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TripleR Presents: Oliver's Weekly NXT Review (9/25/13)
Sep 26, 2013 - 7:11:13 PM
Welcome back, NXTians, to the NXT Review! Fear not, for Annie Edison finally left my house after much cajoling and now I’m back to flying solo on this old thing. So, what do we have in store for you all this week? In the tradition of Raw, here’s a five point preview:
• Just what is Bo Dallas’ planning to announce this week, and what does it mean for Sami Zayn’s title chances?
• Who will be crowned number one contender to the NXT Tag Team Championship?
• Will Sasha’s mean streak continue?
• If Aiden English turns up again, we cheer, right?
• What is Triple H’s big announcement?
Right, let’s get started on …
The NXT Review: 25/09/2013 – The One With A Wrestling Deity
We start off with Brad Maddox, admiring himself in his iPhone, Tyler Breeze style. Oh, and speak of the devil, here’s Breeze himself who wants to be involved in tonight’s tag team turmoil match. But so does the Moonchild CJ Parker, who calls Maddox ‘Sir Maddox’. Brad Maddox is amazing in this segment so far - he looks a little bit tired of the pair of them, and when Breeze says he has an idea he pulls a face like it’s the thousandth time he’s confronted him with one. And after shaking hands with CJ Parker he rinses them with anti-bacterial gel. Fair enough. I mean, who wants to be touched by a dirty unwashed hippy wearing tie-dye? The two bicker and Breeze calls Parker an ‘uggo’. As Maddox points out, neither has a partner – Breeze wants them to clone him so he can compete, while Parker wants some government funding for…something, it’s not fully clear what. But Maddox has an idea! He’s found Breeze a partner. It’s not Brad Pitt, like Breeze wanted, but CJ Parker! These two rivals will be forced to team together in the tag team turmoil match…right now! Aside from Maddox’s little touches, this was kind of by the book but it worked – it got the where they needed to go, established Parker and Breeze as a bickering odd couple, and everyone was giving some pretty good promo.
There’s an ‘Enzo or Riot’ sign in the crowd. Seriously, how is this guy as over as he is despite the smallest of pushes on NXT? It almost doesn’t make sense. Enzo’s on his way to the ring and I’m pretty sure everybody says the opening of his promo together. Big Cass, who I’m starting to realise looks a lot like a stretched out Edge, says they’re entering undefeated and that’s how they’ll leave. Why? Because they’re the hottest tag team in NXT! They’re hotter than the peppers that Peter Piper picked! They’ve got winning streaks in their dirty drawers…urgh. They’re on a roll, like Cottonelle tissues! And the rest of the tag team division is also like Cottonelle tissue – do you know why? Do you need it spelling out for you? They’re S-A-W-F-T SAAAAAWFT! Man, these guys. And Tyler Breeze! NXT is off to a great start with three favourites – the crowd are going wild for Breeze, chanting his name as he strides down to the ring and breaking out a ‘Breeze is gorgeous’ chant. CJ Parker, however, people seem less in to. I’m pretty sure he is getting some loud boos from the crowd as he whips his dreadlocks around and dances like a prune.
Breeze really isn’t interested in tagging with Parker and isn’t even standing on the apron, while Enzo warms himself up by punching the palms of Big Cass. Regal informs us on commentary that Enzo and Cass are banned worldwide from Disney resorts. Worldwide! Regal can’t tell us why though, which makes it sound a little sinister. Enzo and Parker lock up and go through a side headlock take down into a head scissors and kip up out routine twice, before Parker gets an aeroplane spin on Amore, which he sells terrifically, looking absolutely loopy. Parker connects in the corner with double running knees and looks for the facepalm that he delivered as his finisher last week but Breeze distracts him asking for a tag. That allows Enzo to get Long Edge in and he wastes Parker with a huge spinning sideslam to give them the win and clear the first hurdle of this tag team turmoil match for the Realest Guys in the Room! Still undefeated!
As Parker rolls out of the ring, Sylvester LeFort comes out to introduce Multicultural Society. They seem to be officially called Legionnaires now, as they have an entrance video that says as much. Christ, Rusev is so imposing, but it’s Dawson who starts off with Cassidy, and the big man blocks a running boot off the ropes and pulls Dawson into a knee to the midsection and takes him down with a big blow across the back. He hauls up Dawson and flings him to the corner, but Dawson rebounds out with a back elbow and creates enough separation to tag in Rusev. Rusev vs Cassidy! The battle of the behemoths! Rusev comes off the ropes but Cassidy takes him down with a big boot! Enzo comes in and immediately gets dropped by a quick Samoan drop, allowing a tag to Dawson for Multicultural Society, who pounds on Amore in the corner. He suspends him across the ropes and kicks him in the ribs, then whips him off the ropes into a Double-A Spinebuster – but Enzo gets a roll-up! 1…2…3! Realest Guys in the Room win again! But Multicultural Society aren’t happy – Rusev charges in and knocks Cassidy off the apron, and then absolutely demolishes Amore in the corner, running into him at full-pelt. And here come The Ascension!
