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NXT - December 25, 2013

NXTDate: December 25, 2013
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Host: Renee Young

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's Christmas time in NXT and since this is a sane promotion, tonight is a year in review show, plus Cesaro vs. Regal. This should be entertaining as usual given how good NXT has been over the last year. It's always fun to see where guys on the main roster got started and several guys on the main shows today were in NXT earlier this year. Let's get to it.

Welcome Home.

The arena is empty and Renee Young is our host.

First up: a look at the opening of the WWE Performance Center.

We get packages on all the people that have gone from NXT to the main rosters: the Wyatts, Shield, Fandango, Xavier Woods, Damien Sandow, Antonio Cesaro and Big E. Langston. Ignore that Cesaro, Fandango and I beliee Sandow were in WWE before they came to NXT.

Langston talks about the previous year has been a whirlwind and he couldn't have done it without the maniacal five count fans. This is just the beginning.

Cesaro says that William Regal is the only technical wrestler he's ever respected. Regal's evilness was an inspiration for Cesaro and he wouldn't have a job here without William. However, Regal knew this day was coming: the day when one of them had to go. The younger, stronger and better man gets to stay, and that's Cesaro.

Video on the first NXT Tag Title match with British Ambition beating the Wyatts.

Video on Emma vs. Paige for the first Women's Title.

Paige, who towers over interviewer Devon Taylor, thinks Emma is just a dancer. However, she now has Paige's respect because Emma has shown she can move in the ring. Paige insists she's a wrestler and promises to come for the Divas, including AJ.

Bo Dallas knows we want to hear about his rise to the title but we need to hear how important it is to Bo-Lieve. We get a clip of him beating Langston to prove the power of the Bo-Lievers.

The Wyatts talk about how they stand for a cause. Their crusades began in a place called NXT and whether it's there or up in WWE, their message is simple: down with the machine.

Here's a package on the future of NXT: Aiden English, Mojo Rawley, Bayley, Tyler Breeze, Alexander Rusev, Sasha Banks, Corey Graves and of course Sami Zayn.

Video on all of the WWE stars who have made cameos here in NXT.

William Regal has been considering his legacy. He's a vicious fighter and a unique entertainer but he never became World Heavyweight Champion. That's his fault though because he has a tendency to get in trouble. He's always been a world class technical wrestler, and that's where Antonio Cesaro comes in. Cesaro is ten times the wrestler that Regal has ever been and Cesaro wants to prove it. The only chance Regal has tonight is a miracle and that's not coming to someone like himself. Regal is going to give this every bit of evil he has and hopes that's enough. This was an old school wrestling promo and it was awesome.

Young is about to introduce the match of the year but Shield hijacks the signal to talk about how dominant of a year they've had. They've destroyed everyone from Undertaker to Rock to Undertaker to John Cena, but that was after they built NXT. All those guys that are coming up through NXT need to be worried because Shield is waiting on them in WWE.

Back to Young who introduces the only match that could have been match of the year in NXT: Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro 2/3 falls. Cesaro going into beast mode to get the wind is still amazing and makes me even sadder every time I see him jobbing to Los Matadores.

Sami talks about what an honor it is to be part of the match of the year but now his focus is on becoming NXT Champion. There's a roadblock in his way named Leo Kruger and this talk about 2/3 falls has gotten him thinking. Next week: Kruger vs. Zayn 2/3 falls. Even on a review show they set up something for next week. Can this show do anything wrong?

Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal

The Fink is doing entrances, which gives me an answer to the question I just asked. The disgusted yet also terrified look on Regal's face is perfect. Cesaro cranks on the arm to start and Regal can't counter. Antonio takes him to the mat but Regal nips up to draw a gasp from the crowd. Cesaro stays on the hold and takes Regal down again but there's another nip up. “You still got it!”

Regal takes Cesaro down to his knees but still can't get away from the wrist control as we take a break. Back with Cesaro still on the arm and jumping onto a standing Regal's shoulders (basically putting himself in a fireman's carry) to apply even more pressure. Regal flips him down into an armbar but Cesaro nips up just like Regal did earlier. William takes him down by the other arm but Cesaro powers up into a test of strength.

Cesaro easily powers Regal down but the Englishman counters into a cross arm choke. He leans backwards to put Cesaro over his knees while still choking, only to be flipped forward to escape. Back to the test of strength before Regal counters a front facelock into a dragon sleeper. Cesaro flips him forward in a kind of reverse suplex for two but Regal gets him down into the corner and does his “distract the referee while kicking the opponent in the face” spot.

Antonio chop blocks Regal down and rams the bad knee into the apron a few times as we take another break. Back with Cesaro holding a leg lock but Regal keeps fighting back with kicks to the head. Cesaro keeps control by cranking on the knee even more and taking off Regal's knee brace. The knee is bent around Cesaro's neck in an old Brock Lock but Regal counters into a rollup and backslide for two each. Cesaro hits a series of ten uppercuts to knock Regal silly, setting up the Cesaro Swing.

After some trash talk Antonio loads up the Neutralizer but Regal backdrops his way out. He drops a knee on Cesaro's arm to take away the Neutralizer. Regal goes after the arm with everything he's got and hits an overhead suplex for two. The knee is too damaged for the knee trembler though and Cesaro comes back with a headbutt. Regal is fine with that and headbutts Cesaro right back before loading up a double underhook suplex. Cesaro backdrops Regal but can't break the grip.

Regal takes him to the mat again and tries the Regal Stretch but Cesaro makes the rope. A forearm from the good arm lays Regal out and a double stomp to the back of the head has the referee checking him. Cesaro looks down at Regal before picking up his limp body. He sets up the Neutralizer but thinks twice about it and lets Regal fall back to the mat. Regal tries to pull himself up so Cesaro puts on the Neutralizer. He looks down at Regal's unconscious body and looks disgusted after pinning Regal at 16:00 shown of 24:00.

Rating: A. I loved this for a lot of reasons. First of all, the technical stuff at the beginning was excellent with two old school craftsmen doing their jobs as well as anyone can. It's wrestling in its purest form and when you have guys who can work that style it's as entertaining as you can get. Then there's the excellent storytelling with Regal trying every trick he knew but not being able to stop Cesaro's raw power. The ending with Cesaro not wanting to hurt Regal anymore but giving in to his natural instincts of winning at any cost was great stuff. I loved this match and continue to wait for Cesaro to be taken seriously in WWE.

Regal is taken out by referees but Cesaro goes after him and extends a hand. Regal stares him down and shakes hands as we go off the air.

Overall Rating: A+. An amazing match and clips of all kinds of awesome stuff from the undisputed best wrestling show going today make this the best hour of wrestling I've seen in a long time. Even when they're talking about a match that happened months ago they tie in a match next week to give us a reason to keep watching. This show can do no wrong at this point and somehow keeps getting better.

Antonio Cesaro b. William Regal – Neutralizer

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  1. Cesaro/Fandango/Sandow all did start on NXT(though Fandango was still Johnny Curtis).

  2. Not the modern version. The video was only about this year and they were all in WWE before this year started.

  3. Ditto on the taking Cesaro seriously. The Real Americans should be the team to take down the Rhodes brothers. They've been killing it these past months.


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