11/29 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal meeting hosted by Michael Cole, Kane and Daniel Bryan defend the WWE Tag Titles, Trent Baretta vs. Leo Kruger, Xavier Woods vs. Memo Montenegro
By Darren Gutteridge
NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 10/11 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, Daniel Bryan was talking down the camera, saying tonight marked his return to the show that started his WWE career. He ran through his accomplishments since leaving, including becoming World Champion, launching a successful line of t-shirts, and 'honing an immaculate beard'. He requested no one chant 'Yes' or 'Goat face' when he entered and told Kane, stood at his side, not to get in his way. They got into their usual argument about who is the Tag Team champions, and it devolved into a 'Yes'/'No' shouting match. Bryan stormed off and the titles rolled...
Trent Baretta entered the arena with taped ribs. They replayed the backstage skit from last week, showing Baretta injured after an attack, and Leo Kruger shown smiling down the hallway. Kruger made his way out for the first match...
1. Trent Baretta vs. Leo Kruger. Kruger stopped Baretta's opening flurry with a shot to the ribs, and tore off the rib tape. He hit Trent with a rib breaker, and applied an abdominal stretch while cackling like the Joker. After further working on the ribs, Kruger went top rope and tried for a double axe handle, only for Trent to catch him with a dropkick.
Trent hit his springboard corner elbow, and ran the ropes, but got caught on the rebound with a flapjack from Kruger. He followed up with the Kruger's End for the victory...
Leo Kruger defeated Trent Baretta in 4:42.
Kruger crouched in the ring and played with his hair as Trent slid out. JR said that tonight will see Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal have a face to face confrontation, hosted by Michael Cole, and Team Hell No will take on Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis... [C]
Gutt Check: Simple and easy storytelling there, with Trent selling consistently and Kruger looking smart for constantly attacking the injury. The commentators played up whether Kruger or Kassius Ohno was responsible for last weeks attack, so maybe the feud has legs. I would look forward to an extended programme between Trent and either heel.
[Q2] Xavier Woods entered dancing to generic techno music, as Todd Phillips became this weeks Byron Saxton sound-a-like on commentary alongside JR. Memo Montenegro was already in the ring...
2. Xavier Woods vs. Memo Montenegro. Memo, Alberto Del Rio's younger brother, genuinely looks like Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez’s love child. After a long series of headlocks, Woods hit a dropkick and retreated to the corner. He yelled 'It's morphin' time!', and hit Memo with a clothesline out of a rolling headstand. This put Memo away...
Xavier Woods defeated Memo Montenegro in 2:13.
Xavier danced some more after the match, throwing in an R-Truth style splits, and a backwards Worm. Phillips again teased the Rollins and Mahal confrontation for later...
Gutt Check: A FREAKING POWER RANGER'S LINE!!?!! Move over Big E Langston, you are no longer my favorite NXT guy. The match was seriously all headlocks for 80% of it, but we saw more of what Woods can do when he wrestled Kruger a few weeks ago. I hope the dancing gimmick is dropped quickly, as WWE has too many dancers already. Also, with the Power Rangers stuff, and Dragonball Z reference on his tights (Over 9000), WWE has a chance to really connect with a 90s generation demographic no one really caters for. As someone born in '91, I could get into a gimmick of 90s nerd nostalgia. It's different at least.
Audrey Marie made her way to the ring after a quick 'Don't Try This' video, with NXT debutant Emma waiting in the ring...
3. Audrey Marie vs. Emma. Marie has a very similar look to Eve. And no, that is not a bad thing. The two worked quite a lot of chain wrestling, with Audrey getting the better of Emma for the majority of it, eventually finishing her off with a Swing Bottom...
Audrey Marie defeated Emma in 2:38.
Marie utilised some Maryse mannerisms after the match, establishing herself as a heel. I guess. Phillips threw it backstage where Tony Dawson was supposed to be interviewing Roman Reigns, but Todd was shown holding a press release instead. He said Reigns had to leave to meet with his 'team' over potential endorsement deals, and said he would have to take a 'Reigns check' on the interview... [C]
Gutt Check: Not a bad Divas match, as it had a little more intensity to it. Reigns didn't strike me as a 'business man' type character, but I guess it won't stick for long with his call up to the main roster. Expect him and Rollins to be phased out soon, maybe as soon as the next set of tapings. Also I had a thought. Woods could use MVP's old attire if he really wanted to push the Power Rangers gimmick (MVP is not obscure, but he is a 00s wrestler, so the streak lives.)
