TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (6/13/13)
Jun 13, 2013 - 9:16:51 PM
Right NXTians, let’s get down to it. Two weeks ago, Bo Dallas won a battle royal to become the new number one contender to the NXT Championship. After the contract signing between him and Big E Langston last week, tonight we will see the two clash one on one with the title, and my faith in humanity, on the line. In one corner, the master of the five count and player of Kaitlyn’s affections, and in the other, John Cena lite, master of the perma-smile and commander of a legion of imaginary Oompa Loompas. This, right here tonight, is going to be some sort of history. Or at least, I expect so. Outside of that major main event, we’re going to see the continuation of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament and I hope, I truly do, that Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro will reacquaint themselves with each other in the ring. So let’s dip a toe into the water and see what exactly happens in…
The NXT Review: 13/06/2013 – The One Where The Crowd Does The Talking
We kick off with a recap of Dallas winning the battle royal and facing off with Big E Langston in the immediate aftermath, as Scott Stanford builds them both up on the voiceover. I’m pretty sure the NXT opening video has been overhauled and it looks pretty. Our commentators for tonight are Tony Dawson and William Regal, because when you’ve got a big main event you want your best commentators.
YES! Sami Zayn starts us off tonight, charging to the ring and high fiving the crowd on his way. Seriously, this guy is the best, I know this is essentially just the El Generico ‘gimmick’ without a mask and everything but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Cesaro comes out in his beret and sunglasses and immediately charges Zayn out of the ring and this one is off to a hot, hot start. The Swiss Sensation drops his opponent face first into the guardrail and then drives his midsection into the ring corner – all before the bell even rings. The referee finally separates them to allow Zayn to stagger to his feet in the corner and the bell finally rings, Immediately, Cesaro hits a running European uppercut in the corner and gets a two count which just infuriates the European even more, so he starts hitting lumps out of the head of the downed Zayn. The Canadian shows a little fight with some weak chops to the chest that Cesaro brushes off before absolutely bitch slapping the smaller guy around the face. Regal says on commentary that he loves this new, aggressive, angry Cesaro and I have to agree – the start of this match is thrilling so far. The two trade punches by the ropes, but Cesaro remains on top with a big knee to the gut and sends Zayn off the ropes. The highflyer bounces off the bottom rope and back over the head of Cesaro in an absolutely beautiful move, creating some space which allows him to nail a back body drop to ground the bigger man, who Zayn then lays into with blows to the head. Momentum shifts again as Cesaro strikes Zayn in the gut and then hits a huge double leg spinebuster. Cesaro pulls his opponent up by the ears, but Zayn ducks the ensuing clothesline and connects with a sweet flying kick to the jaw which garners only a one count. The recovering Cesaro charges his opponent back into the corner and hits some big punches to the midsection and some loud knife edge chops. Antonio Cesaro is hugely on top here, and is absolutely bossing the match with his power game.
Zayn finally fights his way out of the corner, but another knee to the midsection keeps Cesaro on top. However, when he tries for a European uppercut Zayn spins out of the way and locks in a backslide for a two count! Maybe Zayn is back in the match? Ah. No. He gets caught attempting a jumping forearm and Cesaro’s superhuman strength allows him to nail a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count. Zayn catches Cesaro in the jaw when he gets back up and off the ropes hits a perfect sunset flip for two, but off the kickout the folically challenged Swiss man hits a double stomp and starts stamping on the fingers of his opponent. A nonchalant one footed cover gets next to nothing in the way of a count, and Cesaro takes to grinding down Zayn with a chinlock, staying on top of his rival with his body and some great leverage. Although Zayn twice almost breaks free, it’s not until he delivers a Blue Thunder Driver that he finally creates some space between himself and the Swiss Superman, getting a two count. Zayn gets himself fired up in a Daniel Bryan style as the crowd chants ‘ole’, but he turns right into a European uppercut and a delayed gutwrench suplex, both of which get a two count from the official. Man, this match is su-bloody-perb so far. I hope it never ends. Cesaro gets in Zayn’s face, telling him to get up, and in the corner hits some huge blows to the midsection, until he’s finally countered with a body scissors. And an ankle scissors sends Cesaro to the outside by his head! Zayn takes to the skies with an over the top rope senton! Shades of Trent Baretta! Back in the ring now and Zayn climbs the turnbuckles…oooh, Cesaro catches him off the top and hits the Very European uppercut! Only two from the referee! Cesaro now with a chinlock, and he turns Zayn round into knee to the gut, but as he looks to follow up with Zayn catches him with a back elbow and Zayn now with a running sunset flip powerbomb! Two and nine tenths! The crowd are hugely behind Zayn, as people cheer him on from the crowd, but he charges Cesaro in the corner and is met, sickeningly, with double boots to the face. Cesaro looks for a suplex but Zayn nearly matches himself again with another roll up victory. Cesaro immediately locks in the rear chinlock again, driving the right shoulder into the back of the head, and he transitions that into the Neutraliser, dead lifting Zayn to lock it in, and that, finally and sadly, is that.
