Happy Thursday, NXTians, and welcome back to The NXT Review! Believe it or not, this week marks a year of me being in the job of writing this little old thing, which is pretty crazy. In that time, Sami Zayn has debuted, Bray Wyatt has been promoted, and we still haven’t seen a Paige vs Emma rematch. All in time, my friends, all in time. But enough about that – let’s talk about this week. What’s on the table? Well, we’ve got women’s trios action as Emma, Natalya and Bayley take on the BFFs and Alicia Fox. No Charlotte for the BFFs, apparently – whisper it, but I think they’ve finally realised she’s kind of shitty. Elsewhere, Aiden English does battle with his nemesis Colin Cassady, Sami Zayn makes an appearance and – sigh – CJ Parker. Oh, also, NXT is completely free on Hulu again! There was a one week blip where it was on Hulu Plus, but no more! Right, let’s get in to…
The NXT Review: 12/02/2014 – The One Without Creepy Uncle Kenneth
Feb 13, 2014 - 10:00:00 AM
The NXT Review: 12/02/2014 – The One Without Creepy Uncle Kenneth
Best Friends vs BFFs
Natalya, Emma and Bayley, or team Best Friends if you like, make their entrance and Natalya can’t even do Emma’s dance properly. She makes it into some kind of Walk Like An Egyptian kind of thing, with a little sexy bum wiggle and…I get what you’re trying to do, Natalya, I do, but the whole point of The Emma is that it’s hideously out of time and basically has no rhythm to it at all. It’s the most sexless dance imaginable. Meanwhile, Renee Young is busy quoting The Simpsons at William Regal on commentary due to her being super adorable and Regal kind of being a lecherous old bastard but doing it in a way that’s more ‘hey, I’m a sexy English man’ than ‘hey, I’m creepy Uncle Kenneth, come and sit on my lap, no no that’s just my mobile phone in my pocket’. The BFFs make their entrance and do their finger clicking thing but Alicia’s not following their lead – they clearly look super pissed about it, so in five minutes they’ll leave her in the ring to take the pin whilst walking away. Oh, apparently this is an ‘initiation process’ for Alicia Fox – like, ****, can’t we just Alicia Fox tear it up on her own? Give her five minutes with AJ Lee, I swear it will be amazing.
Team Best Friends try to play rock paper scissors to sort out who will start for them but it doesn’t seem to work, and we end up with Emma taking on Summer Rae. Summer wins the early lock up by kicking Emma and she whips her to the corner, but Emma ducks her coming in and rolls her up for a two count before tagging in to Natalya. Summer Rae wants nothing to do with the Pink And Black Attack and immediately flees to her corner and seeks solace in the arms of Sasha Banks. The Boss of NXT ducks behind Natalya and shoves her in the chest, angering the Canuck who charges and forces Sasha to cower in the ropes. Banks reverses and Irish whip, but Nattie jumps over only to get caught with a kick to the midsection. Banks is on top now, locking in a wristlock, but Natalya dips and flips her way through and into a takedown, before running over the back of her opponent to knock her down and tagging in Bayley. Bayley and Natalya combine with a double hip toss that gets a two count, and the Doctor of Huganomics stays on top with a body slam, forcing Sasha to tag to Alicia Fox…who comes right into a monkey flip from Bayley! Forearms from the former Davina Rose now, but she gets hit with a gorgeous dropkick from Fox that takes her down and into a chinlock. That dropkick was beautiful, Ziggler-esque in its execution, and seems to have swung the momentum.
After a commercial break, Bayley has been cut off from her corner by Summer Rae, who transitions from a full nelson into a camel clutch style hold…but a roll up from Bayley breaks it, and she hits some forearms to send her opponent reeling! She desperately tries to reach her partners in the corner, but Rae cuts her off with a kick and gets a tag to Sasha. Banks stands on Bayley’s hair and stretches her upwards, before taking a cheap shot at Natalya while Renee Young points out that she doesn’t give two shits about Alex Riley because William Regal is right there. Banks has control, tagging out to Alicia Fox, who hits a northern lights suplex with the Best Bridge In The Bi-Zi-Ness which gets her a two count. The crowd are getting behind Bayley now as she tries to fight out of a front facelock, but she still can’t quite make the tag and ends up back in the corner of the BFFs, despite a brief rally. Summer comes in and chokes Bayley against the ring – the BFFs are doing a really, really good job at cutting the ring in half and not letting their opponents rotate, which is of course a classic tag team move. Lovely to see it, though, and Summer taunts Bayley by sitting between her and her corner, ready to kick her back across the ring. Bayley kicks out of the kick at two, angering Summer, and then she blocks a suplex attempt…suplex from Bayley! Regal urges her to crawl to her corner…and she makes it! Emma comes in, and Fox from the other side! The dancer takes out Fox with a kick to the face and then knocks the BFFs off of the apron. She turns into a kick from Alicia…but when the Wedding Planner goes to make a tag the BFFs bail on her! Those bitches! Alicia turns into an Emma Lock and this one is done!