You know, something I do find odd is that the teams have all had their full entrances – LeFort introduced Multicultutal Society, and now The Ascension have got their full lights out and roaring entrance thing. This is supposed to be a quickfire tag team match, shouldn’t they be charging the ring as quickly as possible? Amore can hardly stand in the corner here, leaving Big Cass to square off against The Ascension alone. O’Brian absolutely levels him with a clothesline and tags out to Victor, who connects with a European uppercut and a couple of punches to the midsection before the members of The Ascension swap again – they’ve isolated Cass from his corner here, and pounded him down to the mat. Victor comes in again and tries a pin but Cass kicks out. Victor nails a chop in the corner, and charges in on Cass, and there’s still no respite for the big guy, as he gets charged through by the fresh O’Brian repeatedly…until Cass nails a big boot! Amore comes in – and runs right into a flapjack from O’Brian. Oh dear. Victor gets tagged in and the two combine to take Amore down, and then they hit the Fall of Man to wipe out the New Jersey native and get the win. The two pose above the fallen Amore, bathed in blue light, and boy are they going to be a challenge for Neville and Graves.
That was pretty enjoyable, actually – I love that they left the Realest Guys in the Room looking strong, having picked up two good wins and then been wiped out before they could face The Ascension two on two. Maybe they’ll get a chance at the tag titles down the line as a result, seeing as they’re probably the most qualified team on the roster now. It’s a shame that the division seems to have diminished in recent weeks – there are four teams that are there, three of them in this match and then the champs but two of them, Multicultural Society and Fly Down, kind of aren’t teams, just a pair of individuals – even though they’ve been champions for 80 or so days now, Fly Down still kind of feel a little bit thrown together. So that leaves two proper teams, the two finalists here – not really much of a roster. It’s weird, but NXT started off doing really well with tag teams, and I don’t think it would take much to build a couple more up – I still like the idea of a reunited Major Brothers on NXT, and there’s a far few other names who aren’t really doing much that could be put together and given a reason for existing. Why not put Danny Burch and Mason Ryan together and say they had a history on the UK independents (or just sign Stixx and team him with Danny Burch to play off their actual history on the UK independents. Damn it, why won’t somebody sign Stixx?). There needs to be a bolstering of the ranks, because once one team goes out of those four there’s nobody established to take their place.
Enough of that sadness – here’s Bayley! Bayley gets huge chants and looks thrilled as she enters the ring. Renee Young is on commentary! Regal gets a little lecherous over Young as the new and improved Sasha Banks makes her entrance, essentially being a mini-Summer Rae on her way down the ramp. This is frankly weird, actually. You know those pictures of children dressed as AJ Lee that she constantly retweets on Twitter? That sort of weird. I’m kind of not down with a heel Sasha if she’s just going to be nega-Summer – just use Summer for that! There are other ways to be a heel woman than ‘being a bitch’. Bayley carefully lays her headband down in her corner, as Banks covers her ears to drown out the cries of ‘Bayley’ from the crowd. Bayley forces Banks back into the corner and the referee forces the break – but not before Bayley delivers a double high five to Banks, who was covering up in the corner with her palms out!
