TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (6/26/13)
Jun 27, 2013 - 10:11:32 PM
My fellow NXTians, welcome back to the column that is up all night ‘til the sun, up all night to get some, up all night for good fun AND up all night to get lucky, it’s The NXT Review!
*holds up applause sign*
This week on NXT, we’ve got Australian klutz and general all round winner of hearts Emma taking on Aksana in the final first round match of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament, plus the returns of Big E Langston and your (is he yours? Really?) NXT Champion Bo Dallas to TV following their well-deserved week off. And in your television main event of the evening, the number one contendership for the NXT Tag Team Titles is up for grabs as D-Squared, led by their erstwhile manager Sylvester LeFort, face off against the team of Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves. So it’s time to grab yourself a comfortable seat and a cold on as we check out exactly what happens in…
The NXT Review: 26/06/2013 – The One That’s Kinda Bad
Here we go, straight into the action this week as Big E Langston takes on the low rent Damien Sandow Aiden English. He’s a man of sophistication, don’t you know? They put over Bo Dallas’ title win as a shock and against all odds – he’s an underdog champion, don’t you know – as Big Ermintrude makes his way into the ring. From the off, Langston overpowers his opponent, flinging him to the turnbuckle…but English runs up the corner and bows to the crowd at the top rope! Well, that was nice. He is an actor, after all, so I suppose that sort of thing makes sense. Unfortunately for him, he over-elaborates when he comes off the turnbuckles and forward rolls right into a back body drop. Oops. Big body block from Big Eric, and the straps are down…Big Ending. 1, 2, 3. Well, that was nothing more than complete destruction, I guess. The crowd chant for one more time and Big Evan obliges, getting the five count this time. The bloodthirsty NXT audience chant for English to receive another as Langston’s music play…and Langston satisfies them again! You could count to ten! English is going to need to be scraped off the mat following that.
Well, I always expected Langston to come back with a dominant squash, and so it was. Frankly, this was a return to the old days, when he would just straight bulldoze through nobodies on his way to the NXT Championship. Poor old Aiden English was just in the way. Not a whole lot to say, but if Langston is staying around this was a good way to re-establish him after losing the title.
Emma is backstage playing with a bubble gun…SHE HAS A T-SHIRT! WHERE CAN I BUY THIS? Don’t worry NXTians, I have asked her on Twitter and I will let you know if she answers before the end of this review. It’s a great t-shirt, it says #EMMAlution and then has a series of silhouettes of her doing the dance moves underneath. Anyway, Emma is playing with a bubble gun, getting distracted by the bubbles, when Renee Young tries to ask her about her upcoming match with Aksana. Emma doesn’t answer to start with, as she is too busy trying to pop bubbles, but when she’s done Young asks her about her strategy which is to win. That’s about it. Win and take the EMMAlution around the world. Renee Young is not allowed her bubbles, though, they are her bubbles. She shoots Renee with bubbles at the end. Oh Emma. Oooh, there’s more – Emma gives Renee the bubble gun, just to hold while she has her match. Young almost shoots some bubbles, but Emma appears and tells her to not even think about it. I hope Renee Young permanently replaces Matt Striker as Raw interviewer now or something, she’s so likeable and seems to actually get properly involved in interview segments instead of just going ‘hey, you lost, your thoughts?’. And Emma, well, Emma just wins everything.
Oh, here’s a picture of the shirt, by the way, modelled by the lovely Emma herself:
I am so on board with this I can’t even think of anything else to do today except finding a way to buy it.
The porno saxophone can only mean one thing – the arrival of the Lithuania seductress Aksana. Ah, how the mighty have fallen. Remember when she was giving Teddy Long inopportune boners and accompanying Antonio Cesaro? Alright, so maybe not ‘mighty’. Emma’s bubbles have become a proper thing now, they’re a part of her entrance in the same way that a wall of sparks might be. She nails the backflip through the ropes entrance and dances around, as does a lot of the NXT audience.