Good Lord that was the good shit. You know when I said last week that, with the contract signing replacing the opening fifteen minute match, NXT felt oddlyflat? This proves how important that is to the whole make up of an episode of NXT – the two went back and forth and put on a truly, truly great match which I don’t think has really been rivalled on NXT in a good few weeks. Sterling effort from both guys, Cesaro looked like an absolute beast against the smaller man, but Zayn showed the heart, guts and determination that we love to see in our underdogs. He clearly has the crowd on his side as a result, something that not many people can say after only having three matches. This, for me, was all about Cesaro, though – his performance was faultless, as it so often is, and he just looked a million bucks in this match. Everything he does is so precise, so perfect and on point that I honestly think there is nobody better in the WWE right now that is not named Daniel Bryan or The Shield. Truly astounding.
It’s everyone’s favourite stereotypes D-Squared! Introduced by their manager Sylvester LeFort, the money making, world class entrepreneur, as the next NXT Tag Team Champions – and who am I to doubt that? – they come out drinking their BBQ sauce (J.R’s, of course) and sporting their trucker caps. I actually really like this pairing and gimmick, there’s something decidedly odd about seeing them paired with LeFort, who basically looks like he’s been dragged of the runway in Paris to manage them, but it works. Maybe I’m just a sucker for these obvious stereotypes, as I absolutely loved Deuce ‘n Domino as well. Something tells me, though, that this might just see these two guys make it far more than they ever would have done before. Tyler and Dawson lock up to start, and Tyler actually gains the upperhand with a side headlock takedown. Tyler is basically Derrick Bateman times Dolph Ziggler divided by Percy Watson – the hair of one, the pedigree of the other, but the ability of the latter. Dawson finally powers up and hits a strong back elbow, before tagging in the son of Kris Kristofferson Garrett Dylan. If that’s not a surreal thing, I don’t know what is. Dylan and Dawson quickly tag each other in and out, keeping Tyler in their corner, and the two pull him up by the hair and then slam him down to the mat to give them a two count. Some excellent tag team work, keeping the man in the corner and nailing some quick, high impact offense between tags. The two are really grinding Tyler down, as Regal says Dylan reminds him of Arn Anderson. The two hit a low punch/big boot combination which looks particularly lovely, but Tyler finally gets the chance to come back after telegraphing a back body drop and connecting with a clothesline. Finally, Baron Corbin gets tagged in and comes in like a house on fire, taking down Dawson and knocking Dylan from the apron. Just as it looks like Corbin is going to stay on top for some time, Dylan gets back up and makes a blind tag, and Dawson reverses an Irish whip into a spinebuster. Dylan soars and connects with a sitout double axe handle on his downed opponent and that’s all she wrote.
Dylan and Dawson celebrate with LeFort after the match, and they don’t half look like an odd three piece. I guess the idea is that LeFort sees money in their future. Like I said, I love the pairing of D-squared, and really think they showed something here – they are both brawlers, but clearly have good wrestling brains, and the way they ground Tyler down in the match really showed of their tag team knowhow. If there’s one thing I would say, it’s that they needed a little more interesting tag team work to really look like they clicked, but it worked well enough for me to end up happy with their performance. The less said about their opponents the better, I think. Oh, although – I definitely remember Travis Tyler being in a match before, with Sawyer Fulton against The Wyatt Family, and it basically followed the same pattern as this – Tyler took a beat down for the duration, then tagged his partner who took the fall. Weird. Maybe they’re protecting Tyler or something so he comes out looking better. Would be a worry if he started get championship shots, I’ll tell you now.
