TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (7/17/13)
Jul 18, 2013 - 7:14:54 PM
Ah, my lovely NXTians! Welcome, one and all, to the NXT Review! This week, we’ve got a card that is full from top to bottom of potentially great matches – Sami Zayn vs Leo Kruger vs Antonio Cesao for the number one contendership to Bo Dallas’ NXT Championship, Corey Graves and Adrian Neville taking on The Wyatt Family for the NXT Tag Team Championships, plus owner of my heart Bayley coming face to face with The Nature Girl Charlotte! So without further ado, let’s see what happens in…
The NXT Review: 17/07/2013 – The One With Turned Backs
Alright! Straight into the action! Kruger’s weird titantron video dominates the screen, his face drenched in rain, as he slowly makes his way down to the ring whilst Regal and Dawson put him over on commentary, saying he sleeps with one eye open, always wary should people he has wronged come to find him. Cesaro makes his way down waving the Don’t Tread On Me flag, and the crowd chants ‘We The People’ along with him – I said before that that’s weird, because, you know, Cesaro, Colter and Swagger don’t stand for good things. People shouldn’t be enjoying this stuff. Well, they should be, but not agreeing with it. Zayn’s strange theme hits as the Candian comes out to a big pop from the crowd – his theme reminds me of The Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’ a little, but I have no idea what it actually is. Anyway, this one is on!
Cesaro immediately heads for Zayn, laying into him and pushing Kruger away when he tries to join the party. Zayn leapfrogs over Cesaro in the corner after an Irish whip and then, fully aware of his surroundings, catches an onrushing Kruger with an armdrag. And one for Cesaro too! A calf kick to Kruger takes down the South African and leaves Zayn to take it to Cesaro. The two trade punches in the corner, Cesaro finally gaining the upperhand and choking the smaller man against the ropes with his boot, but Kruger deposits The Swiss Sensation to the outside and hits an arm trap snap suplex on Zayn, working the arm in preparation for the GC3. A pair of uppercuts from Kruger drives Sami back into the ropes, and he looks to whip him across the ring but Zayn reverses it! Cesaro catches Kruger in the ropes and just drags him outside, where the two go at it...but they take their eye of their opponent! Zayn hits an over the top rope senton on both the bad guys and pops up to cheers from the crowd. He throws Cesaro back in the ring as the ‘Ole!’ chants ring out, and starts to take it to him with a series of forearms and elbow smashes. He looks for a side headlock takedown, but Cesaro powers out, only for Zayn to reverse the attempted whip to the corner. The canuck gets back body dropped to the apron but, keeping his wits about him, drives his shoulder into the midsection of his opponent. Zayn goes up top, looking for a crossbody…but Cesaro catches him and reverses it into a tilt a whirl backbreaker! I don’t care how many times we’ve seen it, that still looks really impressive. Kruger gets in just in enough time to break up the hold, as the crowd starts chanting ‘We The People’ again. I worry about them, I truly do.
Kruger and Cesaro go face to face in the middle of the ring, remonstrating with each other before starting to wail on each other. Cesaro hits a crisp European uppercut and then from nowhere Zayn sneaks a roll up on the South African. Cesaro breaks it up and nails another European uppercut on the little man, but gets caught by a back elbow when charging into the corner. Kruger follows Cesaro into the corner and narrowly avoids a big boot by catching Zayn’s leg high in the air. Kruger looks set to deliver an Exploder suplex, but before he can pull it off Cesaro grabs him from behind and delivers a German suplex to Kruger, with Zayn still held in the Exploder suplex position! That was really amazing looking, as Zayn went flying across the ring and into the opposite turnbuckle. The move leaves Cesaro as the only man standing, and he delivers his delayed gut wrench suplex to Kruger to throw him out of the ring. Jesus, is there no test of strength this man can’t do? With the South African mercenary out of the ring, The Swiss Sensation starts to wrench at the neck of Zayn with a chinlock, trying to set up for the Neutraliser, but Kruger comes in and hits the big clothesline to the back of Cesaro, breaking up the hold and trying to take advantage of the situation by pinning first Zayn and then Cesaro himself for a two count each. He looks to tie Zayn up in a bearhug, but Cesaro comes in and stops the hold being applied. As the Swiss man tries to level Zayn with a clothesline the Canadian ducks and locks an arm around the front of Cesaro, with Kruger still held by the head under his arm, and he delivers a DDT/reverse STO combination on his opponents! That was pretty sweet. Seriously, there’s so much good stuff going on in this match so far. Off of the double move, all three men are down and the referee starts a count while Regal puts over how normal Zayn looks in comparison with his talent. All three men get up at seven, but it’s Sami Zayn who starts to lay into people with straight right hands. He ducks a rushing Kruger, sending the mercenary into Cesaro and dazing him, allowing Zayn to roll up the African for a two count, the kick out from which sends him headfirst into Cesaro who throws him up into the air…but Zayn lands on his shoulders and hits the hurricanrana! Amazing! The pin…1…2...no! Cesaro just kicks out! Zayn looks to capitalise on Cesaro, throwing Kruger out of the ring to give him some space, but as he turns he gets caught by a big European uppercut and falls into the Neutraliser! But here’s Kruger! Kruger throws Cesaro out of the ring and steals the win! Oh me, oh my! Cesaro looks furious as Kruger celebrates and chants his own name.
