae was as close to great as a WWE Divas match can get, and the main event was action packed and showed that, in Bray Wyatt, NXT has a superstar that can hang with the big guys. It can’t be long before he gets the call. Not the one from David Otunga or whoever else is in that crappy movie – the one from Vince McMahon to get him on the main roster. This wasn’t necessarily the best show NXT has ever put on, but a great one to lift the spirits once again and the wrestling was on point throughout. Next week, Adrian Neville and his new tag team champion partner Bo Dallas square off against The Wyatt Family in a match that, based on their previous encounters, will feature Oompa Loompas and good wrestling. Plus – some other stuff! Promise! So until the end of next week my darling NXTians, take care when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Totsiens!