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The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–10.02.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 10.02.13

Taped from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Tony Dawson & Alex Riley, plus Renee Young for the first match.

Fandango & Summer Rae v. Santino & Emma

So Santino is your mystery man, which is just about perfect for Emma. The crowd is already chanting “This is awesome” before the match even STARTS! Fandango & Santino have a dance-off to start, and the crowd notes that Fandango got served. So he slugs Santino down, but runs away from a threatened Cobra strike, and we take a break. Back with Fandango in control, but Santino tags out to Emma, forcing Summer to come in as well. And then we get a pretty innovative and damn funny comedy spot, as Santino and Emma continually confuse the referee by high-fiving after every tag. I’m shocked no one ever thought of doing that bit before. Finally Fandango chokes Santino out on the ropes and adds a suplex for two while Renee Young relates stories about getting hit on by Fandango. Probably some truth to that one. Santino gets trapped in the corner and worked over by the dancers, and is thus unable to properly kip up without hurting his neck. Fandango tries to go to the top, but Santino keeps selling by rolling around the ring in another funny bit. Santino with a backslide for two, and now here’s the kip-up and hot tag to Emma. She hooks Summer in the Dilemma and hits the corner splash for two. Santino gives her the sock of power and offers a lesson in applying the move, but she can’t quite make it work. So everyone comes in and the babyfaces run wild, and Santino finishes with the cobra at 14:20. There is a time and place for this kind of match, and this was exactly the time and place. *** Tremendously entertaining!

Kassius Ohno v. Luke Harper

Ohno is certainly looking more WWE Superstar-like. Ohno gets a quick head kick, but Harper lays him out and slugs away on the mat. Harper goes to the chinlock, but Ohno dumps him and hits a baseball slide, before walking into a big boot back in the ring. Harper puts him down with a lariat for the pin at 2:57. Ohno got completely squashed there.

Meanwhile, Enzo and Colin have some harsh words for Sylvester Lafort’s crew.

Mojo Rawley gets HYPED…next week.

NXT Tag titles: Adrian Neville & Corey Graves v. The Ascension

Neville evades Victor with some awesome gymnastics and gets a dropkick for two. O’Brien comes in and overpowers him with a shoulderblock for two, but Neville escapes and brings in Graves. Graves slugs away, but gets flapjacked for two. The Ascension double-team Graves in the corner and we take a break. Back with Conor holding a bodyscissors on Graves to wear him down, and Victor comes in and slugs away in the corner. Another lengthy chinlock from Victor, but we finally get the hot tag to Neville and business picks up significantly. Both Ascensions get dumped and Neville hits them with a dive to wake up the crowd, and back in for a springboard dropkick on Victor that gets two. Neville flips all over and goes up for the 450, but Victor moves and gets two. Graves drags Neville back to the corner and tags himself in, but he’s done and walks into a leg lariat. O’Brien adds the Total Elimination and we have new champs at 17:00. They swiped that finish from Midnight Express v. Road Warriors and didn’t pull it off quite as well, but that would be asking a lot of everyone. **1/4

Bo Dallas Open Invitational! So Bo faces a series of challenges, starting with some scrub who doesn’t get an introduction. The crowd, the true stars of the show, chants “Let’s go This Guy!” That’s fantastic. Dallas quickly finishes the guy with a spear at 1:12. Bo still feels good and asks for another challenger, and this time he gets Leo Kruger. And Antonio Cesaro, but neither can agree who goes first, leading to a tragic brawl that eliminates both guys from contention. Next up is mysterious masked luchador El Local, a generic looking fellow, who quickly puts Bo’s lights out and gets the pin at 0:30. But of course he unmasks as Sami Zayn, who finally gets his title shot as we’re done. I think we all knew where that was headed, but that’s why it’s a classic.

The Pulse

This show is becoming 1988 NWA more and more every day. That is a good thing. Another fantasic episode with stuff that happens and matters and lots of fun all around.


  1. Think Ohno could move to the main roster soon and tempt Cesaro away from Swagger to become a royally good tag team?

    Also, how far do you think Zayn is from a call-up? He could be golden in a feud to make ADR interesting again...

