[TV Recap] NXT – 10/31/2012

NXT Recap

This week on NXT, Antonio Cesaro defends the U.S. Title against Tyson Kidd plus Roman Reigns makes his NXT debut.

Click “read more” for a full recap of the show.

After the NXT intro video plays we go right into the Samoan war entrance of The UsosTony Luftman welcomes the home audience. William Regal joins him on commentary as usual. Their opponents, Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis, make their way out next. Curtis seems more preoccupied with getting super sensual as he makes his way to the ring much to the chagrin of his tag team partner.

Match #1: The Usos (Jimmy Uso/Jey Uso) Vs. Michael McGillicutty/Johnny Curtis

Jey and McGillicutty start the match off. McGillicutty tries to slam Jey into the turnbuckle, but he is unfazed because of his hard head. Jey follows it up with a chop and McGillicutty tags out to Curtis. Curtis once again does a sensual stripper dance, enraging his partner. The Usos attack anyway and deliver a double elbow drop. Quick tag from Jey back to Jimmy. Jimmy rolls Curtis up, but McGillicutty gets the blind tag and attacks him. McGillicutty yells at Curtis not to mess around and hits Jimmy with a dropkick.

Curtis tags back in and they hit an inverted atomic drop/clothesline combo. Curtis goes for the pin. 2-count. Jimmy fights back but Curtis strikes him and chokes him on the bottom rope. McGillicutty tags back in and works Jey over in the corner. McGillicutty sends Jimmy into the corner full force, then once again jaws at his partner asking him if he wants to dance or beat people up. However this gives Jimmy time to recover and McGillicutty misses a splash.

Jey gets the hot tag and lays into McGillicutty, ending with a Bubba Bomb. Jey then hits the running butt splash followed by a Samoan drop. He tags in Jimmy, who goes to the top and hits the flying splash for the 1…2…3! Total Headshrinkers, yo.

Winners [via Pinfall]: The Usos (4:18)

  • An okay match with typical Usos offense but I was more entertained by McGillicutty playing the straight man to Curtis’ flamboyant dancing. I like this team; too bad they’re going to probably break up and feud. Also wasn’t McGillicutty contending for the NXT Championship just a couple of weeks ago? This seemed like a step down.  (C)

The Usos’ post-match celebration is cut short by the music and NXT-Tron of The Ascension. The Usos turn around and see Conor O’Brian and Kenneth Cameron staring at them from the rafters of the NXT Arena.

  • Thoughts: There is no way The Ascension is going to play on Raw or Smackdown without some major tweaking. It’s goofy even for the WWE. Here though…it’s pretty awesome in a cheesy way.

Briley Pierce goes to interview Trent Barreta. He asks him about his win over Kassius Ohno last week, but Ohno shows up and shoos Pierce out of there. Ohno calls Barreta’s win last week an absolute fluke, but Barreta argues that it wasn’t. Ohno says maybe they should do it again without Richie Steamboat there this time around, and Barreta agrees to the match for next week. Barreta says it’ll end the same way, with his knee hitting Ohno’s dumb beard. Barreta bids “Kass-e-us” adieu and exits, as Ohno corrects him on his pronunciation.

  • Thoughts: Barreta/Ohno II? Sign me up. Nice exchange between the two that helped showcase Barreta’s personality and Ohno’s stubborn intellectual seriousness. The running joke that no one can say Kassius’ name correctly could prove to get old soon, however, so I hope they don’t continually go back to it.

NXT Hype: Roman Reigns debuts tonight!

NXT Hype: Antonio Cesaro defends the U.S. Title against Tyson Kidd in the main event.

*Commercial Break*

Xavier Woods makes his way out for the second match of the show. He comes out to a funky song and dances his way to the ring because he’s black and this is professional wrestling. His opponent tonight is Leo Kruger, being creepy as usual. Luftman says Woods is the latest trophy Kruger has his sights on.

  • Thoughts: Yay Consequences Creed! I was hoping to finally see him in action. Too bad his odds don’t look that great.

Match #2: Xavier Woods Vs. Leo Kruger

Kruger goes for the legs but Woods side steps and slaps on a side headlock. Kruger tries to roll out but Woods hangs on. Woods wrenches and Kruger twitches. They get to their feet and Kruger reverses it with a backbreaker. Kruger hits himself and rips at his hair. Kruger follows up with a serious of forearms and axehandles to the back of Woods. Kruger rips at Woods’ face until the ref finally forces him off.

Snap suplex by Kruger followed by a pinning attempt. 2-count. Kruger locks on a side bearhug to wear Woods down. Woods tries to punch his way out but Kruger increases the pressure and they both go to their knees. They get back to their feet and Kruger takes him down with a belly to belly suplex. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Kruger reapplies the side bearhug. Woods breaks out with a jawbreaker and starts laying into Kruger with a series of rights. Woods gets a full head of steam and connects with a forearm.

