TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (6/5/13)
Jun 9, 2013 - 4:05:55 PM
Hello NXTians! I’m back, fresh off of holiday (and a little pink on my pale English skin) and ready and raring to go. Let’s see what’s planned for NXT this week – we doubtless will hear from both Bo Dallas and Big E Langston with regards to their upcoming NXT Championship match, plus the NXT Women’s Championship tournament will begin! And I’m sure, as ever, there will be other stuff! So, come on in, settle down, grab yourself a beverage and we’ll find out just what’s going on in…
The NXT Review: 05/06/2013 – The One With T-Shirts And Man Purses
We start NXT with good ol’ J.R. Jim Ross to preside over the contract signing for the NXT Championship match between Bo Dallas and the champion Big E Langston next week. Bo Dallas comes out, mixed reaction in tow and…yes, yes he has, he’s got his Oompa Loompas in tow! I wonder if they’re going to have anything to say during this? Big Evan comes down to a huge pop from the crowd – I’ll tell you what, there are some bloody horrible sartorial choice going on in this segment. Langston is wearing a shirt from the mid-90s that I’m pretty sure was in Chandler Bing’s wardrobe in an early Friends episode, and Bo is wearing a yellow shirt with a yellow tie (in other words, the ‘I’m in yellow, I’m a face! Love me!’ look). It’s genuinely quite upsetting, and I’m not the best dresser in the world. Big Edward signs on the line, but Bo, whilst being booed mercilessly, has something to say!
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Big Ern do you think Bo is joke?
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
That’s something Bo would like to rebuke.
The NXT Champ moves on to big things,
That title belt is necessary bling.
To achieve what Bo wants in the WWE,
He has to win man, can you not see?
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
In three seconds Bo will win that damn ‘X’,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Then he will go on and have more success.
Bo gets pretty fiery, but the crowd really isn’t feeling him – there’s an absolute ton of ‘no more Bo’ chants as soon as he opens his mouth. He puts the NXT title over as the stepping stone to big things, as Langston has proved it, and says he needs to win to get success himself. Big Eddie says that he doesn’t think Bo is a joke, but actually has a lot of respect for him, especially for going toe to toe with Big Show a couple of weeks ago, despite getting knocked out. Langston says he’s the biggest, baddest man NXT has ever seen, and that Bo is a geek who lives with his mum and goes to sleep smiling, eats lunch smiling, goes to the park smiling…basically, just always bloody smiling. Which is true – I think Bo probably does always smile, based on what I’ve seen. But he’s not smiling now, in fact he looks like he’s just bit on a lemon accidentally. Big Eric is going to crush Bo’s dreams in five. Inevitably. Bo finally signs and the two go nose to nose before Dallas just walks away from a handshake.
That sets up the main event for next week nicely, putting it over as a really important match and the NXT Championship as something that is really important for these guys, and everyone else in NXT, to win on their way to the big time. Not that that’s stopped Bray Wyatt, of course. The heat Bo seems to get might just transition well into him being a heel, but I kind of see them not going fully in on that just yet for some reason. Either way, he cut what was probably his best NXT promo to date here, whatever that’s worth, full of passion and much less goofing around. Langston showed that he, too, can hold his own on the stick, something he hasn’t got that much of a chance to do. I hope these guys can pull it out in the ring next week, as this has raised my excitement levels a bit.
Backstage, Renee Young’s guest at this time is Corey Graves, in a camouflage vest. What is it with the NXT wardrobe this week? Graves comments on The Wyatt Family, who he has a Tag Team Championship match with later on tonight – that match isn’t just about the championship because tonight, The Wyatt Family falls according to Graves. Corey says he knows how the family work, two unstoppable monsters and the mind game aficionado Bray Wyatt, but whilst Bray might like to play games, Corey doesn’t. They fired the first shot at a ‘one man army’ (apt, given the vest) and tonight he is going to put them down and make them stay down. Oooh, Graves’ partner is Kassius Ohno! Although the two have had their differences, Graves says that the NXT Tag Team Championship is bigger than his dislike for Ohno, but that his partner can stand on the apron tonight and watch as Graves tears The Wyatt Family house down brick by brick. That sure sounds interesting – I think Ohno and Graves are going to be a really interesting team, I just hope it isn’t entirely about the friction between the two and they function as a unit. As for Graves’ promo, it was intense as ever, and there some good little soundbites in there – I loved the line about tearing The Wyatt Family house down brick by brick – and he does have this odd charisma about him that comes through in his promos, that sort of intangible thing that makes people stars.
