TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (8/15/13)
Aug 15, 2013 - 7:03:27 PM
Good day NXTians! Well, I promised a revamped banner, and there it is – what do you think? I hope you like it, and I got all your favourites on there. Righty, so where did we leave this…ah yes, The Shield. Now, The Shield came back to NXT wanting some justice against Adrian Neville for wearing a terrible NXT shell suit and taking Kassius Ohno’s place as Corey Graves’ tag team partner. So last week Dean Ambrose tried to exact some measure of justice, but failed miserably when his buddies interfered, only to be chased off by Graves and, from out of nowhere, Xavier Woods. Tonight, that all comes to a head in our main event, as The Shield square off with Neville, Graves and Woods in what promises to be an action packed six man tag team match! On top of that, after the dance battle shenanigans, it’s Summer Rae who tonight gets a shot at Paige’s NXT Women’s Championship! Plus, Mason Ryan will take on Scott Dawson – but what role will Enzo Amore and Big Cass play in the outcome of their match? It’s a big night, NXTians, so let’s dive right in to…
The NXT Review: 15/08/2013 – The One With ZAAAAAAYYYYNNNN
Ladies and gentleman, his name is Paul Heyman! The godfather of extreme, the master of (financial) disaster, the tamer of the beast incarnate, he’s here to beg our indulgence and scout for new guys, and puts over the quality of NXT – hell, when it comes from the mouth of Heyman, that means quite a lot. He says he appreciates people chanting ECW at him, but is not here to live off the past but scout for the future, which is terrific because I bloody hate ECW chants. Heyman says that backstage there is the next Paul Heyman, the next Brrrrrrrock Lesnar (the fans say Lesnar along with him in his indomitable style, which is a nice touch) and then brings out Curtis Axel. How times change, huh – last time Curtis was on NXT he was Michael McGillicutty and tag teaming with Bo Dallas. Now he’s Intercontinental Champion. What a rise he’s had in the past few months, even if it isn’t enough to get him booked for SummerSlam. The two embrace in the ring, and Heyman says that Axel is better than perfect, and that there isn’t anybody in Florida that’s man enough to take the Intercontinental Championship from him…oh, you better believe somebody has something to say about that.
It’s only Big E Langston! The crowd screams ‘five!’ at him as he makes his entrance, and he says he is man enough to beat Curtis Axel right here tonight! Axel accepts! Heyman looks stunned! Oh, but Axel says it’s not for tonight, it’s for the Thanksgiving show! No, the Christmas show! He’s backing out, but Big Eric tells him to shut it, and that if he doesn’t defend tonight he’s not man enough to be in NXT. This is enough for Axel, and this one is on!
Heyman looks apprehensive as Langston makes his entrance, and he and Axel talk strategy in the corner before the early lock up. Axel skirts the onrushing Big Ernie and dives behind him, using his speed early on, but a second attempt gets blocked by Langston, who clutches at the back of his neck. Axel comes back though, a flurry of punches, kicks and chops getting him into the match, but off the ropes it’s Langston who catches Axel and sends him flying with a belly to belly suplex! Axel rolls outside and Heyman runs around to help his charge. Back in the ring now, and Langston locks in a rear chin lock. Axel fights out and comes off the rope right into a huge shoulderblock from Big Evan, before delivering, yes, you guessed it, five punches to the midsection of his opponent. He looks to keep the advantage, but Axel wisely grabs the ring skirt to stop him from pulling him to the centre of the ring, and makes use of the distraction to hit a kick to the knee of Langston, and follows up with a clothesline to the back of the neck. Outside, Heyman is jaw jacking with the crowd, leading to chants of ‘thankyou Paul’ as Axel connects with a dropkick in the ring, before grasping at the eyes of Langston.
