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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORTS 4/17 & 4/24 & 5/1: Jericho in action, The Shield, Clash of Champions featuring several title matches, Paige vs. Summer Rae feud continues, more

May 3, 2013 - 1:18:32 PM
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By Justin James, PWTorch Contributor

WWE NXT Results
April 17, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University


[Q1] The pre-credits video looked at The Shield's involvement in NXT over the last few months, and Corey Graves calling them out. Nice package creating excitement to see what would happen next.

Tony Dawson welcomes William Regal back to the announcing booth, with minimal attention to last week's brutal match against Kassius Ohno. Justin Gabriel is out for the first match. He's facing Leo Kruger, who is more "mercenary" and less "safari" tonight.

1 - JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. LEO KRUGER

They trade big chops early on until the pace picks up. Gabriel starts to work an arm. Kruger with a spinebuster from nowhere to turn it around. Gabriel goes on offense, but Kruger knocks the ropes out from under him on a springboard move. Kruger gets the crazy eyes and unleashes a big forearm to the head for a nearfall.

Gabriel with an armbar, but Kruger gets to the ropes. Gabriel wants the 450 splash, but Kruger springs to life and knocks him down. They battle on and around the turnbuckle. Kruger blocks a sunset flip powerbomb, then slaps on an armbar of his own for a submission victory.

WINNER: Leo Kruger via submission in 8:00. Both men added a few new moves, and the story was Gabriel trying to add more submissions to his arsenal. But we've seen these two face each other a lot lately with no story behind it, and the match is stale.

[Q2] Video package showing NXT roster members at WrestleMania week. Nice alternative to the main roster versions we've already seen too many times.

Backstage, Renee Young asks Paige about Summer Rae. Paige says that Paige is good at running her mouth and running away. She demands a one-on-one match. As she builds to her point, Rae ambushes her and gets in her face.

[ J.J.'s Reax: If this were a pair of men on the main roster, this would obviously be leading to a "falls count anywhere" match, cage match, or No DQ match. I doubt there would ever be a cage match on NXT, but I would sure love to see this feud get that level of attention. Stipulation matches are rare in NXT, so whatever they do will feel special. ]

2 - BAYLEY vs. EMMA

Emma quickly decides she wants no part of Bayley, but Bayley keeps her in the match. Emma sits on a Sunset Flip and does her dance moves, letting Bayley roll through with a double leg nelson cover for a nearfall. Bayley tries to rip Emma's head off with a lengthy hold during a round of dueling chants from the crowd. Emma dodges a corner charge and cinches in a tarantula through the ropes. Emma with more dancing, then a submission victory.

WINNER: Emma via submission in 3:00. Lots of clunky sequences, but the raw material is here for some good matches down the road. Interesting to see the crowd slowly embracing Emma's goofy character.

[Q3] 3 - YOSHI TATSU vs. BRAY WYATT (w/Luke Harper and Eric Rowan)

Wyatt out of the gate like a tank with a Ferrari engine. Kiss to the forehead and the Sister Abigail for the win.

WINNER: Bray Wyatt in 0:45. Quick squash to help re-establish Wyatt as a threat in the ring.

Post-match, Wyatt re-delivers the Sister Abigail, then cuts a promo to send a message to the locker room. One final kiss to Tatsu's head.

In a moment of poor planning, they ran an ad for Adrian Neville to face (former U.S. champ) Antonio Cesaro for the U.S. Title.

Corey Graves gets the Justin Bieber reaction as women go nuts for his entrance. Rollins still gets a bit of a face reaction.

4 - COREY GRAVES vs. SETH ROLLINS - Lumberjack match

Rollins with early offense. Graves yanks Rollins into the ring over the rope as Rollins is desperate to stay in the ring and avoid the lumberjacks. Graves starts to attack the knee as he mocks Rollins. Rollins with a palm thrust to the neck and he tries to fix his knee. Enziguri knocks Graves off the turnbuckle to the outside.

[Commercial Break]

Rollins is still in control out of the break. Nasty gutbuster and a seated abdominal stretch. Body scissors keeps up the attack on Graves's midsection. Graves digs an elbow in the the knee to escape, but Graves doesn't tap to a Camel Clutch. Graves can't get a break as Rollins slowly picks him apart. Graves dodges a top-rope move and a high-knee gains him some momentum.

Graves with a legwhip off the top turnbuckle and Rollins gets sent out of the ring to meet the jacks. Graves follows with a front suplex as Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose take on all 12 lumberjacks by themselves, allowing Ambrose to level Graves in the melee. Reigns and Ambrose managed to destroy all 12 of the lumberjacks, then Rollins with the Skywalker for the win.

winner: Seth Rollins in 9:00. Match didn't quite live up to expectations, which were admittedly high, because of the booking. They just weren't working to a conclusion.

