I know, I know, you’re more used to seeing this kind of thing from Jimmy Redman’s Redman Report, talking about how great Raw or Smackdown was. Well in a week where WWE picked it’s game up, I enjoyed this particular episode of NXT so much that I felt compelled to write about it. Strap in folks, I’m gonna try and review a show…
So we’re straight in with a recap of Bo Dallas winning the NXT Title (with the help of an exposed turnbuckle). They’ve taken the strap from the immensely popular Big E Langston, and if you haven’t had chance to check out Big E’s work on NXT yet I implore you to do so. His role as Dolph’s bodyguard isn’t even displaying a fraction of what this guy is capable of, and the reactions he’s getting from the crowd could well mean that Big E is one to watch for the future.
How do I feel about Bo Dallas as NXT champion? That’s coming a little later in the show, so I’ll save it until then. He’s still got a creepy little face though.
Okay, into the show proper and ADRIAN NEVILLE BITCHES!! Listen to that reaction, he is sooooo over with the Full Sail crowd right now, you’ve got to hope that kind of enthusiasm can translate over to the larger crowds on the main show. Also, I LOVE the little thing now about not putting his gumshield in until he gets to the ring. It’s only a little, tiny thing, but it helps convey that Neville is getting into “business mode” and adds a little something to the entrance. This guy is so ready for the main shows. I can’t wait.
Speaking of ready for the main shows, here’s the Wyatt Family. It looks like the hype vignettes on Raw have a LOT of people interested, so drink in these NXT appearances while you can folks. Wyatt, Rowan, & Harper are on to bigger and better things.
This was an awesome set up for the main event. A quick, solid sprint from Neville and Wyatt, The Family gets involved, and BAMN!! Ohno and Graves to the rescue. Damnit, they don’t like each other, but they like the Family even less. I quite like the whole “enemy of my enemy is my friend” deal between guys like Neville, Ohno, and Graves, and they go to work, brawling with The Family. Only one thing can sate this situation…
“HE’S JUST A COMMON MAN…”
Dusty’s here, there’s two 3 man groups in the ring. I think we can all see where this is going. 6 man tag motherlovers!! Now that’s how you make a main event. Wrestling 101 indeed.
Who in the blue hell is Angelo Dawkins? And why is he wearing Jack Swagger’s old ring gear? Hahahahahaha…Black Swagger. Right, that’s his new nickname sorted, oh hell, it’s Sami Zayn!! Or as Brad Maddox (who is also great every time he’s on) mentioned on commentary “That’s Sami with an I, and Zayn with a Z, a Y, and an N. I don’t get that”. Actually, silly name aside I’ve been really impressed with Zayn so far. It looks like they’ve ditched off the hipster gimmick in favour of him just being a generally nice guy. He’s settled into his promos better and I actually quite like his whole “Hi Rene, how are you” schtick backstage. Add that to his debut performances against Curt Hawkins (who needs something to do damnit!) and Cesaro, and Zayn is starting to look like a decent prospect.
Again this was a great little match to highlight Zayn’s ability to fight from underneath and overcome the larger man. It cracks me up just how much it really is El Generico without the mask. It’s like it’s instinctual now to do the arm drag spot and pop up to one knee giving the lucha pose. Wow, this Angelo guy even wrestles like Black Swagger. That is TOTALLY his nickname from now on. And how about the Tornado DDT to finish? Are you watching, Cesaro? Because I was, and it was pretty damn sweet.
Leo Kruger’s coming back?! YES!! I love that crazy South African bast*rd, and this promo slayed me. I’m a sucker for a South African accent anyway, but him saying that “some people call me crippy” had me laughing for days. Awesome!
Is it just me, or is Summer Rae improving? It’s weird, because she has the character stuff, she just couldn’t really wrestle. But saying that was only a couple of months ago, she’s really coming along nicely. Sure it’s still rough and needs a lot of polish, but her ringwork is improving all the time. I’m still expecting Summer Rae to end up as a major heel in the Diva’s division on the main roster. Plus her smack talking in this match was ace, and she responded directly to the crowd, that shows she’s starting to make stuff up on the fly. I don’t know who’s training her, but they’re doing a good job.
Oh Xavier Woods, your Troy McClure intro to your promo did indeed make me smile. “The roof is not my son…but I will raise it” has to be the line of the night. And then holy hell, he’s got a Power Rangers communicator wrist watch. I nerdgasmed. A lot. I’ve been following Xavier Woods since waaaay back in his Consequences Creed days in TNA (before the puke incident), and I’m pretty hyped about seeing him finally getting a chance on TV again.
Oh, and if you don’t love his entrance music, you have no soul.
Check it out, it’s Vader’s kid! I kinda feel like Jake Carter’s been getting a bum deal recently. He got overshadowed in the tag team with Corey Graves, and somehow seems to have ended up at the fodder end of the ladder. I hope he can do something about it, because I think he’s got talent and something to offer. But then his power level isn’t over 9000 like Woods, so maybe that’s where he’s going wrong? Xavier Woods needs to get new names for his finishers though. The Honor Roll and Lost in the Woods? That’s the only thing letting the “90’s kid” gimmick down right now.
Oooh, a somewhat serious Sami Zayn promo. I liked it. I liked it a lot, and I’ll happily sit and watch Cesaro/Zayn 3 after the brilliant last two matches.
Right, from a serious Sami Zayn to the new redneck tag team and their (for some reason?) French manager. 2nd prize for line of the night goes to “Jarif par et quoi” “I know!”. Awesome. 3rd prize for Line of the Night goes to Dusty here for pronouncing Sylvester LaFour as “Silvest Ehluwfeeerrrrrrr”, legit cracked me up. I can’t put my finger on it, but the absurdity of a redneck guy who slugs barbecue sauce from the bottle just amuses me immensely. And even though I know their finisher of a spinebuster/axehandle combo should be dumb, I really, really like it. Everything about this team is telling me I shouldn’t like them, but I do? It’s weird.
So here we go. Bo frakkin’ Dallas. Your NXT Champion. Is it just me, or did anyone else get the sense that they’re making Bo a delusional “babyface” champion? Like, he’s gonna think everyone is fully behind him and one of his “Bo-lievers” no matter how booed he gets. If they do that, then I am fully behind it 100% and it’s probably the best thing they could do with him right now. Oh, and Bo Does Disneyland? Genius. Don’t stop Bo-lieving.
MAIN EVENT TIME!! This was great, right from the get go with little touches like Graves using Harper’s beard to maintain control, Adrian Neville literally running out of the Wyatt Family’s corner to avoid getting caught, the slingshot counter into the double footstomp. Just so much good stuff happening all the way throughout this, the way the Wyatt Family worked together to isolate Graves, then when he finally gets to make the tag, they just continue the assault on Ohno. And good grief, the finish. It’s an excellent way to put Adrian Neville’s Red Arrow over as an “all or nothing” move, since if it hits it’s a win, but if it misses…well, that’s exactly how Bray Wyatt got the pin here. Just a great finish to a great match, on a great show, in a great week for WWE in general.
Roll on next week!