Ola, NXTians! Hope you’re all surviving this crazy week in WWE – rest assured that the good ship NXT continues on unruffled as we head into yet another week of action. And what action! The Ascension! Corey Graves! CJ Parker! The Miz! Bayley! Tyler Breeze! All that, plus some other people, in…
The NXT Review: 29/01/2014 – The One With The Job Centre
Jan 30, 2014 - 8:57:45 AM
The NXT Review: 29/01/2014 – The One With The Job Centre
The Ascension vs Some Guys
You know, if they did a Ministry of Darkness right now, The Ascension would be The Brood. No questions asked. I’d never really thought about that, but it would make sense. They’re the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions right now at 119 days, although they’ve not really done anything as champions, outside of their feud with HuniMacho which…I mean, for half of it the belts weren’t even on the line. Otherwise they’ve just dismantled teams of odd guys, which is exactly what they’re faced with here – I mean, their opponents don’t even get a name, let alone a ring introduction. Viktor’s rocking some more chest hair, though. Character development, I guess.
Konnor nails the Mike Delorean, or something to that effect, and the crowd are chanting ‘yah’ for every blow which, I mean, I have no idea. Presumably it comes from the noise both he and Viktor make when striking Viktor comes in, chops and uppercuts his opponent a bit then drops him with an arm trap back body drop. More ‘yah’-ing – yah is the new yes! – as Viktor repeats it to give him a two count. The Scalpel of The Ascension locks in an arm stretch, but Delorean uses a jaw breaker to get out of it and Icarino comes in – right into a hard clothesline. The Bludgeon gets tagged in and he and Viktor combine just to wipe out their opponent, first with a body block and then the Fall of Man for the win.
So much ‘yah’-ing. I do wish The Ascension would have the belts on the line, even in matches like this, because non-title matches where the champions are winning anyway might as well be title matches, in my book. The Ascension are this odd entity for me, I always think I like them more than I do. It’s like…you know those early Undertaker matches, where he was all ‘I will smite thee down with the thunders of the heavens and thou shall suffer in the fires of hell’ or some shit, and you were like ‘God this is the coolest!’, but then his matches were, by and large, hot garbage until the mid-00s – that’s where I feel The Ascension operate. Lots of cool drama, but kind of crappy ring stuff.
Backstage, Sylvester LeFort is basically in a Job Centre looking for a new client – Cal Bishop approaches him, and he’s the NCAA All-American wrestler Clayton Jack who you may have heard a few things about when he signed to WWE this time last here. His ears are super messed up, so LeFort says no because he don’t do ugly ears. Apparently. I feel like they’re trying to make a bigger deal out of LeFort looking for a new client than there actually is to be made – he could just turn up with a new guy next week and I’d sort of accept it. If it’s going somewhere interesting, cool, but at the moment it feels a bit superfluous.
Apparently, Adrian Neville is ‘finally’ getting a shot at Bo Dallas and he gets to pick the stipulation when they have their contract signing tonight, as well as the time and place, according to Alex Riley. Except he’s had two shots already and the time and place was all decided by Triple H and the beat the clock challenge last week. Hmm. The thing is, this is all out of order, so I kind of forgive him for that screw up. Oh hey, look who it is!
Camacho vs Corey Graves
Corey Graves is back! That one lady in the crowd who always goes crazy for Corey Graves goes crazy! Graves is dressed as badly as he ever has been, in a sleeveless (bloody sleeveless) hoodie and a stupid necklace. Still, with the apparent loss of CM Punk, all they need to do is slick his hair back and they’ve got an instant replacement. No one will ever know! Oh, Corey is still pissed at Adrian Neville and won’t forgive him or whatever – he’s got a different message for NXT and WWE, which is stay…tuned. Hey, Camacho! Camacho is going to wrestle in converse tonight, so we’re basically one step away from him being called up and forming a clique with AJ Lee.
Corey dives right into a side headlock that Camacho can’t break. Still there….still there…Camacho nearly power out but it’s still there…there we go, he breaks it by throwing Graves to the ropes and knocking him down with a shoulder block. Graves bails on the ring, but when Camacho goes to follow he dragon screws him through the ropes. 13th Step and…yup, that’s your lot.
So, Graves as the first challenger for Neville after he wins the belt, then? That was short and not very sweet, to be honest.
Hey, Antonio Cesaro is backstage with Devin Taylor, who he calls ‘Debra’. When corrected, he clearly doesn’t give a crap. What a heel. He denied Sami Zayn’s request last week, but he doesn’t need to qualify why he said no. In fact, the only reason people are still talking about their two out of three falls match is because he was in it. Toni doesn’t need to explain himself anymore and just walks off.
