9/6 Gutteridge's NXT Review: First week of the Seth Rollins era, The Uso Brothers vs The Ascension, Leo Kruger vs Percy Watson, Richie Steamboat vs Kassius Ohno
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 7/26 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] The show opened with a video package of the NXT Title match last week, with Seth Rollins talking about how much the title means to him. This lead into the titles ...
Byron Saxton checked in and said tonight we will hear from the new champion. Richie Steamboat came out to no reaction from the crowd, who only popped when they said his last name. Regal joined us as Kassius Ohno came down, and the pair recapped the events of two weeks ago were Steamboat came to the aid of Jake Carter as Ohno beat him up...
1. Richie Steamboat vs Kassius Ohno. Richie got all of the early going, keeping the action moving all around the ring. Kassius managed to poke Steamboat in the eye to cause the break. After some stalling, Richie fought back, so Kassius poked him in the eye again. The ref called for the bell...
Richie Steamboat defeated Kassius Ohno via DQ in 2:45
Kassius booted Steamboat through the ropes, and then dropped him onto the guardrail. Ohno threw Steamboat back in the ring and hit him in the back of the head with the discus elbow. Refs managed to stop him at this point, and Kassius left as Regal said Ohno had done all of this to make an impression. Ricky Steamboat slid in and started shouting at the refs, asking why they didn't stop it quicker... [C]
Gutt Check: See, even when he is meant to be being portrayed as vicious, I STILL can't buy Ohno. The discus elbow doesn't look as though it hurts as much as it is being portrayed, and Ohno doesn't seem to be able to hit it fluidly. Also, he got DQ'd for eye gouging, one of the wimpiest ways you can get DQ'd. Steamboat looks to have potential as a mid to upper mid card babyface, and maybe a revenge feud with Ohno involving his father will help get him over with the fans.
[Q2] We returned to see Audrey Marie coming to the ring, followed by Paige, who got a big pop. Byron said Richie Steamboat was receiving medical attention backstage...
2. Paige vs Audrey Marie. They rolled around the ring for the first two minutes. That is no exaggeration. Paige knocked Audrey loopy with a forearm smash, before picking her up for a clothesline and her finisher, were she DDT'd Audrey after first wrapping Audrey's legs around her waist...
Paige defeated Audrey Marie in 2:42
Backstage, Ricky Steamboat was walking around, trying to get to the trainers room when he spotted Ohno, who was wearing hipster glasses (the ones without glass in them). Kassius came over as polite, before saying he didn't think Rickie had much potential, as he just left him defenceless. Ricky went off at him, asking how he could think he was tough after attacking a man from behind after a match.
Ricky shoved him and the refs ran in to separate them. Ohno started shouting 'The Dragon's mad! What you gonna do, arm drag me?'. Ohno asked if Steamboat wanted his career ended twice. They cut to a tease of Seth Rollins interview later in the show, and Saxton also plugged a Brodus Clay match, as well as The Usos vs The Ascension...
Gutt Check: Paige lacks a certain crispness to her work, but then again 90 percent of Divas of the last decade have. But she’s definitely gaining a following, which is always a positive for a Diva. The backstage segment was fantastic, with Ohno's comments standing out especially. The hipster glasses and the politeness at the start however don't gel with the KO Artist gimmick at this point though. I know they are trying to market him as an intellectual with a vicious streak, but again, something ain't right.
Percy Watson made his entrance, as Regal sang his praises. Leo Kruger came down with cargo trousers on, and a strange smile on his face. Regal said that Kruger was asked to leave South Africa by Nelson Mandela himself, as he was the biggest poacher in the country. Really?...
3. Percy Watson vs Leo Kruger. Saxton said Kruger returned to South Africa recently, and came back a different man. He immediately floored Watson and went after him with vicious strikes. Percy fought back with his own strikes and two dropkicks. Percy started to get his second wind, landing the Showtime Splash for a two. As he picked Kruger up, Kruger dropped Watson onto the ropes neck first, and then hit a modified neckbreaker for the 1-2-3...
Leo Kruger defeated Percy Watson in 2:54
Saxton once again plugged the Rollins speech and the Usos vs Ascension tag match... [C]
Gutt Check: Now THAT is how you do vicious! The hard reset on Kruger's character was a little jarring, but he played it well, switching up his style from the more mat based style he used for his previous gimmick. It's a little out there, but it's not Ascension level goofy, and the fact he "used to be a big game hunter" can be utilized as little or as much as necessary.
[Q3] As we returned, Brodus Clay was making his full entrance, complete with disco ball. A big pop for the Funk as JR checked in on commentary. He is facing a nameless jobber...
4. Brodus Clay vs Jobber. Ryan Collins is Jobber's given name. Brodus took him out almost immediately with the Sheee-plex, followed quickly by his big splash finisher...
Brodus Clay defeated Jobber in 0:41.
They got some kids in the ring and danced with them. The cut to a segment from last weeks show were the Ascension attacked The Uso's. This lead into The Ascension's entrance, followed shortly by The Uso's...
5. The Uso's vs The Ascension. The two teams started fighting right from the bell. The Uso's threw their opponents out of the ring and then prevented them from getting back in. They cut to commercial ... [C]
[Q4] The Usos were still in control when we returned. Conor O'Brian eventually hit a clothesline to even the playing field. The Ascension started their corner stomping routine on Jimmy Uso, before using holds to wear Jimmy down. They did this for a good few minutes, grinding the pace to a halt and killing the crowd. Jimmy eventually landed a boot out of the corner and got the hot tag to Jay.
Jay worked Kenneth Cameron over, landing a Samoan Drop and going to the top rope. Jimmy took O'Brian out on the outside, but this allowed Cameron to recover and hit the ropes to make Jay fall of the ropes. Cameron landed a huge running jawbreaker for the pin...
The Ascension defeated The Uso's in 9:26
Gutt Check: That died a slow death in the middle when O'Brian and Cameron worked the holds. It felt like a 10 minute match when they were in their. But it also highlighted how entertaining the Uso's are. I hope they get featured prominently in the new focussed tag team division on the main roster, as they can really go.
JR stood in the ring, and brought out Seth Rollins. In the ring, JR asked how he overcame his back injury during the match to win. Rollins said there was always going to be something he had to overcome. He said Mahal called him a born loser, and from that point on, he was never going to lose.
JR said Rollins has gone from being the hunter to the hunted. Rollins said he expected that, and he wants it that way. He'll take on all comers, but eventually, everyone will be blacked out. JR congratulated him, and this ended NXT...
Gutt Check: Is that it? Two questions? No run ins? No set up for the next feud. I liked everything Rollins said, but could they not have cut the pointless Brodus match and 2 or 3 minutes out the tag match to give Rollins a real chance to talk about his win as his new title? A strange end.
NXT didn't fly this week. There’s progression, for sure, but most of it didn't really engaged me or get me excited. The continued presence of The Ascension and Kassius Ohno (although I did like the backstage segment with Ricky Steamboat), coupled with an anti-climatic end lead to a very forgetful NXT.
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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