[TV Quick Recap] NXT – 1/23/2013
The tournament to crown the first-ever NXT Tag Team Champions begins this week, as The Wyatt Family is in action as well as the new team of Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey. NXT Champion Big E Langston is also in action as well as Sasha Banks and Corey Graves, plus an appearance by a certain legendary “Showstoppah”.
Click “read more” for quick match results and a brief rundown of the show. For more detailed coverage check out my report over at Lords of Evolution.
Quick Match Results:
- The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) defeated Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson to advance in the NXT Tag Team Championship Tournament (4:54).
- Sasha Banks pinned Alicia Fox (3:24).
- Corey Graves defeated Jake Carter by submission (3:09).
- Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey defeated 3MB (Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre) to advance in the NXT Tag Team Championship Tournament (9:13).
- *NXT Champion* Big E Langston pinned Axl Keegan in a non-title match (0:54).
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels came out unexpectedly to open the show and announced that the tournament to crown the first NXT Tag Team Champions would begin this week. He said that the tag titles are a stepping stone to future greatness and whomever won them would be on the right path.
- Thoughts: Cool as hell to see Michaels show up on NXT and make the big announcement of new championships in the territory. He wouldn’t be back on the show at all afterwards but hey at least there was a “Showstoppah” sighting and on the best show WWE puts out each week to boot. And as excited as I am for there to be NXT Tag Team Titles now, they’ve needed another championship for a long time, I have to say that the belts they’re using look ugly as hell. They resemble the crappy ones we all used to buy at Toys R Us back in the 90’s. Oof.
Tony Dawson and William Regal are on commentary. Tom Phillips continues to be a ghost.
Match #1: The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) (w/ Bray Wyatt) defeated Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson when Harper pinned Watson after a lariat in 4:54. The Wyatt Family advances to the semi-finals of the NXT Tag Team Championship Tournament.
- Match Thoughts: My favorite NXT tag team against my favorite NXT jobber tag team; couldn’t ask for a better way to start this week’s show. This was the slaughter you probably expected, and with good reason, and the outcome was a foregone conclusion there wasn’t much drama. Harper’s lariat is brutal though and fun to watch. Glad they’re moving on. Here’s hoping they get the belts and then Bray gets the NXT Championship when he’s better. Wyatt Family takeover is a license to print money. My money.
NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes caught up with Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman backstage, and offered them a match in the tournament next week against Leo Kruger and Kassius Ohno. Corey Graves interrupted to complain to Rhodes about being screwed out of the tournament as well as his NXT Championship match, but Riley got into his face and mocked him. After he and Bateman left, Rhodes told Graves that he wasn’t in the tournament because no one wanted to team with him and signed a match between him and Jake Carter for tonight.
- Thoughts: Alex Riley is alive! ALEX RILEY IS ALIVE.
Match #2: Sasha Banks pinned Alicia Fox after reversing a bodyslam into a roll-up in 3:24.
- Match Thoughts: Banks has been impressive in defeat in her last two appearances and it was cool to see her get the win tonight. Although it was totally an “underdog” sort of victory, it showcased smarts in Banks that she knew enough to reverse a bodyslam into a pin. Awesome. Unfortunately this match wasn’t really all that great and the worst of Banks’ three appearances but a win is a win and the commentary between Dawson and Regal was entertaining enough to forgive that. Regal’s bewilderment at Dawson asking him what a reverse chinlock was made me smile.
A hype video played about Paige, concluding with “the less you know about me…the beh’uh” because she’s British and awesome.
New NXT correspondent Renee Young made her debut by interviewing Aksana backstage. Aksana said that Paige ripped off her style and trashed it up, and acted shocked at the adulation Paige received in 2012. Aksana said that 2013 was her year and next week when they square off, she would prove that she’s “in” while Paige is “out”.
- Thoughts: A good promo from Aksana (insert adoring pigheaded praise for her sexy accent here); she’s definitely very good at being the heel. Unfortunately she hasn’t been able to back it up in the ring lately. Maybe next week’s match will change that.
A Conor O’Brian vignette played to hype his newfound singles career. He’s still in full Ascension mode, music and everything.
Match #3: Corey Graves defeated Jake Carter by submission with the Thirteenth Step in 3:09.
- Match Thoughts: The last time Carter was on-screen he was a heel and Graves also appears to be a heel so the crowd didn’t exactly know who to cheer for in this one leading to the Arena being very…quiet. The match itself was also pretty blah, but Graves looked good and his Thirteenth Step finisher is amazing. I want him and Bronson to wrestle each other so bad.
Post-Match: Corey Graves cut a promo saying that since he wasn’t allowed in the tag team tournament he was declaring “anarchy” in NXT. He then fired a shot at Alex Riley, saying that if they ever meet again Riley would do what his other opponents have done: “stay down”.
- Thoughts: A Corey Graves/Alex Riley feud? Sure why the hell not. I loves me some randomness. Plus since Riley is jock-looking and Graves is more punk-looking they can play off of that.
Bo Dallas caught up with Michael McGillicutty in the locker room and asked him why he helped against Primo and Epico over the past few weeks. McGillicutty said what he was doing wasn’t working and with a new year came a new attitude. McGillicutty then said they were teaming against Primo and Epico next week in the tournament and while they were good, he and Dallas are better. They then shook hands.
- Thoughts: Such a simple way to turn someone face, and I dig it. Sometimes people just have a change of heart; no need for anything convoluted here. They’ll probably end up as Wyatt Family cannon fodder though in the semi-finals of this tournament. Don’t tell me if that actually happens, SPOILERS ARE THE DEVIL.
Match #3: Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey defeated 3MB (Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre) when Neville pinned Slater after the Corkscrew Shooting Star Press in 9:13. Neville & Grey advance in the NXT Tag Team Title Tournament.
- Match Thoughts: The match of the show by far. Neville is just so damn fun to watch and the fact he’s paired with a much less-showy partner makes him stick out even more in a positive way. Their whole pairing is dubious (British guys stick together I guess) but I’m all for it if it means Neville gets to be on the show more. Grey, for his part, was good in the ring as well but he’s doomed to be in the shadow of Neville as time goes on. Neville better hope there’s not a barber shop window nearby for when Grey decides he’s had enough.
Main Event: *NXT Champion* Big E Langston pinned Axl Keegan in a non-title match after the Big Ending in 0:54.
- Match Thoughts: Come on, you didn’t see this coming? Dawson and Regal did make mention of Langston’s association with AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler though which means my dream of “heel on the main roster, hero face in developmental” is coming true. YES.
Post-Match: Big E Langston hoisted Axl Keegan up for a post-match Big Ending/5-count but was stopped mid-move when the lights went blue and Conor O’Brian appeared on the NXT-Tron. O’Brian said that in two weeks he would show Langston what he thought of his “five-count”. After O’Brian disappeared and the lights went back to normal Langston continued with the Big Ending and five-count followed by another one immediately after. Langston celebrated on the entrance stage as the show faded out.
- Thoughts: So I guess Conor O’Brian is getting first shot at Langston’s NXT Championship. An interesting, if left-field, choice and I don’t expect him to win but it’ll be nice to see him actually provide a challenge for the new champion. But still…how random is this? In a good way.
Overall Show Thoughts:
- The in-ring action was so-so, but this was still a really good edition of NXT that furthered storylines and introduced new characters to the mix (or spins on old characters at least). I’m excited for the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to play out and I’m intrigued by O’Brian being Langston’s first challenger. A lot of solid building for next week’s show this week and a definite episode worth watching.