Final Reax: I feel like NXT is building to a night of cage matches, with both Corey Graves and Paige having a legitimate reason to want one. Outside of that, this episode was just filler. Next week's will be too, as the main roster invades.

***

WWE NXT Results
April 24, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University


This week's episode was advertised as showing a number of NXT members against main roster members. Since some of these are championship matches, the outcome is unfortunately quite predictable. With any luck, the action will not fail to deliver.

[Q1] Dusty Rhodes has a pre-credits promo from his office welcoming us to NXT "Clash of the Champions."

As Antonio Cesaro makes his way to the ring, WWE engages in a rare moment of honesty with a crawler noting that this episode was taped before Cesaro lost his title. He cut a short promo demanding respect from the crowd, but was cut off by Adrian Neville's music.

1 - ANTONIO CESARO vs. ADRIAN NEVILLE - United States Title match

Neville with a quick schoolboy for a quick pin attempt. Cesaro takes him down and mocks him a bit. Cesaro with some offense, but a huracanrana sends Cesaro out of the ring. Neville's speed lets Neville look good, but Cesaro catches him in the corner and dumps him face-first into the ring post.

[Commercial Break]

Cesaro with a post-break hold, but Neville breaks out. Cesaro with a double stomp to put Neville back down. There's some exciting action as Neville keeps trying to speed it up and Cesaro keeps shutting him down with counters and reversals. Neville low-bridges Cesaro then strikes from the apron. Neville with a springboard moonsault from the apron knocking Cesaro down and somehow landing on his feet. The crowd is on their feet after that. Springboard missile drop kick gets a nearfall, then a standing star press for a nearfall then a brilliant jumping headscissors into a pin for a nearfall.

They reset. Neville wants a moonsault from the turnbuckle but Cesaro catches him and Neville reverses the counter with a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Neville sets up the corkscrew Shooting Star Press, but Cesaro crotches him. Cesaro with a running European uppercut to Neville on the post, then picks him off the turnbuckle for the Neutralizer and the win.

WINNER: Antonio Cesaro in 9:45. This match fulfilled then exceeded all of the promise that we've seen in both Cesaro and Neville. If you were not well acquainted with WWE booking and the knowledge that the U.S. Title would never change hands on NXT, this would be a nailbiter. Neville didn't play the "scrappy, undersized, underdog who just might get lucky" here, he really did come off as a legitimate contender who was beaten by a more experienced competitor. The number of reversals and counters in this match made it feel like you were watching Chris Jericho facing Chris Jericho.

[Q2] A.J. comes out looking a bit nuts for her match, as Byron Saxton gives them the full honors for the championship match.

2 - Divas champion KAITLYN vs. A.J. LEE - Divas Title match

Kaitlyn offers a handshake and A.J. barely takes it, then she slaps Kaitlyn hard. Kaitlyn with some whips, but A.J. dodges a corner charge and starts to work an arm. Kaitlyn tries to fight out of an armbar, but A.J. takes her down again. Kaitlyn fights out of the corner then runs at A.J., but A.J. opens the ropes to send Kaitlyn to the outside. A.J. locks in a sleeperhold, but Kaitlyn quickly escapes. A.J. with more offense and she looks frustrated. Kaitlyn with the spear with no warning for the win.

WINNER: Kaitlyn in 5:00. A.J. is quite likely the best thing going in the ring on the main roster. Natalya is arguably more technically skilled, but A.J.'s ring psychology is far better.

Backstage, Tony Dawson has Chris Jericho, who is set to be on NXT next week. Jericho compliments Tony Dawson's attire, and says that he's impressed by the NXT facility, and hypes NXT as the future of WWE. Dusty Rhodes has let him have his pick of opponents, but then Bray Wyatt interrupts. He offers to make Jericho something that people fear again, if he just carries the chains of the Wyatt Family. Jericho tells him to never interrupt him again, and says that he's been watching Wyatt, and he's good but not great. Jericho says Wyatt is his opponent for next week. Jericho says that beating him will likely send him to the main roster and if he loses, he will join the Family.

[ J.J.'s Reax: Good segment, with Jericho putting over Wyatt while not pandering to him. It shows a lot of well-placed confidence in Wyatt to spend a Jericho match on him. Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves are the only other Superstars that this would make sense for. ]

[Q3] Big E. Langston comes out to a five count chant to face Brad Maddox. Brad Maddox gives his own introduction, and claims to be 295 pounds, "chiseled." He also copped a page from Mr. Anderson and repeated his name.

3 - NXT champion BIG E. LANGSTON vs. BRAD MADDOX - NXT Title match

Maddox offers a handshake, then changes his mind, big Langston back-drops him. Maddox pokes Langston, then shoves him, and pays the price. Langston drops the straps and lands the Big Ending for the win.

