Well hello there everyone, how are we today? Hope you’re well. A week removed from NXT arriving and what not, we go back to our regular pre-taped show available for free on Hulu and on the WWE Network for your ten bucks a month fee. Totally worth it! Let me tell you, NXTians, we’ve got some stuff coming up today. Big stuff! Adrian Neville making his first appearance as NXT Champion! Emma vs Charlotte! The debut of Adam Rose! That’s all that the preview bit of text on Hulu tells me – it’s a bit of a hotch potch of tapings, this one, and I think they’ve amalgamated some of the more recent stuff with an older episode. That means we’ve missed out some of the pre-taped stuff but never mind – it was only Mason Ryan. Nobody’s that bothered about Mason Ryan, are they?
The NXT Review: 06/03/2014 – We Are All Rosebuds Now
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:30:00 PM
Before we get in to the show, I hope you can indulge me in a cheap plug – tomorrow night on The Right Side Of The Pond I will be talking to Mazza about how darned well fantastic NXT:ArRIVAL was. It would be splendid if you could join us, and the rest of the TRSOTP crew. Right, let’s get on with…
The NXT Review: 06/03/2014 – We Are All Rosebuds Now
Adrian Neville vs Camacho
And here is the new NXT Champion! Neville makes his entrance through some steam and looks delighted with his title belt, holding aloft to the crowd and staring into it at every opportunity. Regal puts him over on commentary and this match is on.
Neville extends his hand for a shake, but Camacho isn’t having none of it and delivers a boot to the guts. Off an Irish whip, though, Neville backflips over his opponent and then lands a springboard crossbody before locking in Jericho armbar #234. Camacho manages to get to his feet, but Neville keeps him under control until he gets caught with an elbow by Camacho. The son of Haku lays in some chops to the chest and then lands a running bodyslam while the commentary puts over how gutted some people are to have been left off the NXT:ArRIVAL show. Neville’s firing back now, hitting some flying forearms and a missile dropkick off the top rope and…oh, he’s landed Red Arrow and won. Well, that was quick. Do we get Adrian Neville squashes now? Because if so I’m completely down with that. The crowd love the guy right now, and it’s good to see him getting good reactions – it does feel like he’s struggled for them a bit.
Oh hey Renee Young, lemme get them digits gurl! She’s here to ask the questions that matter, and she wants to know how it felt to win the NXT Championship. Neville says it’s indescribable and was the most amazing night of his ten year career, but the title is even more important than his feelings – it’s validation and sends the message that anything is possible. Take a look, he says. He might not be the biggest guy, he looks like a crazy elf-man, he’s from the North East of England and has an impenetrable accent – man, this is awesome, best stuff Neville has delivered on the microphone since hitting NXT. It’s like he’s been listening to all the criticisms people have had of him. But even that isn’t the best thing – the best thing is that there’s no ‘no more Bo’! There’s one Bo Dallas fan in the crowd who is mad pissed, but everyone else joins in the chant – and here comes the deposed champion, looking sad and with two giant earrings. He only has one thing to say to Neville – congratulations! He did the one thing that nobody else has been able to do, and that’s beat Bo Dallas. And Bo has always taught his Bo-Lievers to be good sports. But he didn’t get pinned – Neville just climbed a ladder ‘like a dad cleaning out gutters’. So Dallas wants his rematch soon, and will take that title home because it’s Bo time. This was really enjoyable – I loved the Neville stuff, where he played up to people not being able to get the accent (even Renee), and Bo was up to his standard magical stuff on the mike. I’m glad they’ve not changed his character yet, as he obviously still has that belief about him. Whether he does change after the rematch, which I doubt he will win, remains to be seen. Good start to the show, though.
Before we get any more action, here’s Emma. She was grabbed by Renee for a comment after ArRIVAL last week and even though she’s disappointed with a loss, Paige deserved the win. But at least Emma earnt her respect…oh, here’s Ric Flair. He says Emma has no right to decide who’s tough, and that the next NXT Women’s Champion is going to be his daughter Charlotte. Oh yay. Here she is, the Nature Girl, inviting Emma out for a girls lunch to discuss her losses as our Australian heroine just stares at her smiling. Charlotte’s not even sure if she’s listening…Emma starts towards her and then marches off. Apparently, this means Charlotte is in her head. Man, do I really have to watch Charlotte matches? Really? I hope Sara Del Rey has turned her into a good wrestler in the last few months when she’s not been on the show. Oh, apparently Emma and Charlotte are facing off next!
