Date: August 22, 2012
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, William Regal
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
So I had the whole intro written about how great it was that the title tournament ended tonight and how great it was to see something like that finally happen on NXT. Then I started watching the show and for no apparent reason, the match is next week. My guess is that they wanted it to be at the start of a new taping or something like that, but it's still disappointing. Let's get to it.
Derrick Bateman vs. Antonio Cesaro
Cesaro pounds him into the corner almost immediately but Bateman comes back with a dropkick for one. Regal talks about how strong Bateman is as he pounds away. Cesaro comes back with a hot shot to take over and it's off to the cravate and chinlock. Bateman comes back with a belly to back suplex and some clotheslines. He hooks what can only be called a reverse DDT (Bateman hooked him for a DDT and then fell forward to drive Cesaro's back into the mat. Why not just use a regular DDT?) but a charge misses in the corner. Gutwrench suplex sets up the Neutralizer for the pin at 4:01.
Rating: C-. Nothing special here but it's good to see that Bateman isn't a featured guy anymore. He's competent in the ring and the people in Florida seem to like him somewhat, but the guy just isn't that interesting. I think he's supposed to be an everyman character which is ok but that's about as far as he's taken it.
Some WWE stars talk about what it means to be the first champion. This is probably the only time you'll ever see Cena talk about NXT.
Tamina Snuka vs. Sofia Cortez
Tamina grabs an armdrag to start but Cortez comes back with some kicks to the ribs. Tamina hits a forearm to the chest and Sofia gives her a look that says “HOW DARE YOU” before wrapping Tamina up with a bodyscissors. Snuka comes with some chops and a superkick for two. The Superfly Splash gets the pin at 2:52. Sofia showed a lot of fire here, which means nothing because she was released about ten days ago.
Raquel Diaz jumps Tamina post match and draws the lipstick L on Tamina's head.
Kassius Ohno vs. Jake Carter
I believe Carter is Vader's son. Feeling out process for the first minute with no one being able to get an advantage. Carter takes him into the corner and pounds away but Ohno suckers him in and takes over. Ohno puts on a Cravate but misses a big boot. Carter hits a side slam for two but walks into the rolling elbow for the pin at 3:55. According to Regal it's called the Dream Killer.
Rating: D+. I know Ohno was an indy legend, but his NXT stuff hasn't really grabbed me. He just kind of does the same strikes over and over until hitting the spinning forearm/elbow for the pin. There's no story to his matches for the most part and they're just not that good. I've only seen a bit of his indy stuff and it was way better than his stuff here.
Ohno beats on Carter some more until Richie Steamboat makes the save.
We get the same package from Raw and Summerslam, showing us what WWE did in LA for Summerslam week.
More people talk about the Gold Rush Tournament and what it means to be champion.
Michael McGillicutty/Johnny Curtis vs. Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel
Michael and Kidd start us off as Regal talks about Walt Disney spinning in his refrigerator. Wouldn't that be a freezer? Kidd takes him down by the arm and tags in Gabriel to speed things up. Kidd comes back in with a slingshot rollup for two as McGillicutty can't get anything going so far. A double kick to the rib keeps McGillicutty in trouble. Curtis comes in for a distraction and McGillicutty takes Justin's head off with a clothesline.
We take a break and come back with Curtis hitting a forearm to Gabriel to knock him down. Back to McGillicutty who doesn't stay in long at all. Curtis comes in and hits a suplex before it's off to the chinlock. Gabriel tries to speed it up but walks into an AA (that'll likely get Curtis in trouble) from Curtis to put him down again. Johnny tries a twisting moonsault but crashes and both guys are down.
There's the hot tag to Kidd and a lukewarm one to McGillicutty as well. Kidd fires off some kicks to the head for two but McGillicutty and Curtis hit a side slam/slingshot “leg” (more like a hip) drop combo for two. Back to Curtis who can't hit a superplex but Kidd slips off the top trying a moonsault press. McGillicutty is knocked to the floor and a Hart Attack with a Blockbuster from Gabriel gets the pin on Curtis at 7:42 shown of 11:12.
Rating: C+. Good fast paced tag match here but it got a bit sloppy at times. These guys are like the Cruiserweights in WCW: you can throw them out there in almost any combination and the match is going to be entertaining. Kidd and McGillicutty are ready for regular TV but for some reason they rarely make it onto those shows.
Kassius Ohno accepts a challenge from Richie Steamboat, presumably for next week.
It's time for the showdown to end the show. Byron Saxton calls out Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal for a face to face chat. Rollins says that his dream is to be in WWE and that's all that matters to him. He's on the brink of achieving that dream and he's not leaving here without becoming the champion. Mahal speaks Punjab and says that Rollins is a failure. The fight is on and Rollins dives onto Mahal on the floor and stands tall in the ring to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. The point of this show was to build up the title match next week and they did that very well. They made the NXT Title match feel like a big deal which is pretty impressive given that it's the minor league championship. Having a showdown like that was a nice touch and while I'm not wild on either guy, I want to see them fight now. The rest of the matches were just ok, but they weren't the point of the show tonight.
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