By Gawd what a match! Stock full to the brim with interesting offence, some clever work from all three competitors, and finally playing into Kruger’s overall gimmick of being a smart psychopath and a wily mercenary. Absolutely wonderful. I can’t praise this highly enough, to be honest with you, it was absolute great from start to finish, and didn’t seem to really let up on the pace at all. Both Zayn and Cesaro looked mighty impressive alongside Kruger, and I hope - well, alright, I know – that the feud between the two of them isn’t yet over. That, right there, is how you start an episode of NXT off with a bang!
This, right here, might well be how you kill an episode of NXT stone dead. Although Sylvester LeFort is wearing a rather fetching yellow suit with a black shirt, looking very much the slimy, money making villain of the piece. He introduces himself, and then his protégé Scott Dawson, who is going to make him a lot of money. Apparently. Dawson is literally the most ‘indy’ wrestler you’ve ever seen, for the record, and seeing him on his own, without his buddy Garrett Dylan, could be painful. I liked the D-Squared team as they worked like a proper team should, but on their own I don’t really have high hopes. Oh. It’s Bo Dallas. The camera moves through the crowd as people stand up and literally turn their back on the guy. I thought I’d seen this happening before, but wasn’t completely sure – now it seems to be a thing, as boos rain down on the face of NXT. Jesus Christ, does anybody actually like this guy? He lacks in every department so hard it hurts.
This match isn’t for the title, by the way, so no real idea why it exists. The two tie up as William Regals gets his commentary buddy Tony Dawson and Scott Dawson mixed up. Dawson takes it to Dallas against the ropes with right hands, knocking Dallas off his feet. Dallas reverses an Irish whip and hits a dropkick on the rebounding Dawson, followed by another and a running crossbody for a pin. Dawson fights back from the apron and takes his opponent down with a clothesline, then follows up with a legdrop, then a knee drop, then a fist drop, all to the head, before wrenching at the nose of the NXT Champion. He locks in a rear chinlock, and Dallas struggles to fight out of. Guess who then hits a series of flying forearms, followed by a kick to the head, then a bulldog out of the corner and a side belly to belly suplex to win the match?
If you guessed Bo Dallas, you were correct. Have yourself a victory sip.
KILL HIM KRUGER! The big South African appears from nowhere and lays into Bo Dallas with right hands on the mat. He picks him up and connects with a hangman’s facebuster. The crowd chant ‘thank you Kruger’ and I have to agree.
Seriously, at this stage, fuck Bo Dallas. The match was terrible. But Bo is genuinely coming across as John Cena-lite right now, a phrase I’m sure I’ve written before. It’s an issue, because NXT cannot afford to have someone like that on top. On Raw, it’s fine, in a crowd you get a good split of fans of Cena and haters of Cena. But in the NXT arena it’s not working. And do you know what? There’s no way to save it. You can’t make Dallas a heel, in my opinion, because he simply cannot control a match up. He has no idea of timing, no ability to control matches, and is just a straight up crappy wrestler. Heel or face, he’d be shit and the fans would have no interest in seeing him. Unless he pulls out some kind of R-Truth conspiracy victim stuff. Then, maybe, we’ll be onto something.
Yes! Bayley is here to save us all with her infectious joy and general all round greatness! She still looks hugely overwhelmed to be present in the NXT arena, and gets a big grin on her face as she waves to the crowd. And then the ‘WOO!’ hits! Here’s Naitch! Big Naitch, not Lil’ Naitch. The crowd love the guy, and why not – he is, after all, a living legend. Even if his tax returns are a bit dodgy and he’s a little lax on his spousal support. Anyway, he is here, of course, to introduce his daughter Charlotte to the NXTians. Bayley, for the record, is outside of the ring and yet is still working her gimmick because she gets it. Flair puts over NXT as a place to learn how to wrestle, but says his main reason is to see his daughter do a wrestling thing and prove that she’d the greatest Flair athlete of all time. Charlotte performs the splits on entering the ring and blows the audience a kiss. She even drops the audience a ‘WOO!’ of her own.
