TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (8/7/13)
Aug 9, 2013 - 8:38:28 AM
Hello NXTians! Before we go any further, I must apologise for the slight delay on getting this one up – the last couple of days have been a little hectic for me. But we’re here now! Here we are! And what a week we have in store. Fresh off of scoring the pinfall over the most hated man in NXT, Leo Kruger gets a chance to repeat the act, facing off against Bo Dallas one on one with the NXT Championship on the line right here tonight! Plus – Dean Ambrose will make an all too rare defence of his US Title as he squares up to NXT standout Adrian Neville, and Emma will dance her way all over Summer Rae to secure the number one contendership to Paige’s NXT Women’s Championship! What a stacked card that is, NXTians, so let’s dive right in to…
The NXT Review: 07/08/2013 – The SAWFT One
Oh, this is being called ‘face-off’ week, according to Scott Stanford. I miss Scott Stanford being on commentary, the guy was a really good play-by-play announcer back on Superstars. Ah well, it’s good to hear his voice, he does a lot of these voiceover things for NXT. Anyway, they quickly cover what it is that’s exactly going to go down and then Coheed and Cambria drops and we are go!
Amazing. Before we are ‘go’, Byron Saxton announces that Tyler Breeze has now entered the building, after leaving it last week. Does that mean he’s on this show? Please let him be on this show!
Alright, let’s do this! Adrian Neville comes out to his usual pop, although it seems a bit smaller than it has been before. I don’t know about Neville, I mean, he’s clearly a guy that can get it done between the ropes but sometimes I wonder if he’s really connected properly yet. His moves are flashy and certainly are over with the crowd, but there’s just a little bit of disconnect there at the same time which means he’s not completely over with the crowd. I like him a lot, but his general connection just feels like it’s not quite there yet. Oh hey, Alex Riley is on commentary this week! How fun! Dean Ambrose gets a confused pop, clearly he’s respected by the crowd but they’re also thinking that they shouldn’t really cheer the guy. Right, this one is on like Donkey Kong!
Ambrose gains the best of the early lock up and talks smack to the elven Geordie in the corner. Neville, though, spins around into a rear waistlock and pushes off the ropes, flipping out of the hold. Off the ropes he comes, ducking a clothesline and BAM, Ambrose gets levelled with a calf kick right in the face. Neville now with some big kicks to the chest in the corner, but Ambrose turns it around and lays in a big punch to the head, before rubbing his forearm across Neville’s face. He sends the Geordie off the ropes, but he slides under the Ohio native and strikes back with a head scissors takedown off the ropes. Neville goes to send Ambrose across the ring from corner to corner, but his opponent reverse…only to see Neville soar over his head and flip back across the ring out of the corner, and he nails a crossbody off the second rope for a two count! Neville locks in a backhammer to keep the brawler down, but Ambrose fights his way up and reverses it into a short arm clothesline to ground The Man That Gravity Forgot. Gravity and he had a bit of a meeting there. Ambrose gets Neville up, but gets reversed as he tries to throw the jumping Geordie into the corner. With a big kick to the face, Neville knocks Ambrose down and he’s looking for the corkscrew shooting star press…Ambrose just rolls out of the ring though, because he’s, you know, smart, and a kick to the face doesn’t mean he needs to lie down for a minute to recover. In other words, he acts like a normal wrestler, rather than just pandering to what his opponent wants to do. Neville looks for a baseball slide, but Ambrose dodges and takes his opponent down with a big clothesline.
Back in the ring, Ambrose continues to grind down the high flyer, keeping him on the mat with a series of fists and an elbow drop, talking smack all the while. Ambrose looks for a short arm clothesline, but Neville ducks it and gets a little flurry in. As he goes for the ropes, though, Ambrose’s scouting pays off and he strikes him with a knee to the gut, then hits a dropkick off the ropes as the crowd chants his name. The Street Dog ties in a Bow and Arrow on Neville, working over the back and stretching out the pint-sized Geordie. Neville works his way out of it, almost into a pinning predicament, but Ambrose rolls it over and just wails on him on the mat, finally hitting a headbutt to send Neville into the corner. A strong Irish whip into the corner lets Ambrose hit a snap suplex for a two count, and he locks in a sleeper variation, trapping Neville’s arm as well as coming across the neck. The resilient Geordie fights his way back to his feet and breaks the hold, backflipping out of a side suplex attempt and then dodging the charging Ambrose in the corner, sending him into the turnbuckle. The crowd chants for both men as Neville hits a beautiful springboard crossbody to get a two count, and suddenly the match starts to shift gears, with Neville hitting a series of forearms and a headscissors takedown off the ropes. Ambrose goes for a break on the outside, but that’s not going to stop The Man That Gravity Forgot, who soars over the top rope and connects with a twisting moonsault! What a manoeuvre! He throws Ambrose back into the ring and leaps to the top rope…he connects! The corkscrew shooting star press connects! New United States Champions surely…no! From out of nowhere Rollins and Reigns break the pinfall up, causing the disqualification. Boo! Boo! You guys suck! The Shield beat down Neville but here’s Corey Graves and…Xavier Woods? Really? These three are the new Power Rangers? Oh, please make them dress up next week for the inevitable six man tag match, pretty please? That would be a whole lot of fun. The Shield make their escape as Graves and Woods check on Neville.