The crowd is hot for Emma, chanting her name and encouraging her to dance, but Aksana has no time for that nonsense and pulls her to the mat by the hair. The Lithuania mounts the Australian and starts to pound her into the mat hard and fast, before getting off and choking Emma on the ropes. A side slam from Aksana, but instead of going for the pin she crawls around on the mat and delivers a kick to the face before pinning her opponent with her crotch. Aksana limply runs into the corner – shades of Kelly Kelly right there! – as Emma avoids her. I saw a comment from Hustle on Twitter recently that said Daniel Bryan runs the corners better than some people run the ropes – he could certainly teach Aksana a thing or two. Emma slides back in from the apron and rolls up the Lithuanian seductress for a one count, and Aksana pops up with a back elbow. Regal on commentary puts over the effects of getting a whack in the nose, how it disorientates you and throws you off your game – he really is brilliant in this role – as Aksana delivers some blows to the midsection. Aksana again mounts Emma for a pin, but Emma rolls it over and…catfight! It’s a catfight! The two break it up and Emma gets nailed by a crappy clothesline by her opponent, who then locks in a headscissors on the floor, using it to bash Emma’s face into the mat multiple times. Aksana plays to the crowd a little instead of going back for the pinfall and then a couple of chops to Emma in the corner, but as she celebrates her dominance Emma kicks her in the butt! The Australian reversese a body slam attempt and takes Aksana to the mat – there it is! The DilEMMA Muta Lock! The crowd chant for Aksana to tap out, and she does! Emma wins!
I love you Emma. I hope you beat Summer Rae in a fortnight. Emma gets some kids in the ring to dance with her in celebration at the end. Aksana dominated way too much of this match for it to actually be any good, unfortunately, but at least Emma won, I guess. Wish she’d gotten a few more hits in, though. I really want Emma to go all the way, at least to the final, but I can’t shake the feeling that Summer Rae vs Paige is a lock for the final in a fifteen minute barnstormer. We’ll see, NXTians. We will see.
One of those creepy Leo Kruger promos airs – these are great things, these little promo videos. Kruger lurches out of the shadows, talking about how his hands have done everything for a reason and that everything we know is about to change. Oh, Kruger is up next, as well!
Dante Dash is an All American Linebacker from…I think they say Ruckers on commentary. Honestly, I’m not sure – my American college knowledge isn’t too hot. Kruger screams at the crowd on his way in and…I suppose he’s sort of Bray Wyatt-esque in terms of what he actually does, creeping people out and such, but he does it with this severe deadly streak. He went back to South Africa to take care of some business, apparently, and the commentary team seem to be hinting that he basically killed a man. Well, that’s pleasant.
The two lock up, and Dash forces Kruger back into the corner. The South African absolutely explodes out of the corner with a knee to the midsection and some chops to the chest in the corner, including a nice looking Mongolian chop. He rolls through with Dash in half nelson, taking the linebacker down to the mat and driving knees into the arm, before bending back the fingers on his hand and applying a claw to the armpit. Kruger then drives a knee across the back of the neck, with Dash’s own arm wrapped around the front of it. This is great stuff from the South African, as he drives the arm across the shoulder multiple times then flings Dash from corner to corner, throwing him into the ring post. He locks in a backhammer and then suplexes Dash onto his own arm, and connects with The Slice, a big lariat out of the corner. With all that work on the arm, Kruger locks in the GC3 inverted keylock and Dash taps.
I see a huge upside in Kruger, he looks great and really works well in the ring. The focus on the arm was great throughout, all building up to his submission finisher really well. I really like him, which is interesting because he did absolutely nothing for me in the old FCW days. He’s come on leaps and bounds. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he was the next challenger for the NXT Championship. Hey, speaking of which – Bo Dallas is next!
But first – Conor O’Brian is somewhere bathed in blue light. He waffles on about the hands of mercy and something else then says we are The Ascension – but who’s the other guy? There’s only you, Conor. Is this the start of a schizophrenia angle? Maybe the other O’Brien is a nice, cuddly fellow who would rather read ‘And Tango Makes Three’ to small children than wrestle brutes. Or maybe Rick Victor is going to show his face again. They are The Ascension, and they will rise. Eh, we’ll see about that. Still, would be nice to see them line up for a tag title run, seeing as O’Brien’s not doing anything right now.