Axel stays on the offense, beating Big Enzo down to the mat and connecting with a snapmare followed by a low dropkick to the face, which gets him just a one count on his downed opponent. The son of perfect locks on a front facelock to keep Langston down, but AJ Lee’s friend powers his way back up and then just throws Axel through the air to create some space. He follows up with three clotheslines and then a series of five knees to the gut! Running body block! The straps are down…Heyman assaults from behind! The disqualification victory goes to Big E Langston. Heyman can’t believe what he’s done as Langston grabs him by the ears, but Axel makes the save from behind, wailing on Big Emelyn to stop him from hurting his mentor. Heyman hands Axel the Intercontinental Championship…but Langston ducks the attempted title shot! Big Ending! Axel is out, and Langston takes the five count!
That was short, but quite entertaining nonetheless. Langston looked really impressive, and whilst I expect this to be the final showing he has in NXT he’s sure been a great servant – his title run was a little short on storylines, but he definitely developed as time went on and hopefully his main roster stint can be as entertaining. One thing’s for certain – I don’t think this is the last time we’ll see Langston and Axel in the same ring this year, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the two clashing for the gold in the near future.
Oh, Sami Zayn is backstage with Renee Young! Both of my favourite people! They share niceties before getting into the nitty gritty – Sami’s been having a hard time of it recently, what with the comments from Bo Dallas…wait, hang on, are they fully accepting that Bo was heeling it up last week? That he’s been giving our friendly neighbourhood Zayn a bit of a tough time of it? Is this the first known appreciation on NXT of Dallas being a little bit of a douche? I like it. I like where they are going. Anyway, Sami’s got enough on his plate without talking about Bo Dallas – he’s got Antonio Cesaro to deal with. Sami has been embroiled with Cesaro for far too long. He’s not ashamed of what, or who, he is, Colter and Cesaro, because he’s beaten you before and you’ve been running away from a third match for a month. So Zayn ups the ante – let’s have a two out of three falls match! Oh my heavens! Oh my days! Next week! Next week NXTians! Tune in! This is going to be off the charts! Maybe it will be enough for Sami Zayn to get an official picture on the NXT page of WWE.com. Would be about time too.
So, let me get this right – Scott Dawson and Mason Ryan both get new, up to date pictures on the WWE website to show their character traits/longer hair, yet Sami Zayn, the man who’s clearly one of the top stars on the program, doesn’t even have a nice shiny picture yet? This is a joke, right? Here’s Sylvester LeFort, who is sporting a shiny gold shirt tonight paired with a pair of money printed trousers. What a guy. Anyway, he’s here to make MONAY and here’s the man that’s going to do it for him – Scott Dawson. Mason Ryan’s already in the ring – let’s get it on!
Dawson talks some smack to Ryan, but immediately gets caught in a knuckle lock and clotheslined out of his boots. Ryan sends Dawson from corner to corner and connects with an elbow…it’s Enzo Amore! Big Cass! The distraction is enough for Dawson to get a shot in on the knee of Ryan, and he starts to put that brawling style to good work. He goes for an Irish whip, but Ryan reverses and connects with a big boot! The Man with the Brad Maddox body hits Dream Street, and this one is over! Boo! Bring back the Luger Breaker! #LugerBreaker #WhereisTed
Amore and Big Cass try and attack from behind, but Ryan soon throws them off and sends them back to the outside. He hoists up Dawson and throws him right on to the realest guys in the room! Eh. That was something and nothing. A minor distraction in the middle of the show, to be honest with you, and I didn’t particularly like it. But hey, the Ryan/Realest Guys in the Room feud continues! That means – more Enzo Amore! Hurrah!
Man, they are flying through things tonight! Paige looks amazing with that title around her waist, just putting it out there – I’d really quite like to cuddle her. I wonder if she’d mind. Just a little cuddle. No snuggles, just a cuddle and done. Ah. Paige. Summer Rae makes her way to the ring as a promo video airs from covering the dance contest from last week – as a result we miss all of Summer’s hair flipping. Summer is queen bitching it up here, and I’m still a little bit convinced she’s the second coming of Michelle McCool. Paige is over like Rover, and she gets the crowd clapping along as the referee rings the bell.