Well, that was a fun way to start the show this week! I love both of these guys, so was always going to hugely enjoy the match – my only slight issue is that it didn’t feel as good as it should be, for some reason. I mean, it’s technically a stopgap just to get to the end of the match so that they could set up next week’s main event, I guess, but still, I expected more from the two of them. Maybe that’s just my problem for having heightened expectations. That said, I did really enjoy it, and the two styles worked well together for the most part, with Neville’s soaring moves, as ever, being particularly wonderful. When the guy flies he really does shine. Ambrose’s psychology showed at a couple of key points, cutting of the momentum Neville was building up at just the right moment, and I’d definitely love to see more of the pair of them in the ring.
Backstage, it’s Mr Sawft with Big Cass talking to Sylvester LeFort with Scott Dawson, the latter of whom is flossing his teeth. Now, look, I like Enzo Amore, but I genuinely have no flipping idea what he’s saying here. Something about boys and a big match against Mason Ryan for Scott Dawson. Mason Ryan is some kind of Chihuahua, and he’s S-A-W-F-T SAAAAAAWFT. Anyway, Dawson’s going to crush him, LeFort is going to make money. Everybody’s happy. Amore is pretty sure it’s all going to go wrong for Dawson, as CJ Parker fist pumps in the background because he’s a really annoying hippy or something. I…er…I don’t know what to say. That should have been terrible, but it wasn’t. Enzo Amore is just gold on the microphone, even when nothing he says makes any sense at all. He could sell oil to Saudia Arabia, tea to the British and…I don’t know, Obama to Republicans? Regardless, he’s just got something great about him, something perfect. This segment was all about him, and it was terrific.
Sigh. Dance off/dance contest/dance battle – whatever you want to call it, couldn’t we just fill this bit with, you know, some wrestling? I like wrestling. Wrestling is why I tune in to watch NXT. And we already know these two can go in the ring for a bit of time and it be deeply enjoyable. Anyway, this one at least has Emma in it, so will be 65% better than any other dance battle in WWE history. Summer Rae is in full Mrs Fandango regalia, while Emma is in her #EMMAlution t-shirt, dancing through the bubbles and along with the crowd. This should be…Oh God, I don’t know. Let’s see.
There are four rounds in this battle, and then the NXT Universe gets to decide who wins. The First Lady of NXT has ‘demanded’ to go first, so here we go. Rae cha cha’s about for all of three seconds, before handing the dancefloor over to Emma, who gets in her face, stepping side to side, before doing that thing, the one with a bent knee and a hand behind the head. I don’t know, whenever I try it I end up falling on my face. She passes back over to Rae, who puts to use the moves Fandango has taught her, strutting around and looking like someone trying to fake ballroom dance, but it’s Emma who wins this exchange, busting out the tried and true Chicken Dance to the delight of the crowd. The crowd are really starting to get into this, chanting ‘yes’ during Emma’s dancing and ‘no’ during Summer’s,, who now wiggles and pouts through a variation of the Electric Slide. Before Emma’s next move, she whispers something to Byron…she couldn’t…could she…no way! She is! Emma’s about to perform the Advanced Shopping Trolley! I haven’t seen that since 1996, ever since the International Dance Committee outlawed it for being too extreme. Emma takes the items down, and puts them in her trolley, ketchup, cornflakes, rice…she’s going for the soy sauce…she’s made it! Unbelievable stuff! What a display! Summer Rae knows this is over and calls it all to a halt. But this is only so she can get her ‘real’ music played, and Fandango’s theme drops for her to strut her stuff as the crowd all joins in with a hearty sing-along. Fandango-ing – still a thing in Orlando. Rae ends with the splits, but Emma finds it all too funny, laughing away in the background. Here’s Emma, and she is, of course, going to do the Emma! Oh my, these two are pulling out the big moves now, really taking it to each other in the name of dance.
Our four rounds are over, both contestants look out on their feet – and the NXT Universe have the fate of Emma and Summer Rae in their hands. Who will win this epic confrontation…Emma! Emma gets the cheers, and Emma wins! She starts to dance, but Rae takes her down with an inverted leg drop bulldog, screaming that she is in the match. Is…is that how it works? I don’t know. Maybe Emma will be unable to compete or something. Eh, whatever – I kind of enjoyed that, mainly because Emma’s goofy nature will always work for me, but especially when it’s up against Summer Rae trying to put over the art of dance as some kind of sacred thing that Emma shouldn’t take the piss out of. Ah, what fun, even if it was a Raw segment.
