THE SPECIALISTS CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Rankings & Evaluation of top WWE prospects, plus insight on potential new WWE signees Callihan & Del Sol
May 13, 2013 - 11:18:51 AM
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WWE NXT Rankings & Evaluation
By George Chiverton, PWTorch NXT specialist
Latest NXT Developmental 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 - Xavier Woods, Sasha Banks, El Local.
5/1 WWE NXT Episode Evaluation
- To kick things off, there was a triple threat tag team match between Epico and Primo, The Wyatt Family (whose music is really growing on me), and the new look tag team of Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas. The commentary team (Dawson, Regal, and Maddox) seemed to suggest that Oliver Grey would be out for a while and, as a result, the titles would have to be taken off the champs. I'm a big advocate of this plan as with Grey on the shelf there was a chance the titles and the elevation they could give to tag teams would be made redundant. However, what I'm not a fan of is Dallas and Neville pairing up as there is a very good chance this could severely dampen Adrian's bright star. I can see how Bo working with the high-flyer could benefit him, but frankly his gimmick needs a complete overhaul rather than a popular tag team partner. Neville should go after the title in my opinion.
The match was weighed down by the gimmick with three teams on the outside and only two in the ring. Oddly, the face team controlled a lot of the match with the Wyatt family biding time on the outside. A sizable portion of the audience booed loudly whenever Bo Dallas tagged in off Neville and maintained their protest while he was in the ring. Perhaps this is another reason they shouldn't tag; everyone only wants to see Neville. About seven minutes into the match, the whole crowd chanted, "No more Bo." Poor kid. He really should turn heel, in my opinion.
On the positive side, at least the hot tag was popular and when Neville came in the crowd was salivating. He hit some big kicks and a standing Shooting Star Press. About two minutes into his time in the ring, every other person in the match had mysteriously vanished, allowing Neville to seemingly pick up the win over Primo. Then, Byron Saxton announced that the Colons had been eliminated. No one had mentioned that stipulation yet and it seemed to take the announcers by surprise. It also took Neville by surprise as he turned around into a huuuuuuuuuge lariat from the previously anonymous Luke Harper. It was good for the pin.
Definitely a good piece of booking and some indication that the titles are coming the way of the family. I'd like to see a situation where Bo costs Neville the titles, leading to the heel turn and a series of matches between the two to get both of them over. A man can dream.
- Up next was a tasty video package documenting the feud between Paige and Summer Rae. It eventually fed to an interview with Paige, who did a good job of highlighting that Summer Rae was being a heel and that was bad so everyone should boo her. Then, Summer attacked her from behind. There's nothing that wasn't correct here, even if it is simple booking.
This led to the match that everyone's been waiting to see next. As Paige made her entrance (with a massive pop), Summer again blindsided her. Perhaps a little selling of the injury from backstage would have added to the attack but otherwise this worked very well as the boos were ringing out for Fandango's occasional dance partner.
Paige manned up in the ring and recovered from the two attacks allowing the match to get started. Edgy line from Maddox: "You don't want to mess with the Anti-Diva. She doesn't cook, she fights." Come on Brad, it's 2013. Anyways, Paige controlled the early match, running Summer into the ropes causing her to slingshot off onto the mat. It seemed to be a way to make up for Summer being a tadge green (which Regal subtly implied on a number of occasions). What was noticeable on a number of occasions was the contrast between the very feminine style of Summer compared to the fairly masculine wrestling style of Paige. It really added to the Diva vs. Anti-Diva style.
When Regal called a leglock as an Indian Deathlock, Maddox hilariously corrected him by saying it was a "Native American deathlock." They work well together for sure.
Paige made a comeback after reaching the ropes, which caused Summer Rae to attempt to make a getaway. Paige whipped Summer into the apron hard (and I'm not sure Summer was ready for that) before hitting a spinning fisherman buster, although don't quote me on that, for the win. Regal claimed the feud wasn't over yet. Summer was still holding her lower back.
- Breaking news flash confirmed that Neville was going to have to defend the Tag Titles against the Wyatt Family next week with Bo Dallas stepping in for Grey.