Sasha is irate now and flies out of the corner with multiple slaps to the chest, rocking Bayley, but the sprightly one connects with a drop toe hold which gets her a one count. And a La Magistral cradle gets Bayley two! She locks in an armbar now on Banks and has good control of the match – until Banks whips her to the corner. Bayley tries to leap over Sasha but she catches her and slams her to the mat for a two count. She slams her head first into the turnbuckle and tears the headband from Bayley’s head – oh yes, she wears two – and Bayley looks devastated as it’s flung to the outside. Sasha now locks in a rear chinlock with a bodyscissors as Regal flirts some more with Renee Young on the commentary booth – geed up by the crowd, Bayley manages to push it over into a pinning predicament that makes the cousin of Snoop Lion break the hold. Sasha now connects with a big suplex and pushes her opponent – Regal’s talking about Ethel Dragleg, one of his ex-girlfriends who had one 40 inch long leg and the other was only 36 inches. I appreciate Regal’s old British comedy stylings but as Renee says that’s a little bit out of hand. Bayley starts a fightback, flinging Banks into the corner and connecting with a forearm and then a flying forearm to Banks, then taking her down with a pair of double axehandles – but a third one misses as Banks slaps her in the chest. She locks in a wristlock and climbs the ropes, then pauses at the top to jockey with the crowd – just pull her off Bayley, take her down and make it a win! – then dives through to an armdrag that sends Bayley to the opposite corner. But a body avalanche misses! Bayley evades it! And the hugging belly-to-belly! The Hugplex! 1…2…no, Banks kicks out! Sasha reverses a whip to the corner, but Bayley stops her running in with a back elbow. The queen of my heart looks to go up top but Banks pulls her off and connects with the Terminus! This one’s over. Summer comes in to add insult to injury, breaking Bayley’s other headband – you bitch Summer, just you wait, you’ll get your comeuppance for messing with Bayley – and celebrates with her victorious miniature version.
Oh wonderful, Summer is cutting a promo as the crowd chants ‘no’, drowning her out. They really don’t want to listen to her announcing that her ‘baby booby’ Fandango is coming to NXT. Come on NXTians, shouldn’t we be really, really into Fandango? He’s basically all the reasons I love NXT, except on the main roster. The Boss Sasha and Summer are going to run NXT after getting rid of Paige and Emma… and here’s the Dancing Dingo herself! She rushes the ring as Rae and Banks bail. Oh, there’s beef there, you better believe it. This match was OK, although really not a patch on Sasha’s one against Paige recently which was far and away the best women’s match on NXT since the earliest Paige vs Summer one. It’s good to see Bayley getting some serious reactions from the crowd – hopefully they’ll listen to that and push her harder in the near future. So yeah – this was OK, but not really all that and a bag of potato chips. That said – probably better than any match Natalya’s had in the past four years, and she’s looking like a challenger for the Divas Championship, so there that is.
Aiden English! Getting cheers and wearing some delightful rose-tinted spectacles, whilst singing a wonderful ditty about being the perfect addition to the night and everybody’s favourite star. The crowd are chanting something, but I have no idea what it is – English here is facing somebody known as Bull Dempsey who looks like a hairy, fat version of Rhyno. English locks in a side headlock to start things off, and Dempsey fights his way out, pushing English off the ropes – but the NXT star levels him with a shoulder block and bows to the crowd before returning to the headlock. And the exact same sequence gets repeated until Dempsey finally gains some advantage, taking English down with a shoulderblock of his own. As he goes to follow up he gets taken down with a pair of kicks, and English pounds on him on the mat. He rises, bows before hitting a jumping leg drop, and then connects with the Take a Bow to get the win. The crowd are chanting that thing again, and I’ve realised it’s a cry for an encore – which English provides and the crowd pops for. If you don’t like English, it’s OK because he’s still going to put the ‘E’ back in the WWE – the crowd sing along with him for the WWE bit because they are wonderful. English bows and heads off into the night.
OK, so look – English is super entertaining again and looks good in victory, but here’s a problem. Like Breeze before him, English’s act is so over the top and damn good that he’s now getting pops for it and chanted about. It’s odd, but for some reason this keep happening to heels on NXT. Why can’t they make faces this entertaining and good? Amore, Parker and Woods aside, most of the NXT faces are kind of bland and boring – is it any surprise that people are more willing to cheer for a really fun character than for, say, Adrian Neville? I know I’d rather cheer for someone that they’ve gone all in on making entertaining than someone that they’ve just said ‘yup, go do stuff’. There are exceptions – Zayn works as is because he’s got a great knack of getting fans into his matches without a really strong character, something he developed over his time as El Generico (let’s be honest, Generico was kind of…well, generic. The fact that it got over was because the wrestler under the mask was so good a conveying emotion with his body, in my opinion – hence why Zayn still works here. Some might disagree and say he needs a character, but try and come up with a good one for him and nothing seems to fit a good, over face – see if you can provide a good one in the comments, NXTians, and let’s chat about it. In my opinion – it isn’t broken, so don’t start fixing it.) – but there aren’t many cases where the face has a strong, well defined character. And even with Woods, they’ve sort of taken away all the character stuff I was really, really hating and just let him go and do things in the ring. Can’t we have just one really good face character, NXT?
