Before we get into Oliver's weekly review, just a quick reminder that "Trippin' Out" returns to LOP Radio on Monday August 5th at 6:30 PM EST with my co-host for this edition, none other than my fellow Main Page comrade, Super Chrisss. Hope to see you there!
TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (7/31/13)
Aug 1, 2013 - 6:58:15 PM
NXTians! You came back! I promised cookies, didn’t I? Well, here’s a brand new, shiny, cyber cookie!
Don’t eat it all at once!
Right, NXT, let’s get serious. This week, as trailed last week and I missed mentioning in the review, we’ve got a big tag team match. And I mean BIG – Tons of Funk times Yokozuna big. Leo Kruger will team up with Antonio Cesaro against Sami Zayn desperately trying to hold our interest while Bo Dallas wrestles. This will be fun! This will be a fun time! Elsewhere…let me see...I think we’ve got the last appearance from The Wyatt Family for the foreseeable future as they’re now off to terrorise Kane and make him embrace the hate or something, and The Nature Girl Charlotte will show her athletic prowess off against Sasha Banks. So without further ado, let’s dive right in to…
The NXT Review: 31/07/2013 – The One With Dinoasaurs
SAWWWWWWWWWFT! Enzo Amore is kicking us off on NXT with his sidekick Big Cass, Colin Cassady. Bada-Boom – Realest guys in the room! As a team, they’re undefeated, and the one thing that they’re not is…ha, the crowd chimes in with a ‘SAWWWWWFT’ of their own. Seriously, in the future can we have ‘SAWWWWWFT’ chants instead of ‘what’ chants, please? Let’s strive to make that something we can all do. Enzo ends up spelling it out for the NXT Universe, and says that what he sees right now is a dance floor and these guys are going to dance! Big Cass sings as Amore runs around. Ah. Here’s comes the ‘pair of jiggling puddings’ (quote, William Regal, 2013) to put these guys in their place. You know how Tensai was supposed to be really good in Japan, something that I can back up having watched a few of his matches over there for the record – well wouldn’t it be great if he rubbed some of that off on Brodus and he became an absolute beast in a couple of years? I’m not exactly anti-Tons of Funk because, as I’m sure you’re starting to see, I like a bit of colour in my wrestling. There’s only so many po-faced Randy Orton promos a man can sit through, after all. But once these do split, if they ever split, Brodus going full monster would be awesome.
Mason Ryan cuts off a retreating Amore and Big Cass, forcing them back into the ring and into the clutches of Tons of Funk, who take them into the corners and hit synchronised body avalanches, and a double splash on Big Cass. Ryan slides in and, amidst some isolated ‘let’s go Enzo!’ chants from the crowd, the Man with the Brad Maddox Body connects with Dream Street on the Realest Guy in the Room. Bring back the Luger Breaker! With Ryan’s job done, he goes to leave the ring, but Tons of Funk stop him in his tracks – they want him to dance with them, and he has got the choreography down pat as the three boogie. Well, that was…er…interesting, I guess? I don’t know, at least they didn’t go ‘DANCE CONTEST GO!’ and make it shit. It felt kind of natural and worked as a segment, just a bit of an odd thing to see starting the show off, so also felt a bit jarring.
Here’s Mr. Dusty backstage with Emma and the new NXT Women’s Champion Paige. It gives me very real chills to see Paige with that title belt, it truly does. I hope that this is the future of the main roster standing in the room right now. The American Dream waxes lyrical about their match from last week and puts over how great it was and how much he likes the pair of them, only to be interrupted by the First Lady of NXT Summer Rae – what a bitch! She says that she, not Paige or Emma, is the future of the Divas division, and says that as she has already beaten Paige she should just hand over the title to her now. Has anybody explained how title belts work to Summer Rae? I’m a little concerned about her mental wellbeing here. Anyway, Paige says that she will just break Summer’s face and hand her teeth back to her! Oooh, spicy. Rae says that Paige wouldn’t have the title if Emma hadn’t stolen a win over here, and she tries to Emma dance but actually looks like she is just doing tiny tyrannosaurus rex arms instead. If Rae’s a tyrannosaurus, I think Paige is probably a triceratops and Emma is…maybe a pterodactyl? I’m just thinking about those arms, and the way a pterodactyl’s arms reach along its wings is pretty reminiscent of the Emma dance. Wrestlers as dinosaurs – this should be fun.