The LeFort Job Centre is still rolling, and here’s Sawyer Fulton, who…actually, he’s not here for an audition and appears to be complete hell bent on holding Sylvester’s hand. Er…I think we’re going with the ‘gay wrestler’ gimmick, guys. Not sure I need to explain just why this could end up being the worst thing WWE ever do, given the ham fisted way they’ve handled storyline homosexuality before.
Ssha Banks vs Bayley
Bayley is accompanied by her new best friend Natalya and gives a headband to a girl in the crowd who loses her shit. In fairness, I would too. Hey, Renee Young on commentary again! She completely ignores Alex Riley as she stretches to shake hands with William Regal because nobody likes A-Ry. Nobody. Not one person. Not even Renee Young, the second nicest person on NXT. Oh God, I genuinely think the BFFs entrance is now my favourite thing – Sasha, Summer and Charlotte all strut exactly the same way on their way to the ring. They remind me of that bunch of girls at school who all dressed exactly the same, which I guess is what they’re going for. They do the hand slap/finger click thing, and God does Bayley want some of Charlotte because that’s the story here.
In fact, when the bell rings Bayley charges for her former friend twice, the second time winding up getting beaten down by the slaps of doom from Banks. Meanwhile, because Renee is the best, she says the following: ‘I don’t know if any of you have ever had a girlfriend, Tom you probably haven’t’. Oh Renee, I want to hug you so much sometimes. Sasha flings Bayley across the ring and then runs on her back – no, for real, it’s hard to explain – and the crowd start to get behind the former Davina Rose as she stays on the back foot. Banks locks in in a straightjacket hold and starts to stretch Bayley, but the dinosaur lover manages to bridge it back into a pinning situation. Unfortunately, The Boss doesn’t release the hold, and she keeps Bayley down – until she fires up with the help of the crowd! She whips Banks out of the crowd and takes her down with double axehandles to the chest, and a flying forearm in the corner. Spinning back elbow! The Doctor of Huganomics goes up top but Charlotte distracts her – Natalya takes out the Nature Girl! But Summer takes out Natalya! Bayley is concerned for her friend and tries to check up on her, but Banks gets a sneaky roll up…kick out! Hugplex! Bayley wins! Bayley wins!
Bayley immediately runs out to help her friend, and she wants some of the BFFs – this feud is bloody hot, man, I don’t know about you but I’m really quite invested in it. The match was a little short, but it did what it needed to, I guess, and just built on the tension between the BFFs and Bayley and Natalya. Those two are going to need a third buddy soon, and there isn’t really anyone else available except Emma or Paige. My guess is the former, especially with the reports that the NXT Women’s Champion had some time off recently – I’ll be interested to see if that comes to pass in the next couple of weeks.
Colin Cassady vs Tyler Breeze
How you doin’? Big Cass is in the house, spelling out S-A-W-F-T SAAAAAAAAWFT! You know, the only thing I want is Enzo at ringside in his wheelchair. That’s it. Breeze is Breeze – never change, Tyler, never change. Someone has a flashing Tyler Breeze sign in the crowd, as he hits the ring in his Peruvian Chinchilla coat. Oh, even better – there’s a ‘Tyler Breeze is an angel’ sign in the crowd. He is! He totally is!
Cass towers over Breeze and gets the crowd chanting SAWFT with him, but nothing can stop them from chanting for his opponent – the crowd does seem a bit more split than it normally is for him, though, mainly because the Realest Guys In The Room are so over. They finally stop messing around and get into some action – but only after Breeze checks himself in his phone for the fourth time since entering the arena. In fact, they still haven’t got going – Cass now leaves the ring and takes a selfie with a crowd members phone. Man, these guys are super entertaining against each other, and I could watch them skirt having a match for hours if it’s this good. Breeze is fired up now, though, and starts to pound on his opponent with boots in the corner. The ref holds him back, and that allows Cass to hit two big right hands to the face. Not the face! Anything but the face! Those two fists get him a one count, and another one and then a forearm across the back, followed up by a body slam and a running elbow gets him a second one count. A big boot finally gets him a two count – and then we hear the dulcet tones of Aiden English! He’s on the big screen and…oh my God, he’s just gone into Enzo’s dressing room! All we can hear are the screams of Amore as the door closes! The distraction is enough for Breeze to nail the beauty shot and take the win!
