8/9 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: The Gold Rush Tournament continues, Bo Dallas vs Jinder Mahal and Michael McGillicutty vs Justin Gabriel in the last two quarter final matches, Kassius Ohno vs CJ Parker, Divas Tag Match
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 2
Taped on 7/12 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] The show opened with a video package about Dusty's announcement of the NXT Title, and showed the eight participants in the Gold Rush Tournament talking about what it would mean to win the title. This lead into the opening titles...
Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show, and said the other two quarter final matches in the tournament will take place on the show. JR checked in and teased those matches, which were Michael McGillicutty vs. Justin Gabriel, and Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal. In the arena, McGillicutty made this entrance, followed by Gabriel...
1. Justin Gabriel vs. Michael McGillicutty in a Gold Rush Tournament match. Gabriel tried for quick pins early on, while working on McGillicutty's left arm. He used his quickness to keep McGillicutty on the back foot. He managed to trap McGillicutty in a double arm wrench as we went to commercial...
We came back to see McGillicutty on the offensive, with Gabriel on the ground. He used stomps and knees to keep Gabriel grounded. Gabriel got up, and both men hit a crossbody to force a stalemate. Gabriel got the better of the exchange when they stood back up with high kicks. He built up to a springboard cross-body for a two. He attempted the 450 splash, but McGillicutty got out the way before he leapt off.
Gabriel hit powerbomb of sorts for another two. As he picked up McGillicutty, McGillicutty managed to hit a Perfect-plex out of nowhere for a close two. Gabriel escaped a side walk slam and landed a reverse DDT. He tried for a springboard moonsault, but McGillicutty moved and hit his Turning Heads neckbreaker to advance...
Michael McGillicutty defeated Justin Gabriel in 8:35 to advance to the semi finals of the Gold Rush Tournament
Saxton said McGillicutty will face Seth Rollins in the semi-finals next week. They cut to a shot of Kassius Ohno backstage shadowboxing, and Saxton said he will be in action next... [C]
Gutt Check: That match was very slow, and never really built up any steam. It surprised me that Gabriel focussed entirely on the left arm in the first few minutes, only to have it play no part in the match's finish. He would do some athletic stuff, and then go straight back to a simple armbar. Lousy.
[Q2] Kassius Ohno made his entrance, doing some more shadow boxing, as his opponent CJ Parker waited in the ring...
2. Kassius Ohno vs. CJ Parker. Regal said that Kassius was a deceptively big person, which may not come across on TV. Parker actually got the better of Ohno early on, using chain wrestling to frustrate him. Ohno slid outside, caught a chasing Parker in the apron, and then dived over the rope to stomp Parker. Ohno kept Parker grounded with stiff stomps and knees.
Parker got a foothold with some quick punches and a spinning high kick. He set up a corner move, but as he charged Ohno hit him with a big boot. Kassius slammed Parker's head into the mat a few times, before standing him up and hitting him in the back of the head with his spinning elbow finisher...
Kassius Ohno defeated CJ Parker in 4:33
Kassius left up the ramp and Saxton talked over a replay of Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton's surprise win over Hunico and Camacho last week. Saxton said Briley Pierce caught up with the winning team shortly after the match. Pierce asked the still celebrating team their thoughts, and both of them said no one expected them to beat Smackdown superstars. Pierce asked if they were now a team, and Jordan said yes. Dalton said they will look to do the same thing every week... [C]
Gutt Check: Kassius just doesn't do it for me. The character and the wrestler seem like chalk and cheese. Regal said he looks bigger in real life, but on TV he just doesn't look to pack the muscle needed to pull off a convincing 'KO artist' gimmick. His finisher, which should look devastating, looks about as harmful as a standard clothesline. It's not to say he isn't a talented wrestler, but so far I am underwhelmed by everything.