Oh shit. Oh megashit. Emma says Summer can’t even dance that well and Summer thinks it’s a good idea to have a dance contest. Now, look, I try my best to be positive about stuff, but dance contests are, flat out, one hundred percent my least favourite thing that happens in wrestling. Why can’t they just wrestle for the number one contendership? Dusty, to his credit, says ‘that, young lady, is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life’ but then says he kind of likes it. Emma’s down with it but has a condition – it’s got to be a dance battle and she’s going to win and the two bicker. Paige cuts in with an abrupt ‘shut up’ and says she’s going to beat the winner regardless. Which she probably will. I hate dance contests. Still, at least this put the women’s division on NXT front and centre. But a dance contest? Just after you’ve done a great tournament to show that these girls can wrestle damned well? That’s…that’s kind of shitty, NXT. Still, that’s next week.
Over 800 words and no wrestling yet – crikey. Ah, here’s the Nature Girl Charlotte (diplodocus). Tony Dawson recaps her victorious debut over Bayley (stegosaurus) a fortnight ago. I’m interested to see how Charlotte copes without Ric Flair (who is, er, Ric Flair as a dinosaur, I guess) at ringside – she’s still pretty over, but I wonder how many classic Flair-isms we’ll see in this match. She needs to move out from her dad’s shadow at some point in time, as the crowd here is ‘woo’-ing a lot. Sasha Banks (mussaurus) skips her way down to the ring and this one is on.
The two lock up and Banks transitions to a side headlock on the six foot Charlotte, and she manages to find the leverage to take Charlotte down to the mat and even holds it when she ends up on her shoulders. Charlotte finally breaks the hold and whips Sasha into the ropes, but coming back she goes for the headscissors and transitions into an armdrag pretty awkwardly. The start looked very pretty, but instead of using the momentum of the headscissors she sort of just landed on her feet, and then hit it, and it just looked a little rough around the edges. A dropkick to the chest knocks down the tall blonde and gets the niece of Snoop Lion a two count, and an armdrag takedown from the kick out keeps her on top. Flair’s girl works her way up and reverses a whip into the corner, jumping over Sasha’s head and backflipping, Adrian Neville style, across the ring. She stops the onrushing Banks whilst doing the splits and somehow, magically, works that around into a rollup where she bridges across her opponents leg. I recall her doing that against Bayley before and it looking impressive, but here it seemed really, really fluid. Tony Dawson reliably informs me that the move is now known as Charlotte’s Web, so that saves me typing it all out again the next time. Knife edge chop from Charlotte – WOO! – and she gives Banks some attitude. Banks gives it back and comes out with the Botchamania slaps! JEEEEESUS! She eventually gets a wristlock and runs up the ropes with it, pulling Charlotte around into an armdrag and rolling straight through into a pin – damn, that was stylish. Banks really has something, you know, and she locks in a camel clutch on Charlotte here, keeping the speedy athlete down and managing to transition it into a pinning combination for just a two count. Banks whips Charlotte into the corner and connects with flying knees to the sternum, but when whipped into the opposite corner Charlotte Flair-flips her way to the apron and drives Banks’ head into the turnbuckle. She leaps the top rope to take advantage and hits a clothesline, then follows up with that rolling running cutter of hers for the win!