The two lock up and trade the advantage before Summer Rae locks in a side headlock, Paige pushes her off into the ropes and goes under but Re forward rolls over her and then comes back for some more. The Brit avoids the charge and sends her into the ropes but she comes back with a crossbody, into a cover…no, Paige rolls it through to a cover of her own for a one count. The Anti-Diva ducks a clothesline then pulls Rae down by the hair, connects with a bodyblock, and then throws Summer across the ring by her hair to the opposite corner, before stomping down her opponent. Paige looks to come back with a kick, but Rae catches it and sends her face first into the canvas instead. Rae now chokes her opponent against the ropes, and then slams her face first into the mat using her butt, rolling her over into a pin for a two count. Paige nearly counters her running in, but The First Lady of NXT reverses the reversal into a DDT and rolls through to exact some more punishment on her rival.
Summer asks the crowd if it’s Paige that they want to win, but whilst she messes around she gives Paige a chance to come back with some blows to the midsection. She sends Rae off the ropes and hits an armdrag but Summer rolls it right through into a side headlock. Paige fights up to her feet and charges Summer back into the corner then hits repeated elbows. Her elbows in the corner look a bit week normally – they’re not exactly Daniel Bryan level here, but they do seem to connect a bit more. I appreciate that the elbows in the corner thing is one of Paige’s spots, but she really needs to go for it a bit more. In a nice case of Summer getting her comeuppance, Paige catches an attempted kick and this time, after looking to the crowd, it’s Summer who gets sent face first into the canvas. From here, Paige drags her limp opponent to the ropes, steps to apron and connects with a series of knees to the head. Back in the ring, Paige Turner! This one’s over! Paige picks up the win!
Paige screams into the ether as the referee checks on Summer. This was…I don’t know, a little odd. I really enjoyed the match, I like watching them both, but the ending was really, really awkward. Paige needs a better set up to her finisher, or even just a better finisher than the Paige Turner, so that the end of her matches can stop leaving this sour taste in my mouth. It’s a shame, as she’s obviously superbly talented yet it doesn’t quite sometimes come across. I feel sure I’ve said that before, but it’s almost as if she’s wrestling down to the people that she’s coming up against here. Summer was her typical self, although her offence didn’t quite seem as hot as it sometimes does here either. These two, together, have certainly performed better than they did here, and that might well sound damning – because it is. I expected more.
Backstage, here’s Renee Young introducing WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee! The stars truly are coming out tonight on NXT, and AJ is putting her ‘baby’ on the line next week against an as yet unknown opponent. AJ likes things to be unpredictable, so it could be anyone – the camera man, the sound man, AJ Lee’s mum, even Renee…ATTACK HUG! BEST THING EVER KLAXON! From nowhere, Bayley appears and just hugs AJ Lee so fiercely it’s like her life depends on it. Renee just walks off and leaves them to it, as Bayley introduces herself to AJ Lee, before apologising for holding her too tight. Bayley has followed AJ from her car, and the locker room, and was just standing listening in on AJ’s promo to hear her voice when she heard about her needing a challenger. Bayley has something to ask – does AJ think she could wrestle Bayley for the Divas Championship? AJ says yes! Bayley freaks out with joy! She doesn’t know why people think the Divas Champ is crazy, because Bayley thinks she’s awesome. Oh Bayley, you said the ‘c’ word! AJ asks her to repeat what she just said, and gets the crazy eyes. But Bayley just wanted to say that AJ was awesome, and she hopes that after she beats Lee they could still be friends. Friends! AJ is furious, but Bayley says that seeing as they’re getting on so well, it can only get better after their match, and then hugs her again. Oh Bayle. My heart. My big old heart will always love you as you are right now. Bayley vs AJ next week! That just might work really, really well. Bayley is my spirit animal. Bayley is my religion. Bayley is my sexual orientation.
Ooh, Dolph Zigger is on the show next week! How exciting! And, by the way, during the backstage promo bit Emma attacked Summer Rae in the ring as she was recovering from her match with Paige. That beef isn’t done yet!
The Shield make their way through the crowd to big cheers, and all stand with their gold aloft in the ring. Graves, Neville and Woods are not dressed as Power Rangers, but in big news Xavier Woods is now announced as being from Angel Grove! Outstanding work, well done everyone. The six men go nose to nose in the middle of the ring, and the referee gets between them to stop it all kicking off.
