31st Aug2013

WWE NXT Review (29.08.13)

by Chris Cummings

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Welcome to the first wrestling show review I’ll have written here on Nerdly.

NXT is the development system for WWE and is often spoken of as the best wrestling show out there right now, with the deep and excellent development roster that WWE has right now.

The show opens up with Corey Graves talking to Rick Victor from The Ascension. The conversation becomes heated and Graves is attacked by Victor and his tag-team partner Conor O’Brian.

First match of the night is “The Moonchild” CJ Parker in his new hippy gimmick taking on the Zoolander inspired Tyler Breeze. “The Model” Rick Martel has cause for a lawsuit if Breeze debuts his own perfume. Breeze needs to add some new facial expressions to his repertoire. He is solid in the ring, being trained by fellow Canadian Lance Storm but he needs to really “find” this character, it feels very one dimensional right now. Parker starts the match with the feared wrestling hold of … “tickling”. The NXT crowd are a fun crowd, regularly inventing silly chants and songs, much like the old ECW fan base used to in the Philadelphia bingo hall, though not as loud or passionate. Breeze stops during an offensive flurry to take a “selfie” on his cell phone. It’s an original concept, if cheesy. The match ends pretty quickly when Tyler Breeze clocks Parker with his cell phone. The announcers call it resourceful, I call it daft, surely being hit with a cell phone isn’t THAT painful. A silly match merely there to display these two new characters on television.

We come back from break with a women’s’ match. This division has been one of the best things about the development system recently, there are some truly talented female workers right now. Emma, the popular Aussie dance-nerd comes out to face Summer Rae. Emma’s dorkiness and clumsy entrance is over with the crowd and would translate well to the main roster in my opinion, it’s new, fresh and funny and her dance moves could take off like “Fandangoing” didn’t. Summer Rae is getting better in the ring over time, it’s a good thing that she is still in developmental while still appearing on the main shows as Fandango’s dance partner. The match starts with the women rolling around the ring, cat-fight style. Not much in terms of pure wrestling, of which Emma is quite adept, being another trainee of Lance Storm and one of the best in ring performers in the WWE right now. There are some messy moments, mostly due to Summer’s lack of experience, but it’s nothing too obvious. Emma uses a tarantula submission hold on the ropes, ala Tajiri, which looks nice and adds some uniqueness to her move set. Emma scores the submission victory with a beautifully applied Muta Lock, better than most men on the main roster have done. Something tells me John Cena could learn a thing or two from Emma’s submission holds.

We get a comedy segment with Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, Scott Dawson and Sylvester Lefort backstage. These characters are fun and should do well on TV, their reactions at NXT are pretty loud.

Scott Dawson comes out with his, erm, manager, Sylvester Lefort. Dawson looks like a cross between Trevor Murdoch and Jamie Noble and wrestles like it too. William Regals’ comparisons of Dawson and Arn Anderson are something I don’t see, but if it helps the guy get over then whatever. Enzo is out next with Cassady and man do they get a great reaction from the crowd. Enzo is comfortable and talented on the stick and his “SAWFT” line is over already. The match is decent with plenty of solid exchanges. The chants for Enzo Amore make it feel like the guy is going to get pushed up the NXT roster pretty quickly. Alexander Rusev does a run in and attacks Cassady at ringside and Dawson picks up the victory on a distracted Enzo with a version of The Angle Slam. Not a bad little match from two young talented guys. It would appear Rusev has joined up with Dawson and Lefort now.

The super talented former El Generico, Sami Zayn, is out next to a good reaction. He looks like a star and should be on the main roster in no time. He has a short in-ring interview with Renee Young about his matches with Antonio Cesaro as the crowd chants for “one more match”. Their two-out-of-three-falls match on NXT recently has been touted as one of the best television matches of the year, some say THE best. Zayn ends the interview by saying that he wants to be the next NXT champion. Bo Dallas comes out in a suit, looking like a beige Twilight werewolf and holding the NXT title. He cuts a heel promo on Zayn as the crowd boo the hell out of him and chants “No More Bo”. Bo Dallas’s new condescending cowardly character suits him well and is a lot better than the bland babyface he was previously. The promo has some funny dialogue and kicks off a new feud that will hopefully result in Zayn holding the NXT Championship. Zeb “Dutch Mantell” Coulter comes out with his gigantic moustache and cuts a promo, calling Sami Zayn an illegal immigrant. It’s a tired promo that we’ve listened to on television for months, but if it results in more Cesaro/Zayn matches then I’m all for it. Jack Swagger attacks Sami in the ring, much to the dismay of the fans in attendance. He nails Zayn with a powerbomb and leaves to the sound of crickets. Fun segment that shows that management are happy with Sami’s work so far.

The final match of this week’s show is Adrian “PAC” Neville against one half of The Ascension, Conor O’Brian. I don’t see “it” when it comes to O’Brian. He seems stiff and the gimmick feels dated, like something that would have been around in the late 90’s. O’Brian is a big guy though, so I imagine he will see the main roster eventually, whether it’s in this tag team or as a solo act. Neville hasn’t been afforded the opportunity to show what he is truly capable of in NXT yet, let’s hope he gets that chance eventually. Neville reminds me a lot of Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington as far as his stocky build and his mat based wrestling goes. We get to see some fantastic high flying from Neville and some power moves from O’Brian who, while I don’t find him too interesting, is pretty agile for his size. O’Brian gets a near fall with a flapjack counter slam on Neville but loses the match soon afterwards after eating a 450 splash from Neville, a move I have yet to see him hit anything but perfectly. Rick Victor hits the ring afterwards and attacks Neville, continuing the Ascension/Neville-Graves feud. Graves, attacked earlier and now in bandages, hits the ring to help his partner but gets laid out too. This ends this week’s show.

Show MVP: Enzo Amore

Show Dud: Jack Swagger

Best Match: O’Brian/Neville

Best Crowd Sign:MAYBE IF WE CHEER FOR BO, HE’LL GO AWAY”

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