TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (7/24/13)
Jul 26, 2013 - 9:16:39 AM
What’s that coming over the hill, is it a monster? No! It’s the new episode of NXT, and with it a new NXT Review! NXTians, you join us on a night that is guaranteed to go down in history, as Paige battles Emma to become the first ever NXT Women’s Champion! On top of that, we get to see the debut of the vain and gorgeous Tyler Breeze! Plus – what will The Wyatt Family have in store for Sheamus after his role in them losing the NXT Tag Team Championships last week – something? Nothing? Who knows! So without further ado, let’s find out in…
The NXT Review: 24/07/2013 – The One Live From Pretty Land
We kick things off with a look back at Emma’s semi-final win in the NXT Women’s Championship tournament and subsequent face to face with her opponent in the final, Paige. There are actually some really nice little talking head bits in it, Emma being all giddy and wonderful about the fact that she’s danced her way to the final. The key line, though, belongs to the Anti-Diva – ‘she’s the dancer, I’m the fighter’. It’s nice to see this thing get so much attention; it really puts it over as being super important in the make-up of NXT and in the careers of both women. Tom Phillips and Raw General Manager Brad Maddox (I get a thrill every time I say that, guys, just so you know) introduce us to a night that has a three time World Champion in the main event.
The Disco Dingo starts us off, bursting through the field of bubbles on the entranceway as the crowd dances along with her. Tom Phillips calls her ‘Emmazing’ – well done Tom Phillips, I’m glad you’re getting into this a bit. Paige is, as ever, OAF. Yes, that’s right – Over As Fuck. The NXT Universe Paige Pop is the equivalent of the WWE Universe Daniel Bryan Pop right now, in my opinion – the thing is bloody deafening. I am so flipping in on this one, as Byron Saxton provides the big match introductions. The face vs face bout is on!
A mass of duel chants start us off as the two lock up, rolling along the ropes and trading the advantage until Paige is forced to break in the corner. A canny leg sweep into a cover from the Brit gives her an early one count, and she then leaps an attempt to echo the move from Emma, jumping over her arm, but falls into a side headlock takeover and an attempt at a cover from her rival. Paige comes off the ropes and screams her way through a shoulder block, and attempts a body slam but Emma reverses into an attempt of her own. But that then gets reversed by Paige, slipping over the back of her opponent and pushing her into the corner, only for the Australian to pop out of the corner into a schoolboy attempt, again for one. Some great work in this section of the match, showing the two to be equally matched, and both looking to put the other away early, as if aware that they might struggle should the match go longer – a nice little storytelling edge to the whole thing. An Irish whip attempt by Emma is reversed by Paige, but she slips through the ropes then slides back under them, taking the Brit down into a roll up for a two count. Emma now seems to gain the momentary upperhand, locking on a wristlock and then throwing Paige to the mat by the arm, keeping her down with a backhammer. Paige tries to break the hold by grabbing the hair, but Emma just won’t let go – in the end, it takes a forward roll and a big headbutt to create some separation, and she gets a two count as a result. The two continue to play off that story of being equal combatants, each looking for a backslide but neither quite gaining enough leverage to really lock it in and get the shoulders to the match – and again it’s Emma who seems to come out of the exchange on top, this time going through the ropes whilst still locked up with Paige and changing the hold into a Tarantula! That was a really lovely transition, and makes me wonder whether they’re going to start giving Emma some more credit beyond ‘ditzy blonde’. Because, you know, the lady can actually wrestle pretty damn well, and it would be nice if they could acknowledge that once or twice outside of her dancing.