Fresh off his trip to Disney World, here’s Dallas! There’s an amazing bit at the end of the entrance ramp where a child is sitting on the barrier and has his back turned to Bo as he fannies around before entering the ring, completely not caring about him because he’s on his phone. Oh, Leo Kruger is still crouched down in that corner of the arena – this could be intriguing. Actually, there are a ton of people with their backs turned to the ring as Dallas makes his entrance, and people just upping and leaving. The overwhelming sound here is silence, there’s no anti-Bo stuff but there sure isn’t any pro-Bo stuff either.
Keegan gains the early advantage with a wristlock into a tight hammerlock, but Dallas wriggles round into a firemans carry takedown and puts on a quick cover. An inverted atomic drop is followed up with an atomic drop and a dropkick from Bo – lots of drops there. Keegan reverses a side headlock with a back suplex, and the crowd are now chanting for Keegan, going nuts when he drops Bo here, and chanting that was three when he only gets a one count. Dallas fires back with a series of flying forearms, and finally the crowd start to give him some of the usual stick, booing him heartily. One of the worst boots to the face ever is followed by the corner springboard bulldog, and Bo then connects with the side belly to belly suplex to get the three count. It is actually starting to look more and more like a hip toss, that thing. Leo Kruger sneaks in as Bo celebrates connects with that backhammer suplex on Keegan, and then also hits The Slice. The crowd chant for Kruger to hit Bo with something as they square up to each other in the middle of the ring and Kruger reaches to touch the title, but the South African just waggles his finger and says ‘ta ta’ (his catchphrase now, apparently, as it has previously ended his return promos).
Sigh. I guess we have Bo Dallas squash matches now? They’re a thing? The guy’s not big enough to make them look impressive, nor is he good enough to put in against guys who are a little sloppy in the ring like Keegan. This was just a massive, massive worst until Kruger showed up at the end. He nearly saved everything just by coming into the ring. I couldn’t even be bothered with the Oompa Loompas this week, this made me too sad.
Save me Ohno! Save me Graves! Save me D-Squared! Graves is still dressed as a hipster army cadet – I’m pretty sure I got my coffee from him in Costa the other day. Sylvester LeFort interrupts Byron Saxton introducing D-Squared and does it himself – the French Ricardo Rodriguez! These guys have a lot of the show left to work with, so I’m looking forward to something decent here, or at least a show closing angle. Oh, Corey Graves is still getting stick from that one woman in the crowd, by the way – she must be an NXT regular, and I wish they’d ban her from the building.
Ohno and Dawson will start us off here, and it’s they trade wristlocks in the early stages, Ohno finally whipping Dawson down to the mat and kneeing him on the arm. Another wristlock, and Corey Graves comes in with an axehandle to the arm and keeps on the wristlock, working the left arm. Graves says something to Dylan that gets him riled up, and the referee gets distracted, giving Graves and Ohno a chance to work over Dawson in their corner, Ohno getting in without a tag. He spins Dawson around by the arm and takes him down into a headlock, and then comes back up to make the tag back to Graves, this time legally. Lots of good tag work by The Appallers here, working the arm in wristlocks and armbars. Dawson send Graves off the ropes, but he counters with an arm drag, and then a second, this time Japanese style, before going back to that wristlock again. This is building slowly, but well. Dawson finally gets a blow in, to the midsection of Graves, and the two trade punches before Dawson finally gets a tag to Dylan. The two cut the ring off to their advantage and pound on Graves in their own corner.