Kicking off the NXT Women’s Championship tournament, it’s the daughter of Jimmy Snuka, Tamina Snuka, who is the daughter of Jimmy Snuka. Did you know she is the daughter of Jimmy Snuka? PAIGE KLAXON! Hurrah! My favourite to win it all, Paige comes out and signals that the belt will be hers. I’m pretty interested in this pairing, actually, this could be a little belter right here. The two circle each other before locking up, swapping the advantage until Tamina pushes Paige off her against the ropes. The Brit comes back though with a kick to the knee and a heabutt, but Tamina butts her back twice as hard and sends her reeling into the ropes before throwing her across the ring. The daughter of Jimmy Snuka stomps her opponent down in the corner and drags Paige out for a one count. Big snap suplex by Tamina but that only gets a one count too. Paige tries a roll up, but Tamina powers out of it and locks in a rear chinlock, and although Paige makes it to her feet, she gets caught by a back elbow as she comes off the ropes, and a follow up knee drop from Tamina gets a one count. Paige isn’t staying down for long here, but Tamina is looking very much on top. A power slam only gets two, and Tamina then ties in a wristlock armbar to keep her opponent down.
Finally Paige finds some traction from the position, battling her way out and backing the Samoan Princess back into the corner with multiple elbow strikes to the face…but as she creates some space Tamina nails a superkick right on the chin. Ouch. Paige is in position now and Tamina looks for the Superfly Splash…no, blocked by the knees of Paige! The Brit locks in a roll up and that’s it, that’s the win! Hmm. That seemed a little flat, and didn’t quite live up to my expectations, which was a little disappointing. I’m pleased Paige has progressed in the tournament, but can’t help but feel this was a lacklustre way of getting her through. I don’t know whether, knowing what she can do, my own expectations of Paige are slightly too high, but she seems to fall short every so often, and this was one of those occasions.
Renee Young is catching up with the lovely Kassius Ohno backstage who is wearing a Misawa t-shirt so immediately wins everything. Ohno’s plan of attack for tonight is to, er, attack. Well, that’s logical. He is, however, going to dive headfirst into the fortress walls of The Wyatt Family and take the gold. He says it isn’t about Graves and Ohno, but taking that which Bray Wyatt holds most dear, the NXT Tag Team Championship, and that tonight isn’t a match – it’s a war. Welp. I kind of hope they let them go all in on this match, as both Ohno’s promo here and Graves’ from earlier have made me feel like we should see something special tonight. Kassius here was as intense as Graves was earlier, so it would make sense for the pair of them to throw everything but the kitchen sink at The Wyatt Family on their quest for gold.
Who’s this guy? Is it even worth commenting on him? He seems to be tall or something, kind of looks like a shittier version of Edge. Shrug. Oh look, it’s reigning and defending NXT MVP Mason Ryan. Cassady says ‘roar’ or something, but gets immediately overpowered by the Welsh man in the corner with knees and punches and Irish whips. Cassady mounts a little comeback, actually, with a back elbow off on an oncoming Ryan, and lays a couple of punches in and a big strike across the back. Ryan meets him off the ropes with a big boot, though, and then starts to lay into his opponent in a corner, again, with a series of headbutts and shoulder thrusts to the midsection. Ryan hits a huge clothesline, and then follows up with the Luger Breaker (TM me, a couple of weeks ago) for the win. You know, I think Ryan is actually developing into a reasonably decent big man. I mean, he’s never going to be Kane, but he sure as hell holds up his end of the bargain in this one. Don’t ever expect him to put on a clinic and you’ll probably be OK.
