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CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Rankings & Evaluation of WWE Developmental roster

Mar 1, 2013 - 2:04:28 PM
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NXT Rankings & Evaluation
By George Chiverton, PWTorch NXT specialist


Latest NXT Rankings

(1) Bray Wyatt (-)
(2) Paige (-)
(3) Kassius Ohno (-)
(4) Corey Graves (-)
(5) Luke Harper (-)
(6) Adrian Neville (debut)
(7) Oliver Grey (debut)
(8) Bronson (-3)
(9) Jake Carter (-3)
(10) Big E. Langston (-3)
(11) Richie Steamboat (-3)
(12) Rowan (debut)
(13) Bo Dallas (-4)
(14) Conor O'Brien (-4)
(15) Jason Jordon (-4)
(16) Leo Kruger (-4)
Waiting List - Nemo Montenegro, Xavier Woods, Sasha Banks, El Locale

2/20 NXT Episode Evaluation

- Hallelujah! Tom Phillips is in on commentary and Tony Dawson is out for now at least. Merciful WWE! Although Phillips is no Jim Ross he is clearly more of a fan than Luftman, although he still needs a more complete wrestling knowledge. William Regal utterly undressed him on more than one occasion. He was also a tad snarky which although amusing doesn't do a lot for the wrestlers. Still, I have my preference.

- First match was Bray Wyatt back in the ring at last destroying poor Yoshi Tatsu. He made his way to the ring with his family in-tow wearing an apron. This was explained by Regal as him preparing for a butchery; a lovely, lovely touch. An uranage slam, a big corner splash and his finisher was good for the win. He performed his character with ease and to terrifying effect. He is simply NXT's greatest asset at the moment.

After the match, Bray called Luke Harper and Rowan in the ring and screamed his family into a crazy frenzy and made the two break down into a fist fight. This was all as a result of the NXT tag team championship loss the previous week. What a superb and scary follow up to a loss. Harper was demonic and Rowan did a good job of seeming both despondent and dangerous. It was fantastic.

- Sasha Banks was carrying on her secret admirer storyline backstage before being blindsided by Audrey Marie. I have absolutely no problems with this as the show needed a bit more sass outside of Paige, but I will say that even I, who has watched loyally for every episode, needed reminding that this women was the missing Audrey. She was barely featured before her injury and to re-introduce her in such a way was a tad odd. Still more Divas action in NXT is a positive for me.

- El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) was out for his debut NXT match against Xavier Woods (formerly Consequences Creed). Xavier has slightly changed up his entrance on the Titantron all for the better. Energy was high from the get go which was needed after the dark opening segment with the Wyatt family. Of note, Ricardo and Xavier talk a fair amount on twitter maybe indicating they work together in training too. They worked well, so it wouldn't surprise me.

By the way, shout-out to Full Sail for the 'Power Ranger' chant directed at Local. Regal described Ricardo as looking (under the mask) 'like a bulldog chewing on a wasp.' The match itself was fairly high paced affair with a couple of rest locks presumably for the slightly plump Ricardo. When offence was hit, it was exciting and explosive and Locale's kicks were crisp to say the least. Good stuff.

- The stunning Audrey Marie was out next to face Sasha Banks. Audrey was well received, maybe indicating that Sasha needs to re-think her image of a happy-go-lucky, cookie-cutter Diva. The match was sloppy, too, with slow technical wrestling to start before a weak looking finish for Marie to pick up the win. The right result but not well-executed.

- Backstage, Summer Rae was being a cow about Paige and doing her best Lay-Cool impression. Basic, but effective heel work.

- Tony Luftman was in the ring (this is fine) to bring out Tyson Kidd for a post-surgery interview. Kidd hobbled his way to the ring and talked up the reference Punk made when he called Kidd an under-rated workhorse. Leo Kruger interrupted and threatened to end Kidd's career before Justin Gabriel made the save. I wrote earlier in the series that a feud between Kruger and Gabriel is fantastic for me as they have had a million matched in South Africa. If anyone is going to drag a performance out of Kruger, it'll be Justin.

- Main event time rolled around with Conor O'Brian taking on Big E. Langston in a 'special challenge match'. As the title wasn't on the line, this indicated an O'Brian win or at least a non-clean finish. The two men sparred with tests of strength to start to set up the idea that Conor is the first big physical threat that Big E. has faced. They then settled into a fairly average big-man match. The finish came Crimson vs. Matt Morgan Style with some weak punch exchanges leading to the ref throwing the match out. The crowd did not like that and rightly so. Bad match overall.

- The follow-up then saw Corey Graves ambush Big E. from behind and steal the title before running to the back. This has me far more excited than anything that O'Brian did all evening.

Overall, this was a night of good intentions, but poor execution. Were it not for the fantastic opening segment I would have given the show a solid thumb down. But, perfect execution again from Bray helped make this average if not solidly mediocre. Story of my life. Anyways, thanks for your time and I'll be seeing you soon.


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