WINNER: Big E. Langston in 1:00. Langston is at his best in squash matches.

Post-match, Langston gives the crowd what they want, another Big Ending and a five count. He lets the crowd talk him into a third, over the ref's objections.

Tony Dawson is backstage with Bo Dallas to ask him about this shot at the Intercontinental Title. Dallas says he is under-rated like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, and others.

4 - IC champion WADE BARRETT vs. BO DALLAS - Intercontinental Title match

Barrett easily muscles Dallas into the corner, but Dallas surprises Barrett with an elbow to get some respect. Barrett responses with brawling offense.

[Q4] Dallas with a brief flurry, but Barrett takes a breather outside. Barrett with more brawling. Dallas makes a comeback and takes Barrett out of the ring with a clothesline.

[Commercial Break]

Dallas is controlling Barrett by the arm, but Barrett comes back. A knee to the head flips Dallas around, then Barrett follows with a big boot. Dallas is reeling. Barrett sets Dallas across the corner ropes and knees him in the gut and over the ropes. Pumphandle slam gets Barrett a two count. Knees to Dallas in the ropes draws the ref's reprimand. Dallas gets boots up in the corner then a drop toehold to gain some breathing room.

Barrett wants a pumphandle slam, but Dallas reverses. Barrett shrugs off a tornado bulldog and hits the Winds of Change for a nearfall. Barrett calls for the end and rolls down the elbow pad, but Dallas ducks the Bullhammer and hits a tornado bulldog for a nearfall. Barrett blocks a whip, and wants Wasteland, but Dallas holds the ropes and gets onto the turnbuckle. Dallas looks for a move off the ropes, but Barrett catches him with a Bullhammer in mid-air for the win.

WINNER: Wade Barrett in 12:30. Barrett showed the offense that has impressed many, and Dallas did his usual fine job at selling, but Dallas still lacks pizzazz and impact on offense. The crowd was firmly behind Barrett, which didn't help.

Final Reax: The first match was very, very good, and the last match was decent enough, but there was little reason to watch this episode. Most of the storylines are close to dead at this point, unfortunately, outside of the Divas, which is an unusual state for a WWE show.

***

WWE NXT Results
May 1, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University


[Q1] Pre-credits hypes Chris Jericho facing Bray Wyatt tonight on NXT. I remember seeing Jericho take on Daniel Bryan on the first episode of NXT, a brutal match, and it put Bryan's career on the right track. Let's see what he can do for Wyatt.

Primo and Epico come out for a Triple Threat elimination tag team match. Can they fit in any more stipulations ? It's William Regal, Tony Dawson, and Brad Maddox in the booth. The next team is Luke Harper and Eric Rowan. Bray Wyatt is notably absent. The third team is Bo Dallas and Adrian Neville.

1 - PRIMO & EPICO vs. THE WYATT FAMILY vs. ADRIAN NEVILLE & BO DALLAS - non-title, triple threat, elimination tag team match

Dallas and Rowan to start. Neville and Dallas keep Rowan isolated. Now it's Harper and Neville and Neville gets wrecked by Harper. Neville fends off Harper and Epico comes in, only to be double-teamed by Dallas and Neville. Maddox wants to know how Primo and Epico will do without Rosa Mendes; they can't lose more than they do with her.

[Commercial Break]

Dallas is down and out at ringside at the hands of Harper, and Neville has a bruised and swollen face and the ref is wearing rubber gloves. Primo manages to tag in and kicks the pace into high gear. Dallas finally escapes Primo to get to Neville. Standing Shooting Star Press, but Epico breaks up the tag. Dallas spears Epico out of the ring. Everything falls apart, but Neville barely kicks out of a surprise rollup.

[Q2] Roundhouse from the apron sets up the corkscrew Shooting Star Press to eliminate Primo and Epico.

First Elimination: Primo and Epico in 11:45.

Harper immediately levels Neville with a lariat for the win.

WINNERS: Luke Harper & Eric Rowan in 12:00. Slow match with Dallas taking an extended beating. I guess it's better than seeing Justin Gabriel face Leo Kruger again.

Video package on the Paige-Summer Rae feud. When was the last time a Divas feud warranted a video package on Raw or Smackdown? Up next is Summer Rae against Paige. That should have been advertised a week in advance.

Paige is making her entrance when Summer Rae ambushes her from behind. Rae tries to follow up, but Paige takes her down. The ref calls for the bell to start the match mid-brawl.

2 - PAIGE vs. SUMMER RAE

Paige continues the assault. Rae tries to beg off then sucker Paige, but Paige doesn't fall for it. Rae slaps Paige, but Paige ducks the repeat attempt and wallops Rae. Exploder suplex into a bridge and cover gets two for Paige. Paige chokes Rae in the ropes, who takes a powder.

