10/4 Gutteridge's NXT Review: Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd vs The Ascension, Richie Steamboat vs Drew McIntyre, Kassius Ohno vs Percy Watson, Big E Langston, Seth Rollins, Michael McGillicutty
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 8/23 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Tonight's show opened with a video recap of last week’s main event between Richie Steamboat and Kassius Ohno. It led into Briley Pierce catching Ohno as he walked into the building, with fans looking on. Pierce said he wanted to ask about Ohno's attack last week, but Ohno said he was merely teaching Steamboat a lesson Ricky Steamboat should have taught him. Ohno was then attacked from behind by Richie, who beat him to the ground and said 'my father taught me enough' before the titles rolled...
Byron Saxton introduced us to the show, and said tensions were high. Drew McIntyre made his entrance, and Saxton explained that Drew hadn't been on NXT since his NXT Title Tournament match as he sprained his wrist during the match, and now has to wear a cast. He's taking on Richie Steamboat...
1. Richie Steamboat vs. Drew McIntyre. McIntyre got the first pin attempt after side stepping an on-rushing Steamboat and kicking him in the ribs. McIntyre was quick to quash any comeback from Richie, using his strength to gorilla press him. He tried for it a second time, but Steamboat botched a head scissors and fell to the mat. They recovered with a clothesline combination from Steamboat.
As Richie started to roll, Kassius Ohno ran down the ramp. He teased sliding in the ring, but Steamboat caught him before he had the chance. As the ref told Ohno to leave, McIntyre hit Steamboat with the cast on his wrist, and followed it up with a Future Shock DDT for the 1-2-3...
Drew McIntyre defeated Richie Steamboat in 4:26
Kassius laughed from the ramp as Steamboat sold his injuries. Saxton announced Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs The Ascension for later in the night...[C]
Gutt Check: I was surprised how little time those two were given. Whenever a main roster guy appears, it should be treated as a bigger deal, and thus the rookies should be given enough time to show they are ready to hang with them. The head scissors spot was sloppy, but everything else was OK, and maybe it could have been a good opener, but ultimately it was a means to an end to further the Steamboat vs. Ohno feud, and nothing more.
[Q2] Big E Langston entered the arena to a lot of '5 count' chants from the lively crowd. Aiden English was already in the ring...
2. Big E Langston vs. Aiden English. English tried to strike quickly with punches, but Langston no sold them and then started throwing English around. A big body check lead Langston to take his straps down, and hit the Big Finish for the squash win...
Big E Langston defeated Aiden English in 1:14
Big E demanded the ref count the additional 2 after the match. The crowd, as it did previously, asked for him to do it 'One more time'. Big E did, and then counted his own 5 count, before delivering a third Big Finish and a third 5 count. The fans counted along all three times...
Backstage, Steamboat was looking for Ohno, and bumped into Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty said he didn't, and seemed to walk off towards the ring...
A teaser for next week aired, saying CM Punk was coming to NXT. A 'World Tour Report' followed it, as Scott Stanford teased some of the matches that fans can see on the UK tour in November... [C]
Gutt Check: It's great that Big E is over, but the fans are giving him a babyface reaction, which is clearly not what the WWE wants. They haven't taken the Ryback route of having Big E stay quiet, and have made him seem arrogant and dominant, but the fans were into his 5 count gimmick and cheered when he hit English twice more with the Big Finish. Hopefully they give Big E more promo time to really establish his heel credentials, as I see him as Seth Rollins logical next opponent. CM Punk coming to NXT is huge, but because this show is on at 1am in the UK, I doubt this tease will spark any rating bumps, unless fans read reports like this one and tune in.
[Q3] Michael McGillicutty made his way out as Saxton said McGillicutty's NXT Title match with Seth Rollins will be next week. McGillicutty grabbed a mic and said Rollins first title defence will be his last. He called Rollins out as he had something to say to him. He called Rollins a paper champion as Rollins came out with the belt, but without his usual headbanging.
Rollins said McGillicutty talks too much. He said McGillicutty was talented, but people forget because he talks too much. He asked if McGillicutty respected him, and McGillicutty said no, calling him a paper champion again. Rollins said unlike McGillicutty, he has had to get to this level by himself, as he didn't have a path laid out for him like McGillicutty. Rollins offered to fight McGillicutty right there, but McGillicutty rolled out and said he would fight him next week, on 'his time'...
