12/6 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Leo Kruger vs. Tyson Kidd, Antonio Cesaro vs. Michael McGillicutty, Roman Reigns vs. Gavin Reid, Corey Graves vs. Yoshi Tatsu
By Darren Gutteridge
NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 11/15 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Tony Dawson and William Regal checked in on commentary as Michael McGillicutty made his entrance, high fiving people on the way down. There was a face turn?!?! He is facing Antonio Cesaro...
1. Antonio Cesaro vs. Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty took the early advantage with a dropkick. He put together a string of power moves, but Cesaro managed to counter a shoulder block in the corner by flipping McGillicutty onto the top turnbuckle and following it up with a running double knee to the ribs. Cesaro targeted the mid section, which Regal praised as smart wrestling.
McGillicutty fought out of a waist lock, with the crowd cheering him on, and took Cesaro down with a saito suplex. He got a close two count off of a clothesline to a seated Cesaro, and tried to Irish whip Cesaro when they got back up, but Cesaro reversed it into the Very European Uppercut, followed swiftly by the Neutraliser for the 1-2-3...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Michael McGillicutty in 5:59.
Cesaro posed with the US Title in the ring after the match, and Dawson announced that Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger will be our main event tonight...
Gutt Check: The match was OK. Nothing more, nothing less. The point I want to make is why is McGillicutty now a face, and getting cheered? I put the cheering down to this being the first match of the tapings, but the pro-McGillicutty shift can only be explained if we presume there are 'applause' and 'cheer' signs just out of view in the arena.
Axl Keegan was stood in the ring, appearing for the first time on NXT. Bo Dallas made his entrance to kick off match number two...
2. Bo Dallas vs. Axl Keegan. Keegan got all of the early going, but Dallas came back by taking punches and asking for another one. Dallas took a few more punches before flooring Keegan with one punch. Dallas fired up with a clothesline and a belly to belly suplex, before retreating to the corner, Edge style, to set up and deliver the spear, giving him the pin...
Bo Dallas defeated Axl Keegan in 2:35.
After the match, Dallas grabbed a mic and said he likes to fight (I thought he was IRS's son, not Finlay's?). He said he respects pain, and wants to fight someone from the WWE. He offered an open challenge, and said he didn't want a match, he wants a fight. Regal questioned if Dallas truly knows what he may have let himself in for as he left up the ramp... [C]
Gutt Check: Oh Bo. Poor, poor Bo. Not only does he hit his spear strange (he runs down the opponents right hand side, but then hits him with his right shoulder), but it appears Bray Wyatt got all the mic talent in the family gene pool. Don't worry Bo, I have a brother who is better looking and better at sports than me, I know your pain. The intensity shown late on in the match was a nice change however.
[Q2] The Raw Rebound aired after the commercial, focussing on the last segment featuring Miz TV...
Back in the arena, Corey Graves was already stood in the ring, with Regal saying he was 'born naughty'. Yoshi Tatsu made his way out, and Graves threw his jacket at him. As Tatsu turned to throw it into the crowd, Graves attacked him from behind. They rolled back inside the ring, and after the ref got the OK from Tatsu, the match started...
3. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Corey Graves. Tatsu came straight at Graves with chops, and eventually ended up on the top rope. Graves side stepped the diving attack, and hit a low chop block on Tatsu's left knee. Tatsu sold it by yelling and rolling around the ring, and Graves targeted the injury immediately.
Graves worked a side knee lock, but Tatsu fought out with chops. After a back body drop, Tatsu began to kick Graves, only for Graves to grab one of them, and land a shin breaker. Graves applied his modified Figure Four Leg Lock, which Regal dubbed the 13th Step. Tatsu tapped quickly...
Corey Graves defeated Yoshi Tatsu in 2:54.
Graves exited through the crowd as the commentators hyped the main event... [C]
Gutt Check: I don't know if Graves' juxtaposing look and style is jarring or interesting. He is covered in tattoos and wrestles in jeans, but he works a serious submission style. It will stand out, but I have been so conditioned to submission guys looking like amateur wrestlers that it's strange to see a "thug" do it. I wish I knew why I find it so off putting. It didn't take away from what was a short but solid match, in which Graves exploited a weakness as all submission guys should
[Q3] Another NXT debutant, Gavin Reid from Swansea in Wales, was stood in the ring as we returned. Roman Reigns made his entrance sans any mention of The Shield, as the commentators played up his 'Thoroughbred' gimmick...
