[TV Recap] NXT – 11/14/2012

NXT Recap

This week on NXT, The Ascension continue treading water until their eventual call-up to WWE, Big E Langston responds to the bounty placed on him last week, Bray Wyatt continues being awesome, Roman Reigns exists, and in the main event Jinder Mahal puts his number one contendership on the line against Bo Dallas.

Click “read more” for a full recap of the show plus my own thoughts and observations (which you can skim through if you really want to).

*****

We start the show off backstage with Tony Luftman, who’s standing by with the new #1 contender to the NXT Championship Jinder Mahal. Mahal says becoming the #1 contender was nothing and he embarrassed a nobody to win. Bo Dallas takes offense to this and interrupts the interview. Dallas asks Mahal if he just called him a “nobody”. Dallas says Mahal beat him last week but Mahal won’t give him any respect. Dallas challenges him to the 1 on 1 rematch today. Mahal arrogantly accepts. Dallas then dares Mahal to put his #1 contendership on the line. Mahal asks why he would do something like that. Dallas says that since he’s a nobody he’d be easy to beat. He says Mahal is scared, and Mahal responds and accepts the stipulation.

  • Thoughts: Good hook to open the show but as far as a promo goes it wasn’t anything that would set the world on fire. Mahal is decent on the stick, far more decent than a lot of people will give him credit for, but Dallas has a little ways to go. He seemed a bit awkward.

—–

NXT intro video.

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After the intro video plays we go right into the entrance of The Ascension (Conor O’Brian/Kenneth Cameron), complete with strobe lights and ominous staring. Luftman is joined on commentary by Tom Hannifan who is apparently replacing William Regal this week. They hype the Mahal/Dallas main event for tonight. The Ascension’s opponents, Yoshi Tatsu/Percy Watson, make their way out next.

  • Thoughts: I already miss Regal on commentary, but I love the ridiculous rag tag team of Yoshi Tatsu and Percy Watson showing up out of nowhere. I wonder who’s going to win this one (that was sarcasm).

—–

Match #1: Yoshi Tatsu/Percy Watson Vs. The Ascension (Conor O’Brian/Kenneth Cameron)

Watson and Cameron start off. Watson takes Cameron down with a dropkick. O’Brian gets a blind tag and attacks Watson from behind. Cameron and O’Brian share quick tags as they stomp Watson down in the corner. O’Brian tries to rip Watson’s arm out of his socket, pulling on it as he steps on Watson’s head. Repeated side headlock takedowns from O’Brian. They get to their feet and Watson breaks out of the headlock with a back suplex.

Watson side steps a corner splash and tags Tatsu in. Tatsu unleashes a flurry of offense on the legal Cameron. O’Brian quietly tags in and waits for Tatsu to finish his flurry before attacking him from behind. O’Brian whips Tatsu into the ropes and pancakes Tatsu on the mat. Cameron tags back in and they hit the Eliminator (called “The Fall of Man”) on Tatsu for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: The Ascension (2:54)

  • A short and simple squash match to help build The Ascension. They looked dominant and everything, but I’ve got to ask: what’s the point of NXT tag teams if there are no championships to be fought over in the territory? It’s like they’re just treading water until WWE calls them up (which should be soon, they look pretty ready goofy gimmick be damned). And as an aside, O’Brian took a page out of The Undertaker’s book and got himself a mohawk. It suits him. (C)

—–

Post-Match: While The Ascension celebrate their victory, Hannifan says that Luftman has to go soon to interview Big E Langston and that Jim Ross will be joining him on commentary a little bit early. Cool beans. Luftman says he’s nervous interviewing Langston due to the bounty that Vickie Guerrero placed on him last week.

—–

Layla is backstage putting on makeup, when she’s interrupted by Aksana. Aksana says that Layla’s hair is so bad it makes her looks so good. Layla says she refuses to take grooming advice from Eastern European trash, then says she’ll be giving Aksana a makeover in the ring later tonight.

  • Thoughts: Why doesn’t the WWE want me to take women’s wrestling seriously? Jeeeesus.

—–

-Commercial Break-

—–

Corey Graves makes his way out for the second match of the show to music that does not match the persona he gave off during his vignette last week. His opponent Oliver Gray is already in the ring. Jim Ross is ringside for commentary.