But not until Renee has talked to Paige! She had no doubt she wouldn’t beat Emma, but after a hell of a fight she respects her and considers her a friend and is welcoming all challengers. Oh Christ, here’s drunk Uncle Flair again, introducing Charlotte. She applauds Paige as the diva of tomorrow and…oh Christ, this is the worst:
‘You truly are the Diva of tomorrow, but I am Charlotte’
What an appalling line. Any way, they get in each other’s face and are all mad with each other.
Emma vs Charlotte
Emma! Renee and Regal are dancing in the commentary booth, the crowd are going wild and even Eden Stiles/Styles/Rhodes/whatever joins in after announcing her entrance. Charlotte is accompanied by Sasha Banks, holding a Summer Rae mask because she was, presumably, off dancing with Fandango on the main roster, and she enters the ring doing the splits, like a less attractive Melina. Bet you didn’t think that was possible, did you?
The crowd are super behind Emma here, as ever, and she plays to them by dancing before the initial lock up. Charlotte overpowers her back into the corner, but Emma ducks a clothesline attempt as a ‘Sasha’s rachet’ chant goes up. Emma and Charlotte exchange wristlocks until the larger woman (and Charlotte is really, really tall) connects with an armdrag…ooh, but Emma keeps hold of the wristlock and transitions into a hammerlock. Wrestling! Emma eventually rolls up Charlotte into a pin (amidst those wonderful ‘better than Batista’ chants) for a pin, but off the kick out gets caught by a knee. Emma blocks the Nature Girl with a boot to the face though, and then rolls up Charlotte again for a two count. The Vegemite Vixen whips Charlotte to the corner, but the Nature Girl leapfrogs here and…I think she’s tweaked her ankle. That looked like a nasty fall, and the referee checks on her and then tries to get Sasha off the apron…she was faking! The bitch! Off of a kip up, she does the front flip cutter on Emma and takes the win!
I guess they’re going to give Charlotte a run at the title, then. Look, I don’t hate her – she’s not very good, but I don’t hate her – but when there are at least three other women wrestlers on the show that are better than someone should they really be pushing the worst one? What the hell NXT, come one, that’s not how you work! She’s going to end up horribly exposed if this is the best she can do. Emma looks pretty distraught after the loss as the BFFs walk back up the stage, Sasha still clutching her Summer Rae face on a stick which was pretty much the best thing about this whole match.
Man, Renee grabbed a lot of people backstage at NXT:ArRIVAL. Here she is talking to Sami Zayn, who is unsure how he feels after losing to Cesaro and won’t say what was said after their match. All he can say is that he got what he wanted. Good for you, Sami.
Yoshi Tatsu vs Corey Graves
Do not adjust your set! That is actually Yoshi Tatsu! He’s genuinely appearing on television…sort of. I love Yoshi. Guy seems to be packing a few extra pounds around the middle. Meanwhile, Corey Graves continues the trend of people getting new theme music and is rocking tye dye skinny jeans. No, for real. Jesus, Corey needs to re-evaluate his fashion choices so bad. That one woman who hates him is in the crowd and he has a microphone in his hand – he has something to get of his chest. I hope it’s that stupid necklace. He introduces himself and is pretty pissed that he wasn’t on NXT:ArRIVAL and is now being forced to ‘compete’ with a guy who still thinks he can call himself a WWE Superstar. Oh, apparently Graves is super mad at Sami Zayn and questions when the last time he won a match was (hey, it’s a valid point). The Hipster Barista says he’d only need one chance in the centre of the ring to beat Cesaro, but instead has to take on the irrelevant Yoshi Tatsu. Which he will do…right now.
Oh, no he won’t – he bails on the ring and sets to retreat, to which the crowd chants ‘yes!’ – I would too guys, I would too. He makes like he’s going to get back in the ring, but then retreats again…and here comes Yoshi! Right into a clothesline! And the steel steps! Yoshi is out of it at ringside as Graves gloats while the count goes up and up and up…it reaches ten, and Graves wins by count out. Congratulations, now go and get a fashion adviser.