Summer has a chat with Renee Young backstage – she and her ‘baby boopsies’ (Young appears to be about to vomit at this point) Fandango will face Emma and a partner of her choosing, and they are going to beat Emma into the ground and send the fans home happy. Why will they go home happy, Renee? ‘Because of your outfit…’ Renee starts, but Rae cuts her off because it was a rhetorical question. God I hate Summer Rae. Not as a wrestler, as a character. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Anyway, the fans will go home happy because Summer is the First Lady of NXT. Hey, Emma – find someone as goofy as you and take these buggers out. I can think of a certain Canadian posing as an Italian that should do it.
The mysterious El Local! Who is he? Nobody knows? Where is he from? Nobod…oh, he’s from Mexico. This should be a good match, actually, Local has looked OK in his couple of appearances and Zayn is Zayn, greeted by an enormous ovation. The signs in the crowd are really, really good this week and ‘ole’ chants echo around the NXT arena as the two lock up for the first time. Zayn goes to a wristlock, but El Local flips through it and locks in one of his own that Zayn then spins out of and transitions into a hammerlock. And then Local whips around into a side headlock, and while Zayn pushes him off he gets floored by a shoulder block. Zayn ducks and jumps out of the way as Local runs the ropes and then floors him with an armdrag! And another! And a third for good measure!
The Mysterious Luchador reverses a whip across the ring, but Zayn leaps back over him and, off the ropes, he floors him with a headscissors takedown for a two count. He looks to follow up, but Local busts out of the corner with an elbow to the jaw, and then hits a running backbreaker across his knee for a two count. He taunts Zayn after a kick to the chest, chanting ‘ole, ole ole ole’ at him – he sounds like someone, but I just can’t work out who. This is a real mystery. Somebody call Scooby and the gang. A suplex gets him only a one count and then syncs in an abdominal stretch on the mat. Sami starts to fire back, but Local knocks him to a knee with an elbow to hault his momentum – but only for a moment, as he then connects with a calf kick and builds the speed with a couple of forearms and a back body drop. And the running big boot connects! 1…2…3? That’s enough? El Local falls by the wayside after a signature move and surely Zayn has shown enough now to warrant a title shot.
Hey, this was kind of enjoyable, actually…oh wait, here’s Bo Dallas!
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Well done to Sami you got a win,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
It makes Bo happy as you learn from him.
Dalla was injured, he had been felled,
It’s OK Sami, he’s now fully healed.
Now he is ready to defend the belt,
His invitation is keenly felt.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
If you can pin him you will get a shot,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Everyone’s welcome – except Sami you’re not.
Bo’s healed! It’s a miracle! Don’t stop Bo-lieving! Dallas is in fine form, playing well off the crowd and saying he’s proud to see Sami learning from his mentor – him. He introduces the concept of the Bo Dallas Invitational for next week – anyone can enter, and if they win they get a title shot! Sami isn’t happy about that – he wants Bo right here tonight! And that’s when Dallas knocks it up a gear. He tells Zayn to respect the champ and not interrupt him, and that one day he might have a following just like him – the Zayniacs to his Bolievers. But for now, he’s not ready – so everyone is invited to Dallas’ invitation except Sami Zayn. Boo! You cowardly bastard, Bo Dallas, you cowardly little bastard. You know, this Zayn thing is the best built NXT Championship story since Graves took on Rollins way back when and they had a couple of matches for it – which sort of says it all, because that was months ago. Will Sami somehow beat the system and find a way in to the invitational, or will somebody else rise to the occasion? Find out next week!
Brad Maddox is on the phone to…someone. But somebody has just turned up and has Maddox’s attention…it’s Kassius Ohno! Ohno’s back! Hurrah! He wants to know why he hasn’t been on NXT for so long – apparently it’s because he got his butt kicked by the Wyatt Family, but Ohno says he’s been cleared for a while now and there must be some other explanation. Tell him what it is Brad…oof, Maddox says he’s a D+ player, maybe a C-. Which gets Ohno into threatening to disrupt the whole show match by match. Maddox doesn’t want that and says he doesn’t have a problem with Ohno, but ‘they’ do. Who is ‘they’? Are ‘they’ coming? Oh, hang on, that was Immortal, wasn’t it. Anyway, Ohno threatens to drop Maddox and that gets him a match next week. In fact, not just a match, but revenge – he’ll take on one member of the Wyatt Family next week. Oh God, please be Harper and let them just beat the overloving piss out of each other for ten minutes. I’d be so down with that.