4. Roman Reigns vs. Gavin Reid. Reigns worked a very long cravat, while shouting at the crowd. Reigns began to put Reid away with a back elbow, followed by a big clothesline. Reigns punched the mat, and dropped Reid with his finisher - a back suplex lift turned into a spinebuster...
Roman Reigns defeated Gavin Reid in 2:11.
After throwing Reid out of the ring, Reigns told Byron Saxton, who was on ring announcer duty, to get in the ring. He took Saxton's mic while he was announcing him as the winner, and said Saxton was jealous of him. He told Saxton that he was doing him a favour by letting him step in his ring and say his name. He then told Saxton to get out of the ring, and went to the corner to celebrate...
Gutt Check: I still can't shake the feeling that Reigns will be shown as the weak link of The Shield. He's OK, but I think theirs something special about Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose that he lacks. It's interesting that WWE has advertised the Shield as appearing on the next NXT tapings. Will there be an explanation of the sudden change for Reigns and Rollins, or will it not be addressed? I'll be interested to read the spoilers.
Backstage, Todd Phillips welcomed his guest Tyson Kidd. Phillips asked Tyson if he was worried after Leo Kruger injured Trent Barrett last week. Kidd said he wasn't worried, and that if he had to go through Kruger to get to the NXT title, then he would.
Kassius Ohno walked in, wearing hipster glassed and a jacket. He said he wanted the NXT title, and that he was the most dangerous man in the universe. He reminded Kidd that the last man to run his mouth to him was Richie Steamboat, and he put him on the shelf. Kidd quoted Einstein, saying 'Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds', before leaving...
Gutt Check: Nothing ends a manly argument like an Einstein quote. It was a long winded way to call Ohno stupid. Ohno saying 'I'm the most dangerous man in the universe' was strangely comical to me, as his look didn't scream 'dangerous' more than it did 'art college drop out', and he's on a show where Big E Langston has been destroying guys since day 1, whereas Ohno has lost a few times. But any great villain should always think he is right, so he got that part right. 10/10 for conviction, 1/10 for impact.
An advert aired hyping next week's NXT Title match between Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal...
Leo Kruger was kneeling in the ring, bouncing his torso off the ropes before Kidd made his entrance...
5. Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger. JR joined on commentary, and said rumours backstage state that Kruger and Ohno have a working agreement. Interesting. Kruger had Kidd on the mat with a body scissors around Kidd's neck when we suddenly cut to commercial without warning... [C]
[Q4] Kruger had switched to a full nelson when we returned. Kidd twice escaped the hold, only to find himself back in it a few moments later. At one point Kruger dropped Kidd with a back suplex, and dropkicked him to the outside. Kidd crawled back into the ring, only to get locked in another full nelson. When he escaped again, Kidd hit a dropkick to buy himself some time.
Kidd began to fire up, keeping the speed up with hit and run offence. He built up to the springboard elbow drop, only for Kruger to get his knees up to counter. Kruger backed into the corner and cackled, before taking Kidd out with a clothesline. Kruger went top rope, but Kidd cut him off and took him down with an arm drag. Kruger rolled out of the ring, only to be met with a running kick from the apron. Kruger rolled back in, and Kidd attempted the springboard elbow drop again, but this time turned the counter from Kruger into the Dungeon Lock. Kruger tapped almost immediately...
Tyson Kidd defeated Leo Kruger in 11:51.
As Kidd celebrated, he was attacked from behind by Ohno. Ohno and Kruger double teamed Kidd, leading JR to once again question if they have been in cahoots for a while. As they hit their finishers simultaneously, William Regal got up from commentary and walked to ringside. Regal pulled Kidd out of the ring, and helped him to the back as JR thanked us for watching and signed off...
Gutt Check: A good match to top NXT off. The contrasting styles meshed well, and hopefully the post match attack leads to a rematch. Although a tag team between the two doesn't interest me, there could be potential giving their similar personalities. It's an interesting storyline at least.
The show felt rushed for the most part tonight. Nothing was really allowed to set in, and it reminded me of TNA at it's worst at some points. The five match set up robbed the under card of time, and thus nothing 'important' happened until the main event. Having said that, none of the matches where 'bad', and Bo's open challenge, coupled with the title match, should make next week a more newsworthy week.
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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