After the bell, he beats down Tatsu in the centre of the ring and locks in the 13th Step.Yoshi is tapping frantically but he won’t let go…no he will! Here’s Sami Zayn, rocking an Against Me t-shirt! Graves bails and heads toward the back, but Zayn grabs a mike. He didn’t realise there was a problem between them, and if he wants an opportunity he can have one – Tonight!
Oh awesome, Devin Tayler is at an Adam Rose party! This is the best thing ever, guys, Rose is having a party and Kalisto is spinning around a giant glowstick. Axl Keegan is dressed as a Roman gladiator. Sami Callihan is DJing. Adam Rose seems to have affected an English accent whilst keeping a couple of Rosebuds, and as Devin Taylor asks him questions he cuts her off because they’re playing his song. Taylor ends up hitting the floor with Rose for a boogy whilst wearing a mask as she signs off. Man, I am in on this from a single sixty second segment. I was sad they dropped the Kruger gimmick, but if they did it for this…totally worth it. And apparently he’s competing next!
Oh, there’s a little recap of Rusev destroying Breeze and Woods from NXT:ArRIVAL. Woods has now been grabbed by Renee backstage and is pretty beaten up but he lays down the challenge to that ‘Ivan Drago looking piece of garbage’. Woods say he doesn’t lose at the end of this movie. Unlike on episodes of NXT, am I right? Oh, here’s Rusev with Renee too, he’s all like ‘Bulgarian’ and Lana says ‘he accepts’. Crush him Rusev! Crush him like a fly!
Adam Rose vs Wesley Blake
Ain’t no party like an Adam Rose party! The ramp is full of people getting down to Adam Rose’s theme tune and he is, apparently, from the Bahamas. The English accent might have just been my ears, but this is literally what I imagine Russell Brand’s life to be like. He is crowdsurfing his way to the ring on his fans and struts around the ring and his entrance gets a ‘that was awesome’ chant. Oh God guys, this is the best. So much the best.
Blake and Rose circle each other as an ‘Adam Rose’ chant goes up, and Blake gets him in a wristlock. Adam Rose rolls out of it and then just keeps on rolling. There’s a certain foppish quality to the way he moves, and he gets between the ropes and uses them to help him kick Blake in the face, before connecting with a shoulder block and locking in Jericho armbar #672 off of an armdrag. One guy tries to start a ‘we want Kruger’ chant, but he is immediately shouted down with a responding ‘no we don’t’. Blake gets a fist to the face in and this seems to send Rose into a fury – he takes Blake down and drives elbows and knees into the body, before hitting a big spinebuster and then winding up a clothesline out of the corner to get his win.
OK, this Rose gimmick is so damn good, but I think he needs to change his moveset a little to really single himself out as a new character, because the spinebuster and clothesline are just straight ports from Kruger. As he leaves the ring, he brings the party back out and they all get down on the stage with him, celebrating his win. No Kalisto or Callihan, but Eugene is there! I bet all the trainers are flipping loving it, Del Rey’s probably in there, maybe even Bill DeMott, all getting down to Adam Rose’s music. Yeah, so – some awesome, some not quite so awesome, but definitely potential to be amazing. I give this gimmick change two thumbs up.
Sami Zayn vs Corey Graves
Here we go then, your television main event for the evening! Standing in the corner to my right, he is a one-time NXT Tag Team Champion, a multiple time ‘Worst Dressed’ award winner, and yesterday he finally mastered drawing a leaf on a latte, the ‘Saviour’ Of Misbehaviour Corey Graaaaaaaaves! And in the corner to my left, from Canada via Mexico, the helper of many orphaned children, Mr. Match Of The Year, the Canny Canuck Sami Zaaaaaaaayn! Lllllllets get readyyyyyy to tumbleeeeeeeee!
