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

Mar 28, 2013 - 12:03:25 PM
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WWE 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 (-)
(7) Oliver Grey (-)
(8) Bronson (-)
(9) Jake Carter (-)
(10) Big E. Langston (-)
(11) Richie Steamboat (-)
(12) Rowan (-)
(13) Bo Dallas (-)
(14) Conor O'Brian (-)
(15) Jason Jordon (-)
(16) Leo Kruger (-)
Waiting List - Nemo Montenegro, Xavier Woods, Sasha Banks, El Local

3/13 WWE NXT Episode Evaluation

- Out first was Kassius Ohno in a personally much-anticipated match with Derrick Bateman. Before the match started, William Regal was coy on his recent feud with Ohno, which set up the angle subtly but very effectively. Regal is great at selling his conflict between trying to remain professional in his announcing role while also wanting to get back into the ring with Ohno.

The match was Bateman's first from a knee injury and he seemed to be moving slightly in slow-motion. The ring rust will wear off in time no doubt, but tonight he was just a tad clunky. He was still entertaining, though, and he seems to work well with Ohno.

The finish saw a huge big boot from Ohno being enough for the win. After the match, Ohno applied the Regal Stretch (although this wasn't pointed out by Tony Dawson), which drew Regal to the ring. When Ohno tried to start something, Regal clocked his jaw. He then sold the conflict that he'd previously shown on commentary.

Of note about halfway through the match a brief 'Ole!' chant broke out in support of recently signed El Generico. Although initial photos of an NXT house show saw the masked luchadore in the character many wrestling fans will be aware of, it appears now the WWE machine has repackaged and, very unfortunately, de-masked the Canadian wrestler. At recent house shows he has been introduced as 'Sammy Sane,' which although admittedly catchy, will annoy a significant part of the fan base who wanted to see the persona translate (me included).

- Backstage, Bo Dallas was annoyed over Bray Wyatt's recent tampering in his career. Fair enough.

- Weird music hit to welcome odd dancer Emma down the ramp. The crowd was full of people dancing along showing that the odd persona is getting over with the Full Sail audience. She is certainly entertaining. She faced Summer Rae, who reminds me more of Michelle McCool by the week.

The match was a fairly standard affair, although there was some nice limb-targeting by Rae to emphasize her dangerous and dissecting style of offense. In particular, there was a spot where she snapmared Emma so that she ankle-bounced off the ropes. The finish was weak, though, with a spinning heel kick not quite hitting the mark. Paige then sprinted to the ring, which popped the crowd. Everyone seems excited for the imminent Paige vs. Rae match.

- Backstage, Adrian Neville was angry over his partner being attacked by The Family. He demanded a match with a member of the Wyatt Family. This was a great old-school, no messing promo that affirmed the man can work the mic when he needs to.

- Big E., by comparison, cut an odd promo about Conor O'Brian. Whereas Neville knew exactly what he wanted to achieve with his promo, Big E.'s was confused.

- Out next was (hooray) Bray Wyatt for the well-built match with Bo Dallas. The two are brothers, so they should be able to work well together. Of note, Bo has new music, which really is nothing when compared to his old theme.

The two men worked excellently together with Bray looking fantastic with his heelish offense. The match managed to be both slow, but not dull with Bo selling very well to heat up the audience. Bray's grasp of character was great, too, singing while in restholds to portray the insane cultist idea.

Bo made a brief comeback, but he was cut off by a huge uranage slam from Bray, which is a tricky move to make pull off sometimes. He continued to dominate until a belly-to-belly suplex pulled a win out for Bo. After the match, though, The Family hit the ring to clean up. Bo fought them off, but Bray took the chance to hit his finisher and, as Regal put it, "Win the war." This got a bit confused towards the end and perhaps if they wanted to carry on the feud a non-clean win for Bray would have been a better way to conclude the segment. This seemed an awkward way to have everyone win at the same time when the easy answer was probably the best. Still, a good match and these two bring the best out of eachother.

- Out next was Alberto Del Rio to a big load of love according to Tony Dawson. He was dressed like Tony Pulis, which is a reference no one will get. Del Rio talked up the locker room until Antonio Cesaro interrupted. They exchanged words until Dusty Rhodes came out and made the match Cesaro vs. Big E. Langston. I wonder which man is stronger?

The match was a tale of two wrestlers. One is a very well-schooled, innovative, and interesting wrestler, and the other was Big E. on an off-day. There was not a lot of pace in the match all the way up to the finish when both Corey Graves and Conor O'Brian got involved and beat down Big E. No one seemed to care, as I think everyone wants Graves to be a face and seeing him as a heel is a bit jarring. Oh, and no one has warmed to O'Brian.