Ah, now, just as I say that, here’s Emma Emma-ing to her fans – I get that, I do, but it almost always costs her the advantage, and it does here to as Paige delivers a kick to the gut that sends her out of the ring, and the advantage shifts. Paige gets her opponent back in the squared circle and applies a range of submission holds, wrenching the neck first, then locking in a chinlock and transitioning to stretch the arms back and finally pulling her opponent over into a crucifix for a two count. Tom Phillips corrects Brad Maddox on commentary for saying that Paige began wrestling at ‘two or three’, as the Mysterious Raven Haired Lady throws Emma into the ropes then delivers a better Perfect-Plex than Curtis Axel – fact – for a near fall. I sense that Paige is getting frustrated, as she tosses Emma into the corner and delivers a series of boots. Clearly, she thought that the Disco Dingo would be easier to put away than this, and she covers a couple of times without gaining the win again. Emma reverses an attempt by Paige to throw her into the corner again and seizes momentum! She hits a low crossbody on her seated rival, and that’s only good enough for a two count, and then, in a repeat from Emma’s semi-final win, she whips Paige into the ropes, but she telegraphs it and looks to sunset flip Emma, only for the Aussie to drop down. Paige reverses it…but avoids the same fate as Summer Rae, forcing the break before Emma can roll back over into another pinning predicament of her own. Scouting, guys. It’s all about scouting. Paige knew that was how Emma had won her semi, and was not going to fall victim to it herself. It’s nice that they play things like that up sometimes, isn’t it?
Emma now with the rear chinlock on Paige, really locking it in deep and looking to get the Anti-Diva to submit – sure, it might be a resthold, but Emma’s completely doing that Damien Sandow thing where her restholds don’t actually look like restholds, they just look like submission attempts. Paige fights up and stamps on the toes of her opponent to break the hold, but she runs off the ropes into a back elbow and cedes a one count. Emma stays on top, taking Paige down to the mat with a rear waistlock, but Paige finally drives her into the corner and hits a series of wild elbows to break the old. As she comes back in, Paige catches the boot of Emma and throws her to the mat and immediately transitions into Cloverleaf-gone-Liontamer that is the RamPaige, digging the knee into the back of the neck and wrenching her opponent back. She’s got this locked right in, Emma can’t get to the ropes. Surely it’s over…no! Emma rolls it over and breaks the hold! Small package! Emma with the small package! 1…2…NO! So close to a sneaky win. Emma takes Paige down....she’s going for DilEmma, but she just can’t lock it in and Paige crawls to the ropes. Emma comes to get her back in, but Paige nails her with a headbutt, and then a series of knees to the chest. Emma, winded, falls into the ring and Paige goes up top, which I don’t think she’s ever done before…and it costs her, Emma connecting with a slap and a MASSIVE superplex off the top rope. Both women are down in the centre of the ring. Jesus Christ this match is bloody terrific. Emma finally manages a cover…but Paige is just close enough to the ropes to touch it with her foot at the vital moment. Paige pops up! Two kicks to the midsection! Paige Turner! Paige Turner! Paige Turner! Paige is your new NXT Women’s Champion!
A-may-zing. Paige starts to breakdown in the middle of the ring as the ladies of NXT come out wearing some pretty dresses. Except Summer Rae. Is that Rosa Mendes? No, really, I think Rosa Mendes is there, I’d recognise that booty anywhere. The Game! The Game is here! Calm down Mr Haitches, this ain’t your party, nor is it an orgy. What would your wife think? Triple H comes into the ring and raises Paige’s hand. Fantastic match, fantastic result, and a genuinely quite touching moment right afterwards. This is seriously as good a WWE women’s match that you will see, probably up there with AJ vs Kaitlyn from Payback. God, AJ Lee vs Paige is a mouthwatering prospect, isn’t it? I’d be really happy to see that match happen in the not too distant future. But for now, Paige stands atop the NXT women’s division – who will challenger her in the future? Who knows. I mean, my money’s on Summer Rae, but Emma must surely have a claim for a rematch as well. Wherever it goes, it’s going to be grand.
