The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 01.08.14
I’m so jazzed for this network I can’t even tell you. It’s become such a rarity for something to make me excited about wrestling again, and this deal has done that in SPADES. I miss WWE 24/7 all the time, and this is like 24/7 on steroids.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, Alex Riley & Tom Phillips. Weirdly, Saxton is shown standing in the ring doing ring intros, but he’s overdubbed by the chick ring announcer for all the matches. I have no idea what that was about.
Summer Rae v. Bayley
Summer tries bonding over headbands and offers a hug, but even Bayley isn’t that gullible and instead gets a sunset flip for two. Summer gives her the Nash choke in the corner and follows with a facejam for two. Another great thing about NXT: Simple issues with easy-to-understand motivations. Summer is the bitchy mean girl who broke Bayley’s headband and called her a loser. Haven’t we all been there? Bayley fights out of a chinlock and makes the comeback with elbows for two. To the top with a back elbow for two. Summer misses a high kick and Bayley finishes with the HUGPLEX at 3:53. Summer Rae is on the verge of being a very big star on the main roster anyway. *1/2
Colin Cassady v. Aiden English
The crowd seems less enthused with English, perhaps because everyone like Cassady more. Colin attacks and pounds away in the corner while spelling “SAWFT” in a cute bit, but English elbows him down for two. English with the top wristlock, but Cassady fights up and comes back with a high knee and big elbow for two. English hides in the ropes and gets a cheapshot to the knee, then finishes with the Director’s Cut at 2:31. Cassady without Enzo isn’t very interesting. *1/2
Meanwhile, Adrian Neville has his promo interrupted by a phone call from Tyler Breeze, who is hilariously passive-aggressive while channelling Zoolander. So next week, they meet in the ring, where hopefully there will be no punching in the face. If a gasoline fight doesn’t erupt, I’ll be very disappointed. I love how Tyler Breeze just GOES with the character and commits to it.
Xavier Woods v. Alexander Rusev
Libertarian Kane handles the intros here, as Woods is being punished for circulating the petition to bring Big Show back. Shit, this show handles RAW’s continuity better than RAW does! Xavier attacks to start, but walks into a samoan drop. Rusev goes to the nervehold while the crowd tries to get on Kane’s nerves (see what I did there?), but Woods makes the comeback. Honor Roll sets up the finish, but Rusev casually blasts him down and finishes with the Accolade at 2:00. I feel like they should probably put the belt on him pretty soon. *
Meanwhile, Kofi has no one to blame but himself for losing to Rusev last week. But he wants a rematch!
Tyson Kidd v. Baron Corbin
Corbin is apparently another ex-football player, which is what they need more of. Corbin actually pounds Kidd down and slugs away in the corner, then follows with a clothesline for two. To the chinlock, as Corbin’s got some cool gear and CM Punk-ish douchebag tattoos, so there might be something here. Kidd fights out of a chinlock and comes back with a dropkick for two. To the top, and a Buff Blockbuster finishes at 3:10. * Alex Riley goes on a whole run about how creative Tyson is for creating the move. Was 90s WCW really that long ago?
Tornado Match: The Ascension v. Hunico & Camacho
It’s immediately BONZO GONZO as everyone slugs away in the corners until the Barrios hit stereo legdrops on Conor for two and we take a break. Back with people getting rammed into the bikes, and back in for some punches in the corner, which the Ascension turns into a pair of powerbombs for two. The champs get heat on Camacho and Conor flapjacks him for two. Viktor with a suplex on Hunico for two. Hunico comes back with a crossbody on the champs and a double moonsault for two. Camacho slams Conor into a Hunico swanton for two, but Camacho charges Viktor and gets forearmed to the floor. Back in the ring, the Ascension finish Hunico with the Fall of Man at 12:24. This was kind of a mess, but then I never like these tornado matches anyway. **
Kind of a weak show, but hey, even the weak shows are only 45 minutes long and fly by. Next week: Breeze v. Neville!