—–

Match #2: Corey Graves Vs. Oliver Gray

Graves snags a wristlock, but Gray flips through and reverses for a wristlock of his own. Graves reverses back, but Gray does a whole lot of spinning and flipping, once again reversing into one of his own. Gray transitions into a hammerlock, and Graves backs him into the corner. Graves connects with a back elbow, then stomps down Gray in the corner. Graves works over Gray’s left knee with a series of elbows and knees. Graves continues to work it over, and Gray rolls him up for a quick 2-count out of nowhere. Graves responds with a series of forearms to the back followed by a knee lift. Graves chokes Gray on the second rope. Graves slams Gray’s left knee into the mat, then follows up with a series of forearms.

Graves wrenches back on Gray’s knee with another leglock, dropping back to increase the pain. Gray kicks Graves away and mounts some offense. Gray goes for a suplex, but can’t lift him up due to his injured knee. Graves grabs the leg and locks on a weird little leglock  grapevine thing to get the tap out (I don’t know the name of it, I’m a sh*tty wrestling nerd).

Winner [via Submission]: Corey Graves (4:12)

  • This is the first time I’ve seen Graves in action and I’m digging the whole “punk greaser” look he’s got going on (with a little “skinhead” thrown in attire-wise). Action-wise this was just another squash match, but a longer form one to put over Graves’ methodical offense. I like the fact that his moveset was concentrated on the left knee of Gray for an actual purpose and it paid off in the end. Still though the match was a bit lackluster due to not much happening and a lack of a competitive match. Interesting look, doesn’t seem too bad in the ring. I wouldn’t hate seeing him more on NXT (or on the main roster for that matter). Happy to see more “alternative”-looking wrestlers popping up in the WWE. (C+)

—–

Big E Langston vignette plays, hyping up his whole “5-count” routine and his dominance in the ring.

—–

Tony Luftman is at the NXT Interview podium, and he brings out Big E Langston to the NXT Arena. The “FIVE!” chant almost immediately starts, and Langston joins in because that’s what WWE superstars do now. Luftman asks him if he’s worried about the bounty placed on him by Vickie Guerrero. Langston says yes he’s worried…worried for anyone dumb enough to try to claim that bounty. Langston says the E in his name stands for “end”, as in the end for anyone who stands against him in the ring. Langston says if you don’t believe him, he’ll you give you a reason…in fact he’ll give you five reasons. Langston starts chanting “FIVE!” but is attacked from behind by Camacho. Camacho immediately books it as Langston gets the angry eyes.

  • Thoughts: Looks like we have a match for next week’s show! Not the best outing vocally from Langston, but I’m still getting a kick out of his whole “five” addiction. It’s a good number; I completely get why he loves it so much. I’ll be interested to see if Camacho puts up an actual fight when they face off; with the whole bounty thing in play it makes sense for Langston to just cap fools every week to make himself look even more dominant until an inevitable “bigger” NXT superstar decides to take Guerrero up on her offer. But maybe they have super big plans for Camacho and he’ll pull out the…okay I’ll shut up now, sorry.

—–

NXT Hype: Dallas/Mahal main event.

—–

-Commercial Break-

—–

Layla makes her way out for the next match all smiles and such, so I guess we’re gonna get some awkward dance-offense in this match (I should really just expect it by now). Her opponent, Aksana, makes her way out next to that saltry porn sax theme that makes me giggle more than it should. Ross brings up her former association with Antonio Cesaro, proving that at least he pays attention to the shows every week.

—–

Match #3: Layla Vs. Aksana

Layla gets a quick roll up attempt but Aksana then takes her down and repeatedly slaps her head. Layla rushes at her and Aksana hides between the ropes to force the ref to keep her away. Aksana kicks her and throws her to the mat. Aksana goes to the apron and seductively crawls across it. Layla takes advantage and hits the baseball slide, sending her to the floor. Aksana angrily gets back in the ring and tries to slap her, but Layla ducks. Layla connects with an arm drag into a pinning attempt, then immediately another roll-up after that one fails.

Aksana reverses an Irish whip but Layla kicks her in the gut. Layla climbs the turnbuckles but Aksana pulls her off and sends her to the mat. Aksana connects with a couple of elbow drops and goes for the pin. 2-count. Aksana chokes Layla on the second rope then catapults her off. Aksana applies a head triangle on Layla to wear her down. Layla breaks out, but Aksana pulls the hair and reapplies the hold. Aksana spins around and slams Layla’s head into the mat repeatedly with the head triangle still applied. Aksana plays to the crowd, then goes for the pin. 2-count.