NXT Women’s Championship time! Bayley has some new theme music, and a sort of new look – she now wears a headband, and has a lot of stars going on in her entrance video. Today, I believe Alicia Fox woke up and decided to be a heel. Bayley is playing a kind of spacey character now, and she looks on wide eyed at Fox as she enters the ring and plays to the crowd. Oh God, I think Bayley might be my new favourite NXT women – she’s playing that kind of slightly awkward school girl facing her idol sort of role, and has it absolutely nailed. She even gives a shy wave to Alicia before the start of the match. She puts out her hand for a shake and introduces herself to her opponent, who accepts the handshake and Bayley immediately hugs her. They end up in the corner where the referee breaks them up, and the former Davina Rose apologises but is immediately greeted with a back elbow out of the corner. Bayley just wants to be your friend Alicia! You’re hurting her feelings! You big bully! Fox drives her opponent head first into the turnbuckle repeatedly, and then hits a bridging Northern Ligts suplex for a two count. She locks in a rear chinlock, and when Bayley comes close to breaking it she slams her back down to the mat and rips her hairband out. What a meany. Fox throws Bayley to the corner and pushes her face around, saying ‘this is not a game’ or something similar. Finally, Bayley strikes back with a slap, driving Alicia into the opposite corner and connecting with first a monkey flip and then a series of double axe handles a big running knee drop only gets a two count, but Bayley stays on top and hits an exploder suplex. I LOVE HER. The crowd do too, as they are all chanting her name. Alicia Fox rolls to the apron and when Bayley comes to take her back inside she gets caught with a kick to the head. Fox nails the Booker T scissor kick and that, sadly, is it.
Sod Alicia Fox, this was all about Bayley, who shone. Amazing performance that won hearts, minds and…something else, I don’t know what. Seriously, she played the character perfectly, in awe of her surroundings, and hit every move she delivered wonderfully. I think we might have just seen the birth of Bayley the superstar. Alas, it was Alicia Fox that progressed, and she’ll face Paige in the semi-finals of the tournament.
You know, for a match they’re making a huge thing off, it’s odd they’ve had no backstage interviews or anything before this match. Byron Saxton is on ring announcing duties and first up…
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
This is the time, the big one for Bo,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Even if the whole crowd do boo.
To be the champ of NXT,
He must overcome the giant Big E.
Then he will reign as the king, be supreme,
This is what Bo saw in a dream.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
It’s time for his shot at the belt that he craves,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
When he wins it’s then time for the all night rave.
Bo Dallas is mercilessly booed by the whole arena as he enters, with a lot of the crowd giving visible thumbs down to his appearance, and ‘no more Bo’ echoes around the arena before Big E Langston’s music kicks in and everyone explodes into chants of ‘five’. Both guys seem pretty fired up right now, and Byron Saxton goes into the big match introductions, giving the crowd another chance to rain abuse down on Bo Dallas.
Finally, we are off, and Big Enoch powers Bo Dallas out of a rear waistlock immediately. Dallas’ shoulder block is brushed off by Langston, as is a follow up dropkick. Langston then leapfrogs a running Dallas, showing some never before seen agility, before hitting a shoulderblock and sending Dallas skittering across the ring. Big Ernie finally gets taken down to a knee by a low dropkick from Dallas and again the crowd boos – surely they must be getting this backstage? This isn’t even a Cena like mixed reaction, as absolutely nobody in this place like Bo Dallas. Langston gets sent to the outside as Bo pulls the rope down and takes a breather. On his way back in, Dallas is immediately on him with his tiny little fists, but one blow to the gut from Langston sends him reeling, and the big man then throws Dallas straight into the turnbuckles and to the outside. Big Evan throws his opponent back in and connects with a number of blows to the midsection – yes, you guessed it, five of them – and has clearly taken control of the match. A huge clothesline from Langston only gets a two count, and Langston decides that he should never, ever be allowed to breathe again, connecting with a huge running splash on his ribs. Crush him like a fly, Big Enzo.
