Home > WWE > NXT Review – 12/02/14

NXT Review – 12/02/14

NXTReview120214

NXT 12/02/14 Review
Ok so I decided to finally give NXT a go, and thought why not review it while I’m at it? I want to dip my toes back into writing about wrestling so this seems like a good place to start and I won’t commit to anything long term in regards to NXT, let’s just see where it goes.

My only experience with NXT thus far(in its current format as an actual wrestling show, the first “season” of NXT notwithstanding) has been watching a few matches here and there, particularly something Adrian Neville has been involved in. I have a vested interest in his outcome that’s too convoluted to go into, but it’s there nonetheless.

NXT intro video starts the show off, as I presume it always does, cool little package, I really don’t like Bo Dallas’ face.

Natalya, Bayley & Emma Vs. Summer Rae, Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox w/ Charlotte

A lot of women I don’t know, but Nattie is in this so it must turn out good. We’re introduced to the MASSIVE announce team for the show: William Regal, Tom Phillips, Alex Reilly(so that’s where he went) and Renee Young. I’m really liking Renee’s work, she seems to be a female announcer who actually likes the product, I just got done listening to the first 30 Years of WrestleMania podcast she hosted with Shawn Michaels. It was a great listen and I highly recommend it, she did well. Regal gives her a flirty smile to which she responded with(in relation to Valentine’s Day coming up): “I cho-cho-choose you.” Simpsons references will always get you over, Renee, keep it up. Also, that’s the biggest announce table I’ve ever seen.

Ok that’s almost a full paragraph on the funking announce team, moving on. Emma(along with Natalya) was doing her little chicken dance thing that she did on RAW recently. I assume this is her thing. Bit odd from what I’ve seen. Summer Rae, Charlotte and Sasha Banks appear to be in a stable together called BFFs. Works for me, and in two minutes of watching this show as a newcomer, the announcers caught me up to speed immediately, good job.

Match starts out with the face team taking control, Natalya playing the role of the veteran that Summer Rae(presumably the leader of the BFFs by her body language) is shit scared of. There’s some nice stuff early on, but a little sketchy from the newer girls. Alicia Fox overshoots a monkey flip from Bayley, looked like an awkward landing. Back from a break and Summer Rae is in control, working over Bayley and looking confident as the assertive, aggressive heel.

Beautiful bridging northern lights suplex from Fox on Bayley. Nattie in the corner works the crowd into Bayley’s favour, getting them into the match more. Summer Rae back in does an interesting yoga like stretch with her leg over Bayley’s neck on the middle rope. Works well as a heelish showboating move that fits her character, but then she did a hair flick and horrible face just like Maryse used to do. Cringe. I guess you’ve gotta put yourself out there and stand out but I didn’t like it.

Bayley finally gets the hot tag the crowd were waiting for, but the pop wasn’t as big as it felt like it was building towards. Emma takes it and knocks down Alicia Fox, hitting Summer Rae and Sasha Banks off the apron along the way. Fox fights back with a big boot to Emma and finds her partners leaving the rindside area. Emma puts the “Emma Lock” onto Alicia Fox, a really impressive Muta Lock that she was literally jumping up and down with whilst bridging. Fox taps out.

(*1/2) – It was ok, some decent stuff and nice heel work from Summer Rae mainly. Emma really impressed with her Emma Lock, it looked truly devastating, unlike the submission finish of the No. 1 guy in the WWE right now. The BBFs celebrated their betrayal on stage, with bubbles now floating around the stage which complimented their gimmick and music perfectly.

Promo for the live show NXT Arrival on the 27th February on the WWE Network. Triple H: “You’re now looking at the future of the WWE.” I’ve seen the card online and it is fantastic, cannot wait to see it. They mentioned earlier that Emma would be challenging the NXT Divas champion Paige on that show. Seems like Emma is the one who will break out next judging from her RAW time and title match on Arrival. We’ll see if she can capitalise on it. She didn’t blow me away but her finish is fantastic so that’s a good start(for me starting to watch her work.)