[Q3] Byron Saxton welcomed 'the voice of the WWE' Michael Cole down to the ring. Cole received an unusually warm welcome, and he got on the mic and praised the NXT roster, saying it wouldn't be long before they were on the main roster. Cole brought out Mahal first, and once he was in the ring, he brought out Seth Rollins.
Cole started with Rollins, and went to ask him about the sneak attack from Mahal a few weeks ago. Mahal cut him off and said it wasn't an attack, it was a message. Rollins said it was a cowardly attack, something he needed to do as one on one, everyone knows he will beat Jinder. Mahal said Rollins, and everyone in the arena, was a born loser, and that the NXT title was his birth right. He promised to beat Rollins in two weeks time.
Rollins said for all the lies he just said, he did say one true thing. He said he was like the people in the arena, but they were not losers, they were better people than Mahal. He told Mahal that he thinks the world owes him something, and he promised Jinder that he'll never get his NXT title. He challenged Mahal to fight, and they both got undressed into their ring gear.
Cole jumped in and said he had a tough question for Mahal. He asked Mahal what made him think he could beat Rollins, since Seth has already beat him. Mahal got angry at the 'American media', and began to shove Cole, but Rollins intervened, and Mahal cheap shotted him. Mahal put Rollins in the Camel Clutch for a while until refs broke it up... [C]
Gutt Check: A nice exchange, but a little generic. It seemed to veer towards basic pandering near the end with Rollins saying he was like everybody in the arena, and Mahal saying he hated them all. But it did give the feud a little more fire, and thats crucial in the build up to a title match. Wouldn’t it be weird if, in a real fight, both men got undressed first before throwing a punch?
[Q4] Saxton introduced McGillicutty and Curtis first, and announced that the match will be for the Tag Team titles. Curtis began dancing on his way down. At least there has been a little foreshadowing on this show of his upcoming hard reset to the Fandango character. Kane and Daniel Bryan entered separately, and a big Yes chant started immediately as DB entered. They stalled a little before the bell with the 'I'm the Tag Team Champions' routine...
4. Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis for the WWE Tag Team Titles. The champions dominated the opening minutes, until a dropkick from McGillicutty sent Bryan to the outside. They isolated Bryan as the crowd died, and wore him down with quick tags. Bryan caught a break when he and Curtis hit each other with crossbodies to cause a stalemate. Both men tagged out and Kane hit the ring hot, and rattled off some signatures until Bryan tagged himself back in as Kane motioned for the chokeslam.
McGillicutty nearly got a roll up victory as Kane and Bryan argued. Kane got angry and went to chokeslam both Bryan and McGillicutty, but Curtis broke it up. This lead to Kane chokeslamming Curtis, and Bryan applying the No Lock to McGillicutty for the submission victory...
Daniel Bryan and Kane defeated Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis to retain the Tag Team Titles in 7:06.
The crowd began to chant 'Hug it out!' as the champions argued, and after Kane motioned for it, Bryan relented and they hugged before going back to arguing. Phillips thanked us for watching and NXT finished...
Gutt Check: Everybody, write this down so we don't forget - Daniel Bryan just won a match, via submission, clean. I kid you not! The match was a solid main event, but suffered from the ending never being in doubt. It was just nice to see the champions look dominant as they very rarely do on TV. Bad writing has dampened their worth, but Team Friendship (as they always will be to me) can still excite a crowd like few others. Bryan especially can bring a crowd to life just by shouting No!
I liked this week’s episode. Again, nothing spectacular or important occurred, but the two bookend matches were entertaining, and we got treated to a more technically sound Divas match than usual. Xavier Woods interested me, but his match didn't. I for one am looking forward to next week to see if we get the first signs of changes to Reigns and Rollins, as I guess they would have learned at that point that the call up to the road was coming.
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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