This just got interesting! The English vs Cass feud just got some added heat, and while Breeze celebrates Cass staggers to the back to look for his buddy in distress. I still don’t feel like we’ve seen that one match from Breeze to really push him over the top – the match he had with Neville went some way towards it, but...I don’t know. I love the gimmick and the character, and I know the guy can wrestle well from his time as Mike Dalton. For some reason, character work seems to be being put over as more important. There was so much to love here, though – the opening bit, with Cass and Breeze fooling around, was absolute gold. Cass is still mighty impressive on his own, and looked it here when hitting big moves on Breeze – I’d quite like to see him have a good run at the title. Sometimes I wonder if NXT needs a ‘midcard’ title, if you like, outside of the tag belts – it would give people like Breeze and Cass something to do around their storylines, instead of just having these constant feuds with other people. On the other hand, I wonder if it would give the show too many titles at one time, so I’m a bit uncertain as to whether it would be a good thing.
Cass is looking for Enzo backstage, and he finds him in their dressing room. English is gone, but ‘his skin looked sticky to the touch, he had this weird look in his eye, his mouth was surrounded with salt, but [he] told him, if he kept talking slick, [he] told him bite his tongue and bleed or [he’d] kick his hind end’. See, Enzo makes no sense most of the time, and yet manages to make perfect sense. Cass points out that he couldn’t do anything in a wheelchair, but if he threatened Amore and wants to play games…well, he ain’t the only one that can play games and we ain’t talking chess. We’re talking Boulderdash (how you doin’?), ring around the rosie (how you doin’?), Connect 4 (how you doin’?), hopscotch (how you doin’?), Connect 4 (how you doin’?)…stop saying ‘how you doin’?’ Enzo! Cass ain’t doin’ well after being cost a W by English cause he’s a chicharoo (I always thought that was Chihuahua?) Who threatens a dude in a wheelchair, asks Enzo? A guy who’s S-A-W-F-T…Cass butts in with an intense sawft. That’s the intensity Enzo was looking for, and he tries to follow Big Cass but the battery in his wheelchair is dead. Colin, come back! Enzo needs you to carry him! Out of interest, who do I have to pay to get Enzo and Cass a show on the WWE Network?
CJ Parker vs The Miz
The newly heel (I guess?) CJ Parker shimmies, shakes and spins his way to the ring and – oh God, I’ve said all there is to say. Alex Riley doesn’t quite lose the content of his bowels on the appearance of The Miz, but I think it’s a close thing. He actually gets a tidy pop – but William Regal says he reminds him of Kermit without the talent and that’s all I can see now. I’m almost disappointed I’ve already committed to the Donald Duck comparison now. Hey, if The Miz is Kermit does that make Alex Riley Miss Piggy?
Parker wiggles his knees and Miz offers up his chin for a slap but dodges and gives Parker one of his own. Some chops to the chest from Donald now because, y’know, Ric Flair, and Parker turns it round to deliver some of his own. Quackers reverses and Irish whip with a leapfroig in the corner and hits a clothesline and another chop, before mounting Parker in the corner. CJ goes for an inverted atomic drop but misses – how the hell do you miss an inverted atomic drop? Jesus Parker, get worse why don’t you – and Miz nails a dropkick to send Parker outside. Using the ropes, Donald hits another and then rolls Parker up on his re-entry to the ring for a two count, before ducking a heel kick and trying for a figure four! Parker powers out and goes for the heel kick again and catches the Quackmeister General square on the nose. Double knees in the corner garner a two count, and things get messy as he tries for a chinlock and then legit botches a pinfall attempt. Miz fires out and hits a clothesline, followed by the Reality Check and a kick to the thigh in the corner. Dragon screw from Miz, and he drops some elbows across the leg for good measure, but he gets caught with a back elbow attempting the Awesome clothesline. Crossbody off the top rope from Pamela Anderson, but Miz rolls through and ties in the figure four! CJ Parker taps out.
Well, that was…interesting. It wasn’t half bad, looking at it subjectively, just very quick and kind of lacking any real heat or anything, in my opinion. I didn’t mind it, necessarily, but it wasn’t up to the standard of match you tend to see from the guest appearances on NXT at all. At least Miz worked the leg a bit before going for the figure four, though, that’s something – hell, there was more limb targeting in this than in the Corey Graves match from earlier on in the show.
Oh, Sami Zayn is backstage wearing a ‘Free Syria’ t-shirt. He says Cesaro can say no, but he’s not going to let it go and he wants him to say no face to face in the ring next week. Didn’t Cesaro already say no to your face last week, Sami? That’s kind of illogical.