Rollins and Graves will start us off in our television main event, and they have beef from way back. The two exchange holds and Graves keeps slipping out, trying to avoid being kept in The Shield’s corner. Rollins finally comes out with an elbow to break a rear wasitlock and sends Graves off the ropes, but Graves frontflips through an attempted hip toss and turns it into an armdrag. Dropkick from Graves and he now tags Adrian Neville in, who delivers some big kicks to his opponent and follows up with a pair of dropkicks. He drives Rollins back into the corner and it’s Woods now who gets a tag in, locking up the arm of Rollins, who sends him off the ropes. Xavier ducks a clothesline once, twice…big headscissors takedown from Woods! Graves gets a tag in and starts to beat down Rollins – great work by the face team here, beating The Shield at their own game. Finally, Rollins starts to create something, unloading a series of forearms to Graves and sending him running to the corner. Graves ducks as he charges in though, and Rollins knees nothing but turnbuckle. Dragon screw off the top rope from Graves, who looks for the 13th Step! Ambrose and Reigns pull their partner to safety though…but not for long! Woods and Neville soar over the top rope and deliver sentons to the three members of The Sheild!
(OK, there’s an ad break here which, I think, means we miss some stuff. Normally, I try and cover this up, but here it’s impossible)
Woods and Reigns are now the legal men (see? I mean, how does it jump that much?) and Reigns has control, having delivered a ‘viscious’ clothesline in the break, according to Tony Dawson. The Angel Grove native is struggling to gain any traction in his own corner, fighting hard to get out but being constantly cut off by Reigns, and when the referee admonishes Reigns for not breaking a choke in the corner, Seth Rollins chimes in from the apron with a choke of his own, the rat bastard. Ambrose tags himself in to the match, and he and Reigns split the legs of Woods. Ambrose stamps on the fingers of the 90s throw back, then drops and elbow for a two count , before locking up the neck of Xavier. Woods fights his way back to his feet, but gets cut off with a knee, but he flips out of the side suplex attempt! Tag to Graves! The Army Hipster unloads on Ambrose with rights and lefts, then hits an inverted suplex. A chop block! 13th Step locked in! Ambrose is struggling…but Reigns breaks the hold! Drama!
Ambrose struggles up to his feet, and pulls Graves to his corner, allowing Reigns to come in with a big headbutt and taking Graves down. He delivers a huge body slam, then a jumping elbow drop to Graves for a two count. He drags Corey back to The Sheild’s corner, and makes a tag to Rollins. The double team allows Rollins to stomp on the side of his opponent, and he then connects with a wonderfully blunt knee to the head of Graves to cut off a brief flurry of offense. Seth now locks up the arm of the leader of the Filth Parade, as Ambrose talks some smack to him from the apron, telling Corey that he’s screwed. Graves fights up to his feet and goes for a sunset flip, but Rollins just reaches out and makes a tag to Reigns – unseen by Graves, who thinks he has a pin on his opponent, only to be kicked in the back by The Sheild’s muscle man. Reign locks in a chin lock, and then just starts to grind Graves’ face against the mat. The crowd are starting to chant for individual member of The Shield, and one of them gets there way, as Dean Ambrose comes in and takes Graves down with a headbutt for a two count. He then stomps repeatedly on Corey, showing him his allies in the corner, but then suplexing him back in his own corner. Ambrose chokes Graves with a boot, and tags in Reigns who takes over choking duties. Graves is struggling now, weakly kicking out at Reigns but not really making any impact.