[Commercial Break]

Paige is trying to rip Rae's head off mid-ring. Rae manages to turn it around as Maddox asks Regal if he has a crush on Paige. Rae with an Indian Deathlock, which Maddox insists on calling a "Native American Deathlock." Rae continues to work the legs with submissions. Paige is desperate for the ropes, and finally makes it. Paige weakly kicks out of a cover, and is barely able to walk as she starts a comeback.

Paige tosses Rae by the hair, then stomps a mudhole in the corner. Rae goes outside and waves the match off, but Paige sends her into the apron back-first. Paige is still selling the legs. Rae tries a kick to get some room, but Paige catches it and reverses with the Paige Turner for the win.

WINNER: Paige in 7:30. Very intense, physical Divas match. It was a real treat to see a Divas match get this kind of attention. Regal says he thinks this feud may not be over and I hope that he is right. Summer Rae shows some green, but watching this match had me hoping that Paige against A.J. Lee or Natalya could become a reality one day.

[Q3] Post-commercial video package says that instead of stripping Neville and Grey of the NXT Tag Titles, Neville will get to pick a new partner and he has picked Bo Dallas. They will defend against The Wyatt Family next week.

Bray Wyatt comes out calling himself a hero. He recognizes tonight as the biggest night of his life because he is facing Chris Jericho. He vows to break down the walls. Creative camera work manages to make the Full Sail Arena look a lot bigger than it is when Jericho's music hits.

3 - CHRIS JERICHO vs. BRAY WYATT (w/Luke Harper and Eric Rowan)

Wyatt shows off his strength, then gets in Jericho's face. Jericho slaps him, then goes on the attack. Wyatt slips to the outside to take a rest. Jericho kicks his face when he tries returning into the ring. Jericho knocks Wyatt around the apron, then hits a top rope cross-body block. Rowan trips Jericho, so the ref ejects Rowan, but not Harper.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Jericho is controlling Wyatt, but Wyatt surprises him with a boot, then sends Jericho to the outside. Wyatt distracts the ref so Harper can get a cheap shot in. Wyatt taunts the crowd, then drops some elbows on Jericho. The crowd can't rally Jericho to life. Wyatt taunts Jericho, which lets him slip away, but Wyatt puts Jericho back on the mat. Wyatt chockes Jericho in the ropes, then distracts the ref again for Harper to do some more damage.

Big snap suplex, but Jericho rolls under a running senton. A pair of shoulder blocks and a top rope double axe handle from Jericho. Jericho with the bulldog, then a springboard dropkick to clear Harper from the apron, letting Wyatt surprise Jericho for a close nearfall. Jericho is stumbling, but nails an enziguri for a nearfall. Running cross-body gets two-and-seven-eights for Wyatt. Jericho comes back with a surprise Codebreaker, but Wyatt rolls out of the ring.

[Q4] The ref pays too much attention to Wyatt, allowing Harper to manhandle Jericho on the outside. The ref catches Harper rolling him back in and admonishes him. Wyatt covers for a nearfall. Wyatt with blows in the corner, then a cross-ring splash. Wyatt does the dance and the kiss and sets up Sister Abigail, but Jericho slips out, wants the Walls, but rolls through and catapults Wyatt, knocking Harper off the apron and up the ramp. Jericho with the Walls for the win.

WINNER: Chris Jericho in 10:00. As Brad Maddox summed up, "I was so impressed with Bray Wyatt, I didn't want it to end." I concur. Jericho was on point as usual, and Wyatt stepped up admirably. The big drawback was that there were at least a few instances where the ref should have disqualified Wyatt for outside interference and didn't. NXT has produced a number of big men who move very deftly (Brodus Clay, Big E. Langston, and Luke Harper, for example) and Wyatt stands on top of that mountain in terms of in-ring ability. He may be the first wrestler who improved his career by ceasing to shave and starting the dance with and kiss other men.

Final Reax: With roughly 30 minutes of in-ring action on a 45-minute show, it's hard to find fault with this episode of NXT, despite the paucity of promos and a sluggish opening match. I really do hope to see another installment of Paige and Summer Rae. I am not too thrilled about the pairing of Bo Dallas with Adrian Neville, as I think that the NXT roster has a ton of unexplored depth (Xavier Woods, Mike Dalton, and Jake Carter immediately come to mind), and Dallas has been extremely overexposed while not gaining much real traction with the audience despite repeated opportunities. They also need to bring back his original music. What ever happened to Sasha Banks and Audrey Marie's feud?

[Torch art credit Travis Beaven (c) PWTorch.com]


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