8/2 Short’s WWE NXT Review: Start of the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the new NXT Champion, Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger and Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre, Big E Langston debuts
By Josh Short
WWE NXT on DailyMotion
Taped in Winter Park, Fla. At Full Sail University.
The new signature aired and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. He hyped that there would be lots of announcements tonight before sending it over to NXT Interim GM Dusty Rhodes. Dusty was sat backstage; he talked about being a champion no matter what level you compete at. He said that NXT needs a guy that is going to move up and chase the dream of being a champion.
He hyped that the first WWE NXT Champion would soon be crowned. He announced that after weeks of tournaments a tournament which he called the “Gold Rush Tournament” would start taking place. He also announced that it would feature the following 8 superstars; Richie Steamboat, Bo Dallas, Leo Kruger, Seth Rollins, Michael McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal and Justin Gabriel. He hyped that the Gold Rush tournament would begin right now...
Short’s Synopsis: A good promo from Dusty. He’s not appeared since the first episode so it was important to reintroduce him in a strong way if he’s going to be taken seriously as an (Interim) GM. He made the NXT Championship and the Gold Rush Tournament feel like a big deal whilst keeping his promo short, sweet and unbiased. Nice work.
The opening video aired, followed by a shot of the NXT Championship as Richie Steamboat made his entrance to a good pop. Saxton checked back in on commentary and introduced William Regal and JR on commentary. Leo Kruger made his entrance to good heat as they replayed footage from their match 2 weeks ago.
1. Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger. Both men locked up and Richie went for two quick pin attempts. Leo stalled early on by constantly going to the outside and teasing to get back in. He also faked a knee injury in order to strike down Steamboat. Kruger worked over Steamboat with punches and stomps on the floor before posing and hitting his signature snap suplex.
Kruger kept Steamboat grounded with numerous headlocks before hitting a great looking spinebuster for a near floor. Kruger locked in the sleeper hold momentarily before hitting several strikes on a grounded Steamboat again. Steamboat eventually hit a high kick followed by several chops and clotheslines. He hit a backdrop and an elbow into a corned Kruger followed by a missile dropkick for a 2 count.
Steamboat tried for a running attack on Kruger but got locked in the Sleeper Hold. Steamboat fell to the ropes which once again prompted several strikes, including knees, to a grounded Steamboat. Kruger picked Steamboat up and whipped him into the ropes, Steamboat came back by ducking a clothesline and hitting the Sling Blade for the win...
Richie Steamboat defeated Leo Kruger in 7.55 to advance to the semi finals of the Gold Rush Tournament.
Whilst Steamboat was celebrating and Kruger was looking distraught they showed the remaining brackets for the Gold Rush Tournament. The other three matches were shown as Rollins vs. McIntyre, Gabriel vs. McGillicutty and Dallas vs. Mahal. Byron said Rollins vs. McIntyre will take place later on in the show...
Short’s Synopsis: A match that wasn’t very exciting but featured some good ring psychology on behalf of Kruger. WWE are apparently high on both guys so I suppose they didn’t really want either guys to have a distinct advantage over the other, hence why 2 weeks ago Kruger won with his foot on the ropes and this time he dominates but loses.
Big E Langston made his entrance to little reaction; he rubbed chalked on his hands and clapped in a big way as Saxton said he can bench 600lbs. His opponent; Adam Mercer was introduced to no reaction as Regal noted that Big E has record in dead lifting and that he can dead lift 700 lbs...
2. Big E Langston vs. Adam Mercer. Langston immediately started with knees to the mid section of Mercer. He then hit several rib breakers, and a series of shoulder blocks in the corner. Langston started talking trash at Mercer, which allowed Mercer to hit two jawbreakers. He tried to hit Langston off the ropes but Langston stopped him with a punch to the gut then practically ran Mercer over with a splash type of maneuver. Big E pulled the straps on his singlet down and hit his finisher; the Big Ending (which is basically a scoop slam into and RKO to the stomach) for the win...
Big E Langston defeated Adam Mercer in 1.59.
Regal said the sky is the limit for Langston as Byron teased Rollins vs. McIntyre for later in the show, and Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie next.
Short’s Synopsis: Holy shit did Big E impress me in that short space of time. He looked like one bad ass SOB in that match. I’ve seen his finisher several times before on FCW and yet every time I see it it looks great. Big E also has a great look and I feel he has that mysterious X factor that people talk about. Overall a great debut for him.
Audrey Marie made her entrance first to very little reaction. Raquel Diaz then made her entrance with a headset on. She said that Marie doesn't know how to work a ramp. She got in the ring and said the 'Exfoliating Ugliness tour' starts now...
3. Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie. Marie started with a headlock as Regal mentioned the Guerrero’s by name whilst he talked about Raquel’s heritage. Diaz drove Audrey onto the ropes and locked in a headlock of her own. Diaz started to rag Audrey’s hair and scream in typical cat-fight style. She attempted a backslide pin but Marie used the ropes to flip out of it in a bad spot. It prompted a 'you can't wrestle' chant from the crowd as Diaz set up and hit the Gory Bomb for the win...