The Best Friends celebrate in the ring having run out the winners of a fine six women tag match. This was excellent from start to finish, the way the BFFs cut off the ring was a delight, isolating Bayley as the face in peril and allowing the crowd to really get into the match and support the face team. The finish was a little quick but hey, I’m not going to dock marks for it. But I really, really want to see Bayley get her hands on Charlotte, and this match hasn’t satiated that need. I mean, sure, the Nature Girl is kind of crap at wrestling (or was) but give me a payoff already, NXT. I need it. In the middle of that, by the way, they announced Emma vs Paige for the NXT Women’s Championship will take place on the live show, now known pretty dreadfully as NXT:arRIVAL. I don’t even want to get into how bad a name that is, right down to the typeface and intent.
Aiden English vs Colin Cassady
Oh Aiden English. The only artist who gets to sing. And the only one that does it in DOUBLE YOU DOUBLE YOOOOOOOOU EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I could kiss him, I really could. This should be pretty tasty, after the two have traded barbs and interferences over the past couple of weeks. Cassady makes his way to the ring, offering up fist bumps to the crowd and looking determined to prove that he’s not S-A-W-F-T SAAAAAAWFT. The two lock up early on, but the big man easily overpowers English who ducks out the way of a punch. Big Cass catches an attempted kick and then hits a big body slam, but only after English has waved his fists futily due to be held at arm’s length. The Artiste rolls out to the apron, and here his nefarious ways benefit him, hanging Cassady out to dry across the top rope and then hitting a running neckbreaker for a two count. Multiple elbow drops get him another two count, but after another neckbreaker the Certified G rolls out of the way of a leg drop. Cass starts to just bludgeon his opponent, and while he dodges a clothesline he gets caught in mid-air attempting a crossbody. Cass looks to swing him out into the East River Crossing, but English floats out of it and kicks him in the back of the knee. That’s enough to give him the opportunity to hit Take A Bow and take the win.
Hmmm. Kind of disappointed that this one ended so quickly, to be honest, although both guys got to show off a little character in the ring in the time given and English is getting more and more over as a heel pretty much just by going against a super over face here. He also denies the crowd a reasonably well demanded encore, which only helps his cause. The finishing sequence here showed some real potential of what they could do and I really liked it, but otherwise it felt just a little bit flat.
Oh hey, it’s Sami Zayn! He’s off his crutches but still moving a little gingerly to my eye, and as ‘ole’ chants go up he grabs a microphone. He’s been losing sleep and obsessing over the 2 out of 3 falls match with Cesaro, and is tired of being stuck on that one moment – he wants to move forward. And on that note, here’s Toni! Looking sharp in a suit, Mr. Cesaro. He begs Sami to stop because he’s sounding pathetic, and says the reason Zayn lost was because he just wasn’t good enough, and that there was no moment in that match that meant Zayn lost. But just because Toni’s better than Sami doesn’t mean he won’t have a great career – he will down here. Ouch, man, that one stings. Cesaro says that the 2 out of 3 falls match is a metaphor for his whole career: close, but no cigar. Zayn says thanks for the psychoanalysis (PSYCHOBABBLE MAKKLE COLE, THAT’S PSYCHOBABBLE) and that they go back a long way. Cesaro’s a true competitor and will fight anyone anywhere, says Sami…except him. Why is that? Because Cesaro is better than him, and doesn’t know how many more times he has to beat him to prove that. One more time! Sami begs for one more time! Unless you’re afraid, Toni Cesaro, that at your very best you cannot beat Sami Zayn. Cesaro asks if his knee is medically cleared, and Zayn says it will be just fine but Toni wants his word that there will be no excuses when he beats him again – and we have a deal! Zayn extends his hand but the crowd want a pinky promise, which Zayn and Cesaro tease.. and the Real American’s answer is still no! He kicks Zayn in the knee and goes to leave, but he’s cut off by the NXT version of Triple H, which is the best possible version of Mr. Helmsley. Cesaro might not want the match, but the crowd does and so does Mr. Haitches…and he sets the match for February 27th! Right here, live at Full Sail University! Cesaro vs Zayn! One more time! Because it’s best for business! Hurrah! Oh my, I can’t wait!