Aksana continues the offense, and goes for a series of pinfall attempts to no avail. Layla gets a brief offensive flurry, but Aksana drops her with a clothesline to stop that. Aksana sends Layla hurling into the corner, and she falls to the mat due to the velocity. Aksana seductively crawls towards her, then picks her up. Layla slaps her, and connects with a clothesline. Layla kicks her in the gut, then hits her catapulting lateral press for a 2-count. Aksana kicks Layla during a back drop attempt, but Layla comes back with a kick to the head (a Chick Kick I guess) for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Layla (5:22)

  • As far as Divas matches go (and yes they are different from other women’s wrestling matches), this wasn’t half-bad. Aksana’s seductress character is pretty damn good and she plays the role excellently (also I’m a man and I’m easily swayed by sexy crawling I guess). Layla showed off her athleticism and hit some good offense, and I like that her moveset includes trying to pin whenever humanly possible. Roll-ups are a wrestler’s best friend (wrestling-wise and the fruit kind). But the finish to this match left me cold; can we retire The Chick Kick in Divas matches, yet? I know that this isn’t the case  at all but I feel like I see people using that all the time, like Trish Stratus is the only women’s wrestler worth emulating in the WWE’s eyes. All in all a good Divas match, and definitely the best of the week…which sadly isn’t saying much but it is what it is. (C+)

—–

We go to a vignette from earlier today where Bray Wyatt is outside preaching. His follower Luke Harper watches him speak. Wyatt says ever since the beginning of time there have been people spending their lives denouncing his name and that his words meaning nothing. Wyatt says let’s play pretend, that everything he says is true and he’s the monster that “they” think he is. Wyatt says “let’s play that game” and starts laughing maniacally. Wyatt asks how you can stop something, something that wins wars without lifting a finger, something that can never be destroyed. Wyatt then asks those who doubt to come find him. He says he’s the king of this jungle and if you’re looking for his whereabouts, follow the buzzards.

  • Thoughts: So…f*cking…good. I don’t know how anyone can watch a Bray Wyatt promo/vignette and not just immediately want to see this man main event every goddamn show from here to eternity. Excellent maniacal preacher stuff with lots of allusions to the fact he thinks he is truly God. Harper remaining silent and just watching was also great. My only gripe? I don’t exactly know what the purpose was, other than to continue showing how f*cking awesome Bray Wyatt is. Actually you know what? That’s good enough for me.

—–

NXT Hype: Dallas/Mahal main event.

—–

Roman Reigns makes his way out for the next match as Luftman goes ga ga for how impressive he is. Sigh. His opponent Chase Donovan is already in the ring. He’s from Boston so he’s automatically awesome.

—–

Match #4: Chase Donovan Vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns immediately sends Donovan in the corner, then applies a side headlock. He throws Donovan back into the corner and locks on a cravace. Reigns connects with a suplex bodyslam (yes that exists), followed by another one for added oomph. Reigns locks on a nerve hold. Donovan tries to break out, but Reigns stops the offense with a forearm to the back. Donovan side steps a splash and lays into Reigns in the corner with a series of rights. Reigns responds with a headbutt and chop. Reigns hits the ropes and hits a running diving clothesline. Reigns measures Donovan and hits his finisher (back suplex into a side slam) for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Roman Reigns (2:37)

  • It looks like someone saw his last match and realized that working over a body part without having a move pertaining to that body part made no sense. Much better outing this week, but considering it was more of a squash it shouldn’t be too surprising. The commentary still consisted of “OMG REIGNS IS SO BIG AND POWERFUL AND THE NEXT BIG THING YAY!!111” but Ross managed to reign (ha!) Hannifan in a little bit and keep the praise grounded a bit and not off the rails like Luftman was during his debut match. I’m still totally unimpressed by Reigns though. Like completely and totally. (C)

—–

Post-Match: Reigns yells at ring announcer Byron Saxton (man this guy gets around) and tells him to announce him as “The Thoroughbread” Roman Reigns. Saxton does so, but Reigns is unimpressed and makes him do it again with more energy. Saxton complies reluctantly and Reigns is pleased.