- Out came Bray Wyatt for the main event against Chris Jericho. No doubt Jericho would be scouting Bray here. According to rumors, Bray could be about to be called up and I wouldn't blame Vince McMahon one little bit. The stipulation for the match was if Y2J lost he would have to join the family. Rather gives the result away doesn't it?
The crowd was hot for Jericho at the bell. He came hot and Bray kept up well, purposefully selling in an overactive manner in a reaction to the crowd. In a quieter match it would have looked out of place, but in this setting it worked very well.
The high-pace was maintained and it seemed Jericho was testing Wyatt's fitness. Maybe I'm over-analyzing, though. Still, the match slowed down once there was a little interference from Rowan. This led to him being ejected from ringside.
Back from the break, Jericho was on the outside and got big-booted by Luke Harper to emphasize the remaining numbers advantage. Harper was vocal throughout the match to add to the crazed idolizing gimmick of his. When Wyatt hit a suplex, you could hear and see Harper nodding saying "Yeah, yeah, yeah..." over and over. It was awesome.
Later in the match, Jericho hit a Codebreaker, but Wyatt rolled out to the outside. As you could predict, Harper again got involved. Bray was able to hit his big corner splash, followed by the dance routine. However, as he was about to hit the rolling cutter finish, Jericho reversed into the Walls. As he was trying to lock it in, BUT Harper popped up on the canvas. However, instead of continuing to try to lock in the Walls, Jericho slingshotted the big man into Harper. He then forced Wyatt to tap.
A good match which will go a way to get Wyatt noticed, but the stipulation left no doubt on the result. The banter between Regal and Maddox was fun, too, although at times it got in the way of the match.
- Certainly a great week of NXT. Seeing the Tag Titles come back into play next week should re-invigorate a lot of under-utilized mid-card talent.
As for the future of NXT, it was another positive couple of weeks with the Wellness Center apparently coming into effect this summer. The facility offers some fantastic opportunities to young and old talent to both improve fitness and their in-ring prowess.
Personally, there was an even brighter story this week as it would appear top independent talents Sami Callihan and Samuray Del Sol are going through WWE's pre-medical screening process prior to signing. Both are completely unique and exceptional talents which I would be very impressed to see on WWE television.
Del Sol is a luchador who, much like Adrian Neville, makes you question whether gravity applies to everyone. Five years ago, the likes of Neville (PAC at the time), Del Sol, Ricochet, Kenny Omega, Rich Swann, and A.R. Fox would occupy a similar vein of wrestling in my head of "independent wrestlers who shouldn't exist in real life" due to their unreal high-flying ability. They can all work with anyone in terms of size and seeing two men of similar freakish ability go at it is almost too much to take in. Although I haven't seen a lot of Del Sol, with my exposure only coming from PWG matches, he has always impressed and wowed me. Hopefully he will be able to bring this talent to WWE.
As for Sami Callihan, he is hard to describe. Perhaps the wrestler he is closest to is Fit Finlay with a hard-hitting style and a similar tough but not ripped body shape. However, that doesn't capture what makes Callihan special as I like watching him wrestle, whereas Finlay, erm, well, moving along. What Callihan has is total commitment and intensity and a recklessness, which will likely lead to an early retirement but makes for good matches. His facial reactions are equitable to those of Dean Ambrose or Regal and his mannerisms in the ring create a character out of his personality. His style is also purposefully awkward, which I know sounds odd, but its probably best summed up by his submission finisher: the Stretch Muffler. This move involves draping an opponent's knee over the back of the neck and pushing the foot to hyperextend the knee. It looks awkward and the suffering on Callihan's face is usually equal to the opponent. But, because of his wild eyes, hair, and look it all makes sense. His body means very little when compared to winning the match. That is something the WWE could benefit from a lot.
In short, the future is bright and it's nice to see that Daniel Bryan, Punk, and Cesaro have paved the way for the top indy talent to make their way to the big time. Kassius Ohno and Luke Harper too are proving to be a success at NXT and will likely succeed at the top level once they make their full debut.
Anyways, many thanks for your undivided attention. Although if it was divided at any point I don't blame you. Any comments tweet them at me @PWChiverton.
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