TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (7/3/13)
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:39:24 PM
Good day NXTians of all ages, and welcome back to this little corner of the internet! Hope you’re all doing super today. But I bet your day could be enhanced just a little bit by some good wrestling, right? You’d like that, yeah? I guess it’s why you’re here – you’re here for Paige vs Alicia Fox in the first semi-final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament, aren’t you? And to see how they progress the major events at the end of last week’s not-really-very-good episode, where The Wyatt Family and D-Squared joined forces to take out Graves, Ohno, Neville and good ol’ Bill Regal. Well NXTians, you’ve come to the right place! So settle in and pray for Emma (no news on that t-shirt, by the way – I think Emma might have got a restraining order on me now, too much asking) and let me tell you exactly what happens in…
The NXT Review: 03/07/2013 – The One With A Raucous Crowd
Oh, hello Renee Young, how are you doing? Starting off NXT I see, very good, very good indeed. Ah, you’re starting off with…
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Bo is not scared by anyone else,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
His Bo-lievers know he will defend the belt.
The best there was, do you see where this goes?
The best there is, keeping you on your toes
Best there ever will be, just like Bret Hart,
Bo’s friend and mentor, he met at WrestleMania.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Kruger wants a shot that he must earn,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Everyone else they must wait their turn.
OK, so look, here’s how it goes – Bo Dallas is friends with Bret Hart, who has mentored him. This means Bo will probably start doing a sharpshooter that falls somewhere in the The Rock/current Sting end of terrible pretty soon. Oh, and because Renee Young basically does what I’d do when confronted with an idiot making up words, when Dallas uses the word ‘Bo-lievers’ she quizzically asks him what the fuck he’s on about. She should have just done what Anyway, the more notable thing is Bo’s continued delusions of grandeur, as he says he met Bret Hart at WrestleMania and had a match there with a big grin. Young corrects him, pointing out it was WrestleMania Axxess, and Bo rolls his eyes and moves quickly on. He looks more and more like Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka by the day.
Antonio Cesaro finally shows up to save us, saying how typical Americans have things handed to them, especially Bo at 23, and that he worked hard at 23 to get anything and that made him a real American. Young punks like Dallas, they are the downfall of the once great America – this is genius, this basically plays into everything I’ve thought about Antonio Cesaro to date, he’s a guy who loves America but hates Americans because of what they’re doing to a country he loves. Or loved. One or the other. Regardless, those two or three sentences basically sum up why Cesaro has sided with Colter on the main roster. Cesaro ends by challenging Dallas to a title match later tonight! Hurrah! He says he’s going to do it for We The People, and that in their America there will be no hand outs, no mediocrity and no more Bo! I like the third one, that sounds like a good America, that. Bo apologises to Renee for Cesaro not introducing himself and calls him the ‘most insignificant US Champion in WWE history’ and that after tonight he will never forget the name Bo Dallas. I feel like that should be a threat, but…look, I’m not the most manly looking man NXTians. I’m pretty skinny, I wear glasses, and essentially I look like a bit of a dork. I get called ‘Harry Potter’ when I walk past the local High School on my way to the supermarket to buy lunch – those kids make me feel more worried than Bo Dallas would have done at the end of that segment. But hurrah for Cesaro explaining his gimmick and exactly why he’s sided with Zeb Colter in a way that, for some reason, they’ve never got around to doing on Raw clearly, that was great. And hooray for title matches right here tonight! Actually not a bad segment, and Bo’s little tweaks towards being an egotistical heel are starting to actually get me interested in him as a character. Who’d have thought it?
Here’s Alicia! She says ‘hey’ a lot to the crowd on the way down to the ring and wiggles around for the crowd, so I assume today she has chosen the card that says ‘face’ from the deck. And her opponent tonight is the very wonderful, decidedly delicious Paige, who the crowd, as ever, go nuts for. Seriously, if she wins this tournament the place is going to erupt, I can feel it already.