- Overall, this was a decent week of NXT, but the broken main event scene left a sour taste in the mouth. Big E. has lost his edge with lots of losses ad beat downs, Conor O'Brian has a joke gimmick and not enough in the ring to back it up, and Corey Graves, the only one who is a great wrestler, has been miscast as a heel rather than an anti-hero which worked so well at the start of his NXT career. Still, this has to be over soon with a big pay-off match.

3/20 NXT Episode Evaluation

- The show opened with a recap of the Wyatt Family's feud with Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey, setting up the main event of Neville vs. Luke Harper. A promising looking episode already.

- First up was Justin Gabriel looking a bit more brooding than usual to face Leo Kruger in the opening match.

The two had a very slow encounter for the opening 10 minutes with Gabriel wrestling a much more heelish and technical style than you'd usually associate with him. A chopping exchange tried to wake up the already bored crowd, but they weren't having it. There were a couple of interesting spots like a big kick from Gabriel, but the crowd just wasn't interested until Gabriel went up for the 450.

This is symptomatic of Leo Kruger's problem, as people just aren't interested in anything other than seeing the match finish. His offense doesn't lead to a believable nearfall until a real one takes place and people aren't interested in seeing him wrestle. The finish was a submission by Kruger and everyone was quiet. Not a good match for either man.

- Audrey Marie was backstage talking about her issues with Sasha Banks. Too short for any real analysis, but a perfectly fine build.

- There was some WrestleMania build-up, which I presume there will be plenty of over the coming weeks.

- In ring was William Regal presumably to clear up his Kassius Ohno business. Ohno was invited down to the ring by Regal, who wanted to apologize for not acting in a professional manner. Regal acted humbly and offered his hand to Ohno, who then talked up Regal and mentioned him and C.M. Punk training with Regal a number of years ago. He then talked about following in Regal's footsteps across Europe and Japan. He finished by saying that it was Regal who was to thank for bringing him into the WWE. Regal accepted.

Ohno then heeled up and said he doesn't want his advice because Regal's career didn't amount to anything and to have his career would mean leaving no legacy. Harsh. He rounded it off by saying that Regal's career will only be remembered for kissing Vince McMahon's... and boom comes a punch from Regal (delivered to perfection). Regal sold being conflicted while Ohno fled the ring. Such an awesome segment and this feud looks ready for the Mania undercard.

- After another Mania recap, there was an NXT debut for a new diva named Bayley. Nothing especially unique about her look, but according to Tony Dawson she's wanted to do this a while.

- Paige's music hit to a huge reaction in drastic contrast to the opening match of the night. Paige and Bayley had a good match with Bayley taking some big bumps and Paige not holding back with hard-hitting strikes. Paige won rapidly with a submission. There wasn't a lot to it, but neither woman disappointed. Oh, and Summer Rae ran to ringside at the end of the match to keep the feud with Paige going. Who saw that one coming?

- Main event time with Adrian Neville 'the jumping geordie' set to take on Luke Harper. Harper came out with both Bray Wyatt and Rowan, although they kept their distance to start.

The match started really high-paced with Adrian Neville going right after Harper. However, they mixed up the formula right away with Harper cutting off a hot Neville to take control. Harper then displayed his heelish and entertaining offense, which kept the crowd hot for the potential comeback. He hit a big backbreaker and an even more massive big boot, which made everyone in Full Sail squeem. As per every move from Harper was punctuated with fantastic essences of character such as using his forehead to push Neville to his feet. Neville bumped crazily to sell the high-impact offense, too.

When Neville made his comeback, he did it to spectacular special firstly flipping all over the place to hit a Sasuke Special onto Rowan before a massive top-rope Asai moonsault onto Harper. He almost went for the cover, but then Wyatt got to his feet to distract the ref. There was then confusion, which allowed Harper to hit a huge lariat for the win. The right finish with both parties looking strong after a fantastic match.

The post-match beat down happened until Oliver Grey and Bo Dallas eventually came to the rescue setting up the six-man tag that this storyline has been building to. An excellent and well-executed segment all round, with the match in particular being as good as any NXT has offered.

- NXT was great this week, although the opening match was disappointing to say the least. NXT feels back on-track with Ohno vs. Regal, Paige vs. Summer Rae, and a six-man tag match all promising to be great matches following good build-up. If only the NXT Title were involved in these feuds rather than the Langston-O'Brien-Graves mess.

- To finish, I was listening to an interview The Rock did this past week on British Radio to promote G.I. Joe and was startled to not only hear him ignore his current involvement in WWE, but to actually talk about his wrestling career wholly in the past tense. He was asked whether people ever confront him, to which Rock replied '...that never happens, and it never happened in wrestling, when I was wrestling...' Statements like this are a classic example of why Rock being the WWE champion rubs people the wrong way.


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