9/20 Gutteridge’s NXT Review: Seth Rollins vs Rick Victor, Trent Barreta vs Johnny Curtis, Paige vs Alicia Fox, Conor O’Brian vs Jimmy Uso, Kassius Ohno holds a sparring session
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 8/9 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Byron Saxton welcomed us, and teased Rick Victor vs. Seth Rollins as our main event. Trent Barreta came out to a decent point. William Regal joined and said he hadn't realized Trent had been missing for 6 month. Johnny Curtis is his opponent...
1. Trent Barreta vs. Johnny Curtis. A few 'welcome back' chants greeted Trent. Both men showed off their athleticism early on, including a sweet handspring from Curtis. Curtis cut Trent off on the top rope, and began working over his left arm.
Curtis placed Trent on the top rope, but Trent managed to get the upper hand and land a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. This allowed Trent to fire up and fly around the ring. He built up to a Whisper in the Wind, getting another two count. Trent tried for a Tornado DDT, but Curtis countered by hurling Trent into the turnbuckle. Curtis went top rope, but Trent rolled out the way of the subsequent leg drop, and then landed a running knee for the 1-2-3...
Trent Barreta defeated Johnny Curtis in 5:37
As Barreta celebrated, Saxton plugged Paige vs. Alicia Fox, as well as the main event... [C]
Gutt Check: A nice return for Barreta. People seemed to care that he was back, and Regal tried to sell the viewing audience on Barreta's determination to go places in the business. Barreta is a rare high flyer in the WWE today (and even rarer as he isn't a real Lucha style high flyer like Mysterio and Sin Cara), and I hope there’s a niche for him on TV
[Q2] Alicia Fox was already in the ring. Paige received a 'Paige' chant when she made her entrance. I honestly don't know how she’s managed to gain a following with a crowd that is paid in and doesn't see her on TV every week, but kudos to her...
2. Paige vs. Alicia Fox. Paige tried a variety of pinfall attempts that went nowhere. After they engaged in a slap battle, Alicia took control with a Tilt-A-Whirl backbreaker. A Northern Lights suplex brought a two count, and Alicia worked on Paige on the mat.
Paige escaped a double arm stretch, and she looked like she was getting on a roll. Alicia briefly fought back with an elbow, but when she went to pick up Paige, Paige countered into her cradle DDT finisher for the victory...
Paige defeated Alicia Fox in 4:45
Paige caught her breathe in the ring as Saxton told us that Kassius Ohno's sparring session will be coming up later, as will Jimmy Uso vs Conor O'Brian. This lead into the Raw Rebound, which focussed on the Punk/Cena events...
Gutt Check: Both girls have athletic ability, but they both lack polish. Almost everything in that match was scrappy, but you could see how a little more work with the trainers could iron out these problems. And they should get that underway immediately, because Paige has got over in no time at all, so a main roster bump can't be too far away.
The Ascension made their entrance, with the Usos already in the ring...
3. Jimmy Uso vs. Conor O'Brian. O'Brian got knocked to the outside, but he managed to catch Jimmy out when he tried to baseball slide him. Back in the ring, O'Brian wore Jimmy down with a headlock. Jimmy eventually escaped, and began to hit and run.
After the running ass attack, Jimmy went top rope, but became distracted by Cameron. Jey threw him off the apron, but as the ref dealt with him, Cameron recovered to throw Uso off the top rope. O'Brian hit a running dropkick to Jimmy's chin, and got the pinfall...
Conor O'Brian defeated Jimmy Uso in 3:46
After the match, as Jey tended to Jimmy, the Ascension attacked them both. After taking out Jey with a high low combo, they slid out of the ring in the exact same way, side by side, and roared on the outside. Saxton plugged the main event, before we went backstage to Briley Pierce, who was interviewing Bo Dallas.
Briley asked Bo how hungry he was for the title. Before he could talk, Michael McGuillicutty walked in and told him to shut up. McGuillicutty started to talk about his win last week over Tyson Kidd to become the #1 contender to Seth Rollins, but Bo hit him and they started brawling. The refs pulled them apart...[C]
Gutt Check: I was more impressed last week with Kenneth Cameron and Jey Uso than this week. The match wasn't given a lot of time, but they didn't do a lot in it. Also, the slid thing looked weird. A step back after last weeks tuning down of the theatrics.
[Q3] Kassius Ohno made his entrance for his sparring session. A jobber awaited his fate in the ring...
4. Kassius Ohno vs. Jobber in a sparring session. Jobber's mother calls him Oliver Grey. Kassius took the jobber to the corner and started his striking game. Kassius took him to the mat and applied an arm trap crossface to a seated Jobber, and he tapped out.
Kassius Ohno got on the mic and said he didn't expect the match to be over so quickly, so he asked the ref if Jobber was OK, and when he said he was, he said he would give him a second chance, and asked for the bell. Kassius immediately levelled Jobber with his spinning elbow, and then applied the same crossface for another tap out...
Kassius Ohno defeated Jobber in 1:29
As Kassius left the crossface on, Richie Steamboat ran out to make the save, forcing Ohno to retreat up the ramp. Saxton once again plugged the main event, before a Leo Kruger video aired. Kruger was shown in shadows and in cut together close ups. He said he can't wait to meet all his new friends, and said he had so much to share with them. He concluded by saying 'this is going to be special' before laughing in a strange giggle...
Gutt Check: I would have had this pan out more like Kurt Angle's exhibitions used to go, with him knocking out several men in turn. What we got was just a normal match with a stoppage in the middle. I don't think this added anything to Kassius. The Kruger thing was effective in portraying his new character as strange, but it felt like one we should of saw before the new character was shown last week.
Rick Victor came down to the ring as Saxton put him over, before showing a replay of the slap that Rick gave to Rollins to set up this match last week. It's got worse since I saw it last. Rollin received an enthusiastic pop when he came out...
5. Seth Rollins vs. Rick Victor. JR joined commentary. Regal called Victor the last graduate of the Hart dungeon. I thought that was Tyson Kidd? Victor worked a long headlock before rolling to the outside. As Rollins went to dive through the ropes, Victor clocked him. This led us into commercial... [C]
[Q4] When we returned, Victor still had Rollins under control. Rollins escaped via a jawbreaker, but he was soon dropped again by a jumping knee from Victor. Victor started biting himself to the bemusement of the commentators. They went to the corner, and Victor wore him down with strikes. Rollins started to shrug the strikes off, and after a slap, Rollins snapped. He took Victor down, and started to dominate. A running forearm to a cornered Victor was followed by a dropkick. Rollins played to the crowd, and landed the Blackout to take Victor out...
Seth Rollins defeated Rick Victor in 10:48
JR put over Victor's dominance, and Saxton said Rollins had passed his first test as champion. Rollins celebrated with a guy in the crowd wearing a chicken head. I don't know either dude...
Gutt Check: They definitely seem set on putting Rollins in the 'underdog' roll, even as champion. Victor, who as far as I can remember has yet to win a match on NXT, was in control for most of the match, and it only picked up in quality once Rollins was in command. This was a match that could have showcased the full extent of Rollins arsenal, but they decided not to. Are they holding off showcasing him until he gets put on main roster, so he can impress when let loose? Your guess is as good as mine.
Five matches meant no one got any real time to put a good match together. The main event got 7 minutes all told, and it wasn't all that good. The show went quick, but I don't think we've progressed anywhere this week. Ascension got their win back, Kassius had a totally pointless sparring session, and Rollins took 7 minutes to put away a lower card guy. The biggest step forward was Trent Barreta's return.
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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