Dawson has positioned himself really well here, standing between Graves and Ohno until he makes a tag, and Dylan repeats the act. Their offense, in keeping with their characters I guess, is more power based and less focussed on a particular body part. Regal compares Garrett Dylan to Arn Anderson again, which is a nice touch – really putting him over big time on commentary. Graves finally gets a chance to make the tag following a jawbreaker that he hit to get out of a chinlock, and Ohno comes in and unloads on Dawson, taking him down with some big fists to the face and a body slam followed by a senton that nearly landed on his opponents face. Ohno now with a huge…oh shit, Dawson twisted in what was supposed to be facebuster suplex and made it look really messy. Sigh. That gets a two count from the referee. Dylan makes a blind tag and they hit the spinebuster/penis axehandle combination! But Graves is there to break up the hold quicker than the referee is down to count. Dylan absolutely pounds on Ohno before tagging in Dawson, and the commentary team reveal that the double team finsher they just hit is called Southern Pride. So there that is. D-squared are still cutting off the ring, keeping Ohno in their quarter and preventing him from taking a presumably refreshed Corey Graves. The crowd chant ‘you can’t wrestle’ at Dylan and the commentary team acknowledge it, which is a nice touch, and Regal explains exactly why they’re being stupid. Dylan is wrenching the neck of the former Chris Hero now, who tries to make a tag to his partner by facilitating one of the worst ‘power out of a hold’ sequences you’re likely to watch, but fails when Dylan finally cuts him off. Ohno reverses a back body drop attempt into a sunset flip attempt, but Dylan doesn’t go down. Ohno finally releases him and comes desperately close to make a tag, just fingertips away, before Garrett gets on him again. But Ohno with an elbow! Graves tags in and unleashes fists of fury on Dylan. A big knee to the jaw – Graves is a man on fire right now, chatting shit to his opponent. He blocks a boot in the corner and ties up Garrett Dylan in a leglock around the ropes. Graves with a backbreaker and Dawson just breaks up the pin. Ohno takes Dawson out with a knee to the jaw! Graves with a chop block to the knee! 13th Step! Dylan taps like Michael Flatley!
Before Saxton can announce them as winners, The Wyatt Family attack like a hungry pack of dogs, absolutely destroying Ohno and Graves. But here’s Adrian Neville for the save! The Man That Gravity Forgot comes out in shorts and trainers and takes on the whole Wyatt Family. He takes Harper down with a kick to the head and goes up top looking for the corkscrew shooting star…but Scott Dawson cuts him off and crotches him on the top rope. Dawson and Dylan get involved now, beating down the new number one contenders…William Regal for the save! He’s taking them all on! Dylan cuts him off and D-Squared beat him down in the corner. Boo! Boo! It’s five on four! That damned numbers game! All five men are beating on William Regal, and Harper and Rowan hold him in the corner for Wyatt to hit a body avalanche! Wyatt screams ‘I’m the king around here’ in the British legends face as the cameras fade to black.
The tag match was miserably average, and included some really sloppy moments from D-Squared especially, who seemed to not know what they moves they were taking at some points in time. It was the best match of the night, but on a night where what prefaced it was not very good at all that doesn’t say much. One shining light was the work between Ohno and Graves, who finally started to look like a team instead of two individuals. I’ve been high on D-Squared before, and I like them when they’re cutting off the ring, but their actually ability was exposed here and…it ain’t that good. It ain’t that good at all. The post-match shenanigans were a high point of the whole night, presumably building for something big in the coming weeks, including (hopefully) William Regal in the ring again – which is always a winner for me. So, there’s a silver lining to this grey cloud, I guess.
Winner by default, because everyone else was either terrible or involved in matches too short to really shine, and Ohno/Graves didn’t really impress enough in the main event. Whilst Emma’s match with Aksana didn’t exactly set the pulse racing, she has fully embraced her character and her backstage promo was absolutely wonderful. No word on where we can buy that t-shirt yet, NXTians – I’ll keep you posted.
26/06/2013 – Emma
19/06/2013 – Everybody in the main event
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
The first near 100% bad episode of NXT TV I can remember – three squash matches, a dull women’s match where they gave most of the offense to possibly the worst female in WWE, and an excruciatingly average main event between four guys I had much higher hopes for. At least the ending bit was good, with the post-match actions, and keeps me interested for next week. I’m sorry we all had to sit through this, NXTians. At least we had Emma! Emma will keep us going! It’s quite frustrating, but outside of their Road to WrestleMania special I can’t remember a worse episode of NXT than this. Which makes me sad. I want to be positive about a show I love watching (normally), and when I can’t do that it sort of gets me down. I hope you bounce back, NXT, because I really, really like you.
Let’s all join hands and prey for good things to come next week – Paige will take on Alicia Fox in the first semi-final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament! Nothing else is confirmed, but by God to I hope someone good saves us all from another drab episode. Until then stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Pamit!