The two lock up and Paige goes immediately for a roll up victory as the crowd chants ‘we want Emma’. Amazing. This is a good crowd already, I like them. Paige with a side headlock takedown but Alicia breaks it with a head scissors and the Brit kip ups out of it. The Mysterious Raven-Haired Lady takes Alicia down with another side headlock, which Fox finally twists into a pinfall to break the old. The main roster woman throws Paige to the mat and then…walks out of the ring and tosses her hair around a bit. What a load of nonsense, and Paige understands it just as little as I do. When Fox comes back in she worms her way into a waistlock but Paige forces play back into the corner and then throws elbow after elbow at her – shades of Bryan Danielson! – to break it up again. She charges at her opponent, but Fox leapfrogs her into a sunset flip that Paige rolls out of only to be met by a big kick to the midsection and sent flying across the ring. A Northern Lights suplex with a bridge only gets a two count – got to say, Alicia’s Northern Lights is an absolutely beautiful wrestling move, really top draw. Sort of wish it was her finisher, in a way, would definitely look better than Booker T’s scissor kick.
Fox sends Paige head first into the turnbuckle and then stamps on her fingers as she’s down. I find it really interesting how much people seem to attack the fingers in NXT, ever since Regal absolutely tore Ohno’s hand apart a couple of months ago people have been stamping on or bending back fingers. It’s a little thing, but I really like to see it. Alicia chokes the Brit against the ropes and then locks in a rear chinlock . When Paige fights out she gets met with a sharp back elbow to the mouth, really sending her reeling and halting her momentum, and Fox locks in a rear chinlock with added knees to the back. Paige finally opens up the playing field a bit, battling out with a jawbreaker and then connecting with a series of shoulder charges and throwing Alicia around the ring. With Fox tied up in the ropes, Paige connects with a series of knees that look absolutely brutal, but on her way back in she gets caught right in the face with a dropkick, again cutting her run of momentum short. The crowd try to get Paige back on the offence, chanting her name, and a kick to the midsection leads to the Paige Turner! This one’s over!
She lets out a scream of joy into the either, and there are even some great Paige signs in the audience. Well, that was a slightly different way to start the show off, but really puts over the importance of the tournament, having it lead off the episode in this way. Fox looked terrific – I always thought she got a short shrift on the main roster, ever since I saw her wrestle at a house show one time. She looked absolutely diabolical on TV, but since that show, and the move to NXT, she’s impressed me quite a bit with her in ring work. Paige is still Paige – never change, Paige, never change – and so even though I’d like to see more of her doing her thing in the ring (like the Aksana vs Emma match last week, this one was actually bossed by the opposite person than I wished it would be) her offense looked really good and she sold the moves nicely. And now she’s in the final of the tournament, and must go in as the hot favourite to win it all.
Andy Baker, of whom no real pictures exist so I have used this silhouette of a man who is probably from the 70s – look at those obvious bell bottoms! – used to wrestle on the UK scene as…er…Andy Baker, actually. He was at OVW one time as Andreas Rossi, too. You might know him best from the 3-on-1 handicap match The Big Show had on Smackdown in late 2011, when he was due to challenge Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series of that year. Interestingly, one of his team mates in that match was Tom LaRuffa who is now with NXT as Sylvester LeFort. And the other was Paige’s brother! It’s a small world, huh? Anyway, his opponent is Conor O’Brien, who’s very entrance video makes women scream. I can’t work out if they’re excited or scared, but I hope for WWE’s sake it’s the second as I think that’s what they want. Oh look, he’s got Rick Victor with him, so they’re presumably The Ascension proper now. You know, I’m so glad they kept this gimmick going, even with the various issues they’ve had with it over the past few years, as it has some potential in my eyes. Certainly, it’s very interesting and darker than anything currently in WWE, which can only be a good thing.
Victor warms up O’Brien in the corner with a nice shoulder rub, and the minute the bell goes he charges through Baker like he was barely there. Rolling side healdock takedowns lead to O’Brien wrenching in a static side headlock tight. Baker gets a couple of strikes in as they get back to their feet, but O’Brien nearly immediately takes over and drills his opponent back down to the mat with a flapjack. A running leg drop to the back of the neck and that’s all she wrote.
O’Brien holds the pin – he wants five! – and he and Victor pose over the fallen Andy Baker. You know by now how I feel about O’Brien, and him being the second coming of Kane and such (he really is! He moves a bit like him and everything!) but as a tag team I am all in with The Ascension’s gimmick. I don’t think either man is going to set the world alight in singles competition, O’Brien’s power game gets a little weary after a while and Victor…we’ve not actually seen him wrestle on NXT, have we? He was OK in FCW, but that was quite a while ago. He certainly looks in better shape right now, so that’s something. Hopefully we’ll get to see them as a team before too long.