Oh, here’s a little promo from Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter. They’ve run a background check on Sami Zayn and there is no history for him. Nada. Nowt. Zilch. OOOH HISTORY. Sami Zayn, Colter and Cesaro have discovered, used to wear a mask! Why? Because he snuck over the border from Mexico (despite being Canadian, and ending up in NXT on his way to Mexico from Canada, if Kevin Steen is to be believed). The two threaten to make Zayn’s life a nightmare for being in the country illegally, and they’re going to get him deported. This is ace. I love this. I love Colter, in a not-really-love-absolutely-hate way – he’s as close to a proper heel as WWE have, in that he genuinely thinks irrational, terrible things. Cesaro adds a little bit on the end of this promo, pretty much just saying the same as Colter about making Zayn’s life a nightmare. Oh God, more Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro as soon as possible please. You’ve all seen what’s coming, right? On the spoilers? It’s only four weeks away. Four weeks!
Right, I’ve got some fessing up to do - I put these pictures together before I see the show. All the spoilers said this was ‘Tyler Breeze vs ???’ so I of course went to the 70s Silhouette again. It’s actually Angelo Dawkins, who was on here a couple of weeks ago. But enough about him. No, really, enough. TYLER BREEZE IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WRESTLING RIGHT NOW. A cocky, arrogant heel, obsessed with himself who comes out to some Eurotrance and treats the entrance ramp like a model treats a catwalk. In fact, that’s his gimmick – he’s a male model, and he is absolutely obsessed with himself, taking a hell of a lot of selfies on his phone as he makes his way down the ramp. He’s got tassles on his boots, electric blue shiny bottoms…basically, this is brilliant, this is the shit I absolutely eat up. I love characters in wrestling, and Tyler Breeze is completely ‘in’ on his character, playing up to it, stalling to take as many pictures of himself as possible. I’m sure some people won’t love him as much as I do, but this…this is WONDEFUL.
Angelo Dawkins finally attacks him from behind – and Breeze absolutely takes it too him as a result, laying into him with strikes to the back. Dawkins gets a couple of pinning combinations, looking for a roll up win, but Breeze regains the upperhand with a knee to the midsection and just strikes Dawkins down to the mat repeatedly. The male model goes back to the corner to take a few more selfies before running out to hit Dawkins with a spinning heel kick to get the win whilst posing to the TV camera, of course.
Well well well. Like I said, some people won’t like this, I don’t think. I’m not sure I fully understand why, but I just feel like some won’t. But me? I love it. Let’s not hide behind it, as Mike Dalton the guy was characterless, and as such when he did win the FCW title he couldn’t do anything with it and they almost immediately had him drop it. The guy can wrestle, for sure, but he was just bland. But now? This is a gimmick that the guy is working tremendously well. It’s somewhere on the Fandango end of the spectrum, for sure, but it’s great. And the entrance was su-bloody-perb. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.
Ah, here’s Rick Victor, saying this is the beginning of The Ascension and that they are coming to reduce your heroes to ashes. Um…that’s kind of it, actually, not really anything of note. I like The Ascension’s gimmick, but there’s only so many slightly spooky promos where they say nothing I can put up with. Anyway, they’re up next!
Here they are! They scream at the crowd and strike some poses as they enter the ring and Victor massages the shoulders of O’Brien in the corner as Mickey Keegan and Aiden English make their entrance. It’s English and O’Brien starting us off, and O’Brien just runs through the guy, sending him to the mat before tagging to Victor, who wails on English in the corner with a series of uppercuts and chops, and following up with a back body drop into a wristlock. Victor tags back out to O’Brien, and the two double team English, taking him down with a strange little double team move, where they cross the guys arms over and sort of make him clothesline himself. O’Brien hits a body avalanche in the corner, and then again swaps over with Victor, who knocks Keegan off the apron and then hits a running knee to Victor that looks incredibly painful. Another tag between the Ascension, and they double team English again, flipping him off the ropes and into a sort of cradle position before slamming him to the mat. Victor comes in, and they hit a combination of a chop block and a flying, spinning European uppercut to give them the win.
