6/28 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Seth Rollins vs. Jiro, Richie Steamboat vs Rick Victor, Derrick Bateman vs Johnny Curtis in the main event
By Darren Gutteridge
NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped in Winter Park, Florida
Jim Ross introduced himself and Byron Saxon on commentary as Seth Rollins made his entrance, doing a kind of head bang/one man mosh on top of the stage. Jiro was already in the ring.
1. Seth Rollins vs Jiro. The two engaged in some chain wrestling to begin with, and Seth got the better of the early going, until Jiro turned it into a chopping contest. Rollins got the better of the exchange again.
Rollins utilized several kicks before hitting a corner forearm. This set up Rollins for his finisher, the 'Blackout', where he jumps and stomps on Jiro's back, driving him into the mat.
Seth Rollins defeated Jiro in 1.40.
The man with the microphone at the top of the ramp asked Seth how it felt to do what he just did. Seth said it felt great, and he was here to 'rip the roots out of the ground, crag the clouds from the sky, and change the world, one heart at a time'. He was interrupted by Jinder Mahal, and the two had a stare off before Jinder went to the ring and we went to 'Don't try this at home' video.
Gutt Check: With five matches I guess they will all be this short, but I was expecting more from the WWE debut of the artist formerly known as Tyler Black. He was hyped last week and couldn't even get three minutes? Seth's in-ring style now matches his gimmick in that it's coming off as 'CM Punk-lite' to me. Hopefully they embellish upon it as we go along. Also, that finisher, although unique, doesn't seem all that devastating.
Mahal was cutting a promo in his native tongue, before saying NXT would be moulded in his vision, and we would all become subservient when he reigns. Jason Jordan made his entrance to cut him off.
2. Jinder Mahal vs Jason Jordan. Mahal took Jordan to the ropes and the corner with knees. He kept on Jordan with strikes and a neckbreaker for a two. Jinder kept up the assault utilising the ropes, never letting Jordan up.
A double arm suplex brought another two count. Jordan dodged a knee drop, but Mahal got the better of the punches exchange, hitting a running knee to set up the Camel Clutch. Jordan tapped quickly.
Jinder Mahal defeated Jason Jordan in 2:47.
After the match, Mahal cut essentially the same promo from the start of the match.
A Leo Kruger video package aired, shot in the old NXT style of a sit down interview intercut with in-ring action. There was also some footage of Lions, and Leo likened himself to a pride leading Lion. J.R. said Kruger would debut next.
Gutt Check: A Jinder Mahal squash match? Did I turn on Superstars. WWE may have the thinking that some established stars are needed to draw fans early on, but I think the appeal of the show is all the new guys and fresh gimmicks. And Mahal isn't exactly a hook for me. Hopefully, when we are a little more down the road, they will let the FCW stars populate the whole show.
[Q2] [C] A Raw 1000 'memories' featured Dolph Ziggler talking about the first episode of Raw.
Leo Kruger made his entrance to some orchestral music. He had a leopard fur sash on. Nothing says scary like a sash. He is taking on the already in the ring Aiden English.
3. Leo Kruger vs Aiden English. Kruger took a dropkick from English without falling down, and blocked a second. Kruger began to attack, stomping two footed on English in the corner. After suplexing English and posing, Kruger landed a forearm drop before locking in a sleeper with body scissors, to which English taped out.
Leo Kruger defeated Aiden English in 1:22.
J.R. threw it over to an introduction video for Richie Steamboat. It started with a clip from Ricky Steamboat's Hall of Fame speech where they showed Richie. Again it was an NXT style intro video. Richie said he's not out to fill his Dad's shoes, as he only wants to fill his own. They intercut shots of Richie doing some of his dad’s moves with video of his dad doing them.
Gutt Check: Kruger reminded me of Jack Swagger, in that he is a bigger guy, but he seems to be solid in the ring. I know it was only a minute and a half, but he certainly has presence, and he impressed with his talking in the intro video as well.
The Usos made their entrance, and J.R. said he had been joined on commentary by William Regal and Chris Russo.
Gutt Check: RUSSO!?!?!?! RUN!!!! Oh wait, not that Russo. False alarm people.
The Ascension made their entrance, with a DX style intercutting of entrance video and actual entrance.
4. The Usos vs The Ascension (Conor O'Brian and Kenneth Cameron). Cameron tried to headbutt Jimmy, but Jimmy shook it off while smiling, before dropping Cameron with his own headbutt and tagging in Jey for some double teaming.
Cameron riled Jimmy up on the apron, so that O'Brian could pull the ropes down and send Jey to the outside while the ref was distract. The Ascension cut Jey off in their corner with a long series of stomps and quick tags. Jey fought out of a submission to get the hot tag on Jimmy as O'Brian tagged in Cameron.