Zayn is on his toes, ready for the fight, but Graves is nonchalantly leaning in the corner looking completely non-plussed. For interests sake, I decided to look up when Sami Zayn did in fact last win a match – it was his two out of three falls bout with Leo Kruger last November. Quite a while back, then, but given he’s been out with injury it’s not that long. Graves skirts a collar and elbow tie up and connects with a boot and elbows to the head, driving Zayn back into the corner and chopping him in the chest. Zayn turns it around and gets in a chop of his own but this is all Graves, who stays on Zayn and connects with a back elbow following an Irish whip for a two count. Zayn gets another chop to the chest in, but Graves ties in a side headlock to keep control and takes Zayn down to the mat. He lays a few fists in to the forehead, and even though Zayn powers up Graves knocks him back down with a shoulder block. But on the next whip Zayn gets in an armdrag! And another! And third with some theatrics! Graves bails on the ring but Zayn goes for a tope con giro…and flips off the top rope when Graves backs away from the ring! The Hipster Barista is taking his time to come back in, looking for an opening, and he finds one when he hangs Zayn up on the top rope throat first. Now it’s Graves back in control, laying into him on the mat before landing an face first suplex. So far, Graves has had the bulk of the offense and is controlling the pace, keeping the quicker Zayn down and under control. Smart stuff, really, and it gives him a chance to show off his talents.
Graves has kept Zayn on the mat with a gator quarter nelson (thanks, Regal!), and just as he’s firing up and getting to his feet Graves cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Graves takes Zayn to the corner and stays on him, and dampens a tiny bit of fire from Zayn with an elbow and multiple boots. Graves then takes him to the mat again and does some kind of dragon screw variant, wrenching at the knee, which earns him a two count before going back to that gator hold. The Leader of the Filth Parade (that must be a bloody horrible parade) keeps his man down and then delivers a side suplex to keep him down, grinding a boot into his face and following up with an elbow drop. And again he goes back to the gator hold – we get it Graves, you’ve learnt a new move, congratulations – but Zayn is firing back! He pushes Graves off against the ropes and connects with a pair of clotheslines and a back drop! Looking for the Helluva Kick – but Graves hoists him onto his shoulders and spins him out into a backbreaker! That was actually quite good looking, so well done man. Zayn connects with a back elbow as Graves runs in to the corner, though, and lands a double jump crossbody for a two count, Graves is pulling himself up and lands a hard elbow to the jaw when Zayn again looks for the Helluva Kick. Blue Thunder Bomb from Zayn! 1…2…no! Graves kicks out! Zayn blocked a 13th Step attempt going in to that and is now rocked in the corner – and he cuts Zayn off with a chop block as he again goes for the Helluva Kick! But Sami rolls the 13th step into a roll up for two and goes for the wristlock tornado DDT…Graves catches him and goes for the backbreaker again but Zayn turns it into an inside cradle! 1…2…3! Zayn wins! Hurrah!
Moments of that were literally unbearable – Graves locking in repeated restholds is so dull. I get that he’s a submission specialist or whatever but man, you can’t go coast to coast on the mat on just the same hold over and over again. Equally, your finishing submission is one on the legs so dude, work the legs in those restholds man! At least give the illusion of building up to your finisher! It’s a Zayn match, and it’s hard to be tough on a Zayn match but to be honest he didn’t show as much as he’s capable of here – whether it was the opponent or just the way it was put together I don’t know, but he seemed a little bit subdued in comparison to his best. It was a good main event, just not great and with a really unwelcoming pace for a ten minute match.
This was quite a good show this week, it has to be said, but without a real highlight to elevate it to even greater heights. Zayn/Graves struggled with pacing (and also with weirdly restricting Zayn into getting in next to none of his signature offense, which I find odd) and was way too stodgy in the middle section for my liking. All the other matches were a little too short to really leave an impact, which leaves us with the many, many backstage interviews they did. I’m not against a good backstage interview, but they all felt a little unplanned to be honest, and none of them really stick with me now. Flair turning up to introduce Charlotte is completely my least favourite thing, simply because I think making her her own person instead of the daughter of Ric Flair is a much better way to do it. Hey, at least we get Adam Rose’s amazing entrance though, right? That was awesome. I skipped the MVP this week because there wasn’t an overwhelming, star for me.
Confirmed for next week we’ve got Xavier Woods vs Alexander Rusev and not a single thing more. We might have seen the end of Zayn vs Graves but I somewhat doubt it, and there will surely be some build towards the Neville/Dallas rematch. Let’s hope they hit that magic formula again and keep being good to great television. Until we speak again, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! See ya!