  • Thoughts: Okay that was admittedly a nice heel touch. It’s a stupid nickname but still it was a nice touch. And will someone just give Saxton a concrete job to do every week already? I feel like I’ve seen him do every job on the show except wrestle and referee in the past month.

—–

Next on NXT: The Dallas/Mahal main event finally happens.

—–

-Commercial Break-

—–

Jinder Mahal makes his way out to the ring for the main event. He puts his sacred headwear in its corresponding case before entering the ring.

—–

Main Event: Bo Dallas Vs. Jinder Mahal (Mahal’s #1 Contendership is on the line)

After 30 seconds of stalling, they lock up. Mahal backs Dallas in the corner, and shoves him. Dallas shoves back, and the two circle one another. Mahal applies an overhead wristlock, and pulls Dallas’s hair to bring him to his knees. Dallas gets back up and reverses into a side headlock. Mahal tries to send him into the ropes but Dallas keeps the headlock applied and takes him down to the mat. Mahal tries to roll him up for a pinfall, but only gets a 1-count. He tries again; another 1-count.

Mahal rolls out of the headlock takedown, but Dallas takes him down with a drop toehold and reapplies the side headlock. Mahal forces them into the ropes to break the hold. Mahal tries to rush Dallas but gets taken down with an elbow. Mahal hides in the ropes to prevent further damage. Mahal backs off into the corner as the ref keeps Dallas at bay. Mahal kicks Dallas in the gut and connects with a whole lot of forearms and elbows. Mahal hits the ropes, but gets caught with an inverted atomic drop. Dallas follows up with a clothesline and back body-drop. Dallas goes for a dropkick but Mahal blocks it. Mahal goes for the Camel Clutch but Dallas quickly slips out. Dallas sends Mahal into the ropes, and Mahal rolls to the outside to recover as we go to commercial.

-Commercial Break-

The action is back in the ring and Dallas is in control as we come back from break. Dallas sends Mahal into the corner face-first, then does so again to the other three corners. Dallas connects with a suplex and goes for the pin. 2-count. Short-arm elbow smashes from Dallas, followed by a short-arm clothesline. He goes for another pin. 2-count. Dallas continues with a series of elbows in the corner, but Mahal comes charging out with a running knee to the face for a 2-count. Mahal continues with a series of elbow drops followed by a knee drop. Mahal goes for another pin. 2-count.

Mahal locks Dallas in a double arm lock. Mahal transitions into a sitting abdominal stretch. Mahal goes back to the double arm bar. Dallas gets to his feet and flips Mahal over. Mahal kicks him in the face but Dallas rolls him up for a 2-count. Dallas tries again with a backslide for another 2-count. Mahal kicks Dallas in the knee then the head. Mahal slaps Dallas, then catches him with a knee to the midsection. Mahal goes for another pin. 2-count.

Mahal chokes Dallas on the second rope with his legs. Dallas goes to the apron and Mahal knocks him down with a blow to the head. Dallas catches him with a shoulder block then a running kick. Dallas gets back into the ring and drops Mahal with a clothesline and back elbow. Dallas clubs Mahal down with a running back forearm. Dallas connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…kick out. Dallas runs at Mahal, but Mahal side steps and sends him into the turnbuckles. Mahal brings him to the center-ish of the ring and locks on the Camel Clutch. After some resistance, Dallas finally taps.

Winner [via Submission]: Jinder Mahal (12:38)

  • A good television main event but much like the rest of the night, nothing really stood out in the action. I do enjoy Mahal’s pre-3MB gimmick though so it’s nice to still see it on this show. Dallas did showcase some good offense and having him mix it up with someone on the main roster does do a little good for his stature, but he did lose cleanly and decisively so it’s a “you’re not ready yet, ROOKIE” message. (B-)

—–

Post-Match: Mahal kicks Dallas down and goes to reapply the Camel Clutch, but NXT Champion Seth Rollins makes the save. Rollins stares at Mahal as Mahal stands on the entrance ramp. And that concludes this week’s NXT. 

*****

Overall Show Grade: C

  • I found this week’s show to be very “meh” overall. None of the matches were all that exciting and with the exception of Big E Langston, there was no story development to latch onto. Bray Wyatt’s vignette was great though and it was definitely the highlight of the show. This is an immensely skippable episode, however; don’t rush out of your way to see it because you’ll literally have missed nothing (unless you’re a Camacho fan, and I don’t judge if you are).

—–

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