They aired a video shot earlier in the day, wherein Briley Pierce was shown talking to Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, in their awful high-visibility vest. He asked for their thoughts on their opponents, The Ascension. Kidd said they had them well scouted, and knew how good they were in the ring. He pointed out that both he and Gabriel have been Tag Champions before. As Gabriel started to talk about the mystery surrounding The Ascension, the Ascension's music played. Kidd and Gabriel looked around, until Pierce pointed out the Ascension looking down on them from a window box in the arena...
Gutt Check: Rollins was solid on the mic here, managing to sound aggressive despite his less than intimidating voice. McGillicutty was dull. Really dull. Unlike his intense mannerisms in the ring, he came across bored in that segment. And all I could think about the Ascension was how much they looked like Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets from their window box.
Percy Watson came out to little reaction for his match with Ohno. As Ohno came out, Steamboat attacked him from behind. Regal said it was very unsporting of Steamboat to do this. The refs dragged Steamboat away, and Ohno got in the ring and told the ref to ring the bell...
3. Percy Watson vs. Kassius Ohno. Regal complimented Ohno for choosing to start the match. Watson took advantage of a shaken Ohno with dropkicks, taking him down and hitting a leg drop for a 2 count.
Kassius caught a break with a jawbreaker. He quickly went after a grounded Watson, stomping him when Percy was in the ropes. He tried for a running move, but Watson countered with an atomic drop and another series of dropkicks. A Showtime Splash brought a two count. Watson picked up Ohno in a fireman’s carry, but Ohno grabbed the ropes to force the break. Ohno ended up in the corner, and booted a running Watson to quickly set up the Discus Elbow for the pinfall...
Kassius Ohno defeated Percy Watson in 3:20
Saxton and Regal both complimented Ohno on recovering from the attack to win the match. Saxton said the main event is next... [C]
Gutt Check: Again, that match was too short, but they could have used the quick time to put over a vicious, angered Ohno, having him squash Watson. That would have furthered this feud more I feel than the even match they just had. Again, solid action, but a missed opportunity. It was weird hearing Saxton compliment Ohno, as he seemed to be the babyface commentator to Regal's subtly heel color commentator.
[Q4] The Ascension made their usual gimmicky entrance. Regal said it gave him the 'collywobbles'. I laughed, but I can only imagine how that comes off to American's, and it doesn't really sell the seriousness of the entrance, especially as Saxton gives it the hard sell every week, calling it 'awe-inspiring'. JR joined commentary as Kidd and Gabriel came out to Gabriel's music, wearing their usual ring gear, but in matching high-visibility shades of yellow...
4. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd vs. The Ascension. Did you know the Ascension of FCW was put together by Ricardo Rodriguez? Short may know, but I doubt with RicRod in charge they were using the same gimmick. Before a quick break, Kenneth Cameron hit an impressive belly to back release suplex, were Gabriel did a full rotation in mid air to land on his front...
When we returned, Kidd was in control of O'Brian, hitting a running dropkick, followed by a springboard dropkick for a 2. O'Brian managed to get to the outside and gain control by slamming Kidd into the ring apron. Back in the ring, the Ascension did their corner stomping spot before they started to wear down Kidd on the mat with holds. They dominated for a long time before Kidd used his quickness to work past the Ascension and tag Gabriel.
Gabriel hit the ring with a springboard crossbody on Cameron, before using hit a run moves to work up to the 450 Splash. He attempted it, but Cameron moved. On the outside, O'Brian threw Kidd into the ringsteps, before getting into the ring to hit Gabriel with the double team wheel kick combo. Cameron picked up the win...
The Ascension defeated Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in 8:34
The Ascension started to leave as JR hyped next week's NXT Title match and CM Punk's appearance ...
Gutt Check: That’s the first time I can remember seeing Gabriel and Kidd tag together, which is odd considering they are one of the name tag teams in the tag team tournament currently happening on the main shows, but they really do light a ring up when they work. I know you have to slow a match down in order to have the exciting hot tags, but the Ascension don't use this time well. They have improved, and use quick tags to keep the wearing down fresh, but they are still grunting constantly, and it doesn't entertain at all. I would love to see Cameron wrestle without the gimmick, as he shows flashes of real talent before it gets drown out by the 'urrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!'
A quick and breezy NXT that should be commended for furthering storylines, even if they weren't done all that well. The NXT Title feud received a last minute push, with good work from Rollins, before the match next week, which I would have held off until Rollins and McGillicutty had been given more time to sell it and build the excitement. They are getting behind the Ohno/Steamboat feud, but it boiled down to one-up-man-ship. No match sucked, but none excelled. At the very least, they can be given 10 out of 10 for hyping next week’s episode, which has the potential to be the best episode of this new NXT so far.
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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