There’s a nice little promo from Leo Kruger here, saying that he was laughed at on his first day of school and tonight, when he takes Bo Dallas’ NXT Championship, all the kids are going to laugh at him. Hell yeah they are.
Where is Stixx? I want Stixx to get signed so that he and Danny Burch can destroy people. Shout out to my English readers, by the way, some of whom might actually understand that. Anyway, here comes everyone’s new favourite…alright, my new favourite, it’s Tyler Breeze! His furry tassled boots are out in force tonight, and, in a wonderful addition to the his entrance, his titantron video is now the footage from his iPhone, focussed on him all the while. There is so much I love about this that I’m not sure I can put it in words, but for now it is wonderful and I fully embrace it. He sits up in the corner across the top ropes, staring at his own face.
The bell rings, and Burch looks to charge in but it’s Breeze who comes out with a series of blows before returning to check himself in his iPhone again. This time, though, Burch manages to gain the advantage on Tyler, and comes back with some hard blows to the gut. Breeze, though, stops and Irish whip off the ropes and absolutely nails a standing enziguiri. He checks himself on his phone again and then flies out of the corner with the spinning heel kick to give him the win.
Breeze goes right back to his phone and uses it to shoot himself pinning Burch to the canvas before making his exit, with the titantron still showing a livestream of his face as seen on his phone. There’s…there’s just this thing here. Sometimes, NXT, and wrestling as a whole, is stupid. Let’s accept that. Sometimes, it really doesn’t work. But in the last two parts we’ve seen moments where it shouldn’t work (dance contest, male model) but it has because they’ve allowed it to all be wonderfully goofy without being in your face ‘this is funny, you must laugh at it’, and also not presenting it with a completely straight face themselves. That works. That lets us know that they aren’t taking it too seriously, and we therefore don’t have to, so we can laugh at it without questioning whether we should. Breeze is taking the arrogant male model thing to such an extreme that it’s hilarious, and NXT are letting him do that. Things like this work. It’s like Goldust, he was the most ridiculous character, and yet it worked because WWE let it, they let the entrance be ridiculously grandiose, they let him be a little bit suggestive, and as a result it was hugely enjoyable. Breeze is the modern day Goldust. Kinda.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Bo will defend his title tonight,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Will Leo Kruger give him a fright?
He’s already beaten Cesaro one time,
He’s a good kid, and his future’s bright
The loss I had last week was all Sami’s fault,
The kid needs to have my back in assault.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Kruger is bad but I’m the best lad,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Don’t stop Bo-lieving, never be sad.
If you want to define awkward, it’s Bo Dallas referring to everyone as kid, saying they have a bright future, then awkwardly flirting with Renee Young. That and singing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ out of tune with the words changed. Oh, by the way, Dallas is almost certainly working a bit of heel into his promo here, just because everything he says is straight up delusional and he’s patronising Cesaro and Zayn. Seriously, calling them ‘kid’? Isn’t Bo Dallas only just old enough to drink alcohol? Crikey.
NXT doctors have decided that Emma is in no condition to face Paige next week, but Summer Rae has laid down the challenge to Paige and Paige has accepted. It’s on! Also, Byron Saxton has announced that Tyler Breeze has now left the building again, which is a shame.
This is a crowd united in their hatred of one man – Bo Dallas. I have never heard anything quite like it, the hatred this man gets is beyond normal. Kruger, you know, makes a fairly standard entrance, gets a little pop (presumably because he is not Bo Dallas), but the heat on Dallas is completely nuclear. To show how much, I think they’ve actually dulled the sound on this recording and yet it is still really, really loud. ‘No more Bo’ chants echo around the NXT arena as this title match gets underway!
Kruger rolls out of the ring rather than lock up with Dallas, as the crowd chant his name. When he comes back in, Kruger finds safety in the corner, and attacks Bo from behind the back of the referee, laying into him with a series of right hands and stomps in the corner. Bo reverses and Irish whip attempt and strikes a couple of dropkicks and an inverted atomic drop, followed by a crossbody off the ropes to get a one count from the referee. Dallas then connects with a bridging Northern lights suplex for another one count, and locks in a backhammer as the crowd chants ‘Bo-ring’ at him. Kruger finally breaks out of the hold and strikes with a back elbow off the ropes, then clothesline Bo and himself out of the ring, Cactus Jack style. He follows up with a big baseball slide to the chest of his opponent, leaving Dallas stranded on the outside of the ring.