Sylvester LeFort is still Desperately Seeking Susan or Chasing Amy or whatever backstage, but a look of delight comes over his face when someone enters the room – it’s Mason Ryan! The Welsh Wonder shakes his hand, but says he’ll only work for Sylvester LeFort if he can beat him in a match next week. How delightful. Isn’t there another French person in NXT now? Why hasn’t LeFort just gone to him and been all ‘yo, let’s do a La Resistance for 2014’ or something?
Contrct Signing - Adrian Neville vs Bo Dallas
Hey, Renee Young is overseeing the contract signing! She welcomes Adrian Neville at first, who today as not done up the top button on his polo shirt which is a) bright pink and b) a little bit wet. Bo Dallas is introduced, but he doesn’t appear initially, allowing Young to do some terrific acting before The Man That Gravity Forgot calls out his rival – it doesn’t matter if he comes out or not, because he’s got his match and signs the contract. And that’s it…oh no, here comes the NXT Champion and his band of Oompa Loompas!
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Why do you think that Bo did not come?
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
He is not afraid, he’s the champion
Bo won’t lose the belt, not to this Geordie lad,
The very thought of it makes him mad,
He’ll sign the paper, just wait and see,
He’ll do it on his terms, casually.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo,
Take Renee Young and do have a seat,
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-dee,
Bo will now a jobber defeat.
Bo’s going to demonstrate just why he’s NXT Champion by beating…Danny Burch! Brits represent! Right, so, I guess we’ve got a match now.
The two lock up, with Dallas getting the best of the early hold, forcing Burch back to the corner and delivering a knee to the mid-section. Short-arm beck elbows as the man in white (I kind of love that Dallas wears white ring gear, the ultimate baby face colour, if you like) stares down his future opponent, and a short-arm clothesline takes the Cockney down and Bo just attacks the face of his opponent. Burch gets a flurry of uppercuts and right hands in, but an Irish whip gets reversed and Dallas connects with a back elbow as a ‘boring’ chant goes up. A double underhook DDT gives Bo the win, so it looks like he’s got yet another finisher – but at least it looks better than that horrible hip toss thing he used to do.
Bo throws the title to one side and calls for Neville to bring the contract into the ring – the Geordie offers it up for a signature and Bo scribbles his name…then assaults Neville from behind! A forearm across the back of the head knocks the little man down and there’s even a ‘thank you Bo’ chant as he leaves the ring…but Neville soars between the ropes and takes Dallas out! The two brawl on the ramp as the show fades to black. Well, that was actually kind of excellent – I’m normally against contract signings because they end in this way but the brawl didn’t feel too contrived to me and I sort of like ending things with action still going on as it leaves a sense of intrigue for the next show. I’m certainly invested in the angle – I just feel it should be Sami Zayn, and not Adrian Neville, getting this shot. Sami’s only had one tilt at the title and Neville is now going on to his third, which…I don’t know, I just think they’ve dampened Sami’s pop a little by swapping him and Neville out. Ideally, the two would have both had a chance at Dallas, I’m not sure whether I like the idea of a rematch of Zayn and Cesaro as they’ll have to really be going some to beat their first effort. Whilst that match pulls in the more casual viewer who heard what they did first time round for the live show, Zayn challenging for the title would keep the more regular viewers going in my opinion.
NXT MVP: Renee Young!
Completely ignoring Alex Riley? A withering put down of Tom Phillips? Terrific acting in the contract signing? Check on all three accounts. I really think Renee is the best interviewer in WWE right now, and if she can continue to be as funny and charming on commentary as she normally is maybe, just maybe, she could run with that full-time as well. Hell, I’d rather listen to her than most other commentators.
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
18/12/2013 – Leo Kruger
11/12/2013 – Bayley
You know, I kind of enjoyed this show. In my opinion, the matches were a little too short, with the character work in Breeze vs Big Cass probably standing as a highlight, as well as Bayley vs Sasha Banks, but in truth I didn’t dislike any of the matches with the exception of Graves vs Camacho which was just too short to really mean anything. Still, I guess it established Corey after his lay-off and lines him up for something with Adrian Neville. The Realest Guys In The Room backstage stuff was, as ever, golden – yeah, it wasn’t a bad week, really.
So, what’s on the card for next week? We’ve got Mason Ryan vs Sylvester LeFort confirmed, as well as an in ring face-off between Antonio Cesaro and Sami Zayn. I think we’ll also see Alexander Rusev, fresh off of his main roster debut, do battle with Sin Cara and…I don’t know, maybe Emma? Perhaps more from the Realest Guys In The Room? Hopefully both of those two! Until next week, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! Goodbye!