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10/18 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: The Usos and Richie Steamboat vs The Ascension and Kassius Ohno, Trent Barretta vs Jake Carter, Alex Riley vs Jinder Mahal, Damien Sandow appears
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 8/23 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] My recording started after titles, so I joined as Alex Riley was coming to the ring. Byron Saxton and William Regal joined the broadcast, and Regal let on that he doesn't really get Riley's appeal. His opponent was Jinder Mahal, who Saxton pointed out hadn't been seen on NXT since losing to Seth Rollins in the NXT Title Tournament final...
1. Alex Riley vs. Jinder Mahal. It was all rest holds in the early going, until Riley hit a dropkick to really start the match. Riley hit a shoulder block from the second rope for a two count. Mahal recovered with a knee to the gut on a charging Riley, before suplexing him into the ropes. Mahal stomped Riley on the mat and locked in a headlock. Riley got up and hit a clothesline, and managed to counter an Irish whip from Mahal into a roll up for a surprise victory...
Alex Riley defeated Jinder Mahal in 3:50
Alex got to his feet, only to be blasted by a running knee from Mahal. Mahal applied the Camel Clutch as the ref rang the bell repeatedly. He eventually let go and left up the ramp. Saxton teased The Usos and Richie Steamboat vs. The Ascension and Kassius Ohno for later tonight, before revealing Trent Barretta vs. Jake Carter is up next... [C]
Gutt Check: That was all kinds of dull. The audience reaction would have been the same in an empty stadium match. And who could blame them? I'm guessing most didn't remember Alex Riley still worked there, and Jinder Mahal means just as little to 99% of wrestling fans. Obviously, they have more faith in Jinder (he's on TV at least, more than Riley has going for him at the moment), so why have Riley win? Build him up, sure, but have him look strong in his first win at least.
[Q2] Jake Carter was entering the ring as Trent Barretta waited...
2. Trent Barretta vs. Jake Carter. Regal called Carter the 'luckiest man in the world', as he gets his looks from his mother, and said Vader had Carter doing push ups since the age of 5. After side stepping a crossbody that sent Trent into the ropes, Carter took the upper hand in the match, wearing Barretta down with a headlock. Trent escaped with a back suplex and looked to be taking it up a gear with a series of chops and a running elbow to a cornered Carter, but Carter regained control with a clothesline.
Carter set up Trent for a back suplex from the top rope, but Trent landed elbows to knock Carter down to the mat. Trent hit a Whisper in the Wind for a 2. Trent seemed to go for his running knee finisher, but Carter side stepped it and countered with an overhead belly to belly suplex. After a close 2 count, Carter picked up Trent, and went to run the ropes, but Trent ran behind him, and finished Carter with his running knee...
Trent Barretta defeated Jake Carter in 6:22
Trent left up the ramp and shouted 'I won't be forgotten again'. Saxton said Damien Sandow is up next...
A World Tour update aired, with Scott Stanford revealing the dark match main events for the two TV taping in my backyard of Birmingham, England (I'll be going to both tapings. Look for the guy dressed as Grandmaster Sexay, under the banner explaining to Michael Cole the difference between a head and a skull). It's advertised that Punk will face Cena at the Raw taping, and Sheamus will face Big Show at the SD taping...
Gutt Check: A nice energetic match. We saw more of Carter here than we have previous, and Trent allowed him to look very powerful, as Regal put over Carter's strength on commentary. Both guys need wins, but Barretta has just returned and is the main roster guy, so it's believably that he goes over. But it's encouraging to see that Carter looked crisp, and hopefully they have something in mind for him.
Damien Sandow came out to a surprisingly loud pop. He had a mic with him, and after his usual introduction, he questioned what George Washington would say about the people in attendance. He asked if Washington would call them lazy and stupid. Sandow concluded by saying everyone in attendance was beyond help, and he will prove this by beating the jobber in the ring...
3. Damien Sandow vs. Jobber. The name on Jobber's passport reads 'Brandon Traven'. Sandow dominated from the get go, only breaking the action to dive to the ropes when it looked like Jobber was going to punch him. Sandow utilised a lot of mat work, mixing knee drops and stomps with punches.
Sandow threw in a new move, where he stood on the top rope above a seated Jobber, posed, and then dropped into a knee drop. Jobber showed signs of life with a back elbow onto a running Sandow, and he tried for a sunset flip. Sandow escaped, and dodged a follow up knee drop to start his signature reel. He built up to his neckbreaker finisher, which he punctuated with a 'You're Welcome'...
Damien Sandow defeated Jobber in 6:08
They were showing the replay while Sandow was doing the intellectual cartwheel, and as the crowd chanted 'one more time', he teased going for it again, before blowing it off and leaving... [C]
Gutt Check: They lulled a little (who wouldn't in a six minute squash match), but the audience has only perked up for Sandow tonight. It sure wasn't worth a lot, but Sandow's presence is always a welcome addition to any show. I am full of praise for the man, so I won't be objecting if these semi-regular appearances on NXT continue. But don’t interrupt the intellectual cartwheel again.
[Q3] The Ascension made their "awe-inspiring" entrance, which would "strike fear into any man". Byron Saxton - over-exaggeration extraordinaire. Kassius Ohno came out next, before The Usos began their usual entrance dance. As they finished, Richie Steamboat ran out, and together they slid into the ring and cleared house. JR on commentary threw it over to a quick commercial break...
A Hell in the Cell advert aired, focussing on CM Punk vs Ryback...
4. The Usos and Richie Steamboat vs The Ascension and Kassius Ohno. The match was joined in progress, with the Usos double teaming Kenneth Cameron. Steamboat tagged in, but soon was on the receiving end of a stiff punch from Cameron. Ohno tagged in, but when Richie seemed to be fighting back, he tagged out and slid to the outside. Before the last commercial break, Conor O'Brian had isolated Jey Uso in the heel corner... [C]
[Q4] When we returned Jey was still cut off on the heel side of the ring. After a good 5 minutes of this, Jey got the better of Ohno long enough to tag in Steamboat. The crowd popped as Steamboat hit Ohno quickly with clotheslines, punches and a back body drop, building up to a superkick. Steamboat had a pinfall broke up by the Ascension, which brought the Usos into the ring. The Usos cleared Ascension, and took them out with dives over the ropes. Richie seemed to be thinking the same thing, but as he ran to the ropes, Ohno hit his discus elbow finisher from the apron. Regal dubbed it the OBE as Ohno covered Steamboat for the 1-2-3...
The Ascension and Kassius Ohno defeated The Usos and Richie Steamboat in 11:39
The heels celebrated on the ramp as The Usos checked on a still out cold Steamboat. JR thanked us and NXT finished...
Gutt Check: Adding Ohno to the mix did not cure the Ascensions problems on tag team control. While their offence is unique, it's not entertaining, especially during their obligatory sustained periods of domination. And the action either side of this 5 minute period wasn't fantastic either. Steamboat got pops for his hot tag, but the crowd wasn't invested in anything else.
The lackluster tag match topped off a very meaningless NXT. Barretta and Carter has a good, compact match, but a 6 minute squash and two sleepy matches bookending the show led to the first truly unimportant NXT in weeks. Nothing built for next week, no storyline developed other than the Ohno/Steamboat feud, and no follow-up on the Punk/Rollins events of last week. Disappointing.
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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