A squash victory for The Ascension, which really makes sense given the build they’ve had over recent weeks, and they looked reasonably impressive in it too. To be honest, I didn’t love the match, but I think I like The Ascension enough to give them a pass this time round. They’re certainly a big, powerful duo, and if they’re going to challenge for the tag titles it would be interesting to say the least. Umm…yeah, that’s about all, really. Oh, I liked the frequency of tagging, meant they often had a completely legal one man advantage, which is pretty smart either way you look at it.
Hang on a minute, I think I can do this.
IT’S A SHAMEFUL THING, LOBSTER HEAD! I AM A GRUMPY BULLY HAVE YOU HAVE SEEN A GRUMPY BULLY HOAK HOGAN! WE COMING FOR YOU LUKE HARPER! YOU EVER RUN SCARED FROM A FIGHT I LOVE TO FIGHT YOU EVER BEEN TO DUBLIN ALL WE DO IS FIGHT! BROGUE KICK HOOLIGAN I’M A HOOLIGAN THAT’S A BAD THING BUT I’M A GOOD GUY HONEST!
Is that it? Did I do it alright?
There’s a child in the crowd dressed as Sheamus. Sheamus ain’t a role model, kid. I’m having a child in three months (well, I’m not giving birth, but anyway) and I’m never going to let them watch Sheamus cut a promo. Ah well, here’s Luke Harper. This is kind of like Luke Harper’s NXT final boss, if that makes sense – if Bray Wyatt’s NXT final boss was William Regal (in the same way that it should have been Kassius Ohno’s – don’t get me started on that news story, we’ll be here until the next NXT episode) and he beat him to say ‘hey, look, I can be a main roster guy now’, this is Luke Harper’s version of that, except it’s ‘hey look, I can hang with somebody who can wrestle the WWE main event style, will just hit his spots and has fifty finishers’.
With Wyatt watching on from his rocking horse, Harper and Sheamus lock up and trade the advantage as they roll around the ropes, the referee finally breaking the hold and the Wyatt brother shouting ‘yeah yeah yeah yeah’ at the crowd. Sheamus locks in a side headlock, but Harper pushes him off the ropes and connects with a strong shoulder block to knock the Irish fella down. Sheamus looks rattled by that, and immediately comes back trying to prove a point, this time nailing a shoulder block of his own off the ropes and sending Harper to the outside where he gets some love from the family leader. Harper looks to come back with a big boot, but Sheamus blocks it and throws him to the ground, laying into him with boots and fists. Well, this was never going to be a technical classic, I guess – and that’s proven again as the two trade the upperhand in the corners, both hitting big blows to the body and face. Harper whips his opponent to the corner, but Sheamus comes out and uses a double axehandle to knock him down, incensing Wyatt at ringside by choking his brother with his lower leg. Harper comes back from that with a European uppercut, then whips the Brogue Kick Warrior across the ring, but ducks too early and catches a kick to the face and gets clothesline over the top rope to the apron. Sheamus is about to go a clobberin’! Rowan breaks the hold after about four blows – but just gets treated to ten blows to the chest himself. The distraction, however, is enough for Harper to regroup and hit a back elbow as Sheamus turns around, sending him to the outside where Rowan gives some assistance, clotheslining the ginger fella as Harper distracts the referee. That dastardly Wyatt Family, always using the damned numbers game!