That was quite good, I guess, although I’m not really a fan of matches just suddenly ending like that, with a really sudden finisher. I mean, it makes sense because a finisher should be final, but the momentum hadn’t really fully shifted to Charlotte yet and so it feels really sudden. I think she actually showed less here than in her match with Bayley, as I counted five offensive moves all match – the Charlotte’s Web, a chop, driving Banks’ head into the turnbuckle, a clothesline and her finisher. That’s not a lot, really, and as a result it’s Banks who I feel comes out looking like the better wrestler, carrying a lot of the match and doing it with a certain panache that really shone through on certain things. But it’s Charlotte with the win, and the crowd all ‘woo’ in unison as she makes her way to the back.
Tyler Breeze (camarasaurus) is approached by Renee Young (micropachycephalosaurus – possibly the cutest dinosaur) backstage, and he puts over his ‘amazing, no magnificent, no breath taking, no gorgeous’ win last week whilst ignoring Young and staring at himself in his phone. Oh, hey, it’s CJ Parker (kaatedocus) videobombing in the background, adding a lovely humourous touch as Breeze puts over his gorgeousness and how he isn’t sure the world is ready for him so he’s just giving them little bits at a time. Parker seems to have gone away now, and Breeze ends the conversation by saying that Renee should just ‘stay being you (tiny condescending laugh)’ while he stays being him. But that’s not all! Breeze slides back into shot and tells Young to ‘say it’. What, Renee is not sure of, but Tyler says she’ll know when he leaves and ghosts out of shot again. ‘Tyler Breeze has left the building’, says Renee. Ah, that must have been it. Tell you what, I might have gone overboard last week on my Tyler Breeze love but this, if anything, upped my love of him. He’s just perfect as the narcissist. Parker’s goofing around suggests he’s going to have a role to play in the future too. But this was all about Breeze – he somehow commands your attention when cutting a promo, and his interaction with Young here was a lot of fun.
Christ, a Bray Wyatt (utahraptor – the most dangerous dinosaur, seriously, look it up. Bugger has some serious claws) promo where he sings ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’. The scariest Wyatt thing I have seen. Completely freaked me out. Hopefully this means we get some Wyatt’s after the break!
Hey look, it’s NXT’s very own jobbing tag team Mickey Keegan and Aiden English (a pair of anchiornis)! You may remember them from that time they got squashed by The Ascension. Holy shitballs, the pop for The Wyatt Family is nuclear, and they now have the full blown entrance, with the lantern and everything, as the crowd chant ‘Wyatt’s’ at them. This is something so, so special.
Rowan and Harper (a pair of majungasaurus. Majungasauri? I don’t know) set upon Keegan and English from the moment the bell rings, laying into them with fury. Harper nails English in the corner with a body avalanche and then taking his head off with a discus clothesline. A tag to Rowan, who hits the standing frog splash and this one is over.
The crowd are waving along to the theme tune as Bray Wyatt joins his brothers in the ring. Bray takes English up and connects with the Sister Abigail to finally make him extinct. The crowd chants for one more time, but the head of the family asks them to calm down as he has something to say! YES! YES! Wyatt has the mike, and you shall listen – the crowd pops for Bray having a microphone! He says he is a man who dreams that doesn’t sit on his couch, doesn’t fail, but he changes the landscape of the world. Aren’t the crowd tired of feeling unwanted? Aren’t they tired of feeling like an outcast and being stepped on? Then today is your day! Today Bray Wyatt changes everything! Today, hell freezes, pigs fly, and fear gets looked in the eye and hired (I think?). People better tell world leaders to heed Wyatt’s warning, because he is bringing down the machine – and the crowd chants ‘bring it down’! Wonderful! The Wyatt Family are leaving NXT today, but if you want to find Bray Wyatt you just have to follow the buzzards. And Bray sees us out by singing his theme song, as the crowd chants thankyou at him. What a promo! Seriously, you guys need to find a video of this. It is as good as it gets. The crowd gets really into it and Bray is on some special kind of fire. Just wonderful, wonderful stuff.