Woods goes to the corner and connects with a flip into a clothesline and goes to the top rope. Kruger sidesteps the attempted Missile dropkick and Kruger hits his finisher (the neckbreaker/faceplant move) for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Leo Kruger (4:01)

  • A far more competitive match than I was expecting to be honest but still a four minute Kruger showcase. Regal helped add depth to the character by talking about Kruger’s life growing up in South Africa and putting over the whole “big game hunter” gimmick. Woods had some impressive moves in his own right, that front flip into a clothesline is a thing of beauty, but that happy go lucky gimmick is going to get him nowhere. An entertaining match overall. (B-)

NXT Wrestler Hype Video: Big E Langston. Emphasis on his finisher plus his adherence to using a five count.

Well speak of the devil, Byron Saxton is at the NXT entrance stage with the man himself. Saxton leads Langston by bringing up his insistence on using a five count. Langston says five is a glorious number; he has five fingers on each hand, five toes on each foot, there’s the high five, the low five…

Langston’s mark out over the number five is interrupted out of nowhere by Vickie Guerrero of all people. Guerrero briefly introduces herself and says she’s here to recruit some men for her stable. She says to Langston that they could make each other very happy then fixes her hair while giggling. Langston says he thinks he has what she needs. He claps his hands in her face, which causes the weighlifting chalk to cloud up into her face. She shrieks at him then stalks away. Langston plays to the crowd a little bit.

  • Thoughts: There is really no way to say this without sounding like an asshole so I’m just going to put it out there: I did not expect Langston to be such an eloquent speaker. The man puts David Otunga to shame in the “muscular guy with a brain” category. Entertaining little segment, and I found Langston’s little mark out about the number five to be very amusing. His interaction with Guerrero was also pretty funny, but again only something would come across well on the smaller NXT stage. And given her current role on Raw, the fact that she was on the show “looking for new members for her stable” just feels really awkward (plus not true since she’s never really had a stable). But back to the man himself; not only does Langston have the look of a superstar, he has the ability and the charisma. I can’t wait until he shows up on the major league shows.

NXT Hype: Cesaro/Kidd tonight!

*Commercial Break*

Jinder Mahal Wants His NXT Championship Rematch

Jinder Mahal is introduced to the NXT Arena and as he makes his way to the ring, Luftman reminds everyone about how close he was to beating Seth Rollins to become the first NXT Champion awhile back. Regal calls him the “pride of India”. Mahal grabs a microphone . He says he’s the modern day Maharaja, but he’s missing his crown jewel: the NXT Championship. Mahal says being a champion is his birthright and it’s also his right to get a rematch against Rollins. Mahal demands that NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes come out and properly present him his rematch.

Instead of Rhodes out comes Justin Gabriel. Gabriel tells Mahal to get to the back of the line because there are guys who deserve a shot more than him. Gabriel says he’s one of those guys, and Mahal brings up the fact that he was eliminated in the first round. Gabriel asks the NXT crowd if they want to see Rollins/Mahal II or Rollins/Gabriel and the crowd is way more excited about the latter.

This brings out Drew McIntyre. McIntyre says it’s reality check time and says there’s only one person who holds an actual victory over Rollins (three guesses on who it is!). McIntyre says because of that he deserves the rematch. And now out comes Bo Dallas to interrupt. Dallas says all of them have had a shot and it’s his turn.

All four of them argue until “Common Man” plays, bringing out NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes in the flesh. Rhodes says NXT doesn’t give them anything, the wrestlers have to earn their chances. Rhodes has an idea for next week: Mahal Vs. Gabriel Vs. Dallas Vs. McIntyre in a fatal four way match for the #1 Contendership! “Common Man” plays as Rhodes starts dancing on the entrance stage. Awesome.

  • When in doubt, have Dusty Rhodes come out and dance. In all seriousness though that was a good segment between these four (if you ignore the fact that Mahal and McIntyre’s characters are now radically different…). Some of the talking was a little bit choppy, and the four men could not ad-lib worth a damn, but it sets up a nice main event for next week’s show and a match that I think is going to be pretty excellent. My money’s on Mahal winning it though. I don’t know why.

NXT Hype: Roman Reigns makes his debut next!

  • Thoughts: Will his big brother Luther be in his corner? Get it? Get it? I’M SO FUNNY.

*Commercial Break*

CJ Parker makes his way out to the ring to be cannon fodder. He’s from Joliet, Illinois which is awesome (my grandmother lived nearby in Minooka so I always smile when I hear that city mentioned). Luftman and Regal assess his chances, and Regal says that it would be big if he could defeat his debuting opponent tonight (fat chance). Roman Reigns makes his way out to the NXT Arena for the first time. Luftman and Regal say that Reigns has the “it” factor necessary to make it in the WWE. What about the other guys on the roster?

Match #3: CJ Parker Vs. Roman Reigns

Parker gets an early side headlock but Reigns rolls him off then knocks him back to the mat with a shoulder block. Reigns continues the offense with a chop followed by a powerful clothesline. Parker pushes him and Reigns responds with an uppercut. Reigns continues working on Parker’s left arm. Parker fights out of a hammerlock but Reigns ducks a spin kick and hits him with an elbow. Reigns goes for the pin. 2-count.