Elimination Chamber promo. Looking forward to it.

Aiden English comes out demanding a spotlight and begins to sing on his way to the ring. He does it confidently but it’s not really working right now. It could catch on though, and would stand out so who knows.

Aiden English Vs. Colin Cassady

Regal is hilarious on commentary favouring English: “I just want to protect him, he’s a treasure, truly.” Cassady is huge. And tanned. Unlike English, who could probably blend right in with Sheamus, and is on the shorter side, but he’s very toned too. My guess is Cassady will have more of a shot making it due to his size. Cassady chants the spelling of something I didn’t catch which the crowd lovingly went along with every step of the way, and it was just for a club to the back of the neck that didn’t even bring English to his knees. He picks up English for a move, shouting something and looking to the crowd. I don’t know if it’s his intention but he seems far too preoccupied with the audience and not with the match. English takes advantage with cobra clutch hooked slam which looked cool and again, the commentary team putting it over as “The Director’s Cut.” Cool name for a cool finish. English picks up the win.

(*) – Very short, didn’t really buy English winning with three moves against a guy bigger than him, but then again I wasn’t really buying the match generally. Post match English blows Cassady a theatrical kiss and turns his back, skuffing his feet towards him. I saw more promise in English throughout. He takes a bow at the top of the stage and a few flowers are thrown towards him, I liked that.

Sami Zayn Calls Out Antonio Cesaro

Sami Zayn comes down to the ring in street clothes, to a huge “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!” chant. He talks about how he has watched his 2/3 Falls match with Antonio Cesaro over and over again, losing sleep over it, obsessing over every detail, trying to find the moment where he dropped the ball. He was very convincing and it sounded from the heart, even if he seemed a little bit nervous or not super confident at least. I don’t know much about his El Generico days but I know it was very much an in gimmick kind of deal, so being stripped back to the role of just a normal guy must be an interesting transition.

Cesaro comes down in a suit and tells Zayn he was never a moment, breath or second away from winning that match, it was always Cesaro’s to win. He’s being slow, taking his time, and really getting the point across. I can’t remember the last time I heard Cesaro speak on TV. He says that Zayn will have a great career…in NXT. That Zayn can beat anyone he wants, but he can’t beat him because he is better than Zayn. He advises him to get over it, and likens his whole career, and life, to the match they had: “close, but no cigar.”

Zayn fires back with a lot more confidence, perhaps he’s more comfortable working off of someone. He puts Cesaro over huge, which is great. If Zayn goes over Cesaro at NXT Arrival, it’ll be against someone he acknowledges as a great competitor. This needs to happen more often. Zayn mentions how Cesaro is a true workhorse, and wrestles on RAW, SmackDown!, house shows and still comes down to NXT. The crowd applauds in genuine appreciation and Cesaro nods knowingly, ha. Yet, Zayn wonders why if Cesaro will do all that, why won’t he face him again? They go back and forth, Zayn getting the crowd to chant “one more time!” and in a quieter moment one woman tells out: “give him another match!” It sounded like an off screen line from a prepubescent Simpsons character.

Cesaro says that if he accepts the challenge to one final match, that there be no excuses when he beats Zayn again. Zayn gives Cesaro his word and the crowd chants “pinky promise!” haha. I don’t know if this is a thing, but Zayn smirked and offered his little finger out to Cesaro, who pondered it, pointing out his pinky too. The crowd went nuts and started chanting “Yes!” and “ooooooh” as they were about to lock fingers. Cesaro added: “my answer…is still, no!” He kicked Zayn in the knee(which they talked about also, apparently Zayn is having knee problems, whether worked or not I don’t know), dropping him down to the mat, and left the ring. That was excellent.