Oh, hey Corey Graves (epidendrosaurus – fancy, but ultimately a bit useless), I see you’re tying your boots backstage with your recently acquired NXT Tag Team Championship. Here’s Adrian Neville (tapejara – pretty flyer) in an awful NXT shell suit to tell you he’s going to be at ringside when you take on Scott Dawson. Graves doesn’t think he needs him, but Neville points out that it’s not Dawson, but The Wyatt Family that they need to be wary of. Graves says that, as tag team champions, they run from nobody, and Neville agrees – these two are up for a fight! The problem with these guys is that they’re kind of dull, with no real passion in their promos. They actually feel like they’re acting, rather than just being natural. I like both guys – well, I think I like Corey Graves – but watching them cut promos I feel like I’m watching Hollyoaks, not NXT. It’s a bit difficult to really get into as a result.
Sylvester LeFort (oviraptor) is out to introduce his money making, bone shaking, boot quaking client Scott Dawson (carnotaurus). He’s sporting a cracking white jacket with a black shirt and trousers with money printed on them is LeFort, but I’m pretty sure nobody here cares about Dawson, and after his last showing against Bo Dallas why would you? This match feels like it should set up the first feud for Graves and Neville as tag champs, rather than a serious bout.
The crowd are right behind Corey Graves as the two lock up and Dawson gains the advantage with a wristlock and a forearm to the face. The Filth Parade leader reverses a whip into the corner but Dawson dodges when he charges in and takes proper control, delivering a kick to the midsection of Graves as he is suspended across the ropes in the corner. Off a back elbow, Dawson gets a one count from the referee, but keeps up a high tempo and the aggression level, kicking him in the chin and dropping an elbow, before wrenching at Corey’s nose and striking him with an elbow to the temple which only gets a two count. Dawson drives his head into the lower back of Corey, but off the ropes Graves connects with a kick to the face. A reverse chopblock off the ropes, and Graves locks in the 13th Step, making Dawson tap in quick order to pick up the win.
Sierra! Hotel! Indigo! Echo! Lima! Delta! That can only mean one thing…here come The Shield (a pack of velociraptors if I ever saw one)! Damn, title belts look good on those boys, and they reintroduce themselves to Corey Graves, and remind him of the time they left him lying in the middle of the ring. But Graves picked himself back up and got the NXT Tag Team Championship around his waist, which is almost as good as Reigns and Rollins having the WWE Tag Team Championships. Almost, but not quite, says Rollins. Ambrose calls out Neville on stealing Kassius Ohno’s spot, and that he’s a thief. And that is an injustice punishable by the law of The Shield. Ambrose challenges Neville, promising to make him pay for his crimes, and Neville accepts…on one condition. The US Title must be up for grabs, and Neville wants that fight right now! Ambrose asks him if he knows who he’s talking to, because Dean isn’t some NXT chump – he’s the most important champion in this industry. But he’ll take Neville on, next week. Neville promises to take The Shield apart, piece by piece, brick by brick, and you can believe in that. Neville vs Ambrose! I am in there like swimwear! That promises to be off the bloody hook. Neville’s promo here was approximately a thousand and twelve times better than his one from earlier in the night.
There’s a little promo here for the announced stuff next week, which include the ‘controversial’ NXT Champion Bo Dallas taking on Leo Kruger. Controversial Bo Dallas, guys – he’s like that man you all love John Cena! Hey look, we’re priming the next John Cena! His name’s Bo Dallas and he’s the next John Cena! Could you actually be more obvious about what you want this guy to be?
Kruger (mastodon) makes his entrance, his creepy rain laden titantron video in the background, followed by Cesaro (ultrasaurus – hey, we’ve got to go with the strongest of them all, right?) who is flying solo tonight, with no Zeb Colter. Sami Zayn (an ornithomimids, due to his speed) comes out to a lovely pop from the crowd, which is the complete flip of his partner Bo Dallas (Barney) who gets booed possibly the hardest he has ever been booed in NXT. Controversial – pah, the guys not controversial, NXT, just listen to that damned reaction. The guy’s is outright hated. I know he talks about his Bo-lievers, but I wish he was a Bo-leaver, know what I’m saying?