Jey and O'Brian brawled on the outside as Jimmy reeled off some signatures in the ring. O’Brian got the upper hand and tagged himself in, allowing the Ascension to hit their double team move the 'Downcast' for the 1-2-3.
The Ascension defeated The Usos in 3:55.
Gutt Check: I saw a lot of praise for the introduction video for Ascension last week, but I thought it was Mickey Mouse, indy level crap. It seemed so outdated in today’s fairly normalized gimmick world. They seem to have chemistry as a unit, but I don't know if they can overcome their gimmick when they get boosted up to Raw or SD. Chris Russo kind of got lost in the shuffle on commentary.
The Alberto Del Rio Money in the Bank promo aired before commercial. [C]
[Q3] J.R. said he was back with Byron Saxton as Richie Steamboat made his entrance. I guess they messed with the pre-taped running order. Were people jonesing for their Ascension fix? Richie's opponent Rick Victor was already in the ring.
5. Richie Steamboat vs. Rick Victor: Richie controlled the early going with mat wrestling. He soon started using Steamboat arm drags as they showed Rickie Steamboat at ringside. Richie worked over Victor's left arm with arm locks and attacks.
Steamboat landed a few chops before hitting a seated Victor with a running clothesline. Richie went back to the left arm, building up to a running crossbody. After a few running clotheslines, Richie built up to a running variation of the neckbreaker, similar to JTG's, which J.R. called the 'Slingblade'. This allowed Richie to pick up the win.
Richie Steamboat defeated Rick Victor in 4:25.
Richie celebrated with his Dad at ringside as J.R. teased the main event.
Gutt Check: Richie looked impressive in his opening match, keeping up a fairly quick pace whenever he wasn't working the left arm. I question the psychology of working the left arm so much only to have it play no part in the finish. Richie also hit the right balance between paying homage to his dad and having his own style too. It's a shame Michael McGuillicutty was never given the same chance as Joe Hennig.
An Antonio Cesaro video aired, the same that aired on SD recently and on last weeks NXT. They said he was up next.
The Raw Rebound showed highlights of Chris Jericho vs John Cena, followed by Big Show's attack.
Cesaro made his entrance flanked by Aksana, and a huge Dante Dash was his opponent.
6. Antonio Cesaro vs. Dante Dash. Cesaro landed a gutwrench slam early, taking Dash down and wearing him down with a headlock. Cesaro charged Dash into the corner to carry on the attack. Saxton put over Cesaro's hybrid style of rugby style attacks. Cesaro cracked his neck following a spinebuster, setting up his Cradle slam finisher, which J.R. dubbed the Neutraliser.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Dante Dash in 1:44.
J.R. said the main event is up next as we cut to adverts. [C]
Gutt Check: The commentators really put over Cesaro's moveset, and I suppose since his character hasn't been developed yet, it makes sense to push his in-ring style. The commentators on this show, as last week with J.R. and Regal, are entirely focussed on the in-ring product, which makes a nice change from Cole's constant ramblings and distractions.
[Q4] A Bray Wyatt promo aired, with him giving a speech about love to a crowd of people, and saying he can protect them. He told them to follow him, and see how strong he can be. The crowd raised their hands to Bray.
Gutt Check: A fantastically stylized video. They aren't giving a lot of context to the Wyatt videos, but that will only add to the mysterious character they are going for.
Johnny Curtis made his entrance, followed shortly by Derrick Bateman.
7. Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis. Curtis slapped Bateman and ran away to the outside. Bateman gave chase, and dodged Curtis's sneak knee drop. Bateman landed a dropkick to take control. Bateman threw Curtis from pillar to post, but Curtis dodged a running knee. Curtis set about working the left knee.
J.R. said next week, we will have a Divas match, and the NXT debut of Kassius Ohno (formerly Chris Hero). Curtis locked in an Indian Deathlock type move, that Bateman kicked out of, only for Curtis to go for a spinning toe hold. Bateman forced him off and attacked, but hurt his knee after an STO.
Curtis tried to kick Bateman's knee, but Bateman countered, and hit his unique DDT, which he calls the 'DDD', for the win.
Derrick Bateman defeated Johnny Curtis in 4:00.
Gutt Check: Not much time for a main event. You would have thought these two could have had a good match considering the series of matches they had on the previous season of NXT. It was a lot to take in in an hour, and it's nice to see all these new guys, but the short matches meant that no one really stood out. The need to establish a roster, maybe coupled with the guys still learning their craft, may lead to quite a few match heavy shows in the coming weeks. The rookies have yet to disappoint, though, and I am hopeful for when storylines start. I just feel for the guys already not getting entrances. They haven't made it to WWE yet and they are already jobbers.
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