CJ Parker vs Tye Dillinger
There’s a ‘let’s go Tye’ chant at the start of this match because everybody bloody hates CJ Parker. He takes his opponent down to the mat with a drop toehold and locks in a side headlock, but Parker eventually takes him down to the match and hits a senton. Aeroplane spin, facepalm, done.
Can I just replace any CJ Parker match review with ‘**** you CJ Parker’ from here on, please? Afterwards he cuts a promo about not being loved despite doing everything for the world – reducing, reusing, recycle, and scooting around in a 2013 Ford Fiesta that gets 40 miles to the gallon, which is ****ing terrible economy. My 2002 Skoda Fabia Estate takes me back and forth the 15 miles to work every day, and a full tank will last just over three weeks. Call it 16 working days, which is 32 trips of 15 miles, so 480 miles. A tank is 45 litres, so a shade under 12 gallons…that’s 40 miles to the gallon in a car that’s 12 years old. **** man, if you want to save the planet get a hybrid. Meanwhile ‘you people’ melt polar icecaps and…hey, CJ Parker is a hippy version of straight edge CM Punk! Everyone else is incapable of loving the Moonchild and themselves. Well, this is a turn up for the books, a modicum of passion from CJ Parker. They might even turn this stupid gimmick into something watchable. Perish the thought.
The Wyatt Family vs Some Guys
Holy shit it’s the Wyatt Family! There are four minutes of NXT left, so I think we all know where this is going, but whatever. I’ve got to say, I prefer the Wyatt’s entrance when they aren’t doing the whole ‘we’re here’ thing and then walking down to the ring. Just the shout, then the lights come up and they’re just there. It’s super freaky and imposing, and way more threatening than the whole slow walk down the ramp thing. I feel like they have intent when they just show up. This time they do the full thing, which burns another minute of time – I’m foreseeing a Halloween Havoc 1998 situation here – and we come up with Harper immediately wailing on Louis before tagging Rowan in. The man in green connects with a boot to the mid-section and then a fallaway slam on his opponent, cutting him off from his corner and tagging out to Harper. Rowan whips him into Jason Jordan and then throws Louis into a discus clothesline and this one is over before it even started.
Harper and Rowan pull up Jason Jordan from the outside for a Sister Abigail, and the patriarch of the family motions for them to pile up the bodies. Wyatt gets a microphone! He’s already filled the world with his poison while grown men tremble at the sound of their footsteps, but they have never forgotten where they came from – right here, in NXT! Oh, hang on, that’s not right…NXT has, and always will, belonged to the Wyatt Family. Bray falls to his knees and the screen just cuts out with the shout from the start of their entrance. That was a beautiful bit of television right there, and if a Raw ends like that soon I will be completely in favour of it. Pretty basic Wyatt squash match, but whenever you get to see them in action it’s a joy.
NXT MVP: BFFs!
I’ve been really digging this pairing for the past few weeks – they’re kind of old school in their approach as a tag team, cutting the ring off, which you don’t seem to get from the main roster Diva tag matches, and their whole gimmick is really, really good. I’ve deliberately left Charlotte out of this because she’s done sweet nothing since joining up, but Summer and Sasha have somehow made something I thought I might hate very, very enjoyable.
12/02/2014 – BFFs
05/02/2014 – Aiden English
29/01/2014 – Renee Young
22/01/2014 – Realest Guys In The Room
15/01/2014 – Adrian Neville
08/01/2014 – Hunico
01/01/2014 – Emma
Two big things this week. The opening six women tag match was exquisitely set and really well done from start to finish, and the Zayn/Cesaro confrontation went down really, really well. Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot of rewarding stuff on the show – much as I love the Wyatt Family, seeing them squash two nobodies felt unnecessary. English vs Cassady flickered but didn’t really get started, potentially because of a time issue, and a CJ Parker squash match is the worst thing in wrestling right now. They have, however, nearly made him interesting and if they follow through I might well have to eat all of my words against him. It will never be as good as Straight Edge CM Punk, but it had shades of it in there and I kind of like that sort of thing. Problem is, I feel it’s more like Vegan Daniel Bryan. You remember that two week period where Daniel Bryan was all like ‘I’m a vegan and that makes me better than you!’? Yeah, that’s how I feel Parker’s stuff is going to turn out.
While nothing was announced for next week, I can tell you right now that we get more lovely stuff from Emma and Summer Rae and Adrian Neville tackling Tyler Breeze once again in the main event. We’re only two weeks away from the live special (I’m not using NXT:arRIVAL ever), and between now and then we’ve got two shows to build up some more stuff for the show, so I imagine we’ll hear some things from all the major players for the live show too. Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Aloha!