  2. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 3, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Considering all the rumor-mongering about how he's barely hanging onto his employment by a thread (and just got squashed in 3 minutes on the dev show)...I don't think you'll see him anytime soon. He seems to be more like Braden Walker 2.0

    Now Aiden English....THAT is a guy who needs to come to the big shows.

  3. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 3, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Waldorf: "Good show, good show!"
    Statler: "Bravo! I agree! I think it's time to promote some of them!"
    Waldorf: "You wanna put them on RAW or SmackDown?"
    Statler: "I said reward them, not punish them!"


  4. I don't tend to take squashes as any indicator of things with the WWE anymore. Cesaro is 0-2 in recent matches against Santino of all people, and I wonder if they're thinking about splitting him off from Swagger and turning him face, as he's got all the tools to be superbly over with the fans if they give him a decent push.

    Turning his back on Swagger, moving to a new face team ("Sultans of Sports Entertainment"? :p) and taking on the Shield successfully would be a good start. :)

  5. Zanatude: No, you said "promote", not "reward".
    Waldorf: Who let you in our opera box!?

  6. I just made these points to Fuj, but it bears repeating here:

    NXT is now a great little show because there's barely any tentacles from the corporate machine (octopus?) grabbing a hold of it, hence it can be booked by a student and fan of wrestling.

    So basically in 2013, if you like wrestling you'll hate to watch wrestling shows.

  7. I just want to say I love Santino!

  8. The interesting thing is that HHH has made a big deal about not calling guys up anymore until they have a set plan for them and they're not sitting on the main roster with nothing to do. Which is a great idea in theory. But of course, they call up the Wyatt Family, hype the shit out of them, and then give them nothing to do.

  9. I support your right to marry whomever you choose!

  10. I fear none of that will happen unless Quackenbush suddenly becomes head booker for Raw (a move I would love, no matter how unlikely).

  11. When did HHH say that? Pre Wyatts?

  12. Yep, well before the Wyatt call-up that was the news going around, that HHH didn't want people brought up just for the sake of being brought up. He wanted set storylines for them.

    Makes me wonder if they did have something planned and it fell through, or if something else happened. If they continue to not do anything except aimlessly float through the midcard, they'll lose their heat fast.

  13. Minor nitpick; it wasn't a 450, it was the Red Arrow - corkscrew shooting star press. Which should probably make Evan Bourne a bit nervous, as someone does his mvoe so much better.

  14. still my fav memory of santino was elimination chamber against d bry. the fucking crowd was APE SHIT for the man. and it was booked very well to boot. Stupid me thought they would actually do somethign with him after that, but of course he went back to curtain jerking.

  15. "This show is becoming 1988 NWA more and more every day." Given that Dusty is booking NXT, that probably shouldn't be a surprise :-)

    I loved those old JCP shows. I am going to have to check NXT out.

  16. The other thing to keep in mind, which people seem to forget often on this blog, is that HHH doesn't actually run the WWE. Yes he's influential and has a lot of power. But Vince is still the man in charge, and if Vince & HHH disagree then what Vince wants will go into place.

  17. Yeah, HHH had that quote and then they immediately brought up Cesaro and left him to die with the Aksana non-storyline on Smackdown. That policy apparently didn't last long.

  18. Sloth (short pause)

    love (short pause)

    Renee Young

  19. They did it with the Rumble tease as well.

    Thing is, I think the heat of the moment would get a monster pop, but can you imagine him in a world title or WM main event level? It would get old verrrrry quickly.

  20. Renee is both extremely attractive and a legitimate wrestling fan, and she's good at her job too.

    They'll fuck it up somehow.

  21. I thought the Chamber was their chance to turn the corner with him, however briefly. You give Santino this moment where he realizes he really ::does:: have some talent if he applies himself. You don't totally lose the sense of humor, but you take him closer to Colt Cabana territory -- legit technical skills into which he can incorporate another kind of comedy.

  22. Nothing beats the "Let's go that guy" chant. EVER

  23. I, sadly, both concur and hope you're more wrong than you've ever been.

  24. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Seconded, much better than the Dial-A-Models that usually muck up the women's segments on RAW/SD.

  25. Wasn't Santino's push just based off the whole Jeremy Lin underdog story that was going on at the time?


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