Sami Zayn is backstage with Renee Young – he actually slides into view, and says he is doing great, asks Renee Young how she is doing and is generally lovely. He talks about his achievements from a couple of weeks ago and says he was just better on the night. Cesaro then shows up, talking some French today (I think he says ‘listen to me, and listen well’), and tells Sami that all he got was a cheap win and that now he is pissed off and wants a rematch. Sami says yes, as long as he finds out where Cesaro got his sweet man purse from because homosexuality, durr. This all ends up in a brawl where Zayn is on top and they get separated by referees. I still love Sami Zayn, although the man purse comment was a bit too Cena-esque for me, because he’s a proper face, if you know what I mean – he’s just a nice guy, saying nice things and being nice to people. He might be a little cocky, but he’s kind and giving. His interactions with Renee Young are wonderful, too. Cesaro showed here that he’s no slouch on the microphone either, even if it was only for the briefest of moments. I’m really looking forward to seeing these two face off again.
It’s definitely not dead Alex Riley! Wowzas, who knew he was still employed? I wonder what dirty pictures he has that let him keep his job. Anyway, he’s coming up against The Ascension Conor O’Brian, and I think we all know how this is going to end. O’Brian poses in the middle of the ring, throwing Riley off his game, before locking in a headlock, running through his opponent, and then hitting those nice little rolling side headlock takedowns he does. Riley works his way back up to his feet, and finally gets the big man off his feet with a flying clothesline but only gets a one count. O’Brian catches him as he tries to jump over The Ascension and drops him, then hits a body avalanche, a flapjack and…ooh, a new finisher, a submission move called The Stockade, which is just an Octopus hold on the ground but is enough to give him the win. Lovely. Well, that was nothing really worth talking about but, yay, I guess? I still like O’Brian, even if he’s better when he’s actually wrestling someone who can do wrestling and not Alex Riley, but this was bad, possibly the worst recent NXT match.
Alright, let’s do this. Graves is, for the record, dressed as Action Man tonight, and he and Ohno are already playing up their friction. Somebody in the crowd thinks he sucks, somebody else loves him. Swings and roundabouts, I guess. Bray Wyatt has a microphone, and says the only thing that scares him is himself, and that the appearance of Graves and Ohno means they clearly don’t like to breathe before he introduces himself and his brothers. Actually, that’s pretty good – essentially it was an introduction to Bray Wyatt, for everyone coming here off the back of the Raw promos. Nicelydone. Ohno and Rowan are kicking us off here with a lock up in the centre of the ring. Ohno transitions beautifully from a rear waistlock into a side headlock to wear the large ginger man down, and even though he is eventually pushed off he locks in a cravate. Ohno is well on top here, hitting some slaps and chops on Rowan in the, and then looking to again grind his opponent down with a side headlock, from which he tags Graves in. Immediately, Rowan overpowers him and gets a tag to Luke Harper, who stays on top, constantly saying ‘yeah!’ to the point where it’s become a thing the crowd now chant with him. That’s actually pretty cool, to be honest. Graves tries for a running cross body but gets caught by his larger opponent, but in trying to lay him across the ropes in the corner Corey slips to the outside and attempts a sunset flip. Harper stays upright and tries to power him into a body slam, but Graves again escapes and this time works a pinning combination for a one count. It’s astounding how much the pace ups with Harper in the ring, I have no idea how he does it. Well, I do – all that Chikara stuff must have rubbed off on him – but for a man of 6’ 5” he isn’t half nimble. Harper looks for an armdrag but Graves flips out and reverses it into one of his own, and that allows him to tag in Ohno, and he comes off the turnbuckle onto Harper’s arm. Unfortunately, like Graves before him, Ohno quickly seems to get overpowered, and Harper tags out to Rowan. Man, I just want to see a few minutes of Harper and Ohno going at it, is that too much to ask?