Ah, backstage it’s Mr. Stay Down Corey Graves and Mr. Fly Up Adrian Neville talking with Renee Young, who reveals that after Kassius Ohno got beaten down so badly by The Wyatt Family last week he’s now unable to compete. How are they planning on filling his shoes? Adrian Neville puts out a plea to Mr. Regal to join with them as they take on The Wyatt Family and try and finish them for good. Not bad promos, by all means, but…to be honest, Graves and Neville (work title: Fly Down. Get it? Got it? No? Not really that funny? Ah shucks, I’ll do better next time, promise) could do with a mouthpiece if they’re going to team. Why not just have Regal manage them or something? Would be nice to see. Anyway, if Bill Regal’s getting back in the ring, I’m game.
‘Zordon! There’s a strange French man and a hillbilly running wild downtown!’
‘You know what to do, Xavier.’
‘It’s morphin’ time!’
‘Ayayayayay Zordon, are you sure we want to send this guy out to represent us?’
‘I know, Alpha, he’s an arsehole, but we can’t find anyone better. Corey Graves already turned us down, and could you imagine trying to convince somebody clever to do this shit?’
‘No Zordon. No I couldn’t.’
Woods sings along with his theme music on his way to the ring, as if he couldn’t annoy me more. Is this just the default for WWE black people? R-Truth – sang his theme song. The Funkadactyls – sang their theme song (not seen that yet? Do yourself a favour – don’t. It was on Main Event last week). And now Xavier Woods. The crowd are into the funk soul brother as the two lock up, but it’s Dawson who gains the upper hand in the corner, driving fists and knees to the midsection. Woods avoids his opponent in the corner, then hits a boot to the face and a big chop that sends Dawson reeling Another sends him to the mat, but the hillbilly fights out of the atomic drop attept and whips him across the ring. Woods ducks a pair of clothesline and then connects with a headscissors takedown that only gets two before locking in an armbar. Dawson fights his way out with a fist to the mouth and fling his rival over the ropes to the apron. LeFort at ringside gets a distraction in, and as Woods tries to spring in for a sunset flip Dawson takes his legs out from underneath him. ‘Dawson sucks!’ chant the crowd – the first time I can remember hearing a specific ‘I am against this wrestler’ chant in NXT, actually, outside of Bo Dallas – as Woods clambers back into the ring at six. From the apron now, Dawson pulls Woods over the top rope by his afro and then just drops him on his face. A back elbow and a quick leg drop only get a one count from the referee, and on a seated Xavier Woods the redneck wrenches at the nose. Woods finally fights out with a jawbreaker and some shots to the midsection, followed by a pair of European uppercuts, a flying forearm and a dropkick, sending Dawson to the corner. You know what’s coming now…Woods shouts ‘it’s morphin’ time’ out of the corner – and the crowd joins in. Well, isn’t that something, clearly this 90s throwback stuff is going down well. He flips across the ring and delivers a flying lariat and Lost in the Woods for the three count and the win.
Well, isn’t that something. Woods dances as the crowd claps along. I’ve only just noticed that Woods’ titantron video essentially loooks like what a child would produce if given a computer in 1995. I know because I was a child in 1995 and I produced things like that. It looks kind of crappy, but works with the gimmick. A gimmick I still hate, by the way, but I can’t fault the guy in the ring – he looked really good here. I love the Honour Roll lariat thingy, it’s slightly too elaborate, in a way, and is begging for him to get clotheslined out of his boots halfway through it when he flips up, but it looks nice. At least we didn’t have to hear the guy speak, I suppose. As for Scott Dawson – I thought they were pushing D-Squared? Not sure what’s happened to Garrett Dylan, but Dawson looked better than he did last week, taking moves well and certainly holding up his side of the in ring stuff. He’s not a flashy wrestler at all, but what he does is very good and effective as a brawler.