There are eight minutes left, and Triple H has only just shown up. Can he finish his promo in time? Oh NXT universe, why are you cheering this guy? Boo this man – he’s screwing Daniel Bryan! He’s the worst person in WWE right now! Boo him! Come on! Trips has his best shit eating grin on and welcomes everyone 45 minutes into the show. He puts over the NXT Unvierse and the NXT roster, especially Zayn, Kruger, Dallas, Neville and Graves…curiously, Graves’ pop is on the level of Zayn. Might just be the shrill screaming of the women in Full Sail making that happen. Anyway, he says everyone on the main roster could be replaced by the NXT roster at a moment’s notice – oh do it. Just one Raw, have everyone walk out and the entire NXT roster take their place. Perhaps it’s obvious that I’m all for that, but what a way to promote NXT that would be. I mean, getting fantastical about it – this whole mutiny angle thing, with the 11 superstars – have Triple H lock them out and replace them with 11 NXT guys for one night. The night ends with the main roster people breaking into the building and taking everyone out to stand tall, but for three hours you see NXT folk on mainstream TV. You pique interest in the show that’s now available for free on Hulu and get more people watching. These guys develop a following among the general viewers and then when they come to the main roster they’re already getting strong reactions. It seems simple to me.
Anyway, the real reason Triple H is here is to address the issues with the Rhodes family. Because of everything that’s gone on with his sons, Dusty is no longer able to be the general manager of NXT. Boooo! Bring back the American Dream! This move is best for business says Hunter, and as the crowd scream ‘no’ he says it’s ‘yes’ because he’s in charge. And without further ado, here’s our new interim NXT GM…John Bradshaw Layfield! Ding ding ding ding ding! He makes his way down to the ring in some fine tailoring and shakes the hand of Triple H. As he hears the crowd chanting his name, the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history, after 20 years in this business…haha, some buffoon in the crowd starts chanting ’20 years’ at that and JBL shoots him down immediately: ‘excuse me, this isn’t sing along with the wrestling God shut your mouth’. JBL says that without a doubt NXT is the greatest performance centre he’s ever since and the future of this business has never looked brighter. JBL knows that replacing a big fat guy who can barely speak the English language who’s more famous for who his stupid sons are and wearing polkadots than wrestling with him is best for business, and welcomes us all to the NXT era of the wrestling God. JBL! JBL though guys! Man, I love JBL. He’s already positioned himself as a heel GM within a minute of opening his mouth. This is going to fun. This will be a fun time.
Regardless of him being an extremely crappy wrestler, there’s no denying that Bo’s nailing it on character work right now. His promo introducing his own invitational was great, and as a somewhat condescending oblivious face that’s actually a heel…man, that’s an interesting character to work. I remember having some discussions about this potential character with LoP’s very own Mizfan not so long ago and I think we both agreed that the character could be interesting, but only if Dallas pulled it off perfectly. He’s done that in spades, and it works. The guy is a heat magnet right now, and if you don’t want to hate him after hearing him talk down to Sami Zayn – a guy who is not only actually six years older than him but also has about that much more experience than him – then I can’t explain why. I want to see him get his arse kicked so badly, and yet want them to keep him somehow beating or avoiding Zayn for so long and just building more and more heat on him that I don’t think it’s time for it to happen yet.
25/09/2013 – Bo Dallas
18/09/2013 – Aiden English
11/09/2013 – Sasha Banks
04/09/2013 – Sami Zayn
28/08/2013 – Summer Rae
21/08/2013 – Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro
07/08/2013 – Enzo Amore
31/07/2013 – Bray Wyatt
24/07/2013 – Paige
17/07/2013 – Adrian Neville
This was a really, really solid episode of NXT – the matches all felt a little bit on the short side but notably we now have new number one contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship and more weight to the theory that Sami Zayn should be the next person in line for a shot at Bo Dallas and the NXT Championship, plus we got some more development with Sasha Banks and Summer Rae winning over Bayley – it seems odd to me that Rae can be having a feud with Emma and yet Paige, the champion of the division, kind of has no story going right now. I fully expect her to get involved with this whole Summer and Sasha story given the nature of the latter’s turn, but it’s taking a while to get there. And Aiden English looked impressive in his squash victory and is already getting over, which is great. Plus – JBL is going to (hopefully) be a regular on NXT television now! So there were a lot of notable events on the show, even if what went on around those plot points wasn’t completely top draw. The tag team turmoil match was a good start, and Zayn vs Local was pretty enjoyable for what it was, so that’s something at least.
Next week – Emma and a mystery partner will square off with Summer Rae and Fandango! The Ascension get their deserved shot at Fly Down! The Bo Dallas Invitational will crown a new number one contender! So much storyline development is going on next week that you, NXTians, won’t want to miss it. So stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Comiat!