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NXT - May 22, 2013

Date: May 22, 2013
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tony Dawson, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're a week away from the big NXT battle royal but tonight's main event is Corey Graves vs. Bray Wyatt, as the Wyatt Family is apparently targeting people like Graves and Kassius Ohno for reasons yet to be named. This seems to be another filler episode before we get to next week where things start all over again, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Let's get to it.

Welcome Home.

Curt Hawkins vs. Sami Zayn

Sami is independent mainstay El Generico minus a mask. The fans immediately start chanting OLE which is Generico's trademark chant. Hawkins has short hair now, in case you're not up to date on your Curt Hawkins news. Zayn takes him down with a set of armdrags and some chops in the corner for good measure. Hawkins elbows out of the corner and hits a quick enziguri for two.

Off to an early chinlock by Hawkins but an OLE chant gets Sami back up to his feet. Hawkins misses a forearm in the corner and gets caught in a belly to back suplex for no cover. A dropkick gets two but Hawkins comes back with a very excited slam. For the first time ever, we get a Let's Go Hawkins chant but he can't hook what looked to be a powerbomb. Instead Zayn grabs his wrist and runs up the corner into a tornado DDT for the pin at 4:14.

Rating: C. This was pretty much a squash but Zayn looked good out there. He has a solid presence to him and even though he's a smaller guy, his offense comes off like it has some force behind it. Hawkins is as generic of a wrestler as you'll ever find, but then again he has something resembling a resume and isn't terrible in the ring so he makes for a good jobber. Good debut here for Zayn.

Video on Corey Graves, explaining why he has so many tattoos. There's a CM Punk vibe to this and he closes with a good line: “I'm not here to leave a mark. I'm here to leave a scar.”

Antonio Cesaro vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Ok, Cesaro HAS to be able to beat Tatsu right? I mean, it's Yoshi Tatsu. EVERYBODY beats Tatsu. Cesaro pounds him into the corner but gets caught by a quick cross body for no cover. Yoshi fires off some kicks but gets caught by a vicious European uppercut and the Neutralizer ends this in 52 seconds.

Post match Cesaro wants to know if that was the best competition he can get. There's no one on any show that can challenge him, but here's Sami Zayn to disagree. He speaks multiple languages, including Arabic which Cesaro doesn't understand. Zayn goes to French instead and the match is on right now.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn

Cesaro quickly powers him down to start but gets spun around as Zayn leverages his way out of a test of strength. A springboard wrist drag sends Cesaro to the floor as take a break. Back with Zayn holding an armbar but being dropped throat first on the top rope. Zayn is whipped hard into the corner for two before it's off to a chinlock. Sami fights up and tries a sunset flip but Cesaro does the DX crotch chop of all things before stomping onto his chest for two.

Off to another chinlock before Zayn comes back with a rollup out of the corner. A high cross body is caught by Cesaro in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two and a running European uppercut gets the same. Off to some rights and lefts in the corner by Antonio before he loads up a suplex, only to have Zayn slide down his back and roll up Cesaro for the pin at 5:00 shown of 7:20.

Rating: C. Nothing of note here but it was good to see Zayn get such a solid push to start. He was in trouble for most of the match but it makes sense that a guy as strong as Cesaro could throw Sami around like he did. This is a really good debut for Zayn and I really liked what I've seen so far.

Emma is in the back but she's apparently taking Audrey Marie's interview time. Emma keeps screwing up Audrey's name and suggests Audrey dance to relieve stress. Audrey says get out before I take you out. Emma: “Can we go to lunch? I haven't eaten today.” She dances off and smacks Audrey in the head as she goes.

Video on Bray Wyatt which looks more like the old ones.

Here's some guy named Enzo Amore to talk. Enzo is from New Jersey and has almost every stereotype you can think of. He sees a bunch of fake tough guys in NXT and talks about people being a bunch of G's.

Enzo Amore vs. Mason Ryan

Ryan throws Amore around like he's not even there before chopping him down. Running snake eyes sets up a running clothesline by Ryan before a torture rack neckbreaker ends Amore at 1:26. Ryan is still nothing of note.

The Raw ReBound talks about Ryback demanding an ambulance match.

Stephanie McMahon will be here next week for an announcement.

There's also a #1 contenders battle royal next week.

Corey Graves vs. Bray Wyatt

Bray shoves him around to start and still has that gray mask on his face. Graves takes him into the corner and pounds away a bit before putting on a front facelock. The Wyatt Family looks concerned as Bray is in some trouble early on. Graves gets the mask off of Wyatt so Bray heads to the outside. Not that it matters as Wyatt puts the mask back on and pounds away on Graves back in the ring.

Graves gets up a knee to stop a charging Bray before putting on a figure four neck lock over the top rope to slow Wyatt down again. Bray is fine with that though as he hits a running cross body as we take a break. Back with Wyatt holding a chinlock, only to get up and miss a charge, sending him out to the floor. Graves misses a baseball slide though and Bray sends him into the steps. Bray kicks him in the chest a few times before taking it back inside for another chinlock.

There's the splash in the corner but Graves escapes the dancing into a rollup for a close two. The mask comes off again so Bray hits another cross body to put Graves down. Back up and Corey punches the exposed face and makes a good comeback, sending Bray reeling. A clothesline in the corner staggers Bray and a chop block puts him down. The Family is knocked down and there's the Lucky 13 leg lock, but Harper breaks it up via a distraction by Rowan. Sister Abigail ends Graves at 8:41 shown of 12:11.

Rating: C. I was digging Graves here as his comeback was working well, but the Family getting the win was probably the right idea. There's only so much you can do for Graves here without making the Family look weak, so the cheating was probably the right call. Graves looked good though.

Post match Kassius Ohno returns to try to make the save but gets laid out by the Family. Bray talks about being a monster to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling here wasn't great but they did a good job with the storytelling here. Next week we'll have a new #1 contender to Langston's title so we can have a new main event feud to build around. I was really impressed by Zayn tonight and he seems to have a feud set up with Cesaro already. Good show here but for different reasons than usual.

Sami Zayn b. Curt Hawkins – Tornado DDT
Antonio Cesaro b. Yoshi Tatsu – Neutralizer
Sami Zayn b. Antonio Cesaro – Rollup
Mason Ryan b. Enzo Amore – Torture Rack Neckbreaker
Bray Wyatt b. Corey Graves – Sister Abigail

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at


  1. Not so much a crotch chop, but Cesaro just slaps the guy's hands away to counter the sunset flip.

  2. I still think Mason could develop into something decent ala Chris Masters. Thankfully he didn't get such a strong push at the beginning like Masters which basically screwed him over for the rest of his WWE run. Maybe pair him up with a good tag partner.

  3. That's a pretty good start for generico!

  4. For some reason Sami / Generico looks like Screech from Saved by the bell..might just be me though.

  5. I still don't really understand how they got rid of Trent Baretta yet kept Curt Hawkins?

  6. Might be due to his work with The Rock return.

  7. The craziest part about the promo is that Zayn's accent isn't there! I've spoken to him a couple of times and he has a VERY noticeable french accent. It's all gone in this promo [and last week's]! My buddy questioned whether or not it was actually the same guy because of it.


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