Ooh, a Bray Wyatt promo! This is magical, I can’t wait for next Monday – Wyatt rocks back and forth in his rocking chair in the middle of what looks like a jungle. He says people judge him for the way he looks but they don’t understand him as he is a wolf in sheeps clothing. In a really neat little line, he says ‘if you could see the monster that lives behind these eyes, then you would understand why you have urine running down your leg’. I don’t know why exactly, but I love that line – something threatening and yet simple about it. Anyway, he told us the end was coming and now all that will be left will be chunks of meat stuck to the teeth of the eater of worlds. Seriously, WWE, if you fuck this up I am coming to find you. Just…let it be, yeah? Next Monday and forever, just let it be. Let Wyatt work magic on the microphone and freak children out. Hell, if I was eight years old again and watching wrestling Bray Wyatt would give me sleepless nights. Monday – hurry up.
The realest only ‘G’ in the room! Enzo struts his way to the ring accompanied by Colin Cassady. Nope, he’s not Colin Cassady now – he’s ‘Big Cass’, according to Enzo Amore. Oh, Mason Ryan is in the ring – guess how this ends! Amore spells something out for Ryan – S…A…W…F…T. Sawft? What’s ‘sawft’? I don’t understand. Anyway, Amore Shane McMahon’s his way around the ring and Mason Ryan as Regal asks if he’s one of DDP’s love children. Interesting, William, and let me tell you this – he’s not one of DDP’s love children. He is, however, the illegitimate off spring of everybody in Jersey Shore ever.
Amore punches the hands of Big Cass in the corner and turns around into a punch to the face and loses.
Amore says he wasn’t even ready and sends in Big Cass to take care of him because Ryan can’t get that lucky twice.
At 7 ft tall, Cassady looks like more of a challenge. Ryan sends him into the corner and nails a pair of clotheslines. The big Welsh man then takes him down with Ted Dibiase’s Dream Street and that’s enough for the three count.
Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? One thing – bring back the Luger Breaker. I missed it here. Also, Dream Street is terrible.
It is now time for your television main event! Cesaro comes out waving a ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flag and does his We The People schtick, whereas Bo Dallas comes out to the standard chorus of boos from the crowd, with the exception of two people holding Bo Dallas signs. The commentary mentions that Bo Dallas is very polarising, as his role of NXT’s John Cena continues. ‘No More Bo’ echoes around the NXT arena as Bo’s music dies out and Byron Saxton gives the introductions. Cesaro is super over, actually, which is nice to see.
The two start off tentatively while the crowd chants ‘We The People’ – actually, that’s kind of worrying, crowd. Don’t encourage this as being a good thing for people to chant. It’s not cool to be racist or anti-abortion or all of that stuff Zeb Colter talked about on Monday night. That’s not nice stuff. Bo shoots in finally and gets a quick roll up, but Cesaro goes for a suplex and gets blocked so instead goes for an armbar. Dallas fights out with firemans carry takedown and locks in an armbar of his own until Cesaro throws him to the mat and indulges in the traditional NXT finger work. Duel crowd chants now of ‘let’s go Bo’ and ‘no more Bo’, really building up the atmosphere in the arena as The Swiss Sensation keeps his man on the mat using the arm and fingers. Cesaro changes it up into a side headlock, and Bo throws him off using the ropes but gets met by a shoulder block. Ha, Regal just called Tim Tebow a tosspot on commentary. I love you, William Regal. Dallas connects with a dropkick which gets a two count for the referee, and Cesaro strikes with a European uppercut then rolls Dallas out of the ring after he kicked him charging in to the corner. Cesaro throws his prey back into the ring and garners a two count from the official.