As ‘ole!’ chants battle for space amongst the ‘we the people’ chants, Zayn and Kruger lock up, with Kruger using his strength to force the smaller Canadian back into the corner. They stay locked up as Zayn pushes back, but the South African mercenary transitions into a wristlock that Zayn flips though, then kip ups out of into an armdrag. Seriously, how is this guy as good as he is? It’s frightening. Kruger comes back with a knee to the midsection and lays some heavy blows down on Zayn, but the smaller man hits a series of armdrags and keeps Kruger down with an armbar. Bo begs to come in but the crowd pleads with Zayn not to tag him, which is hilarious – in the end, Bo just tags himself in and commands Sami to hold Kruger so he can axehandle the arm, but the mercenary breaks free before Bo hits anything. It’s Cesaro that will get himself a piece of Dallas, as Kruger tags out, and the two exchange waistlocks before the NXT Champion comes back with a series of armdrags. Zayn now wants to tag in, but Dallas takes too long making a decision and Cesaro kicks him in the gut before he gets there, whipping Bo across the ring and connecting with a running European uppercut in the corner. Cesaro then takes Zayn off the apron with a big boot to the face, but the distraction is enough for Dallas to connect with a dropkick that’s almost as bad as John Cena’s and actually get a tag to Zayn. Cesaro immediately legs it and tags back out to Kruger, who lays into Zayn with a big forearm and then a series of boots to the head on the mat. And now, of course, Cesaro wants in to take advantage of his wounded rival, and he puts more pain on the little Canuck with a clothesline, then charging him into his team’s corner.
Kruger comes back in now, and starts to wear Sami down, connecting with a snap suplex and going immediately for the pinfall, only getting two but forcing the guy to kick out. A quick tag back out to Cesaro, who stomps on Zayn and then brushes off a series of chops to hit a couple of knees to the gut and then an absolutely enormous European uppercut. Regal drops in a fascinating fact that Europeans are so good at uppercuts because punches were illegal in any form of combat. If that’s true, that’s cleared up why it is so different to the standard uppercut for me, something I’ve often wondered but couldn’t be bothered to research. Cesaro locks in his cranial crack and starts to wrench at Zayn, but the Canuck shows some pluck and breaks the hold by driving the Swiss Sensation into the corner. Cesaro, however, comes back again, before Zayn can get any real offense in, and drives his opponent back into his corner, tagging out to Kruger who immediately takes Sami down with a headbutt. A kneedrop to the face gives Kruger a chance to pin, but Zayn just kicks out, constantly just surviving. Out of a side headlock, Zayn finally gets in some offense, breaking the hold and connecting with a sunset flip, but as he looks for the tag the African grabs him by the foot and pulls him back into enemy territory, where he and Cesaro wishbone his legs apart.