A minor Dallas fightback is almost immediately cut off with a back elbow that sends Bray Wyatt’s kid brother to the outside, and Langston throws him back in as quickly as possible to only get a two count. Langston attempts a running splash again but Bo rolls out of the way to the chagrin of the crowd, who chant ‘no more Bo’ with the utmost fury. A series of clotheslines from the plucky challenger, coming off the ropes at each side of the ring in turn, and off the fourth side he ducks an attempt at one from Langston and skirts round the back into a side headlock. Langston throws him off into the corner, but as he charges in Dallas gets the knees up. The tempo is lifting in the NXT arena as Bo flies out of the corner with a series of right hands to the mush of Big Eric. Tony Dawson says on commentary that he is clearly not the local favourite but…Oh God. Bo hits the corner springboard bulldog… this is it, surely? NO! Langston kicks out! Come on Big E! Dallas tries for the side belly to belly but Langston counters into his own, far crisper version. Langston takes a few steps back and nails repeated clotheslines on the recovering Dallas and he connects with five knees to the gut. The running body block! The straps are going down! The crowd are chanting five! Dallas is slow to his feet, so Langston helps him up. Big Ending…no, Dallas grabs the turnbuckle pad to block, pulling it off in the process and then slips down the back of his opponent. He pushes Langston into the exposed turnbuckle once, twice…side belly to belly…Bo Dallas is the new NXT Champion! The crowd are shitting all over it except for one lady with a pom pom in the front row! Bo doesn’t care!
The whole arena goes black as a spotlight shines on our (our? Can we really call him ours?) new champion. On his way to the back, Renee Young collars him for an interview, the upshot of which is that he’s going to Disney World. Presumably with Kane. I really enjoyed the main event, actually – maybe that’s my low expectation talking, I don’t know, but it certainly exceeded what I thought we’d see. It was the classic battle of small man vs big man, except that Bo Dallas isn’t really a small man, nor is he capable of playing any kind of ‘role’ in one of his matches. Langston certainly outperformed everything he’d done in NXT to date, adding new moves to his arsenal (I’d never seen him deliver the running splash before) and generally being the kind of dominant guy that we know he is. Dallas is still sloppy as hell at actual wrestling and needs a better finisher – the corner springboard bulldog doesn’t work very well when you know Sami Zayn could do it better, and the side belly to belly is bloody horrific. I understand why the crowd aren’t high on him, hell, I’m not high on him myself, but…oh Christ, I can’t defend this at all convincingly. I hate this. I can’t stand the guy and I really don’t want him to be champion for more than three weeks. With all the talent on NXT they’re putting the belt on this guy? Really? Urgh.
I didn’t really want to give this award to people who aren’t, you know, regularly appearing on NXT or at least members of the NXT roster. But this week I can’t do that, for the simple reason that Antonio Cesaro was so damned impressive in the opening bout he earned this ‘accolade’. You all know what Cesaro is about by now, surely? He’s the perfect base for guys like Sami Zayn to use, as well as being insanely strong and having the wrestling knowledge to just know what to do in the ring. There is nothing not to like about him, and frankly I hope he comes out next week, lays Bo Dallas out in ten seconds and runs off with the title.
12/06/2013 – Antonio Cesaro
05/06/2013 – Luke Harper
29/05/2013 – Mason Ryan
22/05/2013 – Sami Zayn
15/05/2013 – Conor O’Brian
08/05/2013 – The Wyatt Family
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
What an episode that was! The opener was everything you could, and should, expect when you hear the words ‘Sami Zayn’ put alongside ‘Antonio Cesaro’, and I really enjoyed D-Squared showing off their tag team acumen in their match in the middle. Oh man, and then Bayley! Bayley was so good tonight, it warmed my heart as I always thought she was capable of something interesting when I saw her in the previous matches she’d had, she just needed a little spark. This character could be it. As for the main event, I may not support Bo Dallas being champion, but the match to get him there was a lot of fun. I credit most of that to Big E Langston, to be honest with you, as the guy put in one hell of a shift.
NXTians, don’t be disheartened by Bo Dallas being NXT Champion. At least not yet. Let’s all try and have as open mind as possible and see where this takes us. At least, with Dallas as champ, we might get some stronger storylines around the title now. For one thing, he’s not going to miss tapings when he’s off touring with the min roster. And for another, unlike where Langson actually was the story of his reign, with the question being whether anyone could stop the unstoppable, Dallas will need some kind of story around his defences. It might just work – join me next week and we’ll see where week one of Bo Dallas’ NXT Champion story goes. Plus, more NXT women’s action, as Summer Rae takes on Sasha Banks! And other things! So until then, you lovely lot, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Selamat tinggal!
I wanted to officially announce that yours truly, TripleR, will be joining LOP Radio on June 24th at 6:30PM EST with the inaugural edition of Trippin' Out. Shockey will be joining me to discuss Chikara's epic 2-year storyline, as well as a recap of Ring of Honor's "Best in the World" iPPV held in my hometown of Baltimore, MD. We'll talk TNA/WWE, and have a segment I like to call "Trip's Picks". Hope you'll join the show, and tune in to all the great discussion on LOP Radio.