Until now! Reigns whips him into the corner, but Graves keeps enough of his wits about him to take out Rollins and Ambrose on the apron! He avoids Reigns rushing in! Can Graves make the tag? YES! YES HE CAN! Ambrose comes in for The Shield, but Neville leapfrogs him and takes out Rollins on the apron! He comes back with a series of flying forearms to Ambrose, then hits a big kick to the temple. Neville jumps to the top rope! Corkscrew shooting star press! But Ambrose gets the knees up! He tags to Rollins, who tries for a German…no, Neville flips out! Woods gets tagged in! Crossbody off the top rope! Two count! A back elbow and a hard enziguiri! Running DDT! NO only a two count again! It’s! Morphin’! Time! Woods with the rolling clothesline! But Reigns saves the pin! Woods dropkicks Reigns, and Neville comes in looking for the hurricanrana, but Reigns counter…no, Neville with the hurricanrana over the top rope! Ambrose now looks to stop Woods, but Graves cuts him off…Ambrose suplexes the pair of them to the outside! Rollins and Woods are the legal men and they fight it out in the corner, Woods putting Rollins on the top rope looking for a superplex, but Rollins blocks it and goes for a sunset flip powerbomb but Woods blocks it…Reigns leaps up and makes the tag! He punches Woods in the face to get him to loosen his grip. Buckle bomb by Rollins on Woods! Spear! Spear! Spear! Reigns with the spear picks up the win for The Shield!
Holy Sheeeeeeit what a match. That was outstanding. Out-bloody-standing. The Shield stand tall with their title belts as the crowd chants ‘that was awesome’. And it was. It truly was. Woods, when you take away the silly dancing to the ring and let him be a serious guy (aside from his love of Power Rangers which, you know, is fine) is an absolute monster of an in ring guy and I really like him. It’s just that character I can’t get over. Yet. But his role in this was splendid, he did everything right. Neville and Graves, too, played their parts, absolutely holding up their ends in the ring. But The Shield. By God The Shield. I know they’ve dropped off in recent months, but this was a reminder of just what these three guys can do. An efficient, powerful unit, each member with their own character and yet each member with the same goal. I really hope this ‘we are the young blood, we’re here to fight the old guard and kill them off’ thing works out for them, because it will be a joy to watch. Plus, maybe they’ll put Rob Van Dam through a table. Everyone likes that, right? Right? Everyone?
Ooh, here’s a little backstage bit with Antonio Cesaro to end our show. Renee Young asks him about Sami Zayn’s challenge, and says he is not a coward but the greatest American that ever walked the land. He wants a two out of three falls match? Well he’s on! And from nowhere Zayn attacks, pounding on Cesaro! The backstage guys pull him off of his rival, and NXT fades to black with Cesaro, with a Bond villain-esque tone to his voice, shouting ‘ZAAAAAAYYYYNNNNN!’
It’s. Bloody. On.
I’m just going to abandon the NXT MVP thing for a week, because I want to talk serious for a moment. Amidst all the fun and frolics, you’re probably aware of a major historic thing happening right now – Darren Young’s coming out, publically, as a homosexual man working in the WWE. This is huge, and whilst I’ve dallied over saying anything I think it’s far too important to not even mention today, of all days, when the news broke. This is massive, for both Young and WWE. Not only does Young no longer have to live with any internal torment that he may have had over his sexuality (and given the manner he came out, I figure that the locker room and WWE were aware), but it also puts a homosexual male in the spotlight on WWE weekly programming for the first time ever, clearing the way for anybody else to follow suit. This is an exceedingly brave move, and I’m sure that there will be inches, maybe even miles, of columns dedicated to it in the days to come. But right here and now, all that needs to be said is kudos, Darren Young. I will raise a glass of non-alcoholic something to you tonight – you’ve got some serious strength to do this.
We got twenty minutes of The Shield doing what they do tonight, which was bloody marvellous and kind of blanks my memory of the rest of the show. Mason Ryan vs Scott Dawson was pretty poor, but Axel vs Langston was fun if short, and Paige vs Summer Rae was average. But overall, I’d still give this show a high mark – that main event blew me away. ‘That was awesome’ indeed. Seriously though, I could watch The Shield wrestle matches like that all day. Makes me want to go and watch their TLC match now.
Do I really need to sell you on next week? Sami Zayn. Antonio Cesaro. Two out of three falls. Next week, the match we’ve heard all the talk about happens. I am super duper psyched for it, and I hope you are too. Oh, also – Bayley vs AJ Lee for the Divas Championship! How good is that going to be? Until then, stay safe when crossing the road NXTians and drink more hot chocolate! Farvel!