As Cesaro walks back up the ramp, Bow Down to the King plays and Triple H comes out. I wonder if big H is a face in NXT as a rule, but he yo-yos around between face and heel on TV so much who knows. He says that not only would Antonio Cesaro Vs. Sami Zayn be “best for business”, he’d like to see it as well. He said he doesn’t know if Zayn’s knee is truly at 100% but he has it on good authority it will be around February 27th. So the match will take place at NXT Arrival. Regal quips: “it’s not gonna matter one iota, Antonio Cesaro is the ultimate competitor”

Overall that was a fantastic segment, both guys were great on the mic, I might’ve misconstrued Zayn as being nervous when he started the thing off. He may have been trying to convey his desperation over the situation. Cesaro was especially good too. Can’t wait for the match, it was a great way to make it seem very important to Zayn that he beat Cesaro, and very important to Cesaro that he doesn’t lose face by losing to Zayn. Great booking!

Another Elimination Chamber promo, putting over the match and also highlighting the rules. Oh shit, a brief clip of CM **** someone’s gonna lose their job over that! I kid. Loved the graphic of the Chamber ominiously moving away from the screen with the WrestleMania XXX logo looming behind it.

Tye Dillinger Vs. CJ Parker

Tye gets the non entrance and generic music, whilst “The Moonchild” CJ Parker gets the full works, putting over a psychedelic hippy gimmick. I dunno, seems a bit dated to me. Whatever. Just makes me think of Mike Awesome in WCW. After a minute of a little back and forth, CJ picks Tye up for an airplane spin and hits him with an awesome looking palm thrust to the face. Apparently it’s called “The Third Eye.”

(*) – Was a nothing match, cool finish.

Post match, CJ asks why the fans don’t love him, for all he does for the world, reusing, recycling etc. He goes on a lengthy tirade about the fans not loving him when he loves them and mother Earth. They don’t love the world or themselves, so from now on, he doesn’t love them either. It sounds lame when I summarise it like that, but he did a good job. The crowd weren’t interested though.

Another of what felt like five title cards throughout the show plugging The Wyatt Family showing up tonight.

A well put together promo for the new DVD/Blu-ray release Shawn Michaels: Mr. WrestleMania. The set boasts all(except Mania XX) of Shawn’s WrestleMania matches, with little segments of him talking about them. He’s my favourite wrestler of all time, but even then I wouldn’t buy it right away. Maybe when it’s cheap. The only appeal are the segments, which probably aren’t very long anyway. I already own every WrestleMania.

The Wyatts finally make their appearance. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate their entrance. Why you ask? You think the music is cool? The lights out/lantern combination makes for an atmospheric entrance? I agree with both of those often touted sentiments, but it’s the intro that kills it. Why would Bray light his lantern on a pre-recorded video, just to blow it out, and then enter on stage live with a lantern that’s now alight! It makes no sense and it’s such a small niggle but man I hate it.

Luke Harper & Eric Rowan Vs. Jason Jordan & ???

I spent about ten minutes trying to find out who the two guys were in the ring ready to face the Wyatts. One of them was Jason Jordan, the other isn’t even on the NXT website. No formal announcement of who they were, the other other was briefly mentioned as Marcus something. He was the one who took the brunt of the brief offence in the match, losing to a big lariat from Luke Harper in around two minutes.

(*) – Yet another nothing match, a shame, really. Bray got in the ring and hit Sister Abigail on the unknown guy.

To close the show Bray took the mic and said the Wyatts will never forget where they came from, and that they will always own NXT. Bit of a pop for that, and that was it. Didn’t do much for me, but then again I’ve not seen their history in NXT. I am a big fan of Bray though.

3/10 – Overall, a weak show, with a six Divas tag match getting more time than probably the rest of the card combined. I know NXT tapes multiple shows at the same time, so each show is booked accordingly. The promo between Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro was undoubtedly the highlight. Great story building and making a match mean something. There wasn’t anything especially bad about the rest of the card, they were just all very short 1-2 minute matches, with an ok Divas match getting a lot of time in comparison. Still better than most Divas action on RAW though, probably.

I enjoyed writing this but in doing so realised how long it used to take me to write a RAW review in the detail I like to. This more than doubled the 42 minute run time of the actual show. I might do it again, and more than likely will definitely write a review for NXT Arrival, which is shaping up very nicely.

Thanks for reading.

Luke

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