[TV Quick Recap] NXT – 1/16/2013

NXT Recap

On this week’s edition of NXT Adrian Neville makes his very anticipated debut, Big E Langston gets into it with an old foe, Trent Barreta likely wrestles his last WWE match, and in the main event Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel take on a most odd combination of Damien Sandow and WWE U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro.

Click “read more” for a quick recap (results and thoughts) of the show. If you’re looking for something more detailed, check out my coverage over at Lords of Evolution.

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Quick Match Results:

  1. Adrian Neville pinned Sakamoto in 3:26.
  2. Trent Barreta defeated Leo Kruger via reversed decision in 9:21.
  3. *NXT Champion* Big E Langston pinned Camacho in 1:16.
  4. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel defeated *WWE U.S. Champion* Antonio Cesaro & Damien Sandow

*****

A video plays of Big E Langston‘s NXT Championship win last week against Seth Rollins.

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After the usual NXT musical intro we go “live” to the NXT Arena. Tony Dawson and William Regal are on commentary duty this week.

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Match #1: Adrian Neville pinned Sakamoto after a corkscrew splash in 3:26.

  • Match Thoughts: For those of you wondering where Sakamoto has been, there’s your answer: jobbing out to debuting NXT stars. Neville’s impending debut in NXT has been one a lot of independent fans have been anticipating and I’ll say this: if you’re aware of just how damn good he is in the ring this match will probably disappoint you. Neville did showcase his skills at both the aerial and the ground game in very small doses, almost as a teaser (which makes sense, you don’t want to blow your wad in your debut match), and the corkscrew was beautiful, but after watching his wars in DGUSA as well as copious amounts of YouTube highlight reels I couldn’t help but mutter “aw, that’s it?” after the match concluded with a beautiful and almost perfect corkscrew splash. I think casual fans and non-indy fans will be impressed though and since he has the build of a WWE wrestler, as stated last week, I truly expect great things from him. 

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-Commercial Break-

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Kassius Ohno joins Dawson and Regal on commentary for the next match.

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Match #2: Trent Barreta defeated Leo Kruger by reverse decision in 9:21; Kruger had originally won but the ref found out about Kassius Ohno‘s interference and decided to give the match to Barreta instead.

  • Match Thoughts: If this is the match Barreta ends his WWE career with, it’s a worthy one as these two put on a damn fine contest. Barreta had the flashier move set and did a whole lot of selling to make Kruger look like a monster (including still playing to his injured ribs from a few weeks back), while Kruger treated the match as a game of chess as he systematically stalked and tore down Barreta by attacking said ribs. However the match did lose a little bit of its luster due to Ohno chiding Regal on commentary; I mean it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, and the Ohno/Regal feud is the one that needs to be built, but there were moments where I was more concentrated on that than anything else. The reverse decision call by the ref was annoying, Dusty Finishes are one of wrestling’s dumbest tropes, but it set up another staredown between Ohno and Regal and I enjoyed that. I want to see them wrestle. Also goodbye Trent Barreta; you were underappreciated and it’s a damn shame.

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-Commercial Break-

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Ring announcer Byron Saxton introduced new NXT Champion Big E Langston to the ring. Langston welcomed the crowd to the “Era of FIVE!” then started chanting “FIVE!” until the music of Camacho stopped it. Camacho said they had unfinished business; first it was about the money (to get Hunico out of Mexico) but now it was about Langston’s championship. A referee showed up and the match ended up happening.

  • Thoughts: The crowd tried to start a “FIVE!” chant when Langston made his way out originally but he didn’t feed into it and it quickly died. Couple that with last week’s last of “FIVE!” and it’s no surprise that the crowd was cautious when Langston finally brought it back up towards the end of his promo. Camacho coming out was actually a nice callback as well as the two have had constant issues over the past few months (Langston defeating him every single time though). But considering the match ended up being non-title anyway, Camacho saying he wanted to take the NXT Championship from Langston “TONIGHT!” was ultimately a pointless thing to say.

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Match #3: *NXT Champion* Big E Langston pinned Camacho after the Big End in 1:16.

  • Match Thoughts: Now that Langston is champion, I assume his sort-of feud with Camacho is over as he moves on to bigger and better competition. Consider this the blow-off match…or the blow-off squash if you will. It was your typical Langston squash so you either love it or hate it at this point. Or you feel numb.

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Post-Match: Langston teased leaving but gave Camacho two more Big Ends followed by five-counts to get the fans cheering.

  • Thoughts: The NXT crowd was far more receptive to the whole “FIVE!” thing once he engaged in his usual post-match ritual but I’ll be honest: it didn’t have the same fire. Langston has taken the more cartoony aspects out of the whole “FIVE!” craze and effectively has made it far less fun and more…generic. But hey it is what it is and maybe it’s just a hiccup this week. I am intrigued that Langston remains face champ despite being a main-roster heel now though; after Rollins’ sudden gimmick change sent everything into a spiral it seems like the WWE officials learned their lesson. I hope the duality continues, since NXT isn’t on TV in the U.S. and casual fans aren’t really clamoring to check it out anyway. Let us hardcores have fun with this; we won’t get confused, I promise.

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-Commercial Break-

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Jim Ross joins William Regal for main event commentary.

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Main Event: Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel defeated *WWE U.S. Champion* Antonio Cesaro & Damien Sandow when Kidd pinned Sandow after a springboard elbow drop in 8:53.

  • Match Thoughts: A really entertaining match, wrestling-wise and character-wise (Sandow’s constant whining and trash-talking was amazing). Cesaro and Sandow’s partnership was as weird as you’d expect but they worked well-enough for two people who’ve never teamed before. It was nice to see Kidd and Gabriel get a win for once and I got the added benefit of finally seeing what their team finisher is (those springboard combo moves I assume). A good, if somewhat out of the blue, television main event. Too bad it doesn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.

*****

Overall Show Thoughts:

  • From an in-ring standpoint this episode of NXT was of high-quality with two very good matches, a fun squash, and a very anticipated debut that will only disappoint those who’ve seen Neville work on the indy scene. Since this episode was light on storylines but heavy on action, I expect next week’s show to be the polar opposite which I’m fine with. NXT has yet to do anything egregiously wrong in my eyes so they can do whatever they want as far I’m concerned as long as WWE doesn’t pull them off of Hulu Plus.

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