The two competitors tie up, and Charlotte works it into a wristlock that Bayley flips out of into one of her own. Charlotte cartwheel out of it and sweeps the legs of Bayley out for a one count. Bayley, being lovely, says ‘nature girl’ to Ric Flair in reference to Charlotte. Oh Bayley. Can I cuddle you? Please? Charlotte slips into a rear waistlock, but Bayley fights out of it into a wristlock, yet Charlotte reverses it with the splits and bridges into a roll up – which sounds weird but looks nice – for another pinfall attempt. Bayley then locks in a couple of quick pinfalls of her own, a backslide and a roll up, both only getting two. Flair has taken off the jacket at ringside, as Bayley hits a kick to the midsection and follows it up with a suplex which gets a two count. The smaller brunette whips Charlotte across the ring, but she flips over the turnbuckle to the apron and smashes Bayley face first into the turnbuckle. She follows up with a clothesline and then she…she kind of frontflips into a cutter, I guess, whilst Bayley is seated. Whatever it is, it’s enough to end the match there and then, and gives Ric Flair the chance to get his strut on with his daughter. How lovely.
The match was…interesting, I guess? Certainly saw more from Bayley than we have done previously, which I liked. Charlotte’s gymnastics past got built up a lot by the commentary team, which I suppose explains all the flipping and flopping about. In the end, it’s a win for Charlotte, and I’m sure she’s going to end up going places if only on name value. Just wish Bayley had a fancy surname. Imagine if she did. We’d all be so happy when she won the NXT Women’s Championship just because. But, I mean, I suppose it could all work out for Charlotte. She looks a bit too basic in the ring, outside of having some long legs and gymnastic bits, so needs to up her game but it could work, if given time.
Oh look, it’s Sheamus. Have I ever told you how much I hate Sheamus? I haven’t?! It’s a lot. I hate Sheamus at a level of about 9 on the Bo Dallas scale. That’s not nine tenths of Bo Dallas, for the record – that’s 9 Bo Dallas’ out of a maximum of ten.
For what it’s worth, earlier on tonight I hated Bo Dallas at around about a 5.
So Sheamus is talking to Tony Dawson backstage, because why would you let this prick near Renee Young? That would just be mean. He says some stuff about competing next week, which he’s really excited about – oh hi The Wyatt Family, it seems like you hate Sheamus as well. Nice to see you turn up and destroy him – would you mind maybe finishing him off next week? Thanks!
Oh, look, here’s Tyler Breeze, the male model, backstage being pampered. Well, this guy looks like a douche. He’s going to debut next week, and we will all ‘witness…gorgeous’. Thanks Mike Dalton! Nice to know!
Right, let’s do some wrestling. Here’s Adrian Neville, he’s super pumped for this title shot, and here’s Corey Graves, who kind of looks like he couldn’t give a shit, the hipster barista. I’m still not completely sure I like Corey Graves. Somebody in the crowd rudely shouts that they love Corey during The Wyatt Family group entrance – don’t you know you’re watching greatness, young lady? Huh? Hmm? Stop being rude. Wyatt settles into his rocking chair to watch his brothers defend their titles.
Graves and Harper start us off and Harper immediately connects with a knee to the midsection. A whip into the corner is reversed, Graves leapfrogs over his opponent and lays into him with right hands, before locking in the triangle choke across the ropes. I kind of like the fact that Graves is just a little scrapper, a sort of ground and pound guy who’s tiny. He sends Harper into his own teams corner and tags out to Neville, and the two team up, The Man That Gravity Forgot springing off the back of Graves to connect with a dropkick. Neville now lays some kicks into Harper in the corner, but the big man just grabs his face to back him into a corner and hits a big shoulder to the midsection. Harper leads Neville back to his own corner, where he makes the tag to Rowan who comes in and connects with a kick whilst Harper holds the little man back. Off the ropes, Rowan catches Neville as he attempts a crossbody but he, and I for that matter, missed the blind tag from Corey Graves, who dropkicks Neville down on to the big ginger. Graves now locks in an arm trap hold on Rowan, but the bigger man powers out of it, only to be sent careening into the turnbuckle in his own corner. Harper, knowing that his teammate is going to be out of commission, wisely tags in, but Graves cuts him off with a series of fists and then a pair of dragonscrew legwhips. Rowan comes in to try and stop the momentum, but Neville takes care of him with a springboard dropkick, sending him out of the ring. The distraction, however, is enough for Luke Harper to kick Graves’ face off and claim a two count from the referee.
