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NXT - July 25, 2012

Date: July 25, 2012
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: William Regal, Byron Saxton

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're back with the sixth week of NXT and it barely feels that long at all. We've got some stories coming together and tonight it's Cesaro vs. Riley which should be a decent match. It really is remarkable how much better this show is with just some minor adjustments to it, like giving us stories and matches consisting of more than about ten people. Let's get to it.

The new intro for WWE programming is shorter than the old one. It says WWE: Then, Now, Forever. I'm not sure I like it better than the old one but it's fine.

Bo Dallas/Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis/Michael McGillicutty

Regal says Michael and Johnny could be one of the best tag teams ever. I don't often say this, but I think Regal may be wrong. Also, why is WWE so obsessed with having Bateman vs. Curtis? Apparently Cena says that Bateman is the strongest pound for pound guy in the company. That's not something I would have guessed. Fast paced start with Bateman/Dallas clearing the ring but Dallas gets caught on the floor.

Back inside and McGillicutty hooks a chinlock on Dallas but it doesn't last long. Dallas grabs a sunset flip but Curtis had gotten a blind tag and breaks it up. Dallas escapes a hold from Curtis and there's the tag to Bateman to no reaction. A flapjack puts Curtis down and a flip neckbreaker gets two. McGillicutty cheap shots Bateman, allowing Curtis to hit a Falcon's Arrow for the pin at 4:06.

Rating: C. For a quick tag match which didn't mean much of anything, this wasn't bad at all. They were moving very fast here and even though the matchup that is being pushed here in the form of Bateman vs. Curtis is played out, the addition of two extra people helped a lot. McGillicutty could be something awesome, but his name is crippling him.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Alex Riley

JR has jumped in on commentary. Riley gets his usual good reaction, and since Cena isn't here to be annoyed because of something we never would know about if not for dirt sheets, Riley can actually have a match. Cesaro takes him down with amateur stuff to start but Riley speeds things up and hits a dropkick for two. Cesaro hot shots him and Riley is in trouble again. The crowd got very quiet all of a sudden.

Regal gets very excited about an abdominal stretch but Riley counters into a rollup for two. Antonio muscles him down and hits a big boot in the corner for two. A delayed gutwrench suplex gets two. Back to the abdominal stretch but Cesaro hooks his leg over Riley's head on top of it. It looks great but Riley counters in about 10 seconds. Riley pounds away with right hands and some clotheslines. A spinebuster puts Cesaro down but Aksana pops up on the apron. Cesaro hits a kind of spear/side slam and the Gotch Style Neutralizer (Regal called it that) gets the pin at 5:12. It's a falling forward cradle piledriver.

Rating: C-. This was an extended squash and in that regard it worked well. If the recent reports about Riley are true, that's another name on the list of guys that have a bunch of potential who are held down because of some stupid thing that happened backstage that only a handful of people think means anything. Cesaro looks good but for some reason he can't get on TV at all. I'm sure it's because he “doesn't know how to work” or something like that.

Kassius Onoo says that he brings danger to the table because he can fly, he can use holds and he can hit you. He closes it out with this: “My name is Kassius. I hurt people.” I like that.

Drew McIntyre, who faces Seth Rollins tonight, says tonight the talking about Rollins ends.

Natalya vs. Sofia Cortez

Natalya quickly takes her to the mat but gets caught in a headscissors. They get back to their feet but Cortez armdrags her down again. Nattie comes back with a discus lariat and spanks Cortez a bit. Natalya hooks a suplex and a cool looking pinning combination for two. O'Connor Roll gets two for Natayla and Cortez kicks her out of the ring on the kickout. Natalya is fine but sits on the floor for the countout at 3:10. She shouted at the referee to count because she wasn't getting back in.

Rating: C+. I know I bash the Divas a lot, but this was a decent little match. They were moving out there and they never looked like they were trying to follow a list of moves out there. What I mean by that is it looked natural out there, which is a big flaw in most Divas matches today. Good stuff here and I don't remember the last time I said that about the Divas.

Natalya runs back into the ring and beats Cortez down, putting her in the Sharpshooter.

Video on Raw 1000. That really was a fun show.

The Ascension vs. Dante Dash/Garrett Dylan

Dash and O'Brien start but O'Brien charges through him and blasts Dylasn off the apron. Kameron comes in and Ascension drops rapid fire elbows on Dash. Down goes Dylan off the apron again and the Downcast (jawbreaker out of a flapjack) gets the pin on Dash at 1:46.

Big E. Langston is still coming and he debuts next week.

Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

I miss the full Broken Dreams entrance. That thing was awesome. Rollins speeds things up to start and dropkicks Drew down. Another dropkick puts McIntyre on the floor and a dive takes Drew down again. Back with a double clothesline putting both guys down. Rollins nips up and hits an enziguri to take Drew down. They head to the corner but Rollins' charge hits the middle buckle. The advantage doesn't last long as Rollins rolls Drew up for two and clotheslines him down for the same. A Phoenix Splash (moonsault into a 450) misses and Drew kicks Seth's head off. Futureshock gets the clean pin at 5:30 shown of 9:00.

Rating: C-. This was basically a squash with a surprise ending. Rollins looked good here with him flying all over the place and hitting almost everything he tried. The ending is a bit questionable but it gives McIntyre a bit of credibility when he loses on this show more often. That's probably the right move and the match wasn't awful or anything.

Overall Rating: B-. That seems to be the consistent grade for this show. There were some good matches here and at the end we had the promise of something major being announced next week. I have a feeling I know what that is and that'll make things a lot more interesting around here. The main event wasn't much but it did its job well enough. Another good show here.

Michael McGillicutty/Johnny Curtis b. Derrick Bateman/Bo Dallas – Falcon's Arrow to Bateman
Antonio Cesaro b. Alex Riley – Gotch Style Neutralizer
Sofia Cortez b. Natalya via countout
The Ascension b. Dante Dash/Garrett Dylan – Downcash to Dash
Drew McIntyre b. Seth Rollins – Futureshock

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews


  1. Cesaro is on TV this week thankfully.  I haven't read any reports on what officials think of him but considering he did get a video package a few weeks ago and hasn't lost a match yet that's a good sign.

  2. What happened with Riley and Cena?

  3. A report came out yesterday that said that Riley wasn't getting TV time and had his push cut off because Cena was ribbing him and Riley freaked out on him, so Riley's push was cut off as a result.

  4. Here's the thing about that if true; Yeah you could argue it's bullshit but then again it shows something about Riley's character if he freaks out at a normal rib.  I mean we know Cena isn't a jerk so how bad could it really have been?

  5. Maybe so but it seems to be another example of punishing people for stupid stuff.  Riley has a look, has decent matches and constantly gets a good reaction from the crowd.  As starved as WWE is for new names and talent right now, holding him back because of something like that, which based on the time frame that his push stopped dead in would have happened months ago, seems ridiculous.

  6. Cesaro's music was better for a week (similar to Regal's music) but they changed it back to the awful one.

    Also, didn't the Ascension use Total Elimination to finish this week instead of the Downcast?

  7. I like Cesaro a lot, especially his unique moveset, but it's going to take more than pairing him with Aksana to get him over.

    Even something a hokey a loaded skull cap might help; it ties in with the supposed rugby player gimmick and garners basic heel heat. Or how about a killer move that gets banned? In rugby, a 'spear' tackle means a straight red card, so name a move The Spear Tackle (an Emerald Frosion variation perhaps) and set up an injury angle.


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