WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 12/25 - Week 78: Cesaro vs. Regal long-awaited match, year-end review, Overall Reax
Dec 26, 2013 - 12:09:59 PM
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WWE NXT Results
December 25, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Straight to the NXT credits this week for a "rewind" episode. Renee Young is in an empty arena. She talks up the opening of the WWE Performance Center. It is a pretty up-do-date package, as it has Stephanie McMahon listed as the "chief brand officer" of WWE.
Next is a video package on NXT alumni now on the main roster, starting with the Wyatt Family, then The Shield. Fandango is next; interesting choice, since he never played much role in the FSU-based NXT. Xavier Woods, Damien Sandow, and Antonio Cesaro are next. Big E. Langston. Odd choices with Sandow and Cesaro.
Big E. Langston is shown in the locker room. After recounting his path from NXT rookie to Intercontinental champion, he offers a ton of thanks to the fans who helped him reach his spot on the roster.
Backstage, Antonio Cesaro says that William Regal is the only one he has ever respected. He thanks Regal for helping him make it in WWE. He says that Regal should have expected that they would run into each other. He says the younger, strong, better man will prevail.
Flashback to Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey capturing the NXT Tag Team Titles, then Paige's victory to win the NXT Women's Championship. They gave Neville and Grey something like 90 seconds, and Page around four minutes, which says it all.
Devin Taylor interviewed Paige, who talked down on Emma, but says that Emma has earned her respect. She says that the NXT Women's Championship proves that she is the best "NXT women's wrestler" and sends a message to all of the "Divas" like A.J. Lee that she is coming sooner rather than later. To break the mood, Bo Dallas introduces himself. He says he needs to talk about his Bo-Leivers instead of his amazing path to greatness.
[Q2] Video recalling Dallas's fluke win over Big E. Langston.
Wyatt Family video as Bray Wyatt recounts their history at NXT.
Package on the future WWE Superstars on the NXT roster: Aiden English, Mojo Rawley, Bayley, Tyler Breeze, Alexander Rusev, Sasha Banks, Corey Graves, and Sami Zayn.
Package on the various main roster folks who have come to NXT to visit. Either my memory is bad, or a lot of this never made it to an actual broadcast. Some of this looks like it would have been a lot of fun to see.
Backstage, William Regal says he has been pondering his legacy. He regrets never becoming the World Heavyweight champion, but blames himself for getting into trouble. He says he's the best technical wrestler out there... until Antonio Cesaro, who is ten times the wrestler and ten times the man he has ever been. Regal knows that it will take a miracle to survive or win, and he doesn't deserve a miracle. He vows to give this match his all, and says that if this is his last match, it should be this match.
[ JJ's Reax: Regal is so good at putting over credible talent in his roles on NXT as announcer and wrestler. WWE needs more like him on the main roster. ]
The Shield interrupts Renee Young's intro to the Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro two-out-of-three falls match with a handheld camera promo. Rollins says that they paved the way for the rest of the NXT roster to become their victims. Reigns wraps it up. Back to Young.
Recap of that stunning match. Despite having seen the match twice, the video package was still more exciting than just about anything I saw on PPV this year.
[Q3] Devin Taylor interviews Sami Zayn about that match. Zayn puts over Cesaro and says that he'll always be bothered by the loss, but he's focused on Bo Dallas. He needs to clear Leo Kruger out of the way, so he challenges Kruger to a two-out-of-three falls match with Kruger for next week.
Tensai, Byron Saxton, and Tom Philips introduce the William Regal vs. Antonio Cesaro match. Saxton says that he hopes that Cesaro gets what he deserves. A rare show of morality from a WWE announcer.
Based on the crowd reaction to this match, it is face vs. face. Saxton plays up Regal as the underdog.
1 - WILLIAM REGAL vs. ANTONIO CESARO
They trade holds early on. Regal is startling agile for his size and age. Cesaro maintains a wristlock despite multiple kip-ups and rolls from Regal. The audience insults Regal with a "you still got it" chant and they try to tear each other's fingers off.
[ Commercial Break ]
They are still locked onto one another and refuse to let go, despite the amount of motion in the ring. Test of strength bends Regal in half, and he is howling in pain. Cesaro is able to force Regal to the mat three times, but gets one-counts on each. "This is wrestling" from the fans. They return to the grappling. Incredible feat of strength from Cesaro.
Cesaro and Regal trade elbows and knees in the corner. Regal argues with the refs and kicks Cesaro, but Cesaro comes out of the corner with a chop block while Regal has his back turned. Regal sells the knee as if he were hit with a machete. Cesaro works the knee and NXT goes to an ill-timed break.
[ Commercial Break ]
Cesaro is destroying Regal's knee while Regal desperately tries to fight back. Cesaro rips off Regal's knee brace. Cesaro grinds his knee onto Regal's. Cesaro wraps Regals neck around his neck like a yoke, then stands up. Regal manages to get to the ropes to escape the hold.
[Q4] Regal with a sudden flurry of offense, with two surprise pin attempts. Regal can barely walk and lands two punches, but Cesaro hits the ropes and clobbers Regal with an uppercut. Cesaro with ten big uppercuts mid-ring to send Regal to the mat. Seven-rotation Cesaro Swing. Regal doesn't know where he is as Cesaro kneels down to taunt him.
Cesaro wants the Neutralizer, get Regal back-drops him and lands a knee drop to Cesaro's arm. Regal gets a boot to Cesaro's arm on a follow-up attack in the corner, and Cesaro is on the mat selling both arms. Regal is trying to break Cesaro's arms. Exploder suplex and Regal heads to the corner to set up the Knee Trembler, but he's in too much pain to do it. Headbutt to Regal's chest, but Regal puts him down again.
Regal wants a butterfly suplex, but Cesaro blocks, then manages a kind of German suplex into a bridge while Regal is still locked onto him, which gets a two count. Regal maintains the hold to ground Cesaro, then wraps up Cesaro to work into the Regal Stretch. Cesaro gets to the ropes before Regal can get the hold on, though.
Dropkick to the kisser puts Regal down, but Cesaro is too hurt to do anything else. Double stomp to the back of Regal's head. Regal isn't moving. The crowd demands one more time, but the ref is waving Cesaro away. The ref lets the match go on.
Regal is dead weight as Cesaro wrangles him into the Neutralizer. Cesaro seems reluctant and repentant, and just puts Regal down. Regal is trying to climb up Cesaro to get to his feet, which angers Cesaro. No remorse this time, and Cesaro hits the Neutralizer for the win. Hushed tones from the announce team.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro in 13:00. What a match. Regal's appearances are limited, but he makes the most of them to put on an innovative and emotionally powerful match each time. The first five minutes of wrist control showed that a match could be interesting without the opponents landing a single blow or "move" against each other. Cesaro's unique moves, which he seems to make up especially for "one-time-only" events like this match, and Regal's agility (including multiple kip-ups) sent a powerful message that the desire to win can be shown by more than simply kicking out of a finisher, that it can be shown by the wrestlers acting with natural behavior and not merely following their preferred scripts to the logical conclusion.
Post-match, the refs help Regal to the back. Cesaro offers a hand, and Regal shakes it.
Final Reax: The Regal vs. Cesaro match was fantastic. It was nice to see Renee Young in a setting other than interviewer or announcer, and she put forth a really personable, passionate attitude to the product despite it being a recap episode. The backstage interview with Devin Taylor and Sami Zayn really highlighted the differences between Young and the rest of the pack, as Zayn seemed off without Young to interact with him.
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