The downed Graves is dragged to the Wyatt Family corner, and Rowan tags in, locking in as nerve hold on Graves that he tries to fight out of but gets caught with a knee. The Wyatt Family swap legal men again, with Graves driven into their corner where Harper connects with some loud slaps and some strong European uppercuts, taking Graves down to the mat. Rowan comes in and whips Graves into the corner, followed by whipping Harper in, who then throws Graves to his partner and straight into a bearhug – they seem to be working over the midsection of Graves here, looking to hurt his core and take the wind out of him. Graves nearly fights out but gets caught with a back elbow off the ropes, and drives Graves’ head into his knee, allowing him to tag in Harper for a series of elbow drops. Harper keeps Corey Graves down with a rear chinlock and a backhammer, but Graves finally fights his way out, and Harper telegraphs him coming off the ropes, falling victim to a sunset flip, but Harper rolls through and hits a dropkick! Wow, for a big guy, that’s super impressive. Rowan tags in and The Wyatt Family really do have Graves isolated here, for the past few minutes or so he has been on the end of all their offense without really fighting back at any point in time. Rowan ties Graves up in an abdominal stretch, applying a claw to his abdomen at the same time to really wrench it in. Corey slips his way out of a body slam attempt but Rowan catches him by the waist and delivers a clothesline to the back of the head. He tags out to Harper who whips him into the Family’s corner but Graves takes out Rowan with a forearm! And a back elbow to Harper! And a boot! And he runs for his corner…and gets caught by a HUGE side slam from Harper. Blimey, he nearly drove him through the canvas! And somehow Graves kicks out!
Graves gets whipped into the corner by Harper but avoids the big boot – Harper falls to the outside! This is his chance! Regal is willing him on on commentary, begging him to make the tag – he’s become really invested here, which makes sense given last week. Graves makes the tag! Harper tags Rowan! Neville ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of flying forearns, then slips out of the way in the corner to the apron and connects with a boot to the temple. He dodges an attempt by Harper to interfere and connects with a kick to the head, then dives off the apron into a hurricanrana on the big man on the floor! Rowan tries to hit him off the apron, but Neville pulls the top rope down and hits a massive Asai moonsault on the two Family members – it’s amazing how much hangtime he gets on that move. Neville throws Rowan back into the ring and hits a second rope phoenix splash! Holy bejesus shitballs I have never seen that! Harper just breaks up the pin! And with him distracting the referee Bray Wyatt himself sends Adrian Neville off the top rope and to the mat. Here’s Sheamus! Sheamus charges down and takes the fight to Bray Wyatt on the outside, seeking retribution for earlier, and sends him into the steel steps! Graves nails the chopblock on Rowan! Neville climbs to the top rope! CORKSCREW SHOOTING STAR PRESS! THE WIN! NEW CHAMPIONS! NEW CHAMPIONS!
Sheamus presents them with the belts as they celebrate in the ring. The Wyatt Family’s reign of terror in NXT is over, and Graves and Neville are victorious. What a match! What an ending! An amazing performance from Adrian Neville to finish it all off, with that beautiful corkscrew shooting star press. Seriously, the guy’s a diamond. The thing with this is that it worked so well, with The Wyatt Family cutting the ring in half for so much of the match that when the hot tag came it was perfectly timed, the tension had built up well in the crowd, and the resultant pop was phenomenal. With Wyatt, Harper and Rowan shifting to the main roster, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before they had to lose the belts – this was the best way they could possibly have done that.
Now look – I could have picked loads of people here. I could have gone Regal for his work in the main event. I could have gone Emma for just being Emma. I could have gone with Sami Zayn for his flashes of excellence. The list goes on. But the thing is, these people dominate this list. The Wyatt Family, Emma, Zayn – they’re all over it. And one person really made my heart sing with huge amounts of joy this week:
His star making performance in the main event means Neville more than deserves this one. What a guy. What an athlete. He’s going to be an absolute superstar when he moves to the main roster, make no mistake, and in my opinion he has everything to become a big, big star for the WWE in the future.
17/07/2013 – Adrian Neville
10/07/2013 – Bayley
03/07/2013 – The Crowd
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
Ah, that was a lot of fun – pull out the Bo Dallas match (which at least served a purpose in terms of hyping Dallas vs Kruger, I guess) and nothing on this felt below average. Bayley vs Charlotte wasn’t especially great, I suppose, but hell – it had Bayley in it, so ticked my happy box. The opening triple threat and the tag team main event, though, were a stupendous pair of bouts to bookend the episode, and I ate them both up. NXT has been on a roll for the past couple of weeks – long may it continue.
Next week, NXTians, it’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. Paige. Emma. NXT Women’s Championship. One woman will depart with leather around her waist, the other with tears in their eyes and a missed chance.Plus – what will happen between Bray Wyatt and Sheamus after the events of this week? And how gorgeous will Tyler Breeze actually be? Tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat channel, to find out. Stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate guys! Au revoir!