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CHIVERTON'S NXT EVALUATION 8/8 & 8/15 - The real Rankings of top Developmental stars

Aug 29, 2012 - 6:31:21 PM
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WWE NXT Weekly Rankings & Evaluation
By George Chiverton, PWTorch specialist


AUGUST 15 EPISODE RANKINGS
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(1) Bray Wyatt (-)
(2) Seth Rollins (-)
(3) Sofia Cortez (-)
(4) Kassius Ohno (-)
(5) Paige (-)
(6) Mike Dalton (-)
(7) Richie Steamboat (-)
(8) Jake Carter & Corey Graves (-)
(9) Bo Dallas (-)
(10) Big E. Langston (-)
(11) The Ascension (+1)
(12) Jason Jordon (-1)
(13) Raquel Diaz (-)
(14) Leo Kruger (-)

AUGUST 15 EPISODE EVALUATION

The show kicked off with a match between Jinder Mahal and Richie Steamboat. It was okay, although not a lot more. I think I have finally established my problem with Mahal and it’s the fact he telegraphs every move he’s about to take. It cuts the fluency of a string of moves and hence a match quite dramatically. He won, though. That happened.

Briley Pearce then went to interview Leo Kruger. He’s gone crazy. This is a good thing. Crazy Kruger can only be an improvement on his previous act, so hopefully he can move up the ranks.

Slater heeled and then, Scotty 2 Hotty. No, I’m serious, Scotty 2 Hotty was back in a WWE ring. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I’ll never forget him and Rikishi dancing as a kid and it gives me faith that someone is really loving Brodus Clay’s current act. Perhaps it was more that Scotty was an immediate '90s throwback, but as soon as "Turn it up" played, I did a little dance.

As for the match, Mr. 2 Hotty worked the crowd up to a frenzy before hitting some familiar offense and taunts including chest-beating, hip-tossing, and bulldogging. And then, it came. The single most non-arthropod invertebrate move in all of sports entertainment: The Worm. Great fun.

Usos vs. The Ascension next, and with each entrance their gimmick is weirdly growing on me. I know at current it’s really not working: too camp, too laughable, etc., but perhaps with some high-budget work from the WWE on a debut package, as well as some artistic license from the WWE Universe (which always comes when kids are in the audience), then I could see them getting over. They’re one team who the big time would certainly benefit. It’s whether they can get there.

As for the match, not a lot stood out apart from Cameron and O’Brien being on the receiving end of a lot more offense than I’ve seen up to now. Oh, and a referee disqualifying the Ascension for an interference, which was odd. A post-match attack rounded off the segment with Jimmy Uso being on the receiving end of a moderate beating to likely set up a feud between the two teams.

Matt Striker interviewed Camacho and Hunico, who said they were ill during their defeat of Dalton and Jordon. Passable.

Raquel Diaz identified her exfoliating ugliness tour as her main objective. Kane is shaking in his boots.

Rollins vs. McGillicutty was predictably the best match of the night. They started with a slow lock-up, which turned into a face to face confrontation which immediately elevated the match. The issue seemed personal, building on the importance of the tournament victory, which was talked up by JR. Suicide dives and innovative offense from Rollins was great fun while McGillicutty held his own with plenty of rough looking throws and suplex. The finish was particularly spectacular with a huge turnbuckle powerbomb followed by the Black-out by Rollins.

This obviously sets up Mahal vs. Rollins for the title with some simple post match attack work to build the tension and suspense. We all know who won, yeah? Well, good decision. Hopefully the match matches up to the importance of the title victory.

So, week over and I’m going to slip the Ascension up a cheeky place. Jordon is still strong, though; just a little green. This seems fair then.

***

AUGUST 8 EPISODE EVALUATION

Before I start with this show, I must say WWE is a cheeky monkey. Having cut FCW from their developmental program, or at least re-branded the set-up, the new NXT site has a series of new features. Yes, you see where this is going. 'NXT Top 10' is on the homepage as well as a big fat spoiler of Seth Rollins holding the title. Brilliant. However their ranking seems to be nothing to do with the show given that Rick Victor, who's been a jobber up to now, is at fourth. Furthermore, Xavier Woods (Consequences Creed in TNA) and Leakee are both on the rankings when neither have debuted yet. So, although I should sue and protect my intellectual property, I think we can all just accept my rankings are vastly superior. Yes, inflate that ego.

Week Two of the Gold Rush tournament opened with all the title-chasers stating their intent to win the title, elevating it's importance and making each match seem important. Simple, yet effective programming, which the main shows don't take advantage of. Rotundo stood as the hungriest, which fits his hard working face persona.

The opening contest was between Justin Gabriel and Micheal McGillicutty in a fun, fast, and grappling-oriented match. There was a lot of innovation and counter wrestling, which certainly raised McGillicutty's stock in my eyes.

Kassius Ohno then came out to squash C.J. Parker in a decent match. It wasn't a total jobber role for Parker, who managed to get some offense in on Ohno, serving as frustration for the former ROH stand-out. Ohno displayed his classic striking ability, as well as some nice athleticism. The best move of the night came from a monumental big boot from Kassius as Parker came at him into the corner. Both men's momentum made for a compelling visual. Rolling elbow and the win. I hope that soon James Caldwell will be writing that in a Raw Live Results Report.

There was then a simple follow-up to Jason Jordon and Mike Dalton's win over Mexican America last week on NXT. It elevated their win while also putting it across as an upset making all four men benefit. If you closed your eyes you wouldn't know that Jordon isn't Tazz given the strong Brooklyn twang in his voice. I reckon that with years of strong training he could be a real prospect.

The Ascension had a video package. It was really silly. Imagine a trailer for the most recent Batman combined with an art student's attempt to draw "Sadness." Really odd. Perhaps it could translate to a larger show, but at NXT level it's still not clicking for me.

Paige and Tamina Snuka then defeated Caitlyn and erm, another diva who was not all that impressive. Paige was the star and is super-over with the Full Sail audience. In the ring, she could be one of the best female wrestlers in all of WWE. Expect big things if she's given an opportunity.

In the final match of the night, Bo Dallas and Jinder Mahal had a closely-fought Gold Rush match, which Jinder eventually won. Bo was good executing powerslams and a brilliant bulldog. Mahal put on a good performance, too, although, I'm still not all that sold on him.

So, in conclusion, there is little going on with the rankings as I'd sort of like to move everyone up which would mean moving others down who deserve their spot. Paige was particularly impressive, but so was Ohno, and hence they retain their spots.

[Torch art credit Marco D'Alfonso (c) PWTorch.com]


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