Reigns repeatedly hammers Parker’s left arm and locks him in an armbar. Parker fights out with a series of forearms, but Reigns kicks him and unleashes a series of forearms to quickly stop the momentum. Reigns goes for a suplex, but Parker reverses it into a pinfall attempt for a 2-count. Parker fights back and hits a double knee smash in the corner. However this is Reigns’ night and he quickly regains the advantage with a running forearm. Reigns hits Parker with a back suplex jackhammer for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Roman Reigns (3:39)

  • A somewhat impressive debut, but not worthy of the verbal blowjob Regal and Luftman were giving him on commentary. I’m serious guys it was over the top; they would not stop talking about how he’s the future, how he has “it”, how he’s going to be the next big thing, yadda yadda…methinks someone high up in the WWE corporate structure handed down a “Make Roman Reigns Look Like God” mandate to the NXT guys in Florida. Ridiculous. As for the match itself…I mean it was alright but it really wasn’t anything special. Reigns targeted Parker’s left arm the whole time and then finished him with a move that didn’t require him working on the left arm the entire time.  He definitely does have the look but compared to the others on the NXT roster he’s lacking in key areas. But maybe I just need to see him in action more. Either way unlike Luftman’s proclamation I will probably not remember the day Roman Reigns debuted. (C+)

NXT Hype: The U.S. Championship main event is next!

*Commercial Break*

Next Week on NXT: Mahal/McIntyre/Gabriel/Dallas in a fatal four way #1 contenders match.

Tyson Kidd makes his way to the ring for the main event as Jim Ross joins Regal on commentary for the main event. WWE U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro makes his way out next. Regal compares Cesaro to old Carnival strongmen strength-wise.

Main Event: Antonio Cesaro (c) Vs. Tyson Kidd for the WWE United States Championship

We get some chain wrestling to start the match, with Kidd countering the moves Cesaro has to offer. Kidd locks on a hammerlock and Cesaro gets to the ropes. Cesaro doesn’t break clean and locks on a front chancery. Cesaro powers Kidd to the mat with a Greco Roman knuckle lock. Kidd bridges up to avoid getting pinned. Cesaro slams his weight on him to knock him to the mat. 1…2…Kidd bridges up. Kidd then springs out and rolls Cesaro up for a quick 2-count. Kidd transitions quickly into a leglock and Cesaro gets to the ropes to break the hold. Cesaro takes a moment to regroup then heads back into the ring.

Cesaro kicks Kidd in the gut and follows it up with a forearm across the face. Cesaro misses a splash in the corner and Kidd rolls him up for a 2. Kidd and Cesaro trade roll-ups for 2-counts. Kidd dropkicks Cesaro and goes for another pin. 2-count. Arm drag takedown by Kidd into armbar as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

After a “Do Not Try This at Home” ad, we go back to the match where Cesaro has taken control. Cesaro applies a side bearhug to wear Kidd down. Kidd elbows out and they trade rights. Kidd gets the better of Cesaro but Cesaro catches him with a headbutt to the abdomen. He goes for the Neutralizer but Kidd slips out and goes for the Sunset flip. Cesaro rolls through but Kidd catches him with a dropkick.

Kidd hits a series of kicks and Cesaro sends him to the apron. Kidd launches over and rolls Cesaro up for another 2-count. Kidd continues his agile offense and connects with a hurricanrana takeover for another 2-count. Kidd launches himself over the ropes and connects with a legdrop on Cesaro who’s laying on the bottom rope. Cesaro falls to the outside and Kidd hits a running kick on the apron. Kidd rolls him back in and hits a springboard elbow for the 1…2…KICK OUT.

Kidd grabs Cesaro by the legs, but Cesaro kicks him off. He sends Kidd into the ropes and hits the Swiss Death (elevated uppercut). He follows it up with the Neutralizer for the 1…2…3!

Winner and STILL United States Champion [via Pinfall]: Antonio Cesaro (8:18)

  • Holy sh*t, what a match. The first half was dominated by old fashioned chain wrestling, beautifully done by both Kidd and Cesaro, and it continued on with a series of excellent nearfalls and fast-paced action. Goddamn. I’ve seen these two go at it a lot over the past few months, but their NXT encounter might be the best one of them all. Search this match out. Seriously. Goddamn. (A-)

Cesaro raises the U.S. Championship in the air in celebration of his win as Ross hypes next week’s fatal four way main event. We fade to logo, ending this week’s episode.

Overall Show Grade: B+

  • A very entertaining episode of NXT with some good action and a flat out amazing main event (my only complaint: it didn’t go longer). Reigns underimpressed, at least in my opinion, but outside of that I enjoyed everything on this show from McGillicutty lambasting his partner to Big E Langston scaring Vickie away with his magic weightlifter chalk hands. Add in a Dusty Rhodes appearance and you’ve got a recipe for a tremendous one hour of wrestling entertainment. The only thing NXT is missing is additional feuds and storylines, but given the caliber of talent on a weekly basis I’m willing to forgive them for it.

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