Antonio Cesaro has a chinlock synced in in the middle of the ring, and from nowhere Leo Kruger has appeared to watch the match as the Swiss native takes Dallas out with a clothesline. Cesaro now with a running kick to the back of Bo Dallas, and the crowd want that to happen one more time. Guess what? Cesaro looks to oblige then ducks out at the last moment and returns to his beautiful chinlock. Dallas fights back to his feet and bits a pair of uppercuts for his trouble, but he finally gets some offense in with a pair of flying forearms and a kick to the face. A clothesline in the corner followed by a bulldog is enough for a two count, and Dallas looks frustrated at that, frustration which probably plays into him allowing Cesaro to regain the upper hand with a chinlock...but Dallas reverses into an inverted DDT! 1…2…no! Cesaro kicks out! Dallas looks for the corner springboard bulldog but Cesaro throws him onto the top rope crotch first and then…oh my word. Cesaro just gut wrench suplexed Bo Dallas off of the top rope. That looked insane. And it only gets two! Bo gets the shoulder up at two! Cesaro flies from the second rope with a knee to the face but that only gets two as well! Just neutralise the bugger, Cesaro, he’s completely out of it. The Swiss Sensation returns to the chinlock and holds it whilst spinning Dallas around in circles. Just as it looks like Bo is fading he counters into a roll up and…just doesn’t get three! That was really close! Cesaro then hits an absolutely gorgeous fallaway slam into a bridging pin and that comes just as close, a women letting out a loud scream from the crowd as she thinks it’s all over. Antonio mounts his opponent and lays into him with forearms and a stomp before climbing to the top rope…Bo Dallas cuts him off and delivers a hip toss from the top rope! At least, I think it was a hip toss. It might have been that awful side belly to belly suplex he does. Take your pick. Both men are down and the ref is counting them out here, he’s up to five…both men are back to their feet at seven. Kruger’s on the apron! He looks to hit Dallas but Cesaro charges in. Dallas ducks and he collides with the South African mercenary! Bo hits the side belly to belly! It’s all over! The crowd boo, Kruger looks dazed, Cesaro can’t believe it, and Dallas gets the spotlight and steam jet treatment. Have I mentioned that before? It seems that whenever Dallas wins they will illuminate him with spotlight and steam will issue from two jets in the roof to cover him.
Leo Kruger attacks Dallas from behind! The crowd goes wild as Kruger lays into the exhausted Bo Dallas, with a big twisting neckbreaker. Now Cesaro drops Kruger with a running European uppercut, sending him out of the ring. Cesaro assaults Bo now, laying into him with forearms, stomps and a senton. Dallas tries to battle back but here’s Kruger now laying into Dallas to stop the recovery. Looks like the two foreigners have joined forces…Sami Zayn! Sami Zayn takes Cesaro down amidst ‘Ole!’ chants from the crowd. He has new theme music and a titantron video – now all he needs is a proper picture on the WWE website. Dallas and Zayn throw the two guys out of the ring and stand tall to end this episode of NXT…although Zayn points and stares at the NXT Championship, suggesting there’s some tension there.
Well, that was intriguing. The match itself might just be the second best match Dallas has had in NXT, after his title match with Big E Langston previously, and certainly he was helped by having a guy who knows what he’s doing opposite him in Antonio Cesaro. Some of the things that guy can do are ridiculous, I’m really hoping he’s going to get a sizable push as either a singles competitor or as part of a We The People tag team with Swagger. You know, it’s a Dallas match – nothing the guy does really looks that good, so he’s always helped by what his opponent can bring to the ring. This time, he was alright. Last week, he was unbearable. The only variable is his opponent so it’s a simple conclusion to draw that he needs a guy who can really, really go opposite him to put on something interesting. The post-match stuff sets us up quite nicely for a Kruger vs Cesaro vs Zayn number one contenders match down the line, and I sort of hope Cesaro wins so we get more of this but the smart money has to be on Kruger. All in all, a lot of fun to be had with those three in the ring, I feel sure.
The NXT Crowd
Might seem like an odd one, but the crowd here were hot throughout, and really added to the program in a way that can’t be overlooked. This was the first time I really remember an NXT crowd being one hundred percent raucous from the word go, and it enhanced the viewing experience quite a lot, in my book. Plus, it made watching it fun, so that was good. And hey, I only gave this to Cesaro three weeks ago and it’s too early for a repeat. But yeah, I hope we’ve got these guys for the next three weeks too, because they were terrific.
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
01/05/2013 – Summer Rae
24/04/2013 – Adrian Neville
This was an episode that absolutely flew by to watch, and a much needed return to form for NXT after last week. The Mason Ryan squashes slightly slipped under the radar for me, although they at least help build him up as a beast, but otherwise I think everything was pretty good – even, and this hurts, Xavier Woods wasn’t too bad. But he didn’t speak. And he did still annoy me in general. His wrestling though, as I said, is pretty good. And the main event was very good too, one or two points where I really thought Cesaro had Bo beaten (that gut wrench off the ropes was terrific, as was the bridging fallaway slam) which is always good.
Next week, NXTians, we get the second semi-final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament with Summer Rae taking on Emma! And I’m pretty sure (don’t hurt me if I’m wrong) that we will also get Neville, Graves and Regal against The Wyatt Family too! How terrific! Until then stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! lamtumirë!