7/19 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review Justin Gabriel vs Heath Slater main events, Raquel Diaz (a/ka/ Shaul Guerrero) debuts, Richie Steamboat vs Leo Kruger, Tamina Snuka vs. Kaitlyn, Percy Watson vs. Jinder Mahal
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show, and the camera showed him and William Regal on the commentary table, which is situated up by the ramp. Because that worked so well on Raw back in the early 2000s. They touted tonight’s main event between former Nexus allies, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater...
Tamina Snuka came out for a Divas match, and her opponent tonight is Kaitlyn...
1. Tamina Snuka vs. Kaitlyn. Tamina took control early, utilizing a Jimmy Snuka style chop to force Kaitlyn to cower behind the referee. She fought back, forcing Tamina into the corner, but Tamina again proved too strong and regained control.
Kaitlyn seemed to be working as a heel, as she got Tamina trapped in the ropes and attacked with elbows and stomps. She applied a body scissors, which Tamina turned into a pin. That forced a break and they both hit a running faceplant type move. Tamina got the better of the exchange when they got back up, and after bodyslamming Kaitlyn, she signalled for the Superfly Splash.
Kaitlyn grabbed her leg and applied a strange looking submission, stretching Tamina's elbow while putting her leg around the front of Tamina's head. Tamina managed to manuver into a Samoan drop, and then successfully hit the Superfly Splash for the victory...
Tamina Snuka defeated Kaitlyn in 5:20.
Tamina celebrated as Regal praised both girls’ efforts, before saying that the next match will be Percy Watson vs Jinder Mahal... [C]
Gutt Check: I guess more match time isn't an instant cure for the Divas division, as some people say it would be. But it down to apathy, but I can't say I shared Regal's admiration of the effort put forward. Kaitlyn tried to be dynamic with submissions, but a few looked sloppy, and Tamina bores me to tears.
[Q2] A Big E Langston promo aired, were he talked about rituals. He mentioned that he puts chalk on his hands to help him lift weights and to keep a grip on his opponent, and it's a ritual his opponents should fear, as it means the end is coming. He told his opponents to take their beating like a man...
Gutt Check: If you remember the John Cena video that aired prior to Mania this year, were he trained with the FCW guys, Big E was the guy who benched the huge weight. He is freakin huge. He appears to be a heel, as in the package he was shown wrestling Seth Rollins and Bo Dallas.
Jinder Mahal came out to a few courtesy boos, and put his turban in the special box. Percy Watson came out and tried to wake the crowd back up again. He failed...
2. Percy Watson vs. Jinder Mahal. Regal said he was at Jinder's christening, and said he had faced both of his uncles. Does Regal know everyone? Jinder tried to work headlocks early until Watson turned the pace up. He showed off after an arm drag, and Jinder kicked his shin and went on the attack with knees.
Jinder kept up with the strikes before once again applying headlocks. Watson managed to land a jawbreaker, and again started to hit and run. He hit his Showtime Splash for a two count. He tried to hit a crossbody, but Jinder ducked out of the way and hit a running knee. He motioned for and applied the Camel Clutch. Percy tapped...
Jinder Mahal defeated Percy Watson in 4:02.
Byron called Jinder the man to beat on NXT. He reapplied the Camel Clutch, and Regal said he was trying to send a message. Saxton said Raquel Diaz will debut later tonight, and up next is Leo Kruger vs Richie Steamboat...
Gutt Check: They are really pushing Jinder in a big way. I don't understand why. Percy just showed why he is one of many people I would put in front of Mahal in the queue to be the main roster 'man to beat' among the FCW guys. He is more exciting in the ring, and can certainly talk just as good as Mahal (read: not all that good).
Richie Steamboat and his awful music came out first, followed shortly by Kruger...
3. Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger. Leo took it straight to the corner, attacking aggressively until Richie turned the tide with Steamboat style chops. He followed up with a monkey flip, and once again went to the corner, but Kruger lured him in and slammed his head into the second turnbuckle.
Kruger worked a headlock, but Richie managed to work it into a small package for a two. Kruger began posturing between attacks, and Steamboat recovered enough to land a enziguri. The two engaged in a chop battle, which Steamboat won and began to fire up. After taking a few running clotheslines, Kruger rolled to the outside. Steamboat gave chase, and Kruger snuck back in the ring. Steamboat landed a crossbody, but Kruger rolled through, pinning Steamboat with his feet on the ropes for leverage...
Leo Kruger defeated Richie Steamboat in 4:55.