Raquel Diaz defeated Audrey Marie in 2.33.
After the match, Diaz drew an L on Marie's head with lipstick... Backstage, Briley Pierce (Dolph Ziggler's younger brother) was stood next to mine and Gutteridge’s favourite NXT diva Paige, who had just watched the match. He asked for her thoughts were on what she had just seen. She said “Exfoliating Ugliness tour? We'll see”...
Short’s Synopsis: Raquel and creative seems to be putting a lot of effort into this gimmick but I don’t know if it’s really clicking. We’ve seen Maryse and Lay-Cool use this type of gimmick before and while Maryse was really believable with it I’m not sure I feel the same way about it with Raquel. The whole thing seems to be too forced and too over the top that it’s hard to get into. You could argue that as a heel she’s doing a good job of annoying me but her act is making me want to mute the laptop not boo her.
As for the “You can’t wrestle” chants, I completely understand where the crowd are coming from but I think Raquel’s hands are tied in this one. She’s portraying a stereotypical bitch, so she’s bound to go for the cat-fights and I think she gets so much pressure put on her by her last name that people are going to pick small faults when it comes to her wrestling ability. On the plus side they seem to be setting up a feud between her and Paige and a feud is something this show does need.
Hunico and Camacho made their entrance to decent heat. Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton were introduced as their opponents in the ring, they got a polite response.
4. Hunico and Camacho vs. Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton. Regal once again told his story of how Hunico and Camacho became friends. Jordan started with some amateur wrestling take downs. Mike Dalton tagged in but Hunico took control with a dropkick after Camacho distracted Dalton. Hunico and Camacho used quick tags to isolate Dalton in their corner. Dalton attempted a comeback with a quick pin attempt however Hunico escaped and tagged in Camacho who hit a nice butterfly suplex.
Hunico and Camacho continued double teaming Dalton whilst the ref was distracted. Hunico went to powerbomb him off the Irish whip, but Dalton leapfrogged him and countered with a head scissors to the legal man Camacho. Jordan grabbed Hunico's legs to stop breaking up the upset win. . .
Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton defeated Hunico and Camacho in 3.44.
Jordan and Dalton immediately started walking back up the ramp, as Regal called it the biggest upset on NXT so far. Byron said the main event is up next...
Short’s Synopsis: That result was a surprise, as I thought Hunico and Camacho were going to get a squash win and the finish was an impressive spot. Nothing else really to say other than Hunico and Camacho continue to show good chemistry as a tag team.
Drew McIntyre came out to his full entrance to some applause, especially from some women in the crowd. Seth Rollins made his moshing entrance to a good pop. Seth, like Drew signaled toward the Championship on the stage as Drew signaled 1-0 with his hands in relation to Drew’s victory over Seth last week.
5. Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre in a Gold Rush Tournament match. Both men traded control quickly over the first few minutes as a “Let’s go Rollins” chant started. Seth eventually hit a dropkick which forced McIntyre to roll out of the ring and hide under the apron. He slammed Rollins into the apron when he followed him, and then slammed his arm into the ring steps. Back in the ring, McIntyre worked over Seth’s arm, including hitting a back suplex onto it as Saxton sent us to a break...[C]
Back from the break Rollins was favouring the left arm as Drew beat him down in the corner. Drew controlled Seth and the pace by slowly wearing down Rollins by continuing to focus on his arm. Rollins finally got a break after countering what was most likely a backdrop attempt into a big DDT. Rollins hit several kicks as he sold the arm injury. He eventually hit a suicide dive through the ropes onto McIntyre after Drew had gone to the outside.
Back in the ring Rollins moshed to set up a corner forearm, but McIntyre stopped the follow up with a stiff clothesline which drew a good reaction from the crowd. Seth jumped off the second rope however Drew countered with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count. Drew set up the Future Shock DDT, but Rollins escaped twice. Drew then went for a back suplex from the top rope, but Rollins fought out, and went for a phoenix splash. Drew moved, and tried for a big boot in a similar spot from last weeks match, but this time Rollins dodged it and hit the Blackout for the victory. . .
Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre in 13.11 to advance to the semi finals of the Gold Rush Tournament.
Rollins went and celebrated next to the belt as Saxton said the Gold Rush tournament will continue next week to close the show. . .
Short’s Synopsis: Another quality match from these two. I like how they worked in some of the spots from last week as it helped to tell a story throughout the match. Seth seems to be playing an underdog for the majority of his matches and in my opinion this is a double edged sword. This is because I don’t think we get to see enough of his offense in a match however he does seem to be getting the crowd to rally behind him really well.
Overall this was a good, productive episode of NXT. There was a mixed bag of match quality but we finally have some kind of direction/purpose on the show. Feuds are starting and there’s a tournament to establish the major players on the show. The only thing that was really missing was character development, however I’m sure we’ll get more of that once more feuds start happening.
Thanks for taking time out to read my review of NXT, if you have any questions or fancy chat about anything from football (soccer) to movies, to of course NXT and wrestling in general feel free to send me a message @JoshTubeShort. Cheers.
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