[Q3] An Ascension vignette aired, showing the team in seemingly normal clothes, intercut with them in their wrestling gear. The audio was all over the place, with them speaking quietly under loud music. It ended with Kenneth Cameron saying they will rise, before they both broke out into Dr. Evil-esque laughter. They will appear next week...
Gutt Check: No room for Rollins, Bray Wyatt or Big E Langston, no no, this episode seems dedicated to the things that haven't worked so far on the new NXT. We have had Kassius, now the Ascension. Is Raquel Diaz coming up next?
Tamina Snuka and Paige came out for Diva's tag action. They are taking on Kaitlyn and a new Diva called Caylee Turner. Turner is Alicia Fox's sister. I would make the same point I do with McGillicutty and Raquel Diaz about not using family ties, but the Fox name isn't exactly up there with 'Guerrero' and 'Hennig'...
3. Tamina Snuka and Paige vs. Kaitlyn and Caylee Turner. Somewhere, I know Short is a happy man when his girl Paige is out there. Tamina used her strength to boss around both heels, who argued between themselves. She tagged Paige in, who hit some weak looking punches and kicks on Kaitlyn before locking in a headlock.
After momentum shifted quickly a few times between the teams, the heels took control with quick tag work on Tamina. Tamina escaped a headlock from Turner with a Samoan drop, and got the hot tag to Paige. She hit Turner with a fall away slam, which forced Kaitlyn in to break the pin up. Tamina and Kaitlyn brawled on the outside as Paige rolled up Turner with a small package for the 1-2-3...
Paige and Tamina Snuka defeated Kaitlyn and Caylee Turner in 6:23
Paige celebrated with some screams. Saxton said that Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal was up next...
Backstage, Dallas was warming up as Derrick Bateman ran up behind him. Bateman congratulated him on qualifying for the tournament, but pointed out Dallas cost them a tag match a few weeks ago against Johnny Curtis and McGillicutty. Dallas asked if they were cool, and Bateman said they were. Bateman wished him luck and left... [C]
Gutt Check: Paige sure does like a scream. She and Turner both have a lot left to learn, as both look weak and lack a certain crispness. Will they get the time they need? More than likely not, as not a lot of the current Divas roster are what I would consider the 'finished article'.
[Q4] Bo Dallas came out for the main event first. As Mahal made his entrance, Regal said Mahal was looking to win the title in the memory of Dara Singh, a decently deceased India wrestling legend. JR said he was one of the biggest stars in the wrestling world at one point...
4. Bo Dallas vs Jinder Mahal in a Gold Rush Tournament match. Jinder looked to take control by using corner attacks, but Bo stalled him with several pinning attempts. Mahal went to the outside, and then the match suddenly cut. We cut to Jinder in control in the ring. That was strange.
Jinder used several knee attacks to keep Bo down. Jinder wore down Dallas, but Dallas managed to counter a back suplex into a crossbody. Dallas fired up with hit and run attacks, topped off with a belly to belly throw for a two. Mahal caused some separation by grabbing the ropes, allowing him to land a tilt-a-whirl side slam for a two count. Bo got back up and fought back with a springboard bulldog.
Mahal once again begged off Dallas, before kicking him in the shin and trying to knee him in the head. Bo dodged it, and tried to suplex Mahal, but Mahal pushed Bo through the ropes, pulling his head so it connected with the top rope. Mahal landed a Complete Shot, before applying the Camel Clutch. Bo held on for a while, but tapped eventually...
Jinder Mahal defeated Bo Dallas in 7:54 to advance to the semi finals of the Gold Rush Tournament
Jinder celebrated as JR signed off by saying 'They may be celebrating in India sooner rather than later'...
Gutt Check: Mahal has at least showed a marginal improvement in his in-ring action during his renewed pushed. He is breaking out of his old habits somewhat, ala Tyson Kidd, and that’s the most praise I can give this lacklustre show. The main event was nothing special, and yet was the best match. This was a distinct step backwards after last week’s very constructive episode. Hopefully, the semi finals will provide better entertainment next week.
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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