Kruger quickly got out of the ring and celebrated while walking up the ramp. A Raquel Diaz video aired, and her debut is up next... [C]
Gutt Check: I wondered how they would end this match, as these seem to be two guys the WWE were getting behind. A clean win this early on would have been strange, so I am OK with the dirty finish. Both guys showed strengths, and I hope this feud is allowed to continue, with progressively longer matches until someone can afford to take a clean loss and move on.
[Q3] Raquel Diaz came out with a headset microphone, talking about how she wants to give NXT a makeover. She called the colour scheme 'gross'. She said the 'Exfoliating Ugliness' tour has begun. Her promo style reminded me a lot of her mom Vickie Guerrero. Her opponent is Paige, who is from Norwich, England. I heard that this time because the mumbly Joe female announcer has been replaced my a man. (Raquel was billed from El Paso, Texas, so they have kept her home town, just not her name)...
4. Paige vs Raquel Diaz. Me and fellow NXT man Josh Short have come to the conclusion that our fellow country(wo)man Paige is 'not ugly'. Raquel trapped Paige's leg, tripping her and rubbing her face into the canvas. Paige got up and hit a few clotheslines for a 2 count.
Raquel grabbed the ropes to force a break, and then caught Paige's kick and slammed her down to the mat. This set up Raquel for her finisher, a Gory Bomb, and the 1-2-3...
Raquel Diaz defeated Paige in 1:40.
Regal admitted after the match that Raquel is a Guerrero, but didn't mention her parents. As Raquel walked to the back, she showed a few of Eddie's mannerisms...
Gutt Check: I find it strange that Regal said that Diaz is a Guerrero, but she doesn't use the name. She hit three moves in the short match, so an assessment of her wrestling skills will have to wait, but her gimmick, despite her commitment to it and bringing it into her match, feels very 'been there, done that'. LayCool, Beautiful People etc.
Backstage, Alex Riley bumped into Aksana, and asked where catering was. Aksana said she could take him there and grabbed his hand, but Riley said she could just point it out. Antonio Cesaro walked in and Aksana let go of Riley and went to Cesaro's side. Cesaro said Riley trying to steal his girl was 'very American of him'. Riley said he doesn't trust women.
Gutt Check: Be A Star!
Cesaro said he would kick Riley's teeth in. This lead to them agreeing a match for next week, and Riley left after complimenting Cesaro's man purse...
Gutt Check: Feuds seem to start out of nowhere on this shows. Last week, Kruger and Steamboat got into a brawl after saying some very generic things to each other, and now this. All I can hear is Ron Burgundy - 'That escalated quickly'. And where is Dusty Rhodes, the apparent GM? He hasn't appeared since the first segment of the first show, and he hasn't booked one match yet!
For the main event, JR joined commentary as Slater came to the ring before being joined by Gabriel...
5. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater. Gabriel flipped out of an arm drag and swept Slater's legs for the first pin. He applied an arm lock, which Slater escaped by getting to the ropes. The two began to chain wrestle, which Gabriel got the better of most of the time. Gabriel tried for a springboard, but Slater pushed him off the ropes and to the floor. This took us to the break... [C]
[Q4] Slater had a headlock applied when we returned, and worked up to a neckbreaker for a two count. Gabriel was favouring his neck, a fact the commentators picked up on. After another headlock / neckbreaker 1-2 combo, Slater got another two count. He took Gabriel to the corner, but Gabriel kicked him and rallied back. He landed a flurry of running attacks before a sitout spinebuster. As they got back up, it was Slater who attacked first, landing a spinebuster of his own.
A reverse suplex brought another 2 count for Slater. Gabriel managed to climb to the tope rope, but Slater cut him off and landed a third neckbreaker. Gabriel again kicked out. The crowd seemed to be chanting 'Where's our beef'. Your guess is as good as mine. Both men ended up on the top rope, but this time Gabriel got the better of the battle, landing a moonsault on a standing Slater, which he transitioned into a reverse DDT for the pinfall.
Justin Gabriel defeated Heath Slater in 13:20.
The commentary team signed off for the week...
Gutt Check: They seemed to botch the finish, but otherwise that was a clean and crisp match. I have seen these two work better matches, but it was the best match of the night, as the main event always should be.
Another week dominated by established roster people. That’s a shame, as they have three other shows they can be on, and this is meant to be the training ground for the next crop. I thought that was why it was pulled from mainstream American audiences, so the WWE could see the new guy's TV presence, and then give them to the American audience with TV experience under their belts, but still new and fresh. Why have so many established guys? This trend better swing the other way, and soon.
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg
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