Rowan takes Ohno to the mat with a rear chinlock as Graves tries to get his opponent going from the apron. Ohno breaks it by stamping on his opponents feet – lovely. Harper comes in and hits a European uppercut for a two count, before trading places again with Rowan and Irish whipping Ohno into a body slam…no! Ohno slips out and hits a reverse jawbreaker, then makes the tag to Graves, who comes in with fists of fury and a chop block. He tries for the 13th Step but Harper distracts him on the outside. Rowan sends Graves to the apron, and as the referee gets distracted Harper nails a big boot on him to give The Wyatt Family the advantage again. A big back elbow to the face from Harper after he comes into the ring, and the follow up knee drop gets a two count. The Wyatt Family are now keeping the smaller man in their corner, keeping the advantage with quick tags and working on the midsection, as Rowan hits a pump handle backbreaker (can I call it that? I can call it that) for a two count. Ohno really wants in on the apron, as Rowan ties Graves up in an overhead backbreaker hold for a long time. The tattooed one finally slips out, but he doesn’t gain anything from it and is immediately taken out by his opponent. Harper comes in and tries for a suplex but Graves reverses it into a small package, and follows it up with a crucifix, both for two counts from the referee. As Harper goes for a powerbomb, Graves powers up with a back body drop and makes the tag! Ohno comes in like a house on fire, taking out both members of the family and nailing Harper with a pair of clotheslines. A big flying forearm into the corner from Ohno now, followed up by a low dropkick to his downed opponent. As Rowan looks to come in he gets nailed with a big boot and Ohno hits a senton on Harper but only gets a two count! Bray Wyatt looks on worried, and actually leaves his rocking chair on the ramp to come and distract Ohno. But he dodges the onrushing Harper! Rolling headbutt! But Rowan breaks up the count! Graves clotheslines the giant ginger out of the ring, and the distraction means that Wyatt can get up and hit a big forearm to back of Ohno’s head. And what does he get for his troubles? Graves flying through the air on to him, connecting with a twisting senton plancha! But back in the ring Harper connects with the discus clothesline on Ohno and three seconds later this match is over.
Good Lord, that was a fast paced ending, even if it took quite the time to get there. I can’t help but love The Wyatt Family in everything they do and this week was no difference. I still am thrilled about them all being called up to the main roster, and really look forward to seeing how they come across on weekly television. Harper just seems so impressive for a big guy it’s unbelievable, like I said he just has this phenomenal natural pace to everything he does, it’s fast but not too fast and when he’s against a nimble, smaller guy, as he was in the exchanges with Graves here, he’s a joy to watch. The Ohno/Graves (working title: Stay DOhno) team worked quite well together, and fortunately didn’t fall back on the tension between them too much. Whilst I’m sure it may become a thing if they continue to team, at least it wasn’t too obvious here.
Well, I can’t praise a guy and then not follow through, can I? As I said above, Harper just has this natural pace about him that is so impressive for a man of his stature, and really does impress me every time I see him in the ring. I want to predict big things for him in the future – under the tutelage of Bray Wyatt, I really do see him at least capturing the tag titles on the main roster, and possibly on his own afterwards he could really reach some dizzying heights if he continues the fine form he’s shown on NXT to date.
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
Let me level with you guys – this was kind of an iffy episode of NXT. It’s not that it didn’t hit some heights, and I certainly enjoyed the main event, but without the normal ten minute match to start things off it felt like a long time coming. Replacing that with a contract signing, possibly my least favourite WWE thing for the record, felt like I was being a little short changed, but it at least wasn’t really bad, I guess. I just…all I want in life is to see Sami Zayn wrestle Antonio Cesaro for quarter of an hour. Can I have that once please NXT? Maybe next week? I think it should happen next week. But this episode lacked a little something, and as such possibly stands as that odd NXT episode that doesn’t quite work. A shame, but there it is.
NXTians, it’s good to be back! I had a cracking break, I really did, the weather was nice and everything, and the batteries are all recharged and ready to go. I’m already looking forward to NXT next week, when we get the headline match of Bo Dallas challenging for the NXT Championship against Big E Langston, and I’m pretty sure Antonio Cesaro will defend his hurt pride against Sami Zayn. At least I think that’s next week. Plus – the NXT Women’s Championship tournament will continue! Until then, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Despedida!