Harper brings Sheamus back in and wails on him, hitting a running back elbow into the corner and then using the ropes to help him stand on his head before choking him against the ropes, again letting Rowan help him out with a fist to the head of his rival as the referee breaks the hold. Brad Maddox points out on commentary that Sheamus should have come with some friends – which is pretty sensible, when you think about it. You’ve got to equal that damned numbers game! Harper’s just wearing Sheamus down here with a side headlock, but Sheamus finally battles back to his feet and the two trade mighty blows until Harper comes off the ropes and Sheamus hits a tilt-a-whirl body slam. Apparently, though, they haven’t yet taken enough out of each other and club each other like they’re on a seal hunt in the middle of the ring, really laying into each other. Sheamus gets up a bit of a head of steam and hits some spots, a pair of double axehandles, a shoulder to the gut in the corner followed by a running knee to the head, all building to White Noise…but Harper reverses it and hits a big swinging sideslam off the ropes, shifting the momentum in an instant! The former Brodie Lee connects with some forearms to the head, but then fails with a second rope body slam as Sheamus rolls out of the way, and hits a rolling senton to recover some ground. It’s now Sheamus who climbs the ropes, but he gets a slap to the face for his trouble, yet this from Harper only angers the Celtic Warrior and he comes back with forearms and headbutts to create separation again. Sheamus off the top rope…but Harper ducks him! Off the ropes comes Sheamus…Brogue Kick! No! Harper ducks it, and then connects with a big discus clothesline! 1…2…NO! Sheamus just kicks out! Harper now with a body avalanche in the corner, and he backs up to deliver another but Sheamus blocks it with a boot to the face. Rowan tries to interfere but the fiery ginger throws Harper into him and then takes Harper down with White Noise. And after bashing his own chest in he connects with the Brogue Kick for the win, which makes Bray Wyatt laugh in his rocking chair for some reason. The Wyatt Family walk out, with Bray staring down Sheamus as he retreats.
That was a fun little match. Harper certainly showed that he can ‘hang’ with Sheamus, especially in the opening section where they both looked very equal, reminding me of the Paige vs Emma match from earlier in the night where they traded the early advantage. Sheamus, for all I hate the guy’s character, has always been able to get it done in the ring, he’s probably had more good matches than most of the roster could dream of in the past few years. Harper looked good, though, and if this really was them testing him out for the future he passed with flying covers, keeping pace well with Sheamus and looking, if not a million bucks, then a good few hundred thousand.
About bloody time. I’ve wanted to give this to Paige before now, but every week she’s on she seems to be overshadowed by someone. This week, though again I felt there were people on the show who maybe shone a little brighter (Hi Tyler Breeze! How’re you doing Luke Harper!), it feels right that Paige scoops this up. Her performance in picking up the win over Emma to become the first NXT Women’s Champion was sterling, and she really is a worthy winner of the belt. I love Paige, I really do, she’s solid in the ring if not always spectacular, has a great look and her promo work is pretty tidy as well. Probably most importantly, she has ‘it’ – that little intangible that most of the ‘Divas’ don’t have. Seriously though, NXT has a 110% superior women’s roster than Raw and Smackdown combined – a good sign for the future, and one that is hopefully led by Paige.
24/07/2013 - Paige
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
NXTians, what a week we’ve had! Whilst not quite as high as last week, as I’d say it lost some momentum in that middle period when we weren’t watching Tyler Breeze, it still zipped along nicely and was bookended by two matches that are really, really worth a watch. Emma vs Paige went quite long, probably mirroring the time that Sheamus and Harper got in the main event, and it was certainly well deserved, as they used it very well indeed. As for the main event, as I said, this was Harper absolutely proving that he belongs in the main roster ring hanging with guys like Sheamus - he went step for step with him and certainly didn’t look out of place.
They didn’t actually trail anything for next week this time round, so I guess it’s up to me to sell you on some stuff. Let’s see…we’ve got the continuation of the Cesaro vs Zayn feud following the Colter and Antonio promo from this week, which promises to be quite something when it finally comes to a head, and some probable build for the forthcoming Leo Kruger vs Bo Dallas NXT Championship match. Plus – what will Paige’s first week as NXT Women’s Champion look like, and will The Wyatt Family get a rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championship? There’s only one place to find out…well, two, actually, if you watch the program…well, three I guess if you look at spoilers. Ah, just come back next week. Please? I’ll bring cookies, promise! Stay safe when crossing the road NXTians and drink more hot chocolate! Adeus!