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The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–01.01.2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 01.01.2014

Welcome to 2014! And what better way than with the best wrestling show on TV?

Taped from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are…hold on a sec.


Your hosts are Tom Phillips, William Regal and Alex Riley.

Alexander Rusev v. Kofi Kingston

Rusev quickly stomps him down in the corner and throws knees, and Regal declares that he was beaten last week “by a man 10 times the man I’ve ever been.” But…but…where’s the poopy jokes where he laughs off the loss and calls his opponent a geek? Rusev with a backbreaker for two, but Kofi fights back with chops and a dropkick to set up the boomdrop. Springboard bodypress gets two. Rusev runs him back into the corner, but Kofi goes up, only to get slammed off after yelling at Lana. And Rusev finishes him with the camel clutch at 3:48! Oh man, they must have HUGE hope for Rusev. **1/2

Meanwhile, Sylvester Lefort is auditioning people to replace Scott Dawson, but Mason Ryan isn’t interested in being purchased.

Emma v. Natalya

Winner of this is the #1 contender to the NXT title.

(Note: At this point my internet connection breaks for the better part of the day, and it’s now 12 hours later)

The ladies trade headlocks as the crowd is torn on who they like, and Emma rolls Nattie up for two. Natalya doesn’t appreciate Emma’s sense of humor and pounds her in the corner with knees, but gets caught in the Dilemma as a result. She escapes and hits a clothesline for two, and into the abdominal stretch as Regal gets the line of the show by reminding the announcers that Nattie might have learned from her “Uncle Smith”. Now that’s some dry humor. Nattie gets a wacky submission hold and the Sharpshooter, but Emma escapes and taps her clean with the Emma-Lock at 4:40. Nattie is a good sport, however, and even dances with her. Emma’s yet another one who should have been on the main roster weeks ago. **1/2


Aiden English gives us some Italian opera, and then Colin Casady (in a suit, no less) knocks it out of the PARK with “Danny Boy”, complete with “You tried to sing and sounded like you coughed / You are S-A-W-F-T, sawft!” Gotta give the win to Colin there. Aiden, despite clearly getting owned there, demands another round. So Colin beats him again with an ode to how much Aiden sucks, prompting a sneak attack. Artists sure are touchy. This was actually pulled off brilliantly, because if Colin hadn’t been awesome the crowd would have turned on it and cheered English, but both guys pulled it off perfectly.

Tyler Breeze v. Mason Ryan

I notice Mason is getting bigger again, although still not to the ridiculous levels he used to be. Breeze attacks while Sylvester Lefort joins us at ringside, but Ryan casually shrugs Breeze off and goes to beat on Lefort. Back in, Ryan stupidly walks into the leg lariat and gets pinned at 1:23. It’s time to move Breeze up to the next level, which it looks like they’re doing by programming him with Adrian Neville. DUD


2/3 Falls: Sami Zayn v. Leo Kruger

Kruger attacks and tosses Sami to start, and back in for two. They fight on the floor and Kruger gets two. Back to the floor for another beating from Kruger, which gets two. Kruger charges and Zayn catches him with an exploder into the corner, followed by the running kicking for the first fall at 3:00. Back with the guys fighting on the top, which results in Zayn taking a crazy bump to the floor. Kruger works on the now-injured arm, but Zayn makes the comeback with clotheslines and a powerbomb for two. He goes up, but Kruger brings him down with a draping neckbreaker for two. Sami keeps fighting and goes up again, and this time fights off a superplex attempt before missing a crossbody. Kruger pounces with a top armbar and Zayn is forced to make the ropes. Kruger pounds away and hits a spinebuster, but Zayn counters the lariat into a Downward Spiral and Koji Klutch to finish in two straight falls at 12:52. If the rumors about Kruger getting repackaged into debauched rock god Alex Rose are true, that’s probably it for the Leo Kruger character. Which is fine because it was a dull gimmick anyway. ***

The Pulse

God I love this show. Young stars going over established sports entertainers clean by submission? Singing competitions where both guys are good and it’s not just a giant rib on everyone involved? Keep it coming, NXT!


  1. Something that struck me while watching the Kofi/Russev match; While talking about Kofi targeting the ribs, Regal stammered a little, and the rest of the commentary team didn't start laughing and spending the next minute making fun of him for stammering.

  2. Nor did they stop and take a picture of it for a jab at Obama.

  3. This sing off sounds like an absolute disaster on paper, but since everyone is saying English is hype and Casady BEAT HIM, then this must be worthy of a 5 minute jaunt to Youtube.

  4. Vince thought it was funny. That was the point.

    If you think Vince's approach to character development is droll and hamfisted, it's nothing compared to his take on politics.

  5. Dusty knows how to use the classic rasslin' tropes. Man is English a great character. He nailed this.

  6. Sorry for going off topic a little, but can any one tell me what episode featured the Zayn-Cesaro 2 out of 3 falls match? Or what episode I should start watching? I've just subscribed to Hulu and want to catch up on some past episodes but don't really have the time to start too far back...

    Thanks in advance!!

  7. I got that it was him being funny, but if you're taking a shot at someone, shouldn't you make it clear that it's an insult instead of just making it look like your announcers shouldn't be allowed on the streets without medication?

  8. I would kill for a detailed book of things Vince McMahon has done with his Superstars for his own personal amusement, and an explanation of why it's supposed to be so damn funny.

  9. 08.21.2013 would be the answer.

  10. Whenever the announcer says "Tyler Breeze Has Left the Building", I hear Gorilla Monsoon's voice in my head yelling, "WHO CARES?".

  11. So is Sami Zayn's gimmick that he's Seth Rogen?

  12. You're welcome :) Enjoy!

  13. That sing off was the sort of thing they are probably aiming for on Raw with the numerous 'comedy' segments.

    Except this time it was entertaining, no-one got over at the other guys expense and it actually enhanced both guys.


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