Back inside, Kruger starts to wear down Dallas with a sleeper, but Dallas fires back with some right hands amidst boos from the crowd. But out of the corner, Kruger gets the crowd to cheer with a hard reversal to the Irish whip, sending Dallas absolutely reeling and getting himself a two count. The South African now hits a sharp snap suplex for another two count, and then delivers a series of elbows to the cranium of his opponent, choking him with a knee for good measure. Dallas again tries to fire back, but Kruger halts any momentum with a knee to the midsection and driving Dallas into the corner. The crowd is baying for Bo Dallas to tap even though he’s not in a submission situation, but he does block a superplex, only to get hit with a headbutt. Again, Dallas blocks the suplex attempt, and now strikes Kruger off the turnbuckles and connects with a flying clothesline from the second rope. The crowd are riled, and chant ‘you still suck’ at Dallas, even with him adding a sixth move to his arsenal there. The two go blow for blow in the middle of the ring and here comes Dalals with a series of flying forearms and a clothesline of the ropes. The corner springboard bulldog gets a two count for Dallas! So close to a win, and in response he reverses an attempted bodyslam into an inverted DDT which again only gets a two count. Dallas looks like he’s about to snap, he screams ‘no’ when Kruger kicks out, and then talks some smack to him in the corner before beating him down with a series of furious forearms. Either the crowd are now really bored or just voicing their displeasure, as they are chanting for Zack Ryder! No, seriously! Whatever happened to that guy? If ever somebody could do with some time in NXT, Zack Ryder could be it, you know. Would be a great chance for him to improve in the ring.
Kruger finally starts to fire back, a series of right hands to the bewildered NXT Champion is followed up by a huge spinebuster off the ropes. He sets up for the Slice out of the corner and nails it! Surely it’s over…no! Dallas kicks out at two and a half, and the crowd chant that he still sucks! Kruger says ‘ta ta’ and locks in the GC3! The crowd really, really want him to tap out in this painful submission hold, and he’s held in it for an eternity, unable to power out and unable to reach the ropes…until finally he just grasps the bottom rope and the hold gets broken. Kruger takes out his frustration on Bo’s face – Bo-lieve that, Dallas – and he knocks Dallas down and looks to fly…Dallas gets his knees up to block the splash! Dallas locks in half of the Chikara Special and Kruger has no choice but to tap out! Boooooooo!
At least we got some new touches from Bo Dallas in that, I guess – I mean, I may hate the guy, but credit where credit is due for expanding your arsenal a bit, Bo. This was probably a better match than it had any right to be, the momentum shifted at the right moments and the crowd’s hatred of Dallas was tremendous to see. Whoever finally takes the belt off him is going to be a hero for the NXT Universe, and whilst I sort of hope it happens sooner rather than later, I’m equally OK with them waiting just the right amount of time to finally let everyone hate having the man with the least charisma in NXT hold the title until somebody like Sami Zayn is done with Antonio Cesaro and can win the belt then hold it forever. Trouble is, what do you do with Bo then? I mean, he’s not got the ability to hold together a feud without the title, so…do you just shove him up to the main roster and see if he sinks or swims? Or do you let him wallow in some midcard NXT feuds for a while? I mean, in an ideal world they’d cut their losses and run (or have given the belt to Bray Wyatt instead – after all, he got all the talent in that gene pool), leaving Bo to fend for himself as the man in the Mickey suit at Disney World, but I suppose we’ll have to accept that isn’t going to happen any time soon.
I don’t know, there’s not really a whole lot of choice this week (which is odd in a really, really solid show) but Mr. Sawft himself showed more charisma than 90% of the rest of the NXT roster in 90 seconds backstage. Truly, he is a master on the stick, and, as I alluded to, he could sell anything to anyone. Give him somebody who can wrestle as a client, use him as a manager, and you’ve hit paydirt.
07/08/2013 – Enzo Amore
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
A really, really solid week of TV, and even the dance battle gets a thumbs up from me as I really enjoyed it against all my expectations. As I said in the review, when NXT embraces the fact that wrestling sometimes is silly, and does things with a wry grin on its face, I love it. Both the first match and the main event were pretty good efforts, as they usually are, and Tyler Breeze’s squash of Danny Burch was as much fun as I would expect from a Tyler Breeze match. He just needs something approaching a feud where we can see him put on a slightly longer match and I will be a pig in mud.
So next week, NXTians, we get The Shield in action! Hurrah! They’ll try and make me actually find joy in watching Xavier Woods wrestle, and by heck I really hope he, Neville and Graves dress as Power Rangers because that would be fun. Also, Mason Ryan will square off against Scott Dawson, with Enzo Amore and Big Cass watching on. I smell destruction, one way or another! Plus, Summer Rae will face Paige for the NXT Women’s Championship! Next week, on NXT! Stay safe when crossing the road NXTians and drink more hot chocolate! Zbohom!