Cesaro meets Zayn trying to crawl to Dallas in the corner, and just stomps on his head, which is absolutely viscious looking, and in the corner now Antonio just lays into Zayn with straight forearms, leaving Zayn looking punch drunk on the ropes. The Swiss native takes advantage, and uses the ropes for leverage in delivering a powerbomb that only gets a two count. Bo Dallas is the most ineffective tag partner imaginable – seriously, is there nothing this guy can do right? ‘Look out, look out!’ he says, as Leo Kruger comes into the ring off a tag. Then he says something about Fellini as Kruger delivers a double stomp – I’m pretty sure this is not the time to be discussing the artistic merits of ‘I Clowns’, Bo. Actually, I think it’s even bloody worse than that – I think he genuinely says ‘don’t stop believing’ to Sami Zayn at this point. Christ, I don’t want him to get hurt or anything but could we please just take him somewhere where he doesn’t end up on my TV? Like, put him in the cast of Jersey Shore or something, just something I don’t 90% enjoy. A follow up stomp from Kruger, who then grinds the knee into the face of the Canadian, with Bo’s expert advice being to ‘push the knee off’. Sigh. Kruger and Cesaro swap positions again, and the Swiss Sensation uses his knee to assist a chinlock. Zayn works his way to his feet and nails a big boot! But Cesaro falls into a tag to Kruger, who just cuts Zayn off from making a tag. No! Zayn transitions a waistlock to a pinning situation, and off the kick out he makes the tag! Oh, it’s to Bo Dallas. Temper the excitement. The crowd boos mercilessly as Dallas goes through the motions, a trio of flying forearms, a kick to the gut, a clothesline, a bulldog out of the corner – Cesaro saves the pinfall! Zayn clotheslines Cesaro over the top rope and they brawl to the back! Kruger and Dallas are left in the ring on their own! Side belly to belly suplex from Dallas, but Kruger falls to the outside and tries to escape. Dallas throws him back in, but Kruger hits a big knee in the corner! The Slice! Kruger wins it!
This was pretty good, aided greatly by Zayn being a master seller of offense so that he built up some real sympathy in the middle of the match, to the point where I think people did want him to make the tag to Dallas, no matter how much they hated him. For a split second I thought Dallas was just going to come in, hit his spots and win it, but I’m so glad he didn’t – it might be booking 101 for the number one contender to win a tag match before the title match, but it was really necessary here, especially with Bo freakin’ Dallas being the title holder. All in all, a nice little tag match to end the program.
Bray left NXT with a bang, his promo was an absolute lesson in how to make people sit up and take notice and if this truly is the end of Bray Wyatt on NXT then all I can say is thank God we got to witness it from the start.
31/07/2013 – Bray Wyatt
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
What a curious little week of TV. It all started off feeling a bit like a Raw, what with the strange opening portion with Amore and Big Cass getting prime billing just to be, essentially, disposed of by two main roster guys and Mason Ryan, then the confirmation of the dance contest for next week. But once it finally got into it, it was pretty good – Charlotte vs Bayley was fun, even if momentum swung too quickly at the end, The Wyatt Family’s send-off was wonderful, the confrontation between The Shield and Fly Down was quite a lot of fun even if Graves vs Dawson lacked quite substantially, and the main event was both really well put together and exhibited some strong wrestling from all involved. So a bit of a mixed bag, really, but still definitely worth a look.
Next week though NXTians, it’s time to get serious. Adrian Neville will take on Dean Ambrose or the US Title! Leo Kruger looks to wrestle the NXT Championship away from Bo Dallas! One of Summer Rae or Emma will dance their way to being number one contender for Paige’s NXT Women’s Championship! And more! So much more, I’m sure!
NXTians, before I go, a favour – currently Bray Wyatt takes up central billing in the banner for this here review. Now though, with his elevation from NXT and him leaving us all a little bit desolate, it’s time for an update. I tried to come up with a few guys to put in there, but I thought I’d throw it open to the floor, seeing as a lot of what you see before you was guided by others anyway. So, you guys – who would you like to see on The NXT Review banner in a fortnights time? Adrian Neville, Emma and Paige might well be locks, but I’m flexible on almost anybody else. The only person I can’t do right now is Sami Zayn, as the image I have of him would just look straight up weird. Until WWE release a proper fancy image of him, we’re stuck with that, too. But anybody else should be fair game! You want Enzo Amore and Mason Ryan in there? I’ll give you that! You want Bo Dallas nowhere near it? That’s fine! Let me know below the line, and I’ll come up with a brand new shiny banner based on your suggestions for the next but one NXT Review!
Until next week, stay safe when crossing the road NXTians and drink more hot chocolate! Selamat tinggal!